Marlene Millar | Production Film Danse Migration


With a background in contemporary dance and design, Montreal filmmaker Marlene Millar created her first award winning film THE WOMAN AND THE SINK in 1989. Marlene received her BFA in Film Production from Concordia University, studied in the graduate programme at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and in 1999 received a Pew Fellowship in Dance Media at the University of California, Los Angeles.

In 2001 Marlene and Philip Szporer co-founded the production company MOUVEMENT PERPÉTUEL, directing and producing acclaimed arts documentaries and dance films including BHAIRAVA, 1001 LIGHTS and CRU. Their television broadcast partners have included Bravo!, ARTV, APTN, CBC and TéléQuébec. Their work is widely seen in festivals internationally and has been featured at world events including the 2010 Cultural Olympics, the World Exhibition in Shanghai, a UNESCO tour of Latin America.

LAY ME LOW, PILGRIMAGE, MOVE, THE STORM and TRAVERSE  are directed by Marlene within the Migration Dance Film Project which she established with choreographer Sandy Silva in 2014. Currently on exhibition and on the film festival circuit, films in the series have garnered twenty awards and prizes to date including Best International Award at Perth’s Screen Dance Festival; Best Dance Film at Leed’s Aesthetica Short Film Festival; First Prize at Cinematica, Italy; Audience Award for Best Short Dance Film at Cinedans, Amsterdam; Special Jury Prize at Des Arts // Des Cinés in France; Best Screendance Short at the San Francisco Dance Film Festival; the first Prix Lumiere at Cinédanse, Québec and recently the Performing Arts Golden Sheaf Award and nominated for Best in Festival at Yorkton Film Festival – the longest running festival in North America.

Marlene ‘s most personal and ambitious project to date is the essay installation WITNESS, a commissioned work currently featured in her solo exhibition at the Threshold artspace in Perth, Scotland, along with 30 works that she has directed or co-directed dating back to 1989.

Credits as Creative Producer include the dance films VANISHING POINTS, HOOP, TURNAROUND TANGO and HANDS ON by director Marites Carino, TWITCH and TALK TO ME by director Jules de Niverville and the installation OUT OF MIES by Lynda Gaudreau. Mentoring emerging filmmakers has been an important part of Marlene’s activities since 1994. She has taught filmmaking workshops across Canada and internationally at institutes such as Centre Imagine in Burkino Faso, Impulstanz in Vienna, University of Bowling Green in Ohio, Loikka Festival in Helsinki, Malakta Art Factory in Finland. In Canada she is a regular guest lecturer in film production at Concordia University, and has mentored documentary filmmakers in Iqaluit, Igloolik, Cambridge Bay and Pangnirtung, Nunavut with the Nunavut Film Development Corporation and the National Film Board of Canada. Marlene also has an established career as a film editor. Active in the independent filmmaking community, Marlene was on the Board of Directors at Main Film for 10 years and is a long-standing member of the Documentary Organisation of Canada. This is the second year that Marlene has co-curated the short films on dance series for Festival Quartiers Danses.

Anthony McLean

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