52nd Tour Programs

The 52nd AAFF Tour offers 31 short films available in multiple programs, each featuring award-winning and selected new works.

Digital Program - Part A [81 minutes]

PROGRAM A features nine films including Mystery, the short narrative by Spanish filmmaker (and AAFF favorite) Chema García Ibarra; Cut, the most recent film by German artists Matthias Muller and Christoph Girardet; Michael Robinson’s The Dark, Krystle, which brilliantly repurposes the 80s television program Dynasty; Broken Tongue, Mónica Savirón’s animated collaboration with poet Tracie Morris; Kevin Jerome Everson’s Fe26, a portrait of two men scrapping copper in Cleveland (52 AAFF Jury Award); Gowanus Canal, Sarah Christman’s beautifully abstracted depiction of one of the most contaminated urban waterways in the United States (52 AAFF Gil Omenn Art & Science Award); Mountain in Shadow, Lois Patiño’s sublime film of skiers set in immense mountainous landscapes; the ecstatic, recursive animation Division by Dutch artist Johan Rijpma (52 AAFF  Barbara Aronofsky Latham Award for Emerging Experimental Video Artist); and 52 AAFF audience favorite Suchy Pion (Dry Standpipe) by Polish artist Wojciech Bąkowski, a collage of home videos condensed into blocks of abstraction with a wry, melancholy confessional narration.

Misterio (Mystery) (Chema García Ibarra)
Elche, Spain | 2013 | 12min 

They say that if you put your ear to the back of his neck, you can hear the Virgin talk. —CGI

The Dark, Krystle (Michael Robinson)
Brooklyn, NY | 2013 | 9.5 min 

The cabin is on fire! Krystle can’t stop crying, Alexis won’t stop drinking, and the fabric of existence hangs in the balance, again and again and again. —MR
The Dark, Krystle brilliantly repurposes the artificiality of stock gesture, allowing viewers to see its hollowness and to feel it recharging with new emotional power. Equal parts archival fashion show and feminist morality play, Robinson’s montage rekindles the unfinished business of identity, consumption, and excess in 1980s pop culture.” —Carrie Secrist Gallery, Chicago


Cut (Matthias Müller and Christoph Girardet)
Hannover & Bielefeld, Germany | 2013 | 13 min 

A body as a wound that never heals.


N. American Premiere at 52nd AAFF

Broken Tongue (Mónica Savirón)
New York, NY | 2013 | 3min 

Broken Tongue is an ode to the freedom of movement, association, and expression. It pays hom- age to the diaspora of the different waves of migration, and challenges the way we represent our narratives. It is a search for a renewed consciousness, for reinvention, a “what if,” the formal equivalent of asking a question expressed with a broken tongue – or not so broken after all.
Mainly made with images from the January 1st issues of The New York Times since its beginning in 1851 to 2013, Broken Tongue is a heartfelt tribute to avant-garde sound performer Tracie Morris and to her poem “Afrika.” —MS


World Premiere at 52nd AAFF

Fe26 (Kevin Jerome Everson)
Charlottesville, VA | 2014 | 7.5 min 

Fe26 follows two gentlemen around the East Side of Cleveland, Ohio and examines the tensions between illegal work—in this case, the stealing of manhole covers and copper piping—and the basic survival tactics that exist in areas of high unemployment.

52nd AAFF Jury Award

Gowanus Canal (Sarah J. Christman)
Brooklyn, NY | 2013 | 7 min 

Just below the surface of one of the most contaminated urban waterways in the United States, microorganisms thrive amidst the toxic waste.


52nd AAFF Gil Omenn Art & Science Award

Mountain in Shadow (Lois Patiño)
Madrid, Spain | 2012 | 14 min 

A contemplative look toward the snowy mountain and skiers activity on it.
The vastness of the mountainside contrasts with the insignificance of the people on it, almost invisible by distance. Starting from the white snow, the image of the film becomes increasingly darker, transforming the space into something unreal, dreamlike and spectral. The skiers become artificially illuminated, now more visible as they appear to slide down the slopes in a hypnotic movement. - LP

Division (Johan Rijpma)
Netherlands | 2012 | 1 min | Video

A piece of paper is divided by hand into an even number of pieces and then reassembled. A photograph of this finished composition is then printed and divided again. This makes the impossible possible, tearing the now included empty spaces that make up the tears in the paper. The feedback division process is repeated while the number of imprecise manual divisions gradually increased. - JR


52nd AAFF Barbara Aronofsky Latham Award for Emerging Experimental Video Artist

Suchy Pion (Dry Standpipe) (Wojciech Bakowski)
Poznan ́, Poland | 2013 | 13 min 

A raw, personal, confessional narration undercuts the abstract images in Polish artist, musician and poet Wojciech Bakowski's interlaced video collage Suchy Pion. Condensing home videos into blocks of abstraction, Bakowski creates a startling account of depression, numbness and paradoxical lucidity. - Andréa Picard


US Premiere at 52nd AAFF

Digital Program - Part B [86 minutes]

The nine films in PROGRAM B feature new experimental, animated, documentary and narrative films including bbrraattss, a hallucinatory motion graphic version of a conflict between rabbit and hunter by Ian Cheng; Velocity, a hand-drawn meditation on memory and loss by Karolina Glusiec (52 AAFF Chris Frayne Award for Best Animated Film), Jessica Bardsley’s personal video-essay The Blazing World, which uses stolen film clips to explore the link between kleptomania and depression (and Winona Ryder); Cold Open, Seamus Harahan’s episodic observations recorded over a year in a Belfast neighborhood (52 AAFF Jury Award); DER SPAZIERGANG, Meg Rorison’s kinetic in-camera film recording of walks through Berlin; Lagos Island by artist Karimah Ashadu, which features her handmade “Camera Wheel Mechanism” depicting the Lagos coastline (52 AAFF Ken Burns Award for Best of the Festival); Shambhavi Kaul’s Mount Song, which uncannily repurposes sets from 70’s and 80s Hong Kong cinema into depopulated fantastical non-spaces; the latest chapter in the parallel-leftist-universe of Jim Finn, Encounters with Your Inner Trotsky Child appears to be part of a communist self-help videotape series made in the early 1990s; and The Great Rabbit, the ineffably beautiful recent animation from Japanese artist Atsushi Wada (52 AAFF Prix DeVarti for Funniest Film).

bbrraattss (Ian Cheng)
New York, NY | 2013 | 3min

Motion capture choreography simulated against motion capture choreography. —IC

Velocity (Karolina Glusiec)
London, UK | 2012 | 6 min

“I always thought I had a perfect memory. I wanted to show these drawings to you.” A collection of memories, drawings and loss. —KG


52nd AAFF Chris Frayne Award for Best Animated Film

The Blazing World (Jessica Bardsley)
Boston, MA | 2013 | 20 min

A troubling relationship arises between the character played by Winona Ryder in the film Girl, Interrupted, the genuine depression experienced by the actress, and the shoplifting of which she was accused. Consisting entirely of clips stolen from existing films, this video essay, which ultimately turns out to be profoundly personal, explores possible links between depression and klepto- mania. —JB

Cold Open (Seamus Harahan)
Belfast, N. Ireland | 2013 | 12 min

Six scenes recorded over one year in the vicinity of the Waterworks (Queen Mary’s Park), in north Belfast; with Harahan interested in a “making that ‘is’ about looking, recording before thought, the visual consequence of an absent minded gaze in response to the world; locating yourself, locating others – mapping emotional and intellectual spaces, being part of the moving mass; the accumulation of meanings in the dislocation of the familiar, where narratives recede in the minutae of gesture and sound.”


52nd AAFF Jury Award

DER SPAZIERGANG (Margaret Rorison)
Baltimore, MD | 2013 | 3 min

A document of my extensive walks taken throughout the city of Berlin, during the cold days of April 1–7, 2013. The film is edited in camera and composed of single frame snapshots along with longer moments of glance, captured on one 100’ roll of film. The soundtrack incorporates field recordings from these walks, as well as a handmade beat sequencer and electromagnetic pickups capturing the engine of a 16mm projector. The title comes from a story by Robert Walser. - MR

Lagos Island (Karimah Ashadu)
(Nigeria/UK | 2012 | 4 min

Ashadu has constructed a “Camera Wheel Mechanism” from scrap materials found on the Lagos Island coast, inspired by the region’s hawkers and laborers and their ubiquitous, overburdened, handmade carts. A camera encased inside the mechanism depicts a constantly shift- ing perspective of the coastline, creating an atmosphere both playful and tense. Homes built by migrants on the coast will soon be destroyed by the Lagos government in a bid to clean up the city.


52nd AAFF Ken Burns Award for Best of the Festival

Mount Song (Shambhavi Kaul)
Durham, NC / Mumbai, Maharashtra | 9 min

A current runs underneath. It creeps under the door, makes its way into the cracks, revealing, obfuscating or breaking as clouds in the sky. Mountain, cave, river, forest and trap door; martial gestures, reiterated, stripped and rendered. A storm blows through. A parrot comments from a flowering branch. Here, the surfaces of set-constructions are offered for our attachments. —SK

Encounters with Your Inner Trotsky Child (Jim Finn)
Brooklyn, NY | 2013 | 21min

Another chapter in the parallel-leftist-universe of Jim Finn, this video appears to be part of a communist self-help videotape series made in the early 1990s. The series author, Lois Severin, was responding to the move from mass sociopolitical engagement of the 60s and 70s to the personal fulfillment fantasies of the 80s – the Jane Fonda-ization of the Left.

The Great Rabbit (Atsushi Wada)
Kobe, Japan | 2012 | 7.5 min

Once we called the noble, profound and mysterious existence The Great. We have moved with the time, our thought and consciousness has changed. And yet what makes us still keep calling it The Great? —AW


52nd AAFF Prix DeVarti for Funniest Film

16mm Program [110 minutes]

The 52 AAFF 16mm Tour Program features 14 new films from Denmark, Argentina, Canada, Germany, and the United States including murmurations by Rebecca Meyers (52 AAFF Best Cinematography Award); Will o’ the Wisp by Andrew Kim (52 AAFF Tom Berman Award for Most Promising Filmmaker) and Charlotte Pryce’s A Study in Natural Magic (52 AAFF Stan Brakhage Film at Wit’s End Award). Six films in the program received their world premieres at the 52nd AAFF including Tacoma by Courtney Krantz; Fresno by Leandro Listorti; Sleeping District by Tinne Zenner; Certain Things by Mark Toscano; Square Dance, Los Angeles County, California, 2013 by Sílvia das Fadas; and Burn Out the Day by Sasha Waters Freyer.

The Handeye (Bone Ghosts) (Anja Dornieden and Juan David González Monroy)
Berlin, Germany | 2012 | 7 min

In early 20th century Vienna Robert Musil invited Sigmund Freud to partake in, what he called, “a very special séance.” Seated at the table Musil revealed that they were going to summon the ghost of Franz Anton Mesmer, discoverer of animal magnetism and forefather of hypnosis. Musil told Freud about a series of dreams he had which involved a talking flea. Musil, who had secretly become a follower of the imaginationist school of animal magnetism wanted to question Mesmer as to the meaning of these dreams, in which said flea foretold of impending catastrophes all over Europe. It is said that Mesmer obligingly appeared and spoke in a repetitive and oblique manner. Mesmer’s words were transcribed by Freud in several scraps of paper and hidden sepa- rately in a series of objects that, owing to the vicissitudes of history, would end up in the collections of three Viennese museums. Legend has it that he who could piece together the text would find instructions for the assembly of a film. —AD & JM

With Pluses and Minuses (Mike Stoltz)
Los Angeles, CA | 2013 | 5 min

“This morning the window blew its glass onto my face. Real morning with pluses and minuses (my symbols for truth).” A ground-less and boundless 16mm film in which a wall becomes a window to a swirling landscape. —MS

Lunar Almanac (Malena Szlam)
Montreal, Canada | 2013 | 4 min

Moons in a journey through magnetic spheres, influencing subtle energies on Earth. —MS

murmurations (Rebecca Meyers)
Lewisburg, PA | 2013 | 6 min

A charm; siege; dissimulation. Descent and watch. Avian voices link gesture and snowfall, macro views of whiskered branches and furry firs. —RM


52nd AAFF Award for Best Cinematography

Tacoma (Courtney Krantz)
Brooklyn, NY | 2013 | 6.5min

A reflection on home and memory. Old love letters. A card game. Music gone by. An indoor-outdoor encounter of domestic space. Filmed in the verdant environment of the Pacific Northwest at my grandmother-in-law’s residence where she has lived for over 40 years. —CK


World Premiere at 52nd AAFF

Fresno (Leandro Listorti)
Buenos Aires, Argentina | 2014 | 3 min

In Norse mythology, the World Tree Yggdrasil is commonly held to be an ash tree (Fraxinus). The Norsemen had a very peculiar worldview, where space was not unique nor continuous, and the universe was made up of different worlds, where they could destroy each world and create new ones. Amid the turmoil, Yggdrasil, always remains immovable, protecting those who are saved from the cataclysms, to populate a new world. Fresno shows one year in the life of one of these trees. -LL


World Premiere at 52nd AAFF

Will o’ the Wisp (Andrew Kim)
Los Angeles, CA | 2013 | 23.5min

I can’t see ghosts, but film is indeed a perfect medium. - AK


World Premiere at 52nd AAFF

52nd AAFF Tom Berman Award for Most Promising Filmmaker

Sleeping District (Tinne Zenner)
Copenhagen, Denmark | 2014 | 11 min

Combining outside and inside views of residential areas built during the Soviet Era with disjointed conversations translated from Russian into a broken English, the film explores notions of home shaped by memory, history, relations and objects. While related to tangible experiences, it suggests how these inform our imagination. -TZ


World Premiere at 52nd AAFF

Light Year (Paul Clipson)
San Francisco, CA | 2013 | 10 min

An abstract 16mm film study of the San Francisco waterfront, showcasing the complex natural and architectural systems within this urban landscape, from the ephemeral rhythms of light and water to the rigid order of bridges and skyscrapers. Music by Tashi Wada, performed by Charles Curtis and Judith Hamann.

Certain Things (Mark Toscano)
Los Angeles, CA | 2014 | 4 min

Certain things you remember. These are two of them, remembered by my father, as we drove north on S. Las Vegas Blvd in November, 2011. —MT


World Premiere at 52nd AAFF

Square Dance, Los Angeles County, California, 2013 (Silvia das Fadas)
Los Angeles, CA | 2013 | 9 min

“The people are what is not there yet, never in the right place, never ascribable to the place and time where anxieties and dreams await.” —Jacques Rancière


World Premiere at 52nd AAFF

Burn Out the Day (Sasha Waters Freyer)
Richmond, VA | 2014 | 4 min

The passing of a decrepit totality; wounds and traces left by fire and light as an abandoned home burns to the ground. Mute observers and memory fragments remain. The pleasures and terrors of rural domestic comfort. —SWF


World Premiere at 52nd AAFF

A Study in Natural Magic (Charlotte Pryce)
Los Angeles, CA | 2013 | 3 min

Witness an alchemist’s spell; the transmutation of light into substance; a glimpse of gold. —CP


52nd AAFF Stan Brakhage Film at Wit’s End Award

Photooxidation (Pablo Mazzolo)
Buenos Aires, Argentina | 2013 | 13 min

De-electronation of a molecular entity as a result of photoexcitation. Light increases its oxidation state, at the same time it releases free radical electrons.
Light goes through human work as a natural pho- todegradation. It mutates within its own limits, from a solar irradiation to its impossible perception in an absent retina. —PM