Vimeo Staff Pick
Featured on Dazed as part of the Doc X Strand
Featured on The Atlantic
Featured on People Magazine
Featured on The New York Times
Featured on The Huffington Post
Winner of an Artistic Vision Award at BSDFF
Winner of 2014 Utah Short Film of the Year Award
Eri Hayward was born and raised in Utah as a boy. Her slow, painful journey to be recognized as a transgender woman lasted years. As she prepares for sex reassignment surgery, this short documentary explores her relationship with her family, her body, and her conservative Mormon upbringing. "Being LDS was our life," she says. "It's one of the reasons I didn't find out about what being trans was until I was an adult." Created in partnership with VideoWest.
A short documentary profiling "Stickz," a homeless man in Salt Lake City who aspires to rise out of his current circumstances by becoming a professional drummer. Coming soon.
Gilgal tells the story of brick mason Thomas Battersby Child, who upon retirement spent the final 19 years of his life creating a sculpture garden dedicated to Mormonism in his back yard. Coming soon.
Special Jury Citation for Best Short Documentary at SLIFF
Winner of the 2013 Utah Short Film of the Year Award
Winner of the 2013 Salt Lake City Weekly Arty for Best Short Film
In 1875, the Horn Silver Mine was discovered in the red rock cliffs of southwestern Utah. The town of Frisco was born and quickly became one of the most economically productive and notoriously violent towns in the Wild West. Boomtown blends found audio interviews of the town sheriff and other remaining inhabitants, recorded just before their deaths, with images of the decaying ghost town in 2011. Letting the community speak for itself, this film rediscovers the forgotten characters, stories, rumors, and legends of Frisco, Utah. Full documentary to be released online shortly.
Living off the grid in a northeast Thailand slum, Wichan Chaona collects recyclables from public trash bins to earn money for his family of seven. Shot from his motorcycle side cart, ‘Scavenger’ poetically weaves Wichan's daily routine with his observations about life and work, reminding us of the universal roots of human dignity and respect.
'Scavenger' premiered at the 2013 Big Sky Documentary Film Festival. Since its premiere, it has successfully screened at multiple venues and is currently included in Mountainfilm on Tour. To read the story behind this documentary, please visit this excellent article from Selective Echo.
In 1985, at two-months old, Dane Morgan Bernhard died of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome in a small town called Tarkio, Missouri. 25 years later, Torben Bernhard jumped in his car with an 8MM camera and drove from Utah to the Tarkio cemetery his brother was buried in to understand the tragedy that shook his family when he was two-years old. Using an audio interview recorded years earlier with his mother, Bernhard paints a poetic portrait of his family's loss and explores a child's perspective of death and mourning.
With stark black and white images of the crumbling town and cemetery, juxtaposed with the sincere account of a mother to her son, Tarkio Balloon captures the innocent hope of a child amidst the unpredictable harshness of reality.
The Sonosopherʼ is an experiential voyage into the peculiar life and art of Alex Caldiero. Tracing his birth and childhood in rural Sicily as well as his coming of age as a poet in New York City, Caldiero is found living in conservative Utah years after his conversion and separation from Mormonism. The film explores Caldieroʼs lifelong artistic investigation into ʻSonosophy,ʼ a unique hybrid of sound, poetry, and philosophy. Borrowing techniques from such diverse genres as avant-garde film and cinéma vérité, ʻThe Sonosopherʼ portrays Caldieroʼs life and work at its most traditional and most bizarre. Utilizing these diverse methods, the filmmakers artfully blend current performance and interview footage, 8MM family videos, and archival material to tell the intimate story of this largely unknown artist. To order a DVD and for more information, please visit the official film website.
In rural regions of Thailand, you expect to see bright green rice fields plowed by water buffalo and Thai farmers in hand woven straw hats harvesting in the traditional ways of their ancestors. But when you come around one particular corner of a winding back-country road outside hilly Korat, Thailand, a large sign reads in English, "Bonanza Ranch." Chet appears; a tall, dark man dressed in American imported wranglers, worn leather chaps and a cowboy hat. A western-style ranch has sprung up in the middle of a tropical paradise complete with roaming horses, a bucking bull and an old west style shooting range.
Chet is part of a tribe of John Wayne emulators who regularly gather to host rodeos, have cowboy and Indian events and play bluegrass music. They are after the American Dream romantically depicted in the Western films of John Ford, and embedded into Thai culture by the items left by U.S. soldiers during the Vietnam War.
This Western influence sparked a chain reaction of Thai cowboy films in the 1970s, creating an unexpected marriage of cultures. Utilizing candid interviews, archival footage and homages to Thai-western films, Thailand Cowboy explores the fascinating subculture through Chet, a charismatic, rugged individualist yearning to live the American cowboy dream, while attempting to hold on to his traditional Thai culture.
For over forty years, Ralphael Plescia has been hiding in plain sight, dutifully working in his warehouse on a busy street in Salt Lake City, Utah. The warehouse blends in to a row of shabby old business district buildings, but the work of a gentle genius can be found within.
Ralphael is a monastic craftsman working on his own idiosyncratic temple, a place for him to externalize his inner devotion. Utilizing enormous steel and concrete sculptures, as well as paintings on canvas, panels, and ceilings; Ralphael fuses abandoned fragments of old Biblical theology, well-known passages from Genesis and Revelations, and religious creations of his own personal ingenuity into astonishing images. Underground tunnels and rooms have been hollowed out and built to make space for hell, where narrow pathways and bridges serve as a means to traverse the groundwater bubbling up from below. Scenes from Earth are represented on the main floor while heaven is placed on the top floor, complete with a reconstructed vaulted ceiling. The sculptures and paintings are not within the rooms, but part of them.
This is an eternal work-in-progress, an ever-changing living organism. The heavenly mother goddess Lady Wisdom is a recurring character taking on the kind of importance usually associated with Adam, Eve, Satan, Jesus, and God the father. We see concrete writing and portraiture on the walls, Eve reaching for the forbidden fruit while climbing the back of the red dragon (Satan), and several scenes with Lady Wisdom. He illuminates his vast and elaborate creations with brilliant natural light that spills through well-placed windows or with sinister artificial light rising from below.
'The Gospel According to Ralphael' transmits the experience of visiting Ralphael’s peculiar temple. As a marginalized outsider artist lost within the heart of the Mormon religious and cultural landscape that consistently laments its own lack of prescient artists, Ralphael has always remained dedicated to realizing and fulfilling his vision. We are convinced that his deserving audience will discover him some day.
Web video made for Jacob's Cove Heritage Farm, part of The Heirloom Restaurant Group. Jacob's Cove is a 'local-natural' farm with the strong philosophy that sustainable, local agriculture can change the world. They also have the best tomatoes we've ever tasted!
Conceptualized by OHO Media, the Community of Engaged Learners website hosts short videos of students, alumni and faculty of Utah Valley University. These videos highlight the remarkable projects across UVU's campus and call attention to faculty work, through the method of storytelling. By focusing on stories of "engagement," the project seeks to further flesh out UVU as an institution of community and academic involvement.
This spotlight features Christopher Clark, who engages students and the community through theatrical productions. In 2008, his stage adaptation of the silent film Nosferatu garnered praise and was selected as the first alternate for Kennedy Center, American College Theatre Festival. Clark and his talented students are headed to the Kennedy Center for the third time to perform She Stoops to Conquer. This summer, Clark will lead his fifth Theatre Study Abroad program, culminating in a student performance in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Chris Clark utilizes his position as a professor at UVU to advance his own creative visions and provide opportunities for his students to collaborate in productions that meaningfully engage the community.
This is the shortened version of a promotional video featuring Panarea Digital's NearPod technology for use in an academic setting.