Dana Plays is an experimental filmmaker and Associate Professor of Film and New Media at Occidental College. Her filmography includes 14 short films, which have screened at numerous film festivals and avant garde film showcases including Whitney Museum of American Art, Pacific Film Archive, Montreal Nouveau Festival, Ann Arbor Film Festival, Seattle International Film Festival and Leipzig Doc Festival. Recent films include "Love Stories My Grandmother Tells", "Zero Hour", and "River Madness".
Nuclear Family, 2001, 16mm, color, sound, 22 minutes.
NUCLEAR FAMILY is an experimental film that explores institutional and personal representations of memory and behavior through a complex interweaving of scientific documentation, animal behavior experiments and vintage pre-school footage.
River Madness, 2000, a video 22 minutes.
Dana Plays cuts between scenes from various Hollywood movies shot on location in the Los Angeles River, to situate the viewer in the cement encased riverbed, its surrounding overpasses, bridges and railyards.
Love Stories my Grandmother Tells,
Part One 1994, 16mm , 30 minutes
A portrait of Dana Plays' 90 year old paternal grandmother, Peggy Regler, reminiscing about her love affairs and significant relationships. The love affairs are historically rooted in the political and technological developments 20th century, and are narratively based in a complex sound/image structure.
Awards: Black Maria Film Festival Director's Choice; New Orleans Film Festival, Cinema 16 Best Documentary; Big Muddy Film Festival, Documentary 3rd Place. Other festival Screenings Montreal Film Festival, Seattle International film festival, VIPER, Leipzig, VPRO Dutch National Television.
Zero Hour, 1992, 16mm, black and white, sound, 30 minutes.
Through a construction of optically printed footage, from a 1945 US Navy sponsored film promoting victory Bonds, of W.W.II orphans, and other found documentary footage, Zero Hour depicts an apocalyptic reality in which the 1945 footage becomes recontextualized and characteristic of current postwar situations, alluding to the avoidance of this depiction by media networks during the Gulf War.
Awards: Ann Arbor Film Festival, Tom Berman Award, for most promising filmmaker; Black Maria Film Festival, Director's Citation; Sinking Creek Film Festival, Cash Prize.
Recollection, 1991, 16mm, color, sound, 6.5 minutes.
Kongostraat 1989, 16mm, color, sound, 12 minutes.
Shards 1988, 16mm, color, sound, 5 minutes.
Across the Border 1982, color, sound, 8 minutes.
The film offers the viewer an unusual insight into the complex relationship between the people of El Salvador and the United States government. Plays manipulates visual elements that compose the image through optical printing.
Awards: Santa Fe Winter Film Expo, 1983 1st Prize Experimental category; Houston International Film Festival, 1983 Bronze Award; Universiade International Film Festival, 1st prize, Experimental; Ann Arbor Film Festival, Cash Award; San Francisco Art Institute Film Festival.
Also Shown: Edinburgh International Film Festival, Women in the Director's Chair Festival; WTTW, Chicago; Baltimore International Film Festival; Anti-WW III Festival; SF Bay Area Showcase, SF International Film Festival, Pacific Film Archive; KQED; SF Cinematheque; East Meets West, University of Southern Florida; A.T.A., Other Cinema; Humboldt State University, Women's Film Festival; Pushing the Margins, Women in Experimental Film, Salt Lake City Utah; Women of the Americas Film Video Festival, U.C Theatre, Festival of International and Progressive Film and Video.
Via Rio 1986, 16mm, color, sound, 6 minutes.
Don't Means Do 1983, color, sound, 16mm, 9 minutes.
Sibling Arrival 1984, 16mm, B & W, sound, 3 minutes.
Nicaragua Tapes 1984, 3/4' video four channel video.
Silverfish 1981, 16mm, color, sound, 4 minutes.
Grain Graphics 1978, 16mm, color, sound, 6 minutes.
Awards: San Francisco Art Institute Film Festival, 1st Prize; Poetry Film Festival, 1st Prize; Sinking Creek Film celebration, Cash Award.
Also Shown: University Film Association National Conference, Austin Texas; NYU Experimental Film Workshop, KQED, Eye Gallery, Exploratorium, Mills College, Philadelphia College of Art.
Arrow Creek 1978, 16mm, color, sound, 6 minutes.
Filmed on the Crow Indian Reservation in Montana during the annual Crow Fair.
Award: San Francisco Art Institute Film Festival, Honorable Mention 1978.
Also Shown: Capp Street Project, Souvenir Highway; Ann Arbor Film Festival; American Indian Film Festival; SF Cinematheque; Exploratorium; New York University.