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

Memories and Fragments

Join us on Thursday, September 13, 7:30pm for night 13 of the Unseen Festival. We will screen work by Josh Weissbach, Mattia Biondi, Renato Pérez, Simon Welch, Traci Hercher, and Saif & Fady Alsaegh.

38 River RoadJosh Weissbach – USA – 2016 – 8 min

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.

Josh Weissbach is an experimental filmmaker. He lives in a house next to an abandoned village with his wife, two daughters, and three cats. His films and videos have been shown worldwide in such venues as Ann Arbor Film Festival, Slamdance Film Festival, Mono No Aware, Chicago Underground Film Festival, 25 FPS Festival, and Alchemy Film and Moving Image Festival. He has won jury prizes at Videoex, ICDOCS, $100 Film Festival, Onion City Experimental Film and Video Festival, and Haverhill Experimental Film Festival. He is the recipient of the 2008 Cary Grant Film Award from the Princess Grace Foundation-USA, a 2013 Mary L. Nohl Fellowship for Emerging Artists from the Greater Milwaukee Foundation, and a 2015 LEF Fellowship from the Robert Flaherty Film Seminar.

Autonotturno in 22 frammentiMattia Biondi – Italy – 2018 – 7 min

Autonotturno in 22 frammenti is a filmic self-portrait in 22 fragments of nocturnal landscape. Every artistic gesture is first of all a self-portrait, the self-portrait of a blind who tells his own story in first person. Silent self-affection, return to himself, relationship with himself. The look proceeds in the night, eluding the field of visible: writing of the shadow that opens an art of blinding. Even if nothing happens, even if no event takes place, the author blinds himself to the rest of the world.

Mattia Biondi is an italian independent filmmaker mostly focused on images study and interested in specific purpose of Cinema. His research is mainly directed to the development of anti-narrative creative processes, aimed at expressing the inner sound of the ideas. This work is a poetic and contemplative investigation into the contemporary. His works have been screened at numerous international film festivals, including Pesaro Film Festival, Bogota? Experimental Film Festival, ULTRAcinema, Punto y Raya Festival.

RingRenato Pérez – Germany – 2018 – 11 min

Ring is a 10 minutes long experimental short film of 20 fixed shots of 30 seconds each. An hypnotic flow of landscapes and situations following the 35,7 km of the Berlin S-Bahn Ring transforms the experience of observation of the journey only through the internal rhythm, textures and composition of the shots, and where the main subject matter is time and the present as a symbol of itself. The rigid formal structure uses time, the raw material of cinema, to delve into its relativity. The duration of 30 seconds per shot seeks to transfigure the experience of this S-Bahn line, where users can look through the windows along the way, but are always restricted to the time schedule of the train. For the passenger that limited time, and the impossibility of extending it, creates an attraction, a longing for that lost and fleeting moment. The short film seeks to use a cinematographic problem, to transform the journey only with static shots, to research on the basis of the cinematographic language. By reducing the elements in play, with the strict methodology concerning time and external movement, we are offering a pure observation of the images themselves, and of editing guided by the internal elements of a frame, free of metaphors or narration.

Renato Pérez was born in 1986 in the city of Curico?, Maule region, in the southern center of Chile. Renato received his degree in filmmaking from the Universidad del Desarrollo in 2010 . His first feature film, his degree project, Anonymous gets premiered in San Sebastia?n Film Festival in 2011, along with other festivals such as Valdivia Film Festival, Festivalissimo of Montreal and Latin Film Festival of Utrecht among others, it was shown in the MALBA museum in Buenos Aires in a contemporary Chilean film cycle. In 2012 he participate in the Berlinale Talent Campus. In 2014 he was the second unit director for the historical Miniseries Port Famine. In 2015 he won the Chilean National Fund for the writing of the script of his second feature film. After two experimental short films focused on landscape Ring and Letter Inside a Bottle, he is filming a third short film, recording the Tiergarten park in Berlin throughout a year.

Domain and RangeSimon Welch – France – 2015 – 6 min

An anecdote about a dead lizard in a French vineyard accidentally run over by the winegrower’s tractor serves as a pretext to explore family history which in turn raises questions concerning the relationship between art and deterministic belief systems and between man and nature, etc. The notion of transformation is explored both in terms of the content of the film and the effect of filming itself. The title refers to a mathematical concept related to set theory. The film makes reference to religious intolerance and persecution in the past with echoes today both in France and elsewhere. The exodus of Protestants from France resulted in the first mass migration of refugees to the UK.

Simon Welch isBritish artist and filmmaker based in France since 1994. Studied Fine Art (painting) at WSCAD and then at Liverpool John Moores University in the 1980s. Subsequently studied Visual Arts at Strasbourg University to PhD level. Regularly shows films in international film and video festivals and exhibitions.

Diana Traci Hercher – USA – 2018 – 8 min

A portrait of a woman self-actualized and a total solar eclipse.

Traci Hercher is a filmmaker and MFA candidate at the University of Iowa in Iowa City where she also teaches and programs for the microcinema Vertical Cinema. She is the recipient of an Iowa Arts Fellowship and her work has screened internationally at Process Festival, Milwaukee Underground Film Festival, Art Cinema OFFoff in Belgium, and Artists’ Television Access in San Francisco.

Alazeef Saif & Fady Alsaegh  – Iraq/USA – 2016 – 22 min

Through simple collage art, Alazeef conveys the typical life of an Iraqi soldier one week before the 1991 Desert Storm. This nameless soldier has a deep mentality in which he looks through his life and others’ in Baghdad. He dreams and wonders about the United States and their soldiers. A typical of a soldier as considered by the government, he is more than the normal chaos of the war that makes everybody looks like emotionless robots. The nameless soldier walks in Baghdad observing the life that is being choked by war. He captures the city’s feelings witnessing the people living in it to imitate objects. The poetic narration provides the viewer with a true vision of what occurs in the disturbed and fragmented Baghdad and how the soldiers perceive it. The narration, written by Fady Alsaegh, aims to explain the huge war machine through diving in the life of one soldier. The film humanizes the “enemy” and looks at the “other” not as a uniform, but as actual people with dreams, fears, families and friends. Hence, The film separates the civilians and low-ranking soldiers from political leaders. Alazeef experiments with minimal collage combined with a diverse range of music to shock the eyes and the ears. It produces an artistic, surreal experience ultimately conveying the feelings of war, loneliness and fear. The control of the mise-en-scene gives the film a radiant, abstract sense of the war-generated uncertainty of life and everything in it.

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.

 

Fady Alsaegh is a poet from Baghdad. He is the author of an Arabic poetry collection titled Letters From the God of Fear. Alsaegh writes for experimental essay films, including the script for the 2016 film Alazeef. His writings have appeared in several publications and poetry anthologies.

Performers

Unseen Offsite

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Marfa Book Company

Marfa Book Company


Vince Staples on YouTube

Señorita


Partner: Hangar Bar

Partner: Hangar Bar


Peggy Awesh on UbuWeb

From Romance to Ritual (1985)