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"How relevant can a film be if it’s missed the point, if it hasn’t come out at the time it’s supposed to?"
- John Akomfrah
Sentient.Art.Film
Bulletin 004
04/27/21
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. 

The theme for this issue is intersections, through which we explore the ways in which different things (mediums, forms, disciplines, interests) collide and come together. We have interviews with two artists and filmmakers: Karin Schneider, and Ja'Tovia Gary, the latter of which is presented in partnership with Filmmaker Magazine and can also be found in their Spring 2021 issue.

This month, Sentient.Omnibus - a short film project looking to build community amongst a diverse group of artists, and challenge and engage viewers - continues. Join Keisha and our Omnibus May filmmakers, Jiajun (Oscar) Zhang and Hee Young Pyun for an Instagram Live Q&A on May 6th, 11AM EST. Oscar and Hee will be discussing our May film, In The Blanks, the process of making it, and their artistic process. Tune into our instagram account then to catch the conversation! Before then, you still have some time to watch that film (In the Blanks) playing on the Sentient.Omnibus website until May 14th, when this film will leave the site and the next work will become available. Line of Sight, our artist development and public programming arm, also continues with another panel (see details on that below). You can find out more on the Line of Sight 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
Notice: Letters of Support for Political Prisoners in Hong Kong
There are now more than 250 pro-democracy political prisoners in Hong Kong. You can help support them.

Following advice from Wall-fare, a non-profit supporting political prisoners, we have included information on our blog about the best and simplest way for people outside of Hong Kong to send letters of support to political prisoners in Hong Kong. Imagine what a letter of support would mean to you if you were behind bars, especially if you were in solitary confinement. Please do send a letter if you have the time.
Send a Letter of Support to a Political Prisoner in Hong Kong
Notes from the Field: Ja'Tovia Gary
"I have this kind of tug of war with visibility. Part of me is like, I want my face in the sun and the wind at my back. I’m a Leo: Give me my flowers while I’m here. Cue the applause. But the other part of me is just like, wow, I see what happens to the highly visible. They nailed Jesus to the cross; you see what I’m saying. Whitney Houston was this amazing performer, but now she’s remembered as a drug addict."

For an expansive three part conversation that we have co-published with Filmmaker Magazine, Keisha spoke with artist and filmmaker Ja'Tovia Gary to talk about her process, and - to quote Keisha in her intro - "think with her about the state of art, the state of film and how Blackness works into all of that."
Read - Notes from the Field: Ja'Tovia Gary
Notes from the Field: Karin Schneider
"Economy has to be part of any platform, and it has to be a sustainable economy. The way we have set up ORTVI, 70% of what we make has to go back to the system, to artists, to curators, and to the production of new works. At the beginning this seemed like a very utopian idea perhaps, and several investors said this is not a model that they were interested in investing in, but I responded by saying that they were not the right investors for this project. I was hearing that distribution was the problem, but I said that distribution was not the problem but the solution. I’m invested in making ORTVI a sustainable place for artists and that is what it is going to be."

Matt spoke with Karin Schneider, a Brazil-born, New York-based artist and filmmaker, and a co-founder of moving image streaming service ORTVI, about how her approach to making art and the various projects she has been involved with over her extensive career have come to inform her approach to creating this innovative and necessary new platform.
Read - Notes from the Field: Karin Schneider
Happenings: April - May 2021
  • Silence [...] Laughter. On Another Gaze, repression, mania, and the laugh of the medusa in films by Marleen Gorris, Anita W. Addison, and Mara Mattuschka.
  • Alchemy Film & Arts. 29th April - May 3rd. A multi-day moving image festival that is streaming free worldwide.
  • Ashley. Until 13th May. A semi-autobiographical rural horror film filmed on the West Coast of Scotland, LUX are streaming this new work by artist Jamie Crewe.
  • A New India Finds Its Voice. Devika Girish writes about Bimal Roy for Criterion.
  • What's Next? A sneak peek at some new projects from our friends at No Evil Eye.
  • A Radical Empathy. Until April 29th. Final few days to watch a series of films about the Haitian diaspora by Esery Mondesir. 
  • Life With Virus. April 30th. Join Sho Akita for an online conversation about the work and activism of Japanese artist Teiji Furuhashi (1960–1995), an outspoken AIDS activist in Japan.
  • Eargoggles. A six hour fundraising mix by DJ Theo Parrish for UK online radio NTS.
  • Risks and the Senses. Ayanna Dozier writes for Screen Slate about a programme she recently curated: "Black Women in Experimental Shorts".
  • East Meets West. See films by Ulrike Ottinger in this major virtual retrospective.
Updates: Line of Sight 2021

Recently launched, 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 second Line of Sight panel is titled 'A Time for Remembering', and will take place on May 21st, 4pm ET. This panel is co-presented with Kaya Press at the CAAM Filmmaker Summit.

The publication of Cathy Park Hong’s Minor Feelings has led to young Asian American critics, writers, and mediamakers discovering the “radical vision of Theresa Hak Kyung Cha’s Dictée,” as a subheading in an Atlantic feature proclaims. Cha’s novel was one of many Asian American artistic projects and practices from the 80s that pushed against form and incorporated the language of alienation, paralleling the increased political value of representational framing since the start of the pandemic. For this panel, we gather together critics and artists to critically reflect on the mechanics of how work comes up. What other forms of Asian American experimentation should we be helping each other retrieve from our collective histories? Find more information about this panel and register here for free to watch on Zoom.

Register FREE - 'A Time For Remembering' - May 21st
Updates: My Sight Is Lined With Visions 2021-22
Our online screening series My Sight is Lined with Visions 2021 is still live and available worldwide. To watch the films in the collection, you can purchase the full package, or rent individual titles anytime.

As well as the films in the package, each month we will have a free-to-view short, presented alongside an essay. Up for just a few days more is Laurie Wen's short film The Trained Chinese Tongue, which Chanel Kong writes about in our newly commissioned essay. Visit the vault each month for a new rare, hard to watch, underground, and transgressive work. Hurry though, the next Vault film will go online on May 1st!

The Trained Chinese Tongue
(Laurie Wen, 1994)
 ----> WATCH THE FILM <---

An Incredible and Ordinary Feast
by Chanel Kong
--->
READ THE ESSAY <---

Spotlights: SAF Community
  • Watch a recording of the first Line of Sight Panel - 'On Accents and Sonic Resonances', featuring film scholar Pavitra Sundar and experimental music critic Joshua Minsoo Kim.
  • Likewise, if you missed the Dear Producer panel on 'Innovations in Exhibition' that Keisha took part in a few weeks back, you can watch back a recording of that one here.
  • Hee Young Pyun and Jiajun (Oscar) Zhang, whose 2016 film In The Blanks is currently live on the Sentient.Omnibus, were just awarded a short film prize for their new work If You See Her, Say Hello, which screened in Vision du Réel's International Medium Length & Short Film Competition.
  • Join Jiajun (Oscar) Zhang and Hee Young Pyun for an Instagram Live Q&A on May 6th, 11AM EST, on our instagram page, where they'll discuss their film (In the Blanks) playing on the Sentient.Omnibus website now) with Keisha.
  • The inaugural edition of Inney Prakash's new festival 'Prismatic Ground' - where one of Abby's films screened - was a great success. Our interview with Inney, included in last month's bulletin, was featured in the Criterion Daily.
  • This month, Sentient were featured in this nice profile article in WBUR titled "Old, New, And Weird". 
  • Alongside Caden Mark Gardner, Willow Maclay, and Isabel Sandoval, Sentient filmmaker Jessica Dunn Rovinelli took part in Film Comment's "Trans Cinema Roundtable" podcast.
  • Over on Screen Slate, Mackenzie Lukenbill wrote about two (!) titles included in My Sight is Lined With Visions: Jon Moritsugu's Terminal USA, and TRAN T. Kim-Trang's The Blindness Series.
  • Sentient filmmaker Miko Revereza was announced as a 2021 Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise in Filmmaking earlier this year. He spoke to the org for a short interview / fashion photoshoot here.
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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