Statements from the Curators

14th Annual Parnu International Film Festival curated by Ernest Truely (U.S.A.)

I approached the organization of this film festival as I approach art production. My artist statement has to do with using art, science and technology to bring us closer together. I set my sights on putting together an event that would bring us closer to each other.


Most of the selections for our program were made while I was living in Brooklyn . On a warm June evening in Williamsburg I met up with Mo Johnston, one of the curators or the New York Underground Film Festival. She gave me some screeners from which we culled the first pieces for the festival. The same night I met Jay Van Buren who presents an interactive art piece in Second Life in the Williamsburg galley Jack the Pelican Presents. It was Jay/s approach that set a tone for the festival, the combination of real and virtual to bring us together.


Projects were reviewed by a committee including Demetrios Argyopolis, Nadine Grey, Nicole Hebert, Ville Karol and Coco Patterson. We reviewed solicited films and submissions from an open call. Selections were made in collective; we shared ideas for how to present the work.


I met with artists and curators in person in Chicago , New York and Tallinn and through countless hours of correspondence by email, chats and Skype. It was important for me to develop relationships with the artists in order to understand their intentions and how to best present the work.


The program features many American artists and European artists working in the U.S. In the program I listed American artists by geographic location to emphasize the cultural differences among art from different regions of the U.S.


Guest curators Andrew Hicks (Chicago), Moira Tierney ( Dublin ), Jay Stren and Victor Varnado ( New York ) were selected to present programs of short films. While I left the theme Virtual Body open to the interpretation of each curator .the power of their programs are enhanced by their presence at our events in Estonia .


What interests me about the theme Virtual Body is the opportunity to contemplate developments in technology and the evolution of my virtual body. My virtual body manifests itself in media that existed only in the imagination of past generations. I am old enough to remember life before cell phones, when waiting for an important call meant being fixed to a physical location, staying home. Now my virtual body roams more freely.


The 14 th annual Parnu Film Festival is based on a virtual theme but it is not a virtual festival, it is not an online event. The festival is about our real bodies converging in time and space to experience art together. My hope is that we come together in these scheduled events to meet each other, share experience and ideas and to develop ourselves virtually and in what is real. Thank you to Remo Randovar for the T.V. commercial and for his efforts too numerous to mention. Thank you to members of our support team, Non Grata, the city of Parnu and to each contributing artist and curator.

Ernest Truely



Chicago Works curated by Andrew Hicks (Chicago)

A virtual body is a body remembered, a body projected, a body implied. It is a cloud of peripheral clues pointing to an original that exists for each one of us in our own sensations. It is perhaps the most subjective of topics.  This collection of videos explores this fog of subjectivity in multiple ways.

Information about our bodies comes to awareness through many channels of distortion and decomposition. Emily Kuehn, Sandra Rosas-Ridolfi, RJ Chmiel, and Jared Larson play with this idea through the narratives of myth, memory and recreation.

The body as a location of aesthetic experience is the elementary phenomenological expression. Artists Andrew Hicks, Taylor Hokanson, I Love Presets, and Sasha Samochina are concerned with the primal: the shape, the appearance, the formal qualities of the human shape as it moves through space. Yet, the body doesn't end at the skin. Matthew Nelson , Niki Nolan, and Janell Baxter each portray the spaces bodies inhabit, emphasizing the absence of inhabitants.

Body as action. Body as simulation. Body as a locus for ideologies. These themes come through the work of Stacia Yeapanis and Amber Hawk Swanson as they read the contemporary culture as feminist allegory.

 These are the examinations we are experiencing in the heart of America , and they all point toward a further loss of the physical. There is no question our actions in the future will further virtualize the body. The real consequence of this collection of art is the awareness of how far along we have come already.

First Sundays curated by Victor Varnado and Jay Stern ( New York )
First Sundays has presented nearly 600 short comedy films over the past six and a half years.  It is a daunting challenge to select our favorite films from this collection.  In choosing the films to screen at Non Grata art container, we selected films which illustrate the wide range of styles we've shown at First Sundays, with an emphasis on non-verbal films which will play well for an international audience.  Our screening is divided into three main sections: ultra-low budget films, animation, and wildly imaginative films, although naturally these categories overlap each other in many of our selections.


Solus curated by Moira Tierney
This programme is designed to give you a taste of what our SOLUS collective is about - and also to give an idea of the different media used by collective members. SOLUS was started when Alan Lambert & myself discovered we had a common love of Super-8mm film ... as the collective expands our programmes have come to include films and videos shot on 8mm, Super-8mm, 16mm, DV and 35mm; in all sorts of styles, from home-movie to documentary to found footage to animation to feature-length fiction. The name of the game is No Holds Barred - ie: if you have an idea, you can carry it out with whatever means you have to hand!