Tag Archives: Girl Is Presence

National Gallery of Art Hosts “Family Constructs: New Films by Lynne Sachs” Online through March 9

National Gallery of Art
Family Constructs: New Films by Lynne Sachs
Curated by Peggy Parsons and Joanna Raczynska.

Streaming now through March 9

Working alone and with various collaborators over the course of 35 years, Lynne Sachs has developed a body of work deeply invested in a range of interwoven personal and ethical subjects. Using all types of media, from 8mm and 16mm film to HD files, her rigorous explorations in sound and image investigate ideas of family, mythology, portraiture, political resistance, feminism, war, and the quotidian. A poet, educator, collage artist, and filmmaker based in Brooklyn, Sachs has received a Guggenheim Fellowship in the Creative Arts (2014), among many other awards. In January 2021, the Museum of the Moving Image organized a major retrospective of her film work. Here, two recent shorts accompany her latest feature, Film About a Father Who . . ., each reflecting features of the artist’s family.

Girl Is Presence

Lynne Sachs has collaborated numerous times with other filmmakers, writers, and performers in her fertile pursuit of a very personal cinematic language. Made with writer Anne Lesley Selcer, and grounded in a domestic sphere during the COVID-19 pandemic, the new short Girl Is Presence features Sachs’s own daughter Noa carefully sifting through and rearranging curious objects while Selcer recites lines from her poem Sun Cycle. (2020, 4 minutes)

Film About a Father Who . . .

Over a period of 35 years between 1984 and 2019, Lynne Sachs recorded 8mm and 16mm film, analogue videotape, and digital images of her father, Ira Sachs Sr., a bon vivant and pioneering businessman from Park City, Utah. Ostensibly a documentary portrait of a parent, Film About a Father Who . . . reveals as much, or more, about patriarchal silences and omissions than about the subject himself, who remains enigmatic throughout. “My father has always chosen the alternative path in life, a path that has brought unpredictable adventures, nine children with six different women, brushes with the police, and a life-long interest in trying to do some good in the world.” It is also a film about the complex dynamics that conspire to create a family. (2020, 74 minutes)

A Year of Notes and Numbers

Silently accumulated handwritten to-do lists and notes to herself become evidence of the filmmaker’s relationship with family, friends, and herself over a limited period of time. These fragments of text and direction on scraps of paper and yellow Post-it notes form an abstract storytelling device—like a personal poem or storyboard for an experimental film. (2016, 4 minutes)

Kino Rebelde to Represent Lynne Sachs’ Catalogue Internationally


Kino Rebelde has created a retrospective that traces a delicate line connecting intimacy, power relations, violence, memory, migration, desire, love, and war in Lynne’s films. By looking at each of these works, we can see a director facing her own fears and contradictions, as well as her sense of friendship and motherhood.  Moving from idea to emotion and back again, our retrospective takes us on a journey through Sachs’ life as a filmmaker, beginning in 1986 and moving all the way to the present.

With the intention of allowing her work to cross boundaries, to interpret and to inquire into her distinctive mode of engaging with the camera as an apparatus for expression, we are delighted to present 37 films that comprise the complete filmmography, so far, of Lynne Sachs as visual artist and filmmaker. Regardless of the passage of time, these works continue to be extremely contemporary, coherent and radical in their artistic conception.

About Kino Rebelde

Kino Rebelde is a Sales and Festival Distribution Agency created by María Vera in early 2017. Its exclusively dedicated to promotion of non-fiction cinema, hybrid narratives and experimental.

Based on the creative distribution of few titles by year, Kino Rebelde established itself as a “boutique agency”, working on a specialized strategy for each film, within its own characteristics, market potential, niches and formal and alternative windows.

This company supports short, medium and long feature films, from any country, with linear or non-linear narratives. They can be in development or WIP, preferably in the editing stage.

The focus: author point of view, pulse of stories, chaos, risk, more questions, less answers, aesthetic and politic transgression, empathy, identities, desires and memory.

Kino Rebelde was born in Madrid, but as its films, this is a nomadic project. In the last years María has been living in Lisbon, Belgrade and Hanoi and she’ll keep moving around.

About María Vera

Festival Distributor and Sales Agent born in Argentina. Founder of Kino Rebelde, a company focused on creative distribution of non-fiction, experimental and hybrid narratives.

Her films have been selected and awarded in festivals as Berlinale, IFFR Rotterdam, IDFA, Visions Du Réel, New York FF, Hot Docs, Jeonju IFF, Sheffield Doc/Fest, Sarajevo FF, Doclisboa and Viennale, among others.

María has a background as producer of socio-political and human rights contents as well as a film curator.Envelope


Lynne Sachs (1961) is an American filmmaker and poet living in Brooklyn, New York. Her moving image work ranges from documentaries, to essay films, to experimental shorts, to hybrid live performances.

Working from a feminist perspective, Lynne weaves together social criticism with personal subjectivity. Her films embrace a radical use of archives, performance and intricate sound work. Between 2013 and 2020, she collaborated with renowned musician and sound artist Stephen Vitiello on five films.

Strongly committed to a dialogue between cinematic theory and practice, she searches for a rigorous play between image and sound, pushing the visual and aural textures in each new project.

Between 1994 and 2009, Lynne directed five essay films that took her to Vietnam, Bosnia, Israel, Italy and Germany – sites affected by international war – where she looked at the space between a community’s collective memory and her own perception. 

Over the course of her career, she has worked closely with film artists Craig Baldwin, Bruce Conner, Ernie Gehr, Barbara Hammer, Chris Marker, Gunvor Nelson, and Trinh T. Min-ha.

“Girl is Presence” to screen at 2021 Oberhausen Film Festival

“Lynne Sachs’s GIRL IS PRESENCE, with poetry by Anne Lesley Selcer, is one my absolute favorite films in the @kurzfilmtage program so far. What a stunner. #Oberhausen”.   Film critic and arts journalist Ela Bittencourt on Twitter

Oberhausen – Announcing our first 2021 competitions
12.02.2021 Press Release News
Announcing Oberhausen’s first online competitions
67. Internationale Kurzfilmtage Oberhausen, 1.-10. Mai 2021

The International Online Competition

40 films from 30 countries have been selected for Oberhausen’s first International Online Competition, more than half of them made by women. The list includes numerous new discoveries, but also works by filmmakers Lynne Sachs, winner of the Grand Prize of the City of Oberhausen 2020 or Kristian Mercado, Grammy nominee for his music videos and SXSW jury prize winner, or artists such as Eszter Szabó or Sebastian Buerkner. One of the main underlying themes in the selection is the boundary between humans and machines. Avatars, robots, artificial intelligences are the focus of films like Sebastian Buerkner’s Surge (UK), my favorite software is being here by Alison Nguyen(USA) or Ieva by Vytautas Plukas and Domas Petronis (Lithuania), which explore the question of what actually makes us human at the intersections between digital and real, between the virtual world and reality.

The online selection committee: Hilke Doering (Kurzfilmtage), Christiane Büchner (filmmaker, Cologne), Greg de Cuir (curator, Belgrade), Javier Estrada (curator, Madrid).

International Online Competition

+x+=+, Niyaz Saghari, Iran
3xShapes of Home, Elisabeth Brun, Norway
Un très long temps d’exposition (A very long exposure time), Chloé Galibert-Laîné, France
Azkorri árnyéka alatt (Under the Shadow of Azkorri), Eszter Katalin, Spain
Belos Carnavais (Beautiful Carnivals), Thiago B. Mendonça, Brazil
Berlabuh (Anchoring), Haris Yuliyanto, Indonesia
Birthday, Yuka Sato, Japan
Cântec de leagăn (Cradle), Paul Mureșan, Romania
copia de la copia (de la copia), Rafal Morusiewicz, Austria
Dear Aki, Nina Kurtela, Croatia
Dos hombres atentos (Two Watchful Men), Joserraúl Ortiz, USA
Footnote to a Season, Julia Dogra-Brazell, France/UK
Girl Is Presence, Lynne Sachs/Anne Lesley Selcer, USA
Hemen. Gaur. Berriz (Here. Today. Again), Aitor Gametxo Zabala, Spain
Ieva, Vytautas Plukas/Domas Petronis, Lithuania
Kalsubai, Yudhajit Basu, India
La Cumbre, Felipe Lopez Gomez, Colombia
La Promenade sous les arbres (Walk Under the Trees), Nathan Clement, Switzerland
Las Credenciales (The Credentials), Manuel Ferrari, Argentina
Minnen (Memories), Kristin Johannessen, Sweden
my favorite software is being here, Alison Nguyen, USA
Nuevo Rico, Kristian Mercado, USA
Oasielles, Nathalie Rossetti, Belgium
Only Yesterday, Sione Monu, New Zealand
Pole Žin (Fields of Žinas), Marie Lukáčová/Anna Remecova, Czech Republic
Rumi X Phantasm, Khavn, Philippines
SON CHANT, Vivian Ostrovsky, USA
Suodji (Shelter), Marja Helander, Finland, Norway
Surge, Sebastian Buerkner, UK
Széphercegnő (Princess Beauty), Szabó Eszter, Hungary
The Light of Day, Alex Eisenberg/Anne Bean, UK
The Other Garden; Joel’s Garden, Go-Eun Im, Netherlands/South Korea
The Shadows, Paulo Pécora, Argentina
The___________World, Peixuan Ouyang, USA/China
Tracing Utopia, Catarina de Sousa/Nick Tyson, Portugal/USA/Australia
Trampa de luz (Light Trap), Pablo Marín, Argentina
Μεσογειακό Τοπίο (Mediterranean Landscape), Christiana Ioannou, Cyprus
Состязательная инфраструктура (Adversarial Infrastructure), Anna Engelhardt, Russia
Wei Qiao (Dangerous Bridge), Aixing Wang, China
我伪装起来了,就在你面前 (Guising, In front for you), Zhu Changquan, China

Oberhausen, 12 February 2021

Press contact: Sabine Niewalda, T +49 (0)208 825-3073, niewalda(at)kurzfilmtage.de

Anne Lesley Selcerr & Lynne Sachs discuss “Girl is Presence” Collaboration

“Girl is Presence” Screening with the 2020 Film and Video Poetry Symposium


November 2020


The 2020 Film and Video Poetry Symposium will take place in Los Angeles, California beginning on November 12th and concluding January 2, 2021. FVPS has programmed over 100 films from more than 20 countries, 80 of which will be presented in an outdoor cinema. Our platform has also curated 5 media installations that will be available to the public on an appointment only basis. Lastly, The Film and Video Poetry Society developed and will deploy a 24/7 online streaming network accessible on our website beginning November 12, 2020 and ending December 31, 2020. Through this live video feed viewers will experience a special selection of films programmed for an international online screening experience.

We have pledged to uphold the cinema experience while also making safety and public health our primary goal. There will be no public or walk up access to our events.  Entrance to screenings must be confirmed by reservation only.

Lynne Sachs & Paolo Javier read poems on KGB Bar Zoom

On Monday, September 28 from 7 to 9 PM EST, the renowned NYC Lower East Side literary gathering space KGB Bar will host my dear compatriot Paolo Javier and me in a two-person poetry reading and film screening. Of course, we both wish we were gathering together in the historic environment of the actual KGB Bar, but pandemic times as they are, this is not to happen.  We accept the virtual world of Zoom, acknowledging the fact that in this particular cosmos, we can invite friends from around the country and world to join us.  If you are in the midst of Yom Kippur that evening, please join us while you break your fast.

This will be my first poetry reading in pandemic times. I will be reading from my new (and first) collection Year by Year Poems (Tender Buttons Press) along with some recent writing fresh from our shared, daunting now.  In addition to reading from my book, I will screen a couple of film-poem collaborations, including Starfish Aorta Colossus (made with Paolo Javier, 2015),  Visit to Bernadette Mayer’s Childhood Home (2020), and Girl is Presence (made with poet Anne Lesley Selcer, 2020)

We are grateful to KGB poetry programmer Jason Schneiderman who invited us to do this reading more than eight months ago.

Introduction by Jason Schneiderman

So we’re a poetry series—we call ourselves Monday Night Poetry at KGB—and Lynne Sachs is a poet, so you’ll be hearing her poems—but inside of Lynne’s work is also a challenge to the boundaries that have been drawn around poetry, and if we think about poetry as something distinct from other genres (not from other media, but from other genres), that definition of poetry emerged in two significant moments for me. One is the early modern period (or the renaissance if you like) when the sonnet entered English, and words for spoken voice became poetry and words intended to be sung to a melody became song—“lyric” having a claim to both of these genres, hence our continued use of “song lyrics” and “lyric poetry.” And then second is Modernism, when during the roughly forty year period from 1890 to 1920, poetry, like some sort of giant octopus began to absorb everything written that wasn’t obviously something else, like a novel, or a cookbook, or a bomb making manual—even though it was Amiri Baraka’s poem on how to make bombs that got Dial-a-Poem shut down in the 1960s. Poetry’s genre boundaries have always struck me as useful, I like them very much, but I also see how they can constrict as well as instruct. And one of the trends I see in contemporary letters is a move away from genre specialization. Rachel Zucker on a podcast confirmed my memory that in the 00’s, it was not cool for a poet to do anything but poetry, but now poets are reaching out past our boundaries, with notable moments like Warsan Shire collaborating with Beyonce. So how lucky we are to have Lynne Sachs, who for decades has been working at the boundary between poetry and film, and who will be presenting her own work, which engages the questions of medium, genre, image, and text, giving us a powerful sense of what art may look like going forward.

Please welcome Lynne Sachs.

And here’s some info on who we are and our poems:
Paolo Javier was born in the Philippines and grew up in Las Piñas, Metro Manila; Katonah, New York; Cairo, Egypt; and Vancouver, British Columbia. After working as a freelance journalist and running an experimental theater company in Canada, he returned to New York City, where he lives with his family. From 2010 to 2014, Javier was poet laureate of Queens, New York. His collections of poetry include: The Feeling Is Actual (2011); 60 lv bo(e)mbs (2005); the time at the end of this writing (2004), recipient of a Small Press Traffic Book of the Year Award; and, Court of the Dragon (2015), which Publisher’s Weekly called “a linguistic time machine.”

Photo of Paolo with friend
TFIA cover.jpg

When Lynne Sachs turned fifty, she dedicated herself to writing a poem for every year of her life, so far. Each of the fifty poems investigates the relationship between a singular event in Sachs’ life and the swirl of events beyond her domestic universe. Published by Tender Buttons Press, Year by Year Poems juxtaposes Sachs’ finished poems, which move from her birth in 1961 to her half-century marker in 2011, with her original handwritten first drafts.  Paolo Javier wrote the introduction, and artist Abby Goldstein did the design.  On Sept. 28 at KGB, Lynne will read poems from her book as well as new texts written very recently.

“Lynne Sachs wrote one of 2019’s best books of poetry. The graceful, diaristic poems … successfully distill events and themes in the poet’s life and simultaneously, magically, reflect larger movements of history and culture. Intimate and imagistic, the poems unfold a series of miniature stories with sensuous rhythms, telling visual detail, and gentle humor. This beautifully designed book includes facsimiles of many of the poetry’s initial drafts, which subtly illumine this artist’s creative process.”  –  2019 Staff Pick, San Francisco Public Library
“These poems are innovative. They invite us in, encouraging us to play along. They give us a structure to enter into our own retrospective lives, our own distillations of time, our own superimpositions of the newsworthy world onto our most intimate moments.” – Sharon Harrigan, Cleaver: Philadelphia’s International Literary Magazine

Year by Year Poems Lynne Sachs_front cover.jpg

In case you would like a book, you can find Year by Year Poems here:

Small Press Distribution: https://www.spdbooks.org/Products/9780927920209/year-by-year-poems.aspx
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Year-Poems-Lynne-Sachs/dp/0927920204

Sachs/ Selcer Collaboration Featured in “The Current Thing”

View the entire publication online: https://the.current.thing.net/1/
or download a PDF below:

The Current Thing started an effort to collect ideas, that were born in the first two months of self-quarantine. Not as a Gramscian response to the experience of radical repression through incarceration, but rather as the search for a line of thinking along which to move forward, while —as Sean Cubit puts it— “Covid reads us to death” (see his essay in this volume). Some of us are in the tragicomic and contradictory position where we live in bubbles while the world burns around us. At least for the current moment, for the current thing, it has an effect on our sensibility: how to engage with reflections on the state of the world born in absence and silence and endless maddening stillness. The conditions in which some of the following texts were written might be compared with other times and places: the self-imposed isolation of the fourth century hermit, St Anthony of Egypt, or, the predicament of the fictional Flaubert of Liz LeCompt’s play and Ken Ko­bland’s related film, “Flaubert dreams of travel but the illness of his mother prevents it”.

The living planet has brought us back to earth. Dream­like travels were, nonetheless, recorded. Self-reflections, Weltschmerz, philosophemes, midlife-crisis-ridden disaster-monologues, poems, revolutionary manifestos and other “insights” transformed into writing, drawing, and even film. We asked a number of people we knew to share something about this experience and a group of 45 responded. Besides texts, drawings and collages this journal features also videos and sound files all produced during Covid. As the majority of the featured writers are filmmakers, film scholars or have an affinity with the moving image, not surprisingly, a good portion of the contributions come in the form of moving images.