Grants & Awards

Leviathan

– by Lucien Castaing-Taylor & Verena Paravel

    1. Hybrid

    2. Date Awarded: Summer 2011

    3. Directors(s): Lucien Castaing-Taylor & Verena Paravel

    1. Producer(s): Lucien Castaing-Taylor & Verena Paravel

    2. Location: USA

    1. Film Status: Completed

    2. URL: » Leviathan site

About the Film:

Leviathan is a feature-length film about men at sea and fish on boats. It offers an appreciation for the sensory experience, labor, and political and ecological stakes of one of the oldest endeavors that has been an important part of human history since the Paleolithic. Shot off the coast of the mythic city of Moby Dick, with eleven cameras swapping hands between the filmmakers and fishermen, in an effort to create a form of collective experimentation that gives free reign to the perspectives of both fishermen and their catch, the film seeks to capture the many ways in which human, animal, and machine; beauty and horror; and life and death all merge in uncanny ways in the world of contemporary commercial fishing.

About the Filmmakers:

Véréna Paravel is a French filmmaker and anthropologist working at the Sensory Ethnography Lab at Harvard University.  Her work —screened in galleries in Boston, Paris and New York City — is in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and explores evanescent forms of intimacy, mediation, and space in a variety of media. Her films include Foreign Parts (with J.P. Sniadecki, 2010)
 Interface Series (2009-10)
 and 7 Queens (2008).  Foreign Parts won seven international awards, including Best First Feature Award and Special Jury Award, Locarno Film Festival (2010), and the Grand Prize at Punto de Vista (2011).  A New York Times Critics’ Pick, it was also an official selection of the New York Film Festival (2010), and the Viennale (2010).  Paravel is currently on the Master Class Faculty of the School of Political Arts (SPEAP) in Paris, and a Lecturer in Anthropology at Harvard University.

Lucien Castaing-Taylor recently recorded Sweetgrass (with Ilisa Barbash, 2009), an unsentimental elegy at once to the American West and to the 10,000 years of uneasy accommodation between post-Paleolithic humans and animals. He has just completed a related series of video installations and photographic Westerns that variously evoke the allure and ambivalence of the pastoral, including Hell Roaring Creek (2010) and The High Trail (2010).  Previous works include In and Out of Africa (with Ilisa Barbash, 1992), an ethnographic video about authenticity, taste, and racial politics in the transnational African art market, and Made in USA (with Ilisa Barbash, 1990), a film about sweatshops and child labor in the Los Angeles garment industry.

Festival & Award Highlights:

Locarno 2012 – World Premiere
Toronto Int’l Film Festival 2012
New York Film Festival 2012
IDFA 2012
Berlinale 2013