We received so many incredible films to consider this year. We are honored to have the following as our official selections. These works offer an unforgettable viewing experience while exploring land & longing, earth & fragility, history & memory.
Choreography and performance by Hattie Mae Williams; Videography and edit by Chris Salazar Music by Datamouth
I Am? Am I?
Am I dreaming or is life but a dream? Inspired by "Row Row Row Your Boat," Am I ? I Am submerges into the depths of one's reflection while looking out and looking in.
Direction, Writing, Producing and Performance by Samantha Matsumoto
My 14th Grandmother
A film by Leila Awadallah
Gaia’s Whispers explores the Chinese philosophy of Five Elements (fire, water, wood, metal, earth) to promote greater awareness of climate change. Performed across the rhythms and constraints of time and space, this work was created across all four seasons and in varied landscapes. Hoping that nature can speak to human nature, Gaia’s Whispers aims to help future generations have a healthy environment in which to live and thrive.
Direction and Choreography: Chien-Ying Wang
Body Is Home
Body is Home is set in Lawrence Halprin's Portland Open Space Sequence, the film celebrates the 50th Anniversary of the opening of the Keller Fountain, formerly the Forecourt Fountain, and honors the 100th birthday of the living choreographer Anna Halprin. The Keller Fountain opened in 1970, only days after protests just a few blocks away resulted in the hospitalizations of 34 people. The new park immediately became a celebration of the Portland community and the power of public space. As the COVID-19 global pandemic and protests for racial justice roil Portland today, Body Is Home honors the present moment in a setting that remains unique and powerful after 50 crucial years of Portland history. Lawrence Halprin said it best when he noted, “Please try to remember we’re all in this together.” His vision began with open spaces that would be for everyone.
Directed by Heidi Duckler; Associate Direction by Himerria Wortham
And Breathe… is a climate change dance film inspired by the newly introduced “Clean Air Zone’ in Birmingham and the negative reactions it generated as people challenged having to make changes to their habits and lifestyles. This film is choreographed and performed with contemporary and Kathak movement that embodies the conflicts of over-consumption versus preservation….and ultimately, hope. The film and dance choreography explore the effect of carbon emissions and their apocalyptic impact on humanity and the earth. For the sake of future generations, And Breathe…challenges us to go back to basics, to pass on and use intergenerational skills that help to prevent climate change through lower consumption and replacement practices to put back what we take out. It’s a film about hope… but that hope rests with us.
Directed by Sima Gonsai and Karen Wood; Performed by Kesha Raithatha
The Coming Silence
The Coming Silence grew from a site-based performance installation that considers the notion of extinction, whether through viral, climatic or ecological means. Inspired by the natural history museum display case and the popular Body-Worlds exhibits, the hybrid live capture/performance film ponders the false divisions humans create between themselves and the rest of the biotic world and highlights humanity’s ethical dilemmas in the Anthropocene.
Directed by Melanie Kloetzel; Cinematography by Linnea Swan
As a welsh speaking artist, descendant of Celtic welsh and Irish ancestry, the film reimagines the welsh ancestral landscape of folklore through the perspective of the divine feminine. The Welsh history that has been recorded is heavily focused on kings, castles and Celtic warrior men at battle, death and various lands being claimed and fought for, but there is very little recorded history about Celtic women and indigenous women centred culture and practice of the past. Even the well known druids prayer which is featured in the film was originally addressed to the goddess and was later changed in scriptures to ‘god’ as the masculine. The film brings the feminine experience to central focus with poetry and folk song from both my other ancestral lineages of Yoruba Nigerian culture the river goddess and Chinese folk song of the earth goddess, interlaced with welsh recitals of the 9 maidens, healers and sorcerer's. The film personifies the land, the earth in an attempt to remind us that it is our responsibility to respect, nurture and look after the land just as we must preserve and protect women’s legacy. At its core the film is about representing what is dearest to my heart, our connection and love to land and language and making ourselves visible in that relationship.
Directed, Written and Performed by Ffion Campbell-Davies
Ducks Crossing is a playful exploration of the way the Anthropocene has and continues to encroach upon countless natural habitats, and a testament to the resilience of nature even in the face of the destructive habits that have come to dominate the modern world. In the film, two "ducks" traverse a serene patch of woods, but eventually part ways as the environment transforms into a wasteland festering under a busy New Jersey highway.
Directed by Charly Santagado
Timeless Land pays tribute to an untouched area of the high desert in New Mexico. As if passing through a portal to a secret world, the film offers a glimpse of a space that evokes a sense of wonder and humility. We felt privileged to explore our connection to the land and to each other as we passed through.
Directed by Mary Fitzgerald; Choreography/Performance by Mary Fitzgerald and Nicole Bradley Browning
Our planet’s majesty is both mysterious and awe-inspiring. “kopitoto” offers us a glimpse into the snowy Japanese forests and the mythical inhabitants within.
Directed by Lisa Kusanagi; Performed and Choreographed by Yvonne Meier, Lisa Kusanagi and Juju Kusanagi
RISING was created after Sanford, Michigan (USA) suffered a catastrophic flood in 2020 as a result of multiple dam failures. Considered to be a 500 year event, the flood destroyed a small mid-west town, but the resilience of the people and stories remained. Relationships between human choreographed movement and the devastatingly tragic (and hauntingly beautiful) results of water rushing through a small community are highlighted in this short film.
Directed, Produced and Choreographed by Keeley Stanley-Bohn
It's been a very long time...to focus on controlling the uncontrollable and ignoring the extreme exhaustion from daily life, we all lost our minds - at once - together. Sooner or later, the unexpected befalls: me and you, and everyone we know - broken and scattered into pieces. Where are our minds? Fitting into different adult life roles with unavoidable conflicts - absence of minds - do you feel you know yourself? In a sudden global cataclysmic event - me and you and everyone we know are unified in our isolation - we work isolated, we study isolated and we struggle isolated. Embarking on a self-rediscovery journey...isolated. Me and you, and everyone we know - masked by insecurities and exaggeration of being alone. Are we ready for this new era of life exploration? We have no choice. Sitting from our corner, isolated - me and you and everyone we know - staring at the old television that is being replaced by new digital technology. Sitting like an old television waiting to be replaced... The rhapsody begins with an infinity mirror - at the corner of daring and bored - the minds within you are daunting. The sound and silence, coming along with fatigue and lunacy represents the dispel of inwardness.The real is just out of [human] touch. The only truth is our skin - me and you and everyone we know. We are the only real, now, isolated. Our many selves for conversation, for comfort, for introspection. Now our only friend will tell the truth. Now we know.
Choreographed by Peggy Ho; Directed by Paul Shepherd
Formed over millions of years ago, the Earth’s fossil fuel reserves of oil are being depleted rapidly. A 2021 report on global consumption breaks it down to 1.8 litres per capita per day, with the forecast of an increase. Approximately 706 million gallons of waste oil enter the ocean every year presenting enormous harm to the environment. The immediate effects are mass mortality and/or the contamination of seabirds and aquatic life. 1.8 takes the viewer on a journey to realise how much oil we use daily and to question the consequences of this consumption. Trying to take wing with the feathered jewelry piece that carries the exact amount of 1.8 litres of oil, the performance artist starts moving and painting with dripping oil, but increasingly struggles with the forming oil slick, giving the impression of a desperate seabird being caught in an oil spill. In its trajectory from a majestic, immaculate state of being, to desperation and the eventual, horrific death, the performance creates a metaphor for humanity’s struggle to accept the inevitability that the black-golden age is coming to an end, and of our failure to control the effects of environmental destruction.
Directed and Produced by Katrin Spranger
Far Flung Dances II - The Wood
Gravity is one of the four fundamental forces in the universe. Through a physical and visual relationship between a dancer, a tree and the earth, the precarious imbalance of our relationship to the world we live in is highlighted. It reflects the push, pull and force of our current social, climate and political challenge and evokes effort, loss and struggle.
Directed by Mary Wycherley
Safe and Seen on 82nd
A short exploring music and movement as we follow the emotional journey of a pedestrian, a person of Asian descent, unseen by the world around them.
Directed by Dawn Jones Redstone and Annie Tonsiengsom; Performance by Kiyo
for coming forth into the day
Filmed on site at Grounds For Sculpture, this film draws from the Egyptian Book of the Dead (the book of coming forth into day), translations of Sappho, memory, sculpture, and place.
Direction and Editing by Ann Robideaux. Performance and poetry by donia salem harhoor.
O My Soul
“O my soul” is a solo dance film about a woman and her relationship to the passage of time. Time is seen through the speed and stillness of the natural and hyper-digitized dancing female body, and its contrast to the outdoor landscapes of labor found in the metal structures, steep hills, and gravel roads. With undercurrents of wind rippling through hair and clothing, this work meaningfully reveals experiences of time with textures and sensations of nature, body, and location.
Directed, Choreographed, Edited and Video-ed,Performed by Erin Carlisle Norton