March 18 – 29
At Tower City
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Run Time: 82 minutes
BORN TO FLY chronicles the fascinating life and career of experimental dancer and choreographer Elizabeth Streb. For nearly 40 years, she's been pushing the boundaries of modern dance with her no limits approach. Motivated by extreme sports and inspired by the circus, Streb puts demands on her performers that require immense physical strength and endurance. As the documentary shows, the members of the troupe are more like stunt men and women than dancers. Their performances are not only visually stunning, but also auditory. The sound of their bodies slamming against Plexiglas, the gasps and grunts as they collide into the mat after a 30-foot fall – it all contributes to a sensory overload that's as disorienting as it is enjoyable. As they risk their safety for the sake of entertainment, their injuries become battle scars in Streb's fight against mediocrity. Her extreme shows can be shocking, but they force the audience to reevaluate the concept of movement and the impact it has on art. Catherine Gund's stimulating film highlights the fearless mind of a self-proclaimed “action architect.” —E.F.
Catherine Gund, Tanya Selvaratnam
Kirsten Johnson, Albert Maysles, Ian McAlpin
Elizabeth Streb, Laura Flanders, Fabio Tavares, Sarah Callan, Jackyn Carlson, Leonardo Giron, Felix Hess, Samantha Jakus, Cassandre Joseph, John Kaste
Catherine Gund, a 29th CIFF Someone to Watch Award recipient, is a filmmaker and activist from New York City. She co-founded Third Wave Foundation, a philanthropic organization that works to ensure social justice for young women and transgender and gender non-conforming youths. She also runs Aubin Pictures, a non-profit production company.
"Hallelujah! Ron Athey: A Story of Deliverance" (1998), "Making Grace" (2004)—29th CIFF, "What's On Your Plate?" (2009)—34th CIFF, BORN TO FLY (2014)
This film is presented with the generous support of TOBY DEVAN LEWIS.