The Weight of Mountains is an artist-led filmmaking collective and life-long project based on notions of how the human gaze, cognition, and body meet their environment. Its ideas encompass psycho-geography, the nature-culture symbiosis, the cosmic or residual echoes of time and place, the unseen, landscape as character: the truths and myths that humans impress upon the surrounding locations in which they live.
The project operates as a global network, a research hub, or an online platform / distribution house for site-specific film. Every two years for our biennial residency program a curated film collective ventures into remote, regional, or overwhelmingly impactful locations that create ruptures, catalysts, challenges or inspirations for the filmmaking process. We conclude the residency with film festivals, screenings, and/or symposia.
We collaborate with existing arts organisations in a different geographical location every two years. The residency facilitates engagement between participating filmmakers and local sites. By working together with local people and arts spaces worldwide we hope to look back to see a constellation of experiences: stories, tall tales, documentary, or sensory ethnography films that document our humanity across borders. For our visiting filmmakers, it may become a door of which to enter a place -or- a gateway to making site-based film, undertaking professional developments, and meeting film contemporaries. For local collaborators it may mean new bonds, new artistic stimuli, new skills in film, or new networks. it has also proved to be an opportunity for swapping stories conducive to a shared imagination of being human.
As a structure, The Weight of Mountains is a microcosm, a portable heterotopia, condensing time, place, historicities, worlds, and expressions of imagination. It is fluid, malleable, and evolving through its roaming nature. We learn each time for the next. It becomes a container, a non-site, for filmmakers to archive ideas. It works with global host organisations and host communities. And it enables a unique network of filmmakers and film communities to emerge.
Co-curators and founders:
Tim Marshall and Melody Woodnutt
Ahmed Safy El Din (incoming)
Dan Sokolowski, Klondike Institute of Art and Culture, Dawson City International Short Film Festival, The Westminster Hotel.
Karen Hadfield and Tissardmine Artspace Morocco. Karen Mirza and James Holcolmbe from no.w.here and our London symposium: “Another Art World Is Possible” with Guests Peter Johnson, Andreas Philippopulous-Mihalopoulos, Andy Conio, Ayesha Hameed, Karen Mirza. ‘Mount Analogue’ film and sound performance in London by Terra Jean Long and Gil Delindro.
Nes Listamiðstöð Artist Residency, with guests Ásdis Sif Gunnarsdóttir, Kjartan Kjartansson, Amelia Ishmail, Henrík Ólafsson, Arni Gunnarsson, Svein Sveinsson, #HackCinema.