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DEATH AND MAGIC CASTLE
On a beautiful, sunny day five year old Zizou fell to the ground and died when his heart suddenly stopped. In that moment
of losing my son I was thrown into the cold reality of America's complicated relationship with death. Through animation, "Death
and Magic Castles" explores traditions of mourning and loss in different cultures and follows my quest to bring death
and life closer together.
As the world collectively grieves this past year and a half, this short animated documentary gives hope for healing and
tackles how to externalize grief in a culture where mourning is taboo and the goal is to live forever.
A poetic and transformative journey of a young man's physical, mental, and spiritual struggle to return to his son through
the criminal justice system and the layers of colonization it represents. Created by animating spray-painted murals frame-by-frame,
Cree artist Jesse Gouchey painted each frame on large outdoor surfaces over a period of seven years in numerous locations
across Alberta and BC.
Johnny Crow's struggle speaks to the resilience of modern day warriors surviving and resisting bureaucratic battles of
written laws vs oral traditions, and is contrasted by a haunting poem written and performed by spoken word artist Mitcholos
SOME WAY OUT
ZOE C. CROFT-Writer/Director/Producer
Some Way Out is Zoe's first film. Frustrated by the lack of opportunities for disabled actors and writers in the industry
she decided to create her own opportunity. She combines her love of art, music and writing and has single handedly created
Some Way Out during the 2020 lockdown.
VODNIK MANY YEARS AFTER THE RAINSTORM
EMMA PENAZ EISNER-Director
A singular fish-man creature, in Czech folklore the Vodník sometimes appears as a horror, other times almost comically,
but always he enlivened my imagination as I grew up a Czech-American. Capturing a lovely young woman, he imprisons her in
his watery abode. From there, his story unfolds to its brutal finale of terror and infanticide. Unloved and alone, repulsive
to all humans, compelled to odious crimes, the Vodník nonetheless inspires a paradoxical sympathy: he has a heart, this green,
sometimes ludicrous fish-man perched on a poplar above a lake while singing, stitching his little red boots, and dreaming
of his wedding day.
The original folktale is the springboard for my film "Vodník Many Years After the Rainstorm," which imagines
the interior world of the Vodník over his full lifetime, as an entity that exists in and of itself, suspended across time.