FVNMAS Film Festival

Encounter the next generation of film, video, and new media artists as SAIC students present their thesis projects in this festival of innovative live-action shorts, animation, feature-length narrative and nonfiction works, and experimental pieces. More information can be found here.

Welcome to SAIC’s 2020 FVNMAS Festival 


The wait is over. I am thrilled to finally welcome you to the School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s 2020 Film, Video, New Media, Animation, and Sound Festival featuring work by our recent Graduate and Undergraduate alumni. 2020 has taught us so much about innovation, perseverance, and resilience. This year, we are streaming the work of the class of 2020 via the Gene Siskel Film Center’s virtual cinema platform. The festival is free and available to audiences around the world. Each day, between November 30 and December 6, a new program of alumni works will premiere. Each program will remain available for online viewing for 7 days. I look forward to encounter, along with you, our students’ ingenious work. 

Programmed by Amy Beste, FVNMA’s Director of Public Programs and Curator of the screening series Conversations at the Edge, the festival brings to your screen a wide range of genres and practices: daring experimental works, ambitious feature films, intimate video essays, and rebellious animation shorts. We are proud to celebrate the diverse voices at the heart of our community. 

I am eternally grateful to Amy Beste; Casey Puccini, our festival producer; Trevor Martin and the rest of the Department of Exhibitions staff; Jean de St. Aubin, Andy Berlin, and the entire staff at the Gene Siskel Film Center; our graduate assistant Denny Mwaura; the FVNMA technical staff; all the faculty members who worked diligently with the students over the past many years; and, above all, to all the participating artists for their hard work and inspiring vision.

Media artists have a great responsibility today. They provide us with alternative ways of looking and understanding the world in which we live. They have the ability to transform and enhance perception. We invite you to immerse yourself in a world of visionary experiences and adventurous storytelling. 

Please join me in congratulating this remarkable group of artists on all their achievements.

Enjoy the festival!

Frédéric Moffet, Chair
Department of Film, Video, New Media and Animation
The School of the Art Institute of Chicago


Shorts: Passages

Still from The Dependents (dir. Sofia Brockenshire)
Various directors, USA, Argentina, Canada, 2019-20, 61 min
Nov 30 - Dec 6, 2020

Through a breathtaking array of styles and perspectives, this program follows the migrations of a family across space and time, reflects on the circularity of life, draws us into a series of mysterious digital encounters, and conjures new realities.


The Dependents, Sofia Brockenshire, Argentina, Canada, USA, 2020, 5 min

The Edge of a Hole(Work in Progress), Kishino Takagishi, USA, 2020, 18 min

60 Degrees: A Flatland Film, Hannah Williams, USA, 2019, 2 min

Ashore, Elisa Peterson, USA, 2020, 3 min

******.com, Vesper Guo, USA, 2020, 15 min

Burnt Offerings, Sarah Cribbs, USA, 2020, 15 min

Noise Field, Ashley Cheng-Jie Liu, USA, 2019, 3 min



Leave Nothing Behind

Still from Leave Nothing Behind (dir. Stephanie Schwiederek)

Stephanie Schwiederek, USA, 2020, 56 min
Dec  1 - Dec 7, 2020.

An intimate and visceral portrait of the filmmaker’s immigrant mother, her journey to America from Czechoslovakia, and their shared experiences of precariousness living in a motel for thirteen years.


Shorts: Into the Wild

Still from I’m Not Going to Die, I’m Going Home Like A Shooting Star (dir. jada-amina)

Various directors, USA, 2020, 72 min

Dec 2 - Dec 8, 2020

Through personal recollections, dance, and sound, this stunning collection of shorts features stories of feral girls and untethered women, portraits of generational trauma and resilience, and meditations on the relation between the body and the land.


I’m Not Going to Die, I’m Going Home Like A Shooting Star, (dir.jada-amina), USA, 2020, 15 min

Longing, Isabel Owen, USA, 2020, 15 min

Untitled, Iowa, Veronica Anne Salinas, USA, 2020, 5 min

Sixth Sun, Cielo Saucedo, USA, 2020, 3 min

Enchanted Roses, Yuri Choe, USA, 2020, 14 min

Little Mermaid, Jeein Kim, USA, 2020, 6 min



Shorts: Into the Dark

Still from what are you doing? (dir. Qiyun Kang)

Various directors, USA, Greece, 2020, 58 min

Dec 3 - Dec 9, 2020

An undercurrent of anxiety runs through this program, which features noir-ish tales of controlling relationships, nefarious characters, and an interrogation of the art world itself through animation, text, and hand-processed film.


what are you doing?, Qiyun Kang, USA, 2020, 6 min

Ego Death, Z Fondanarosa, USA, 2020, 31 min

Laundromat Limbo, Jennifer Gillenwater, USA, 2020, 11 min

Note 1 of 1 : Delegitimize This, Phaedra Sioulas, Greece, 2020, 10 min



Shorts: Becomings

Still from Intricate Rituals (dir. Luan Joy Sherman)

Various directors, USA, India, 2019-2020, 64 min

Dec 4 - Dec 10, 2020


In these provocative and poignant works, themes of social and individual identity, transformation, and self-realization are explored through performance, animation, travel diaries, and home movies.


Forever Bound Together (By the Experiences We May or May Not Have Shared), Nat Wood, USA, 2020, 11 min

Intricate Rituals, Luan Joy Sherman, USA, 2020, 20 min

Rain and Night, Dah Ming, USA, 2019, 24 min

Winter 2019, Bless, India, 2019, 3 min

Amalgamation of an I, Danny Cooper, USA, 2020, 6 min



SELF & other Early Works

Still from SELF & other Early Works: the siskel cut (dir. Ben Creech)
Ben Creech, USA, 2020, 67 min
Dec  5 - Dec 11, 2020

Two experimental essays that deconstruct history and the media that documents it.


SELF & other Early Works: the siskel cut, Ben Creech, USA, 2020, 57 min

CICERO//MT GREENWOOD (1966/2016), Ben Creech, USA, 2020, 10 min


Questions for Jack

Still from Questions for Jack (dir. Natalie Costello)

Natalie Costello, USA, 2020, 76 min
Dec 6 - Dec 12, 2020

A portrait of a family piecing together the fragmentary history of their father, as his own memories are lost to Alzheimers.