Substratae provides the audience a glimpse of mythical lives glowing, under the eternal flux, with energies hidden deep within the earth. There is mystery here, and a sense of the otherworldly tempered with a dash of humour. A colourful array of characters interacts with metaphorical electronic components to present vignettes of activity and emotion in a rugged terrain not unlike that found in Iceland.

  • Margie Kelk
  • Margie Kelk
  • Lynne Slater
    Animation Team
  • Margie Kelk
    Animation Team
  • Alan Sondheim
  • Project Type:
    Animation, Short
  • Genres:
  • Runtime:
    4 minutes 37 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    May 20, 2015
  • Production Budget:
    5,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
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  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Counterpoise Exhibition
    Red Head Gallery, Toronto, Ontario
    May 27, 2015
    North American Premiere
Director Biography - Margie Kelk

Toronto-based visual artist Margie Kelk takes an exploratory and experimental approach as she appropriates and reconstructs visual fragments of ideas through diverse media that include ceramic sculpture, drawing, and animation. Recent one-person exhibitions include UnderSee at the Red Head Gallery (2018), reference:gesture (2017) at reference: contemporary, Toronto, Ontario; Substratae (2017) at Harcourt House Artist-Run Centre, Edmonton, Alberta and Counterpoise (2015) at the Red Head Gallery, Toronto, Ontario.
Margie Kelk’s first award-winning stop-motion animated film, Substratae (2015) has been featured in over sixty film festivals nationally and internationally, including The New Renaissance Film Festival, London, UK, Photophobia Contemporary Moving Image Festival, organized by Hamilton Artists Inc., the Art Gallery of Hamilton, Hamilton, Ontario, and the New York State International Film Festival, in Albany, New York. She received numerous awards for Substratae, which include the Los Angeles Film Review Independent Film Awards Bronze Award, Los Angeles, CA, USA, and the Award of Excellence from the New Renaissance Film Festival, London, UK. UnderSee (2018), an animated film co-directed by Margie Kelk and Lynne Slater, has been screened in over 40 film festivals nationally and internationally including the Philip K. Dick Science Fiction Film Festival, Orange County Museum of Art, Santa Ana, California, USA; BlowUp Film Festival/ Chicago International Arthouse Film Festival, Chicago, IL, USA, and the Portugal International Film Festival at the Pestana Palacio do Freixo, Porto, Portugal.
In May, 2019, Survivor, a cast aluminum sculpture by Margie Kelk, was featured on the official Tumblr blog of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA). Forthcoming exhibitions in 2020 include In:Flux at the Red Head Gallery, Toronto.
Margie Kelk is a graduate of Wellesley College, the Johns Hopkins University (PhD.), and the Toronto School of Art diploma programme. She is represented by reference: contemporary, Toronto and is a member of the Red Head Gallery, also in Toronto.

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Director Statement

When I was a child, I used to lie down on the ground and try to feel the currents of life underneath. I wanted to enter them. Individual and unique clay and Fimo characters in S ubstratae interact with metaphorical electronic components that symbolize hidden underground energies. Energy currents move everything and everyone; thus they drive the earth and the mythological humans in a rugged terrain not unlike that found in Iceland. “Alan Sondheim, an experimental computer theorist and sound artist, created the original score for the animation. Sondheim employs the guqin, a seven-stringed Chinese instrument of the zither family, to weave an enchanting musical bed of perfect choreography for Substratae.” (Otino Corsano, May 2015).

Please refer to my website for additional information, including awards.