Cadence 2021 – Cinema Divina: Contemplative, Creative, Communal Practice [Online]

Join us on Zoom on
Apr. 21 from 5–7pm PT

Connect with your deeper wisdom, tenderness, and joy of community through the illuminating practice of Cinema Divina, guided by contemplative, queer media artist Marilyn Freeman.

This live Zoom event during Cadence 2021 is pay-what-you-can, priced on a sliding scale, $10–100*. Suggested min. contribution $30.


  • Reserve your sliding-scale ticket through Brown Paper Tickets.
  • 1 hour before the program, NWFF will send a Zoom link and password to your registered e-mail address! (Don’t see it? Check your spam filter.)
  • If you encounter any issues tuning in, please contact for a quick follow-up. (But please, check your spam first!)

Full festival passes to Cadence 2021 are available for $50, with $35 passes for NWFF members, but they do not include this program!

* No one turned away for lack of funds; email about free community tickets.

Enter the Cadence 2021 virtual cinema to see more film programs.

About the event:


As we reopen our lives in the midst of uncertainty, injustice, loss, and longing, you are invited to open your heart through Cinema Divina—a contemplative, creative, communal practice. In this live virtual event, Cinema Divina creator Marilyn Freeman will guide participants through a meditative screening ritual with a film Marilyn created through and for contemplative practice.

Marilyn re-imagines the ancient Judeo-Christian ritual of sacred reading, or lectio divina, in today’s audiovisual vernacular as Cinema Divina—a contemplative screening ritual to deepen your inner knowing, and to increase your capacity for healing yourself and our world. In this event, as Marilyn guides you through a ritual of four increasingly revealing viewings, you will be invited into reverent silences, reflective writing, sharing and spacious listening.

Marilyn’s short poetic film, How Long Will You Sleep—about consciousness, love and the air of eternity—will serve as a vector for mindful attention, transporting participants into deeper awareness of and curiosity about your own thoughts, emotions, intuition, and insights. The film at the center of the practice is continually re-finished by each person who watches and engages with it contemplatively. Participants—individually and collectively—co-create the meaning of the piece with their own awareness, imaginations, and associations. Those who engage in this practice nurture their own source for insight into vulnerability, resiliency, gratitude, stillness, love, wonder, courage…

Through this contemplative creative work, Marilyn offers the everyday and the ordinary as realms of profound possibility and essential wisdom. Wherever you are in this time of uncertainty, bring your heart’s desire and know you will find yourself among kindred spirits. As a practice, Cinema Divina is a way of cultivating the conditions to be wholly awake and connected if only for a fleeting, wondrous moment.

Marilyn Freeman (they/them)

Marilyn Freeman (they/them)

Media Artist | Writer | Queer | Contemplative

Marilyn Freeman (they/them) is an interdisciplinary artist and spiritual director working at the intersections of reckoning and resiliency, queerness and film, and contemplative, creative and social practices. They are author of The Illuminated Space: A Personal Theory and Contemplative Practice of Media Art (The 3rd Thing, 2020); and creator of Cinema Divina–short evocative films made for contemplative social practice. Their films have been featured on PBS and in galleries, theaters, festivals and spirituality centers worldwide including The Powerhouse Arena in New York City, the British Film Institute, Seattle International Film Festival, Montréal’s Festival of International Cinema, Cologne’s Feminale, Sydney’s Queer Screen, the Paris Lesbian Film Festival, L.A.’s Outfest, San Francisco’s Frameline, the Bologna Lesbian & Gay Film Festival, Barcelona’s Int’l Lesbian and Gay Film Festival, Ladyfests from Olympia to London, Seattle’s Northwest Film Forum and Beijing Contemporary Art Center in China. Freeman’s text and media arts essays have been published in/at The Fourth Genre, Blackbird, Ninth Letter, TriQuarterly, Rolling Stone and Abbey of the Arts. Freeman is co-founder of the media arts studio, Wovie; screenwriter/producer of Sophisticated, about golden era film director Dorothy Arzner; and recipient of The Evergreen State College Faculty Foundation Grant, The Arch & Bruce Brown Foundation Grant, Artist Trust Grants for Artist Projects and multiple Washington State Artist Trust Media Arts Fellowships. Freeman’s work most recently showed in London’s MicroActs Artist Film Screenings, in Los Angeles at the 2020 Film and Video Poetry Symposium and at the 2021 International Video Poetry Festival in Athens, Greece.

On social media:

Instagram: @cinemadivina
Facebook: @marilynjfreeman
Twitter: @marilynfreeman
Linkedin: @marilynfreeman
IMDb: @marilynfreeman

Back to Festival Catalog:

Cadence: Video Poetry Festival 2021 Index

Cadence: Video Poetry Festival is an annual series of screenings, workshops, and discussions on the genre of video poetry, held during National Poetry Month. The festival approaches video poetry as a literary genre that is presented as visual media, cultivating new meaning from the combination of text and moving image.

In its fourth year, the 2021 festival features 80 artists from throughout the world. Cadence is the Pacific Northwest’s only festival dedicated to the form of video poetry.

Feature film:

Short film programs:

Live collaborations:

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Northwest Film Forum
1515 12th Ave,

Seattle, WA 98122

206 329 2629

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