PAM CUT // Center for an Untold Tomorrow’s unique Sustainability Labs returns this year with a new slate of multi-disciplinary, mid-career artists working at the intersection of art, technology and storytelling.
The Sustainability Labs focuses on U.S.-based creators, artists, directors, and producers looking to change their personal models of creative, financial, and business sustainability. The six-month program beginning October 17 is designed to ensure that talented media storytellers receive the support, resources, and connections to the professional opportunities necessary to diversify—and thrive—creatively, financially, and personally. A $2,500 stipend is given to each artist who will work with a mentor specific to their creative visions. They will also have access to renowned producer and media industry life coach Kisha Cameron, who has worked with artists at the Sundance Institute, Film Independent, and The Gotham.
Mentors and speakers from Oregon’s thriving arts scene include staff from the Portland Art Museum, ShadowMachine, Nike, Dark Horse, and Skylight Collective. Nationally recognized artists Jennifer Reeder (Knives and Skin), Jillann Spitzmiller (Meow Wolf), producers David Cress (Portlandia), Rebecca Green (It Follows; Founder, Dear Producer), and Kishori Rajan (Random Acts of Flyness), and executive leaders Michel Reilhac (Head of Venice Film Festival XR), Nate Bolotin (XYZ Films) and Patty Brebner (Opinonated) will also take part.
PAM CUT screened 2021 Sustainability Labs fellow Angela Washko’s film Workhorse Queen recently as part of a documentary series. In an interview with Willamette Week, Washko said:
The Sustainability Labs are made possible by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and generous contributions from Joan Cirillo and Roger Cooke, the Reil Foundation for Arts and Creativity, and the King Family Foundation.
The 2022 Sustainability Labs Fellows are:
Jamal Ademola—Los Angeles, CA
Jamal Ademola is an award-winning Nigerian-American artist and filmmaker with a diverse array of talents. Jamal poetically works across a kaleidoscope of disciplines – film, video, animation, drawing, painting, installation, acting, and performance. His work has been exhibited and screened in art galleries and film festivals around the world. In addition to creating eye-catching commercials and nurturing his artistic practice, he is writing and developing innovative projects for film & television in hopes to facilitate healing. He is currently in production on a hybrid, docu-fiction film titled “Ellas Vinieron de Las Nubes” and writing a visual autoethnographic film project titled “Pieces of You.”
Ariel Baska—Centreville, VA
Ariel Baska is an award-winning, openly disabled horror and documentary filmmaker. Her horror short about medical gaslighting, Our First Priority won the Disability Advocacy Award from Superfest Disability Film Festival and was an Official Selection of FrightFest UK. She was a speaker at SXSW in 2022, a recipient of multiple scholarships from Sundance Collab, and a fellow of the RespectAbility Virtual Lab. She has also produced several projects including Mike Mignola: Drawing Monsters, a documentary about the creator of Hellboy.
She is the founder, co-host, and executive producer of Ride the Omnibus, a podcast and non-profit parked at the intersection of pop culture and social justice. She writes about disability representation for her column in Ghouls Magazine, where she contributes film reviews and analyses. She curates creative spaces, from hosting Anime Invasion at the Alamo Drafthouse Winchester to Accessibility & Disability Connects, a monthly meetup for filmmakers interested in accessibility and representation at the Gotham, to upcoming panels and journal articles on disability and horror.
Barri Chase—Portland, OR
As an entrepreneur and creator of Light Dancing Productions, Barri Chase is an award-winning writer/producer/director of the feature motion picture The Watchman’s Canoe. She is a member of the Southeastern Cherokee Council, which has influenced her craft of telling cross-cultural, relatable stories. After a career in beauty, fashion, and fine-art photography, she focused on cinematography, then became a director of music videos, and short films, and currently works primarily on features. She finished her MFA in Screenwriting in April 2020.
Currently, she has a television series in consideration with several major networks and is in development on new narrative feature films. She has a deep understanding of the region’s history, culture, and people, and recognizes the landscape as a key “character” in a story. She has worked in most of the crew departments of filmmaking. Barri has been a guest lecturer, judge, and panelist on multiple international film festivals since 2017 and is one of the top seven female producers and directors to keep your eyes on according to yeahflix.com
Roland Dahwen—Portland, OR
Roland Dahwen is a filmmaker and video artist. He received his B.A. in literature, and since then he has worked between video installation, nonfiction, and fiction films. He has taught film at the University of Oregon and Pacific Northwest College of Art. His performance piece, The Overseas Banquet, was presented at Portland Institute for Contemporary Art’s Time Based Art Festival in 2019. His short films include: There are no birds in the nests of yesterday (2013), Haft-Seen (2017), and May 35 (2019). His first feature film, Borrufa, premiered in 2020 at Portland International Film Festival and is currently in distribution with Collective Eye Films.
Carla Forte—Miami, FL
Carla Forte was born in Caracas, Venezuela, and lives and works in Miami, Florida. Forte, first trained as a contemporary dancer and soon established herself as an interdisciplinary artist incorporating dance, film, and performance through different media. She is the co-founder and film director of the Bistoury Physical Theatre and Film in Miami. Her feature films and experimental pieces have been screened at prominent film festivals and galleries such as 75 Festival Internazionale del Cinema di Salerno; The University Galleries of Florida Atlantic University; CICA Museum in Gyeonggi-do- South Korea; 16 SANFIC Santiago Festival Internacional de Cine Chile in; 62 Rochester International Film Festival; 37 Miami Film Festival; OGA VideoArt Exhibitions Roma; 41st Atlanta Film Festival; Cube Art Project; and Les Instants Video, among others.
Her works have been acquired by Gravitas Adventures, South Florida PBS, and Troma Entertainment, and she has won commissions, awards, and artistic residencies from many prestigious programs.
Headshots courtesy the artists; Roland Dahwen headshot courtesy Vi Son Trinh.