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Segal Film Festival on Theatre and Performance

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Jan 29, 2015
Jan 30, 2015
Segal Theatre I Elebash Recital Hall

new cover





Thursday and Friday, January 29-30.



FREE + Open to public.
First come, first served.



Festival Schedule at A Glance,
followed by a description of each films.





The Martin E. Segal Theatre Center announces the inaugural international Segal Film Festival on Theatre and Performance (FTP). The film festival will take place all day long on Thursday, January 29 and Friday, January 30, 2015 at The Segal Theatre Center, The Graduate Center, CUNY in New York City.

The FTP (Film Theatre Performance) Festival will be an annual US event for films that deal directly with the themes of theatre and performance. The mission is to present experimental, emerging, and established theatre artists and filmmakers to audiences and industry professionals from around the world. The festival program includes feature films, short films, documentaries, advance screenings, meet-the-filmmaker Q&A sessions, and panels with leading artists in the field.

This event is co-curated by festival founder Frank Hentschker and film producer/theater artist
Tanya Selvaratnam.

Frank Hentschker explains his inspiration for creating the festival: “Film and digital media are an integral part of theatre and performance. I am surprised that there is not a film festival out there right now focusing on theatre and performance. I thought why not create one? And Tanya Selvaratnam helped to make it happen.

Click HERE to see the festival brochure



11:00am      Arnon Goldfinger – The Komediant
11:30am      Bert Williams  – Lime Kiln Club Field Day
12:00pm      David Weissman & Bill Weber – The Cockettes
12:30pm      Babeth VanLoo – Meredith Monk: Inner Voice
1:00pm        Zeina Daccache – 12 Angry Lebanese
2:00pm        Chiemi Karasawa – Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me
2:30pm        Paul Poet – Foreigners Out! Schlingensief’s Container
3:30pm        John Walter – Theater of War 
4:00pm        Tim Etchells – Mark Does Lear  +  100 People
5:00pm        Catherine Gund – Born to Fly: Elizabeth Streb vs. Gravity
5:10pm        John Walter – Documenting Einstein on the Beach
6:30pm        Panel: Documentary Films on Theatre
6:30pm        Lucinda Childs, Philip Glass & Sol LeWitt – Dance
7:30pm        Madeleine Sackler – Dangerous Acts Starring the Unstable Elements of Belarus
7:30pm        Mathieu Copeland – The Exhibition of a Film/L’Exposition d’un Film




10:30am       Jonathan Demme – A Master Builder
1:00pm         Karin Kaper & Dirk Szuszies – Resist with the Living Theatre
12:30pm       Richard Foreman – Once Every Day
2:00pm         William Kentridge – Ubu Tells the Truth + Tango for Page Turning  +  Zeno Writing
2:30pm         Back to Back Theatre – The Democratic Set
2:30pm         Chiara Clemente – Our City Dreams (Marina Abramovic Excerpt)
3:00pm         Pavol Liska & Kelly Copper/Nature Theatre of Oklahoma – Shorts
3:00pm         Christine Cynn – The Space Between
3:30pm         Thierry de Mey – William Forsythe: One Flat Thing, Reproduced
4:00pm         Richard Maxwell/New York City Players – The Feud Other
4:00pm         Jan Fabre – Do We Feel with Our Brain and Think with Our Heart?  +  The Problem
4:30pm         Hu Xiangqian – Sun
4:40pm         Gabri Chirsta – Kasita
5:00pm         Romeo Castellucci – Brentano
5:00pm         David Roussève – Two Seconds After Laughter
5:30pm         Tina Satter/Half Straddle – Half Straddle Web Series
5:30pm         Joan Jonas – Reanimation
5:45pm         The Builders Association/motiroti – Alladeen
6:00pm         Shaun Irons – Standing By: Gatz: Backstage
6:00pm         John Jesurun – Shadowland 2: Monkey With Purple Flower
6:30pm         Big Art Group – The Imitation
6:30pm         Panel: Theatre Artists as Filmmakers
7:00pm         Elizabeth LeCompte & Ken Kobland/The Wooster Group – Rumstick Road
7:30pm         Sam Pollard – American Masters – August Wilson: The Ground on Which I Stand
8:30pm         Adam Soch – Reza Abdoh: Theatre Visionary

* Sneak peek


Arnon Goldfinger – The Komediant (Israel, 2000)
85 minutes | Segal Theatre (70 seats)

The life and careers of the members of a royal family of Yiddish theatre, The Bursteins—including rare archival footage and interviews with Yiddish stage veterans. An homage to the lost world of Yiddish Theatre.

Bert Williams – Lime Kiln Club Field Day
(US, 1913-2013)
Presented by Ron Magliozzi, MoMA
20 minute excerpt | Elebash Recital Hall (180 seats)

The earliest existing footage of a feature film with a black cast. At a challenging time of segregation in the fall of 1913, a virtuoso cast of African American performers led by famed Caribbean American entertainer Bert Williams (1874–1922) gathered in the Bronx to make a feature-length motion picture. After more than an hour of film was shot, the unreleased project was abandoned by its white producers and left forgotten until today. Discovered in MoMA’s Biograph Studio collection.

David Weissman & Bill Weber – The Cockettes (US, 2002)
99 minutes | Elebash Recital Hall (180 seats)

An homage to the tumultuous rise and fall of San Francisco’s theatrical troupe of hippies and drag queens—a flamboyant ensemble that created the now legendary midnight shows at the Palace Theater from 1969-1972.

Babeth M. VanLoo – Meredith Monk: Inner Voice (US, 2009)
30 minute excerpt |  Segal Theatre (70 seats)

Using a wealth of resource material including her personal archive the film illuminates the role that Buddhism pays in the artistic practice of Monk’s life and work as a composer, singer, director, and choreographer.

Zeina Daccache – 12 Angry Lebanese (Lebanon, 2009)
78 minutes | Segal Theatre (70 seats)

For 15 months, 45 inmates, some completely illiterate, worked together to present an adaptation of Reginald Rose’s famous stage play 12 Angry Men (known worldwide through the Sidney Lumet film starring Henry Fonda).This remarkable documentary includes rehearsals, drama therapy sessions and interviews, revealing the tremendous dignity and despair of the prisoners. Daccache added monologues, songs and dance routines created by the prisoners to the original text.

Chiemi Karasawa – Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me (US, 2013)
81 minutes | Elebash Recital Hall (180 seats)

An inspiring, humorous, and poignant portrait of a legend in her feisty twilight years. The uncompromising Tony and Emmy Award-winner reveals candid thoughts about life, aging, and her career during her last solo tour. Intimate vérité and archival footage is made all the more relevant after Stritch’s recent passing.

Paul Poet – FOREIGNERS OUT! Schlingensief’s Container (Austria, 2002)
90 minutes | Segal Theatre (70 seats)

Set in Austria 2000: Right after the ultra-right-wing political party FPÖ had become part of the government, infamous German shock director Christoph Schlingensief (1960-2010) staged a Big-Brother-Container-Show, where Austrians could vote for the asylum seeker they hated most.

John Walter – Theater of War (US, 2008)
95 minutes | Elebash Recital Hall (180 seats)

Theater of War follows Meryl Streep and an all-star cast (including George C. Wolfe and Tony Kushner) as they breathe new life into Mother Courage and Her Children, the masterpiece by the great German poet and playwright Bertolt Brecht. The behind-the-scenes look at The Public Theater’s (Central Park, NYC) stage production serve as a springboard to delve into the film’s various contemporary themes, as well as those in Brecht’s life: art, war, and politics.

Tim Etchells (artistic director of UK’s Forced Entertainment theatre company)
Segal Theatre (70 seats)

  1. Mark Does Lear (UK, 2002) 35 minutes
    Late at night, after a single first-time reading of Shakespeare’s King Lear during a long train ride, the artist’s brother Mark attempts to re-tell and make sense of the story in a single unedited take.
  1. 100 People (UK, 2007) 15 minutes
    100 People conjures the imaginary presence of one hundred people, each of whom exists only by virtue of brief descriptions on screens.

Catherine Gund
– Born to Fly: Elizabeth Streb vs. Gravity
83 minutes | Segal Theatre (70 seats)

Propelled by Elizabeth Streb’s edict that “anything too safe is not action,” the STREB company challenges the assumptions of art, injury, gender, aging, and human possibility. Revealing the passions behind the STREB dancers’ bruises and broken noses, BORN TO FLY: Elizabeth Streb vs. Gravity inspires audiences hungry for a fiercer existence in the world.

*John Walter – Documenting Einstein on the Beach (US, work-in-progress)
Elebash Recital Hall (180 seats)

Walter was granted unprecedented access to the 2012 remounting of the legendary opera Einstein on the Beach, from pre-production to the opening in France. He will discuss the connections between innovative theatre and science, from the birth of opera to the radical collaboration of Philip Glass and Robert Wilson, and preview material from his upcoming documentary.

PANEL: Documentary Films on Theatre
Segal Theatre (70 seats)

Moderated by Tanya Selvaratnam. Panelists are Catherine Gund (Born To Fly), Chiemi Karasawa (Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me), John Walter (Theater of War)

Lucinda Childs, Philip Glass, and Sol LeWitt – Dance (US/France, 2014)
59 minutes | Elebash Recital Hall (180 seats)

Dance, created in 1979, with choreography by Lucinda Childs, music by Philip Glass, and film work by Sol LeWitt, is a New York downtown minimalist iconic work. The piece was remounted in 2009 and filmed in Paris in October 2014 by Daphnie-Production.

*Mathieu Copeland – The Exhibition of a Film/L’Exposition d’un film (UK, 2014)
100 minutes | Segal Theatre (180 seats)

Taking its construct both within the reality of a film and its medium, The Exhibition of a Film considers through a polyphony of sound and images new possible textures offered by a cinematic environment. The works of over 40 artists including Tim Etchells, Lawrence Weiner, Susan Stenger, Nick Cave, Meredith Monk, and Kenneth Goldsmith, among others, are interwoven.

Madeleine Sackler – Dangerous Acts Starring the Unstable Elements of Belarus (UK, 2013)
76 minutes | Elebash Recital Hall (70 seats)

Comprised of smuggled footage and uncensored interviews, Dangerous Acts gives audiences a front-row seat to a resistance movement as it unfolds both on the stage and in the streets. Members of the Free Theatre confront the choice of either repression at home or exile.




Jonathan Demme – A Master Builder (US, 2014)
127 minutes | Segal Theatre (70 seats)

Jonathan Demme’s film adaptation of Wallace Shawn and Andre Gregory’s production of Ibsen’s Master Builder Solness. Magnetic performances are delivered by Julie Hagerty as well as by Shawn and Gregory, the long-term collaborators who brought us My Dinner with Andre and Vanya on 42nd Street.

*Richard Foreman – Once Every Day (US, 2013)
66 minutes | Elebash Recital Hall (180 seats)

The legendary New York auteur-du-theatre Richard Foreman returns, thirty years after Strong Medicine, to a full-length film. Shot in just six days, Foreman uses his performance work as a matrix for fascinating collage of images, sounds, and ideas for a film with no plot.

Karin Kaper & Dirk Szuszies – RESIST with the Living Theatre (Germany, 2003)
90 minutes | Segal Theatre (70 seats)

RESIST chronicles the history and mission behind The Living Theatre, one of the most significant companies in the history of American theatre and the avant-garde. Established in 1947 by Julian Beck and Judith Malina as an alternative to commercial theater, the Living Theatre’s politically motivated plays expressed anarchist, pacifist ideals and mobilized the theater as a medium for social change. RESIST won the Europa Cinema Award for best documentary in 2003.

William Kentridge (South Africa)

Elebash Recital Hall (180 seats)

South African white Jewish artist extraordinaire William Kentridge is a master of prints, drawings, puppet theatre, opera and animated films.

  1. Ubu Tells the Truth (1996-97) 7 minutes
    Reflecting on the shocking revelations of the South African Truth & Reconciliation Commission, which heard evidence from both victims and perpetrators following the dismantling of apartheid in the country, the film depicts atrocities committed by the South African security police in a surreal style.
  2. Tango for Page Turning (2012-13) 3 minutes
    This film fragment was made for the theatre piece Refuse the Hour (2012-13), a piece inspired, in part, by a series of conversations between Kentridge and American historian of science, Peter Galison, on matters including the history of the control of world time, relativity, black holes, and string theory.
  3. Zeno Writing (2002) 12 minutes
    Incorporates animation and archival film. The animation is a meditation on human vulnerability in the face of complex psychological and political realities. The film’s central anti-hero, Zeno, inspired by Italo Svevo’s 1923 novel Zeno’s Conscience, is never seen, but portrayed through vignettes of diaries and daily log entries.

Back to Back Theatre – The Democratic Set (Australia, 2008 & 2014)
4 and 11 minutes | Segal Theatre (70 seats)

The Democratic Set is a residency model for creating short films and performances exploring the belief that all people are, in principal, equal and should enjoy social, political, and economic rights and opportunities. The Democratic Set is a cavalcade of portrait, soapbox, and drama created in collaboration with communities.

Chiara Clemente – Our City Dreams (Marina Abramovic Excerpt, US, 2008)
20 minutes | Elebash Recital Hall (180 seats)

This documentary traces the lives of five female artists (Ghada Amer, Marina Abramovic, Kiki Smith, Nancy Spero, and Swoon) from various cultures and backgrounds in New York City. Facing personal struggles and artistic triumphs the women create spiritual, creative, and rebellious responses to the forces of puritanism, poverty, war, social inequality, and sexual stereotypes. The excerpt will focus on Marina Abramovic.

Pavol Liska & Kelly Copper/Nature Theater of Oklahoma
Segal Theatre (70 seats)

  1. Silent Movie Screen Tests – No. 1: Zurich, No. 2: Oslo, No. 6: Ghent (US, 2011) 3 minutes each
    Liska and Copper started video experiments using text from their latest work Life and Times as research for future work. Each film, shot in the theaters or dressing rooms where they were performing on tour, is composed of hundreds of black and white still images, like a digital flip-book.
  1. Episode 7 – Behind the Scenes: Romance and Portugal (US, 2014) 3 minutes each
    These short films are outtakes from the feature-length movie NTOK is producing for Episode 7 of the durational performance project Life and Times, to be released in 2015.

*Christine Cynn – The Space Between (Germany, work-in-progress)
15 minute excerpt | Elebash Recital Hall (180 seats)

The co-director of The Act of Killing presents excerpts of the behind-the-scenes film about Rimini Protokoll’s The Situation Rooms – a global performance about twenty people, from seven continents, whose lives have been affected by the weapons and arms trade. Christine Cynn will preview and discuss material from this work-in-progress.

Thierry de Mey – William Forsythe: One Flat Thing, Reproduced (Belgium/Germany, 2006)
30 minutes | Segal Theatre (70 seats)

  1. The Film: A play for 14 dancers and 20 tables was choreographed by Forsythe to the music of Thom Willems. Dance film specialist and composer Thierry de Mey documented this unique work with a great theatrical intensity that oscillates between disorder and symmetry.
  2. The Software: Forsythe’s visualization project Synchronous Objects takes the choreography of One Flat Thing, reproduces and processes the data, resulting in a number of different ways in which the viewer can experience the dance at a computer through various software tools.

Richard Maxwell/New York City Players – THE FEUD OTHER (US, 2007)

23 minutes | Segal Theatre (70 seats)

Jim Fletcher and Richard Maxwell star in this short film about two men adrift. They wander through a snow-covered forest, finding shelter that is not their own.

Jan Fabre
(Troubleyn, Antwerp, Belgium) is one of Europe’s avant-garde theatre artists.
Elebash Recital Hall (180 seats)

  1. Do We Feel with Our Brain and Think with Our Heart? (2013) 15 minutes
    A visual dialogue between Flemish visual artist, theater maker and author Jan Fabre and Italian neurobiologist Giacomo Rizzolatti, who discovered the mirror neurons, the basis for the capacity of  empathy. Over the course of three years, Fabre creates startling associations to Rizzolatti’s experiments.
  1. The Problem (Homage to Dietmar Kamper) (2001) 30 minutes
    In this work, Jan Fabre compares himself to his fetish animal – the dung beetle – and considers that his goal as an artist is similar to the role of insects in life evolution. A performance with the German star philosophers Peter Sloterdijk and Dietmar Kamper. The film is an homage to the latter.

Hu Xiangqian – Sun (China, 2008)
8 minutes | Segal Theatre (70 seats)

Inspired by current events and his own surroundings and with a keen eye for the absurd, Chinese video and performance artist Hu Xiangqian tries to tan himself the same shade as two of his close African friends.

Gabri Christa – Kasita (Bonaire, Dutch Caribbean, 2014)
21 minutes | Segal Theatre (70 seats)

10 year old Luna, finds a dog, but her grandmother doesn’t let her keep it, so she decides to take matters in her own hand, together with her cousin Sol she skips school and sets out to find a place for the dog in the small slave huts on the other end of the island, but things don’t go as planned.

David Roussève – Two Seconds After Laughter (US/Indonesia, 2011)
16 minutes | Segal Theatre (70 seats)

Weaving stunning cinematography shot in Java, traditional Indonesian dance, and original Sudanese music, the film delivers a potent true-life narrative surrounding an Indonesian American dancer’s return to Indonesia after 20 years in America.

Romeo Castellucci – Brentano (Italy, 1995)
25 minutes | Elebash Recital Hall (180 seats)

Visionary theater director Romeo Castellucci’s rare venture into film: a theatre of mental mysteries. Inspired by a 1913 short story of Swiss novelist Robert Walser about the death wish of German Romantic poet Clemens Brentano (1778-1842).

Joan Jonas – Reanimation (US, 2012)
19 minutes | Segal Theatre (70 seats)

Reanimation is inspired by the novel Under the Glacier by the Icelandic author Halldor Laxness, written in the 60s about an Icelandic glacier. Now the glaciers are melting. Jonas chose fragments from the book that describe mysterious aspects of the natural world.

*Tina Satter/Half Straddle – Half Straddle Web Series (US, 2014)

7 minute excerpt | Elebash Recital Hall (180 seats)

The 2013 Obie Award-winning Brooklyn-based ensemble of performers and designers led by Kristina Satter creates plays and performances, as well as videos. For the FTP Festival they will share a preview of an upcoming web series they are developing loosely based on Half Straddle’s company and work.

The Builders Association/motiroti – Alladeen (US, 2003)

20 minute excerpt | Elebash Recital Hall (180 seats)

New York-based performance and media company The Builders Association and the UK’s motiroti created in 2003 the OBIE award winning large-scale, cross-media performance project ALLADEEN. The show drew on the lives of citizens living in the hybrid, global cities of New York, London, and Bangalore. Using the ALLADEEN interviews with Bangalore call center workers the video interweaves separate but interdependent strands. Key collaborators are Keith Khan, Ali Zaidi, and Marianne Weems, directed by Marianne Weems. Video edited by Marianne Weems and Peter Norman.

*Shaun Irons – Standing By: Gatz Backstage (US, 2014)

30 minute excerpt | Elebash Recital Hall (180 seats)

Standing By: Gatz Backstage is an atmospheric portrait of backstage life during Gatz, a groundbreaking performance work created by NYC’s Elevator Repair Service, where every word of The Great Gatsby is voiced and enacted onstage. Following the company through a composite day, this observational and poetic documentary captures performers in a spectral half-light as they transition between themselves and the characters they inhabit onstage.

John Jesurun – Shadowland 2: Monkey With Purple Flower (US, 2012)
25 minutes | Segal Theatre (70 seats)

The web-serial explores simultaneous ideas emerging from the flux of a constantly developing plot. Shot on an ongoing, spontaneous basis, the form is deliberately non-ending and expands continuously in content, personnel, and context. It is performed by actors and non-actors. Additional video material is furnished by offsite actors via the internet for editing.

PANEL: Theatre Artists as Filmmakers
Segal Theatre (70 seats)

Moderated by Frank Hentschker. Panelists are Gabri Christa (Kasita), Mathieu Copeland
(The Exhibition of a Film), John Jesurun (Shadowland), and Joan Jonas (Reanimation)

Big Art Group – The Imitation (US, 2014)
32 minutes | Elebash Recital Hall (180 seats)

Big Art Group’s exploration of the Image-Performance combines elements of rock spectacle with the grotesque and avant-garde films of the 1960s, while merging contemporary visual language with a literary dramaturgy.

Elizabeth LeCompte & Ken Kobland/The Wooster Group – Rumstick Road (US, 2013)
77 minutes | Elebash Recital Hall (180 seats)

The haunting video reconstruction of The Wooster Group’s legendary 1977 production, Rumstick Road, composed by Spalding Gray and Elizabeth LeCompte in response to the suicide of Gray’s mother. Made from numerous archival fragments, the film remains faithful to the original theatre piece by registering, in a new composite, the vivid texture of time and memory that shaped the live performance.

*Sam Pollard – American Masters – August Wilson: The Ground on Which I Stand (US, 2014)
90 minutes | Segal Theatre (70 seats)

Explore the life and legacy of the playwright some call “America’s Shakespeare”. August Wilson who chronicled the 20th-century black experience. Featuring James Earl Jones, Phylicia Rashad, Laurence Fishburne, Viola Davis, new dramatic readings, and rare footage.

*Adam Soch – Reza Abdoh: Theatre Visionary (US, work-in-progress)
12 minute excerpt | Elebash Recital Hall (70 seats)

Twenty years after Reza Abdoh’s passing, his Dar A Luz company members, collaborators, friends, and family created a film celebrating his legacy and his theatrical genius. Abdoh spectacles were known for their sensory overload, ferocious energy, and hallucinatory dreamscapes. Abdoh died of AIDS at the age of 32. Sandy Cleary (Producer) and Tony Torn will preview and discuss material from this work-in-progress.


Festival Founder: Frank Hentschker

Co-curators: Frank Hentschker & Tanya Selvaratnam

Festival Producer: Joy Arab

Festival Advisors: Claire Bishop, Lisa Dent, Christopher Hibma, and Bonnie Marranca

If you want to volunteer, please contact Yu Chien Liu at yliu6@gc.cuny.edu

Please contact us at segalff@gc.cuny.edu