"cards, drawings, maps sometimes,,
biro tracings of spectral architecture.."

- Laura Grace Ford
Bulletin 003
Welcome to the April issue of the Sentient.Art.Film Bulletin, a community newsletter aimed at informing, engaging, and percolating the imaginations of its readers, and fostering discourse around film exhibition infrastructures, art and cinema cultures, social change, and beyond. 

As this issue arrives just after the spring equinox, the event marking the start of spring in the northern half of the globe, the theme for this issue is springtime. To celebrate this, we share some spring related items with you below, alongside interviews with film programmers Inney Prakash and George Myers. Keisha spoke with George back in November 2020, and Matt spoke to Inney in March 2021. Reading both interviews, alongside insights on film programming in various contexts, you'll get a strange sense of the passing of time, showing what has changed in that space of time and what has remained the same.

Having previewed it last month, we now launch Sentient.Omnibus, a short film project looking to build community amongst a diverse group of artists, and challenge and engage viewers. The project starts with the release of the first short film, Jiajun (Oscar) Zhang and Hee Young Pyun's In the Blanks, which is available on our website from April 15th. Find full details below.

We are also launching Line of Sight, our artist development and public programming arm, with a series of panels. Line of Sight aims to reinvigorate the spirit of experiment in filmmaking by supporting artist development and public conversations. See the first details about the inaugural 2021 Line of Sight Panels below, and find out more about Line of Sight on the new website.

Thanks for reading. If you want to share something with us to circulate across our community, ask a distribution-related question, or contribute to a future edition, please do get in touch.

- Keisha, Matt, and Rahel
Constellations: SPRINGTIME

Inspired by the arrival of the equinox, we've collected a number of items that relate to springtime that inspire us. Keisha submits two releases from Matilde Meireles, and Matt has put together a mixtape of springtime songs that you can listen to over on our website. Also there, Rahel shares a story of how she spent her equinox day. Visit our website to see our springtime constellations in full and send us yours.

Notes from the Field: Inney Prakash
"I really would like to fight for a world where we are dividing our attention and resources between as many people and outlets as possible rather than pouring all our attention and money into a handful of festivals or streaming services. I think a cinematic landscape with a multiplicity of voices is richer for everyone."

This month, we spoke with Inney Prakash about how his various experiences in film curation have helped him to formulate a programming ethos and how a year without cinemas has crystallized that, as well as the issues he sees within film festivals and institutions that he hopes to avoid replicating through the festival he has been creating, Prismatic Ground.
Read - Notes from the Field: Inney Prakash
Notes from the Field: George Myers
"I think that is what it is: understanding we don’t know anything. [...] The more we plan our cities and our lives around what we know, and what we know we want, the more we limit ourselves. I do hope that people take a moment to consider what they are missing by following those same patterns and routines so they can make sure to give space in their lives for something they don’t yet know about."

We also spoke with George Myers, General Manager at Amherst Cinema, Massachusetts about programming films for cinema audiences during and after a pandemic, how he got his start at the cinema and how he sees his role there, as well as the resonances he sees between independent music and film.
Read - Notes from the Field: George Myers
Happenings: March - April 2021
  • And Besides, It's True. April 1st. An evening of screenings and discussion devoted to disinformation and rumor.
  • Assembly of Images. April 1st - 30th. A chance to watch Garrett Bradley's America (2019) online, as part of the SFMOMA Assembly of Images film series.
  • Cocoon Zine. A collection of essays from writers about the albums that have helped them through the lockdowns.
  • Hands Tied. April 2nd - 15th. Programme of films by Maria Lassnig and Ayesha Hameed on Another Gaze's new streaming platform.
  • Slippery When Wet. An exhibition from artist Tiffany Sia that "proposes a wet ontology of Hong Kong".
  • Prismatic Ground. April 8th - 18th. A new festival for experimental documentary film, streaming its first edition free worldwide.
  • After Hope: Videos of Resistance. An exploration of the expressions and legacies of hope within contemporary art.
  • Children's Film Encyclopedia. A new website designed to introduce children to artists' moving image.
  • True Fake: Troubling the Real. Until April 21st. An e-flux film series reconsidering the "relationship between reality, mediated facts, and identity." 
  • As Yet Untitled. An expansive, multi-part dossier on the filmmakers Sid landovka and Anya Tsyrlina.
  • Ten Skies. A new book on the James Benning film by Erika Balsom.
  • Pisces Season. A mix of soundtrack music from various anime by DJ sold.
  • Terms & Conditions. An article about the history of Indigenous cinema in the United States written by Adam Piron.
  • Alchemy Film & Arts. 29th April - May 3rd. A UK moving image festival that is streaming free worldwide.
  • Signs of Remembering. Until April 2nd. A chance to see Ahmed Lallem's The Women (1966) in this season on intergenerational emancipation in documentaries from the Middle East and North Africa.
Updates: Sentient OmnibusIn the Blanks
Watch a teaser for In the Blanks.

The first film in our Sentient.Omnibus will be In the Blanks. From directing duo Jiajun (Oscar) Zhang and Hee Young Pyun, In the Blanks focuses on daily places in relation to how we all have our own stories and memories in places such as a bedroom, bathroom, restaurant, or subway.

Here is why Sentient selected the film:

  • Keisha: "I am a big fan of Oscar and Hee's work. I love the discipline of this film and the way that over the course of the piece we get so attached to these disembodied voices. We feel like we know them and that we care about them. The film expands into such a large feeling for me and pierces the ephemerality of the here and now."
  • Carla: "This film is an incredibly intimate piece. I love the way we feel the stakes of the film's relationship so much more intensely due to its juxtaposition with unusually + hauntingly empty public places. In the Blanks feels even more achingly relevant in the midst of a pandemic where most of our public spaces lie abandoned and waiting." 
  • Caroline: "In the Blanks makes you wonder why do I love this feeling of eavesdropping? Is this a documentary or is it all scripted? Can it be both? Am I third-wheeling right now?" 
In the Blanks will be hosted on the Sentient.Omnibus website from April 15th to May 15th. It will also be screened on Sentient.Art.Film's IGTV and followed by a filmmaker Q+A on May 6th.
Visit - Sentient.Omnibus
Updates: Line of Sight 2021

Launching in 2021, Line of Sight is our artist development and public programming arm. It aims to reinvigorate the spirit of experiment in filmmaking by supporting artist development and public conversations. The first part of Line of Sight is a series of panels, and a fellowship will follow.

The inaugural 2021 Line of Sight Panels will feature an intergenerational cast of speakers that highlight historical and contemporary Asian American engagement with mischief-making, political acuity, and solidarity as well as thinking broadly in a world-making capacity. Facilitating public dialog about transgressive Asian American film history: its effects, its systems, and its legacies, the panels are intended to hold brave space for film and video makers, radical imagination, collective memory, and productive dissonance within Asian American media.

The first panel is titled 'On Accents and Sonic Resonances' and will take place on April 21st. Panelists film scholar Pavitra Sundar and experimental music and film critic Joshua Minsoo Kim will explore the radical potentials of sound, looking at the complicated potential that sound has to contain, expand, fossilize, and dislodge. Find more information about this session and register here for free to watch using Zoom.

Register FREE - 'On Accents and Sonic Resonances'. April 21st
Updates: My Sight Is Lined With Visions 2021-22
Since Jan 26th, our online screening series My Sight is Lined with Visions 2021 has been live, available worldwide. To watch the films, you can purchase the full package, or rent individual titles.

As well as the films in the package, each month we will have a free-to-view short, presented alongside an essay. Live for just a few days more is Tran T. Kim-Trang's short film Kore, part of the Blindness Series, which Emerson Goo writes about in our newly commissioned essay. Visit the vault each month for a new rare, hard to watch, underground, and transgressive work. Hurry, the next film will go online on April 1st!

(TRAN T. Kim-Trang, 1994)
 ----> WATCH THE FILM <---

After Image
by Emerson Goo

Spotlights: SAF Community
  • Keisha took part in a 'Dear Producer' webinar, 'Innovations in Exhibition', alongside a number of other producers and distributors seeking change in the industry. A recording is coming soon.
  • Hannah Jayanti and Alexander Porter took part in a Q&A for Truth or Consequences for us, hosted (by odd coincidence) by Inney Prakash. Watch it back on our YouTube channel. You can access a number of interactive worlds from the film here, new uploaded online and all explorable within your browser. Get in touch if you want to book the Truth or Consequences film for your venue.
  • In case you missed it, there is a recording of our special Instagram Live Q&A with TRAN T. Kim Trang, director of the Blindness Series, available as part of My Sight Is Lined With Visions.
  • Abby wrote a great piece for the critical compendium for the Berlinale Woche de Critik about the need for more criticism about festivals themselves, rather than just the films they are showing.
  • On our Instagram, we are sharing community archives from filmmakers in our network. Here, apropos of nothing, is Jon Moritsugu vibing energetically in a technicolor hoody. Follow for more.
  • On April 12th, Keisha is moderating a discussion with artists Basel Abbas, Ruanne Abou-Rahme, Zeina Barakeh, and Ufuoma Essi for the Asian Art Museum San Francisco, as part of 'After Hope: Videos of Resistance'. They will discuss how their practices and processes bridge ruptures in time and history. Tickets will be available via the Asian Art Museum website.
Do you have an opportunity or project you want to share, or a call or a question that you would like us to answer? Contact us.
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