Since it began in 1972, the International Film Festival in Rotterdam, Netherlands, has gained recognition for its programming of independent and experimental film artists. This year, three Creative Capital Awardees are showing their Creative Capital projects: Martha Colburn, Matt Porterfield, and Travis Wilkerson. Seven other Awardees are also featured in the short film programming: Penny Lane, Ben Thorp Brown, Jillian Mayer, Lucas Leyva, Akosua Adoma Owusu, Kevin Jerome Everson, and Peter Burr.
Below is a quick synopsis of each film these artists are screening.
Martha Colburn (2015 Awardee), in her Creative Capital Project Western Wild… or how I found Wanderlust and met Old Shatterhand, showcases her labor-intensive practice of mixing of stop-motion animation, found footage, and interviews. The film involves a personal exploration of the work of German writer, Karl May, who wrote novels about the American Old West, despite never having left his country.
Matt Porterfield’s (2012 Awardee) Creative Capital project, Sollers Point, examines the life of a 24-year old Keith, who has been released on probation and wants to establish himself as a capable adult. The social-realist drama depicts the struggles of attempting to escape from one’s past on the streets of Baltimore.
The Creative Capital project, Did You Wonder Who Fired the Gun?, by Travis Wilkerson (2015 Awardee) is an exploration into his family history. In 1946, Wilkerson’s great-grandfather shot and killed a black man in Alabama and was never tried for the crime. As he endeavors to uncover family secrets, he learns that people are unwilling to provide answers.
Through performance, video, and sculpture, Ben Thorp Brown (2016 Awardee) examines how labor, and the economy transform the lives of everyday individuals. In his short film, Gropius Memory Place, Ben asks a hypnotherapist to guide viewers as they construct a “memory palace” of their experience of Walter Gropius’s famous Fagus Factory, an old shoe factory, located in Germany.
Penny Lane’s (2012 Awardee) latest endeavor, The Pain of Others, is a found footage documentary that tells the story of a mysterious illness that tens of thousands of afflicted describe as parasites under the skin. Unsettling, funny and intimate, the film is an exploration into how contemporary media can lead to mass psychosis.
Creative Capital Awardees Jillian Mayer and Lucas Leyva (2015 Awardees) with Karen Linda Johnson to create cross between Dr. Phil and Oprah for pets. Fanimaltastic! is a talk show featuring quirky pets and their owners.
Kevin Jerome Everson (2001 Awardee) worked with labor historian Claudrena N. Harold on How Can I Ever Be Late, inspired by the 1973 visit of Sly and the Family Stone to the University of Virginia. The result is a kind of alternative music video.
Akosua Adoma Owusu’s (2012 Awardee) Mahogany Too examines Diana Ross’s iconic portrayal of Tracy Chambers from the cult classic Mahogany. Owusu’s sequel stars Nigerian actress Esoso E. playing a determined African-American woman who endures racial disparities while pursuing her dreams.
Peter Burr’s (2016 Awardee) obsessions with endlessly mutating labyrinths comes to life in Nematodes, a work made with Alexandra Grote, a parasitologist. The digital animation is a reconstruction of the symbiotic relationship between nematodes and the Wolbachia bacteria.
For more information about screening dates and tickets, visit the IFFR website.