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Body + Soul: The Short Films of Danielle Sturk

Sat, Sept 18 / 7 pm
Introduction and Q&A with Danielle Sturk, moderated by Stéphane Oystryk.

Franco Manitoban independent filmmaker Danielle Sturk is the 2020 Manitoba Film Hothouse Award Winner. Her moving, deeply poignant works are marvels of imaginative storytelling expressed through documentary, experimental and dramatic filmmaking modes as well live interdisciplinary performance. Her films reflect an intelligence of the human spirit and compassion for what it means to be fully alive. Many of her films reflect her extensive background as a dance artist from 1986-1996. Her films have toured the film festival circuit and have been broadcast by most major Canadian networks. She has been nominated for several awards including a multitude of major recognitions in 2020 for her latest feature El Toro including: the DGC Allan King Award for Documentary Excellence; Best Experimental Film and Best Director Non-Fiction at the Yorkton Film Festival; a Top 5 Audience Pick at Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival; Top 10 Audience Choice at the Gimli Film Festival and at the Vox Popular Media Arts Festival. Recently, she has been nominated for the DGC Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Dramatic Series for the detective series EDGAR. What follows are some of her finest short films selected by the late Cinematheque Senior Programmer Dave Barber, providing an overview of her body of work.

Directed by Danielle Sturk
2006, Canada, 3:30 min

One of Sturk’s very first films, this experimental short shot on Super 8 follows two young sisters while they play in a field of reeds near Lake Manitoba.

Inspire, Expire
Written and Directed by Danielle Sturk
2009, Canada, 27:50 min

This documentary filmed at Saint Boniface General Hospital, in Manitoba, focuses on the work of two women: Gisèle Fontaine, who helps women in childbirth; and Louise Saurette, who attends the dying. Birth and death, moments of transition that involve a transformative journey, have much in common. The midwife and the chaplain offer themselves as guides on the painful and essential path of letting go.

Treaty Number Three
Directed by Danielle Sturk
2013, Canada, 4:15 min

A unique video portrait of visual and performance artist Rebecca Belmore, 2013 Laureate of the Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts. The filmmaker collaborated with Belmore who created a new visual art/performance artwork specifically for this video. The new work is inspired by the spoken words of chief Mawe-do- pe-nais from an 1873 treaty negotiation recording of Belmore’s ancestral land.

Mouvement (excerpt from A Good Madness)
Directed and Produced by Danielle Sturk
2014, Canada, 9:00 min

Kristin Haight delivers a haunting performance in this moving excerpt from the feature film A Good Madness – The Dance of Rachel Browne, with choreography by Rachel Browne inspired by Frida Kahlo’s painting “The Wounded Deer”.

Written and Directed by Danielle Sturk
2012, Canada, 10 min

Perspectives on Western Canadian Métis culture. This short documentary captures the essence of a multidisciplinary creative project that brings together Franco-Manitoban visual artist Colette Balcaen, and embroiderer and stylist from Brittany Pascal Jaouen, who collaborated with renowned Manitoban artisans Métis embroiderers Jennine Krauchi and Jenny Meyer, as well as Manitoban weaver Carole James.

ciel(s) – (heaven(s))
Written, Directed and Produced by Danielle Sturk
2010, Canada, 30 min

ciel(s) explores multiple and very personal visions of what awaits us after death – visions coloured by religious faith or family culture, by our own experiences with death, as well as by the awareness to an energetic dimension, some name the soul. Photographed in an inventive style outdoors, several individuals from all ages share their visions about the afterlife and how life and death hold meaning for them.

Written, Directed, Narrated and Shot by Danielle Sturk
2015, Canada, 3:00 min

“Danielle Sturk relates how a young girl’s entry into adult womanhood comes not through growing autonomy but through an abrupt and unwanted push into shame and silence. This experimental documentary uses a simple setting and muted narration to convey an emotionally shattering story.” – Alison Gillmor, Moving Images, April 2017

Through The Looking Glass Self (*premiere screening)
Directed and Produced by Danielle Sturk
2021, Canada, 6:20

The filmmaker attempts to connect to a sense of self through physical sensation and an offering up of the body, as opposed to reflection and projection of self in this experimental short. Made as part of the 2020 Manitoba Hothouse Award for Creative Development with footage sourced partly from Sturk’s feature length dance performance “Flesh+Machine” created as Artist in Residence with Winnipeg’s Contemporary Dancers in 2017, as well as her experimental camera work supported by a Manitoba Arts Council Major Arts Grant.

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The Winnipeg Film Group is an artist-run education, production, exhibition and distribution centre committed to promoting the art of cinema.
our location

We’re located in the heart of Winnipeg's historic Exchange District in the Artspace building. We are across the street from Old Market Square at the corner of Arthur Street and Bannatyne - one block west of Main.

The Winnipeg Film Group is located on Treaty 1 Territory and on the ancestral lands of the Anishinaabeg, Cree, Oji-Cree, Dakota and Dene Peoples and in the homeland of the Métis Nation. We offer our respect and gratitude to the traditional caretakers of this land.