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HomeDallas Dance Film Festival

Recognizing the need for more digital dance exposure, Dallas Dance Film Festival was created in 2018 to
promote and support local and international emerging and professional dance filmmakers to provide an affordable platform
for them to share their work. The festival also offers the community at large a new way to observe and experience dance.


Dance Council of North Texas + The Dallas Public Library

official selection

Hatch – Filmmaker: Jeff Schick
Synopsis: HATCH is a short film that features experimental dance as a metaphor to the awakening of the self. The film is a creative partnership with the Alan Watts Organization, featuring the spoken word of the late British-American philosopher.

With its sci-fi undertones, the film features Italian-American movement artist Lavinia Vago as she explores her newly hatched, human body upon emerging from her chrysalis. Set to a symbolic backdrop of a womb, HATCH showcases visuals of a human’s transformation from birth to becoming a fully-functioning, fully-aware organism.
Bio: Jeff Schick is a Seattle-based writer, director and filmmaker whose work explores the intersectionality of technology and its utilization by humanity.

With two decades of experience working alongside The Fortune 100, Schick served in branding, digital, social and content production capacities for Apple, adidas, AT&T, T-Mobile and others. Schick began producing and directing films in 2012, ultimately creating film production company, Audio Video Room, where he currently serves as a creative director.

His recent work includes HALO, SWIPE and HATCH is Schick’s dance-directorial debut.

Etch – Filmmaker: Abby Warrilow & Lewis Gourlay

Synopsis: A girl hikes across remote moorland. On a hill in the distance, stands a lone building, which she discovers is a long abandoned school hall. A little sun penetrates the dirty glass. An upright piano sits in the far corner.

She takes off her muddy boots and with confidence in her gait, strides across to the piano and pulls it by one corner. The rusted wheels are jammed and it pivots, creating an arc. A line is carved in layers of compacted dust and the ancient wooden floor splinters with the weight of the instrument.

In the centre of the room, hinged on one foot, she extends her leg and rotates swiftly and with graceful power. Her feet trace, etch and carve in circular movements, creating marks in the layers of dirt. Her body contorts. She throws herself in controlled but frenetic choreography. The movements increase in size and vigour as a pattern emerges. Finally she stands back to witness the impression her dance has etched on the floor.
Abby Warrilow and Lewis Gourlay have been an international co-directing team ‘ Cagoule’ since 2001, making screen dance, cinematic TV commercials, edgy music videos and exclusive online content. Their combined skills merge live action, movement and motion graphics to create fresh, quirky and imaginative films.

Dance-film maker and Director/Choreographer, Abby works primarily in feature films, commercials and music video. Abby's directing talent has flourished while her choreography career has seen her work on the sets of major feature films such as ‘The Wicker Tree’, ‘Alfie’ and ‘Happy Lands’, theatrical productions ‘Take a Stand’ and ‘Kismet’ , high-end commercials for The Scottish Government and ‘Trivago’, music videos for ‘Young Fathers’, ‘The Magic Numbers’ and ‘The Proclaimers’, and television dramas such as ‘Clique’ and ‘Heartless.’ Her client list has an impressive read and includes the likes of Paramount Pictures, Universal, EMI and Scottish Opera. Abby studied dance and film in parallel and has used her academic experiences in New York, Brighton and London to great effect in her work. Abby adds a creative flare and dramatic energy to any project she works on. Abby has independently produced dance films throughout her career and in the process developed long standing creative collaborations. Her dance theatre and film production ‘Inhabitants’ screened with live performance at Cryptic Nights and Mapping Festival in Geneva, one of the world’s most notable projection mapping festivals.

Lewis 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. He is a graduate of Duncan Jordanstone College of Art, where he gravitated towards the use of video in fine art practice. Later he learnt his trade as a staff editor at various postproduction facilities around the world. Now working primarily out of his own company Cagoule Productions, Lewis describes himself as a motion graphic artist and creative editor and director.

BOAT – Director: Stephanie Nugent (Artistic Direction/Choreography), Charles Borowicz (Cinematography/Editing/Sound Design)
Synopsis: BOAT (screen-dance), Directed by Stephanie Nugent, with Cinematography, Sound Design and Editing by Charles Borowicz, and collaborating performance by Nugent and Savannah Cox, explores a mother’s timely and timeless relationship with her tween daughter, kinesthetically drawing viewers in to experience an unique bond charged by love, burden, support, empathy, and a shared passion for independence.
Bio: Stephanie Nugent, lives in Indianapolis, IN, USA where she creates dance theater, teaches, improvises, and generally does her best at becoming a good human. She holds a BFA in Modern Dance from North Carolina School of the Arts and an MFA in Choreography and Performance from California State University, Long Beach. Ms. Nugent has had the good fortune to collaborate, perform, and tour internationally with esteemed dance artists such as Victoria Marks, Keith Johnson, Kim Epifano, Della Davidson, The Ririe Woodbury Dance Company, Malashock Dance and Company, and Nugent Dance, presenting works in theaters, black-boxes, museums, sidewalks, a pier, a tent, a creek, and an old military base. In her most recent project BOAT, a screen-dance exploring a mother’s timely and timeless relationship with her tween daughter, Nugent and Savannah Cox offer a kinesthetic and metaphoric vision into their unique bond, charged by love, burden, support, empathy, and a shared passion for independence.

With more than 25 years working in the field of dance, Stephanie has received critical acclaim in publications including The Los Angeles Times, NY Times, and Dance Magazine, for whom she was also recently interviewed in Get Into Contact: Demystifying the basics of contact improvisation. Nugent’s academic/teaching posts have included earning the rank of Tenured Associate Professor at University of California Santa Barbara, Full-Time Faculty in the Sharon Disney Lund School of Dance at CalArts, Visiting Full-Time Faculty at The Ohio State University, Director of Dance at the North Carolina Governors School, Director of the Indiana University High School Summer Dance Intensive, Teaching Team Coordinator for the Great Lakes Area Contact Improv Enthusiasts Retreat, and workshops/residencies throughout the US and in Italy.

MAKYŌ (THERE IS A GHOST INSIDE YUUU) – Filmmaker: Brian Imakura
Synopsis: Makyō (“ghost cave”) is the self-delusional nest that results from clinging to one’s trauma. This film is a depiction of one woman’s escape from that nest.

The Stop – Filmmaker: Liudmila Komrakova
Synopsis: After a dispute in the car, a woman exits and goes to the bus stop. There she meets another and it is love at first sight - then the driver returns..
Bio: Komrakova Liudmila was born in 1962 in Russia.At the age of 52 she visited Argentina and fell in love with tango argentina. Even though she does not have film or dance education Liudmila being a creative person with strong leadership and organizing skills she decided to promote tango argentina as a mean of communication accessible for everyone and as a developing modern art ( not something retrograde with red rose between the teeth). Thus she found a team ready to create series of short films where dance plays the most important role. In order to attract people with no dance knowledge she creates films with a strong narrative line were the dance helps to move the story. Liudmila believes that the quality of choreography and performance are the key to the understanding and developing of dance. Thus she works closely with choreographers and dancers and explains what kind of movements she wants to see at each moment of the music. She works with Mundial in Tango Argentina and choreofraphers from Argentina. At the moment her team created 6 short films most of them participated and were awarded in different film and dance festivals.

ASHES TO ASHES – Director: Holly Wilder
Synopsis: What does it feel like to live inside your body, to feel its primal urges, its tactile passions, its shadowy corners?
Bio: Holly is a New York City based choreographer, performer, and filmmaker. She is co-founder and artistic director of the award winning dance film company, Wilder Project. She holds a BFA in Contemporary Dance with an emphasis in choreography from The Boston Conservatory, and is a recipient of the Jan Veen and Julie Ince Thompson scholarships and the Alumni Award for Academic Achievement.

Her choreography has been seen live at Battery Dance Festival, CURRENT SESSIONS, the New England Conservatory, the Boston Conservatory, the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, INSITU Site Specific Dance Festival, and throughout Mexico, Guatemala, and Nicaragua toured with the JUNTOS Collective.

Her dance films have been screened at over 30 film festivals all over the world, and at venues like the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, to critical acclaim. Her film, “The Field”, received First Place at Verve Dance Film Festival and Richmond Dance Festival, as well as Audience Favorite Award at Opine Dance Film Festival and Best Director at Utah Dance Film Festival. And her film “undertow” received Audience Favorite Award at Philadelphia Dance Film Festival. She also spent two years on the jury of the LA Dance Film Festival. Holly’s company, Wilder Project, has received music video commissions from artists like Jennah Bell, Jean Rohe, Stephanie Allen, and Bolivian pop star Luis Gamarra, and film commissions from Berklee School of Music.

Dance of the Puppets – Filmmaker: Melanie Kloetzel
Synopsis: Dance of the Puppets, a film by dance theatre company kloetzel&co., explores the transformation of democracy as ‘alternative facts’ and outlandish acts populate the political landscape. A droplet of intelligence here, a hint of a shadowy figure, and we are all marionettes, putty in the puppet master’s hands.
Melanie Kloetzel is the artistic director of kloetzel&co., a dance theatre company founded in New York City and now based in Canada. Committed to research that spans stage, site, and screen, the company’s work has appeared in theatre venues, film festivals, and alternative spaces across three continents.

REVEL IN YOUR BODY – Filmmaker: Katherine Helen Fisher
A short film experience of the joy of flight featuring disabled dancers Alice Sheppard and Laurel Lawson.
Bio: Katherine Helen Fisher is a Los Angeles-based director, choreographer and performer.

Working both commercially and within the art world, she has movement directed music videos for Radiohead and Rufus Wainwright, as well as directed creative for brands such as Hermès, Microsoft, Biotherm, Nonesuch and XL Recordings. She has worked with, or been featured by the New York Times, the Smithsonian, Georgia Tech, the University of Michigan, the Palm Springs Art Museum, La Menagerie de Verre in Paris, the New Orleans Contemporary Arts Center, The Hammer Museum, The Watermill Center and the Swatch Art Peace Hotel in Shanghai.

Katherine danced for The Lucinda Childs Dance Company between 2008- 2018, performing in collaborative work with such luminaries as Philip Glass, Frank Gehry, John Adams, and Sol LeWitt. She has also worked with The Merce Cunningham Trust, Robert Wilson, Mark Morris, MOMIX, ODC San Francisco, Johannes Wieland, Sara Pearson/Patrik Widrig, Janis Brenner, Jennifer Muller, Ann Carlson and Andrew Ondrejcak.

Katherine is committed to supporting the work of women creatives and is interested in championing fair wages and working conditions within the fields of contemporary art, dance and new media.

INAKA – Filmmaker: Alma Llerena
Synopsis: Inaka is a screendance carried out in an artistic residence in the province of Fukuoka, Japan, during the summer of 2018. This project is an investigation about the spirituality of the human being and its possibility of transcending in a non-physical way in different planes through the movement. Religion is present in the screendance as a symbol of the spiritual part of the human being and the dancer as the physical part. The movement and choreography are synchronized with the religion elements, as a means to transcend to other planes being from the physical to the spiritual. To visually emphasize the different planes, we investigated the religions in Japan and used the locations of the Buddhist and the Shinto religions. The Buddhist religion has as an existential plane, the temple and the Shinto cult has as an existential, plane nature. As an external observer of this different planes, there is an elevated being who watches the existence through water, symbol of the mirror and communicator between the different planes.

T.I.A. (THIS is Africa) – Filmmaker: Matthieu Maunier-Rossi
Synopsis: Aïpeur Foundou is a Congolese dancer and choreographer. Amidst some popular areas of Brazzaville, he shows us one possible way to freedom.
Bio: Matthieu Maunier-Rossi is a screenwriter and director, living and working in Paris, France. Geography and travels are at the core of all his projects. From 2014 to 2017, he wandered across the Caribbean, looking for new stories. His journey became a book («Les îles buissonnières», Ed. Rudbeckias, 2018). After more than one year spent in Haiti working with NGOs, he went back to the island during the summer of 2018 to direct a new film called «Three blades». That movie is currently playing in festivals round the world.

: Laws of Motion
Filmmaker: Jeppe Lange City, Country of Residence: Copenhagen, Denmark

Synopsis: Two girls have created a world beyond time and space, dancing through the eery halls of an abandoned monastery.

Bio: Jeppe Lange is a filmmaker studying at The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts.His work covers the field between documentary and experimental film; reality seen through a conceptual lens.
During the last four years he’s had several films on festivals in Denmark, USA, Germany, Italy, Croatia etc. Jeppe Lange was born 1987. He lives and works in Copenhagen.

Title: 9241 Filmmaker: Marta Romero Coll City, Country of Residence: Barcelona, Spain

Synopsis: The figure of the indigenous and the conqueror are reunited in an island of the future to change history through the recognition of the other and the value of joint creation.

Bio: Barcelona hold a degree in Audiovisual Communication from the Autonomous University of Barcelona. It is linked to the image and its surroundings with projects related to the processes.
She has always liked the documentary genre and video dance, and he feels comfortable working in both genres.

Title: Digital Afterlives Filmmakers: Richard James Allen + Karen Pearlman, The Physical TV Company City, Country of Residence: Sydney, Australia

Synopsis: A man in white-winged angel shoes awakes in infinite black to the strains of Liszt’s “Dance of the Dead”.

Bio: Richard James Allen and Karen Pearlman are the directors of the critically acclaimed Physical TV Company (, based in Sydney, Australia, where they create award-winning dancefilms, dramas,
and documentaries. Their work has screened at hundreds of film festivals around the world, including most of the leading dance film festivals, been broadcast on television and collected by major international film archives.


Submissions will be evaluated based on demonstrated use of the camera and/or mobile devices that highlight dance differently from live performance,
such that the dance cannot be viewed in the same way outside of the film. Selected works will also demonstrate inventiveness and originality,

cohesiveness and clarity of artistic intention, quality of choreography, performance, cinematography, and editing in relationship to the stated artistic intent.
Artists are responsible for holding copyright permission for any elements used in the film that require permission such as music, text, images.
The following resource may be of assistance for information on music copyright:




Length: 5 - 10 minutes max

Must incorporate Dance

Must pay fee per submission

2 submissions per artist


Categories + Submission Fees

Early Bird: July 1 - August 1

$10 emerging: description

$20 professional filmmaker: description

Later Gators: August 2 - 29
(deadline August 29)

$15 emerging

$25 professional filmmaker


Submission Dates

Opening: July 1

Early Bird Deadline: August 1

Final Deadline: August 29

Notification Date: October 15

Event Date: November 2



"Best of Fest"

Membership to DCNT

Featured on DCNT website
for 6 months

Winner serves on the following year's
selection committee
Archival of film in Dallas Public Library

"DDFF Creative"

Membership to DCNT
Archival of film in Dallas Public Library

"DDFF Innovator"

Membership to DCNT
Archival of film in Dallas Public Library