2017 Juror Info

Azadeh Navai (born 1985, Iran) holds an MFA in Film and Video from California Institute of the Arts, and a BFA in Graphic Design from University of Tehran. She creates 16mm and digital films with the focus on visual memory, its imprints through time and its fluctuations through age. Her films have been shown in a number of venues, including New York Film Festival, International Film Festival Rotterdam, Edinburgh International Film Festival, Mothlight Microcinema, Alchemy Film and Moving Image Festival, San Diego Underground Festival and REDCAT Theater in Los Angeles. Her film Friday Mosque won the Jury Award at Binghamton University Film Festival (SEFF), and her other film Remembering the Pentagons was recently mentioned on Artforum. She also works as a freelance documentary editor in Iran and the United States. Recently, she finished editing a feature documentary called Logan’s Syndrome, and currently, she is working on the creation of a short documentary about her memories of the aftermath of the 1979 Iranian revolution.

David Dinnell is a filmmaker and film programmer, he has curated and organized several hundred film programs, artist retrospectives, moving-image exhibitions and live performances. He was film programmer at the Ann Arbor Film Festival for ten years and its Program Director from 2010 to 2016. He programmed five seasons for the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Union Theater; co-programmed the 11th &12th editions of the Media City Film Festival; was film programmer for the Flaherty NYC Film Series in Fall 2014; and guest curated film programs for the Bienal de la Imagen en Movimiento in Buenos Aires. He most recently presented film programs at UnionDocs in Brooklyn; the Los Angeles Filmforum; San Francisco’s ATA; the Light Field Film Festival; and Cinema Project in Portland, Oregon. Dinnell’s own work has screened at the International Film Festival Rotterdam; Views From the Avant Garde at New York Film Festival; Images Festival; EXiS in S.Korea; Anthology Film Archives; and the Jihlava International Documentary Film Festival, among others.


ICDOCS 2017 Programming

6PM: Opening Night Screening

RADInc., 123 E. Washington St.

The Prison in Twelve Landscapes – Brett Story

Canada / USA | 2016 | 1 h 30 min | digital

A meditation on the prison’s disappearance in the era of mass incarceration, The Prison in Twelve Landscapes unfolds as a journey through a series of ordinary places across the USA where prisons do work and affect lives: from a California mountainside where female prisoners fight the region’s raging wildfires, to a congregation of chess players in Manhattan who did their time becoming masters of the game, to an Appalachian coal town betting its future on the promise of prison jobs.

5:30PM: Bijou Filmmaker Spotlight – Rebecca Meyers

AJB E105, The University of Iowa, 140 W Washington St.

night light and leaping

USA | 2001 | 22 min | 16mm

An investigation, motivated by a cat’s vigilance, reconsiders the spaces we inhabit together.


USA | 2013 | 6 min | 16mm

“Bird calls, a forest muffled with snow, the soughing of willows, the flutter of wings. A reverie wrapped in fur.” – Images Festival

glow in the dark (january-june)

USA | 2002 | 6 min | 16mm

Radiators clang while spheres and cypridina phosphoresce. A rubber ball held up to light becomes a snowy crystal. Home science experiments and other attempts to see with the camera in the dark.

come wishes be horses

USA | 2016 | 8 min | 16mm

Audio from a birdwatching walk is woven with images inspired by W.H. Auden’s sentiment that it seems “only proper that words/Should be withheld from vegetables and birds.”

blue mantle

USA | 2010 | 34 min | 16mm

Shot along the Massachusetts coast, blue mantle combines historical accounts of ocean travel and disaster with images of a vast, roiling expanse. An ode to the sea and meditation on humanity’s attempts to conquer the deep and the unknown.


3PM: Juror Screening – Azadeh Navai

FilmScene, 118 E College St.

Friday Mosque

Iran / USA | 2014 | 7:53 min | 16mm

Friday Mosque is a silent meditation on the Islamic prayer ritual, Namaaz, through motion–water is the core, but light is the cause. Shot on high-contrast black and white 16mm film, Azadeh Navai hand processes the negative and painstakingly contact-prints numerous foot-long strips of celluloid. The resulting image quivers and pulses. Enlarged film grain nearly obliterates the already abstracted image. There exists both a tension and serenity in the flickering frame. Every element is preparing for and anticipating the faithful soul that is summoned to the everyday practice. The silent tune of the calling, Azan, has overtaken.

Remembering the Pentagons

Iran / USA | 2015 | 22:51 min | 16mm

Remembering the Pentagons is a slow, rhythmic and contemplative journey into filmmaker Azadeh Navai’s earliest childhood memories. With an old 16mm Bolex and a hand-made pinhole camera, Navai returns to Tehran and Esfahan, Iran, where the perceptions and recollections of places, emotions, and scents serve as vehicles through which she exposes a deeply personal landscape. She asks – what is the texture of memory? In what ways does time – the light, wind, and air of history – wear upon the monuments and the images of the past? Her camera, gliding through mosques and the heady wares of a bazaar, provides grounding to narrative themes of childhood wonder and familial tragedy. But, as in memory, there is trouble in the image. The convulsions of recollection are perceptible even in the shifting grains of the film image – kaleidoscopic in their geometries of instability and flux.

Born in Tehran during the Iran-Iraq war, Navai seeks to access a time of personal turmoil both for her family and for her birth country in this poetic capturing of place, history and memory.

Logan’s Syndrome, editor/producer (15 min excerpt)

USA | 2017 | 80 min | digital

Directed by Nathan Meier

Logan Madsen is one in a billion. Literally. Despite suffering from an incredibly rare genetic disorder called Miller Syndrome—a condition that affects fewer than thirty people in the world—Logan is able to create stunning, hyper-realistic paintings. Beginning as a painter of pretty flower portraits, Logan’s work evolved into an audacious series of pictures boldly depicting his disabilities. After years longing simply to “blend in”, Logan’s dynamic paintings dare the world to not just look, but to stare. Logan’s Syndrome takes us on a fascinating journey, as Logan—like a modern Don Quixote— takes on the windmills of his life: his disability, the break-up of his “perfect” Mormon family and his eternal search for romantic love. But it’s Logan’s humor and courageousness that ultimately draw us into his world—as we experience what it’s like to be Logan, shattering everything we think we know about disability, while reinforcing what it means to be human.

The Yellow Curtain (4 min excerpt)

Iran / USA | 2017 | 16 min | digital

The Yellow Curtain is an imaginary acquaintance between two people: one being my grandfather, a high ranking general of the late Shah, and the other being a physician-turned writer of Iranian folk-noir stories, Gohar-morad. During the 1979 revolution, they were both sentenced to jail. Upon their release, one stayed in the capital and the other fled the country, never to return. I seek to understand these two men by searching their lives and quoting them; one through interviews and one through writings that have remained.


3PM: Juror Screening – David Dinnell

FilmScene, 118 E College St.

Wildflowers – Margaret Honda

USA | 2015 | 3 min | 16mm

Wildflowers is shot in 16mm on two fifty-foot Kodachrome magazines. Since Kodachrome color processing ended in 2010 it is only possible to develop it as black-and-white negative, rather than color positive. I set up ten-second shots of different wildflowers that bloom every year in Southern California. Like the Kodachrome itself, the flowers would be drained of the color that is their primary attribute. The negative stock, fifty years past its expiration date and suffering from base degradation, was returned from the lab with no discernible image on either roll. A description of each flower’s color and structure is read by a narrator at the moment when it would have appeared on-screen. The film is a record of something that is disappearing on something that has already disappeared. – Margaret Honda

Auftakt – Seamus Harahan

Finland / N. Ireland | 2011 | 6.5 min | digital

Filmed in Finland, in Auftakt, Harahan observes two men through a tangle of branches, in what appears to be aggressive behavior, but turns out to be an unofficial game of football. His camera alternates this with the vapor trail of a plane high in the sky and, from time to time, a scene of a seagull standing atop a tiled roof; the seagull standing as intermediary between sky and earth. The singular soundtrack used throughout is a workshop discussion by the Estonian composer Arvo Pärt about his composition of Für Alina. Single, then two-note chords are played on a cheap electric piano, while Pärt explains his motivations and thoughts on the communication of notions and emotions. – Gimpel Fils gallery, London

Bad mama, who cares – Brigid McCaffrey

USA | 2016 | 12 min | 35mm to HD

Geologist Ren Lallatin has moved into a small housing complex located between a rail yard and the interstate. Desert vistas are replaced with an arsenal of tactile pursuits, while the situation of the house becomes unstable. Free falling from a fixed point, the perimeter is ornamented for security. Desert winds animate aluminum mobiles and seismic vibrations serenade the home. –Brigid McCaffrey

Crni film (Black Film) – Želimir Žilnik

Serbia | 1971 | 15 min | 16mm to digital

One night, Žilnik picks up a group of homeless men from the streets of Novi Sad and takes them home. While they enjoy themselves in his home, the filmmaker tries to ‘solve the problem of the homeless’ carrying along a film camera as a witness. He speaks to social workers, ordinary people. He even addresses policemen. They all close their eyes to the ‘problem.’ (www.zilnikzelimir.net)

Emergency Needs – Kevin Jerome Everson

USA | 2007 | 7 min | 16mm to HD

The material for Emergency Needs derives from a news conference held by the first African- American mayor of a large city, Carl B. Stokes of Cleveland, in response to a violent outbreak of civil unrest in the summer of 1968. Known as the Glenville Shootout after the African-American working-class neighborhood where the incident took place, the crisis began the night of July 23 when a firefight broke out between the Cleveland police and a radical black nationalist group under surveillance, leaving seven dead and many more wounded. Riots and looting ensued. Stokes promptly called in the National Guard to restore order, and the following day ordered all white officers out of Glenville, to be replaced by African-American ones. Everson presents archival footage from the Stokes press conference alongside a reenactment performed by a woman, cutting between the two or arranging them in split screen. Inspired by Robert Rauschenberg’s “identical” 1957 paintings Factum I and Factum II, where the unity of content inspires reflection on the difference of technique, Emergency Needs invites close consideration of gesture and performance at the Stokes press conference. By means of this duplication, and the imposition of new rhythmic patterns, Everson enlivens a historical document, resurrecting the conditions, tasks, and gestures of a vital moment in time by repositioning them in the present. – Nathan Lee, Whitney Biennial, 2008

The Measurements of Oxford – Barry Kimm

USA | 1989 | 9 min | 16mm

The Oxford of the title is a small town in Iowa; the measurements in question are taken on everything but the kitchen sink, from gas pumps to street signs to the townsfolk themselves. Putting aside their Midwestern skepticism, the inhabitants humor the filmmaker in his peculiar project, even acting as his cohorts. (New York Public Library)

DROGA! – Miko Revereza

USA | 2014 | 8 min | Super-8mm to HD

A Super 8 tourist film about the Los Angeles landscape through the lens of Filipino immigrants, examining cultural identity by documenting the intersections of American pop culture and Filipino traditions. – Miko Revereza

Untitled: Silueta Series, 1979 – Ana Mendieta

USA | 1979 | 3 min | Super-8mm to HD

From 1973 until 1980 Ana Mendieta (1948-1985) created over a hundred Siluetas (silhouettes) in Mexico and Iowa, using such natural materials as earth, flowers, leaves, sticks and stones as well as fire, gunpowder, fireworks, candles and cloth. Mendieta documented her earth-body works with 35mm color slides, from which she made unique prints, and video, Super-8mm and 16mm film. Of her 104 moving-image works, most were shot on Super-8mm. This film, a single reel of Super-8mm, was created in Iowa in 1979.

Mendieta described her work in an artist statement written in 1981: “I have been carrying out a dialogue between the landscape and the female body (based on my own silhouette). I believe this has been a direct result of my having been torn from my homeland (Cuba) during my adolescence. I am overwhelmed by the feeling of having been cast from the womb (nature). My art is the way I re-establish the bonds that unite me to the universe. It is a return to the maternal source. Through my earth/body sculptures I become one with the earth … I become an extension of nature and nature becomes an extension of my body. This obsessive act of reasserting my ties with the earth is really the reactivation of primaeval beliefs … [in] an omnipresent female force, the after-image of being encompassed within the womb.” (adapted from an essay by Elizabeth Manchester, October 2009, Tate UK)

exhibition file courtesy the Estate of Ana Mendieta and Galerie Lelong, NY

Coyolxauhqui – Colectivo los Ingrávidos

Mexico | 2016 | 10 min | 16mm to HD

A mythical and ritualistic femicide. The goddess Coyolxauhqui, decapitated and dismembered, lies at the foot of the hill – simultaneous – from whose summit Huitzilopochtli – the man of war – governs a people’s destiny. It’s the update of femicide with mythical origins. Now, it’s another power, not mythical but economic-political, that drives the daily femicides, leaving behind traces on a shared earth. – Colectivo los ingrávidos (translated from Spanish by Rebecca Hanssens-Reed)

Best of May, 1968 – Jay Lash Cassidy

USA | 1973 | 3 min | 16mm

The film was made and presented at the very end of the American involvement in the Vietnam war (1973) and uses found footage – imagery that was relatively unseen at that time. It originated from a motive of “look at what’s going on here”; imagery gathered by the military for purposes of evaluation and review inadvertently tells a story not intended to be told. The unintended consequence of the juxtaposition of poetry and horror. The context of that moment – the open wound of political and personal division in the country – only exists in the memory of a generation, the youngest of which would be in their late fifties. For a younger audience, variations of the imagery are – regrettably – all too familiar. The wars in the Middle East and Afghanistan were seen with an unfettered visual sophistication and on venues – Cable News, You Tube – which can’t be denied. – Jay Lash Cassidy; September, 2011.

film print courtesy Jay Lash Cassidy and the Academy Film Archive

Kempinski – Neil Beloufa

Mali / France | 2007 | 14 min | digital

“Ethnological sci-fi documentary”, is the self-consciously contradictory way that the director describes Kempinski. Neil Beloufa traveled to Mali and asked people there to describe the future in the present tense; a deceptively rudimentary premise, but one that allows the video to capture the haunted terrain between fact and faction, the familiar and the exotic, the weight of the present and visions of what’s to come. – Andrew Berardini

Aerial – Margaret Tait

Scotland | 1974 | 4 min | 16mm

Touches on elemental images; air, water, (and snow), earth and fire (and smoke) all come in to it. The track consists of a drawn-out musical sound, single piano notes and some natural sounds. – Margaret Tait


8:45PM: Competitive Program #1

RADInc., 123 E. Washington St.

There – Jesse Malmed

USA | 2016 | 1:06 min | digital

There, still.

More Dangerous Than a Thousand Rioters – Kelly Gallagher

USA | 2016 | 6:19 min | digital

An experimental animated documentary exploring the powerful and inspiring life of revolutionary Lucy Parsons. This film illustrates her dedicated life to struggle, and her important, countless contributions fighting endlessly against capitalism, racism, and sexism.

Identification – Mike Hoolboom

Canada | 2017 | 30 min | digital

Shot in the murk and fog of a breakdown. Friends jam, a body lies on the ground, James Baldwin visits his father for the last time. Inspired by Black Lives Matter. Remembering Charlie “Africa” Keunang.

B.I.D. – Sarah Lanzillotta

USA | 2016 | 3:38 min | digital

B.I.D uses audio from the public comments section of Northampton town hall meetings in 2008. The voices of three residents who have a stake in speaking out against an anti-panhandling ordinance and other measures to drive poor and homeless people out of the city under the newly instated B.I.D. or “business improvement district,” intersect with sparse scanned animations of everyday objects found on the street.

In The Vicinity – Kelly Sears

USA | 2016 | 9:18 min | digital

As warfare evolves, endless military sight is the ultimate reconnaissance goal. In this speculative instructional film, the full spectrum of official, covert, occult and limitless intelligence protocols are illustrated. This progression mirrors current expanded and cognitive reconnaissance initiatives actively in development.

Balik Ekmek – Jason Oppliger

Turkey / USA | 2015 | 8:01 min | digital

A sensory travelogue. A document of timbre and fluctuation. A film about fish bread.

Irradiant Field – Laura Kraning

USA | 2016 | 10 min | digital

Mirroring sky and earth, solitary mechanical sentinels follow the sun, while metal grids rain in a parched California landscape. Irradiant Field is a visual and sonic portrait at the intersection of nature and machine – a desert mirage of light, wind, water, and metallic reflection.

Flowers in the Sky – Janie Geiser

USA | 2016 | 9:10 min | digital

In Flowers of the Sky, Geiser rephotographs two found panoramic photographs of a Masonic gathering from the 1940’s.Through isolating parts of the photographs and highlighting the different groupings of the Eastern Star members, Flowers of the Sky reveals and obscures the original events. There is a sense, looking at the photographs, of watching and waiting for something to happen, something beyond the experience of daily life. And something does. Nature reasserts herself, the figures double, vibrate, and rise, trying to escape their emulsive lives, suggesting a rapture that extends beyond their printed world.

Old Hat – Zach Iannazzi

USA | 2016 | 8:08 min | 16mm

“whatever the difficulty of finding a way forward, film does nothing but.” ~ Max Goldberg


1PM: Competitive Program #2

AJB E105, The University of Iowa, 140 W Washington St.

Reckoning 4 – Kent Lambert

USA | 2016 | 10:06 min | digital

Reckoning 4 reflects on toxic masculinity and the dystopia of simulation. If you walk too close to the GTAV cop, he guns you down. You can pose your MGSV character in quasi-sexual positions with other soldiers, but you must first knock them out. ‘I get what I want, when I want it,’ says the billionaire to his wife, ‘I need something more, but what else is there?'”

–Kent Lambert

Gabey and Mike – Alexis Mitchell

Canada | 2016 | 20:30 min | digital

Gabey and Mike: A Jewish Summer Camp Love Story takes its name from a song by Mermaid Café – a folk band comprised of Andi D., Joe A. Rider and Merrill Nisker (now known as ‘Peaches’) that gained popularity at Canadian Jewish summer camps in the early 90s. The film uses the tropes of the summer camp movie genre alongside references from iconic queer films in order to grasp the significance of this band within the peculiar space of the Jewish summer camp.

Marking Time – Robert Todd

USA | 2016 | 8 min | 16mm to digital

Figures grounded, seeking sunlight, and at sea, following varied directions.

We Chose the Milkyway – Eva Rødbro

Denmark | 2015 | 26 min | digital

Cream-colored acrylic nails, long nylon lashes and hair from India. Soft boots and cosy-socks. Rhinestones and sun tan injections. Everything here is real as the dreams you dream with eyes open or closed. An anthropological visit to a secretive tribe of young girls on planet earth.

Mad Ladders – Michael Robinson

USA | 2015 | 9:56 min | digital

A modern prophet’s visions of mythical destruction and transformation are recounted across a turbulent geometric ceremony of rising curtains, swirling set pieces, and unveiled idols from music television’s past. Together, these parallel cuts of revelation unlock a pathway to the far side of the sun.


8:30PM: Competitive Program #3

AJB E105, The University of Iowa, 140 W Washington St.

Mema’s Life Story – Magdalena Bermudez

USA | 2016 | 2:22 min | 16mm to digital

Mema’s Life Story is a 16mm film exploring a woman’s escape from the Armenian genocide through an imagined conversation between the filmmaker’s godmother and her grandmother. Hole-punched 16mm leader interrupts their dialogue, an emulation of the lace her grandmother carried as she fled from Talas, through Egypt and eventually to New York City. Interweaving their dialogue and her abstracted lace, the filmmaker attempts to preserve her godmother’s grandmother’s story while evoking the tenacity and fragility of inherited memory.

Xenoi – Deborah Stratman

Greece / USA | 2016 | 15 min | digital

“The Greek island of Syros is visited by a series of unexpected guests. Immutable forms, outside of time, foreign observants to human conditions.

The locations include Pherecydes’ Cave, hillside ‘yapia’, the early Cycladic settlement of Kastri (2800-2300BC), and the Apollo Theater in Ermoupolis. Pherecydes of Syros (580-520 BC) was the author of the Pentemychos, a pre-Socratic cosmogony, and is commonly held to be the teacher of Pythagoras. Yapi is the informal Greek term for an unfinished, abandoned building, especially prevalent around Greece since the economic crisis.”

My Father’s Ghost – Erick Msumanje

Haiti / Tanzania / USA | 2016 | 15 min | digital

A short observational film that examines a haunting and lingering trauma in a very visually poetic manner.

Half Human, Half Vapor – Mike Stoltz

USA | 2016 | 11 min | 16mm to digital

“This project began out of a fascination with a giant sculpture of a dragon attached to a Central Florida mansion. The property had recently been left to rot, held in lien by a bank. Hurricanes washed away the sculpture.

I learned about the artist who created this landmark, Lewis Vandercar (1913-1988), who began as a painter. His practice grew along with his notoriety for spell-casting and telepathy.

Inspired by Vandercar’s interest in parallel possibility, I combined these images with text from local newspaper articles in a haunted-house film that both engages with and looks beyond the material world.”

A Century Plant in Bloom – Ross Meckfessel

USA | 2017 | 10:16 min | 16mm

“‘I remember one day sitting at the pool and suddenly the tears were streaming down my cheeks. Why was I so unhappy? I had success. I had security. But it wasn’t enough. I was exploding inside.’ – Ingrid Bergman

A cry for help in the form of a pop song. A village cast as a simulacrum of the past by Oliver Stone and Ridley Scott, Pasolini and Scorsese. As the future starts devouring the present, how can we hope to remember the past? Pics or it never existed.

For Ingrid and Roberto.”


10:15PM: Competitive Program #4

AJB E105, The University of Iowa, 140 W Washington St.

Skin – Maya Yu Zhang

USA | 2016 | 2 min | digital

A cry for human touch.

The Neighbors – Janelle Vanderkelen

USA | 2016 | 12:11 min | digital

A diaristic exploration of intimacy forced through sonic bleed, this piece examines the blurring of public/private boundaries and details an individual’s honest attempt to foster relationships. Agency is asserted as aural pollution is subverted. The subjunctive turns into reality.

What Happened to Her – Kristy Guevara-Flanagan

USA | 2016 | 14:48 min | digital

A forensic exploration of our cultural obsession with images of the dead woman on screen. Interspersing found footage from films and police procedural television shows and one actor’s experience of playing the part of a corpse, the film offers a meditative critique on the trope of the dead female body.

38 River Road – Josh Weissbach

USA | 2016 | 7:14 min | 16mm

The voice of a figureless character is heard. The figure of a voiceless character is seen. A sequence of estranged voicemails is framed by unidentified events. Fear resides in the gesture of a telling.

Delphi Falls – Mary Helena Clark

USA | 2016 | 22 min | digital

The voice of a figureless character is heard. The figure of a voiceless character is seen. A sequence of estranged voicemails is framed by unidentified events. Fear resides in the gesture of a telling.

This is Yates – Josh Yates

USA | 2016 | 12 min | digital

A visceral home movie collage interrogates the ways in which we shape identity and confront trauma via fragmented media.


1PM: Competitive Program #5

AJB E105, The University of Iowa, 140 W Washington St.

This Was Home – Dana Levy

Egypt / Poland / USA | 2016 | 18 min | digital

Dana Levy’s ‘This Was Home’ is comprised of three screens, which present three generations of the artist’s family. On one screen her maternal grandfather, on another her father, and the third presenting the artist herself. Levy documents each of these protagonists on a journey back to their childhood city, and to the home where they grew up, which they had not revisited since childhood. As these personal histories are presented side by side, they turn into a multi-generational journey of identity, each becoming a chapter in the age-old history of Jewish wanderings.

Silent Reflections/Reflections on Silence – Lisa Bickel, Markus Maicher, Yara Mitchelitsch and Jörg Oschmann

Austria | 2016 | 5:07 min | digital

The city and its inhabitants are protagonists of this short film. The camera is roaming in anonymous and yet well known spaces, alien and familiar at the same time. Traveling through places of constant movement, of noisy silence, of ghostly presences, of silent reflections on concrete structures. This film is as ambivalent as the human urban condition.

The Magic Hedge – Frédéric Moffet

USA | 2016 | 9 min | digital

The Magic Hedge explores a bird sanctuary located on a former Cold War Nike missile site on the Northside of Chicago. Left to wander and observe, the viewer becomes aware of the park’s open secret: men looking for fleeting sexual contacts within the trees and shrubberies. The video highlights the many contradictions of a site historically devoted to military surveillance and now designed to preserve and control the “wildlife”.

Meiosis – Vilte Vaitkute

USA | 2016 | 2:34 min | 16mm to digital

Following the character of a university student, this silent short film reflects on the connections between physical, mental and emotional growth, change, and discovery.

Lingua Absentia – Kate Raney and Jeremy Bessoff

USA | 2016 | 10 min | digital

“A mother helps her schizophrenic daughter, Abby through severe cancer treatment. Simplified cut-paper animation versions of the world implode into colorful blotches where teeth fall from the sky, and faces peel apart as Abby’s mental illness overwhelms her ability to comprehend what’s happening to her.”

Se Shin Sa – Eunhye Hong Kim

USA | 2016 | 10:53 min | digital

Sook is an undocumented Korean immigrant who works at a spa in Korean town, Los Angeles. Her job is to peel off the customers’ dead skin. While working this unrewarding and difficult job, on top of living alone, she gets a phone call from a student filmmaker, Hong (played by director), who wants to have an interview with her. On the interview day, Hong shows her classic paintings of Ingres depicting beautiful women in a public bath and offers to take pictures of Sook replicating the women in the paintings as a gift to her.

Best Is Man’s Breath Quality – Sara Magenheimer

USA | 2016 | 15:13 min | digital

As an ominous voice guides us through Best is Man’s Breath Quality, we are confronted by dense and complex images and sounds that appear and disappear before us. From primates engaging with their reflected selves to glowing jellyfish drifting through deep and dark oceans, our visual perception of the human figure is decentered, leaving only the grain of analog and digital voices recognizable to our senses.


5PM: Competitive Program #6


Spotlight on a Brick Wall – Alee Peoples and Mike Stoltz

USA | 2016 | 8:36 min | 16mm to digital

A performance film that navigates expectations of both the audience and the makers. A series of false starts. Dub treatment on the laugh track.

Selfie(ie;) – Laura Iancu

USA | 2016 | 3:44 min | digital

A short film about the hallucinatory effect of over-articulating one’s image through reappointing the functionality of technologies solely designed to produce social capital and a comforting sense of individuality. Beyond provoking sensations of the uncanny, hacking into high-production self-representation could also point to a purposeful crafting of new weapons of camouflage and dissimulation though the joke, the negligible and the obfuscation of hyper visibility.

Welcome to David Wojnarowicz Week – Steve Reinke

Canada/USA | 2016 | 14:17 min | digital

Welcome to David Wojnarowicz Week is the follow up to A Boy Needs a Friend. Reinke proposes a new holiday with the motto MORE RAGE LESS DISGUST: David Wojnarowicz Week and takes us through his seven days of celebration. Plankton, Kafka, Bette Davis, Wednesday afternoon visits with friends, more plankton, burning villages, Hollis Frampton, Sammy Davis Jr. as a libidinal machine producing sadness, opera, disembowelment, poetry.

Return to Forms – Zachary Epcar

USA | 2016 | 10:13 min | 16mm to digital

A constellation of objects, each emerging into the soft peach-light void of an indeterminate condominium space.

Cleaning the Glass – Brett Kashmere

USA | 2016 | 11 min |digital

Exploding the cine-essay into a desktop documentary, CLEANING THE GLASS (a postscript to Kashmere’s FROM DEEP) considers how the relationship between sports, politics, race, and media has changed over the past half-decade.

Bloopers – Karissa Hahn

USA | 2016 | 3:28 min | 8mm to digital

one roll of super 8 film, it takes 8 takes. Staged for ‘Take 3’ to be the shot, the ‘perfect shot.’ The rest are bloopers, this film is called ‘BLOOPERS.’ How can we edit a preplanned shoot in which one shot is planned to make it? A staged shoot for the perfect shot without consideration of chance. One roll of super 8 film, duration of 8 takes, 3 actions, 8 shots made.

In A Perfect Fever – Kera MacKenzie and Andrew Mausert-Mooney

USA | 2015 | 8:28 min | digital

In a Perfect Fever riffs on a ubiquitous trick in film and television history, where the switching of a practical light — a light source within the frame — serves as a moment of conspiracy between filmmakers, characters, and audience, allowing drastic, even impossible changes to the scene while still functioning as a believable, diegetic moment. Unfurling like a dream, the video expands to consider recent psychological studies investigating empathy that find increased stress levels and shorter life spans for the individuals doing the caring. How do we name the value of this costly connection?

See A Dog, Hear A Dog – Kera MacKenzie and Andrew Mausert-Mooney

USA | 2016 | 18 min | digital

Taking its title from a sound design maxim and using it as a conceit to grasp our desire for connection, See A Dog, Hear A Dog probes the limits and possibilities of communication. In this liminal cinematic space, the fear of conscious machines is matched with a desire to connect with nonhuman entities. Technology, from domesticated animals to algorithmic music to chat rooms, reflects human desire but has its own inventiveness. Can we ever truly communicate with a machine, with a nonhuman animal, with each other? Our anthropomorphic tendencies, our fear of replacement by non-human forms, even our interpersonal limitations, can’t foreclose the possibility of connection and understanding, a great unknown sometimes called trust.


7:30 PM: Competitive Program #7


Death/Destruction/Some Other Terrible Fate – Jeremy Moss

USA | 2016 | 8:36 min | digital

Spectacle of the disused and discontinued. They build in obsolescence. They plague us with updates.

Strange Vision of Seeing Things – Ryan Ferko

Serbia/Canada| 2016 | 14 min | digital

Time-spaces of post-Yugoslav Serbia: the empty lobby of a defunct industrial conglomerate’s headquarters in Belgrade; an unseen man describing tripping on acid during the 1999 NATO bombings; a mother and her young son visit ruins left by that same campaign. At first they appear in crisp HD, but cracks form, revealing dimensions beneath the smooth surface.

Strollers – Laura Bianco

Italy | 2017 | 3:54 min | digital

An horizontally extended frame selects that portion of the world belonging to children, dogs and strollers. Inside this unusual window on reality, casual characters enter and exit the scene, following a serendipitous rhythm of connections.

SAFSTOR – Adam Diller

USA | 2016 | 14:52 min | digital

SAFSTOR contrasts the physical presence of the Three Mile Island Nuclear Power Plant with the memories of local residents of the partial meltdown on March 28, 1979. The film explores archival materials and the contemporary landscape around the plant focusing on the significance of this event as indicative of our culture’s disconnection with the environment.

Baba Dana Talks to the Wolves – Ralitsa Doncheva

Bulgaria/Canada | 2015 | 10:45 min | 16mm to digital

An intimate portrait of Baba Dana, an 85 year-old Bulgarian woman who has chosen to spend her life in the mountains, away from people and cities.

Shape of a Surface – Nazli Dincel

Turkey / USA | 2017 | 9:09 min | 16mm to digital

The ground holds accounts of once pagan, then christian and now muslim ruins of the city built for Aphrodite. As she takes revenge on Narcissus, mirrors reveal what is seen and surfaces, limbs dismantle and marble turns flesh.

Speculations – Ben Balcom

USA | 2016 | 17:30 min | 16mm to digital

There is no way to begin. This catalogue of passing encounters traces the impersonal affects imprinted onto the city’s architecture. Some of these people we used to meet at random, maybe while out working or walking. They tell us about feeling their way through this precarious place. Most of them are gone now. The city soaks them up.


7:30PM: Post-Screening Panel Discussion

RADInc., 123 E Washington St.


Monica Basile

Monica Basile, PhD, is a reproductive justice scholar and advocate. She studies the politics of childbirth and serves the Iowa City community as a midwife, doula, and educator.

Elena Carter

Elena Carter is an MFA candidate in Iowa’s Nonfiction Writing Program. She writes about wrongful convictions and American prisons. She recently published a profile of two former Black Panthers serving life sentences in Buzzfeed News. Her MFA thesis is an expansion of that project.

Janette Taylor

Janette Y. Taylor, PhD, RN, FAAN is an associate professor in the College of Nursing and Gender, Women’s and Sexuality Studies at the University of Iowa. Dr. Taylor’s research has focused on race/ethnicity as variables in nursing research, African American women’s experiences of domestic violence, the health of women prisoners, reconnecting incarcerated women with their children, and using narrative art therapy with incarcerated abused women. Her contributions have been recognized by an Iowa Governor’s Volunteer Award. Dr. Taylor served as a member of the Institute of Medicine’s Committee on Ethical Considerations for Revisions to DHHS Regulations for Protection of Prisoners Involved in Research. She is a fellow in the American Academy of Nursing. Dr. Taylor completed her PhD at the University of Washington-Seattle and holds a certificate in Women’s Studies.

Rachel Williams

Rachel Williams is an Associate Professor and Chair of Gender, Women’s and Sexuality Studies at the University of Iowa. She has been working in correctional institutions since 1995 as a researcher, teacher, advocate, and volunteer. Her recent scholarship is focused on maternal well-being, education, female sex offenders, the arts, and the relational interactions of people who are incarcerated. The Iowa Governor’s office, The Iowa Women’s Foundation, and The Iowa Correctional Association have honored her with various awards for her work in the Iowa Juvenile Home and the Iowa Correctional Institution for Women.


Brittany Borghi

Brittany Borghi is an essayist and journalist in the Nonfiction Writing Program. She writes about class, death, and department stores, among other things.


2017 Winners

Best of Festival:

  Se Shin Sa – Eunhye Hong Kim

 Visions Of An Island – Sky Hopinka

Welcome to David Wojnarowicz Week – Steve Reinke

Honorable Mentions:

Baba Dana Talks to the Wolves – Ralitsa Doncheva

Old Hat – Zach Iannazzi

What Happened to Her – Kristy Guevara-Flanagan





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