2018 Segal Film Festival on Theatre and Performance March 1,2,3

The Martin E. Segal Theatre Center presents
The Fourth Annual

featuring works by or about:

and many more


All Day – FREE – First Come, First Served.
The Martin E. Segal Theatre Center,
The Graduate Center, City University of New York
365 Fifth Avenue, at 34th Street


(February 14, 2018, New York, NY) The Martin E. Segal Theatre Center announces the fourth annual Segal Center Film Festival on Theatre and Performance (FTP). The program includes a roster of more than 35 features, shorts, and documentaries by artists from Argentina, Belgium, Canada, China, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Lebanon, The Netherlands, Poland, Serbia, The United Kingdom, and the United States. The festival takes place on Thursday, March 1; Friday, March 2; and Saturday, March 3 at The Martin E. Segal Theatre Center, located at The Graduate Center, City University of New York, NYC, 365 Fifth Avenue, at 34th Street.


Featuring films from four continents by:

Günter Atteln/Accentus Music (Germany); Yael Bartana Netherlands/Germany/US); Basav Biradar (India); Giulio Boato (France); Jacqueline Caux (France); Carlos Chahine/Autres Rivages (Lebanon); Jasmina Cibic (Serbia/UK);  Billy Clark, Jason Trucco/CultureHub (US); Eleonora Comelli & Pablo Pintor (Argentina); Nina Conti (UK); Ergao Dance Production Group (China); Ayana Evans/African Body Snatchers-Collaborative (US); Graziano Graziani (Italy); Phil Griffin (UK); Grzegorz Jarzyna (Poland) Rain Kencana (Germany); Rania Lee Khalil (US); Tania El Khoury (UK/Lebanon); Kathrin Krottenthaler, Frieder Schlaich/Filmgalerie 451 (Germany); Tiona Nekkia McClodden (US); Frances McElroy/Shirley Road Productions (US); Brian Mertes/Lake Lucille Chekhov Project (USA); Helina Metaferia (US); Ariane Mnouchkine (France); Avi Mograbi (France/Israel); Motus Theatre Company (Italy); Rima Najdi (Germany/Lebanon); Rithy Panh (Cambodia); Ruth Patir (Israel); Haydn Reiss/Zinc Films (US); robbinschilds + A.L. Steiner (US); Christoph Rüter (Germany); Cauleen Smith, Camille Turner & Jérôme Havre (Canda/US/France); Wim Vandekeybus/Ultima Vez (Belgium); Hu Xiaojiao (China)


Film Festival Schedule:
*followed by a discussion

Festival Schedule Thursday, March 1

Ariane Mnouchkine –  The Castaways of the Fol Espoir (France, 2014) 290 minutes
Theatre, Performance | 10:30am | Elebash Recital Hall

A film-crew in the early twentieth century, the cabaret known as Le Fol Espoir has been transformed into an amateur soundstage. The motion picture tells the story of a ship and its passengers–from the famous opera singer down to the petty criminal. The film is an optimistic political fable intended to educate the masses.

Christoph Rüter The Time is out of Joint (Germany, 1991) 100 minutes
Theatre, Documentary | 11:30am | Segal Theatre

From August 29, 1989 until March 24, 1990, Heiner Müller worked with the actors of the Deutsches Theater in East Berlin on the project Hamlet/Maschine, based on William Shakespeare’s Hamlet (translated by Heiner Müller) and Heiner Müller’s Hamletmaschine. During this period, spurred by the exodus of thousands of East German citizens through Czechoslovakia and Hungary, the “first peaceful German revolution from below” (H. Müller) broke out, setting the process of reunification in motion and leading toward the first democratic parliamentary elections on March 18, 1990. The film, documented over a period of months, describes a challenge never before confronted by a German theatre.

Nina Conti Her Master’s Voice (UK, 2012) 65 minutes
Puppetry, Documentary | 1:30pm | Segal Theatre

Internationally acclaimed ventriloquist Nina Conti, takes the bereaved puppets of her mentor and erstwhile lover Ken Campbell on a pilgrimage to ‘Venthaven’ the resting place for puppets of dead ventriloquists. She gets to know her latex and wooden travelling partners along the way, and with them deconstructs herself and her lost love in this ventriloquial docu-mocumentary requiem. Ken Campbell was a hugely respected maverick of the British Theatre, an eccentric genius who would snort out forgotten artforms. Nina was his prodigy in ventriloquism and has been said to have reinvented the artform. This film is truly unique in genre and style. No one has seen ventriloquism like this before.

Grzegorz JarzynaG.E.N. (Poland, 2017) loop
Theatre, Installation | 2:00pm – 8:00pm | Elebash Recital Hall Lobby

G.E.N. is a story about an alternative community whose members contest reality so as to use provocations to change the system based on fear, manipulation and enslavement of individuals. While attempting to re-stabilize the system, they destroy their own community. Is it possible to log out from a reality that does not work? The performance is a response to Lars von Trier’s The Idiots (1998) about a group of young people who, by pretending to be mentally disabled, ridicule western social standards. G.E.N. is not an attempt to criticize the socio-political system, but rather to reflect on the human nature because, despite civilizational and evolutionary progress, humans do not develop morally. It is a journey across circles of global systems, social and partner relations, through individual psyche, in search for the elementary particle in charge of violence and hatred.

Cauleen Smith, Camille Turner, & Jérôme Havre Triangle Trade (Canda/US/France, 2017) 15 minutes
Puppetry, Performance | 3:00pm | Segal Theatre

The film features three puppets avatars and three distinct worlds that were created by each of the artists to represent themselves. Animated by the artists and the lm crew, the puppets navigate their distinctive worlds that at once isolate them and offer them the possibility of transformative connection. As the puppets move through their respective landscapes, Havre, Smith, and Turner’s puppets re ect on blackness as a state of becoming, a mode of experience that reaches simultaneously into multiple futures and histories.

Rithy Panh – Les artistes du Théâtre Brûlé (Cambodia, 2005) 82 minutes
Dance, Documentary | 3:30pm | Segal Theatre

While much of Cambodia’s cultural heritage was eradicated through the deaths of many artists during the Khmer Rouge era, the country’s main theatrical structure, Preah Suramarit National Theatre remained standing throughout the Cambodian Civil War, even occasionally being used by the communist regime for official visits and propaganda pageants. Ironically, it was while the theatre was undergoing repairs in 1994 that it caught fire, was heavily damaged and has never been restored. It is in this roofless performance hall that a Khmer classical dance troupe continues to practise daily, and a troupe of actors attempts to produce a Khmer-language adaptation of Cyrano de Bergerac on a stage overgrown with weeds.

robbinschilds + A.L. Steiner C.L.U.E. [Color Location Ultimate Experience] (US, 2007) 11 minutes
Dance, Performance | 4:00pm | Elebash Recital Hall

C.L.U.E. is the gateway to experiencing the ultimate in any surrounding.  A living collective organ, molten, expanding and contracting as it responds to its immediate environment. Curious and open. Red, orange, yellow, forest, aqua, royal, majestic and purple. Guided by the celestial powers of rainbow and light. Finds intrigue not only in the beauty of rock, ash and earth, lake and sea, moss, leaf and open sky, but in the whine of debris, lyric of cement, sorrow of mall and hum of highway. Fluid as water or lava or blood or air, moves through tiny gullies and grooves, tastes to know but leaves behind only what was already there.

Rain Kencana Send Me a Bigger Butterfly + Goldfish (Germany, 2017) 6 minutes + 3 minutes
Dance, Performance | 4:00pm | Elebash Recital Hall

Send Me a Bigger Butterfly: A dance couple transforms an industrial powerplant into a dreamscape of nostalgic remembrance that mixes up different layers of time and relation. Poem by Pj Wallace.

Goldfish: Ichi Go reveals her ambivalent attitude towards tradition in the modern world as she breaks out through a traditional Japanese garment inside an underground passageway in dance. With a poem by Shuntaro Tanikawa.

Eleonora Comelli & Pablo Pintor La Playa [The Beach] (Argentina, 2014) 12 minutes
Dance, Performance | 4:00pm | Elebash Recital Hall

The Beach is crossed by THE TIME. The past and future exist together in the same present, in one place. How to adapt a dramatic-body material to the topic over time in the body? How can we transfer the essence of scene material to a film? The Beach was made with the same idea and with the same performers as the choreographic performance called Que azul que es ese mar (That sea is really blue).

Frances McElroy/Shirley Road Productions – Black Ballerina (US, 2016) 53 minutes
Dance, Performance | 5:00pm | Elebash Recital Hall

A film like a labyrinth, created from recent interviews and historical images about the career of director, actor, and playwright Zé Celso, of the Oficina Theater–one of the greatest artistic personalities in the history of Brazil. Set in an unspecific time and without didactic lessons, the film is a powerful flow of images and sounds that leave the spectator in a state of constant attention, ending in a state of grace.

Tiona Nekkia McClodden KILO | Iba se 99. (US, 2015) 10 minutes
Video Performance Art, Performance | 6:00pm | Segal Theatre

KILO | Iba se 99. takes inspiration from an excerpt of a report produced by the Women’s Bureau division of the United States Department of Labor titled Negro Women War Workers, published in 1945. The film is also an exploration of the relationship between the US Navy Flag signal Kilo which has the assigned message of “I wish to communicate with you”, the first 12 Black women allowed to work on the Brooklyn Navy Yard in 1942, and the Orisha Ochosi.

Jasmina Cibic The Pavilion (Serbia/UK, 2015) 7 minutes
Video Performance Art, Performance | 6:00pm | Segal Theatre

A group of performers attempts to reconstruct the Pavilion of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia built for the 1929 Barcelona EXPO. Piecing together fragments of its design based on disappeared and lacking archives, a voice-over describes the methodology of gap-filling from other architectural solutions of modernist political visions of desire, which shared the emblematic design of the Yugoslav Pavilion. By colliding them, The Pavilion points to the universal and timeless optics of authoritarian construction of soft power mechanisms.

Yael Bartana – Inferno (Netherlands/Germany/US, 2013) 22 minutes
Video Performance Art, Performance | 6:00pm | Segal Theatre

The starting point of Inferno is the construction of the “Third Temple of Solomon” in São Paulo by a Brazilian Neo-Pentecostal Church, according to biblical measures. Bartana confronts this conflation of place, history, and belief, and addresses the grandiose temple project through a vision of its future: Does its construction necessarily foreshadow its destruction? Inferno collapses histories of antiquity in the Middle East with a surreal present unfolding halfway around the world.

Ultimate Vez In Spite of Wishing and Wanting (Belgium, 2002) 47 minutes
Dance, Performance | 6:30pm | Elebash Recital Hall

Dance video based on the eponymous 1999 performance, shot in the atmospheric surroundings of a racetrack in Brussels (BE), the beautiful ballroom-concert hall of the Vooruit Arts Centre in Ghent (BE), the streets of Ferrara (IT) and in Singapore. In Spite of Wishing and Wanting reunites the rhythms of Talking Heads co-founder David Byrne and Wim Vandekeybus’ scenic eclecticism: humorous theatrical sequences, energetic and powerful dance and a diversity of bodies within an all-male cast. Wim Vandekeybus himself trots in as a wild horse between the ten dancers-actors, devastated by their passionate desires.

Phil Griffin – Surrender: the Art of Jan Fabre (UK, 2017) 117 minutes
Theatre, Documentary | 7:00pm | Segal Theatre

Jan Fabre is a Belgian artist whose work is never far from controversy. Surrender focuses on his intense preparations for one of the most radical theatre projects of all time: Mount Olympus, a 24 hour performance with 27 actors on stage.

Festival Schedule Friday, March 2

Jacqueline Caux Out of Boundaries (France, 2004) 20 minutes
Dance, Documentary | 10:30am | Elebash Recital Hall

These films–videotaped conversations and numerous excerpts of rehearsals, performances and rare archival footage–capture fundamental changes made by Anna Halprin in the field of dance as the pioneer of “Post Modern Dance”.  Music by Pauline Oliveros and Terry Riley.

Motus Theatre Company Your Whole Life is a Rehearsal (Italy, 2016) 42 minutes
Theatre, Documentary | 12:00pm | Segal Theatre

The documentary was created using a series of unreleased video materials from the rehearsals of The Plot is the Revolution at the Clinton Street Theater in New York in 2011. This film tells the falling in love and the fall of barriers between two companies (Motus and the Living Theatre) and two actors (Silvia Calderoni and Judith Malina) who entered a telepathic symbiosis. 

Hu Xiao Jiao – Nuo·Fate (China, 2017) 26 minutes
Dance, Documentary | 12:00pm | Elebash Recital Hall

A documentary film about dance. It tells the story of Professor Guo Lei of Beijing Dance Academy creating dance drama series based on Nuo culture. Producers and dancers very well explained the ancient Chinese culture Nuo through their vivid and firsthand creating and performing experience.

Graziano GrazianiPina Bausch a Roma (Italy, 2016) 45 minutes
Dance, Documentary | 1:00pm | Elebash Recital Hall

The movie follows the experience of Pina Bausch in the eternal city to which she dedicated two unforgettable shows, Viktor (1986) and O Dido (1999). Through an interwoven series of treasured interviews –  spanning from Matteo Garrone to Mario Martone, from Vladimir Luxuria to Ninni Romeo, from Leonetta Bentivoglio to Andrés Neumann, from Maurizio Millenotti to Claudia Di Giacomo culminating with the gypsy family Firlović – a portray of the surprising city of Rome emerges as interpreted by Pina Bausch, a city both authentic and anti-conventional: a Rome that is quotidian, scanned by lunches in trattorias, filled with incursions to traditional ballrooms and walks to the city farmers’ market; and a Rome that is underground, spread out to its multiethnic city limits, explored by many visits to the gypsy camps and nocturnal excursions to transgender clubs and the LGBTQ cultural circle.

Basav Biradar – Before the Third Bell (India, 2017) 63 minutes
Theatre, Documentary | 2:00pm | Segal Theatre

The film attempts to study contemporary theatre-making in India through the documentation of the creative processes of Muktidham–a play written and directed by Abhishek Majumdar. In today’s social, economic and political context, what does it take to create a collective voice in theatre? How does a theatre company approach collaborations and how do artists with different ideas and sensibilities come together to create a piece of theatre? These are some of the questions the film explores while following the creative journey of Muktidham over a period of four months.

*Grzegorz JarzynaG.E.N. (Poland, 2017) loop
Theatre, Installation | 2:00pm – 8:00pm, 5:00pm Talk | Elebash Recital Hall Lobby

G.E.N. is a story about an alternative community whose members contest reality so as to use provocations to change the system based on fear, manipulation and enslavement of individuals. While attempting to re-stabilize the system, they destroy their own community. Is it possible to log out from a reality that does not work? The performance is a response to Lars von Trier’s The Idiots (1998) about a group of young people who, by pretending to be mentally disabled, ridicule western social standards. G.E.N. is not an attempt to criticize the socio-political system, but rather to reflect on the human nature because, despite civilizational and evolutionary progress, humans do not develop morally. It is a journey across circles of global systems, social and partner relations, through individual psyche, in search for the elementary particle in charge of violence and hatred.

Kathrin Krottenthaler/Filmgalerie 451 CHANCE 2000 – Farewell to Germany (Germany, 2017) 131 minutes
Theatre, Documentary | 2:30pm | Elebash Recital Hall

Documentary about Christoph Schlingensief’s legendary election campaign theater project CHANCE 2000.

Carlos Chahine/Autres Rivages – Chekhov in Beirut (Lebanon, 2016) 51 minutes
Theatre, Documentary | 3:30pm | Segal Theatre

Upon his return to Lebanon to direct his stage play of Chekhov’s Cherry Orchard, Carlos Chahine rediscovers his forgotten past. We are taken into the mysterious world of his childhood, sharing the haunting path of exile and the beauty of a lost world.

Ayana Evans/African Body Snatchers-Collaborative African Body Snatchers (US, 2017) 25 minutes
Video Performance Art, Performance | 5:00pm| Segal Theatre

Carried by the music of David Eugene Edwards, Blush is a dazzling voyage swinging between the heavenly landscapes of Corsica and the slummiest depths of Brussels. The film by Belgian choreographer Wim Vandekeybus is an exploration of the savage subconscious and of conflicting instincts. In dance sequences of attraction, confrontation and repulsion the performers take on animal metamorphoses. 

Helina Metaferia – [Middle] Passage for Dreams (US, 2016/2017) 13 minutes
Video Performance Art, Performance | 5:00pm| Segal Theatre

(Middle) Passage for Dreams is a three channel video project that features black bodies in serene environments while discussing assorted contemporary topics, including notions of empowerment, existentialism, and what it means to be Black in America at this time. Each segment features bodies positioned in benevolent landscapes that echo America’s violent history (i.e. black bodies on ground and police brutality, black bodies against trees and lynching, black bodies in water and transatlantic slave trade).

Ruth PatirSleepers (Israel, 2017) 16 minutes
Video Performance Art, Performance | 5:00pm| Segal Theatre 

Sleepers was shot at St. Mark’s Church sanctuary in September 2016 in the midst of a tumultuous election season. The dreams of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama described in the film were collected by writer Sheila Heti. 

Billy Clark, Jason Trucco/CultureHub All in the Mind (US, 2017) 20 minutes
Theatre, Documentary | 6:00pm | Elebash Recital Hall

All in the Mind previews a world where individual consciousness has been woven into a collective web of telepathic communication. Written in 1981, playwright Robert Patrick anticipates virtual and augmented reality in a world in which all humans are connected in a shared consciousness. Echoing the science fiction worlds of Philip K. Dick and Isaac Asimov that were in the popular consciousness at the time, All in the Mind envisions a world in which all of humanity shares every birth, death, sunrise, and sunset in a common experience. Here too, there is the sinister underpinning of the unconnected “nurses” who exist offstage, in Antarctica. Yet the wit and humor of the pieces leaven the dystopian atmosphere, leaving it ambiguous as to whether the technologically enhanced future is an improvement or not–an ambivalence we all live with today.

*Avi Mograbi – Between Fences (France/Israel, 2016) 84 minutes
Theatre, Documentary | 6:30pm | Segal Theatre

Avi Mograbi and Chen Alon meet African asylum-seekers in a detention facility in the middle of the Negev desert where they are con ned by the state of Israel. Together, they question the status of the refugees in Israel using ‘Theater of the Opressed’ techniques. What leads men and women to leave everything behind and go towards the unknown? Why does Israel, land of the refugees, refuse to take into consideration the situation of the exiled, thrown onto the roads by war, genocide and persecution? Can the Israelis working with the asylum seekers put themselves in the refugee’s shoes? Can their collective unconscious be conjured up? 

*Brian Mertes/Lake Lucille Chekhov Project I Am a Seagull (US, 2017) 93 minutes
Documentary | 6:30pm | Elebash Recital Hall

Life and rehearsal blend together in this filmic portrait of The Seagull. The play is interpreted by a handful of top shelf stage actors from New York City as they converge in an upstate lakeside retreat where they live and breathe Chekhov. Through juxtaposing phases of rehearsal, live performance and pure cinema this hybrid documentary captures the idealism, contradictions and raw instinct that fuels theatre-making itself. 

Festival Schedule Saturday, March 3 

Günter Atteln/Accentus Music – The Lost Paradise: Arvo Pärt/Robert Wilson (US, 2015) 56 minutes
Theatre, Documentary | 12:00pm | Segal Theatre 

He is the most performed contemporary composer in the world. And yet he rarely ventures out in public, prefers to keep quiet about his music, feels at home in the forests of Estonia and generates therewith – perhaps involuntarily – the impression of a recluse, which is attributed to him again and again: Arvo Pärt. In The Lost Paradise, we follow him over a period of one year in his native Estonia, to Japan and the Vatican. The documentary is framed by the stage production of Adam’s Passion, a music theater piece based on the Biblical story of the fall of Adam featuring three key works by Arvo Pärt. The world-renowned director Robert Wilson has brought this work to the stage in a former submarine factory in Tallinn. Tracing their creative process, the film offers rare and personal insights into the worlds of two of the most fascinating personalities in the international arts and music scene.

*Haydn Reiss/Zinc Films Robert Bly: A Thousand Years of Joy (US, 2015) 80 minutes
Theatre, Documentary | 2:00pm | Segal Theatre

Robert Bly is one of the world’s most influential poets, social activists and cultural troublemakers. His bestseller Iron John was translated into 20 languages and inspired the Men’s Movement. Now in his 92nd year, A Thousand Years of Joy reveals Bly’s journey from farm boy to global troubadour. Featuring luminaries from the world of the arts and humanities including Joseph Campbell, Gary Snyder, Jane Hirshfield, Mark Rylance, Martin Sheen, and many others.


Rima Najdi – GRAPHIC WARNING: It is not ME it is YOU (Germany/Lebanon, 2015) 2 minutes
Video Performance Art, Performance | 4:30pm | Segal Theatre

It is not ME it is YOU is a video that does not aim to show any reality as “real”, and for that matter it does not intend to be authentic. Reality doesn’t exist. We each have our own. The video is two layers of sometimes opposing realities. This video is not a political action, our bodies embodies all the politics and all wars that have been waged on our freedoms, faces, existence and utopias.

Ergao Dance Production Group This is a Chicken Coop (China, 2017) 17 minutes
Video Performance Art, Performance | 4:30pm | Segal Theatre

With the China’s reform and opening up, which began in 1979, there became big differences among areas’ economic development level. A population migration occurred with accelerated urbanization process, like birds. The cognition of hometown and native place has changed qualitatively. Like the impact of modern technology on chicken in chicken coop, no one could escape. They are all domesticated.

Tania El Khoury Re-visiting Jarideh (UK/Lebanon, 2017) 8 minutes
Video Performance Art, Performance | 4:30pm | Segal Theatre

Jarideh is a one-to-one performance created by Tania El Khoury in 2010. It takes place in a public café and explores surveillance and profiling in “the war on terror.” Jarideh is both a playful and a scary mission performed by both artist and audience. It employs real police’s instructions, spy cinema aesthetics, and resistance fighters’ stories in order to expose how security is defined through fear and difference.

*Rania Lee Khalil – Palestinian Wildlife Series (US, 2017) 30 minutes
Video Performance Art, Performance | 4:30pm | Segal Theatre 

Palestinian Wildlife Series combines video art and lecture performance to consider the effects of Occupation on plant, animal and mineral life. Using footage from a television wildlife documentary on African animals, recorded from a television set in East Jerusalem, the film uses this act of appropriation to reflect on themes of mediation, displacement and representation in relation to its subject. Screened with live voiceover by the artist. 

Paolo and Vittorio TavianiCaesar Must Die (Italy, 2012) 77 minutes
Theatre, Documentary | 5:30pm | Segal Theatre

Inmates at a high-security prison in Rome prepare for a public performance of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar. 

Giulio Boato Theatron | Romeo Castellucci  (France, 2018) 54 minutes
Theatre, Documentary | 7:00pm | Segal Theatre

Romeo Castellucci is a director, set designer, lights and costume designer of more than a hundred theatrical performances and operas. Theatron draws an unprecedented path through his thought and his work, bringing on the screen 25 years of career of the director. The film is not only the biography of one of the most acclaimed Italian directors in the world, but it is also a reflection on the deep roots of theatre, intrinsically linked to human nature.

Check out thesegalcenter.org/event/ftp2018/ for the latest updates.

Festival Curators: Festival founder Frank Hentschker (Executive Director and Director of Programming at MESTC) and Mike LoCicero (MESTC).

Festival Producer: Paloma Estevez
Assistant Curator & Festival Dramaturg: Amir Farjoun

All screenings are FREE and open to the public on a first come, first served basis.
Festival schedule is subject to change.

The Martin E. Segal Theatre Center, The Graduate Center, City University of New York, 365 Fifth Avenue, at 34th Street. Subway: Herald Square, lines B, D, F, M, N, Q, R.

www.theSegalCenter.org. Info: 212-817-1868.

The Martin E. Segal Theatre Center
(MESTC), The Graduate Center, CUNY, is a non-profit Center for theatre, affiliated with CUNY’s Ph.D. Program in Theatre. The Center’s primary focus is to bridge the gap between the academic and professional performing arts communities by providing an open environment for the development of educational, community-driven, and professional projects in the performing arts. www.theSegalCenter.org

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