Roll out the red carpet: York alum’s film premieres at festival

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Moving Matter, a short film co-created by actor, director and York University alumnus Beau Han Bridge, will see its world premiere at the Dance on Camera Festival at the Film at Lincoln Center venue in New York City.

Beau Han Bridge
Beau Han Bridge

Five years ago, Bridge, who holds a master of fine arts in film production from York, was visiting New York City and decided to see a movie premiere – followed by a director Q-and-A – at the Film at Lincoln Center, one of the foremost cinematic institutions in the world. “The experience stuck with me in a way that I really admired and cherished,” says Bridge. As a filmmaker himself, his mind drifted to what-ifs, imagining if a movie of his might ever end up at the Lincoln Center. “I never saw myself premiering any work of my own there,” Bridge recalls thinking at the time.

He was – happily – wrong.

Moving Matter, a 12-minute short film that Bridge co-created, shot, edited, sound designed and directed, will receive a world premiere at the Lincoln Center in February as part of the Dance on Camera Festival, the longest running dance film festival in the world that celebrates choreographic storytelling in cinema.

The short film is a product of a unique interdisciplinary collaborative project with two movement artists and educators, Rob Kitsos and Meagan Woods from Simon Fraser University’s School for the Contemporary Arts. The conceptual goal of the project was to explore a form of dance choreography and costume design influenced by materials – not as objects, but as a kind of collaborator. As described in an academic article published in the journal Theatre, Dance and Performance Training to provide a template for others to pursue material-led artistic projects, “In a challenge to normative structures where costumery operates ‘in service’ of dance, the textile designs for Moving Matter do not support the complete autonomy and freedom of moving humans; the wearables have striking characteristics of their own that limit what the human body can do.”

Still from Moving Matter short film
A moment from Bridge’s short film, Moving Matter.

The project began with a study of old kitchen flooring about to be discarded and – with artists from the world of dance and costume design – explored ways that raw materials like linoleum, wool and plastic could be integrated into garments and choreography. “I was drawn to the idea of how we could harness compositional ideas from non-human material and translate it into choreographic works,” says Bridge, who hopes audiences who see his, Kitsos and Woods’ film will share that interest. “I also hope viewers appreciate and see our efforts in attempting to give the materials an equal voice and consider them equal collaborators in the creative process.”

The short film is the latest in Bridge’s body of work, which has included films screened at international film festivals, as well as acting performances in numerous theatre productions. This latest accomplishment, however, is something special, he says. “A film premiere at Lincoln Center means the world to me, as I honestly could not have imagined ever having a work premiering there in my life,” Bridge says. “To have Moving Matter be the first original work that brings me so close to it is quite surreal … I honestly owe it all to my co-collaborators, Rob Kitsos and Meagan Woods. If it wasn’t for them bringing me into this very exciting and beautiful process back in February 2023, and introducing me to new ways of filmmaking through interdisciplinary collaboration, then I wouldn’t be here.”

You can see the trailer for Moving Matter here: