Filmmaker: Marielle Nitoslawska
Marielle Nitoslawska, born in Canada, is a filmmaker, cinematographer and film professor who lives and works in Montreal. She received her B.F.A. in Studio Arts and Art History from Concordia University, Montreal and an M.F.A., magna cum laude in Cinematography from the Polish National Film School in Lodz. She remained in Poland for a decade, working as a filmmaker during the social and cultural upheavals that led to the fall of that country’s communist government. There, she shot numerous exploratory ethnographic films in 35mm and actively participated in the underground media arts movement in Lodz, with friends and mentors from the Workshop of Film Form.
Nitoslawska has made numerous film essays, both feature length and short form on ground-breaking movements and artists such as Domingo Cisneros, Szczepan Mucha, Jozef Robakowski, and Carolee Schneemann. Poetic and unconventional, her films explore the ideas behind the work of these artists and their contemporary significance. Her films have received critical acclaim and extensive festival play, and include Bad Girl (2002), a groundbreaking documentary investigating explicit representations of female sexuality; Sky Bones (1999, nominated for Best Art Doc, Hot Docs); and Choices: An Artist From Eastern Europe Speaks Out (1987), included in the National Gallery of Canada’s permanent collection. Her work is defined by an experimental approach to structure and explorations into narrative and representation.
She has also collaborated widely as an award-winning cinematographer on documentary, experimental and fiction films for a variety of directors. Her work has exhibited internationally at museums, art institutions, galleries, biennials and film festivals, including the National Gallery of Canada, Musée du Québec, WRO Biennale (Poland), Goethe-Institut New York, Vancouver Film Festival, Hot Docs, INPUT, FIFA, and the Festival du Nouveau Cinéma.
Nitoslawska served as Chair of the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema at Concordia University from 2009-2012. In 2006 she received the Faculty of Fine Arts Distinguished Teaching Award. She directs the Possible Movements Lab, a research group in experimental documentary, at Concordia’s Hexagram Institute for Media Arts.
Artist: Carolee Schneemann
A pioneer of performance and body art as well as avant-garde cinema, multi-disciplinary artist Carolee Schneemann has been breaking the frames of the art world for five decades. Using her own body as a medium, Schneemann’s most well-known pieces Meat Joy (1964), the film Fuses (1967), Interior Scroll (1975, performed live at Telluride in 1977), and Up to and Including Her Limits (1973-1976), shattered the taboos against the representation of sexuality and the female body. Yet while these pieces scandalized the male-dominated art world, they also irrevocably transformed the history of art.
Since the 1970s, Schneemann’s iconic oeuvre has influenced innumerable artists and continues to enjoy international critical acclaim. She remains an active artist today, with an impressive list of international exhibitions. In recognition of her pioneering achievements, Schneemann has received numerous awards and honors. She is a USA Fellow for Visual Arts, Rockefeller Foundation (2011); recipient of a President’s Award, Bard College (2012) and of the Ono Lennon Courage Awards for 2012.
Further Reading on Carolee Schneemann
“A Salute to Carolee Schneemann” by Jonas Mekas, Irving Sandler and Patricia Cronin, Brooklyn Rail, April 2010
Music: James Tenney
James Tenney (1934-2006) was a highly influential and respected composer whose experiments in music theory, early computer compositions, perception and alternative tunings led critic Kyle Gann to proclaim that “in a way he stands at the center of American music, a kind of focal point– he studied and worked with seminal figures such as Varèse, Partch, Ruggles, Cage, Kenneth Gaburo, and Lejaren Hiller; he performed in the ensembles of his contemporaries Philip Glass and Steve Reich; and he has taught some of the leading young composers, including John Luther Adams, Polansky, and Peter Garland.
Though his music and interests put him squarely on the side of the experimentalists, he is the only such composer so admired by the academic establishment that an entire issue of the academic journal Perspectives of New Music was devoted to his music. No other composer is so revered by fellow composers, and so unknown to the public at large…” Tenney collaborated with Carolee Schneemann throughout the 1960s, appearing as her lovemaking partner in Fuses (1967) participating in many of her ground-breaking performances and composing music for select pieces. He taught at the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn, the California Institute of the Arts, the University of California, and York University in Toronto. He is survived by his wife Lauren Pratt -Tenney, and his three children.
Editor: Monique Dartonne
Monique Dartonne has been editing films for the last thirty years including the Oscar nominated film Incendies by Denis Villeneuve (2010) for which she received a Genie Award and a Prix Jutra for Best Editing.
Based in Paris, France, Dartonne’s extensive filmography includes numerous feature films and auteur documentaries by award-winning directors such as Tony Gatlif and Claude Mouriéras, Denis Rabaglia and Floriane Devigne, amongst many others. Dartonne previously collaborated with the filmmaker on Bad Girl (2002).
Sound: Catherine Van Der Donckt
Catherine Van Der Donckt and Benoît Dame have been working together as a sound design duo for the past fifteen years. Collaborating with filmmakers such as Carlos Ferrand, Philippe Baylaucq, Helen Doyle, Manon Barbeau, Thomas Burstyn, Francine Pelletier and Marielle Nitoslawska, amongst others, they like to contribute to all aspects of the sound track from location recording to sound editing and mixing. In recent years they’ve received awards for their sound work at HotDocs and the Gémeaux Awards.