For you, to mentor me

*"BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY" NOMINEE (BUDAPEST FILM FESTIVAL, HUNGARY, 2022)*

*AWARDED "BEST CHOREOGRAPHY" & "BEST NARRATIVE DANCE" (SOUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL, SPAIN & ARGENTINA, 2020)*

*AWARDED “BEST ART NARRATIVE OF 2020” (TEKNOCHAT FESTIVALS’ VIP FEST: BEST OF 2020, SPAIN & ARGENTINA, 2021)*

On the heels of presenting her screendance films at the national Women in Dance Leadership Conference in Philadelphia, PA, award-winning and internationally-showcased filmmaker Merli V. Guerra presents her newest screendance “For you, to mentor me.” The film follows a mother-daughter relationship shifting over time, featuring a multigenerational cast of women ages 4 to 60, and newborns 11 to 19 days, that uses dance and film to highlight a growing young woman's thirst for independence, and a mother's desire to nurture, guide, and mentor.

"A dance that finds the balance between daily life and the pleasure of company. A film brimming with love, grace and sensitivity." – SounDance Film Festival

"[This] film lovingly captures the different desires and feelings of women as they move from being daughters to mothers." – Harvard Crimson

Original film produced in 2019; abridged version released in 2021.

© 2019, 2021 Merli V. Guerra
All rights reserved.

  • Merli V. Guerra
    Choreographer, Director, Filmmaker
    Synchronic, What seems so is transition, Threading Motion Project: Quilt Vignettes, The One I Keep
  • Luminarium Dance Company
    Producer
    Threading Motion Project: Quilt Vignettes, The One I Keep
  • Jessica Lawson
    Key Cast
    "Mother, Young"
  • Kylie Pacheco
    Key Cast
    "Daughter, Young"
  • Wendy Lawson
    Key Cast
    "Mother, Older"
  • Kristen Antonio
    Key Cast
    "Daughter, Older"
  • Elias Pacheco
    Key Cast
    "Daughter, Newborn"
  • Violet Lawson-Ball
    Key Cast
    "Granddaughter, Newborn"
  • Jess Chang
    Original Choreographic Performers
    Threading Motion Project: Quilt Vignettes, The One I Keep
  • Melenie Diarbekirian
    Original Choreographic Performers
    Threading Motion Project: Quilt Vignettes
  • Akshaya Avril Tucker
    Film Score Composer & Performer
  • Project Type:
    Experimental, Short, Other
  • Genres:
    Screendance, motherhood, narrative
  • Runtime:
    10 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    August 3, 2021
  • Production Budget:
    1,200 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
    English
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital
  • Aspect Ratio:
    16:9
  • Film Color:
    Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
    No
  • Student Project:
    No
  • WOMEN IN DANCE INTERNATIONAL DANCE FILM FESTIVAL
    Yokohama
    Japan
    October 14, 2023
    Japanese Premiere
  • OUTLET DANCE PROJECT
    Hamilton, NJ
    United States
    October 7, 2023
    Honorable Mention
  • LE PRINCE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
    Caracas
    Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of
    January 15, 2023
    Venezuelan Premiere
    Official Selection
  • WOMEN'S CANVAS FESTIVAL OF FILMS
    Kanpur
    India
    December 16, 2022
    Indian Premiere
    Official Selection
  • LULEÅ INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
    Luleå
    Sweden
    March 13, 2022
    Swedish Premiere
    Semi-Finalist
  • 8 & HALFILM AWARDS
    Rome
    Italy
    March 11, 2022
    "Best Screendance Indie Narrative Short" Award
  • SWEET DEMOCRACY FILM AWARDS
    Rome
    Italy
    March 11, 2022
    Official Selection
  • ART FILM AWARDS
    Skopje
    Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of
    February 28, 2022
    Macedonian Premiere
    Honorable Mention
  • BUDAPEST FILM FESTIVAL
    Budapest
    Hungary
    January 6, 2022
    Hungarian Premiere
    "Best Cinematography" Nominee
  • VISUALIS FILM FESTIVAL
    St. Petersburg
    Russian Federation
    Semi-Finalist 2021
  • LIFT-OFF GLOBAL NETWORK SESSIONS
    Iver
    United Kingdom
    March 15, 2021
    UK Premiere
    OFFICIAL SELECTION
  • TEKNOCHAT FESTIVALS' VIP FEST: BEST OF 2020
    Resistencia
    Argentina
    February 28, 2021
    Winner: "Best Art Narrative of 2020" Award; Finalist: "Best Script;" Finalist: "Best Music, Dance, Art Film"
  • TEKNOCHAT FESTIVALS' VIP FEST: BEST OF 2020
    Barcelona
    Spain
    February 28, 2021
    Winner: "Best Art Narrative of 2020" Award; Finalist: "Best Script;" Finalist: "Best Music, Dance, Art Film"
  • SENSUS FILM FESTIVAL
    St. Petersburg
    Russian Federation
    Semi-Finalist 2021
  • SOUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL
    Resistencia
    Argentina
    April 30, 2020
    South American Premiere
    Awarded "Best Choreography" & "Best Narrative Dance"
  • SOUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL
    Barcelona
    Spain
    April 30, 2020
    Spanish Premiere
    Awarded "Best Choreography" & "Best Narrative Dance"
  • MOOVY TANZFILMFESTIVAL
    Köln, NRW
    Germany
    Semi-Finalist 2020
  • ROME INDEPENDENT PRISMA AWARDS
    Rome
    Italy
    January 5, 2020
    European Premiere
    Official Selection
  • IMAJITARI INTERNATIONAL DANCE FILM FESTIVAL
    Jakarta
    Indonesia
    December 12, 2019
    Asian Premiere
    Official Selection
  • LUMINARIUM IN CONCERT
    Boston, MA
    United States
    December 6, 2019
    World Premiere
Director Biography

MERLI V. GUERRA is an award-winning filmmaker, choreographer, and interdisciplinary artist. She is a professional dancer with a background in ballet, modern, and classical Odissi Indian dance, and Co-Founder and Artistic Director of Luminarium Dance Company—an award-winning contemporary dance company based in Boston, MA, that is regularly hailed for its unique combination of dance and light. Guerra has performed lead roles with notable Odissi and modern dance companies on international tours to India (2007, 2012) and Japan (2009), while her choreographic works, dance-on-camera films, and interactive art installations have been presented by more than 80 events across the country (in California, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont), and abroad in Canada, Germany, and Italy. Mostly recently, her screendance film ‘Synchronic’ was selected for screening at Festival Cinematica: Immagine in Movimento in Acona, Italy, as one of 14 finalists for the festival’s cinematic awards; while here in the states, her screendance films ‘The One I Keep’ and ‘What seems so is transition’ have been selected for presentation at the 2019 Women in Dance Leadership Conference, where Guerra will join a panel of international filmmakers this October in Philadelphia.

Guerra's work extends beyond the traditional stage; her site-specific Night at the Tower project was honored as one of just three projects (out of 5,000+ across the state in 2014) to receive the Massachusetts Cultural Council’s prestigious 2015 Gold Star Award. Beyond choreography, Guerra is a graphic designer, web designer, and freelance arts journalist. She spent the last five years as Art Director of the national Art New England magazine, followed by her current position at Princeton University Press. As a writer, she is Senior Contributor to The Arts Fuse (curating its weekly “top pick” dance events across New England), and a ballet and contemporary dance critic for the Toronto-based Fjord Review, and Vancouver-based Dance International magazine. In 2017, Guerra relocated to Princeton, NJ—expanding her artistic involvement to include the Mid-Atlantic in addition to her ongoing work in New England. She was soon elected to serve on the Board of Dance New Jersey (a nonprofit resource for New Jersey’s expansive dance scene) as a thought leader for new public programming across the state. Guerra frequently acts as a guest choreographer, artist, panelist, moderator, speaker, and advocate for the arts throughout the Northeast, and continues to split her time, traveling between Princeton and Boston for her work in the arts.

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