Private Project

Free Noir Papillon

A short dance film about a mother’s relationship to her pregnancy, as she deals with fear and hope about bringing a black baby boy into the world in 2020. The choreography stems from a place of creating sanctuary and learning to accept and find joy in bringing new life in a year full of uncertainty, conflict and strife. Memory of her first pregnancy and labor also influence movement motifs.

  • Lev Omelchenko
  • Phae Monae
  • Lev Omelchenko
  • Kevin Wall
  • PhaeMonae
    Key Cast
  • Amber L. N. Bournett
  • Landon Kovalick
  • Valerie Brooks
    1st AC
  • Kurush Bakhtiari
  • Hagan Mattingly
    Key Grip
  • Stephen Dragstedt
  • Magdelena O’Connor
    Art Director
  • Marian Austin
  • Elorm
  • Aboubacar Kante
    BTS Stills
  • Lev Omelchenko
  • The Libraries
    Original Score
  • Project Type:
    Experimental, Short, Other
  • Genres:
    Dance, Experimental
  • Runtime:
    11 minutes 9 seconds
  • Production Budget:
    9,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    ALEXA Mini LF
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Atlanta Film Festival
    United States
    April 25, 2022
    World Premiere
    Official Selection
  • Maryland Film Festival
    United States
    May 1, 2022
    Maryland Premiere
    Official Selection
  • Sidewalk Film Festival
    United States
    August 27, 2022
    AL Premiere
    Official Selection
  • Tacoma Film Festival
    United States
    October 7, 2022
    West Coast Premiere
    Official Selection
  • Indie Memphis Film Festival
    United States
    October 22, 2022
    TN Premiere
    Official Selection
  • Cucalorus Film Festival
    United States
    Official Selection
  • Nitehawk Short Film Festival
    New York
    United States
    March 2, 2023
    NY Premiere
    Audience Award
Director Biography - Lev Omelchenko, Phae Monae

Lev Omelchenko is a NYC/ATL based director.

Born in Kramatorsk, Ukraine he immigrated with his family to Brooklyn, NY at age 9. As a filmmaker, he is driven by collaborations with cultural and community laborers whose practice is outside of traditional film industry. His film work spans documentary, narrative, experimental and installation often hybridizing the forms to achieve the unique goals of each project.

Lev’s work has been screened at the Prismatic Ground Film Festival (NYC), Cucalorus Film Festival (NC), Maryland Film Festival (MD), Atlanta FF (GA), Sidewalk FF (AL), Tacoma FF (WA), Indie Memphis FF (TN), Indie Grits FF (SC), Roxbury Int FF (MA), Miami Short FF (FL), Kiyv FF (Ukraine), ArtFields (SC), InterFest Denver (CO), Eyedrum Gallery (GA), Whitespace Gallery (GA), Emory University (GA) and in the Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport (GA). He is the recipient of the Film Impact Georgia filmmaker grant, and is a Distinguished Fellow at the Hambidge Center for Creative Arts (GA).

Lev is also the Community Ambassador of The Bakery Atlanta, which is a collective of creative thinkers aligned around social justice principles, environmental concerns, and the belief that art is pivotal to existence. Additionally, he is the Curator of Unicorn Gardens Cinema which brings together gems from the film festival circuit and the most talented and experimental filmmakers in the Atlanta film community.


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Director Statement

Phae: “When my son is 20 years old and asks me “mom why'd you name me Free Noir Papillion” I’ll say in 2020 there was a pandemic, a civil rights movement and whole bunch of other shit, rise of technology and all of those things needed to live in your name. You are a product of light that comes out of all of that fuckery - that to me is how art is made and how poetry is made.

Those parallels - high celebration and really low low pain. That’s what inspires people to make some of the best shit. My best shit right now is making babies and speaking on my personal journey through carrying and caring for them in this time”