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).
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.
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.