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Gwendolyn Audrey Foster - Experimental Filmmaker

Originally from New York City, Gwendolyn Audrey Foster is an award-winning film/video artist and a prolific author on experimental film, women filmmakers, LGBTQ+ and film history. Co-author of "Experimental Cinema: The Film Reader," Foster's documentary on women filmmakers, "The Women Who Made the Movies," is distributed by Women Make Movies. Foster is Willa Cather Professor Emerita in Film Studies at University of Nebraska.

Foster's films and video installations have premiered at Anthology Film Archives (NYC), MoMA - The Museum of Modern Art (NYC), Outfest (LA), Bi+ Arts Festival (Toronto), The Filmmakers' Coop (NYC); Collective for Living Cinema (NYC), Films de Femmes (Créteil), Thomas Edison Black Maria Touring Film Festival (USA), Forum Yokohama (Japan), Analogica (Italy), Festival Internacional de Cine Experimental Y Vídeo CODEC (Mexico), Studio 44 (Stockholm), BWA Contemporary Art Museum (Poland), Filmhuis Cavia (Amsterdam), nGKB gallery (Berlin) and many other art galleries, museums and festivals around the world. Foster's films and videos are archived at the UCLA Film & Television Archives.

Artist Statement:

As a queer feminist marxist artist, my work explores the aesthetic space between film & video through collage and abstraction techniques. I work in 8mm, 16mm and 35mm film/video. I create some films from found materials, combining elements of Surrealism, eco-feminism, punk, romantic structuralism, détournement and chance editing (automatism). Chance is my favorite collaborator. I compose the music and soundscapes for many of my films, which have been described as surreal, contemplative, and hypnotic. ―Gwendolyn Audrey Foster

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Contents of this portfolio copyright © 2016 - 2021 Gwendolyn Audrey Foster. All rights reserved.

  1. Lullaby for a Pandemic

    Thomas Edison Black Maria Festival and Tour 2021
    Jury’s Citation Award for the 40th Anniversary Season - 2021
    Les Femmes Underground Film Festival, Los Angeles 2021
    Oxford Film Festival 2021
    Azores Fringe Festival, Portugal 2021
    Minute Madness Film Festival Toronto 2021
    Oregon State International Film Festival / Das Filmfest 2021
    NewFilmmakers at Anthology Film Archives, NYC 2020
    AltFF Alternative Film Festival Toronto 2020 (Best 1 Minute Experimental)
    LA Underground Film Forum 2020 (Honorable Mention, Best Short Experimental)
    PSIAF Palm Springs International Animation Festival & Expo 2020
    L’Age d’Or International Arthouse Film Festival India 2020 (Critic's Choice Award, Best Experimental Short Film)
    KinoDrome: International Motion Picture & Screenplay Festival Cleveland 2020
    Strangelove Time-based Media Festival UK 2020
    MicroActs LGBT+ Artists Screening, London 2020
    Agora-Off Cultural Space, France 2020
    Life Screenings Film Festival, Orlando 2020
    Exploding Cinema Festival, London 2020
    Semi-Finalist, Best Experimental Film Editing and Effects, International Moving Film Festival, Iran 2020.

    A cineaste's pandemanic lullaby for nodding off to dreamland. Dada dream and cine-poem, made under quarantine. Spring 2020.

    "Lullaby for a Pandemic" Copyright © 2020 Gwendolyn Audrey Foster. All rights reserved.

  2. No Personal Checks

    Festivals and Awards:

    Esto es Para Esto /Encuentro Internacional de Cineastas EEPE Mexico 2021
    Fisura International Festival of Experimental Film & Video 2020
    International Moving Film Festival (Semi-Finalist, Best Experimental Film Editing & Effects) Iran 2020
    Vortex Festival de Cine Experimental, Mexico 2020
    AltFF Alternative Film Festival (Semi-Finalist, Best Documentary) Toronto 2020
    Experimental Film Festival, Barcelona 2020
    We Make Movies International Festival, LA 2020
    Experimental Film Fest,Tulsa 2020
    Analogica Touring Film Festival, Italy 2019/2020
    Moving-Image-Arts International Short Film Festival, "Portraits," Juried Showcase, Ryerson University of Image Arts, Toronto 2020
    FLIGHT/ Mostra Internazionale del Cinema Film Festival (Innovative Languages Collection), Genoa Italy 2020
    London Experimental Film Festival (2020)
    United States Super 8 Film & Digital Video Festival 2020
    Kansas City Underground Film Festival (Special Selection, Finalist) 2020
    NJ International Film Festival, Rutgers University 2020
    Intima Lente/Intimate Lens. Festival of Visual Ethnography, Italy 2019
    CODEC Festival Internacional de Cine Experimental y Vídeo, Mexico City 2019
    Oberhausen International Short Film Festival (Video Library) 2019
    Expressions Art Movie Film Festival, LA 2019
    Kino Climates: Belgrade, Serbia 2019
    Atrabilious Experimental Film Festival, Amsterdam 2019
    Engauge Experimental Film Festival, Seattle

    Solo screenings:
    Cinetoon de Nijverheid, Utrecht, Netherlands 2019
    Studio 44, Stockholm Sweden, 2018
    OT301 Cinema of the Dam’d, Amsterdam, 2018
    BWA Contemporary Art Gallery, Poland 2018

    From a Super 8mm diary film that I shot long ago and recently found in the basement. I hand-baked, re-photographed, hand-processed, re-edited, and otherwise distorted my footage and added layers of audio. An experimental in memory.

    I shot this footage many years ago when we moved from the West Village in New York city to the Midwest, which was very much like moving to the 1950s.

    I live here, but this is not my home.

    "Where you come from is gone, where you thought you were going to never was there, and where you are is no good unless you can get away from it."―Flannery O'Conner

    Some thoughts on film, Super 8mm and 16mm:

    Film is alive. It is projected in our imagination. Like a phoenix, film comes to life by magic, by resurrection. Film has a living warmth. It breathes. It is a living thing in a way, something alive and yet not; film is liminal, magical and ethereal.

    Film grain, scratches, and light streaks are like scars, freckles and wrinkles; tracings of life.

    "No Personal Checks" - a film by Gwendolyn Audrey Foster. Copyright @ 2018 Gwendolyn Audrey Foster. All Rights Reserved.

  3. Mass for Shut-ins [Trailer/Teaser]

    Trailer / Teaser for "Mass for Shut-ins."
    Festivals, Gallery Screenings & Awards:

    NewFilmmakers at Anthology Film Archives NYC (Semi-Finalist) 2021
    US Super 8 & Digital Video Art Festival 2021
    NJ Film Festival, Rutgers University NJ 2021
    Oregon State International Film Festival / Das Filmfest 2021
    Couch Festival (Best Experimental Short Film) Toronto 2020
    FilmArte Festival (Semi-Finalist, Best Experimental Film) Madrid 2020
    AltFF Alternative Film Festival (Semi-Finalist, Best North American Experimental Film) Toronto 2020
    LA Underground Film Forum (Honorable Mention, Best Short Experimental Film) 2020
    L’Age d’Or International Arthouse Film Festival (Outstanding Achievement Award, Best Experimental Short Film) India 2020
    Revelation Perth International Film Festival Australia 2020
    Festival Transterritorial de Cine Underground Argentina 2020
    VastLab Experimental Film Festival 2020
    Austin Arthouse Film Festival, TX 2020
    Video Art Forum, Saudi Arabia 2020
    Couched Film Festival, Experimental Short Film Special Collection, Australia 2020
    Exploding Cinema, London 2020
    Pinewood Studios UK 2020
    Agora - Off Cultural Space, France 2020
    Undercurrent Art Gallery, Brooklyn NY 2020

    Mass for Shut-ins. A hand-painted 16mm film. Direct animation. 8 minutes. "A fever dream. An infinitely morphing kaleidscopic stained glass window; bells that remind me of the sounds of Amsterdam, my second home after New York. Frantic REM sleep kicks in around 5 minutes..."

    A pandemic film made under quarantine, Spring 2020. How do we survive this pandemic? We survive through art & music.

    Copyright © 2020 Gwendolyn Audrey Foster. All rights reserved.

  4. Making America Straight & White Again

    Festivals and Juried Screenings:

    In Solidarity: Protest Films in Crisis,
    The Film-Makers' Coop, New York 2020
    AltFF Alternative Film Festival (Semi-Finalist, Best Experimental) Toronto 2020
    Fisura, International Festival of Experimental Film & Video Mexico 2020
    Splice Film Fest, Brooklyn NY 2020
    Here Comes Everybody TV Portland 2020
    The Magikal Charm Experimental Video & Film Festival New York City 2020
    MicroActs LGBTQ+ Filmfest, London 2019
    Bi+ Arts Festival, Toronto 2018 and 2020
    The Coven / nGbK gallery, NonBinary LGBT+ Group Show, Berlin 2018

    Solo screenings:

    "Fast and Furious: Experimental Queer Dada Feminist Films" of Gwendolyn Audrey Foster, Studio 44, Stockholm, Sweden 2018.
    “Punk Queer Dada Films: Gwendolyn Audrey Foster,” OT301 Cinema of the Dam'd, Amsterdam, 2018.
    “Gwendolyn Audrey Foster: Queer Feminist Punk Experimental Films,” Filmhuis Cavia, Amsterdam, July 2018.
    “Gwendolyn Audrey Foster: Queer Experimental Films,” The Screening Room, Salto TV for Amsterdam Queer Pride Festival, 2018.

    This queer punk video mimics what is feels like to watch the news as we see the rise of homophobia, transphobia, xenophobia, racism and white supremacism in America under the Trump Regime. We must Resist!

    Media fosters a sense of anger, helplessness, and apathy, but when we rise above the noise and divisiveness, progressives will inevitably stem the tide of the retrograde. We will not slip backwards.

    The only way to get through the very worst is to go forward - directly through it. Tune out the discouraging noise and act. Be firm and resolute in the knowledge that we can move forward and we WILL move forward. ACT NOW! RESIST!—GAF

    aclu.org glaad.org

    “Making America Straight & White Again” is a collage of images and sounds found in the Public Domain, or materials released under a Creative Commons CC0 Public Domain license."Making America Straight & White Again," a détournement by Gwendolyn Audrey Foster. Copyright © 2018 Gwendolyn Audrey Foster. All rights reserved.

  5. Dada Ship

    A Dadaist time travel film. Dada gives Time it's own reflection; it's alterity; it's Other. A ship on the oceans of time, born out of a dream. Our dreams offer unparalleled luxury travel, after all. An anti-narrative non-film.

    Festivals and Awards:

    Blow-Up International Arthouse Film Festival 2021
    Athens International Film + Video Festival 2021
    AltFF Alternative Film Festival, Toronto (Semi- Finalist, Best Animation) 2020
    KinoDrome Festival Ohio (Best Alternative Cinematic Techniques) 2020
    Fisura International Festival of Experimental Film Mexico 2020
    Engauge Experimental Film Festival Seattle 2020
    Fotogenia International Film Poetry & Divergent Narratives Mexico 2020
    Grrl Haus Cinema Berlin 2020
    El Festivalico Film Festival Mexico 2020
    Connect Video Art Fest Tampa 2020
    Experimental Film Festival OK 2020
    Magikal Charm Experimental Film Fest NYC 2020
    London Experimental Film Festival 2020
    International Moving Film Festival (Semi-Finalist, Best Experimental Film Editing and Effects) Iran 2020
    Vortex Experimental Festival & Tour Mexico 2019/2020
    Austin Arthouse Film Festival 2019
    VastLab International Film Festival LA 2019
    KinoBerlino 2019
    Kino Klub Spit Croatia 2019
    We Make Movies International Film Festival LA 2019

    "Dada Ship" is made, in part, from recycled "found" CCO public domain materials."Dada Ship," Music and film by Gwendolyn Audrey Foster. Copyright © 2019 Gwendolyn Audrey Foster. All rights reserved.

  6. Kiki's Film

    Festivals and Group Shows:

    FilmArte Festival, Madrid 2020
    Lift-Off Sessions, Pinewood Studios UK 2020
    London Experimental 2020
    Vast Labs International Film Festival LA 2019
    We Make Movies International Film Festival, LA 2019
    Pugnant Film Series Athens 2019
    KinoBerlino, Kino Moviemento, Berlin 2019
    Experiments in Cinema Film Festival, Albuquerque, 2019
    Kino Climates, Belgrade, Serbia 2019
    An Ordinary Day Film Festival, Stockholm 2018

    One Woman (Solo) Shows:

    Cinetoon De Nijverheid, Utrecht 2019
    Studio 44, Stockholm, Sweden 2018
    OT301 CInema of the Dam'd, Amsterdam 2018
    Filmhuis Cavia, Amsterdam 2018
    BWA Contemporary Art Museum, Poland 2018

    A dream poem for Kiki de Montparnasse, (Alice Prin); artist, Muse, and creative partner of Man Ray. Kiki embodies the very essence of 1920's free queer sexuality and all things Dadaist and Surrealist. An interdisciplinary artist, Kiki was much more than a 'model.' She was a painter, writer, nightclub singer, photographer, performance artist, memoirist and vibrant bohemian provocateur at the center of the Dada and Surrealist literary and art scene in Paris, in the 1920s.

    Kiki looks directly at the viewer in this exercise in Objective Chance Surrealism (automatism); a dream occult homage; a look through Kiki's eyes in her imagined "lost film."

    You are no doubt familiar with Kiki's image, as she appears in so many famous Surrealist films and photographs, including Man Ray's "Le Violon D'Ingres," which shows a naked Kiki, seated and viewed from behind, with two 'f's in her back; a celebration of her violin-curves. Kiki was more than a gorgeous woman who had the audacity to love her curves and flaunt them - in an era when women were expected to be shaped like a thin boy.

    Kiki was punk before punk. She was a performance artist before performance art. Ultimately, she was too intense for Man Ray. By the late 1920s, Kiki had her own cabaret, Chez Kiki, She had also begun painting primitives and, in 1927, had a sell-out exhibition. Her memoir, "The Education of a French Model," was banned in America. The more I read about Kiki, the more I fall in love with Alice.

    Kiki de Montparnasse lives on in her direct frank expressiveness, sensuality, photographs, films, artwork and memoirs. --GAF

    Kiki (Alice Prin) is featured in my related video, "Bisexual Materialist Ragtime Party": vimeo.com/272007107

    “Kiki's Film” is made from materials found in the Public Domain, or released under a Creative Commons CC0 Public Domain license."Kiki's Film," by Gwendolyn Audrey Foster. Copyright © 2018 Gwendolyn Audrey Foster. All rights reserved.

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