2019 Films Overview

SFDFF’s 2019 film selections highlight the compelling power of dance on film. From fascinating documentaries to crowd-pleasing shorts, the films are organized into curated programs that offer something for everyone. Visit the programs page for dates and times.

#InfiniteInclusion
Short film from Infinite Flow, a nonprofit and professional dance company based in Los Angeles with a mission to make dance accessible to all and to use dance as vehicle …
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#InfiniteInclusion

9241
The figure of the indigenous and the conqueror are reunited in an island of the future to change history through the recognition of the other and the value of joint …
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9241

A Dance for Death
The traditional mourning dance has not been performed for nearly 50 years until Ali, a Kurdish dance master, decides to perform it for his friend who lost his life in …
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A Dance for Death

A Dance for Red Hang /
Three dancers enact the best photographs of brilliant Chinese photographer Ren Hang, who was well known for his shocking photographs bordering on taboo. Ren Hang killed himself in 2017, at …
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A Dance for Ren Hang

A Flower
Within the setting of a sparse black box, the film is set to the song “A Flower” by John Cage. Using three different costumes in white, pinks and red (ranging …
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A Flower

A N D R E A S
The struggle of a father who works as a tiler. He is fighting to overcome his life difficulties in order to protect the most precious thing to him, his family …
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A N D R E A S

About Face, SFDFF 2019
ABOUT FACE is the first of a 3-part short film series that puts a different spin on the school to prison pipeline and the role of fathers of black and …
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ABOUT FACE

Afterimage for Tomorrow
In Afterimage for Tomorrow, director Singing CHEN collaborates with choreographer Shou-Yi CHOU to perform the ineffable in memories. This metafiction film set in a futuristic world where memories can be …
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Afterimage for Tomorrow

Akram Khan's Giselle
The iconic ballet, reimagined. The classic story of love, betrayal and redemption has been reimagined in this stunning new version, with sets and costumes by Academy-Award winning designer Tim Yip …
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Akram Khan’s Giselle

Alice In Struttersland
The Queens roses have been painted red! After she finds the culprit, The Queen battle’s Alice in Struttersland. Impressed by Alice’s movement, The Queen invites Alice in a duet of …
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Alice In Struttersland

Aquarium
In this hallucinogenic underwater concert, jellyfish, urchins, seahorses, squid and starfish perform ‘Busby Berkeley’ style to Saint Saens’ Aquarium. Hand Painted on paper …
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Aquarium

Ascending
Five San Francisco artists reflect on the intimate moments that have shaped their lives …
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Ascending

Avoidance
Avoidance is a new short film about self discovery through despair. Using dance as the narrative medium, Avoidance was inspired by the question, “How can our weakest moments yield our …
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Avoidance

Axis, SFDFF 2019
AXIS – anatomy of space – created by choreographer, film-maker and New Zealand Arts Laureate Daniel Belton. AXIS is a collaboration between Good Company Arts and renowned artists Joyce Beetuan …
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AXIS (Water Planet)

BAILAORA
Premiered at Palm Springs Shortfest and winner of more than 30 awards, BAILAORA has been screened at more than 100 film festivals all around the world and nominated for the …
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BAILAORA

Ballet Break
Ballet Break asks three SF Ballet dancers to trade in their pointe shoes for sneakers, and the stage for something sweet, simple, and rife with nostalgia: a good old-fashioned playground …
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Ballet Break

Beacon
Singer-songwriter Alya Nereo invites us into her world of mystique and wonder as we follow her reverent call to mother nature …
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Beacon

Before You Had A Name
Guided by the spirit of creative partnership and inspired by the experience of maternity as a complex journey in a woman’s mind, body and life, the film Before You Had …
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Before You Had A Name

Behold The Man
Taking inspiration from a science fiction novel from 1969 by Michael Moorcock, the story is about a modern version of the first human being, who appears on earth as an …
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Behold The Man

Betroffenheit
Betroffenheit is a riveting, tender-hearted exploration of loss, isolation and survival in the aftermath of a life-altering tragedy. This dance-theatre hybrid has been awarded “best dance show of the 21st …
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Betroffenheit

between silences
Filmed on location on Cape Cod, between silences is a dance film based on Ali Kenner Brodsky’s solo “the most depressing piece.” Together with filmmaker Rich Ferri, Kenner Brodsky transforms …
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between silences

Blink
A woman blindly grasps for her way on a journey through darkness. Blink is the second collaboration between filmmaker Nathan Kim and Los Angeles Contemporary Dance Company under the artistic …
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Blink

Blue Breath, SFDFF 2019
I came to think about the existence of dust that can not be seen in space. Questions and compassion about forgetting us are the purpose of making this film. The …
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Blue Breath

Bone + Tissue
The daily struggles of our lives weigh us down and drains away our energy. Balancing our passions, financial priorities, family, friends, mental and physical health becomes a dangerous tight rope …
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Bone + Tissue

Bubblegum
Everybody’s bubble must eventually burst …
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Bubblegum

Clémentine
Clémentine is a scream from beyond the viscera between mineral, beast and man, an unusual encounter with matter, our shadows and light merging into one, crossing through sequins and mud …
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Clémentine

Color of Reality, SFDFF 2019
Transfixed by racial, political, and socioeconomic tensions saturating the news, movement artists Jon Boogz and Lil Buck, enveloped by the art of Alexa Meade, switch off the TV and release …
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Color of Reality

Come Out to Lavender Country
Singer/songwriter Patrick Haggerty is credited for writing America’s first gay country music album, Lavender Country. Released in 1973, this album was originally a bootleg, community sponsored project for gay liberationists …
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Come Out to Lavender Country

Coming Home
Another life exists behind closed doors. A life of sexuality, meditation, heart, and privacy. Jaime Castilla strips away his exterior shell to reveal an intimate look at what home means …
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Coming Home

Coyote Waltz
In 2016, as part of the National Park Centennial, and directed by Amelia Rudolph, the dancers and technical team of Bandaloop, shot Coyote Waltz in Yosemite park. Dancing on mountain …
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Coyote Waltz

SFDFF 2019 YAP films from China
SFDFF presents a special collaboration with the Chinese Dancers Association of Beijing to showcase films from its Young Artist Platform, a program curating young Chinese creators. Intelligently crafted short pieces …
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Dance Films from China

Dance, Dance, Evolution
Dance, Dance, Evolution is a short documentary film exploring transgender people’s relationship to dance. Specifically, the film looks at how shifting ones gender might cause shifts in how one dances, …
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Dance, Dance, Evolution

Dancing on Icebergs
The documentary film Dancing on Icebergs charts the two-year-long making of the short film Antarctica: The First Dance created by Kiwi choreographer Corey Baker, and Royal New Zealand Ballet star …
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Dancing on Icebergs

Dialectic Diary
In artful-surreal visual worlds we are a part of the rise, the development and the fail of 4 characters at their way to a personality. Everything starts by asking about …
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Dialectic Diary

Disregarded
“Disregarded” is a short film about the experience of not being seen and the messy feelings around being invisible. Choreographed by Jodi Lomask of Capacitor, and performed by Carolina Czechowska …
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Disregarded

Duet
Celebrating the aesthetic wonder of the hand-drawn line, Duet combines the singular magic of classic animation with the immersive medium of Google Spotlight Stories. A love story that simultaneously embodies …
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Duet

DUO
This singular choreographic work evokes two dancers with painted bodies in a virtuoso face-to-face magnified by the historic setting. Due to the limited number of dancers, the possibilities of composition …
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DUO

E_GO
E_GO is an analysis of the dualistic nature of the ego-mind and its role in shaping one’s identity and perspective on oneself. Exploring the common conditions in the ego-mind, such …
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E_GO

ECHOES
Between dream and reality, it’s the story of a man facing himself and his fears. A man who wants to rise, to be out of the conventions, the self …
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ECHOES

En Pointe
72 year old Ballerina, Dian Wilson shares her journey involving rejection, loss, hope and the one thing that sparks life and joy for her… ballet …
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En Pointe

EVE
EVE embraces the juxtaposition of gravity and levity, of risk and pleasure, dancing between the states of work and play. EVE continually stops before the perfect pose, intrigued by possibility, …
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EVE

Four Choreographers of our Time at the Paris Opera: Thierrée / Shechter / Pérez / Pite
Four contemporary choreographers come together for a programme that leads the Opera’s dancers to a new form of modernity where bodies vibrate with intensity. To open the evening, James Thierrée …
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Four Choreographers of our Time at the P…

Fram
Why do we do incredibly difficult things with no practical application? Is there a parallel between geographic and artistic exploration? Two friends journey to the end of the earth, in …
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Fram

Sol Picó Knee to Heart, SFDFF 2019
Follows the dancer Sol Picó from under the spotlight to her reality behind the scenes. Her work is characterized by showing a strong and brave woman who is not afraid …
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From Knee to Heart

From There To Here
Blending improvisational dance and documentary, FROM THERE TO HERE depicts a courageous group of women, survivors of sexual violence and marginalization, moving against gender inequalities in Kolkata, India and using …
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From There To Here

Frontiers
Frontiers contrasts the fluidity of the human form with the brutalist concrete motorways that cut through the heart of Glasgow. Directed by screendance filmmaker Eve McConnachie (Maze, Haud Close Tae …
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Frontiers

GO!
GO! is a race against time and each other for an unknown goal. A competition for who gets to be the first to win nothing. An advertisement-like illusion to make …
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GO!

Going Home
At his mother Annabel’s request Andre returns home to visit his dying father Theo. Together with his sister Sanne, her husband Victor and son Teun the family confronts each other …
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Going Home

Hands On, SFDFF 2019
Hands On captures candid, real-time “blind hand dates” between two strangers who get to know each other solely through blind touch. Through this intimate act, the project takes society’s accepted …
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Hands On

Happy Ending
In 1997 magician/psychic, Uri Geller tried to help Second Division football club Exeter City win a crucial end of season game by placing “energy-infused” crystals behind the goals at Exeter’s …
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Happy Ending

Hofesh Shechter's Clowns
Hofesh Shechter’s Clowns is a dance film that plays out a macabre comedy of murder and desire, asking how far we will go in the name of entertainment. Directed, choreographed …
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Hofesh Shechter’s Clowns

Holdin Up Universes, sfdff 2019
In India, the idea of God is inseparable from the idea of infinity …
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Holding Up Universes (Jagadodharana)

Humana
Humana is a dance film that imitates the body language of spiders and explores the idea of film editing as a primary tool for the choreography. Juggling with the numbers …
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Humana

SFDFF 2019 I Don't Want to be Your Love
“No delusions of grandeur, just grandeur.” …
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I Don’t Want To Be Your Love

I Wanted to Be Me
Mari is feeling trapped in her relationship with Alex and tries to break free. But as soon as she is out, she is filled with self doubt.. Is she really …
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I Wanted to Be Me

If Cities Could Dance: Oakland (KQED)
If Cities Could Dance features dancers from across the country who dare to imagine what it would look like if their city could dance. If you’ve spent any time in …
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If Cities Could Dance: Oakland (KQED)

If Cities Could Dance: Richmond (KQED)
If Cities Could Dance features dancers from across the country who dare to imagine what it would look like if their city could dance. Many often label the rich history …
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If Cities Could Dance: Richmond (KQED)

Imagined Escape
Coping with a troubled relationship with his brother, a lonely boy finds himself in an imagined world where he experiences love, connection, and new-found strength …
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Imagined Escape

In Her Hands
Inspired by the life and work of Camille Claudel and Auguste Rodin. Set in Paris 1892, Camille (Natalia Osipova – Royal Ballet) struggles to work as memories of their past …
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In Her Hands

INA (LIGHT)
Director Aneil Karia and choreographer Alesandra Seutin’s film INA (LIGHT) sees two dancers struggle through the fear-drenched darkness of oppression and fear to arrive in the lightness of freedom …
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INA (LIGHT)

Into the Neural Forest, SFDFF 2019
Dance Film SF’s 2019 Co-Laboratory film, Into the Neural Forest, is an intimate encounter putting you inside a choreographic model of a brain to witness the birth of an idea …
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Into the Neural Forest

Film Still from IRØN MODVM, SFDFF 2019
Barcelona based filmmaker and photographer Derek Pedros has directed this dance video with Iron Skulls Co, a group of people who share their different preferences and experiences through dance. Music …
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IRØN MODVM

Kaddume
Kaddume is an expedition that recognizes San Basilio de Palenque’s past and future relationships. It’s a look to and from the body, the land they live in and the voice …
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Kaddume

Les Ballets de Monte Carlo
Nacho Duato composed the one-act ballet White Darkness as a requiem for his sister. The result is a masterpiece which, according to critics, has reached heights deemed hitherto impossible on …
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Les Ballets de Monte Carlo

Letter
Reframes issues of self esteem and self worth. These insecurities are dealt with daily, but often left unspoken, since they are widely considered a weakness. Through airing these doubts, the …
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Letter

Lil Buck: Real Swan
Bringing his experience in the ballet world with him, Lil Buck heads back to South Memphis to teach dance to the youth, offering them the chance of a better future …
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Lil Buck: Real Swan

Limbo
From sunrise to sunset these lost souls eternally play out a tale of friendship and loss, haunted by the tragedy of war and the promise of what could have been …
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Limbo

Lorelei
Lorelei dances along the River Rhine, luring fisherman into the jagged rocks to meet their untimely demise. Henri, a young fisherman, is spellbound and can’t help but fall for this …
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Lorelei

Am I a Man, SFDFF 2010
The prison population in the US has quintupled since 1980. Despite accounting for 37% of the American population, Blacks and Hispanics account for 64% of the prison population, and 75% …
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MAI: Am I a Man

Mantle
The narrative of this VR film is conceptually based from the idea of a relationship to ones center, and the balance of destructive and harmonizing forces within, which we explored …
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Mantle

Mapenzi
MAPENZI: A Dancer’s Love Affair with Dance, Body and the Arts! is a body positive documentary that demonstrates that one’s body size should not determine ones love for the arts, …
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Mapenzi

SFDFF 2019, Mari Screening
Professional dancer and choreographer Charlotte (Bobbi Jene Smith) is preparing for a new show. Everything is going well, until she receives a call: Mari, her grandmother, is dying. Putting her …
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Mari

MASS
MASS is a 10-minute single-take video-dance shot in Paris. The project was framed within the Danse en Seine’s choreographic workshops, including 40 amateur dancers. Images of the crowd appear more …
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MASS

Memories of Bodies in Motion
In choreographer Angelin Prejlocaj’s work set in the French abbey of Montmajour, a man remembers the bodies in motion, giving life to this millennial and empty set. Conceived as a …
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Memories of Bodies in Motion

Memory Of Forgiveness, SFDFF 2019
Memory Of Forgiveness is a dance film inspired by the book 50 Years of Silence by Jan Ruff-O’Herne, a Dutch woman who was forced by the Japanese army to work …
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Memory Of Forgiveness

Mirrors, SFDFF 2019
A series of feverish and painful memories force a contemporary ballet dancer to confront her past as she tries to perform a challenging solo dance …
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Mirrors

MONK
A son is brought to a monastery by his parents and left there. He struggles to become a monk and on his journey inward finds protection and solace in three …
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MONK

Mi Gran Partdio, SFDFF 2019
During the daily soccer match of the kids on the playground, everybody is waiting anxiously for the ball. But when it’s Gerard ́s turn, other abilities come to light …
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My Big Match (Mi Gran Partido)

Nela
A strikingly intimate study of the great classical ballerina Marianela Nuñez as she dances to Nina Simone. Choreographed by Will Tuckett …
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Nela

Nephtali
Nephtali was born from the comparison between the grace of a dancer and that of a deer. In a choreography which Glen created with dancer Marion Barbeau, he depicts the …
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Nephtali

New London Calling
An unsupervised tribe of 75 children take over the entire city of New London, creating their rites and rituals through playing street games. Their vibrant spirit evokes hopes for the …
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New London Calling

of ECSTASY
A ballet short film about the relentless yearning for escapism and the intoxicating fantasy of otherworldly emotional connectivity with alternative selves and others, as a way out of the growing …
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of ECSTASY

One in Four
There are many empowering benefits of dance, but healing from sexual assault was never supposed to be one of them …
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ONE IN FOUR

Orphée et Eurydice from Lyric Opera of Chicago
The most enduringly popular opera by German composer Christoph Willibald Gluck, Orphée et Eurydice recounts the famous myth of Orpheus, the legendary Greek musician and poet who is grief-stricken over …
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Orphée et Eurydice from Lyric Opera of C…

Particles
This work features two mature, highly-accomplished professional dancers – Danielle Rowe, an alum of Nederlands Dans Theatre, the Australian Ballet, and Houston Ballet; and Garrett Anderson who danced with Hubbard …
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Particles

Popsicle
Popsicle is a riotous celebration of the female gaze. A brightly expressive homage to strength, power, and rage, challenging the typical depiction of women in dance and cinema. Shot at …
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Popsicle

Queen & Béjart: Ballet For Life
North American Premiere Queen + Bejart: Ballet for Life by Lynne Wake and Simon Lupton tells the story of the creation and subsequent success of the ballet featuring the great …
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Queen & Béjart: Ballet For Life

Repetition(s) SFDFF 2019
Two star dancers, Aurélie Dupont from France and Diana Vishneva from Russia, allow a rare and privileged glimpse as they embrace the challenge of having one week to learn and …
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Répétition(s)

Rest/Go
A meditation on the futility of finding rest, both in a physical place and within oneself …
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Rest/Go

REVEL IN YOUR BODY
A short film experience of the joy of flight featuring disabled dancers Alice Sheppard and Laurel Lawson …
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REVEL IN YOUR BODY

Romeo & Juliet
US Premiere Starring Royal Ballet Principal Dancers William Bracewell and Francesca Hayward as the young star-crossed lovers. Ms. Hayward is notable for being one of the few black ballerinas to …
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Romeo and Juliet

Searching for Wonder
Searching for Wonder was inspired by conversations with fellow artists who have diverse relationships to the African Diaspora. These discussions highlighted how we all feel lost in different ways, because …
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Searching for Wonder

Shape Shifter
Inspired by the wisdom gained from eagles, Shapeshifter embraces the interconnectedness of all living things; the two legged, the four legged, the winged, the finned, and the rooted. Stemming from …
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Shapeshifter

SISTERS
Three sisters grow up in a broken home. They are at each other’s mercy and survive as long as they are together. But is their loving connection strong enough to …
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SISTERS

Sound and Sole
Arthur Grimes was born and raised in the Appalachian mountains. He is the only professionally working, African-American buck dancer in Boone, North Carolina. In this short documentary, Arthur recounts his …
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Sound and Sole

Spree
What happens when power is placed in the wrong hands? Three foolish young boys play at being business men in nightmarish worlds of power games, paperwork and hedonistic pleasures. Inevitably …
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Spree

Stages
An animated Screendance that abstracts negative emotions that society has taught us to hide …
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Stages

Supermarket Fever
In this hilarious animated short, a guy loses control in the middle of a supermarket …
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Supermarket Fever

Surprise Yourself
Surprise Yourself is story about a young man challenging his father for the first time. We see Kyle Allen realize that his father will always be a part of him …
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Surprise Yourself

Sweater
Corey’s day couldn’t be worse. Then he gets a free coffee …
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Sweater

T.I.A. (THIS is Africa)
Created, filmed, and recorded in 48 hours in Brazzaville (Congo), T.I.A. (THIS is Africa) features choreographer and dancer Aïpeur Foundou, who blends contemporary dances with traditional Congolese movements. Features an …
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T.I.A. (THIS is Africa)

Tanguito Argentino
The streets of “el caminito” in Buenos Aires become the mystic scenery where some fellows will perform one of piazzolla’s master pieces Fuga y Misterio and will bring to life …
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Tanguito Argentino

Tap, Tap, Tap
After losing his hearing, a boy discovers a pair of magic tap shoes hanging from a telephone wire …
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Tap, Tap, Tap

Tchaikovsky Pro et Contra
Tchaikovsky, PRO et CONTRA is Boris Eifman’s fifth screen ballet in recent years. The ballet itself is the result of Boris Eifman’s years-long contemplation of the great composer’s personality and …
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TCHAIKOVSKY PRO et CONTRA

The Act of Breathing
The concept of the film is based on the physical and emotional behaviour of breathing. This vital living function is manifested in an artificial and yet organic material, plastic, as …
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The Act of Breathing

The Circle
The Circle is a bold and lyrical portrayal of two brothers, David and Sanchez, living on a Hackney council estate, in East London. The film gives a compelling insight into …
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The Circle

The Dérive
An Iranian dance film where the performer dances her way through the crowds of narrow bazaar alleys in an elaborate choreography on both the performing and camera-operating side. Shot guerrilla …
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The Dérive

The Dreamer
Gabriel Mata came to the US as a child with his Mother. He shares with us his story of learning that he was undocumented and the fears that surrounded his …
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The Dreamer

The King of Twirl
The King of Twirl is a ‘dance-documentary’ about the eleven year old Janero. Janero can not sit still, he’s alway dancing. He wants to prove himself and be the best …
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The King of Twirl

The Lake
This immersive and hypnotic video is a collaboration between dancer Zeljko Bozic and musician Marko Brdnik. Marko’s music and Zeljko’s dancing and kaleidoscopic editing resulted in this moving mandala …
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The Lake

The Letter Q
Young ballerinas find clever ways to make the letter Q with their costumes and positions …
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The Letter Q

The Shadow Drone Project
The Shadow Drone Project began as a collaboration between choreographer Charles Linehan and Lithuanian aerial photographer Karolis Janulis, filming planned and unplanned events in civic and natural environments from an …
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The Shadow Drone Project

There Once Was a Woman
THERE ONCE WAS A WOMAN is an original musical drama about a downcast woman in pre-industrial America. Featuring an all-female cast and shot over 12 hours in Los Angeles, this …
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There Once Was A Woman

This is The Walk
On the journey to self autonomy we must shed layers of attachment …
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This is The Walk

Thought of You, SFDFF 2019 Children's program
Mesmerizing animated short born out of animator Ryan Woodward‘s fascination with the motion of the human body in dance and his nostalgic soft spot for the 2D animation styles of …
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Thought of You

Tremble
An abstract dining room is the setting for Scottish Ballet’s largest film yet. Tremble stars 26 Scottish Ballet dancers and has been co-choreographed and directed by Jessica Wright and Morgann …
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Tremble

Underground
An introspection of freedom, culture and identity through the minds of raw battle B-boys in the Bay Area …
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Underground

Wait For Me
This original musical follows a series of couples who’ve been separated due to war. Written, directed, choreographed, produced, edited, and composed by celebrity choreographer Galen Hooks …
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Wait For Me

Water
Through his shapeless body in motion, Marco Da Silva Ferreira choreographs Chtcheglov’s enigmatic doubts. Two cities that wake up, revealing that nature is this incessant movement of a moon that …
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Water

What Camer Before, SFDFF 2019
What Came Before is a poignant encounter where the respective blood memory of African Americans and Native Americans is channeled into the souls of one another. This rendezvous illuminates their …
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What Came Before

what if
What if humans and animals, suffer or resist …
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what if

Wombsong
Wombsong is a virtual dance experience. It’s a study of the nature of expecting life to be born and the pregnant body’s relationship to the harmony inside. It plays with …
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Wombsong

You Don't Own Me
“Ballet dancers are fiercely both owned and on display as a profession. Looking into the camera we reclaim our dancing, our intention, and our breath itself.” …
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You Don’t Own Me

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