A piece of 35mm hand- painted and dyed film from Mark Street's films "Brooklyn Promenade" and "After Synchromy," screening Saturday, April 4th

A piece of 35mm hand- painted and dyed film from Mark Street’s films “Brooklyn Promenade” and “After Synchromy,” screening Saturday, April 4th

The third annual Gowanathon III, an arts “marathon” including workshops, performances, and films, kicked off this past weekend, and this year, the organizers have added an additional weekend of experimental film for the first Gowanus Experimental Film Fest.

The first night of screenings, happening this Friday, is curated by Mono No Aware, a Brooklyn-based non-profit cinema arts association focused on promoting analogue film practices through education and screenings, which is curating the first night of shorts. We spoke with Steve Cossman, the founder and director of the organization to get a feel for what visitors can expect to see at the new film fest, which includes over 50 short films in all.

Expect to see everything form seriously psychedelic images created through alternative processing techniques, filmmakers stretching the limits of what you thought silver gelatin could achieve, hand-drawn animation, and even a film organizers say compares to Begotten in the frightening, supernatural, and just plain spooky world it inhabits (Cassandra Sechler’s Wireboy, screening on April 4).

film still from  Cassandra Sechler's "Wireboy" (Photo: Gowanus Experimental Film Fest Facebook)

film still from Cassandra Sechler’s “Wireboy” (Photo: Gowanus Experimental Film Fest Facebook)

At $10 per night, screenings are pretty accessible, and profits from the ticket sales are going to renovate the Gowanus Arts Building (the former soap factory turned artist studio space and community performance venue needs a new staircase).

Cossman explained that the screening program was drawn from one he’d curated to tour on the West Coast. “It’s a showcase of work made by instructors, former workshop participants, friends and family of the organization,” he said. “All the films are made by people who are involved with our organization in our capacity– Joel Schlemowitz has been a presenting artist at our festival multiple times, Richie Abraham has taken our workshops, and Laura Bartczak is a former workshop participant and now she’s an instructor with our organization.”

If this all sounds sort of stuffy, it’s not. “There will be refreshments for sure,” Cossman promised. Key, thank you sir. “Our mission statement is connectivity through cinema so we’re all about making new friends. It will be fun for sure.” And as an educational institution, the organization offers workshops open to the public, opportunities for people interested in the medium to become familiar with analog film processes.


“My hope is always to introduce this work to new people and not just have this be a gathering to show our films to each other,” Cossman said. “I’m hoping that by working with Spoke the Hub and Gowanathon that we’re able to mingle with their community.” The organizers have set aside time after the screenings for Q+A with the filmmakers and the opportunity for people to speak one-on-one with the artists afterwards as well.

See the full roundup of participating filmmakers for Friday night below and check out the full schedule for all three nights here. 

In Springtime, 2012 (16mm, 3 min, silent) Joel Schlemowitz
The Glowing Woman, 2007 (16mm, 5 min, sound) Joel Schlemowitz
 Camera Roll (for Taylor), 2008 (16mm, 3 min) Joel Schlemowitz
Ozu World 1.1 Jeff Costello, 2014 (16mm, 0:41, Silent) Richie Abraham
kym, 2014 (Super 8mm to HDV, 5 min, silent) Laura BartczakSurface Copernicus, 2014 (Super 8mm to HDV, 5 min, digital sound) Kyle Corea

POW!, 2014 (Super 8mm to HDV, 3 min, silent) Rachael Guma

Luciferia, Locks of Horror Julie Orlick, 2014 (Super 8mm to HDV, 2 min, silent) Twiggs Gorie

Old Growth, 2014 (16mm, 8 min, sound) Ryan Marino

Magia Negra/Corazón, 2012 (16mm dual projection, 3 min, sound) Uzi Sabah

Sneyd Green, 2015 (16mm dual projection, 11 min, digital sound) Simon Liu

(INTERMISSION – 20 minutes)

Untitled, 2014 (16mm, 9 min, unsynchronized sound) Zach Hart

Garland, 2013 (16mm, 2 minutes, optical sound) Christopher Gorski

LIVING FOSSIL, 2014 (16mm to HDV, 2 min, sound) Sean Hanley

WORKING FROM HOME, 2013 (16mm, 3 min, optical sound) Sean Hanley

Mira, 2014 (16mm, 4 min, silent) Craig Scheihing

Scalp Massage, 2013/2015 (16mm, 5 min, silent) Kenny Curwood

femme siréne, 2015 (16mm, 1.5 min, digital sound) Julie Orlick

Chorus I, V, VIII, 2015 (16mm black and white film with dry photographic reagents, 18 minutes, silent) Josh Lewis

The Gowanus Experimental Film Festival will be held at 295 Douglass Street: 8pm Friday, April 3; 6:30pm Saturday, April 4; and 6:30pm Sunday, April 5.