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PNB Launches Dance Film Festival

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Here is today's press release:

Pacific Northwest Ballet Launches PNB Dance Film Festival

Submissions now being accepted; Free festival premieres online in March, 2022.

SEATTLE, WA – Pacific Northwest Ballet is excited to announce the formation of the PNB Dance Film Festival. Through this new program, the company seeks to showcase digital dance films and voices of emerging artists by sharing the work of digital dance creators with new audiences. PNB is currently accepting submissions of short (three minutes or less) and feature (12 minutes max) dance films from digital dance creators. The free online festival will premiere on March 18, 2022.

“The idea for this festival was born from the unprecedented explosion of digital dance creativity that emerged during the pandemic and stretched our art-form in ways never experienced before,” said festival managing director Price Suddarth, in announcing the new program. “The PNB Dance Film Festival is an opportunity for PNB to act as a bridge uniting voices within the greater dance community, while forging a more connected and inclusive arts world.”

“Dance films offered a welcome breath of innovation and accessibility during the pandemic while serving as a lifeline for the profession,” said PNB Artistic Director Peter Boal. “Even as we return to live performance, we recognize the extraordinary artistry and expression films capture. The PNB Dance Film Festival aims to champion these creations and encourage aspiring artists in the process.

“Price Suddarth's commitment and experimentation with dance on camera over the past decade will allow him to serve as resource, mentor and support to choreographers interested in creating for film. I'm excited to see his concept for a dance film festival come to fruition.”

All interested parties are encouraged to submit dance films for consideration: the application window is open now through December 15, 2021. There is no fee to submit a film for consideration, but filmmakers must clear their own music, design, and collaborator rights. For detailed submission information, go to PNB.org/filmfest.

An esteemed panel of industry professionals – consisting of choreographers Donald Byrd and Benjamin Millepied, and filmmakers Ezra Hurwitz, Nel Shelby and Julie Tokashiki – will review submissions and select winners, runners-up, and honorable mentions, and selected films will be showcased and shared with audiences when the festival premieres on March 18, 2022. Two winning filmmakers will be offered commissions to create original digital works to be showcased as part of PNB’s 50th anniversary season (2022-2023) 

In the spring of 2022, the company will also accept submissions for the Micro Film Festival. This program for young filmmakers (18 years or younger) will feature works 30 – 60 seconds in length. A panel of PNB company dancers will review all submissions to be released in early summer 2022. Winner of the Micro Festival will be featured on PNB’s social channels.


What a difference a few decades make!  I remember when in post-performance Q&A's,  Francia Russell would bemoan how PNB was recording their archival videos on an old, ailing camera, and if they could just raise $10K for a new one, they could get a reasonable video of their performances for internal use.

PNB was brilliant in applying for grants for media, and they are lucky to have Lindsay Thomas as videographer.  Then, as the arena-formerly-known-as-Key-Arena-but-now-Climate-Pledge-Arena -- the big sign is up! -- shut down for renos, their equipment was moved into McCaw Hall, and their staff available for consult.

This Festival is a great way to keep filmed dance robust, and I love that they're leveraging Tik Tok-like videos in the competition for young filmmakers.  Win-win-win all-around! :flowers:

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