Shorts Program 1: Growing at the 28th annual Onion City Experimental Film and Video Festival will include works by Josh Weissbach, Katya Yakubov, Tommy Heffron, Zachary Epcar, Marianna Milhorat, Grace Mitchell, and Jesse McLean.
Who are you? Where are we going? These films challenge the viewer to consider the history of film as it moves into the future.
FOR ALL AUDIENCES (Josh Weissbach, 2018, 3 min, US)
A trailer of an experiment searching for meaning in a moldy montage. The detritus of the movie industry bathed in organic material. Emulsion and its cracks, its crumbles, and its fades. It is ready for all the audiences.
THE LANDING (Katya Yakubov, 2017, 4 min, US)
As image-makers, we often photograph without purpose, out of compulsion, curiosity, or the sheer pleasure of seeing reality through a different prism. These personal archives of images begin to pile up and spill out of hard drives. The Landing was a way to ask these fragments, separated by time and intention, to dance with one another—a cannon ball’s messy trajectory from sky to earth, collapsing its subjects into a fortuitous whole, while holding each blinking frame as separate.
LIKE THIS/LIKE THAT (Tommy Heffron, 2017, 3 min, US)
“letnothingbechangedandallbedifferent” Robert Bresson via Public Access TV.
RETURN TO FORMS (Zachary Epcar, 2016, 10 min, US)
A constellation of objects, each emerging into the soft peach-light void of an indeterminate condominium space.
SKY ROOM (Marianna Milhorat, 2017, 6 min, US)
Someone is missing. Plants grow, but at what cost? Technology threatens and seduces as humans attempt to solve a mystery through telepathy and mirrors. Stainless steel and broken glass strewn about an intergalactic discotheque. Commissioned by the Chicago Film Archives and made in collaboration with sound artist Brian Kirkbride, with footage and sound from the archive chopped, manipulated and arpeggiated into a fertile mix of anthem and narrative.
SUNSET SONG (Grace Mitchell, 2017, 5 min, US)
The sunset multiplies through the tourist’s lens, capturing a keepsake. Here’s the sun for you, and you, and you; there’s enough for all of us. Sunset Song swells between the dissociation of observation and a tender heart.
WHEREVER YOU GO, THERE WE ARE (Jesse McLean, 2017, 12 min, US)
In this experimental travelogue, efforts to sound human and look natural instead become artificial. The scenery is provided through photo-chromed vintage postcards, displaying not only scenic North American landscapes but also the rise of infrastructure and industry. Aspiring to look more realistic by adding color to a black and white image, the postcards are instead documents of the fantastic. The road trip is narrated by an automated correspondent (all dialogue is taken from spam emails), his entreaties becoming increasingly foreboding and obtuse, in a relentless effort to capture our attentions.
TRT: 44 minutes; All Digital Projection
Opening Night: Ouroboros
Shorts Program 2: Moving
Shorts Program 3: Touching
Shorts Program 4: Thinking
Incense, Sweaters & Ice
Shorts Program 5: Sensing
Shorts Program 6: Listening
Shorts Program 7: Looking
A Production of Chicago Filmmakers:
Onion City is one of the premiere international festivals exclusively devoted to experimental film and video.
Onion City was founded in the 1980s by the Experimental Film Coalition and run by them for many years. Chicago Filmmakers assumed responsibility for the festival in 2001, and expanded the size and opened it up to video work as well as film. It is generally 8-10 programs over four days and features roughly 60-70 works from around the world. Aside from the competition programs, there are occasional special presentations of new or old films of note or guest presentations. Screenings take place at Chicago Filmmakers and other venues around mid-June.
The mission of Onion City is to provide local and regional audiences with an opportunity to view a wide variety of contemporary experimental works, focused on artistic excellence but also with an eye towards representing differing styles, forms, and nationalities.
Chicago Filmmakers is a not-for-profit media arts organization that fosters the creation, appreciation, and understanding of film and video as media for artistic and personal expression, as well as media of important social and community impact. Chicago Filmmakers’ twofold mission is to serve independent film and digital video artists by supporting the creation and dissemination of new media arts works and to serve Chicago audiences by screening artistically innovative, socially relevant, and diverse films and videos.
Chicago Filmmakers nurtures the development of aspiring filmmakers of all ages by offering classes, workshops, and summer camps; empowers artists to create new work through production grants, equipment access, fiscal sponsorship, and other services and resources; and encourages the professional advancement of media artists through seminars, panel discussions, lectures, rough-cut and open screenings, as well as networking events and other opportunities for artistic exchange. Chicago Filmmakers develops diverse audiences through its year-round weekly film and video exhibition programs and its two annual film festivals, Reeling the Chicago LGBTQ International Film Festival and The Onion City Experimental Film and Video Festival.