Engauge 2023 – Grain, Cloud, Atmosphere [In-Person Only]

This event took place on Nov 3, 2023


  • $14 General Admission
  • $10 Student/Child/Senior
  • $7 NWFF/SIFF/GI/PCNW member

(two film programs + one special event; for either Friday or Saturday)

  • $40 General
  • $30 Student/Child/Senior
  • $20 NWFF/SIFF/GI/PCNW member

(includes Greta Snider and Harry Smith programs!)

  • $60 General
  • $50 Student/Child/Senior
  • $40 NWFF/SIFF/GI/PCNW member

On Film

(70 min TRT)

The materiality of film itself has always been a source of inspiration for experimental filmmakers. In this program, filmmakers work with handmade film, found footage and various decomposition techniques to celebrate the materiality of the medium. 2 films will be shown on 16mm film.

Header photo credit: Time Scraps: Film Threads and Sprocket Holes, dir. Krista Leigh Steinke

Visiting Artist

** Filmmakers in attendance! **

Click for Accessibility Info

Ticketing, concessions, cinemas, restrooms, and our public edit lab are located on Northwest Film Forum’s ground floor, which is wheelchair accessible. All doors in Northwest Film Forum are non-motorized, and may require staff assistance to open. Our upstairs workshop room is not wheelchair accessible.

We have a limited number of assistive listening devices available for programs hosted in our larger theater, Cinema 1. These devices are maintained by the Technical Director, and can be requested at the ticketing and concessions counter. Also available at the front desk is a Sensory Kit you can borrow, which includes a Communication Card, noise-reducing headphones, and fidget toys.

The Forum does NOT have assistive devices for the visually impaired, and is not (yet) a scent-free venue. Our commitment to increasing access for our audiences is ongoing, and we welcome all public input on the subject!

If you have additional specific questions about accessibility at our venue, please contact our Patron Services Manager at cris@nwfilmforum.org. Our phone number (206-329-2629) is voicemail-only, but we check it often.

Made possible due to a grant from Seattle Office of Arts & Culture, in partnership with Sensory Access, our Sensory Access document presents a visual and descriptive walk-through of the NWFF space. View it in advance of attending an in-person event at bit.ly/nwffsocialnarrativepdf, in order to prepare yourself for the experience.

⚠️ Covid-19 Policies ⚠️

NWFF patrons will be required to wear masks that cover both nose and mouth while in the building. Disposable masks are available at the door for those who need them. We are not currently checking vaccination cards. Recent variants of COVID-19 readily infect and spread between individuals regardless of vaccination status.

Read more about NWFF’s policies regarding cleaning, masks, and capacity limitations here.

FAQ: How do I watch in person?
  • Purchase your ticket through Brown Paper Tickets; come to the show!
  • You can also purchase a ticket on the day of the screening at Northwest Film Forum’s box office (1515 12th Ave, Seattle).
  • If you have purchased a Full Festival Pass or Full Day Pass, we’ll be able to look you up at Will Call by the name you purchased under.
FAQ: How do I watch online?
  • Film programs in the 2023 edition of Engauge will not be available for virtual viewing.

Films in this program:


(Penny McCann | b + w | sound | 2:57 | 16mm | 2023 | Canada)

A hand-processed black and white study of the Ottawa River in winter. Commissioned by the Lightproof Film Collective with sound design by Eric Walker.

Time Scraps: Film Threads and Sprocket Holes

(Krista Leigh Steinke | color | sound | 8:15 | 16mm to digital | 2023 | US)

An homage to the women who worked behind-the-scenes as film editors and colorists in the 20th century motion picture industry. Scraps from old footage – sprocket holes, light leaks, film leaders, scratches (parts of the film material not intended for viewing) – are hand painted, collaged, and stitched together in patchwork patterns as a way to honor and reclaim their skill and labor. Here, color bleeds outside of the lines, while other moments break from convention, become unruly, and seem to rebel. Visuals are contrasted against male narrators who dictate directions and explain how to correctly handle cinema technology.

The Hollow

(Jean-Jacques Martinod and Bretta C. Walker | b + w | sound | 14:37 | 16mm to digital | 2022 | US)

A reclusive glass artist lives in solitude within the dense, misty forests of Southern Appalachia and the infernal fires of a foundry. A cinematic study on mountain alchemy and its relationship to fire.


(Thomas Javier Castillo | color | sound | 5:05 | 16mm to digital | 2019 | US)

Experimental video piece about landscape, body, and ritual. Seeking the mythic and mystical in the landscapes of the midwest. Originated on 16mm film and distorted via analog video tools and Doepfer modules.

Waiting Room

(Alex MacKenzie | color | silent | 3:00 | 16mm to digital | 2022 | Canada)

A material-based film work that speaks to the various states of tension, calm, frustration, apprehension, injustice, inequity, and struggle felt in our respective waiting rooms. 16mm found footage is manipulated using optical printing, layering and reprocessing. The simultaneous banality and stress of waiting undergoes a physical transformation into an active and highly charged materiality informed by our personal projections and desires.

Pigment Dispersion Syndrome

(Jennifer Reeves | color | sound | 6:00 | 16mm to digital | 2022 | US)

The diagnosis of an eye disorder incited this meditation on fear and beauty. Glimpses of curious and creative souls peek out of countless hand-painted film frames. Infinite colors and textures burst, blend, and challenge the primacy of uniform vision.

Photosynthetic Patterns / Patrones Fotosintéticos

(Victor Navarro | b + w | sound | 2:43 | 16mm to digital | 2022 | Mexico)

A structuralist film created by laser printing on 16mm blank film, to experiment with the elementary effects of cinema. The images are symbols taken from Game of Life and then adapted to the sound area on film, so that the shadows they cast into the optical sensor of the projector can generate tones. The structure and the harmonic scale of the piece is affected by a mathematical sequence found in plant growth. In an act of re-materialization of cinema, an analogy of life is created, beyond dramatic representations and human scale.

grain cloud atmosphere

(Martin Moolhuijsen | color | sound | 6:38 | 35mm to digital | 2023 | Germany)

Many grains make a cloud. Many clouds form an atmosphere. 120 meters of hand-painted 35mm film were digitized as single pictures and fed into a self-developed editing software that shuffles the individual images according to certain parameters such as painterly technique and color. The film is the result of one hour of improvisation with that software. “grain cloud atmosphere” explores the perception of time through the eye and through the ear.

Earth Water Motor II

(Marcus Maicher & Cosma Grosser | b + w | sound | 3:22 | 16mm to digital | 2023 | Austria)

Cutting through landscapes with the machine. Destroying the postcard images of places we know. Part two of the Earth Water Motor series is filmed on soundstock with a 16mm Bolex, hand developed and edited in-camera. The film music is composed with an analogue synthesizer.

Skyscraper Film

(Federica Foglia | color | sound | 7:56 | 16mm to digital | 2023 | Canada)

Can I use the film strip structure as an architectural element? Is it possible to use the celluloid from the film as a cement? Can these skyscrapers be turned into something else? Can solid lines blend into sensual, natural curves? Can I melt skyscrapers? “Skyscraper Film “was created to try to give a visual answer to these questions, arising from the artist’s relation to urban maps of various locations and their respective skylines, populated by imposing skyscrapers and reinforced concrete panoramas: Quebec, Kingston (Canada), Maryland, Pittsburgh, Baltimore (USA) etc. Cities are presented to us as an abstract handmade camera-less collage, created from scraps of orphan 16mm films from the 1980s. Originally produced to promote tourism in North America, these films are reassigned to a new context through the Emulsion Lifting/Emulsion Grafting technique that the director has been pursuing for years. In addition to tourism films and informational films, Skyscraper Film also uses rare family films and home-movies dating back to 1929 and 1954 in 16mm format.


(Robbie Land | b + w | sound | 9:26 | 16mm | 2023 | US)

Precipitation provides a personal perspective of foul weather utilizing conventional and unconventional cinematic techniques to convey this natural poetic process of snow and rain events. Footage shot in various locations in North America using outdated 8mm & 16mm film, direct application technique of collected rain and hand processed.

The 6th Engauge Experimental Film Festival celebrates sprocket-driven, artist-made experimental film, presenting seven programs of shorts and one feature over the course of four nights at NWFF’s cinema in Capitol Hill. All work features in the festival originated on film stock.

The festival features a solo show by San Francisco-based filmmaker Greta Snider, and Lori Goldston and friends’ live score for a 16mm print of Anacortes-born, Beat Generation filmmaker Harry Smith’s feature Heaven and Earth Magic.

⚠️ Please note: NWFF patrons will be required to wear masks that cover both nose and mouth while in the building. We are not currently checking vaccination cards.

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Northwest Film Forum
1515 12th Ave,

Seattle, WA 98122

206 329 2629

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