New Media Storytelling
A brand new segment in this year’s festival, the New Media Storytelling invited artists to share their stories creatively, exploring new media at a time when it is still very challenging to create. This collection was not curated and includes videos submitted by artists all over the world.
Audience members are invited to vote on their favorites and cash prizes will be awarded to the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd places in the Popular Vote. One artist will also win a Curator’s Pick Award:
1st place, Popular Vote – $500
2nd place, Popular Vote – $300
3rd place, Popular Vote – $100
Curator’s Pick – $500
HOW TO VOTE: Scroll to the bottom of the page and click on the “Vote Here” button. You must use the same email address that you used to purchase your ticket in order for your vote to be counted. Votes cast by non-ticket holders will not be counted.
The videos will be available to stream until March 27th at 6 PM EST, and winners will be announced on March 28th.
Make some popcorn and enjoy!
The videos are listed in the order they were submitted.
1. The Treatment – Becca Bernard
Synopsis: A woman’s journey to alleviate abdominal pain takes her down a rabbit hole of insurance-less internet research. She gets sucked into learning about medical treatments of the 1890s from a bizarre cast of characters, discovering that progress has been made…hasn’t it? Inspired by moments from the raucous show The Fainting Room, this short also includes a brand new music video.
2. Paris – Ally Ibach
Synopsis: A piece about changes to our world without acknowledging their deeper meaning. This is directly inspired by the burning of Notre Dame.
3. One Way Ticket to Where I Already Am and Other Poems – Molly Kirschner
Synopsis: Molly Kirschner reads original poems from her new manuscript Your Body Does the Work of Wings, a semifinalist for the 2020 Louise Bogan Award for Artistic Merit and Excellence. These poems are rapturous, humorous, metaphysical, and strange, drawing inspiration from science, eros, and the absurd.
4. Finding Mother Courage – Pam Kingsley
Synopsis: Veteran actress Katherine Waulk shows up to audition for Bertolt Brecht’s Mother Courage and Her Children and gets thrown for a loop by the sadistic assistant director. So, what is Katherine willing to go through to get the role? Finding Mother Courage shines a spotlight on ageism, sexism, and identity in this provocative and darkly humorous play that begs the question: how far would you go to get the part?
5. Penny Thoughts – Jeesun Choi & Bryn Herdrich
Synopsis: We all have complicated relationships with money. It plays a huge role in our lives, we pin our hopes and dreams on the dollar – and yet we are unwilling to talk about it. But how did this relationship begin? What happens if we go back to the source?
6. What If Science Is Real? – Judy Klass
Synopsis: At some point in 2020, Mason hosts a Nashville songwriter guitar pull gone virtual, and he plays a party song. Stan plays a sad ballad. But their Yankee friend Carla, who moved to Nashville years earlier, sings a song called What If Science Is Real? and that leads to a fight about Trump and mask-wearing between Carla and Mason, with Stan caught in the middle.
7. A Living Doll – Paroma Sanyal
Synopsis: We journey from an old nursery rhyme in Bengal, to the early-twentieth-century US and India, to now, only to find that patriarchy and the pressure to conform to certain societal norms have boxed women into narrow roles. Most often, the pressure is subtle and hidden in innocuous rhymes and expectations, where the woman herself comes to believe in that ascribed role. Any slight rebellion is squashed and the message of ‘happily ever after’ transforms them into living dolls, devoid of independent thought, with a ‘home’ as their coveted anchor. Caught in the midst of this choreographed existence, are they able to walk away from it all?
8. What a Memory Looks Like – Rachael Carnes
Synopsis: Animals find solace in unlikely kinships. Published in Some Scripts Literary Magazine, and by the Extinction Rebellion, 2020.
9. IMPRINTS – Cleo DeOrio
Synopsis: IMPRINTS is a contemporary dance piece that puts violence against women at the forefront. The piece combines raw physical expression based on the truths of artistic collaborators and the stories of their loved ones. It is a non-linear story, told through solos, duets, and trios of movement. Each piece depicts a different part of the survivors’ journey. By choice, the abuser is never shown but instead the effects of the abuse. Each dancer represents themself, their loved ones, and the women as a whole. The audience follows the journey from one dance to the next until we finally unite to support each other.
10. BINDINGS. – Haley Schwartz
Synopsis: A strange girl in overalls surrounded by children’s books has spent her whole existence alone in her room… or so she thinks. Books falling from nowhere. A hidden clue. A suicide note. With a dash of bravery (and a little help from some seemingly omniscient typeface) the girl who never got to grow up must journey through her childlike psyche to uncover her not-so-childlike origins. Chrysanthemum-Pearl was the real-life imaginary daughter of Dr. Seuss (Theodore Seuss Geisel.) When Ted and his wife Helen were unable to conceive, Ted dreamed up “C.P.” as a comfort for them. By unlocking the tragic story of her past and uncovering the mysterious woman behind America’s most beloved children’s literature, Chrysanthemum-Pearl might just learn a thing or two about the practice of saying goodbye. BINDINGS. asks, how do we thank the things that make us?
11. Voyager: Binaural Audio Experience – Sarah Rose Graber & Ruxandra Cantir
Synopsis: Voyager is a new audio storytelling experience that asks the question – what do we want the universe to know about who we are? Inspired by NASA’s Voyager space mission and the Golden Discs, this piece uses binaural audio, soundscapes, foley, and storytelling as two women grapple with the nature of our existence. In 1977, NASA sent two Voyager shuttles into space carrying the golden discs which contained sounds and images depicting the human experience. It was believed that if any life form beyond our planets discovered the discs, they would know we existed. But is it possible to truly distill, display, and archive our humanity through sounds and images? Voyager is a dramatized audio experience that explores what it means to be human and what’s worth preserving. *LISTEN WITH HEADPHONES!
12. Stained Glass – Margaret Engel
Synopsis: Stained Glass dives into the experiences of sex trafficking victims in the United States through the lens of the five “disguises” of an abuser, coined by The Empower Youth Program. Rather than attempting to use my own words to capture the trauma that victims of trafficking are forced to undergo, I instead took quotes from documentaries, journal articles, magazine interviews, and other sources from real victims. I then compiled the quotes and turned them into a story of three women. The women represent different ages, backgrounds, and sentiments regarding their experiences. Throughout the play, they find solace in each other’s company and stand in unity against their aggressors: not only does this include the abuser, but also the institutions that perpetuate the crisis including the Catholic Church and the U.S. criminal justice system.
13. Language Games – Barbara Yoshida
Synopsis: Set in a fictional world of philosophy and language, Sheela arrives for a spirited game of Mah Jong with three great thinkers from the past. As they play, her energy conjures the ghost of artist Joseph Beuys, who appears as a mythological hare. Invisible to the players, he interjects cultural incantations over them while the players contemplate how language evolved from naming animals to representing them with signs; how language carries the cultural DNA of its speakers; and how myths serve the human need to imagine. Physical chair-play creates an escalating rhythm. Tensions build, sides are taken, and the hare inspires Sheela to be more confrontational. Much is revealed about the origin of language and the meaning of words; the role of animals as the mediators between myths and humans; and the deeper meaning that is communicated through music, dance, painting, poetry, drama, and myth. As the players’ chair-e-ography builds to a crescendo, Sheela questions a basic philosophical theory and wins the game, while Beuys has the last word.
14. Auntie Elvie – Diane Wasnak
Synopsis: Aunt Elvie is the elderly, whimsical lady next door — or perhaps a ghost, you decide — who shares the story of a coal miner’s bucket and how it helped two little girls survive the scarlet fever.
15. A Good Cup of Tea – Lynda Robinson
Synopsis: Speaking directly to the audience, an elderly woman reviews her life while “A Presence” watches over her. The lives/options for women are seen in the positive and the negative.
16. A Cat Regards A King – Diane Almeter Jones
Synopsis: In 1905, Clara’s bathtub treatment for epilepsy devolves into dreams where surrealism mixes with Sci-Fi. As she records in her journal, Clara relays her absurd episodes to a cat. Meanwhile, a new immigrant patient, Anna, joins Clara in a fanciful courtroom drama that takes place in the cargo hold of a freighter on one of the great lakes. A Cat Regards A King explores women’s rights in the late 1800s with regard to placement in hospitals for the insane, reminding us that even those without a voice have freedoms, both then and now. The story is inspired by the playwright’s great-great-grandmother, Clara who was admitted as a patient into the Warren State Hospital in 1897.
17. You Will Be Reborn – Lynda Robinson
Synopsis: A female actor ends up having to shoot a commercial on the coldest day in recorded history & is convinced that if she jumps into the Atlantic Ocean with the “Boston Brownies” that she will have a heart attack and die. She ends up finding the only other woman – an elderly woman – who will be jumping in and ends up with a very different experience than she imagined.
18. All in a Day’s Work – Lynda Robinson
Synopsis: A conversation between a new female employee and her Manager turns into something surprising.
19. Wilderness/Wilderness – Kate Vincek
Synopsis: Wilderness/Wilderness is a dance film in which the main character becomes a fantastical alter ego of herself. Like Angel, she journeys through spaces of cold desolation and the quietly comforting wilderness, trying to reconcile the either/or fallacies between wilderness and civilization, between masculine and feminine, between growth and destruction. Gravity is different for me. Us. With clipped wings. Disconnected. We hate this. Do we hate this? Do we hate this? Do we need this? My jacket, my captor. My trace of another time trace of another way? It’s my favorite thing. We press onward. Risk, risk. To feel alive or cope with loss. I’m very sorry None of this matters. We come back to it again. Press on. Imagine again. Disconnect, imagine again. Again. We imagine so deeply that we. We are the wilderness now. You can’t stay, you can’t leave. I won’t leave. – Angel
20. 11/11 – Julia Rizzo
Synopsis: Images from my last surgery. The eleventh out of eleven. The end of a cycle.
21. This is Me Eating ____ Documentary – Giorgia Valenti
Synopsis: This Is Me Eating ______, a concept by Giorgia Valenti, is a digital project that explores and challenges the ever-changing human relationship to food and bodies throughout the hardship of the pandemic. Giorgia was excited to see her international community of artists and non-artists come together to share their mutual experiences of flaws, bodies, and mental health. The project came to life when the world was shifting into isolation and we were left alone with our bodies, with food being our closest companion. The primary inspiration came from Giorgia’s relationship with her Eating Disorder and how it influenced her art and therapeutic practice. With her collaborators, Giorgia called forth her community to make their own version of the piece and fill the blank with their own title.
22. Call From: Godot – Olivia Miller & Anita Castillo-Halvorssen
Synopsis: Gogo and Didi are still waiting for Godot, this time (for reasons undisclosed) over Zoom. Join our unlikely heroes on a journey of remote calls, doom scrolling, and plenty of bananas, as they discover what it means to live for something, anything – but most importantly, each other. “Call From: Godot” is a story of hope, breaking routine, and being present when it matters the most. It’s a story of waiting and hating waiting and needing to wait and refusing to wait. It’s a story of profound loneliness and profound togetherness. It’s the story of our COVID experience as artists and as humans. It is perhaps many people’s stories. It’s also a comedy. So we hope it brings you a good chuckle.
23. Compulsion – Courtney Seyl
Synopsis: Alex has struggled with OCD her whole life, but right as things were starting to be in her control, a dream rips her world apart. Therapy can only help so much and the intrusive thoughts seem never-ending as she waits for the sun to rise once again.
24. The Silence – Inés Braun
Synopsis: A director, alone during NYC’s lockdown, attempts to create a short film in her isolation, but an accident on the Brooklyn Bridge forces her to confront her vulnerability. The Silence was filmed by its director as she navigated NYC in April and May 2020, and is a meditation on identity, trauma, and the loneliness of feeling like an outsider, separated from one’s self, one’s art, and one’s community.
25. The Waiting Room – Blaire Deziel
Synopsis: Eli and Lily meet while waiting for their five-minute afterlife admissions interview. Though the two are completely different times, they both struggle with the weight of their pasts and an unheard apology.
26. Outside the things I know, inside the things I don’t – Zoe Galle
Synopsis: We enter an intimate space with a woman who is swept up in a dream-like state in this movement-based film, navigating the complexities of loss as she faces her sexual trauma. Time is a character that collapses and shifts from frame to frame, working to carry us through her memory and embodied experience of womanhood. Her recounting alludes to violence as she struggles against herself. We are drawn into the internal world of our character while she confronts the external world as a separate environment with its own expectations. Immersed in the reliving of an embodied memory, the woman struggles to find ease in her apartment as she navigates her anxiety, rage, and discomfort. She doesn’t hold back but is left exposed, expressing her less ‘attractive’ emotions. She works her way back to herself, to embrace the possibility of love, if not for the first time from a place deep within herself.
27. Snow Exit – Jamie Graham & Amy Larimer
Synopsis: The year is 2050. Earth is in a state of collapse. A global computing system has been put in place to organize those who are left based on evaluations of human worth. Two women, both strong but not quite fitting into any algorithm for assignment, find themselves stationed together for observation and emotional readjustment.
28. Songs for my Grandfather – Kristen Kelso
Synopsis: Songs for my Grandfather is a three-pronged project about the late country gospel & blues musician, David Hamilton. The first part is a one-woman show about the journey of David’s granddaughter reckoning with his death. The show highlights her relationship to music through his absence while navigating the labyrinth of childhood trauma. The second part is a series of choreographed movements responding to the love letters David left his wife throughout the years, a practice in experimental translation reimagined for film. This submission is the culminating portion of the project. Though born out of the first two pieces, it serves as a preface to the overall narrative. In this documentary-style film, we witness an embodied practice of reconnecting with lost loved ones, wherein David’s granddaughter wears his clothes for the first time since his death in July 2019. In the process of making this project, she also experienced the loss of her paternal grandfather, William Kelso, in March 2020. Pieces of his clothing are included as well. The film documents the first moments of connecting with these pieces of fabric and shines a light on what it might mean to be wrapped up in the fabric of life. Accompanied by photos, through laughter, tears, oral histories, and moments of silence, the audience is carried on a fragmented journey of mourning.
29. Masquerading Again – The Anthropologists
Synopsis: In 1900, Cora Anderson became a nurse. In 1906, she became Ralph Kerwineo, an identity that opened up new possibilities of freedom, power, and autonomy. Based on newspaper records from the early 1900s, this short film is a meditation on the life and words of Ralph Kerwineo.
30. PHALLUS – Rafa Giavoni
Synopsis: A poetic and extraordinary representation of the female daily life in a phallic, patriarchal, and sexist society.
31. All She Has – Anita Castillo-Halvorssen
Synopsis: All She Has is a one-woman show about girlhood, grandmas, and giving over to the tampon-tossing, abandon-seeking human we all want to be. Starting at age seven, Castillo-Halvorssen digs through her memories as an impressionable girl, looking to her traditionally-minded Norwegian grandmother for cues on being a “real woman.” As she explores her sexuality and queerness from memory to memory, she comes to understand that her own internalized misogyny doesn’t fall far from the family tree. With an irreverent dose of humor, All She Has tells a story of redemption and self-discovery in the face of the global patriarchy’s absurd constraints.
32. Are You Ok? Cause I’m Ok. – Rivka Rivera
Synopsis: A mother and daughter go down to the Jersey Shore to trip on Mushrooms together. Part documentary – part scripted – part improv – this film is an exploration of what it means to be a mother and daughter and how we cope with love and death with the person who gave us life.
33. truth – Indygo Afi Ngozi
Synopsis: Khoreoword #2 titled truth is an excerpt from For Us, the Humans of the World Who Aren’t Afraid to Live In-Between Spaces: A Khoreopoetic Performance written by Indygo Afi Ngozi. In this khoreoword, Indygo seeks to explore our commonalities as humans, our deepest desires, regrets, fears, and struggles; the truths we’ve normalized and the ones we do not dare admit; it is the essence of what it means to be human, multifaceted, and vulnerable in today’s society.