Raising Voices

SFDFF’s 5th annual Raising Voices shorts program spotlights moving stories told through movement, poetry, and music from artists who harness dance as cultural expression and activism.

Experience provocative and moving stories told through movement, poetry, and music in six short films from a range of artists who harness dance as cultural expression and artistic activism. From student filmmakers to seasoned professionals, this program features street dancers, disabled artists, and burlesque and circus performers who find empowerment in their identities, communities, and surroundings.

Program followed by Q&A with attending filmmakers

Program Info

Runtime: 52 minutes

Sunday, October 8 @ 1pm

Venue: ODC Theater

$15 General Admission

Program Films

Capstone-Daniel Williams
In “Capstone,” members of Chicago-based Krump dance collective ChiBuck use their powerful movement to embody the intricacies of memory, community, and self-expression in race and gender-based struggles.
Daniel Williams
(United States, 2022) 7:14 minutes


Branche-Janique L. Robillard, Eric Bates
In a poetic exploration of the climate crisis, “Branché” uses circus and movement art to traverse time and lush natural landscapes, imagining potential harmonies with nature in the face of rising conflicts and chaos.
Janique L Robillard, Eric Bates
Nathan Biggs-Penton
(Canada, 2023) 15:45 minutes


This One is for You-Mesh Kussman
In the documentary short “This One Is For You,” celebrated burlesque dancer Jillian Schmitz shares her journey of navigating emotional abuse, depression, anorexia, and misogyny to embrace her authenticity and transform trauma into creative power.
Mesha Kussman
Jillian Schmitz
(United States, 2023) 9:15 minutes

This One Is for You

Whats Bred In The Blood and Bone Robin M Gee dance film SFDFF 2023
Robin M. Gee screendance was inspired by the work of Ida Bell Wells, whose writing documented the episodic period of lynchings in the 1890’s.
Robin M Gee
Robin M Gee
(United States, 2023) 5:20 minutes

What’s Bred in the Blood and Bone

Woman's Work by Annemijn Hélène Rijk dance film SFDFF 2023
Six women of different generations and backgrounds traverse a narrow steel beam at a great height in “Woman’s Work,” a subversive statement on the power of the male gaze over the idealized female image of beauty.
Annemijn Hélène Rijk
Annemijn Hélène Rijk
(Netherlands, 2022) 8:25 minutes

Women’s Work

The Reclamation of My BlackAssImagination-An Awakening ,Reena Dutt
A lone dancer’s movement merges with poetry in “The Reclamation of My Black Ass Imagination: An Awakening” to boldly assert Black self-actualization in the face of systemic racism and violence.
Reena Dutt
Jamal Wade
(United States, 2022) 6:13 minutes

The Reclamation of My Black Ass Imaginat...