Tag Archives: A Month of Single Frames

Lynne Sachs Q&A at Sheffield Doc/Fest

July 2, 2020
Sheffield Doc/ Fest – Lynne Sachs – Live Q&A

Our Festival Director, Cíntia Gil is joined by our in-focus director, Lynne Sachs to discuss her films and to take questions from the audience for a live Q&A.  

DATE: Thursday, 2 July 
TIME: 7pm (BST)

The Q&A is free and open to all – please register through link below: 

Lynne Sachs Live Q&A registration

Filmmaker Lynne Sachs, in conversation with Festival Director Cíntia Gil, will discuss 5 films that form her Director’s Focus within the Ghosts & Apparitions strand and her upcoming international premiere of Film About A Father Who which screens as part of Doc/Fest in October. Lynne Sachs’ films explore the notion of translation as a poetic and political tool for widening the world. Together with the focus, Doc/Fest presents Sachs’ video lecture My Body, Your Body, Our Bodies: Somatic Cinema at Home and in the World, a fascinating journey through her themes and work. 

Her films are currently available to watch on Sheffield Doc/Fest Selects and Doc/Player:

The Last Happy Day, 2009, 37’
Which Way Is EastNotebooks from Vietnam in collaboration with Dana Sachs, 1994, 33’ 
Your Day Is My Night, 2013, 64’
The Washing Society, co-directed by Lizzie Olesker, 2018, 44’ 
A Month of Single Frames, made with and for Barbara Hammer, 2019, 14’ 


A Month of Single Frames – Sheffield Doc/ Fest 2020 Review

by Robert Salsbury
June 25, 2020
One Room With A View

In 2018, one year before she passed away, the influential feminist filmmaker Barbara Hammer revisited a project she had worked on 20 years prior, compiled over the course of a month while living in one of Princeton’s Dune Shacks. In this short film created in collaboration with experimental filmmaker Lynne Sachs, we are immersed in Hammer’s observations from the dunes through film, writing, and photography.

The film is structured around Hammer reading from her 1998 diary while images from her month of seclusion capture the biodiversity of the sand dunes. The result is an incredibly potent study of life in all its many forms and the difficulty of facing one’s own mortality. As Hammer looks back on her younger self, layers of memory cascade over each other as the images of the sand dunes slide together to form a compelling montage of the natural world.

Sachs deliberately contrasts Hammer’s shots of the gorgeous sun-dappled ridges with her close-ups of plants and insects, setting the grand majesty of the world against its delicate minutiae to form a rich tapestry of life among the banks. Crucially, the film never feels manufactured or over-structured. Sachs successfully maintains the feeling of an off-the-cuff journal that captures Hammer’s ideas as they come to her. We hear conversations between the two filmmakers discussing the footage and the diary extracts, helping to build up the idea that the production is a spur of the moment thing.

At the beginning of the film, Hammer reads from her diary “I didn’t shoot it, I saw it,” and it is this feeling of spontaneous observation and meditation that Sachs manages to recapture so successfully here. Gorgeous timelapses of the sun rising and falling over the dunes form a soothing document of the beauty of seclusion, while Hammer’s narration makes this a touching memorial.


CAST: Barbara Hammer, Lynne Sachs
DIRECTOR: Lynne Sachs
SYNOPSIS: Barbara Hammer looks back on a project from 1998 in which she spent a month in the Princeton sand dunes observing nature and reflecting on her life.

Ubiquarian: The Process is the Practice

The Process is the Practice
By Tara Judah
June 21, 2020

Prolific and poetic, experimental and documentary filmmaker, Lynne Sachs, lights up this year’s online edition of Sheffield Doc|Fest with a mini-retrospective, annotated lecture and her new feature, Film About a Father Who (2020).

Tara Judah

It happened less than ten years ago, when she was working on Your Day is My Night (2013): Lynne Sachs located the performance within her process and set out to challenge/change it. The idea was to gain participation, collaboration. Instead of turning a camera on her subjects – when they would perform instead of reveal – she decided to include them in the construction and craft of her filmmaking; when you point a camera at a subject, you can’t capture, you command. And power, though useful for its authoritative and therefore convincing tone, is also deeply problematic. In a way, what Sachs is doing is quietly radical. Not just because it is an attempt to remove the hierarchy inherent in documentary since Robert Flaherty started its discourse (Sachs is also a Flaherty Seminar alumnus) but, also, because it is an admission and undermining of her own intrinsic and pervasive authorial voice. It’s ambitious, but that’s also where a kind of freedom resides. The ambition is so substantial that it alone is enough; it doesn’t matter if she succeeds. In this way, Sachs’ later work, from Your Day is My Night onwards, is less about subjects and more about process.

Film still from “Your Day is My Night” (2013) by Lynne Sachs. Courtesy of Sheffield Doc|Fest

She’s been making films for more than thirty years, but the mini retrospective screening as part of this year’s online edition of Doc/Fest selects moments from the last decade to fit a through-line about Ghosts and Apparitions. I’m not interested in these, as they could be found almost anywhere, and in anyone’s work. In Sachs’ work all I find – and all I want to find – is respectful practice. There is more than just an artist at work, here, there is a generous exploration at play.

Before Sachs experienced her epiphany, she made Which Way is East? (1994), an arresting, painterly exploration of Vietnam. As one of the first American filmmakers granted permission to shoot in Vietnam, Sachs had the weight of responsibility and expectation on her shoulders. Despite this, the film has a sense of lightness and freedom, especially in its aesthetic and aural approach: it begins with a stilted photographic trajectory, literally rendering the moving image as a series of broad brush strokes, while the almost endlessness of the cicadas’ chirrup pitch moves the image along, though not necessarily forward. It is a sensory introduction, rather than a history lesson, and here Sachs’ work is at its most successful, inviting us, as viewers and listeners to be in this depiction of Vietnam, not to look at or hear a presentation of it. Eventually, Sachs and her camera will arrive somewhere static, she will then switch to a show and tell mode, which is informative but less awesome. She flits between the two with relative ease for the remainder of the film, letting her observations and those of her sister, Dana, interpolate the experience. It is as much about making her own memories as it is the chasing of those left behind by others. Her sister’s remarks are among the most revelatory, “I hate the camera,” she muses, “The world feels too wide for the lens and if I try to frame it, I only cut it up.” Holding a camera and being a filmmaker are not one and the same, “Lynne sees it through the eyes of its lens,” she continues, “It’s as if she understands Vietnam better when she looks at it through the lens of her camera.” For Sachs, the practice has always been the pursuit. She instinctively knew, even before it occurred to her laterally, to share the filmmaking in order to make it more accessible, more honest and more like the world it hopes to offer. It may have taken her another almost twenty years to fully understand and break with the idea of documentary as an act or approach, but there is a silver lining of melancholia inside Which Way is East? It makes me wonder if 1) she already knew and 2) if the practice, though expressive and creative as an outlet is also overwhelming, as there is some sadness here.

Film still from “Which Way is East?” (1994) by Lynne Sachs. Courtesy of Sheffield Doc|Fest

Looking at historical resonance while also pursuing the interplay between the personal and political, Sachs can’t help but put her heart into her films. The Last Happy Day (2009) stars her own children and uses family, performance, narration, interviews and archive to construct a story about stories. For some, it’s a story about Sachs’ relative, Sandor (Alexander) Lenard, a Hungarian Jew who fled to Rome and later Brazil, where he translated Winnie the Pooh into Latin. Lenard spoke thirteen different languages, and no one knew he was Jewish, so the film is also about what we do and do not know, and how we might go about trying to unpick the constructions and obstructions therein. To demonstrate the difficulty to (re)telling history, Sachs has whole through-lines about bones, with several stunning superimposed images that offer the fragments and the palimpsest at once. She even has one interviewee straight up tell us, “I don’t know anymore what’s real and what’s fantasy,” perhaps even a little too direct for a doc, but ironically true nonetheless, “I am not sure of the truth.”

Remembrance is also brought into question via the presence of doctored documents; literal erasure of a name lets us reflect on the ethics and truths that we can never know as so many were removed from our future before they could even make their mark. What struck me most, however, was the role of the central, yet arguably flippant, text. I wonder how the characters are in translation. Sachs’ band of performers – here, her children and their friends – act out scenes and discuss the meaning behind some of the plot points. Inevitably, they end up discussing the death drive when they get to talking about depression and Eeyore. I’ve always hated Winne the Pooh, because I thought he and many of his mates – Tigger, Rabbit, Owl and maybe even Piglet in his cowardice – were bullies, unkind to Eeyore, to whom my heart always went out. If I were Eeyore and had to live in their world, I might also desire death as an end to my depression. Even Christopher Robin didn’t seem to do anything to help, and he was a (white) human, surely the one with all the power. Could be that I remember it wrong, unsure what’s real and what’s fantasy, but in my remembrance, it is a horrible story filled with horrible characters. It’s lack of compassion makes me sad, still.

Film still from “The Last Happy Day” (2009) by Lynne Sachs. Courtesy of Sheffield Doc|Fest

But the film itself failed to move me. It was clever and fits a bunch of paradigms that I’d call smart documentary filmmaking. I even think it’s the most obvious fit for that Ghosts and Apparitions programme title. Perhaps that is why it didn’t move me at all. It’s all a bit too neat, well thought out. Nothing incidental or imperfect. No rough edges. But then I watched The Washing Society (2017, co-directed with Lizzie Olesker) and everything changed.

Thanks to Sachs’ newfound process of inclusive filmmaking, with her subjects, The Washing Society feels like a story from, not about New York City laundromats. Visiting over fifty laundries, Sachs tells us, “Sometimes they told us to stop, other times no one notices.” This is how her filmmaking has fundamentally changed: it’s not a process of requesting permission and setting up a tripod to stage an interview, it’s being in the space, with the people, and finding out what the story is as it unravels. Owing to this shift, the performative set pieces within the film – be it actors reading lines, narrated poetic interventions, or even Sachs’ fascination and lingering look at the way light dances around her subject(s) – are seamlessly integrated into an otherwise seemingly observatory mode. What I liked most was that it felt personal, private, public and political at once; the invisible labour of laundry workers is made visible, while the objects we wear to cover and conceal are laid bare, tossing and turning in machines after their toil, until they are, eventually, ready to perform their duty once more. Clothes are the ultimate in public and private markers; from the hours and loads of labour used to make, market and sell them before they even become hours and loads of labour to clean, fold and return to their often-oblivious wearers. I watched, at home, folding my own laundry, mostly that of my almost one-year-old son, painfully aware as I am that domestic labour (performed here whilst undertaking professional labour) is almost always unseen and almost never remunerated. I loved this film not because it struck a chord, but because it could; its poetry sparing and its humanity, honesty and openness laid out with generosity and as a gesture to the many faces that have served and are fast disappearing from NY’s many regenerated neighbourhoods as an app and its collection truck counterpart take over the (barely) visible nature of the business.

Film still from “The Washing Society” (2017) by Lynne Sachs and Lizzie Olesker. Courtesy of Sheffield Doc|Fest

It’s an important reminder, from Sachs, to think about what is not seen, whenever we reflect on what we have seen. Your Day is My Night (2013) is not just a film; it has had live stage performances and it is alive in the lives of those it features. Beds and stages and monologues and movement and projection are all elements of this docu-dramatic staged record of what it means to be more than how we are recognised. Spanning the deep economic issues of the US, and the failed reality of the outwardly boastful American Dream, all the way to micro-communities and what ‘home’ might ever mean, Your Day is My Night doesn’t show but does reveal the alienation inherent in both Chinese and American society. In making this film, and the live performances that span its production life, Sachs really got to know her collaborators – well, as well as she could with the bridge of a translator. Language can be a powerful separator, and Sachs hints at this in the film by bringing in an actress (Veraalba Santa, who also features in The Washing Society) to play the part of a Puerto Rican immigrant. It’s not Sachs, but her questioning and unease is represented in Santa’s performative role.

In her lecture, My Body, Your Body, Our Bodies: Somatic Cinema at Home and in the World, Sachs admits that she is still grappling with the extent to which she should express herself, and the subject. Her body may not be present in this film (it features heavily in many of her earlier, more experimental and material works), but exposing herself has served as a form of generosity, especially where she is asking an actress to expose themselves bare, as in The House of Science: A Museum of False Facts (1991).

Bodies exist but so do thoughts and feelings. And suicide is genuinely considered as an option when old age sets in for those who have no real ‘home’ to go to – neither a citizen of the US or China, there is a unique and pugilistic purgatory for some. Every round is a beating, but fight is what you came to do. I kept thinking of Charles Yu’s fantastic new book, Interior Chinatown (2020) as I watched it. Yu’s book is so many things – maybe everything – a documentary as a book, certainly. A uniquely crafted satire of Hollywood, racism in the United States, and the slippage between screenwriting and prose, Yu’s book looks at the stereotypes of ‘Generic Asian Man’, ‘Background Oriental Male’, ‘Kung Fu Guy’ and more. The people in Sachs’ film feel like characters, at times. Maybe because their lives, like the characters in Yu’s book, are enmeshed with the performance of their parameters – Chinatown in NYC, stuck in a stereotyped nightmare, “I was very aware of the narrow spectrum of representation of the denizens of New York City’s Chinatown,” Sachs tells Paolo Javier in an interview for BOMB Magazine, “Those kinds of Hollywood  images haunted me really. In fact, when I first chose the seven people who are featured in my film, I realized that most of them had already worked as extras for the movie industry at some point in their lives.” Fictions and realities reside, side by side, sometimes even in the same bed, sleeping in shifts.

Film still from Lynne Sachs’s “A Month of Single Frames” (2019) Courtesy of Sheffield Doc|fest

Sachs can’t, shouldn’t and thankfully doesn’t separate these two elements in her films. She works with them. And, now, in her more recent work, she allows the process to become the practice. In her most recent film screening in the programme focus at Doc|Fest, A Month of Single Frames(2019), a work pulling together various pieces of Barbara Hammer’s personal archive – 16mm film footage, journal entries and recorded stories – Sachs lets decisions leak into the final edit, allows us to understand how images move as time lapses. For Hammer as for Sachs as for an audience, frame rates and time passing is only relevant insofar as it is a part of the process that makes up such a thing as a filmmaking practice. It is not important when it occurs, only that it does. In that way, the film is not an archive or an object to be examined or understood. It is the act of holding those things, that person, their feelings, their being.

In this way, Film About a Father Who (2020) is her greatest achievement yet. Digging into far more than the family archive, Sachs takes footage and feelings that span her entire life to create a portrait, not of her father, but of “complicit ignorance” and how pervasive lies of omission might permeate both films and lives, through their intrinsic and insidious power dynamic. Her father is many things, among them a philanderer. Much was uncovered, but he withheld more. This is the role of structure and authority, the act of patriarchy and the act of whomsoever holds power. In this film, it is clear that her father is not the only one with power to play with – his mother, Maw-Maw, is just as commanding, especially as the puller of purse-strings, whose judgement has the ability to grant or take away knowledge, access, identity; family, truth and more. This is what Sachs has been working on all her life because it is the process of uncovering her power and confronting herself. Her aim to frame truth and authenticity will always be compromised by the reality of the moment that the camera is turned on, be it for family or strangers. In Film About a Father Who, Sachs admits that she is filming as a way of finding transparency. It is the ultimate in searching for cinematic veracity. She finds something beautiful and deeply moving, here. Speaking about the differences between her parents, she uses grammar as a metaphor. By extension, her own practice can be understood as a process of grammatic excellence; each thought, memory, scene, time and space given pause and punctuated by still more dancing light.

Film still from Lynne Sachs’s “Film About a Father Who” (2020) Courtesy of Sheffield Doc|fest

Reflecting on the impact of experimental filmmaker Stan Brakhage and his ground-breaking film Window Water Baby Moving (1959), Sachs understands her practice as the unification of art and life, “As a mom and an artist, I was extremely inspired by the way that he integrated his family into his daily practice as an artist. If you separate the two, both suffer.” On her own website, she further imagines “a list of possible lectures one might give in conjunction with the screening of this film [Window Water Baby Moving]. I offer them to you as a vehicle by which to ponder the last forty years of American cultural history.” There are twenty-three. I won’t list them, here. But they did get me thinking about possible lectures one might give in conjunction with the screenings of Sachs’ films. Here’s five of my suggestions.

Confronting Performativity
In Defense of Poetry
The Collaborative Moment
Towards an Understanding of Dancing Light
The Camera as Pencil; Drawing in the Margins

Lynne Sachs Focus at Sheffield Doc/ Fest

June 1 2020
Announcing 2020 filmmakers’ spotlights and our retrospective

Today Sheffield Doc/Fest begins its festival with the international premiere of my feature Film About a Father Who along with a “spotlight” on six of my films.
“Two filmmakers have inspired a special focus: Simplice Ganou and Lynne Sachs” From very different regions of the globe (Burkina Faso and USA), with very different ways of filming and telling stories, both are filmmakers obsessed with the possibility of encountering the other, of building bonds with other humans through their camera, and translating that into cinematic beauty.”

“Drawing on her vast body of works from the past 30 years, we will present a curated selection of films by Lynne Sachs, focusing on the notion of translation as a practice of encountering others and reshaping and reinterpreting filmic language. This focus will be part of the online Ghosts & Apparitions film strand.”

Simplice Ganou, Sarah Maldoror, and Lynne Sachs

In the lead up to revealing our full official selection for 2020 on 8 June, we would like to announce:

  • the theme of our annual retrospective: Reimagining the Land, curated by Christopher Small.
  • and three special focuses: 
    • a screening in tribute to the late French West Indies film pioneer Sarah Maldoror;
    • a focus on American artist Lynne Sachs; 
    • a focus on Burkina Faso filmmaker Simplice Ganou.

Focus on Lynne Sachs

Lynne Sachs headshot
(Image: Lynne Sachs)

Drawing on her vast body of works from the past 30 years, we will present a curated selection of films by Lynne Sachs, focusing on the notion of translation as a practice of encountering others and reshaping and reinterpreting filmic language. This focus will be part of the online Ghosts & Apparitions film strand.

Five Lynne Sachs films ranging from 1994 – 2018 – mostly involving creative collaboration with others – will feature as part of our online programme from 10 June.

Her latest film, Film About a Father Who, offers a complex portrait of Ira Sachs Sr., a bon vivant and pioneering businessman from Park City, shot over a period of 35 years, and will make its International Premiere in Sheffield in October, and following that, online, as part of Into The World Film Strand.

Together with the focus, we will present Sachs’ video lecture My Body, Your Body, Our Bodies: Somatic Cinema at Home and in the World, a fascinating journey through her themes and work.

Lynne Sachs focus, in Ghosts & Apparitions online:
Drawing on her vast body of works from over the past 30 years, we will present a curated selection of films by Lynne Sachs, focusing on the notion of translation as a practice of encountering others and reshaping and reinterpreting filmic language. Tensions arise from the filmmaker’s memories of Vietnam as a tragic place of war in Which Way Is East…; The Last Happy Day is a portrait of a man who translated “Winnie the Pooh” into Latin and reconstructed the remains of American soldiers; Your Day Is My Night tells of places in New York inhabited by immigrant workers and shaped by their lives and stories; the translation of Barbara Hammer’s images and sounds on a deserted landscape become a poem for her deceased friend in A Month of Single Frames. If translation can be considered the job of filmmaking, these works become a poetic and political tool for widening our view of the world and touching on its complexity, rendering it intimate and available for thought. Between them – Theatre, performance, music and an extremely sensitive and tender camera – compose a body of work that becomes more relevant each day.

Lynne Sachs (in collaboration with Dana Sachs), USA, 1994, 33 min

“A frog that sits at the bottom of a well thinks that the whole sky is only as big as the lid of a pot.”

Two American sisters travel from Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi, followed by their own ghosts and those of local memories. On their way, they meet a country and its richness – strangers, translations, parables and stories, in a complex landscape. History is put into perspective, as each conversation becomes a true encounter: uncountable possible words to translate what we see and what we hear. The Vietnam they knew from TV is only a tiny part of this world to which they now decide to pay attention.

Lynne Sachs, USA, 2009, 37 min

A portrait of Sandor (Alexander) Lenard, a Hungarian medical doctor and a distant cousin of Sachs.  In 1938 Lenard, a writer with a Jewish background, fled the Nazis to Rome. Shortly thereafter, the U.S. Army Graves Registration Service hired him to reconstruct the bones of dead American soldiers.  Eventually he found himself in Brazil where he translated “Winnie the Pooh” into Latin, an eccentric task that catapulted him to brief world-wide fame.  Personal letters, abstracted war imagery, home movies, interviews, and a children’s performance create an intimate meditation on the destructive power of war.

Lynne Sachs, USA, 2013, 64 min

Since the early days of New York’s Lower East Side tenement houses, working class people have shared beds, making such spaces a fundamental part of immigrant life. A “shift-bed” is an actual bed that is shared by people who are neither in the same family nor in a relationship. It’s an economic necessity brought on by the challenges of urban existence. Such a bed can become a remarkable catalyst for storytelling as absolute strangers become de facto confidants. As the bed transforms into a stage, the film reveals the collective history of Chinese immigrants in the USA, a story not often documented.

Lynne Sachs and Lizzie Olesker, USA, 2018, 44 min

When you drop off a bag of dirty laundry, who’s doing the washing and folding? The Washing Society brings us into New York City laundromats and the experiences of the people who work there. With a title inspired by the 1881 organization of African-American laundresses, The Washing Society investigates the intersection of history, underpaid work, immigration, and the sheer math of doing laundry. Dirt, skin, lint, stains, money, and time are thematically interwoven into the very fabric of the film, through interviews and observational moments. With original music by sound artist Stephen Vitiello.

Lynne Sachs, made with and for Barbara Hammer, USA, 2019, 14 min

In 1998, filmmaker Barbara Hammer had a one-month artist residency in the C Scape Duneshak which is run by the Provincetown Community Compact in Cape Cod, Massachusetts. While there, she shot 16mm film with her Beaulieu camera, recorded sounds with her cassette recorder and kept a journal. In 2018, Barbara began her own process of dying by revisiting her personal archive. She gave all of her Duneshack images, sounds and writing to filmmaker Lynne Sachs and invited her to make a film with the material.

International Premiere of Lynne Sachs’s latest film, as part of Into The World screenings in October:

Film About a Father Who by Lynne Sachs
(Image: Film About A Father Who by Lynne Sachs, 2020)


Lynne Sachs, USA, 2020, 74 min 

International Premiere

Over a period of 35 years, Sachs shot varied footage  of her father, Ira Sachs Sr., a bon vivant and pioneering Utah businessman. This is her attempt to understand the web that connects child to parent and sister to sibling. With a nod to the Cubist renderings of a face, Sachs’ cinematic exploration offers simultaneous, sometimes contradictory, views of one seemingly unknowable man who is publicly the uninhibited center of the frame yet privately ensconced in secrets. Sachs as a daughter discovers more about her father than she had ever hoped to reveal.

“A Month of Single Frames” at Moschino & Moscow Independent Experimental Film Festival – Barbara Hammer Tribute

June 6, 2020

On 6 June at 18:00, Moschino will show on the Live page six films from the program of the 66th International Short Film Festival in Oberhausen, which took place online from 13 to 18 May 2020. The paintings were awarded prizes and special mentions of the festival.

The program is presented by Dmitry Frolov , head of the Moschino Fakel cinema, curator of the MIEFF Experimental Film Festival, member of the jury of the competition program of the 66th Film Festival in Oberhausen. See below his lecture on the rich and creative history of the world’s oldest short film festival.

The selection includes: the winner of the show, the film-diary of self-isolation “Month of Single Frames”, the story of a Greek woman told through her behind-the-scenes reflections (“BELLA”), a documentary video essay about the director’s mother, a schizophrenic patient (“Bright sadness”), manual labor through the eyes of the Chinese a video artist (“I am the people_1”), the first sound film from Finland (“Patent No. 314805”) and a doc about the composer Beatrice Ferreira, an honorary member of the International Organization for Electroacoustic Music UNESCO (“Drawing a diagonal with music”).

The session will be followed by a Q&A with Lynne Sachs, the director of Stills Month, which won the Grand Prix of the festival.


The broadcast will also be available on Colta.ru .


The Oberhausen International Short Film Festival is the world’s oldest and largest short film show since 1954. The festival focuses on avant-garde and experimental cinema, video art and new media. BELLA

Echoes of the Oberhausen Film Festival: Q&A with Lynne Sachs June 6, 2020 As part of the joint program of Moschino and the International Short Film Festival in Oberhausen, The Moscow Independent Experimental Film Festival showed six films from this year’s festival program. Among them – the winner of the Grand Prix “A Month of Single Frames” by Lynne Sachs. Curator Dmitry Frolov in conversation with Lynne Sachs.

Close Up: Barbara Hammer
Moscow Independent Experimental Film Festival
June 2020

This year’s programme of MIEFF’s annual Close-up section presents the first Russian retrospective of the avant-garde female director and artist Barbara Hammer. Over the fifty years of her practice, Hammer created over 80 films and is recognized as a pioneer of queer cinema. Working primarily with video, she has devoted her artistic practice to the exploration of female homosexuality, the issues of body, and the problem of making marginalized queer culture more visible. During her lifetime, Hammer received a number of major awards and exhibited extensively across the globe. 

The Barbara Hammer retrospective is in two parts. It includes her early experimental films alongside the radical works of the 1970s–1990s that brought her recognition, including the iconic Dyketactics and Menses, as well as her first feature-length picture Nitrate Kisses, which won her the Polar Bear Award at the Berlin Film Festival. 

Curator of the programme: Rita Sokolovskaya.

All films will be screened in their original language with Russian subtitles.

Lynne Sachs discusses “A Month of Single Frames” with Oberhausen Film Festival

A Month of Single Frames was honored to receive the Grand Prize of the City of Oberhausen at Oberhausen’s 66th Annual Film Festival

Statement from Oberhausen:
In the age of necessary social distancing, we would like to highlight a remarkable film which fulfills the noblest vocation of art, fostering an emotional connection between people from different times and geographical locations. For the ability to find poetry and complexity in simple things, for its profound love for life and people, and for attention to detail in working with delicate matters, we decided to award the Grand Prize of the City of Oberhausen to A Month of Single Frames by Lynne Sachs.

Q&A about “A Month of Single Frames” and award acceptance

“A Month of Single Frames” Wins Grand Prix at 66th Oberhausen Film Festival

13 – 18 May 2020
Oberhausen, Germany

Awards of the International Competition
Prizes awarded by the International Jury

Members of the International Jury:
Frank Beauvais (France), Lerato Bereng (South Africa), Dmitry Frolov (Russia), Michał Matuszewski (Poland), Brittany Shaw (USA)

Grand Prize of the City of Oberhausen

A Month of Single Frames
Lynne Sachs
USA 2019, 14 min. 12 sec., colour

In the age of necessary social distancing, we would like to highlight a remarkable film which fulfills the noblest vocation of art, fostering an emotional connection between people from different times and geographical locations. For the ability to find poetry and complexity in simple things, for its profound love for life and people, and for attention to detail in working with delicate matters, we decided to award the Grand Prize of the City of Oberhausen to A Month of Single Frames by Lynne Sachs.


“A Month of Single Frames” to screen online with the 66th Oberhausen Film Festival

May 2020
Competition Selection 2020
International Competition

International Competition:

The world’s oldest short film competition is a forum for experiments, unusual content and formats, and the place for cinematic discoveries. Every year, filmmakers from all over the world present themselves here.

The International Competition selection includes artistic contributions from all genres, explores the freedom of the short form, surprises and enriches the audience. The industry audience research new films here and a premiere screened in this competition is often a springboard for selection by other festivals – not least for the Oscar (Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences).

The competition presents a selection of the most interesting works of the year and invites filmmakers from all over the world to present their work in person. In the International Competition, only German festival premieres are shown, including numerous world premieres. There is also a focus on works from countries outside the strong production infrastructures, especially from Eastern and South Eastern Europe and the African states.

The films selected by an independent committee from well over 6,000 submissions compete for prize money of 25,500 €. Prizes are awarded by four juries: the International Jury, the Jury of the Ministry of Culture and Science of North Rhine-Westphalia, the Ecumenical Jury and the FIPRESCI Jury. 

Jury of the International Competition 2020

Frank Beauvais, filmmaker, France
Lerato Bereng, curator, South Africa
Dmitry Frolov, curator, Russia
Michał Matuszewski, curator, Poland
Brittany Shaw, curator, USA

Among the international competition films were works by

Eija-Liisa Ahtila, Santiago Álvarez, Lindsay Anderson, Roy Andersson, Kenneth Anger, Andrea Arnold, Yael Bartana, Neil Beloufa, Jürgen Böttcher, Walerian Borowczyk, Stan Brakhage, Vera Chytilová, Jem Cohen, Terence Davies, Khavn De La Cruz, Valie Export, Milos Forman, Robert Frank, Karpo Godina, James Herbert, Takashi Ito, Joris Ivens, Ken Jacobs, Jean-Pierre Jeunet, Isaac Julien, Miranda July, William Kentridge, Jan Lenica, George Lucas, Dusan Makavejev, Jonas Mekas, Mike Mills, Kornel Mundruczo, Robert Nelson, Yoko Ono, Adina Pintilie, Roman Polanski, Laure Prouvost, Alain Resnais, Pipilotti Rist, Martin Scorsese, Cate Shortland, John Smith, Michael Snow, Alexander Sokurov, Jan Svankmajer, Eva Stefani, István Szabó, Matsumoto Toshio, François Truffaut, Gus Van Sant, Agnès Varda, Bill Viola, Apitchatpong Weerasethakul, Jia Zhang-Ke, Zelimir Zilinik

Full 2020 Program

Cuckoo Roller, Paddy Hay, 2019, 15’10”, International Competition
The Echo, Michael Gupta, 2020, 02’30”, Children’s and Youth Film Competition

Heavy Metal Detox, Josef Dabernig, 2019, 12’00”, International Competition 
Pomp, Katrina Daschner, 2020, 07’43”, International Competition 

The Institute, Alexander Glandien, 2020, 13’00”, German Competition
This Makes Me Want to Predict the Past, Cana Bilir-Meier, 2019, 16‘05‘‘, German Competition

Le Poisson fidèle, Atelier Collectif, 2019, 07’40”, Children’s and Youth Film Competition

Da-Dzma, Jaro Minne, 2019, 15’36”, International Competition

Baile, Cíntia Domit Bittar, 2019, 18’00”, Children’s and Youth Film Competition
O Jardim Fantástico, Fábio Baldo/Tico Dias, 2020, 20’30”, International Competition

Le mangeur d’orgues, Diane Obomsawin, 2019, 01’19”, International Competition
Oursons, Nicolas Renaud, 2019, 09’10”, International Competition 

The Initiation Well, Chris Kennedy, 2020, 03’30”, International Competition

Extrañas Criaturas, Cristina Sitja/Cristobal Leon, 2019, 15’00”, International Competition/Children’s and Youth Film Competition

I Am the People_I, Li Xiaofei, 2019, 25’00”, International Competition
Phoenix, Su Zhong, 2020, 07’27”, International Competition

PLATA O PLOMO, Nadia Granados, 2019, 04’19”, International Competition 
Ramón, Natalia Bernal Castillo, 2020, 07’10”, Children’s and Youth Film Competition

Porvenir, Renata Poljak, 2020, 12’15”, International Competition
Strujanja, Katerina Duda, 2019, 16’10”, International Competition

Las Muertes de Arístides, Lázaro Lemus, 2019, 16’10”, International Competition

Czech Republic
Apparatus as a Goal of History, Zbyněk Baladrán, 2019, 13’52”, International Competition 
Milenina píseň, Anna Remešová/Marie Lukacova, 2019, 09’01”, International Competition

Patentti Nr. 314805, Mika Taanila, 2020, 02’16”, International Competition
Talvinen järvi, Petteri Saario, 2019, 15’00”, Children’s and Youth Film Competition

Crossing Paths, Éva Freund, 2019, 09’55”, International Competition

Cœur Fondant, Benoît Chieux, 2019, 11’20”, Children’s and Youth Film Competition
Esperança, Cécile Rousset/Jeanne Paturle/Benjamin Serero, 2019, 05’25”, Children’s and Youth Film Competition
Never look at the Sun, Baloji, 2019, 05’16”, International Competition 
Mat et les gravitantes, Pauline Penichout, 2019, 26’00”, International Competition
Moutons, loup et tasse de thé…, Marion Lacourt, 2019, 12’10”, Children’s and Youth Film Competition
Sous la canopée, Bastien Dupriez, 2019, 06’38”, Children’s and Youth Film Competition
Têtard, Jean-Claude Rozec, 2019, 13’40”, Children’s and Youth Film Competition
Un lynx dans la ville, Nina Bisiarina, 2019, 06’48”, Children’s and Youth Film Competition

Aquí y allá, Melisa Liebenthal, 2019, 21’41”, International Competition

Nan Fang Shao Nv (She Runs), Qiu Yang, 2019, 19’32”, Children’s and Youth Film Competition

Sans plomb, Louise Groult, 2019, 08‘00‘‘, Children’s and Youth Film Competition

Sukar, Ilias El Faris, 2019, 09’00”, Children’s and Youth Film Competition

France/South Africa/Germany
Shepherds, Teboho Edkins, 2020, 27’00”, German Competition/International Competition

France/South Korea
Boriya, Min Sung Ah, 2019, 17’13”, Children’s and Youth Film Competition

Scenes from Trial and Error, Tekla Aslanishvili, 2020, 32’00”, German Competition

Abgelaufen, Roman Schaible, 2019, 04’39”, MuVi Award
AQUA IMPROMPTU, Ebba Jahn, 2019, 13’12”, German Competition
attractions, Patrick Wallochny, 2019, 04’16”, Children’s and Youth Film Competition
Beasts Of No Nation, Krzysztof Honowski, 2019, 09’28”, German Competition
Becky’s Weightloss Palace, Bela Brillowska, 2020, 08’00”, Children’s and Youth Film Competition
Berzah, Deren Ercenk, 2020, 26’22”, NRW Competition
Causality and Meaning, Martin Brand, 2020, 09’17”, German Competition
Chico Crew I, Christine Gensheimer, 2020, 2’17”, MuVi Award
Das war unsere BRD, Ariane Andereggen/Ted Gaier, 2019, 10’01”, MuVi Award
Der natürliche Tod der Maus, Katharina Huber, 2020, 21’34”, German Competition
Die sehen ja nur, die wissen ja nichts, Silke Schönfeld, 2020, 26’58”, NRW Competition
Dunkelfeld, Marian Mayland/Patrick Lohse/Ole-Kristian Heyer, 2020, 17’35”,German Competition
Eurydike, Zaza Rusadze/Andreas Reihse, 2020, 03’45”, MuVi Award
Freeze Frame, Soetkin Verstege, 2019, 05’00”, Children’s and Youth Film Competition
Ganze Tage zusammen, Luise Donschen, 2019, 23’00”, German Competition
If there is love, you will take it, Daniel Hopp, 2020, 10’41”, German Competition
Im toten Park, Moritz Liewerscheidt, 2019, 08’00”, NRW Competition
Introspektion, Hamid Kargar, 2019, 04’14”, MuVi Award
Jona, Jonathan Schaller, 2019, 16’12”, NRW Competition
Kunst, Dietrich Brüggemann, 2019, 03’57”, MuVi Award
L’Artificio, Francesca Bertin, 2020, 23’00”, German Competition
Labor of Love, Sylvia Schedelbauer, 2020, 11’30”, German Competition
Mad Mieter, M + M (Weis/De Mattia), 2019, 06’09”, German Competition
Nackenwirbel, DIE GLITZIES/Nina Werner/Simon Quack/André Siegers/Bernd Schoch, 2020, 05’53”, MuVi Award
Passage, Ann Oren, 2020, 12’48”, German Competition
Phoenix, Florian Felix Koch, 2020, 13’32”, NRW Competition
Play Me That Silicon Waltz Again, Rainer Knepperges, 2019, 03’41”, NRW Competition
schichteln, Verena Wagner, 2019, 21’28”, German Competition
Shadowbanned, Jan Lankisch, 2020, 03’28”, MuVi Award
Semiotics of the City, Daniel Burkhardt, 2020, 04’00”, NRW Competition
SUGAR, Bjørn Melhus, 2019, 20’30”, German Competition
there may be uncertainty, Paul Reinholz, 2020, 28’58”, NRW Competition
Vicious, Lucie Friederike Mueller, 2019, 02’35”, MuVi Award
VIVE LA LIBERTÉ, Dieter Reifarth/Vollrad Kutscher, 2019, 05’32”, German Competition
Wer sagt denn das?, Timo Schierhorn/UWE, 2019, 03’00”, MuVi Award

them people, Nausheen Javed, 2020, 05’37”, NRW Competition

The Ghosts We Left at Home, Faris Alrjoob, 2020, 21’00”, German Competition

Klusā daba, Anna Ansone, 2020, 22’00”, NRW Competition

Letters from Silivri, Adrian Figueroa, 2019, 15’50”, German Competition
Onun Haricinde, İyiyim, Eren Aksu, 2020, 14’00”, German Competition

Nolove, Sergii Kushnir, 2020, 03’27”, MuVi Award

Sketch Artist, Loretta Fahrenholz, 2019, 03’44”, MuVi Award

King of Sanwi, Akosua Adoma Owusu, 2020, 07’18”, International Competition *

BELLA, Thelyia Petraki, 2020, 24’30”, International Competition

What We Still Can Do, Nora Ananyan, 2019, 14’34”, International Competition 

Bittersweet, Sohrab Hura, 2019, 13’48”, International Competition 

Christy, Brendan Canty, 2019, 14’17”, Children’s and Youth Film Competition
Receiver, Jenny Brady, 2019, 14’36”, International Competition

Chinbin Western, Kazoku no Hyosho (Chinbin Western, Representation of the family), Chikako Yamashiro, 2019, 32’00”, International Competition
yumemi banani utsutsu (Dreaming Away), Yuta Masuda, 2019, 09’38”, International Competition

Abzel, Aizhamal Akchalova, 2019, 11’47”, International Competition
Ayana, Aidana Topchubaeva, 2019, 20’44”, Children’s and Youth Film Competition

MAN, Yulia Timoshkina, 2020, 11’45”, International Competition

Camera Trap, Chris Chan Fui Chong, 2019, 09’40”, International Competition 

( ( ( ( ( /*\ ) ) ) ) ) (ecos del volcán), Charles Fairbanks/Saul Kak, 2019, 18’15”, International Competition
Dresden Codex, Colectivo los ingrávidos, 2019, 04’59”, International Competition

Junu Ko Jutta, Kedar Shrestha, 2019, 13’02”, Children’s and Youth Film Competition

Elf, Luca Meisters, 2019, 12’52”, Children’s and Youth Film Competition
En route, Marit Weerheijm, 2019, 10’09”, Children’s and Youth Film Competition
L’eau Faux, Serge Onnen/Sverre Fredriksen, 2020, 15’30”, International Competition 
Zachte Krachten, Julia Kaiser, 2019, 20’56”, International Competition

Cuojnasat, Ann Holmgren, 2019, 02’34”, Children’s and Youth Film Competition

Escape Velocity, Jon Lazam, 2019, 02’00”’, International Competition
We still have to close our eyes, John Torres, 2019, 13’00”, International Competition 

Śnię o Rosji, Evgeniia Klemba, 2020, 08’50”, International Competition

Six Portraits of Pain, Teresa Villaverde, 2019, 25’02”, International Competition

The Smell of Coffee, Nishok Nishok , 2019, 11’38”, Children’s and Youth Film Competition

South Korea
Front Door, Ye-jin Lee, 2019, 03’12”, Children’s and Youth Film Competition

Grietas, Alberto Gross, 2019, 12’23”, Children’s and Youth Film Competition
Profecía, Julieta Juncadella, 2020, 13’11”, International Competition 

En film, Mårten Nilsson, 2019, 04’14”, International Competition 
Jamila, Sophie Vukovic, 2019, 13’02”, Children’s and Youth Film Competition

Alma Nel Branco, Agnese Làposi, 2019, 24’50”, International Competition 
Der kleine Vogel und die Bienen, Lena von Döhren, 2020, 04’30”, Children’s and Youth Film Competition
Gira Ancora, Elena Petitpierre, 2019, 22’09”, International Competition
Warum Schnecken keine Beine haben, Aline Höchli, 2019, 10’44”, Children’s and Youth Film Competition

Getting Started, William Crook, 2019, 02’01”, Children’s and Youth Film Competition

Wan Ru Yan Huo (Like Fireworks), Ting-wei Chang,, 2019, 15’00”, Kinder- und Jugendfilmwettbewerb

I’m Not Your F***ing Stereotype, Hesome Chemamah, 2019, 28’59”, Children’s and Youth Film Competition

Ahtapot, Engin Erden, 2019, 12’26”, Children’s and Youth Film Competition
MAMAVILLE, Irmak Karasu, 2019, 20’46”, International Competition 

A Thin Place, Fergus Carmichael, 2019, 12’16”, International Competition
Amaryllis – a Study, Jayne Parker, 2020, 07’00”, International Competition
Dungarees, Abel Rubinstein, 2019, 05’30”, Children’s and Youth Film Competition
Hacer Una Diagonal Con La Musica, Aura Satz, 2019, 10’20”, International Competition
Hard, Cracked the Wind, Mark Jenkin, 2019, 17’18”, International Competition
Our Largest, Marcus Forde, 2019, 05’32”, Children’s and Youth Film Competition
Turning, Linnéa Haviland, 2019, 01’50”, Children’s and Youth Film Competition 

Junkerhaus, Karen Russo, 2019, 07’30”, International Competition

A Song Often Played on the Radio, Raven Chacon/Cristobal Martinez, 2019, 23’25”, International Competition
A Month of Single Frames, Lynne Sachs, 2019, 14’12”, International Competition
Furthest From, Kyung Sok Kim, 2019, 18’58”, Children’s and Youth Film Competition
Hampton, Kevin Jerome Everson/Claudrena N. Harold, 2019, 06’00”, International Competition
Isn’t it a Pity, Heather Trawick, 2019, 07’50”, International Competition

South Korea/USA
Latency/ Contemplation 6, Seoungho Cho, 2020, 06’51”, International Competition

không đề #2 (untitled #2), Nguyen Anh Tu Pham, 2019, 03’02”, International Competition

* Not running as part of the online festival.

“A Month of Single Frames” screening at the Iowa City Documentary Festival

April 30- May 2, 2020
The 17th Annual Iowa City International Documentary Festival

The Iowa City International Documentary Film Festival (ICDOCS) is an annual event run by students at the University of Iowa. Our mission is to engage local audiences with the exhibition of recent short films that explore the boundaries of nonfiction filmmaking. We seek innovative new works of 30 minutes or less that both complicate and expand upon conventional approaches to nonfiction and documentary.


I Can’t / Lori Felker / US / 2020 / 5:00/ Silent – A roll of film is not a successful conduit for grief.

SIR BAILEY / Matthew Ripplinger / Canada / 2018 / 8:00 – A portrait of the filmmaker’s old friend. The film’s surgical cutting and state of decay symbolizes Bailey’s suffering of bone cancer, consisting of home made photographic emulsion, contact printing, and reticulation. Sir Bailey embarks on an existential journey through the shattering photo-chemical plane during his last day of life.

LIMEN / Kathryn Ramey / US / 2019 / 2:06 – Threshold. At the boundaries of perception. Between one state and another.

Ascensor / Adrian Garcia Gomez / US / 2019 / 8:02 – Ascensor is an exploration of grief, longing and mysticism through a queer lens. It documents a syncretic ritual that culls from the magical reverberations in Mexican culture to process the unexpected loss of a dear friend. The repetition of the ritual eventually leads to the transcendence of physical space, transforming unrelenting ache into shining resilience. Philip Horvitz 1960 – 2005

A Month of Single Frames / Lynne Sachs with and for Barbara Hammer US / 2019 / 14:00 – In 1998, filmmaker Barbara Hammer had an artist residency in a shack without running water or electricity. While there, she shot film, recorded sounds and kept a journal. In 2018, Barbara began her own process of dying by revisiting her personal archive. She gave all of her images, sounds and writing from the residency to filmmaker Lynne Sachs and invited her to make a film with the material. Through her own filmmaking, Lynne explores Barbara’s experience of solitude. She places text on the screen as a confrontation with a somatic cinema that brings us all together in multiple spaces and times.

Pilgrim / Cauleen Smith US / 2016 / 11:00 – A live recording of an Alice Coltrane piano performance accompanied by a visual track that documents a pilgrimage across the USA taken by Cauleen Smith, tracing historic sites of creativity and generosity that were an inspiration to her: Alice Coltrane’s Sai Anantam Ashram; the Watts Towers; and the Watervliet Shaker Historic District.


Headroom + Vertical Cinema Present: Films by/ with/ for Barbara Hammer


December 19, 2019
Iowa City, Iowa

Headroom + Vertical Cinema Present: Films by/ with/ for Barbara Hammer

For the last experimental film event of the season, Headroom and Vertical Cinema are appropriately teaming up to present a memorial screening of collaborations by Barbara Hammer, curated by Deborah Stratman!

With a career spanning fifty years, Barbara Hammer is recognized as a pioneer of queer cinema. A visual artist working primarily in film and video, Hammer created a groundbreaking body of experimental work that illuminates lesbian histories, lives and representations. Stated Hammer, “My work makes these invisible bodies and histories visible. As a lesbian artist, I found little existing representation, so I put lesbian life on this blank screen, leaving a cultural record for future generations.”

Barbara Hammer was born in 1939 in Hollywood, California. She lived and worked in New York until her death in 2019.

This set of films, collaborations made by, with, and for Barbara Hammer was curated by Deborah Stratman, who will be in attendance at the screening.