Every Ghost Has An Orchestra

Truth hides in the margins and the artist’s role is to point to it. The question of what happens after we die is a universal question explored by paranormal researcher and experimental composer Michael Esposito. He straddles the line between spiritual and material and asks the audience to reflect on our purpose, legacy and what our actions say about who we are.

  • Shayna Connelly
    Gardening At Night, signals: where do we go from here?, Blunt Force Trauma, Mistreated and Wild
  • Shayna Connelly
  • Sharon Mooney
    Reunion, The Popcorn Kid, Scarlet, Horns. Bells, Whistles.
  • Michael Esposito
    Key Cast
  • Justine Burchall
  • Seth Ekberg
    Director of Photography
    signals: where do we go from here?
  • Travis Duffield
    Sound Design and Mix
    Gardening at Night, Yours Is Not the Taj Mahal
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Short
  • Runtime:
    7 minutes 10 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    January 1, 2017
  • Production Budget:
    1,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Columbus International Film and Video Festival
    Columbus, OH
    April 22, 2017
    Humanities Division Award of Distinction
  • Athens International Film and Video Festival
    Athens, OH
    April 8, 2017
  • Azelea Film Festival
    Mobile, AL
    April 8, 2017
  • South Georgian Bay Film Festival

    April 1, 2017
    Silver Award for Best International Documentary
  • Unrestricted View Film Festival
    United Kingdom
    April 29, 2017
    UK Premiere
  • Port Orchard Film Festival
  • Moving Pictures Film Festival
    March 31, 2017
  • Canton Film Festival
    Canton, OH
    United States
    May 28, 2017
  • Oak Cliff Film Festival
    Dallas, TX
    June 10, 2017
  • San Francisco Documentary Festival
    San Francisco, CA
    June 12, 2017
  • Brooklyn Film Festival
    NYC, NY
    June 4, 2017
    New York Premiere
  • Tulsa Overground Film Festival
    Tulsa, OK
    May 5, 2017
  • Snake Alley Film Festival
    Burlington, IA
    June 24, 2017
  • Cardiff Mini Film Festival
    United Kingdom
  • Still Voices Short Film Festival
    Ballymahon Co, Langford
    August 18, 2017
    Irish Premiere
  • Middle Coast Film Festival
    Bloomington, IN
    August 12, 2017
    Best Documentary Short
  • Seattle Transmedia and Independent Film Festival
    July 22, 2017
  • Oceanside Film Festival
    Oceanside, CA
    August 8, 2017
  • San Diego Underground Film Festival
    San Diego, CA
    August 27, 2017
  • Sydney Underground Film Festival
    September 17, 2017
    Australian Premiere
  • Whitespace Gallery Short Shorts 2017
    Atlanta, GA
    August 19, 2017
  • The Moonrise Film Festival
    Wells, BC
    August 26, 2017
  • South London Shorts
    United Kingdom
    October 5, 2017
  • Bushwick Film Festival
    Brooklyn, NY
    October 14, 2017
  • Adirondack Film Festival
    Glenn Falls, NY
    October 20, 2017
  • Red Rock Film Festival
    Cedar City, UT
    October 18, 2017
  • Tampa Bay Underground
    Tampa, FL
    December 1, 2017
  • British Documentary Festival
    United Kingdom
    December 4, 2017
  • Headline International Film Festival
    Merit Award
  • docLAHOMA
    Oklahoma City, OK
    January 14, 2018
  • South Texas Underground
    Corpus Christi, TX
    January 27, 2018
    South Texas Premiere
  • Deep In the Heart Film Festival
    Waco, TX
  • Big Sky Documentary Festival
    Missoula, MT
    February 22, 2018
    Montana Premiere
  • Big Muddy Film Festival
    Carbondale, IL
    February 20, 2018
    Best Documentary Short
  • Trenton Film Festival
    Trenton, NJ
    March 23, 2018
  • Blackbird Film Festival
    Cortland, NY
    April 21, 2018
  • Derby Film Festival
    United Kingdom
    May 6, 2018
    Paracinema Shorts
  • Museum of Contemporary Art (Chicagoland Shorts IV Premiere)
    Chicago, IL
    May 29, 2018
  • Chicago Underground Film Festival
    Chicago, IL
    June 9, 2018
  • Palm Springs ShortFest
    Palm Springs, CA
    June 23, 2018
  • Walla Walla Movie Crush
    Walla Walla, WA
    July 7, 2018
  • San Francisco Frozen Film Festival
    San Francisco, CA
    July 22, 2018
  • Milwaukee Short Film Festival
    Milwaukee, WI
    September 8, 2018
  • Square Lake Film and Music Festival
    Stillwater, MN
    August 11, 2018
  • Planet 9 Film Festival
    Chicago, IL
    October 21, 2018
  • Antimatter [Media Art]
    Vancouver, BC
    October 14, 2018
    Western Canada Premiere
  • The Valley Film Festival
    Los Angeles, CA
    November 3, 2018
  • Ithaca Fantastik
    Ithaca, NY
    November 3, 2018
    Necessary Voices Award
  • Videodrunk Film Festival
    December 1, 2018
  • Philip K. Dick Sci-Fi and Supernatural Film Festival
    Santa Ana, CA
    March 15, 2019
  • Midwest Weirdfest
    Eau Claire, WI
    March 8, 2019
    Best Documentary Short
  • West Virginia Mountaineer Short Film Festival
    April 26, 2019
  • Sunderland Shorts
    United Kingdom
    May 9, 2019
  • Changing Face International Film Festival
  • International Free Thought Film Festival
    September 21, 2019
Distribution Information
  • Full Spectrum Features: Chicagoland Shorts Vol. 4
    Country: United States
    Rights: Video on Demand, Video / Disc
  • TruIndie
    Country: United States
    Rights: Video on Demand
  • Spectacle Theater
    Country: United States
    Rights: Theatrical
Director Biography - Shayna Connelly

Shayna Connelly is a filmmaker based in Chicago whose work explores hauntings, liminality and the boundaries between documentary, experimental and fiction filmmaking. Inspired by a book on haunted houses shelved in the non-fiction section of her childhood library, Connelly’s lifelong obsession with ghosts led her to explore trauma, place, identity and the link between fear and desire. Her hybrid approach to cinema questions the strict categorization of film modes and genres. She enjoys breaking cinematic rules regarding character, action and structure while exploring subjectivity, surrealism and abstraction.

Her films have won awards at Big Muddy Film Festival, Berlin Short Film Festival, Cinepocalypse, Women in Horror Film Festival, The Artists' Forum Festival of the Moving Image, Milwaukee Women's Film Festival, Columbus International and IC Docs. FUCKED UP POINT BLANK is the 7th in an eight film series called A MEMORY PALACE FOR GHOSTS. Films in the series have screened over 200 festivals including Palm Springs International ShortsFest, Chicago Underground, Sydney Underground, San Diego Underground, Brooklyn Film Festival, Bushwick Film Festival, Chicago Feminist Film Festival, Antimatter [Media Art], Ithaca Fantastik, Ann Arbor Film Festival and Athens International among others. Newcity Magazine named her one of Chicago's 50 Screen Gems in 2016 and 2018.

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Director Statement

In 2013 my husband Chris Connelly (Ministry, Revolting Cocks) recorded vocals for experimental composer Michael Esposito. In talking to me about Michael’s work, Chris used the terms ‘paranormal researcher’ and ‘composer’ interchangeably, which piqued my interest.

Ghosts and ghost stories fascinated me as a kid. And this ghost-lover grew up to be a music collector – the obsessions linked by mystery and a sense of awe of something greater than myself. It wasn’t until I started talking to Michael that this connection became apparent. What makes him stand apart from other paranormal researchers is that he goes beyond trying to gather proof of an afterlife and integrates his EVP findings into art. Research into physics, principles of recording and communication theory is also crucial to his process but his creative work communicates a fundamental truth about life and creativity that is difficult to express through words.

In terms of process I identify with Michael's struggle between the ethereal and concrete. At the time I was interviewing him I was haunted by the death of two close friends, the impact of which I was exploring in other films ('Gardening At Night' and 'Yours Is Not the Taj Mahal'). My work has always existed along the boundaries of experimental, fiction and documentary. To me truth exists at the margins, where edges blur and converge and where ambiguity reigns. Truth is elusive. Truth and belief are also often mixed together but as the Dadaists showed, collisions arising from ‘accidental context’ cause the truth to emerge. This is the idea underscoring 'Every Ghost Has An Orchestra'.