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Direction of the Road

NY Premiere

Director: Janelle VanderKelen

United States, 2023, 8 min

Shooting Format:Digital 3D Animation

Festival Year:2024


Genres:Horror, Animation, Eco Fiction, Sci-fi


As a tree muses on their role in the Order of Things, this being (which humans normally think of as immobile) reveals the speed, agility, and finesse integral to their experience of the world. Adapted from a short story written by Ursula LeGuin, this decidedly inhuman filmic narrative uses the overlapping cyan and scarlet of anaglyph stereoscopic 3D imaging to speculate how a tree (which responds more acutely to light waves in the red and blue portions of the spectrum) might perceive the world visually. Though 3D stereoscopy is used in this film, it is intended to be viewed without 3D glasses.


About the director

Janelle VanderKelen is an artist, curator, and educator currently based in Knoxville, TN. Her films and intermedia installations imagine alternative acts of relation between imperfect bodies (human, vegetal, geological, or otherwise) and make visible the agency of plants through experimental time-based media processes.

VanderKelen's work has been exhibited at institutions including the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art in Boulder, CO; Anthology Film Archives in New York; and Bow Arts in London, England. Her films have screened at Ann Arbor Film Festival, True/False, Athens International Film + Video Festival, Revelation Perth International Film Festival, IC DOCS, San Diego Underground Film Festival, and Antimatter [Media Art] Film Festival.

Recent awards include juried awards at the 2023 Ann Arbor Film Festival + 2023 Thomas Edison Film Festival.


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