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Kelly Hargraves
INSHORT Film Festival 2018
‘...what it feels like 
04' | Experimental | Canada | 2017 | Tickets

Evoking generations of embodied experiences, …what it feels like gives texture to the trappings of the female gender—its material expressions, as well as its silences and solitudes.


Hi Kelly thanks for talking to TNC, are there nerves ahead of the screening?

Honestly, I am sad that I cannot attend. I wasn’t given enough notice to get myself from Los Angeles to London. I really enjoy meeting with filmmakers from around the world, and London is my favorite city in the world, so I am truly bummed.

InShort Film Festival aims to promote global discussion, how important is it for you as a filmmaker to be part of this type of film festival?

These type of festival are vital for the art of short films. there aren’t really any other platforms to show this type of work. Plus, the magnitude of films made means that we need curatorial voices to help manage it all!

Tell me a little bit about what it feels like, how did the documentary come about?

It’s not a doc. it’s a dance film. I am a choreographer, so I make my films like you would make a stage dance.

What was the inspiration behind this film?

A couple of things that came together —this is how I tend to make things—pulling from the ether.

A beautiful ballet dancer wanted me to make a film with her, and because my work is more “gritty” I joked that I would need to lock her in a cage. At the same time, my daughter and I visited LA’s Victorian Village and I began to look at the turrets of the houses and envision Victorian women locked in them. I had also just been to a Women’s Film Festival in Turkey which showed stories of women around the world AND it was the American election where Hillary Clinton was a candidate.

So, that’s a lot to get into a 4-minute dance film! I don’t know if you can see it all, but it’s all there for me.

Screen Shot Stuck, this is what it feels

What were the biggest challenges you encountered in making this film?

Truthfully, not that many. Well, one - a permit to shoot in a historic landmark for free, which we didn’t get, so I had to change my location, but that lead to a richer film. I make these with a small team ( 3 people)  in a collaborative, improvisational way, so it’s easy to change course. I find that everything I need just presents itself if I keep myself open to the inspiration of my performer, cinematographer, and my environment.

How much has your style and the approach to your filmmaking changed since your debut?

I still retain a “dancer’s eye.” I look for movement, I stay improvisational. I tried to be more “filmic” and make shooting scripts, crews, etc, but it’s just not me.

How would you describe what it feels like in three words?

mysterious, nostalgic, gender

What has the experience of making this film been like for you?

It was beautiful. It all fell together. The performer was perfect, the cinematographer could move with me on set, and the music was magical -no edits, it fit directly to the edit I had made prior. 

"...DON'T work on a dozen things or nothing will get finished."

How would you describe Your Face Global Jam in three words?

Visual Thrill Ride

Do you have any advice or tips for any fellow filmmaker?

Do it! And work on a couple of things at once, so that you can recharge your energies, and overcome blocks, from one project with an upcoming one, but DON'T work on a dozen things or nothing will get finished.

And finally, what do you hope people will take away from this film?

In this very polarized world, this film honors both the creativity found in individual artists and the beauty of international collaboration. I hope the takeaway is that while solo work can be unique and wonderful, it can also become something elevated, and vibrant when worked collaboratively.

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