Director Biography – Aly Rose (MONK)

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Aly Rose is a choreographer and artist based in China. She also leads a dance for camera series in Shanghai and is passionate about collaborating on dance projects with people from diverse and non-dance-related backgrounds.

Her most recent work has been shown at the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra Hall, the Power Station of Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art MoCA, the Long Museum, the Glass Museum, and the ShanghART Gallery.

Her current focus is bringing The ONE Show to fruition.

Director Biography – Boris Schaarschmidt (Eldur Á Himni – Fire in the Sky)

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BORIS SCHAARSCHMIDT (www.borisschaarschmidt.com)
Boris Schaarschmidt holds a BA in Cinematography from the University of Applied Sciences in Dortmund, Germany, and an MFA in Directing from the American Film Institute (AFI) in Los Angeles. He received an annual scholarship from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), and the Pat Hitchcock O’Connell Scholarship Award.
Boris has written, produced, and directed 15 highly successful short films, receiving numerous awards and special recognition, with several earning DVD distribution and widespread screenings on the international festival circuit. Two of his projects received funding from the Film & Medien Stiftung NRW, the strongest state funding in Germany.
In addition to his own projects, Boris has worked for industry titans like Quentin Tarantino, where he worked on the post-production of his Oscar-nominated film Inglorious Basterds.

Director Statement

ELDUR Á HIMNI – FIRE IN THE SKY is the creative product of Boris Schaarschmidt’s three-month stint in the filmmakers’ program THE WEIGHT OF MOUNTAINS at NES Artists’ residency in Skagaströnd, Iceland. Only for a few months during the darkness of winter, the Aurora Borealis, or Northern Lights, are visible during cloudless nights due to the collision of charged particles from solar wind with the earth’s atmosphere. Camping out in the remoteness of Northern Iceland night after night, Boris captured the fascinating spectacle in the sky and documented the magical dance of the Northern Lights in stunning time-lapse photography.

Director Biography – Jenny Ni (ECLOSION)

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Coming from a different cultural background, Jenny believes her
vision in film can speak to a diverse group. She enjoys the
process of filmmaking but most importantly the messages conveyed throughout
this art form. She finds it spectacular how one film can change one
person’s perspective. Although it is still under debate whether female
filmmakers are emerging, she wants to be one of the international
female directors in the Canadian film industry.

Director Statement

Before I break this film down into details, I’d like to ask you something. What is the definition of beauty and what would you rate how you look on a scale of 1 to 10? Feels weird, doesn’t it? To do this, you must compare yourself to others, people we see as beautiful and “perfect”.
Recently, six of my friends went to get their noses and eyes done at a beauty salon back in China. When I asked them why, all their answers revolved around the phrases “I want to be like..” or “I’m not pretty enough”. In our culture, high noses, white skin and big eyes are the major three components of beauty and is what drives women to get plastic surgery to meet these standards.
Growing up in that culture, I definitely have a lot to say about this topic. However, this isn’t something that is comfortable to talk about and sometimes people get offended. That is why I chose the caterpillar to symbolize women who are ashamed or unsatisfied with how they look. They want to be seen but their tiny bodies seem invisible. Dancing is a metaphor for caterpillar spinning its cocoon as it prepares for transformation. In the story, Ann goes on an emotional journey through dance as she prepares to transform. Every move she makes adds more and more confidence until she eventually transforms into the butterfly. The message here is don’t be afraid to be yourself.
A deeper message I am trying to convey through this film is a critique of the illusory world that we live in. That is why the other women wear masks in this film. We all hide behind invisible masks in this world to make ourselves feel better but if we keep doing that, we are eventually going to lose ourselves. At the end of the film when the other women take off their masks, they too resemble Ann, showing that they aren’t as different as what is portrayed, but rather hide behind a mask to appear different.
Eclosion is my attempt at telling a story to emotionally connect to an audience in a way that makes the rethink their definition of beauty and hopefully by the end of it, come out more appreciative of who they are.

Director Biography – Burke Heffner (LEADING ME STRAIGHT)

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Burke Heffner’s stills and motion work have appeared at The Sundance Film Festival and Berlin Film Festival, as well as in LA Times, Village Voice, Timeout New York, Playboy.com, and more. When he’s not creating visual poetry for TV, commercials, and music videos, he enjoys long walks in the woods of New York with his chihuahua, Niney.

Director Biography – Hiroshi kizu (14)

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HIROSHI KIZU

Majored in Visual Arts at the Kyoto College of Art.
During his studies, he was deeply impressed by Takashi Ito’s experimental video, Kazuhiko Hasegawa’s “The Man Who Stole the Sun,” and Evangelion.

Joined MTV Japan in 2001, and during the next 5 years he created many program openings, station-IDs, etc. Left MTV Japan in 2006, and joined P.I.C.S. in 2007.
In addition to his direction work, he also carries out a variety of other tasks, including art direction, creation of motion graphics, editing, and some creation of music.

As well as planning and directing commercials, music videos, broadcasts, etc., he has also provided full direction in projects such as the event video for the Adidas Sara Festa, the event video for the MTV Video Music Awards Japan, among others.He also concentrates his efforts on working as a DJ and VJ.

Director Statement

FEEL THE RHYTHM IN YOUR EYES.

Director Biography – Virginie Kahn (THE SHE-WOLF)

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Artistic director for press magazines and communication agencies up to 2012, I have been working for several press magazines such as Beaux-Arts magazine, Télérama, Géo, L’Equipe quotidien et magazine, Canal +, as well as for communication programs related to youth, education, children’s rights, in particular for the General Council of Seine-Saint-Denis. I still occasionally work as a freelance graphic designer for editors.
In addition, I work as a freelance photographer specialized in performing arts and portrait.
In 2009, I wrote and directed a first documentary movie : Danse danse danse. Two years later, I directed The Great Jump (Le Grand saut), a documentary about childhood and commitment to dance. Since then, I have been working as a director on several movie projets around dance, I directed two short films about violence against women and I am writing two features films screeplay.

Director Biography – Cass Mortimer Eipper (BRUTE)

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Cass trained at the Australian Ballet School and has performed with the West Australian Ballet, Sydney Dance Company, and was co-director of the Australian dance/media company, Ludwig. He won the Helpmann award for ‘Best Male Dancer’ in William Forsythe’s Quintett.

His other awards include ‘Most Outstanding Performance’ at the Rome International Choreography Competition’ for ‘Solo 1.5’, which was also presented at the renowned ImPulsTanz Festival, Vienna. He won 3rd prize at the Stuttgart International Dance Festival, where he performed Emma Sandall’s ‘Body Song’. He won the prize for ‘Most Outstanding Choreography’ at the West Australian Dance Awards for ‘Fleck & Flecker.’ He created three works for Sydney Dance Company, including their collaboration with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra’s ‘Le Grand Tango.’

He has also created for Link Dance Company and ‘So You Think You Can Dance Australia’, and has collaborated on music clips with Katie Noonan, Ben Folds and James Michael Thompson.

 

Director Statement

‘Brute’ is about duality – how we try to restrain the untameable beast within us, and how this in turn contorts and mystifies our consciousness. We are confused, desperate creatures. We yearn to be unique and empowered, whilst ignoring our default settings. We are wild, wonderful, anxious, desperate animals.