January 19, 2023 - January 21, 2023
Thursday, January 19
5 PM-7 PM SUNSET SCREENINGS (OUTDOORS/FREE)
7:30 PM OPENING NIGHT FILM: BELLA, BY BRIDGET MURNANE
Friday, January 20
12 NOON FILMMAKER BRUNCH AND DISCUSSION AT CAFE FIGARO, COHOSTED BY FRAME FORM, FOLLOWED BY A TOUR OF FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT’S HISTORIC HOLLYHOCK HOUSE: $25 WITH RSVP BEFORE JAN 14.
5-7 PM SUNSET SCREENINGS (OUTDOORS & FREE)
7 PM INTERNATIONAL SHORTS PROGRAMS 1
9 PM INTERNATIONAL SHORTS PROGRAMS 2
Saturday, January 21
11-2 PM WORKSHOP WITH GABRI CHRISTA. $75 W/ RSVP ($50 FOR STUDENTS / FREE FOR FEST FILMMAKERS)
3:30 PM THE TALKIES
4 PM DOC DAY AFTERNOON: SELECTION OF INTERNATIONAL DANCE DOCS
6 PM INTERNATIONAL SHORTS PROGRAM 3
7:30 PM VISIBILITY
8:00 PM GABRI CHRISTA FILMS WITH ARTIST DISCUSSION.
BARNSDALL GALLERY THEATRE
4800 HOLLYWOOD BLVD., LOS ANGELES
Festival founder and spokesperson Kelly Hargraves describes the film festival as follows:
"...Films in Los Angeles At Barnsdall Art Park in Hollywood, Thursday, January 19, through Saturday, January 21, 2023,featuring the Los Angeles premiere of Bella by Bridget Murnane, celebrating L.A. dance icon Bella Lewitsky, Dance Camera West’s signature VISIBILITY program to support underrepresented artists, plus the premiere of films by special guest artist Gabri Christa. Also included in the festival’s offerings is a separately ticketed event are a filmmaker lunch and discussion at Figaro Bistrot followed by a tour of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Hollyhock House; Saturday, January 21st, from 11:00am to 2:00pm, filmmakers both experienced and inexperienced are invited to explore their creativity at Dance Film Lab with Gabri Christa..."
Film Festival Schedule:
THURSDAY, JAN. 19, 5:00 - 7:00
Morning (5:25, Holly Wilder, United States)
Morning is a dance film dedicated to those we've lost to the Covid-19 pandemic. Produced by award-winning dance filmmaking duo, Wilder Project, the film honors the grief that has accompanied us through this period. In an exploration of aliveness, transition, and catharsis, the dancers claw through different textures of earth and water with a sense of reverence and surrender. Set to a reimagining of the traditional Appalachian spiritual, “Bright Morning Stars”, “Morning” reminds us of the beauty of the sand under our feet and the breath in our lungs, and asks its viewers to consider that our collective reflection inspire us to create a world where we all can live.
Belly (13:00, Maureen Whiting, United States)
Dressed in furry pelvises, scrappy white tops with flowers emerging from their shoulders, their activities don't literally resemble human behavior nonetheless evoke, grippingly, human emotions. The dreamlike images transition quickly, sometimes abruptly and it's primitive and futuristic, timelessly set in a natural landscape.
Ghu (7:30, Imanol G.A., Spain)
Between you and me there is something that we do not see, that brings us closer and yet divide us. It is movement that transcends our control, and is connected to everything, beyond the reach of our senses. This work is a small journey from the perspective of the living body that dances attracting and being attracted by invisible, unpredictable and unavoidable forces.
Matkalla (On the Journey) (19:17, Scotty Hardwig, Finland)
This is the first in the Mothers|Lands Series co-created and performed by Andrea Olsen and Eeva-Maria Mutka. Shot on location in the Tornio Valley region of Lapland in northern Finland and Sweden, the film follows a suitcase, a basket, and two women on a midsummer's journey from the sea to the river, dancing their way across the landscapes of the arctic circle along the axis of time and myth. The Mothers|Lands Series is a collection of dance-for-camera works that document movement artists relating to the non-human world and cultural imaginations of their native landscapes, where both human and land are treated as subjects that speak as equals.
Fresh oranges into the ocean (11:43, Silvia Giordano, Nuanda Sheridan, Italy)
While merging and intertwining with nature, three young girls create a metaphorical and visionary narrative of their present condition and their projections towards the future. Through their lightness, disorientation, vitality and strength, they embark on an choreographic journey facing high and low tides, turbulence and contradictions, calm and turmoil. Guided by absurd questions the oranges reflect the path of the protagonists in their delicate passage to adulthood and guide us in a poetic reflection on our lives.
overandover (McKay House, Utam Moses, 12 min United States)
Exploring the nuances of deep relationship, the richness of shared history and the depth of knowing that only comes with going through it together... the cyclical nature and ebb and flow between two people over time. What is it to hold history in between two bodies? To dig it out from under the nails and from the tangled web of hair. To tease out the things we conceal from ourselves and each other, the distances that seem so small and yet so vast- to be in contact but be alone.
Reminiscences (11:12, Virginie Brunelle, Canada)
This dance short film brings three sensual and brutal duets to the screen. Three stories overlap to tell the memory; what remains of the nostalgic feelings of their union. The choreographies sublimate the cracks that human experience generates and which settle in us like so many emotional vestiges.
AnHang (A Flock of Wild Geese) (12 min, Moonae Choi, Hyunsun Kim, Korea)
This work reconstructs the structure and movement of the Hwangmubong-ryu Sanjo Dance. It is a work in the motif of AnHang, a flock of geese flying together. Like a goose that cannot fly alone, it contains the message that we can dream of a beautiful world only when those of us ling lin modern society harmonize together.
Living on the Threshold (29:03, Vincent Bruno, Marine Chesnais, France)
Marine Chesnais, choreographer and contemporary dancer, goes to Reunion Island to meet humpback whales. Danced improvisations were born from these interactions in sea, which will be the fertile ground for her next creation. This movie, shot on breath-hold, is a choreographic and hypnotic journey taking us underwater, holding our breath, following the footsteps of this original project.
FRIDAY, JAN. 20, 5:00-7:00 PM
Down the Line, (6:20, Aaron Choate, Nathan Ginter, United States)
In this genre bending dance performance, confined in their vehicle, a driver and their passenger attempt to out run a threatening presence.
In Capsule (9:59, Jessica Smith, Chelsea Ainsworth, United States)
How much of our lives are controlled for us and how much control do we have? How much of the world around us can we understand? Is there a larger knowledge we as humans can only understand once we break away from our comforts? This film by Dual Rivet is a 10 min short film danced by two women filmed in upstate New York. Both women stuck in parallel lives are living in their own boxes. These oxes, manmade & monochrome inside have no sense of natural or living materials. Although placed in nature, these women have no understanding of the outside world.
The Seed (9:20, Korea)
The work "Seed" compares a condensed body with infinite potential to a seed and depicts the process in which it sprouted. There are hands of hope and love that naturally sprout even in the midst of a disaster that everyone is anxious about. And those hands turn crisis into opportunity and make the worst into the best. And I expressed the process with the distance, breathing, communication and emotion of two dancers.
Taphony (3:25, Zachary Kelley, United States)
Ever So Slightly (21:00, François Blouin, Victor Quijada, Canada)
Explores the behavioural mechanisms and reflexes we develop against the ceaseless flow of irritants that bombard us in our daily lives. Most of us long for calm and resilience, but how do we get to a zone where noise and aggressivity no longer have a place?
!blac (2:42, Yoko Murakami, Fernando Molina, united States)
An international collaboration between NY-based movement artist Yoko Murakami and Buenos Aires-based audiovisual artist Fernando Molina, the piece was inspired by a poem by E. E. Cummings, which took a minimalist and deconstructed approach to text. The poem acts as a bridge between the dancing and the audiovisual design, creating an abstract visual dialogue between two artists working together from a distance. Movement by Yoko Murakami Visual Art and Music by Fernando Molina.
Northern Ballet's KIN (10:27, Dan Lowenstein, Kenneth Tindall, United Kingdom)
Haunted by the loss of his brother, Anthony looks for solace in the water. Inspired by David Nixon OBE's stage production of Swan Lake, Northern Ballet original dance film KIN explores the struggle with grief and the demons that lie within
Scored by Time (9:45, Nicola Hawkins, Canada)
The film opens in a dilapidated hall in war torn 19th century Europe. A displaced older woman struggles to pull an upright piano, bound with rope, through the abandoned belongings of the her fellow migrants. She is fleeing the cruelty of the social order and the haunting memories of her dead daughter. After violently battling the ghosts of her past she arrives at the edge of death. Only then does she find the path to reconcile her grief.
Due North (23:10, Chantal Caron, Canada)
A dance film about life, embodiment of the wild. Sensitive to, and conscious of the preciousness of the Saint Lawrence River on the shores of which she has lived all her life, Chantal Caron, choreographer and artistic director of Fleuve I Espace dance has developed a speciality in outdoor choreography using as decor the natural light and the magnificence of nature.
Saturday, January 21, 3:30 & 4:00 pm
Director/Choreographer: Lane Michael Stanley (United States, 5 min 13 sec)
An experimental dance film exploring grief, substance abuse, and recovery.
Director/Choreographer: Megan Spatz (United States, 8 min 58 sec)
A lyrical exploration of grief through poetry and movement.
Director/Choreographer: Khidhar Jabari/Sarah Wildman (United States, 9 min 47 sec)
Jalen tries experimental therapy that allegedly helps people cope with looming trauma
Director: Kelsey McGee (United States, 22 min 25 sec)
Three dancers with disabilities find freedom through movement.
Director: Fanny Texier (United States, 3 min 40 sec)
Red Bull dancer Angyil McNeal meditates on her difficult childhood growing up in the hoods of Kansas City, and how she uses spirituality and dance as tools to understand life.
DREAMS OF LOVE
Director/Choreographer: Iina naoto (United States, 7 min 54 sec)
Butoh dancer Yoshito Ohno manipulates a puppet of his father, Kazuo Ohno, who is one of the founders of Butoh. Or is the puppet manipulating him? Yoshito's gaze toward his puppet father's back is sometimes rigid, hateful, but also kind, admiring, and full of respect. 'Liebesträume' was filmed in Kazuo Ohno Dance Studio, the legendary and historical studio full of conflict between father and son through dance. The space is full of posters, props, costumes of the day, and a photo of Kazuo with Pina Bausch. 'Liebesträume' is based on the footage of Yoshito Ohno in the stage performance 'On Kazuo Ohno' by Takao Kawaguchi, edited as an alternative short film version. Original title "Liebesträume". Japanese title 愛の夢(Ai-no-yume).
MY LIFE: DANCING QUEEN
Director/Choreographer: (United Kingdom, 28 min)
“As many of us retreat further into our silos of our devices and our tribes, avoiding contact with strangers, I wanted to see if anyone would take me up on this invitation. I wanted to remind the world, but mostly myself, that extraordinary connections between strangers are possible and that the world can be as magical, safe, and free as we allow it to be.
I wanted to test out my belief that people are good, that despite being vulnerable, I would be safe. I wanted to test myself, was I really willing to dance with anyone, whoever they were, however they danced? Could the blindfolds help me to be truly blind to gender, age, race, economic status?”
GHOSTLY LABOR: A DANCE FILM*
Director/Choreographer: John Jota Leaños, Vanessa Sanchez (United States, 13 min 12 sec)
Explores the history of labor in the US–Mexico borderlands through Tap Dance, Mexican Zapateado, Son Jarocho, Afro Caribbean movement, and live music to look at the (ongoing) years of systemic exploitation of labor while highlighting the power and joy of collective resistance. Based on farmworker interviews in California, this excerpt honors the sacred hands that feed us. It was filmed with support from Ayudando Latinos a Soñar (ALAS), a non-profit advocacy organization for farmworkers in Half Moon Bay, CA.
FEEL THE VOID*
Director/Choreographer: (Russia, 2 min 27 sec)
It's a story about finding a space and place after one's forcibly displaced.
Director/Choreographer: Stephanie Patrick, Ben Lee (United States, 4 min)
While witnessing the economic and social changes ushered in by the pandemic, eight Early Era dancers inspect the systems that we abide by, and the sameness required of average people to operate within those systems. Featuring Austin-based hip-hop duet Magna Carda, our artists must decide whether to stay within the boxes that confine them or break free. Milez is truly a pandemic creation. We rehearsed and choreographed online and shot each dancer separately, creating limitations that allowed us to design a truly unique visual experience.
WHO SITS BESIDE US IN THE BATH
Director/Choreographer: Dana Sokolowski (United States, 11 min 11 Sec)
A surreal bedtime story about trust, safety, and protection after the death of a parent.
Director/Choreographer: Emma Colton (United States, 8 min)
This dance film is an emotional response. It is a call to action for change. It is a representation of the cyclical lost lives to gun violence in America. The film represents death, frustration, grief, and fear. This could happen to any of us.**6% of all donations used to fund this film were donated to various gun violence prevention/research organizations such as Brady Center, The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, Giffords, Newtown Action Alliance, New Yorkers Against Gun Violence, Every Town for Gun Safety, and John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
LIFE LEFT BEHIND
Director/Choreographer: Valia Phyllis Zwart (United States, 8 min)
Whilst driving, a woman attempts to reconcile with her past and the scars it left behind.
THE FELL OF DARK
Director/Choreographer: Marla Phelan, Tim Richardson (United States, 2 min 51 sec)
In the wake of a tragedy, a chorus of mourners, gather at a sacred site to perform a ritual dance of grief. Expressing symbolic gestures, waves of interconnected movement, and funeral-like processions that swirl like a murmur of starlings, these women, with faces covered by veils of black hair, dance to grieve a loved one lost to addiction. This poetic distillation of the universal experience of grief, speaks for the hundreds of thousands of lives lost to the Opioid Crisis and gives strength to the families who have been silenced by its stigma.
Director/Choreographer: Mistaya Hemingway, 12 min 32 sec, Canada)
A revisioning of Maya Deren's iconic 1944 film, At Land. Shot in Eastern Quebec, At Lake is a meditation on nature and the relationships between movement, landscape and chance.
FUTURE FUTURES: THE MIRROR LOOKS BACK
Director/Choreographer: Brian J Johnson (Canada, 6 min 48 sec)
Collaboratively conceived by Director Brian J. Johnson and Vancouver's acclaimed Company 605, Future Futures is a collection of 5 short dance films that explore the digital destiny of humankind through a unique merging of camera and visual effects with an intensely specific choreographic vision. Embracing the absurdity of centering dance inside a sci-fi narrative, the experimental series collapses time to portray human culture at an unprecedented moment: an emergence of a new, autonomous and intelligent being - the digital reflection and culmination of ourselves.
THE LATE BLOOMER
Director/Choreographer: Amnon Sivan (Israel, 3 min 50 sec)
A gardener discovers that it's never too late to pursue the heart's desire. With the help of an interactive podcaster, He'll be pushed to the limit and forced to face his fears. The music begins, and the stage is set for a fiery display of movement and humor.
A narrative aimed at educating on the importance of staying on our own path, and the futility that's inherent with glancing at others' accomplishments. The late blooming flower doesn't know that it's late. It's just a flower and it continues to grow no matter what transpires around it.
Iván Asnicar, Ailén Cafiso (argentina, 6:30)
A park.Two bodies dance looking for the exit.Through the tour they find fantastic and real situations.
The movement will carry them forward into the next age.A labyrinthine passage from Dance in the Park.
Selena Moshell (United States, 4:15)
"Ascension tells the story of a deeply challenging and transitional space in my life that began last year  and bled fiercely into this one. A time filled with some of my darkest days, fear, grief, transformation, healing, newfound love, and ultimately some of my most profound blessings. I'm grateful for the opportunity to turn this moment into art." - Sharron Lynn
Director/Choreographer: Gabri Christa, (8 min 3 sec, 2022, documentary, United States)
In this experimental short documentary, a dancer SHEILA ROHAN, blows out a candle and finds herself in a magical world of memory , dance and presence. Featuring Sheila Rohan, one of the founding members of Dance Theater of Harlem.
Followed by discussion with Gabri Christa.
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Photos Courtesy of DANCE CAMERA WEST Film Festival