T H E  U N S E E N  F E S T I V A L  2018

Homesick

Join us on Wednesday, September 12, 7:30pm for night 12 of the Unseen Festival. We will screen work by Marco Pareja, Rajee Samarasinghe, Ricardo Vieira Lisboa, Saif Alsaegh (in person at this event), and Madsen Minax. Preceded by a dance performance by Rowan Salem, Maggie Ammons, and Andrew Spickert.

HomesickMarco Pareja – Ecuador – 2018 – 13 min

Spontaneous and random images that over time became memories. Nostalgia for the past and for the loved ones who are no longer with us.

Marco Pareja obtained his Bachelor’s Degree in TV, Film and Radio Direction at the Instituto Superior de Arte in Havana, Cuba. He worked as an assistant director for a Cuban TV series and in the Dutch TV production “Eileen” as a Location assistant, filmed in Quito and El Puyo, Ecuador, in 2011. He co-founded the Art Group Ramuneta; their works have been screened in Ecuador, Mexico and the United States. He currently works as a screenwriter and director, also as an occasional writer for the digital magazine La Barra Espaciadora. His documentary ¿Dónde está Papobo? received a special jury prize in the 9th Festival of Young Filmmakers in Havana, Cuba. It also participated in the Cuban animation cinema exhibit in Quito in 2014. It was also screened in “De cierta manera”, the Cuban TV show by film critic Luciano Castillo and in Miami’s America TV show, “La Mirada indiscreta”. He directed, wrote and produced the short film Rooster, his graduation thesis, which was selected for the World Extreme Cinema Festival in San Sebastián de Veracruz. Mexico and for “Filmodiversidad ecuatoriana”, organized by the Ecuadorian Cultural Institute in 2011. His short film Cuerpo sin alma was chosen for the Film Festival “La noche de los cortos” and for the Independent Festival “Ecuador bajo tierra”, both celebrated in Quito, Ecuador. He also co-wrote and co-directed the Web Series “Shungo”, in 2016.

If I Were Any Further Away I’d Be Closer to HomeRajee Samarasinghe – Sri Lanka/USA – 2016 – 15 min – Silent

 

A silent poem reflecting on the place of my mother’s birth and her first traces on earth. A generational portrait of South Asian “makers” becomes a perceptual voyage into memory, experience, and touch.

Rajee Samarasinghe is an award-winning Sri Lankan visual artist and filmmaker. Some of his recent work examines contemporary ethnographic practices through associations of family and heritage. He received his BFA from the University of California San Diego and his MFA from the California Institute of the Arts. Rajee’s work has been exhibited at venues internationally.

Le Métro, Vieira da SilvaRicardo Vieira Lisboa – Portugal – 2016 – 9 min

The underground. Vieira da Silva and Arpad Szenes. Pussy cats. “Le métro”. A kiss.

Ricardo Vieira Lisboa, 26, works as a film critic for the website À pala de Walsh, which he co-founded and coordinates. He’s a short film programmer for IndieLisboa – International Film Festival.He’s a masters in Dramaturgy and Directing at Escola Superior de Teatro e Cinema and a Degree in Mathematics. He is also a (video-) essayist and director.

RosaSaif Alsaegh – Iraq/USA – 2018 – 17 min

 

Rosa is an experimental essay documentary film that juxtaposes the life of the filmmaker in two extreme locations (Baghdad and Montana) through three elements of nature: dust, rust and wind. The filmmaker uses these elements as a poetic introduction to navigate memories of his past and to compare them to his Montana present. Narrated in Arabic with distinct conversations in English, Rosa makes the extreme chaos of Baghdad, especially during the war, and the peace of the empty and isolated State of Montana stand out vividly. Shot on miniDV, the film manipulates printed images of Baghdad that become poetically destroyed with water and paint in order to represent vague and distant memories. The film also uses home video style imagery of Montana to represent the present. Both of these techniques overlap and collapse.

Saif Alsaegh is a United States-based Filmmaker and poet from Baghdad. Much of Saif’s work deals with the contrast between the landscape of his youth, Baghdad in the nineties and early 2000s, and the Montana landscape where he lived for seven years. In 2013, he published a book of poetry titled Iraqi Headaches. His films, made in collaboration with his brother Fady Alsaegh, have screened in many festivals including Cinema du reel, MedFilm Festival, Fronteira Festival and others. He is currently pursuing his MFA in filmmaking at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

The Source is a HoleMadsen Minax – USA – 2017 – 26 min

 

Through a series of love letters to ancient feminine deities, The Source is a Hole reveals a networked stream of interconnected stories, dreams, memories and longings, both real and imagined. Images of vast landscapes, hand drawn and digital animation, internet porn, phone footage, reenactment, and mystical voice-over construct a system and a poetic to probe the parallels between sex and death, love and myth, nature and mechanism.

 

Madsen Minax works in documentary and hybrid filmmaking formats, narrative cinema, experimental and essay film, sound and music performance and media installation. His projects have screened and exhibited at spaces including the European Media Art Festival (Germany), the Ann Arbor Film Festival (MI), the Museum of Contemporary Art (Chicago), Anthology Film Archives (NYC), The British Film Institute (UK), Museum of Fine Arts (Houston), REDCAT (Los Angeles), SOMArts (San Francisco), the Public Library of Amsterdam, Yale, Harvard, Outfest, Newfest, Frameline, Reeling and dozens of LGBT Film festivals around the world from Osaka, Japan to Montevideo, Uruguay. Madsen is a Samuel Edes Foundation fellow as well as a Queer|Arts|Mentorship fellow. He lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.

Performers

Rowan Salem: Rowan is a choreographer, performer, and teacher whose interests lie in compositional improvisation, links between philosophy and movement, and investigating the changing quality of perspective through dance in performance. She holds a Masters of Fine Arts in Choreography and Performance from Smith College in Northampton, MA, which she earned as a Teaching Fellow/Gretchen Moran Scholar. Recent teaching affiliations include Amherst College, Smith College, The University of Massachusetts Amherst, Colorado Ballet Academy, Colorado Academy, and Metropolitan State University of Denver.  She has recently performed in the work of Chris Aiken, Angie Hauser, Jim Coleman, Terese Freedman, Barbie Diewald, Kate Speer, and Tara Rynders. Rowan was a recipient of the 2017 Create Award Residency at Art Gym Denver. www.rowansalem.com
Maggie Ammons: Maggie is a choreographer and performer who is intrigued by how our bodies inform our experience. Her work explores themes of play and experimentation in immersive worlds. Maggie uses digital media to augment an experience with curiosity and wonder, while posing questions about how we exist in our bodies. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from Bennington College with concentrations in Biology and Dance. She has shown work and performed across the world from the USA to Europe. Recently, she has performed in the works of Kate Speer, Mary Lynn Lewark, and those of her own creation.
Andrew Spickert: Andrew is a filmmaker and photographer who specializes in documentary and virtual reality production. His vast interests have allowed him to film and edit content for broadcast television, small businesses, and everything in between.  He holds a Master’s of Science in Earth and Space Sciences from the University of Washington, and approaches each project with the curiosity of a scientist and the creativity of an artist.