Prismatic Ground 2023

Prismatic Ground 2023

Prismatic Ground, an annual festival centered on experimental documentary and avant-garde film and co-presented by Screen Slate, will hold its third edition May 3-7, 2023, in-person across the Museum of the Moving Image, Maysles Documentary Center, BAM Cinematheque, DCTV’s Firehouse Cinema, Light Industry, and Anthology Film Archives.

Opening Night will feature the hometown premiere of sibling duo Soda Jerk’s Hello Dankness. Comprised entirely of hundreds of film samples, Hello Dankness bears witness to the psychotropic spectacle of American politics from 2016 to 2021 and the mythologies and lore that took root around it, exemplifying the festival’s commitment to politically and aesthetically abrasive new forms.

The full lineup of roughly sixty films features recent work by dozens of artists including Naomi Uman, Lawrence Lek, Jim Finn, Miryam Charles, Tsai Ming-Liang, Collectif Faire-Part and Kimi Takesue; plus new restorations of essential work by Raphael Montañez Ortiz, Julius-Amédée Laou, Arthur & Corinne Cantrill, Maike Höhne and Bill Brand; and films screened in tribute to late filmmakers Michael Snow, Takahiko Iimura, and Emma Wolukau-Wanambwa.

At least one out of every six selections will be projected on 16mm or 35mm film, including Gaëlle Rouard’s Darkness, Darkness, Burning Bright and the Closing Night presentation of Alexandre Larose’s scènes de ménage.

A small selection of films will be available to stream for free, worldwide during the festival dates, alongside work by the recipient of this year’s Ground Glass Award (TBA).

All-access festival wristbands, which include Opening and Closing nights, can be purchased here. This page will be updated with individual ticketing links as they become available. Individual ticket costs will be determined by standard venue pricing. Additional film details will be published soon and available at

A selection of short films from the first two editions of Prismatic Ground can currently be streamed on the Criterion Channel by subscribers in the US.

Hello Dankness (Soda Jerk)
Hello Dankness (Soda Jerk)

Opening Night Presentation

@ Museum of the Moving Image on Wednesday, May 3

Hello Dankness (Soda Jerk, 70 min) Followed by a Q&A.

Info + Tickets

Followed by an Opening Night party at Se(c)ret Lo(c)ation featuring DJs and performances by Lawrence Lek and Gaëlle Rouard. Entry is free with purchase of an Opening Night ticket or festival wristband, or by donation at door. DM Screen Slate or Prismatic Ground for address.

Where do you stand, Tsai Ming-Liang? (Tsai-Ming-Liang)
Where do you stand, Tsai Ming-Liang? (Tsai-Ming-Liang)

wave 1 @ Maysles Documentary Center on Thursday, May 4

Tickets here (one ticket allows access to all programs in wave 1)

12PM A to Z (Michael Snow, 16mm, 5 min) + A Chair (Takahiko Iimura, 8 min) + Where do you stand, Tsai Ming-Liang? (Tsai Ming-Liang, 23 min)

1PM Henny Penny the Sky is Falling (Raphael Montañez Ortiz, 10 min) + Tierra de Leche (Milton Guillen, Fiona Hall, 12 min) + The Raw & the Cooked (Lisa Marie Malloy, Dennis Zhou, 26 min) + Next Her Heart (Anna Kipervaser, 16mm, 12 min) Followed by a Q&A.

2:30PM Currency (Crystal Z Campbell, 3 min) + 默/ To Write From Memory? (Emory Chao Johnson, 18 min) + Remembering Wei Yi-fang, Remembering Myself (Yvonne Welbon, 30 min) Followed by a Q&A.

Onloockers (Kimi Takesue)
Onlookers (Kimi Takesue)

wave 2 @ BAM Cinematheque on Thursday, May 4

Tickets Here

5PM Where is this street? or With No Before and After (João Pedro Rodrigues, João Rui Guerra da Mata, 88 min)

7PM Onlookers (Kimi Takesue, 72 min) Followed by a Q&A.

9PM Keeping Time (Darol Olu Kae, 32 min) Followed by a Q&A + Sol in the Dark (Mawena Yehouessi, 51 min)

Three Sparks (Naomi Uman)
Three Sparks (Naomi Uman)

wave 3 @ DCTV Firehouse Cinema on Friday, May 5

Tickets Here

1PM Anti-Cosmos (Takashi Makino, 16 min) + Night Walk (Sohn Koo-yong, 65 min)

3PM Speech for a Melting Statue (Collectif Faire-Part, 10 min) + Private Footage (Janaína Nagata, 91 min)

5PM Lotus-Eyed Girl (Rajee Samarasinghe, 6 min) + Fugue (John Gianvito, 15 min) + L’escale (Collectif Faire-Part, 14 min) + A Movement Against the Transparency of the Stars of the Seas (Esy Casey, 30 min) + Promised Lands (Emma Wolukau-Wanambwa, 20 min) Followed by a Q&A.

7:15PM three sparks (Naomi Uman, 95 min) Followed by a Q&A.

9:30PM Life on the CAPS (Meriem Bennani, 75 min) Followed by a Q&A.

Darkness, Darkness Burning Bright (Gaelle Rouard)
Darkness, Darkness Burning Bright (Gaëlle Rouard)

wave 4 @ Light Industry on Saturday, May 6

*No Advance Tickets/First come, first served* (for this wave only)

11AM black strangers (Dan Guthrie, 8 min) + rupture (Zkonqu, 18 min) + Mélodie de brumes a Pàris (Julius-Amédée Laou, 23 min) + Coaley Peak (A Fragment) (Dan Guthrie, 6 min) Followed by a Q&A.

1PM Exterior Turbulence (Sofia Theodore-Pierce, 11 min) + No Tomorrow (Ryan Clancy, 12 min) + Fin de siglo (Maike Hohne, 15 min) + I Cannot Now Recall (Kersti Jan Werdal 15 min) Followed by a Q&A.

2:30PM Close, but no Cigar (trilogy): lovertits (Ayanna Dozier, 16mm, 4 min), A Picture for Parco (Ayanna Dozier, 16mm, 3 min), an exercise in parting (Ayanna Dozier, 16mm, 3 min) Followed by a Q&A.

3:30PM Aidol (Lawrence Lek, 83 min) Followed by a Q&A.

5:45PM Bibi Seshanbe (Saodat Ismailova, 50 min)

7PM The Apocalyptic is the Mother of All Christian Theology (Jim Finn, 64 min) Followed by a Q&A.

9PM Darkness, Darkness Burning Bright (Gaëlle Rouard,16mm live performance, 70 min) Followed by a Q&A.

12AM *Midnight Screening* Where (Tsai Ming-Liang, 90 min)

Theta (Lawrence Lek)
Theta (Lawrence Lek)

wave 5 @ Anthology Film Archives on Sunday, May 7

Tickets Here

10AM LANA (Susan Youssef, 4 min) + As if No Misfortune Had Occurred in the Night (Søren Lind & Larissa Sansour, 21 min) + one emerging from a point of view (Wu Tsang, 43 min)

11:30AM Tous les jours de mai (Miryam Charles, 7 min) + A Woman Escapes (Sofia Bohdanowicz, Burak Çevik, Blake Williams, Real3D, 81min)

1:20PM NYC RGB (Viktoria Schmid, 5 min) + Only If You Could See a View Above the Clouds (Zhuoyun Chen, 16mm, 4 min) + M*U*S*H (Jodie Mack, 16mm, 8 min) + Crashing Waves (Lucy Kerr, 19 min) + Site of Passage (Lucy Kerr, 7 min) Followed by a Q&A.

2:45PM Theta (Lawrence Lek, 12 min) + Glossary of Non-Human Love (Ashish Avikunthak, 96 min) Followed by a Q&A.

3PM The Miracle on George Green (Onyeka Igwe, 12 min) + No Stranger At All (Priya Sen, 40 min)

4:30PM Yaangna Plays Itself (Adam Piron, 8 min) + Waterfall (Arthur & Corinne Cantrill, 16mm, 17 min) + Dans les cieux et sur la terre (Erin Weisgerber, 35mm, 12 min) + Daron, Daron Colbert (Kevin Steen, 35mm, 14 min) + Coalfields (Bill Brand, 16mm, 38 min) Followed by a Q&A.

6:45PM What Are the Wild Waves Saying? (Declan Clarke, 72 min)

scenes de mange (Alexandre Larose)
scènes de ménage (Alexandre Larose)

Closing Night Presentation

@ Anthology Film Archives on Sunday, May 7

Tickets Here

8:45PM scènes de ménage (trilogy): I (Alexandre Larose, 35mm, 13 min), II (Alexandre Larose, 35mm, 15 min), III (Alexandre Larose, 35mm, 12 min) Followed by a Q&A.