2021 Denton Black Film Festival announces new screendance category

January 22-26, 2021

Every year one of the only black film festivals in the United States occurs in Denton, Texas. The Denton Black Film Festival ( DBFF), created by Harry and Linda Eaddy, promotes films by prestigious Black filmmakers and films about Black lives and experiences.

This year, Mary Williford-Shade, MFA, CMA, professor and chair of the TWU Department of Dance, is incorporating the new medium of screendance into the festival.

Screendance is an emerging movement based, interdisciplinary art form that lives only as it is created in film, video or digital technologies. Or as Farah Azrak, a screendance artist from Beirut explains: “Screendance is a hybrid dance form that combines movement with the camera to stir the imagination and deliver a unique visual experience to explore motion and subject matter. The relationship between both, the camera and the  moving subject is intricately intertwined in the editing process delivering a filmic dance.”

As an entry point into this new film medium for the DBFF, a Curation Team was developed by Roma Flowers from Texas Christian University including faculty members from two other university dance departments: Mary Williford-Shade, Jordan Fuchs, Elisa De La Rosa from Texas Woman’s University and Helanius Wilkins from University Colorado Boulder. The team’s charge was to research and invite screendance makers to submit their films to the festival and interview each maker about their creative process.

This year there will be nine short interviews and screendances produced at the festival from around the United States and Belgium, beginning with Cara Hagan (Cygnus); Lauren Hyunh (For Us, To Us); Antoine Panier and Harold George (Making Men); Botis Seva (Can’t Kill Us All); Kamali Hill (Dear World); Tiffany Rhynard (Black Stains); Gesel Mason (No Boundaries: Dancing the Legacies of Black Choreographers); Andrew Michael Ellis (Jonah); and Stephanie Mckee (Black Back).

Featured Screendances

Cygnus by Cara Hagan, former guest dancer and choreographer at TWU

A short screendance filmed on location on Battle Lake, MN, Cygnus invites us to revel in the beauty of calm waters as the moon slips behind the horizon.  A celebration of the earth, the body, and their kinship.

Making Men by Antoine Panier

From carefree fluidity to inner turmoil, a journey into masculinity and self-knowledge.

Can't Kill Us All by Botis Siva

Unravelling one man’s mental unrest as he navigates the turbulence of dealing with two global pandemics.

Jonah by Andrew Michael Ellis

An interview with a former enslaved person accompanies a powerful dance vignette of an urban man in extremis. The juxtaposition of past and present raises questions about inherited trauma and the possibility of regeneration.

Black Stains with Trent D. Williams, Jr., former guest dancer and choreographer at TWU

Why do we not see black men as human? Inspired by the personal experiences of Trent D. Williams, Jr., an African-American choreographer, Black Stains explores the reality of living while black in the United States and addressed the systemic pattern of racial profiling by the police.

Page last updated 9:01 AM, February 25, 2021