Private Project

A Final Elegant Gesture

Artist's Statement

Each one of us will exit this lifetime. According to the spiritual traditions of India, the quality of thought at the moment of death dictates what happens after death. To spend a lifetime cultivating thought quality is to be concerned with not only the quality of this life but the next. The narrator of A Final Elegant Gesture strives to transcend death's fear by upgrading the quality of intention at the moment of impending death through nightly ritualistic dreams.


An essay narration paired with old B&W found film footage, the narrator describes the horror from his street-level vantage point beneath the Twin Towers on the morning of September 11th. A nearby cluster of big clumsy character balloons suspended from a storefront awning are woven into the plot. Each night as he sleeps, the storyteller stands alone on the ledge of the burning tower and transcends the intention of one final, elegant gesture.

    Key Cast
  • Genres:
    Art Film
  • Runtime:
    9 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    August 5, 2021
  • Production Budget:
    0 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
    Black & White
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • The Cultural Center of Cape Cod
    Cape Cod, Massachusetts
    United States
    August 11 - September 15, 2021
  • Barrett Art Center
    Poughkeepsie, New York
    United States
    October 2 - November 5, 2021
  • Oxford Arts Alliance
    Oxford, Pennsylvania
    United States
    October 15 - November 12, 2021
    First Place Award
  • Wonderous Stories Film Festival
    United Kingdom
    May 6, 2022
  • Dreamers of Dreams Film Festival
    United Kingdom
    November 13, 2022
    Best International Experimental Short
  • Monologues & Poetry Int'l Film Festival
    Vallejo, CA
    United States
    December 18, 2022
  • The Center for Contemporary Art
    Bedminster, NJ
    United States
    January 20, 2023
  • West Virginia Mountaineer Short Film Festival
    Morgantown, WV
    United States
    April 15, 2023
    With live performance by Thomas Pickarski
  • Czong Institute for Contemporary Art
    Korea, Republic of
    June 21, 2023
  • A Lyte in the Dark Film Festival
    Princeton, NJ
    United States
    July 30, 2023
    Jury Favorite
Director Biography - THOMAS PICKARSKI

I am a multi-media visual and performance artist. The themes I work with include minor obsessions, the bizarre landscape, self-realization, and social justice. I often integrate storytelling into my work through text and spoken word. I hold a BFA in Painting and an MFA in Performance Art, both from Arizona State University.

I have had solo exhibitions throughout the U.S. including at The Cultural Center of Cape Cod in Massachusetts, St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and the Glazer Children’s Museum in Tampa, Florida. My first solo exhibition, "The Middle of Nowhere", which consists of 32 B&W photographic prints depicting primarily arctic landscapes, toured 7 U.S. exhibition venues and was then acquired in its entirety by the permanent collection of the Berkeley Art Museum, Berkeley, California. My follow-up exhibition "Floating Blue", which features arctic icebergs photographed during the late evening light sometimes called "The Blue Hour", debuted at the 10th Annual Songzhuang Art Festival at the Czech China Contemporary Museum in Beijing, China, in the fall of 2017, and is currently touring 13 U.S. cities through 2023.

In 2020 I wrote a monologue titled, "Under a Pandemic Sky". I performed a live reading of the monologue in an event presented by TMI Project (Kingston, New York). I then created a short film based on the monologue. The film premiered at the Oakland International Film Festival, Oakland, CA, in the fall of 2020, and then screened in New York at the Ocktober Film Festival, Brooklyn, and later at Monologues and Poetry International Film Festival, Vallejo, CA.

In 2021, in conjunction with the 20 year anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, The Cultural Center of Cape Cod invited me to create and exhibit a short film that reflects on that day from my street-level vantage point beneath the Twin Towers, and the unusual and beautiful ramifications that ensued through recurring and evolving dreams over the months that followed. I will promote this film for further exhibition beginning in 2022.

In the fall of 2021, the Oakland International Film Festival invited me back to premiere my short film, “Out My Window”, which explores in a unique and beautiful way some of the ramifications that ensued as a result of the protests and uprising following the murder of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police officers. The film was also included in the North Dakota Human Rights Film Festival where it screened at the historic Fargo Theatre, Fargo, North Dakota, and then later won Best Monologue Film in the Monologues & Poetry International Film Festival, Vallejo, CA.

I am currently promoting my new photographic solo exhibition, “Snow, Sand, Ice”.

I live in New York City.

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