Toad, Leaf, Grass, Rock (2020) by Federica Foglia

CROSSROADS 2021 — program 5
inside this shared life

Livestream (with live filmmaker intros!) Tuesday, September 21 at 7 pm PDT. Watch the livestream here.
Program online September 21–October 21
facebook event here

program community partner: SFAI Film





Lyrical essays on care, connection, intertwined and tangled emotion, interval and language, given resonance in the suspended era of social distance. Enclosed hearts in a shared space will synchronize beating at the telling of a story.

SCREENING: Notes, Imprints (On Love): Part II, Carmela (2020) by Alexandra Cuesta (livestream only); digital video, color, sound, 6 minutes. Not (a) part (2019) by Vicky Smith; 16mm screened as digital video, color, sound, 6 minutes. Who Wants to Fall in Love? (2019) by Emily Margaret Van Loan; Super-8mm screened as digital video, color, sound, 6 minutes. 心 (Heart Radical 61) (2020) by Erin Espelie; digital video, color, sound, 21 minutes. 10:28,30 (2019) by Paige Taul; digital video, color, sound, 5 minutes. Perfect Fifths (2021) by Courtney Stephens; digital video, color, sound, 8 minutes. Self Portrait with Bag (2020) by Dianna Barrie; 16mm screened as digital video, color, sound, 6 minutes. Toad, Leaf, Grass, Rock (2020) by Federica Foglia; digital video, b&w, sound, 4 minutes. pài-la̍k ē-poo (saturday afternoon) (2020) by Erica Sheu; digital video, color, sound, 2 minutes.

TRT: 64 minutes

Notes, Imprints (On Love): Part II, Carmela (2020) by Alexandra Cuesta

An afternoon exercise of piecing together minimal details for safekeeping: my grandmother’s garden, her music, recipes for healing and wellbeing. Una tarde de sol como un ejercicio para conservar detalles íntimos: el jardín de mi abuela, sus manos, su música y sus recetas para la sanación. (Alexandra Cuesta)

Not (a) part (2019) by Vicky Smith

Not (a) part responds to both the rapid decline of flying insects and the high recurrence of works that employ either, or all, of  the methods of animation, handmade or contact  film, and with the subject and/or  material of  flying  insects. Using  the  photogram  method,  found  dead  bees  were  contact  printed by positioning their parts directly onto negative film: occupying approximately 24 frames they run at a rate of 1 bee per second. (Vicky Smith)

Who Wants to Fall in Love? (2019) by Emily Margaret Van Loan

An exercise in introspection, a request for patience, an exploration of space both internal and external. Have you ever felt connected to someone you’ve never met? (Emily Margaret Van Loan)

心 (Heart Radical 61) (2020) by Erin Espelie

Radicals organize the chaotic swarm of characters into a logical system. Traditional Chinese groups all characters according to 214 radicals (simplified uses 189), which are organized based on the number of strokes into a chart called the bushou. Each radical is itself a freestanding character/word, such as one, woman, child, cliff, field, tree, millet, halberd, leather and bird. (Heather Clydesdale, Asia Society)

10:28,30 (2019) by Paige Taul

10:28,30 examines the relationship between myself and my sister, and our relationship to our mother. I am interested in the dissonance of our lives apart and the tension in the desire to be together. (Paige Taul)

Perfect Fifths (2020) by Courtney Stephens

Perfect Fifths is a portrait of artist and piano tuner JJJJJerome Ellis, an afro-Caribbean musician and artist. A meditation on intervals in music, nature and language, the film links the mechanics of the piano with the mechanics of the camera and the materiality of celluloid film. The film oscillates between construction and destruction, while tuning brings the world into harmony—temporarily—against the expanse of time, which brings suffering and instability. (Courtney Stephens)

Self Portrait with Bag (2020) by Dianna Barrie

A camera-less portrait of the artist. Super 8 cartridges placed inside a black cotton bag, the film advanced via a hand crank. The tiny gaps in the fabric weave make for dozens (hundreds? thousands?) of tiny pinholes. (Dianna Barrie)

Toad, Leaf, Grass, Rock (2020) by Federica Foglia

A 16mm hybrid visual poem, at the crossroad between intertextuality and documentary. This film “plays” with images in an enigmatic way. Weaving, in the words of Eugenio Montale, a disappearing and deserted suburban landscape into the fabric of images, sounds and textures of two far away lovers yearning for each other. (Federica Foglia)

pài-la̍k ē-poo (saturday afternoon) (2020) by Erica Sheu

A half-moon on the blue sky. A quiet offering connects the unreachable world with the physical ground. An elegy for the filmmaker’s grandma. (Erica Sheu)

Alexandra Cuesta (US/Ecuador). Her films combine experimental film traditions with documentary practices and investigate the reciprocity of the gaze in time based representation. Her work has screened in festivals including the New York Film Festival, Cinema Du Réel, FIDMarseille, BFI London and others as well as Anthology Film Archives, Image Forum Tokyo, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, MOCA, Palacio de Bellas Artes and other venues. She received a Guggenheim Fellowship for Film and Video. In 2021 she was selected for Berlinale Talents and Doc Station. Currently, she is developing her second feature length film.

Vicky Smith’s (UK) work in experimental animation explores the vulnerable and vital body. Her work has screened internationally in galleries and festivals including, in 2021: A Picture of Health at Arnolfini Gallery, Bristol; Raw Vision in Splash, Scratch, Dunk! Films Made by Hand at London Barbican; and Bodies and Boundaries, Cinenova UK. She runs workshops in experimental film practice and has curated many film screenings, including recently Go, Go, Go! Women in Experimental Animation (2019). Publications include: Hand Drawn and Non-Natural Colour in Films by Barbara Hammer and Sandra Lahire in Animation Studies Online (2021); Experimental & Expanded Animation: Current Perspectives and Practices, co-edited with Nicky Hamlyn (2018), and in Animation Practice, Production & Process, Issue 7 (2019).

Emily Margaret Van Loan (US) is an experimental filmmaker and artist. They create diaristic, autobiographical works with the intention of fostering connections between audience and maker or perhaps within an audience.

Erin Espelie (US) is a filmmaker and writer based in the fire-prone foothills of the Rocky Mountains. She co-directs NEST (Nature, Environment, Science & Technology) Studio for the Arts at the University of Colorado Boulder and serves as editor in chief of Natural History magazine.

Paige Taul (US) is an Oakland CA native who received her BA in Studio Art with a concentration in cinematography from the University of Virginia and her MFA in Moving Image from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her interests lie in observing environmental and familial connections to concepts tied to race based expectations and to expose those boundaries of identity in veins such as religion, style, language and other black community based experiences. She currently resides in Chicago.

Courtney Stephens (US) is a filmmaker based in Los Angeles. Her non-fiction and experimental films address the contours of language, historical memory and women’s lives. Her work has been exhibited at the Berlinale, the Museum of Modern Art, the New York Film Festival, the National Gallery of Art, South by Southwest, The Garage Museum of Contemporary Art and the Hong Kong, Camden, Mumbai, Luxembourg, Dhaka and San Francisco International Film Festivals. She is the recipient of a Fulbright Scholarship, a California Humanities Grant, fellowships from MacDowell, Yaddo, Pocantico and the Sloan Foundation and was one of Filmmaker Magazine‘s twenty-five “New Faces of Independent Film.” A graduate of the American Film Institute, she co-founded the Los Angeles microcinema Veggie Cloud and has curated film programs for The Getty Museum, the Museum of the Moving Image, UnionDocs and Flaherty NYC.

Dianna Barrie (Australia; b. 1972, Melbourne) found her way into filmmaking as a middle ground between the pursuit of abstract music and philosophy, both of which she has studied formally at the postgraduate level. Ever pushing the limits of the hand processing of Super-8mm led to the establishment of Nanolab with Richard Tuohy in 2006. Dianna’s film work could perhaps be characterised as “direct chemical” filmmaking. In 2012, Dianna helped establish Artist Film Workshop, where celluloid is embraced and advocated by a community of practitioners in Melbourne. As a notable figure in the international artist-run film labs movement, she and her partner spend a significant amount of time each year touring their joint film programs and conducting workshops and masterclasses in hand-made film practice. Dianna was also a founding director of the Australian International Experimental Film Festival.

Federica Foglia (Canada) is a transnational visual artist and writer. She holds a BA in Multimedia Languages and Digital Computing for Humanities: History of Art, Theatre, and Cinema from the University of Naples L’Orientale; an MFA in Film from York University, Toronto and is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Cinema and Media Arts at York University. She is interested in issues of immigration, citizenship and identity, displacement, women of the diaspora, migrant temporalities, and finding a visual language to investigate these experiences. Her practice revolves around recycled cinema, amateur filmmaking and imaginary archives. She works within the domestic space to remediate found-footage films. She is currently working on a project that involves eco-friendly emulsion lifting techniques of 16mm orphan films from private estates and family archives.​

Erica Sheu (Taiwan). 徐璐 is an experimental filmmaker who works with celluloid. Her interests include everyday objects, abstract audiovisual emotion/expression, isolation/belonging and Taiwanese identity politics. Her work has been shown at festivals and venues such as Toronto International Film Festival, International Film Festival Rotterdam, CROSSROADS, EXiS, Microscope Gallery, The Film-Makers’ Cooperative and experimental film programs at the 2018 Taiwan Biennial, among other venues. Sheu currently lives in Los Angeles and studies in the Film/Video MFA program at the California Institute of the Arts.