South Sound Experimental Film Festival 2023 [Hybrid]
festival schedule below
$17 General Admission
$13 NWFF Member
(short film programs only)
$17 General Admission
$13 NWFF Member
(sold through our Eventive platform, passes grant access to both virtual and in-person screenings)
$30 General Admission
$25 NWFF Member
The South Sound Experimental Film Festival is a celebration of experimental filmmaking from local artists in the Pacific Northwest. Our intention is to harbor a community for the exploration and development of the creative potentialities of the growing medium. Our mission is to platform independent work which may otherwise get pushed to the fringe due to identity, insufficient resources, or qualifications of practice or technique.
The inaugural festival of 2021, in partnership with Northwest Film Forum, was a complete success. We are beyond grateful for the incredible support we have received from NWFF, and thanks to their continual sponsorship, we are looking forward to another year of screening the best experimental independent cinema we can find in the PNW.
In collaboration with NWFF, we are further able to contribute to a vast international network of experimentation, new filmic vocabulary and contemporary hybridity—within the usage, development, and screening of film.
We invite you to join us on November 25 & 26 at Northwest Film Forum!
Thank you for your support.
Saturday, Nov. 25
4–6pm | Deep Listening: The Story of Pauline Oliveros (in-person tickets 🎟️)
6–6:30pm | intermission
6:30–7:30pm | Q&A with Deep Listening director Daniel Weintraub, Brenda Hutchinson, and Anastasia Clarke, moderated by Mara Barenbaum
7:30–9pm | Short Film Program A (virtual + in-person tickets 🎟️)
Sunday, Nov. 26
Nov. 25 at 4pm | Deep Listening: The Story of Pauline Oliveros [In-Person Only]
Nov. 25 at 7:30pm | Shorts Program A [Virtual + In-Person]
(Ruth Hayes, Olympia, WA, 2:17)
The bells, or koudounia, that goats and sheep in Crete traditionally wore served as amulets to ward off evil spirits. Still in use, they also help shepherds know where their flocks are and what they are doing. Animated to a track composed of koudounia samples, this film’s abstract imagery originated in cameraless techniques that include stencil and bleach on 16mm color stock, and cyanotype.
(Abigail Hendrix, 14:59)
Nimueh is a hybrid 16mm and digital experimental film that explores the mythologizing of the body after violence and death.
(Hogan Seidel, Seattle, WA, 3:13)
Konstantin is an experimental film shot on high-contrast black and white 16mm film using a single 100ft reel. The film is an in-camera edit with triple exposures, creating a layered and complex visual language. Through this aesthetic, the piece explores themes of queer love and queer ecology. It invites the viewer to enter a unique and poetic world, where the boundaries between the human and natural realms blur and merge. Pushing against human exceptionalism and into a world where there is no ‘natural’ or ‘unnatural.’
Can a walk in the forest, a kiss between lovers, a roll of film, the touch of lichen, liberate ourselves from these hierarchies?
(Heather Hindes, Portland, OR, 7:52)
Isolated in the desert, something is created out of nothing. Signal was made in research between the creative habit and the elemental symbol of fire and its many images. We burn away our bonds from old forms and ideals and stagnancy due to a global pandemic. This film is a spell cast to help us all break our self limiting bonds and remember to lean on each other, and continue to inspire each other to keep walking forward. To keep burning.
(Ruby Lee, Seattle, WA, 2:59)
You are your own worst critic.
When she wakes up trapped in a nightmare, she must find a way out by facing her biggest fear: herself.
(Awa Moon, Seattle, WA, 3:37)
A love letter magnifying the intersection of transgender identity, nature and motorcycles.
(Sonam Tshedzom Tingkhye, Seattle, WA, 11:05)
A Tibetan refugee shares his story growing up as part of the first wave of Tibetans to settle in India as his daughter responds and connects through narrative movement. She dances with gesture, expansion, and carves through her childhood home while recognizing the adaptive nature of the Tibetan identity across generations. As the story progresses, the camera expands on movement with match cut editing, shifting perspective, and magnifying expression. Metaphors reveal themselves and the father recalls returning to his homeland after 50 years.
Dance, camera, and story merge as Home creatively unveils the Tibetan resilience by uniting both immigrant and first-generation voices.
1000 Waters (Oceans & Friends)
(Julie Perini, Portland, OR, 4:14)
When I feel disconnected from myself, loved ones, or the Earth, I find it helpful to remember that water is relentless in its efforts to connect. Water is in constant motion, changing and transforming, linking everything to everything else on this planet and beyond.
1000 Waters (Oceans & Friends) is part of the 1000 Waters series; video meditations on the element of water. All of the shots in 1000 Waters are culled from my archive of daily video shooting with a consumer camera, a Flip camera or iPhone. Since April 1, 2011, I have been shooting a single-take, 60-second video each day, called a Minute Movie. I recently organized the Minute Movies into a massive database of over 5000 shots. About 20% of the shots in the archive contain water in the form of streams, lakes, the ocean, fountains, waterfalls, bath tubs, sinks, rain, hot springs, and more.
(Jalen Thompson, Eugene, OR, 12:51)
66 Motel explores the misconnections, the unspoken thoughts, and the delusions we experience in our digitally connected world.
Cameras are clocks for seeing
(Chelsea Werner-Jatzke, Seattle, WA, 3:30)
Drawing on Roland Barthes, Cameras are clocks for seeing incorporates text fragments from Barthes as stanzas interspersed into personal meditations on landscape photographs taken by my beloved as a teenager. As a curator of Good Symptom (3rd Thing Press, 2023), a serial publication of time-based literature, I have been spending a lot of time with Barthes’s Camera Lucida, the source material for the title of the publication. During this time, I discovered these photographs in my husband’s childhood dresser and was inspired to meditate on how Seattle (the city where we met) and the time that we have spent there (together and apart) has shaped how we experience place, identity, and our relationship.
(Celestine Ocean, Seattle, WA, 12:00)
Star and Cleo – two siblings from a small town – have to choose between personal gain or honest sacrifice when they stumble upon a life-changing reward.
(Rana San, Seattle, WA, 2:34)
Hammered into 16mm found footage of a police propaganda film, subtext emerges letter for letter from the redundancy of repeated text—a reclamation of bodily autonomy from those who pose as protectors.
(Meriden Vitale, Quilcene, WA, 7:30)
In the depths of far away places, what do we discover that stirs the smile, entices the light, that lures the fish? What else could but mingle beastly desires with such innocence? Spetunia is ready to find out.
Nov. 26 at 7pm | Shorts Program B [Virtual + In-Person]
Annie Schultz - "Waiting"
(Nick Roetemeyer, Olympia, WA, 4:15)
Official Music Video for “Waiting” by Annie Schultz from Trailing Twelve Records.
(Wesley Adam Klingele, Kent, WA, 2:30)
The human memory and the invention of the camera converge in an impossible new change.
(Jay Anthony Baker, Corvallis, OR, 3:50)
An experimental film about senses of place and journeys of emotional locatedness.
Made with help from Val Chang, and dance from Shane Scopatz & Ayelet Nadav.
little blue clown
(blue jaye corvidae, Portland, OR, 2:30)
An experimental, traumacore short film written and directed by blue jaye corvidae, shot by buq corvidae-schulte.
Video opens on the [Projected Soul Impression] of the [Audience]’s anticipation and expectation of the [Performer]. The [Performer] enters the stage dressed as a [Ghost of Themself], projected upon with the [Audience]’s memory of prior performance, the [Performer] as [Ghost of Themself] begins to perform. Struggling to maintain the pressure of performance and expectation, the [Performer As Ghost of Themself] is distorted by panic, pulled into [Panic Attack], unable to maintain [Self], they excavate, dissociate, disappear into a small terrified inner place, seeing you, seeing them.
Spit It Out
(Melina Kiyomi Coumas, Portland, OR, 3:30)
An experimental short exploring the filmmaker’s lifelong struggle with a speech impediment. Shot on super 8mm film.
Polly, Paulina, Pauline
(Misty Shipman, Newport, WA, 10:44)
When ballet dancer Polly wakes up in a fugue state, she is haunted by hallucinations and visions of her best friend, whose tragic death haunts her.
(Eric Michael Acosta, Seattle, WA, 16:06)
The negotiation on moving through.
(Mary Evans, Eugene, OR, 5:05)
The title Peisinoe is the name of a Greek siren. I imagine Caroline’s character luring in her victims with mystery and innocent wonder. Not to drown them in the ocean, but to trap them in an in-between state of consciousness.
(Zoë Gamell Brown, Eugene, OR, 5:20)
Creolese Curry is an homage to diasporic connectivity through poor images and hyperreal extensions of geographies from the Caribbean to the States. The intention behind this video was to hear more about my mother’s childhood in Guyana and her experience growing up on the farm. The story turned into how my mother uses food to physically and mentally heal herself while recognizing her tense relationship with food.
In 2020, my mom had two strokes, requiring her to wear light-sensitive glasses and be even more cautious about her health. My mother and I have dreamt of creating a Guyanese American cookbook for years, and this recent scare reminded us that life doesn’t wait for opportunities as sweet as these to occur. The video occasionally glitches and sits out of sync, reflecting our imperfect but functioning relationships centered around food, medicine, and stories.
As a queer Boviander Guyanese American practicing placemaking from the Caribbean to the Gulf and now the Northwest, I grapple with how my mother and I can often connect through paralleling laughter and disconnect through distance over ideas of life. Invoking Legacy Rusell’s Glitch Feminism, my video also celebrates Hito Stereyl’s poor image, Sky Hopinka’s vignettes of home, and Duval Timothy’s integrative form of sharing diasporic knowing.
(Sean Waple, Seattle, WA, 6:04)
Germination is a formal and temporal reinterpretation of vegetative life cycles.
Score written and performed by Victoria Jordanova.
(Sepia Katsoolis, Seattle, WA, 5:00)
Disfigured Flames is an analog 16mm experimental short film about a cyborg rebirth. The transsexual body is branded inhuman for its transformation, for transcending sex, it becomes an object; can it become more than human? How have we created a separation of transgender and cisgender bodies along the false lines of “genetics” and “biology?” A white pigeon is sacrificed for the transformation. A transmasc couple rises from a claw-foot bathtub filled with homemade soy milk; the film itself is eco-processed in homemade soy milk, creating a dreamy, sparkling texture on the film. The characteristic white liquid is reminiscent of artificial beings and cyborgs in dystopian Sci-Fi: bridging the gap between natural and constructed or human and artificial. Using direct filmmaking, I scratch-wave rows of lines and shapes into the emulsion of the film itself using a drypoint needle, drawing and painting directly on the film with India Ink. The flame or root-like white shapes are the surviving headlines and newspaper clippings from around the PNW about Robert Gaffney (1872-1916), a Transmasc who lived as a man openly for 20 years in Seattle, screen printed directly onto clear film leader.
(Hali Autumn, Portland, OR, 30:00)
Began fierce and tender. Waves coming toward each other in flesh and in water. Interruptions of rock formations. Intertwining spirals formed by the body crawling across the sand…
Featuring Vanessa Skantze; presented with a live score by To End It All