Director Biography – Haddon Kime (LAG: A ZOOMSICAL COMEDY)

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Haddon is both a performing songwriter and composer. He currently lives in Atlanta with his wife and daughter. He is making his directorial debut with “Lag: A Zoomsical Comedy.”

From the Mauretanien rhythms and instrumentation of the award-winning short film “Trail of Hope”, to the Celtic Rock Pop and Soul based songs of “The Snow Queen: A New Musical”, the latter of which won him praise from The New York Times as a “Fairy Tale that Rocks” when it premiered Off-Broadway in 2014, Haddon is driven to write music and lyrics that connect with listeners and help to tell a great story. These stories he hopes draw us all out of the far flung reaches of our loneliness into the greater connection that comes in wandering and wondering for a time together.

Director Statement

In March 2020 our lives began to lag. We lost our live audience. More than ever before, we Zoomed, encountering friends and colleagues from a safe social distance. “Lag: A Zoomsical Comedy” evokes a society exposed and unsure of what will happen next. Fussy babies, murder hornets, and “distant inner landscapes” collide to capture the resilience and humor of our moment. While poor internet connections, inferior mics and faulty webcams might be a reminder of our “new normal”, in “Lag,” Minka uplifts how, more than ever, we must unite around the healing power and inalienable right of our ability to breathe.

This project was commissioned by Artistic Director Ariel Fristoe at Out of Hand Theater Company in Atlanta, Georgia at the end of March 2020.

As the theatre company pivoted away from the rest of their planned season on stage and towards innovative new ways of expression, the challenge arose; how can we create new and relevant content while adhering to new social distancing restrictions.

“Because of COVID-19 and social distancing restrictions a lot of theatre companies are producing plays over Zoom, but very few are seizing the opportunity to rethink the setting of these shows, and Zoom ends up to both artist and audience as an undesirable alternative to staging it live” says writer/composer/director Haddon Kime. “We decided to create an original musical comedy that is entirely conceived and produced using this video conferencing software intentionally as its own dramatic setting. Zoom becomes much more effective as a storytelling tool when you approach it this way.”

This musical short film was written for and features four of the most talented and well loved performers in Atlanta theatre, Minka Wiltz, Rhyn Saver, Trevor Rayshay Perry, and Googie Uterhardt.

Early on the decision was made to treat the quirks of video conferencing (latencies, the vast quality difference in microphones, unreliable internet connections) as features instead of bugs. Thus, after the performances were captured very little post processing was done to either the video or the audio, in order to reflect the unstable environment these class members find themselves in.

“We were reminded many times throughout the process of creating this film that great opportunities arise from great challenges.” says Kime. “COVID-19, and social distancing is no exception. We hope you enjoy our zoomsical comedy!”

Director Biography – Dimegaz (ROCK COUNTRY)

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Janire Etxabe since an early age has been climbing “dressed in white” mountains, almost always her rope as a her companion. Her passions being rocks and rope, she spends most of her time climbing and dancind with her rope. Although for years she has received classes in flamenco and stylized dance, since 2017 she has been totally immersed in vertical dance, thus fusing her passions in different performances. She has a degree in Fine Arts, a Diploma in early childhood education and therapeutic Pedagogy. She can’t stop creating and always has some artistic project in her hands; looking for new “air lines” up there in the mountains

Director Biography – Xueyan Wang (GAKU)

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Xueyan Wang is a 2D and stop motion animator based in Brooklyn, NY. They work with analogue materials, primarily dry media (charcoal, pen, conte) and clay. They received their MFA degree in animation from Pratt Institute in 2020 with partial scholarship. Blending their fine art background in drawing into animated filmmaking, Xueyan creates music-driven impressionistic films with an emphasis on portraying personal emotions.

Director Statement

Artist Statement
I draw. I draw the changing landscape of my personal psyche. I am attached with my own self, obsessed of my emotions, feelings, experiences. I focus on watching my progress in life, where I came from, where I am, and where I am going. I am easily overwhelmed; making work is a good place to process my many sensations at my own pace. For me, making works is similar to art therapy, my drawings reach the subconscious symbolisms that embody my emotional experiences. The action of drawing accesses my formless feelings, fears and longings, through drawing I observe what I have been and what I am becoming.

I also make animated films inspired by my drawings. There’s something unique about rhythm, temporality, and music, the combination of which is capable of immediately accessing my deepest source of emotions buried unearthed. This is why my films are almost always inspired by and also scored to a piece of predetermined music. Animated filmmaking is a heuristic process for me, that leads me to unresolved personal experiences that is crying to be given a form. By being in close contact with my own self, I feel safe and content.

Director Biography – Andreas John (FORGET ME NOT)

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I am a contemplative artist, inviting the work in my hands to move through me. I co-create with landscape, environment, the elements, and all aspects of nature as a sculptor, photographer and film maker.

Director Statement

Forget Me Not was filmed solo, improvised, in one location over the course of 2 consecutive evenings. There was no script or prior planning. The film was a collaborative work involving myself, Hazel Turrone, Jan Sandman and the movement artists featured in the piece.

It is such a deep privilege to be able to express myself through film during this time of social isolation when so many other artists are struggling with not being able to share their work. I am grateful for this medium and its capacity to connect people with beauty, story, and each other in such a challenging time.

Director Biography – Thibault Chollet (THE DREAM OF B. SOARES)

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Born in 1987 in Dijon. He graduated a Master degree in Cinema in Lyon in 2011. He made his first animated short film during his studies. Since he works as assistant director on the animated tv series Stinky Dog. The dream of B. Soares is his third film and his second collaboration with GASP!
2019 THE DREAM OF B. SOARES (5 min, animation) 2016 THE WALEKR (5 min, animation)
2011 SEPTEMBRE (3 min, animation)

Director Biography – Jennifer Akalina Petuch, Annali Rose (LIMINALITY)

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Jennifer A. Petuch is currently Adjunct Faculty and Staff at Florida State University’s School of Dance. Originally from West Palm Beach, Florida, she trained for fourteen years at the Academy of Ballet Florida and performed in professional ballets with the Company of Ballet Florida in pieces such as Marie Hale’s “The Nutcracker”, “Romeo and Juliet”, and “Sleeping Beauty”. She graduated magna cum laudé from the University of South Florida achieving a Bachelor’s in Dance Studies. At USF, she danced in several notable pieces including Gretchen Warren’s, “Les Sylphides” and Doug Varone’s, “Sacre du Printemps”. Jennie participated in the USF Dance in Paris Program in the summer of 2010 working with well-known choreographers, Claudia Lavista and Michael Foley. After graduating, she taught at three dance studios in the Tampa Bay area as well as performing and choreographing with Shoes at the Door Dance Company.

Petuch graduated summa cum laudé from Florida State University’s School of Dance Program with her Master of Fine Arts in Choreography and Performance with a focus in Dance Technology in 2017. While attending FSU, she performed in multiple pieces such as Tim Glenn’s, “RIDE”, Joséphine Garibaldi’s, “Land of the Pick and Choose”, and a Tedx Talk in Spring of 2015. She also became certified by Balanced Body, Inc. as a Pilates Mat instructor in 2017. Her MFA thesis resulted in a two-year collaboration with the FSU Computer Science faculty and students creating an original interactive software for the stage called ViFlow. She creates screendances, projections, and uses new technology to enhance the performance experience. Her life-long mission as a performing artist and choreographer is to create work that resonates with the audience members. Her goal is for them to walk out of the theater thinking back on their experience feeling stimulated and inspired.

Director Biography – Michelle Brand (SYNCHRONICITY)

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Michelle Brand is a London based German-English, Animator- Filmmaker and Sound Designer, who enjoys cross-combining all kinds of things and media. She studied animation at the University for Creative Arts in Farnham, UK, and completed her Animation MA at the Royal College of Arts in 2019.
Throughout her work, she plays with many different visual structures, aesthetics, and approaches to sound design, enjoying the discovery of new ways to express complex ideas. Her films attempt to visualise philosophical concepts, with a special focus on time, movement and change. Above all, she simply enjoys converting thoughts into movement, colour and sound.

Director Biography – Jennifer Paterson, Lewis Gourlay, Abby Warrilow (FLOOR FALLS)

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Jennifer Paterson is Artistic Director of All or Nothing Aerial Dance Theatre, Scotland’s leading aerial dance company. Her first experience in dance for screen was as a performer in Katrina McPherson’s Moment. She has since forged a career as an aerial and dance performer, choreographer and director, helping to build the aerial scene in Scotland.

Lewis Gourlay and Abby Warrilow are Cagoule Productions.
Choreographer and dance-film maker, Abby Warrilow works internationally on the sets of feature films, commercials, stage and music videos. Her client list has an impressive read and includes the likes of Paramount Pictures, Universal, EMI, BBC and Scottish Opera.
Lewis Gourlay has a reputation both as respected and creative editor, and a talented video graphic artist, enabling him to work in each separate discipline or, as is increasingly required, in both simultaneously.
Cagoule’s previous dance film, Etch, has won several awards and is still being shown in festivals across the world.

Director Biography – Thomas Freundlich (COLD STORAGE)

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Thomas Freundlich is one of the leading practitioners in Finland’s vibrantly growing independent dance film scene. Mr. Freundlich’s work ranges from dance shorts, documentary work, performance videography and 3D projects to music videos and projection design for the stage. His work has been seen at dozens of film festivals worldwide as well as broadcast TV both in Finland and internationally. From 2012 to 2014, Mr. Freundlich was the co- artistic director of Finland’s Loikka dance film festival.

Director Biography – Katerina Giannakopoulou (PANDEMIA)

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Director Statement

I have been directing my own multidisciplinary projects since 2017.

I combine modern dance with flamenco and dance theatre while using complex rhythms, sounds and music from all over the world to create innovative performances.

Within 5 weeks Pandemia was honoured 6 times in the categories of BEST EXPERIMENTAL FILM, BEST MUSIC VIDEO & BEST DANCE CHOREOGRAPHY. This is actually the first multidisciplinary project that I independently wrote, created, performed, directed and produced. So, could not be more proud, thankful and humbled for this recognition!!