FIREWORKS – A look at pyrotechnic traditions from around the world

When: Friday June 30 ~~ 7pm.
Where: The Commons Theater.
What: 3 short films and Q&A discussion.
Cost: Donations welcome.

Join us as we circle the globe and investigate some fireworks traditions with a screening of a few short films from Passfire film series.  In 2016 Veverka Bros. Productions LLC released the documentary film Passfire, which tells the story of fireworks in 23 countries on six continents around the world. From that point on they have traveled to get deep into the culture and to bring the stories of those involved. They now have three DVD’s culminating in the newest Passfire compellation, Maximum Load. We will screen three films spanning the series and focusing on several distinct styles of fireworks.

Across the globe, the tradition around fireworks and fireworks displays is something that has been passed down for generations in a few creative families and companies. It also lives in modern times with a unique group of individuals who have found themselves drawn to this work for the love of the smoke, the noise, and the fire.

They have been used as part of spiritual rituals, they have been used to mark important events of all descriptions and in the case of the 4th of July here in the US they provide the finale to a night of celebrating the great land we live in with the folks we love.

We will begin by looking at the connection between Japanese Shinto and the creation of complex and often massive fireworks While we are still in Japan, we will look at the traditional Farmers Rockets made with black powder and bamboo.

Next, we cross the globe to Greece for the Easter Rocket War between the Greek Orthodox churches of San Marcos and Panaghia Ereithieni. Tens of thousands of handmade rockets are launched across the valley in the direction of the two churches. Ringing the church bells is considered good luck for the year.

In the last short film of the night, we will go to the deserts of Arizona as we look at the Western Pyrotechnic Association Annual Winter Blast event.  This is a place where art, pyro, and fun come together with learning each year over the Presidents Day weekend. With courses and workshops on the construction of fireworks and nightly displays from some of the best pyro’s in the US.

We will also have a display of fireworks equipment and cut-away display fireworks and a short presentation of how a firework display is put together before ending the night with questions from the audience.