Dani Leventhal's Sister City.

Video artist Dani Leventhal will be the focus of a special Views from the Avant-Garde event on December 18. The evening will be a celebration of Leventhal receiving the 2013 Kazuko Trust Scholarship Award Grant, presented by the Kazuko Trust and The Film Society in recognition for her excellence with experimental work. The evening will include the premiere of two of her newest works (Sister City, Nikhole), as well as a special teaser for a new work-in-progress (Hard As Opal).

The Kazuko Trust was established upon the death of Kazuko Oshima, a Patron of the Film Society and film aficionado, who was keenly interested in experimental film in particular. It was her wish to contribute to experimental film by awarding the Film Society with a five-year $50K grant ($10,000 a year or $5000 for two filmmakers per annum) for the purpose of creating a “scholarship fund for worthy experimental filmmakers” featured in the New York Film Festival's Views from the Avant-Garde.

Dani Leventhal’s work expresses an “absolute and fearless ongoing effort to connect—in more ways than one,” according to Film Society.

“Her videos represent a prolonged and intensive engagement with the world around her. This engagement is deceptively casual at first glance, but Leventhal has an acute eye for striking images that bring her, and by extension the viewer, into close and unflinching contact with her surroundings and the lives of others. Those images are then organized into an unpredictable succession of fleeting glimpses and impressions collected according to what she describes as “an emotional logic,” and her distinctive and often startling practice of montage explicitly recapitulates the work of forming connections, linking fugitive moments of tender lyricism and stark reality, candid and sometimes harrowing anecdotes, and attentive close encounters with human and animal life in enchanting conjunctions of disparate sounds and images that form an irresistible stream of consciousness flow.”

Nora Coblence, executor of the Kazuko Trust noted: “When the time came to decide where Kazuko’s funds should go, the Film Society of Lincoln Center seemed like the ideal choice. She loved film with a passion, always supported the Film Society, and was quite avant garde in so many of her multi-artistic endeavors.”

The first two recipients in 2012, Laida Lertxundl and Michael Robinson, each received $5,000 grants during its inaugural year. This year, the committee decided to award Dani Leventhal with a $10,000 grant. The 2013 committee includes Film Comment Editor Gavin Smith, VIEWS curator Mark McElhatten, Nellie Killian of Migrating Forms and BAM and Chris Stults of the Wexner Center.

Screening on December 18 at Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center includes:
Platonic (2013, 20:26)
Sister City (2013, 4:39) – (Premiere)
Nikhole (2013, 4min) – (Premiere)
Hard As Opal teaser (2013, 1:22) – (Work in progress)
Draft 9 (2003, 28m)
Tickets are $8 for general public & members. Visit FilmLinc.com for more information.

Leventhal's bio. follows:

Leventhal is an assistant professor of drawing at The Ohio State University. In 2009 she received an MFA in film/video from Bard College.  Shehas screened her single-channel videos at the Rotterdam International Film Festival, the Gene Siskel Film Center, PS1, Cine Cycle, the Chicago Underground Film Festival, Union Docs, the New York Film Festival Views from the Avant Guard and Anthology Film Archives. Leventhal has been the recipient of the Wexner Center Film/Video Residency, the Milton Avery Fine Arts Award and the Astraea Visual Arts Grant. Her drawings are in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art and Yale University.