THE STORY OF ELFRANKO WESSELS (2011)
The Story of Elfranko Wessels is a video installation whose components are currently in production. Its single-channel component has been jettisoned for screenings and is just over 16 minutes long.
The Story of Elfranko Wessels depicts a collaborating New York City artist-couple's failure in adopting a global worldview and practice. Literally ensconced within the self-referential tradition represented by their white-walled live/work loft, they invite a South African emigre, Elfranko Wessels, in for an interview. But Elfranko's "otherness" disappoints; he is a white Afrikaaner with a slight stammer. Elfranko manages to tell a meandering story of escape from his confining, racist family and final arrival to the US, but by way of the occupying artist-couple - who have substituted their own singing voices for his plain speech. The artists' attempts at portraying another subjectivity become increasingly outlandish and frenzied, always returning to their own sound and image. In the end, in what seems like a benign surrender on the part of everyone, Elfranko asks if he may stop speaking and the artists walk off together into the sunset.
The Story of Elfranko Wessels, Studio10, Brooklyn, NY
Millenium Nomadic, Greenpoint Film Festival, Brooklyn (organized by Marianna Ellenberg)
Tiger Awards Competition, International Film Festival of Rotterdam, The Netherlands
International Short Film Competition, IndieLisboa, Portugal (Grand Prize Short Film)
FIDMarseilles, Marseilles, France
Carte Blanche FIDMarseilles, International Film Festival of La Roche-sur-Yon, France
Image Forum Festival, Japan (Tokyo, Kyoto, Fukuoka, Nagoya, Yokahama)
AWARDS AND GRANTS
Grand Prize Short Film (International Competition), IndieLisboa, Portugal
Finishing Funds Award, The ARTS Council of the Southern Finger Lakes and NYSCA
Cuts and Burns Artist Residency Grant Program, The Outpost, Brooklyn, NY
Concordia Career Advancement Award, Concordia Foundation