Celebrate! The festival will come down in mid-May; Winners will be up longer, as they wish. It was a difficult choice for all judges, and myself. We will have some discussions on-line during May. Stay Tuned! Yet, congratulations to all who were chosen to screen in this unique festival. ❤️ & Blessings on your journey.
In the 16th Century, the elephant Süleyman makes a long journey from Ceylon to Portugal, then walks the whole way from Lisbon to Vienna trough the Alps for five months. To be a living royal gift is not an easy job, where even death is not a peaceful end.
The Outlander was made between Portugal, Austria and Bulgaria in cooperation with the historian Dr. Annemarie Jordan Gschwend.
Walking in a snowy forest, a peasant sees an unusual deer and goes to follow it. The deer allures him and the peasant even wants to catch it.
Xin is a Chinese born animator and filmmaker based in Melbourne, Australia. He specializes in the traditional method of paint-on-glass stop-motion animation. Through this technique he explores tranquil and often intimate moments of life through abstract narratives.
Myles, a shy boy who musters the courage to face his bully, Dolores, and rescue his favorite toy from her. The ensuing battle ends prematurely as Myles makes a life-changing discovery.
"This film is an important reminder of a timely and on-going topic. The fact that it is a handcrafted work of art -- the sock-monkey--makes this film enjoyable for connecting the need for love." LMH
“The Hole” is about a mother bird with a big hole in her heart, on a journey of searching for her baby son that fails to fly and accidentally falls into a hole. With an original sound track by Green Seo, Will Kim uses watercolor animation technique to reflect on his personal and universal experience of tragedy and despair.
"This is a delicate and beautiful use of watercolor to produce a delicate film to display a sad tragedy with much grace." -LMH
Hide & Seek
Have you ever not been found in hide and seek in your childhood? This game is continuing in a quiet way, as we are actually hiding in work and life. But now, do we still hold the hope of being found by the same kind of people in one day?
"This was an intriguing topic, delivered in an animation that was interesting and effective animation, yet it does beg the question: What if you play hide and seek and no one ever finds you?" --LMH
Scholar Gloria Orenstein’s life is forever changed through her wild journey into friendships with the women artists of Surrealism. As she witnesses the visionary art and personal struggles of Leonora Carrington, Jane Graverol, Leonor Fini and Meret Oppenheim, she discovers her personal calling as a pioneer scholar of Surrealism and ecofeminism.
"Hands down this was the best film for me. Entertaining, interesting and important to the art world." Larry Greenfield, judge.
"This film changed my life, my thinking about the importance of surrealism in many important contexts, which now affect my writing." Wendy, a viewer.
Tip Toland is a courageous ceramic artist and sculptor, both in the scale of her work and her choice of subjects. Her work is in many major collections across the country, including the Renwick Smithsnonion Gallery and The Metropolitan Museum of Art. This documentary tells the story of her life, through the good and hard, which formed the artist she is today.
"I found this the most compelling story of all the films for me. Tip's work is fascinating, and her journey that led to her arts is equally interesting. What the films did was to take remarkable art, and give the viewer access to it, and to the artist, and the history of where that all came from.I was riveted to the screen." Michael Bronfenbrenner.
Take a fascinating behind the scenes look at the role of an art museum preparator from arrival of artwork all the way through to final display. This short mini-doc features Contemporary Art Gallery, Esker Foundation's Head Preparator, Doug Haslam, and the work of artists Jeffrey Gibson and Nep Sidhu.
"It's a world that not many are familiar with and this film takes the viewer into that world very effectively." Michael Bronfenbrenner
" For me, as a curator and judge at numerous art exhibitions, those who prepare the work for installation and then install it as well, are equal in value to the curators choosing the work that lands in the show. They get few praises, and should get many more." -LMH
Acclaimed Haida Manga artist, Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas, pushes the boundaries of the art world by challenging the divide between contemporary and so-called “Native Art”. With humour, kinetic innovation and expansion of traditional and contemporary forms, Yahgulanaas directly confronts the tension he identifies as arising from a legacy of historic racism that persists within and beyond the Western Art World.
"This film just grabbed me. Automobile hoods coated in reflective copper! I found it quite compelling." Michael Bronfenbrenner, judge
A Windward Calm
A near death experience causes a celebrated east-side sculptor to rethink the role of his art in public places. What is the role of public art? A
A near death experience causes a celebrated east-side sculptor to rethink the role of his art in public places.What is the role of public art? A
draws on the reflexive power of film to place one art form in dialogue with another and suggest that there is value in work that affects a gathered audience.
"A excellent artist portrait. His work is fascinating, as is his relationship to it. Excellent production value." Michael Bronfenbrenner
Soldier's Stories from Iran and Afghanistan: The Artists's Process explores how artist Jennifer Karady collaborates with returning military veterans to re-stage a moment from war, producing narrative photographs that reveal how their war experiences infiltrate their daily civilian lives. The film chronicles the intricate and intimate process between Karady and one of her subjects, former Army Specialist Lucero Morales, as they connect a traumatic incident in Najaf, Iraq,. Ultimately stage a photograph that helps Morales begin to heal.
"This is an important film as a reminder, well done, that for many, war experiences are never over, but healing can take place using the arts." A Member of the International Expressive Arts Therapy Association.
The Perfect Dancer
A short dance film exploring perfection in dance bodies and performance. An homage to Jorgen Leth's short film "The Perfect Human."
Beth Soll, a lone judge in the massive number of Official Selection in Dance, infact she had 4.5 hours of screening 32 films. Bless her.
Beth indicated that choosing between so many types of performances by a mix of well-trained and top dancers and comparing performances with less training, yet perhaps better film production was difficult. Add to this trying to compare just one dancer against a major production of an ensemble was nearly impossible. Yet, she did it and with grace and high insight into dance.
Note from Lynn Holley. What happens in rating Dance, is unlike in other categories I have experienced over the seasons. For it perhaps comes down to the ability of the dancer or dancers to tell us the story through movement, while the film is moving too. Dancers are the "actors" and the reality is they carry the film. f
Filmmakers must rely on them. Even a good director can not turn a mediocre dancer into a top dancer. And, the choreographer must work closely with dancers, the director and cinematographer. The better films seem to be when the roles are split, a thought for creating a dance film.
Walls of Limerick
Irelands premiere vertical dance film, Walls of Limerick is a statement on the psychological effects that harsh political borders have on people. It offers the viewer a window into the dancers’ internal worlds, where they go to escape from their bleak, oppressive reality. Gravity’s pull is constantly changing planes in this world and they have the freedom to articulate their feelings through movement. Both together and alone, they are able to express themselves and a bond is formed. As the distress and anxiety builds from external forces, their only way out is up the wall that both divides and supports them. With an army at their back and freedom in their hearts, the dancers struggle and fight to overcome the barriers in their way.
Note from Lynn Holley. I know that Beth Soll struggled between choosing between the Winner and Finalist. This is where making a choice is exhausting. How does one compare a superb vertical dance with one on equally superb on a horizontal line, if all dancers are equal and the plots and objectives so different? Being a highly trained dancer and historian of dance, she went back to the basics and the composition.
Choreography by Linxin “Kisa” Li. How can we convey our thoughts, emotions, experiences, and culture without a single word? Who are we? I am an artist, a dancer, a creator, a woman, a daughter. Like you, I imagine, create, have inner struggles, believe in love, fate, and possibility.
This dance film is about owing your sensitivity, your sexuality, and your vulnerability.
In the end, we are all just human.
The Circadian Circle
The Circadian Cycle is a short film conceived and directed by Garry Stewart, with cinematography from renowned director and film maker Cordelia Beresford.
Filmed within the stunning South Australian landscape, The Circadian Cycle draws upon choreography from Australian Dance Theatre’s award winning mainstage work "The Beginning of Nature."
The Birch Grove
Caught between love and death, two brothers wrestle with their past in a dance towards reconciliation. A poetic film about the power of family ties, inspired by the novella of the same name by the Polish author, Jaroslaw Iwaszkiewicz.
" I like the fact this production was inspired by a writer, which makes his words dance off the page!" - LMH
A short dance film, about the life of a young man. Memories from his past come to mind, making him relive the pain, that he is trying to get rid of.
The starkness of the backdrop, only enhances the emotional expressive dance.
"This dancer and filmmaker have promise for bigger things to come."
A vision of surfing, embodied by pro surfer Kassia Meador, appears as in a dream and inspires a woman to return to the water after a devastating loss. Surrounded by a diverse group of female surfers, she paddles out and they perform a ritual of connection to each other and to the ocean that is a refuge for them all.
-To rise from an inner source.
-A process in which new, nutrient-rich waters rise from the ocean depths to the surface.
"Moving, visually stunning, beautiful film," comments Michael Bronfenbrener, Judge.
Initiation is the musical and cinematic experiment directed by Iwona Pasińska, with the hipnotizing music composed by Jacek Sienkiewicz and Andrzej Grabowski’s ascetic scenography, in which each prop has its own significance; filmed in Black & White.
"Very dramatically executed concept, compelling, fascinating. I watched it multiple times," comments Michael Bronfenbrener, Judge.
Walls of Limerick
Screening above also now as Finalist in Dance.
"One of the better abstract motion visualizations of a concept--walls that separate,"
comments Michael Bronfenbrener, Judge.
Imagination is set adrift among cityscapes and clouds in this film that combines dance, animation and time-lapse photography.
"It is a delightful and entertaining film in which four dancers let us into their daily lives and share their free, casual, and organic movements. The mix of visual effects highlights the essence of that movement against the backdrop of cityscapes and clouds." Katherine McElwee
"This is a powerful and moving film that centers around a woman coming to terms with her aging and the impermanence found in nature. Connecting intimately and physically with nature teaches her to accept her own eventual death, and yet, at the same time encourages her to put energy into nurturing other beings just starting out in life." - Katherine McElwee, judge
"I really liked this film; it did not pretend to be anything other than what it is -- a story, a narrative about the making of ceramics, and about trust in a relationship between two people." Bonnie Rubenstein, judge.
"Engaging storytelling. Strong characters. I wanted to stay in this world with these people. Director shows great promise." Arlene Schindler, judge.
Encore sans titre
"An interesting and amusing, well-shot film in Black & white, with no dialogue, yet, created a fine, fun narrative." - Bonnie Rubenstein, judge.
The Birch Grove
screening also as an Honorable Mention above in Dance. Original Score by Joel Pickard. The film is a masterpiece visually and musically. I am always looking to see if the music fits intellectually with the choreographer." Comments by the judge, Dan Kepl.
Wall's of Limerick
screening also as Finalist above in Dance and Experimental. The film has won three awards as Finalist in 3 categories: Dance, Experimental & Original Score.
"Quite simply, this film has a powerful score by composers: Andrea Boccodoro & Roberto Bengini for a powerful, moving film. Superb music to action meld; the aerial work mesmerizing." Comments by the judge, Dan Kepl
"This film's unique use of acoustic sounds (breathing, making peanut butter sandwiches, wisps of air) with an inventive electronic score. An unusually successful solo dance, with an intuitive score by composer Ben Juodvalkis."
Comments by the Dan Kepl, Judge.
Monkey Thief, Now Screening also as Finalist in Animation.
Winner of Two Awards.
"This film is excellent, amusing, very deliberately Hollywoodesque cartoon-score by Tyler Grow which matches a touching story perfectly."
Comments by the Dan Kepl, judge.
"Have you ever wanted a moment to last forever? “Being” is a short narrative dance film that combines traditional narrative filmmaking and tango dance performance in a way that could not be achieved without the other. For a few moments, it makes you forget your troubles and simply just be—same as it does for the lead character. Hard to describe without watching it. Give yourself permission, watch the film, and just be." -- Maria Doctor, Judge
This film works on many levels, considering Barkley Hendricks is an African American man, who has endured life-long struggles as such, and has his art and music to lean-on and create.
What is intriguing is the way the filmmaker came to find Barkley, a small art-story itself with great rewards that reflect the legacy art can have within a family.
Larry Greenfield, one of the judges of Documentary notes that the film "brings together well the themes of kindness and brotherhood."
"This film demonstrates that the inspiration for storytelling may come from anywhere, even a song. It is a nice reversal, which makes this original score and film so original. Beautiful filming and well done crafting the song and the film." -LMH
Pray is a film about an artist's real life and pious prayers.
"Pray is not just unique and interesting, it is mesmerizing and unfolds with a kaleidoscope of visual emotions. The effects are stunning." - LMH
"This was a fun and quirky film that I watched a number of times -- the umbrellas are addicting, and as an experimental film, with animation, it makes it more appealing. The colors and repeated movements sound/song made it rhythmic, and made me smile." -LMH
Rainslide is an experimental short film by the french artist Ariel Neo who seeks to erase the frontiers of artistic storytelling. Simultanously a painter and film director/producer, Ariel Neo merges her 7 feet circular paintings inside the film's storyline. She is able to create a visual fantasy on the theme of freedom that carries the viewer into both creative worlds.
" I love the connection between Peace and Freedom in action. What better place to meld the two than with horse and panting, set against the backdrop of nature's best -- the ocean, rivers and woods." LMH
Anacronte and the Sorcerers of Evil, without any emotion and fulfilling their destiny, they put to test humanity's happiness in a struggle that, in short, has each of us as winners and losers.
"I am more a fan of handmade animation, but this was so over-the-top storytelling with incredible and complex digital imaging that it was hard not to celebrate its effectiveness."