In This Life
Director: Bat-Sheva Guez
United States, 2019, 12 min
Crew:Writers: Bat-Sheva Guez, Robert Fairchild - Producers: Robert Fairchild, Bat-Sheva Guez
Email:bguez AT adventurepants.tv
In five acts, this film explores the language of loss through dance, narrative scenes, and performance art, conveying the complexity of grief in the, often wordless way it impacts all our lives.
About the director
Bat-Sheva 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, Hollyshorts Film Fest and more.
She was selected to the NEW YORK STAGE & FILM’S FILMMAKING LAB and is the recipient of the JT3 ARTIST AWARD FOR SCREENWRITING & DIRECTING. Guez was also awarded the “WRITE BY THE SEA” Screenwriting Retreat from the Lighthouse Film Festival .
Her film, BEHIND THE WALL, won 8 awards including among others, BEST DIRECTOR at 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 garnered quite a bit of press. Dance Magazine called it: “The Genre-Defying Dance film you didn’t know you needed in your life.”
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.
Guez is a founding member of the FilmmakeHERS (a supportive group of female filmmakers) and is an active member of the Director’s Collective (where members meet monthly to hone their skills working with actors). She has been invited to speak on panels for Film Fatales and the Mayor’s Office of Media & Entertainment. She also sits on the board of Lookfar Conservation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving wild and wondrous places.
Grief as part of the human condition is a complex and physical experience, an ordeal borne by the heart and mind, a journey through which one’s passage is as universal as it is unique. The experience of grief puts into sharp relief the limits of language to both convey or to comfort. “There are no words…” Sometimes it is only through art or dance that we can best convey the complexity of this experience - beyond the boundaries and limitations of language.
This has been an incredibly special and profound film that has touched both Robbie and I and moved the cast and crew. It stands outside the boundaries of genre: part narrative film, part dance film, and part video art. In five acts, this film explores the language of loss, conveying the complexity of grief in the often wordless way it impacts all our lives. Each act illustrates a different phase of grief and is choreographed by a different leading choreographer (Christopher Wheeldon, Andrea Miller, Warren Craft, Robert Fairchild, and James Alsop.)
This film depicts the very personal and intimate experience of grief of one man. The emotions that that our protagonist struggles with are incredibly personal and distinct. And yet, we wrote the film in such a way that the source of his grief is not labeled. It is left purposefully open, so that viewers can project their own struggles onto the screen.
My own work pushes the boundaries of visual storytelling, creating unique films that play with the capabilities of the medium. I weave dance, magic, and experimental techniques into visually compelling, character-driven stories. For this series, I continued to explore what happens when dance, projection and art is blended seamlessly with narrative storytelling, allowing each to serve the other, creating a piece that lives in the space in-between.
ON DANCE FOR CAMERA
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 work liberates dance from the confines of the theater and re-imagines it in the world, setting it in a location that adds depth and subtext to the story. It choreographs the camera with as much intention as the dancers, adapting camera techniques from narrative film storytelling (where what you don’t see is often as important as what you do). My drive as a dance filmmaker is to create a work of art in and of itself, a piece that goes far beyond documentation of a performance, so that viewers will have an emotional and visceral response to the power of the movement. And most importantly, my work strives to touch viewers beyond the normal reach of a company, building new audiences for dance that will sustain the art for the future.
Today’s griever spends a lot of time by themselves, alone in the scrolls of social media. When this film is eventually launched, we hope to find them there. To approach them in a very personal and private time, to hand them a piece of beauty, of art, and to say, “you’re not alone.”