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In This Life at Rhode Island Film Festival
August 7, 2019 @ 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM
IN THIS LIFE AT RHODE ISLAND FILM FESTIVAL
Tony Award Nominee Robbie Fairchild stars,
working as co-writer and co-producer with director Bat-Sheva Guez.
Collaboratively choreographed by Fairchild alongside
James Alsop, Warren Craft, Andrea Miller, and Christopher Wheeldon.
Bat-Sheva Guez’s short film In This Life will screen at the Rhode Island International Film Festival on Wednesday, August 7, 2019 at 6pm. The short will screen at The Vets Cinematheque, Providence, RI, as part of the 23rd year of New England’s largest and most prestigious film festival. Tickets are $10 and are available online at https://bpt.me/4299473. For more details on the festival, visit http://www.film-festival.org/.
In five acts, In This Life explores the language of loss, conveying the complexity of grief in the often-wordless way it impacts our lives. The film is a leap of faith for former New York City Ballet principal and Broadway star Robbie Fairchild as he embarks on an ambitious collaboration with the director, choreographers, and dancers. Sharing the roles of writer and producer with Bat-Sheva Guez, Fairchild imbues this odyssey with the very personal experience of one man going through this rite of passage, which is as universal as it is unique.
“When there are no words to speak, you sing; when there is no song to sing, you dance,” said Fairchild. “I’m fascinated by the concept of dance having the ability to convey our humanity when words fail and what part of our humanity is more powerfully complex than loss?” Fairchild continued, “I wanted to take my own grief and put it on film with the hope that we could all feel less alone in our very universal struggle.”
The work stands outside the boundaries of genre: part narrative film, part dance film, and part video art. Each act illustrates a different phase of the grieving process, as choreographed by a different choreographer: James Alsop, Warren Craft, Robbie Fairchild, Andrea Miller, and Christopher Wheeldon.
“I’ve always been incredibly passionate about dance filmmaking. To this day, many of the master choreographers of our day can’t reach audiences beyond those that can afford tickets to their performances. So much of the world’s most beautiful choreography remains trapped on a stage, unavailable to the masses of people who would most want to see it. My drive as a dance filmmaker is liberate dance from the confines of the theater and to re-imagine it in the world, to create a work of art in and of itself, a piece that goes far beyond a flat documentation of a performance. I strive to touch viewers beyond the normal reach of a company, building new audiences for dance that will sustain the art for the future,” said Bat-Sheva Guez.
IN THIS LIFE won Best Experimental Film at the Brooklyn Film Festival and screened prominently at the Dance on Camera Festival through the Film at Lincoln Center in New York.
IN THIS LIFE
Directed by: Bat-Sheva Guez; Written by: Bat-Sheva Guez and Robbie Fairchild; Starring: Robbie Fairchild
Executive Producer: Robbie Fairchild; Producers: Jeanette Bonner, Bat-Sheva Guez; Choreographers: Warren Craft, James Alsop, Andrea Miller, Christopher Wheeldon, Robbie Fairchild (in order of appearance); Performers: Kathleen Laituri, Heather Lang, Rico Lebron, Martha Nichols, Michael Rosen, Ahmad Simmons, Ryan Steele, Cassandra Surianello, Abby Stephensen, Julien Valme; Director of Photography: Giacomo Belletti
Editor: Bat-Sheva Guez; Production Designer: Karen Weber; Mask Designer: James Ortiz; Costume Designer: Becky Bodurtha; Score: RIVKA; Sound Designer: Eric Brown; Consulting Producer: Emily Branham
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
BAT-SHEVA GUEZ (Director, Writer, Producer) is passionate about weaving dance, magic, and experimental techniques into visually compelling, character-driven stories. Guez has directed over a dozen short films and screened in festivals worldwide including the Hamptons International Film Festival, the Rhode Island International Film Festival, the Lighthouse International Film Festival, the Brooklyn Film Festival, and more. Guez was selected to the prestigious New York Stage and Film’s Screenwriting Lab and is the recipient of the JT3 Artist Award for Screenwriting & Directing. Guez was also awarded the “Write by the Sea” Screenwriting Residency from the Lighthouse Film Festival. Her short film Beyond the Wall won eight awards including Best Director of the Art of Brooklyn Film Festival, Best Short Film at the Moondance Film Festival, and the Panavision Grant for Best Cinematography at the Rhode Island International Film Festival. The film went on to screen at 28 festivals and screenings worldwide and was praised as “the genre-defying dance film you didn’t know you needed in your life” by Dance Magazine. With her production company, Adventure Pants, Guez directs web films and branded content for clients like Lincoln Center (promoting New York City Ballet, Paul Taylor Dance Company, and more), as well as JP Morgan, Conde Nast, and other nonprofits and brands. www.batshevaguez.com and www.adventurepants.tv @batshevaguez
ROBBIE FAIRCHILD (Producer, Writer, Performer, Choreographer) made his Tony nominated Broadway debut in 2015 as Jerry Mulligan in the Tony Award-winning musical An American in Paris, which he reprised in London’s West End in 2017. He was awarded the Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, Theater World, National Dance and Astaire Award for this performance and was nominated for the Evening Standard and Drama League Awards. He is starring in Tom Hooper’s film adaptation of Cats, as well as the new Netflix Series Soundtrack, both being released December 2019. From 2009 to 2017, Fairchild performed as a Principal Dancer with the New York City Ballet. His other theater credits include Monster in Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein (Signature Theater, Chita Rivera Award), Harry Beaton in Brigadoon (New York City Center), Will Parker in Oklahoma! (Royal Albert Hall, London), Mike Costa in A Chorus Line (Hollywood Bowl), and Bill Calhoun in Kiss Me Kate (Roundabout Theater Company’s 2017 Gala). Television credits include Mixtape (FOX Pilot), Julie’s Greenroom (Netflix), Oklahoma! (BBC Proms), Romeo in Romeo and Juliet and Carousel Boy in NY Philharmonic’s Carousel (PBS’s Live from Lincoln Center), Dancing With The Stars, The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, Live with Kelly and Michael, CBS Sunday Morning, and 60 Minutes.Film credits include An American in Paris Live (West End Production), The Chaperone and NY Export: Opus Jazz. Fairchild is represented by CAA. @robbiefairchild
JAMES ALSOP (Choreographer) has been granted the opportunity to work with artists such as Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, Kelly Rowland, Janelle Monae, Perez Hilton, Shanice Wilson, Wayne Brady, and many more. She won the 2011 MTV Video Music Award for Best Choreography, along with the rest of the choreographic team, for the “Run The World (Girls)” music video by Beyoncé. She is currently serving as choreographer on the series Soundtrack for Netflix. Her work has been recognized at numerous competitions and conventions, including NUVO, CO Dance, Dance Masters, and Adrenaline. She is on faculty at the world-renowned studio The Edge Performing Arts Center in Hollywood, CA. Her television, film, and commercial appearances include her as a top 10 contestant on BravoTV’s inaugural season of Step It Up & Dance, season two of So You Think You Can Dance, the Indie film Jump the Broom, and a K5 Samsung commercial. Wherever James goes, she brings positivity, creativity, and drive.
WARREN CRAFT (Choreographer) is a New York City tap dancer and current and founding member of Dorrance Dance. He trained in ballet at ABT and SAB and learned the fundamentals of tap improvisation from Ayodele Casel at Fazil’s. Most importantly, lessons from the late, great Ko Murobushi inspired years of experimentation in Warren’s improvisations, and under the direction of Michelle Dorrance, Warren has developed a tap dance style in the vein of butoh dance/theatre. Warren has been a member of Brenda Bufalino’s New American Tap Dance Orchestra and Max Pllak’s RumbaTap as well as an original member of the Tap City Youth Ensemble. Warren has toured in Japan with a brilliant group consisting of dancer Reona Otsuka and bassists Takashi Seo and Masao Tajima. He has taught at the Sapporo Tap Festival and ARTN in Tokyo. Warren’s first solo choreographed work, “Hayden,” was set on dancer Rena Kinoshita and performed at ATDF’s Rhythm in Motion in April 2016.
ANDREA MILLER (Choreographer), Artistic Director and choreographer of Brooklyn-based company, GALLIM, has established herself as a perpetually groundbreaking artist who brings unbridled empathy, intimacy, and sensitivity to her work. Miller was named 2017/2018 Artist in Residence at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, becoming the first choreographer to hold that distinction. Miller’s highly acclaimed works and commissions have been performed worldwide including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Frieze Festival, Art Basel, Carmina Burana at Lincoln Center and The Kennedy Center, BAM Next Wave, The Joyce, Jacob’s Pillow, Spoleto USA, Theatre National de Chaillot, Grec Festival de Barcelona, The Grand Theatre de la Ville de Luxembourg, Theaterhaus Stuttgart, and Canal Madrid. Recent commissions include Pennsylvania Ballet, NDT2, Bern Ballet, Atlanta Ballet, Grace Farms, Noord Nederlands Dans, Peak Performances, and The Kimmel Center. Collaborations in Fashion include Hermès, VOGUE, Lacoste, Calvin Klein, Lane Crawford, Kswiss, and Zach Gold. Releasing this year Miller’s collaboration with film, The Death and Life of John F. Donovan (2018), directed by Xavier Dolan. Miller’s choreography for GALLIIM has been commissioned and performed nationally and internationally, including by The Kennedy Center, Peak Performances at Montclair State University (NJ), and Dancers’ Workshop-Jackson Hole, Nederlands Dans Theater 2, Ballet Bern at the Royal Opera House of London, Noord Nederlands Dans, and Phantom Limb’s production 69° South for BAM’s Next Wave (2011).
CHRISTOPHER WHEELDON (Choreographer) trained at The Royal Ballet School and joined The Royal Ballet in 1991. He was named NYCB’s first Resident Choreographer in July 2001. Christopher has created productions for all the world’s major ballet companies, including New York City Ballet, The Royal Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, San Francisco Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet, Dutch National Ballet, Royal Swedish Ballet, Bolshoi Ballet, and National Ballet of Canada. In 2007, Wheeldon founded Morphoses/The Wheeldon Company and was appointed an Associate Artist for Sadler’s Wells Theatre in London. For the Metropolitan Opera he choreographed “Dance of the Hours” for La Gioconda (2006) and Richard Eyre’s production of Carmen (2012) as well as ballet sequences for the feature film Center Stage (2000) and the 2002 Broadway production of The Sweet Smell of Success. In 2014 Christopher directed and choreographed An American In Paris. The Broadway production won Christopher the 2015 Tony Award for Best Choreography and Outer Critics Award for Best Choreography and Direction. His awards include the Martin E. Segal Award from Lincoln Center, the American Choreography Award, a Dance Magazine Award, and the London Critic’s Circle Award for best new ballet for Polyphonia. In 2013 his productions of Cinderella and The Winter’s Tale won the Benois de la Danse. For Aeternum he won the Olivier Award, and for A Winter’s Tale, he won the 2014 Leonard Massine Prize for Choreography.
RHODE ISLAND INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
Founded in 197, Rhode Island International Film Festival has secured its place in the global community as the portal for the best in international independent cinema; earning the respect of domestic and foreign filmmakers, film-goers and trend watchers. This confluence of art and commerce brought together world-class celebrities, award-winning filmmakers, new talent and audience members. Ranked as one of the top 10 Festivals in the United States, RIIFF is also a qualifying festival for the Narrative and Documentary Short Film Academy Award through its affiliation with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, and a BAFTA and Canadian Screen qualifying Festival.
Notable films and guests include the Farrelly brothers film, There’s Something About Mary; Andrew McCarthy, who premiered his directorial debut, News for the Church; Michael Showalter discussing his feature film The Baxter, and actors Seymour Cassel, Kim Chan, and Ernest Borgnine who received Festival Lifetime Achievement Awards. Director Blake Edwards received a Festival Lifetime Achievement Award in 2001, which was accepted by his wife, Julie Andrews.
RIIFF offers an artistic exchange as well as opportunities for the global creative community that are not available in the established entertainment industry. It is designed to foster contact among film directors, producers, distributors, backers and audiences. The Festival draws over 45,000 people annually along with a strong filmmaker presence attending its main event each August and its Horror Film sidebar in October. In 2018, the Festival screened 295 films; with 84 being world and US premieres
The Festival’s goal is to recognize achievement and innovation in a variety of filmmaking and storytelling disciplines while providing an opportunity to secure wider distribution. The Festival also actively supports and encourages film preservation and its restoration, thus ensuring future generations of this unique artistic medium.
Adventure Pants is a full-service production company led by directors Bat-Sheva Guez and Emily Branham. Their clients include J.P. Morgan Chase, Conde Nast, Atlantic Council, and Lincoln Center among others. With backgrounds in high-end commercial production, they specialize in visually compelling and movement-based storytelling. They pride themselves on creating artistic content that distills complex ideas into emotionally engaging stories.