Private Project


A film about appearing "racially ambiguous". Performing a choreography of resistance, a scaffolded amalgam of body pieces tries to remain whole in an environment programmed to disassemble it.

  • Stephanie J Williams
  • Stephanie J Williams
  • Andrew Paul Keiper
    Sound Designer
  • Glen Smakula
    Rig Fabricator
  • Jeffrey Chance
  • Project Type:
    Animation, Experimental, Short
  • Runtime:
    11 minutes 50 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    January 15, 2022
  • Production Budget:
    18,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • New Orleans Film Festival
    New Orleans, LA
    United States
    November 3, 2022
    Jury Award Winner: Animation
  • Sweaty Eyeballs Animation Festival
    Baltimore, MD
    United States
    October 22, 2022
    Jury Citation
  • Portland Film Festival
    Portland, OR
    United States
    October 12, 2022
    World Premiere
    Official Selection
  • San Diego Underground Film Festival
    San Diego, CA
    United States
    May 18, 2023
    Official Selection
  • Saul Zaentz Innovation Fund, Johns Hopkins University
    Baltimore, MD
    United States
    June 1, 2020
    Fellowship & Production Grant
  • DC Commission for the Art and Humanities
    Washington, DC
    United States
    January 1, 2021
    Fellowship Grant in Media Arts
  • Flickers' Rhode Island International Film Festival
    Providence, RI
    United States
  • Sweaty Eyeballs: Behind the Screen Exhibition, Towson University
    Baltimore, MD
    United States
    March 17, 2022
  • Stone Quarry Art Park, Visiting Artists
    Cazenovia, NY
    United States
    July 14, 2022
  • Thomas Edison (Black Maria) Film Festival
    Hoboken, NJ
    United States
    February 19, 2023
    Honorable Mention
  • Brussels Independent Film Festival
    February 5, 2023
    Europe Premiere
    Official Selection
  • Atlanta Film Festival
    Atlanta, GA
    United States
    May 21, 2023
    Official Selection
  • Philadelphia Independent Film Festival
    Philadelphia, PA
    United States
    May 18, 2023
    Official Selection
  • Toronto Black Film Festival
    Toronto, Ontario
    February 18, 2023
    Official Selection
  • Boston Underground Film Festival
    Boston, MA
    United States
    March 26, 2023
    Official Selection
  • Outfest LA LGBTQ+ Film Festival
    Los Angeles, CA
    United States
    July 15, 2023
    Official Selection
Director Biography - Stephanie J Williams

Stephanie J. Williams is a tinkerer and doodler. Her work primarily navigates hierarchies of taste, unpacking how “official” histories are constructed in order to understand contemporary social coding and the world around us. She received her MFA in Sculpture from RISD, has shown in Fictions, part of the Studio Museum in Harlem’s F-show exhibitions, as well as with Washington Project for the Arts, Grizzly Grizzly, |’sindikit |, Tephra ICA and the Walters Museum as a Sondheim Finalist, with residencies at Sculpture Space, Williams College, the Corporation of Yaddo, VCCA, and ACRE. Recent projects include Seamless: Craft-based Objects and Performance at Rutgers (Camden) and the Smithsonian American Art Museum Women Filmmakers Festival with support from the Saul Zaentz Innovation Fund in Media Studies at Johns Hopkins University and multiple DC Commission on the Arts & Humanities Fellowships. She resides in DC, her studio is located in Baltimore and she currently teaches stop motion as full time Faculty for Maryland Institute College of Art.

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Director Statement

Hospes is the Greek root of the word “hospitality”, “host”, “guest” and ironically “stranger”. The duality of this word’s meaning echoes the subtext associated with words we use to identity ourselves. In Hospes, a body is illustrated not through words, but as an amalgam of multi-layered meaty eco-systems.

I am often told that I appear “racially ambiguous” and asked “what are you?”, a question that demands that I name my meat, the thing that is most visibly me. This clarification of my race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, etc. Black. Asian. Queer. Female. ultimately, tells them how to treat me.

Hospes is a 12-minute puppet stop motion that expands being towards multi-layered, transitional and diverse against contemporary social coding based in categorization. It features an amalgam comprised of a patchwork of mismatched, unnamable body pieces, stitched and tucked together with remnant material. Flayed from a containment of skin, protuberances bouncing, meaty scaffolded and rigged pieces perform a choreography of resistance in a low-lit unconfined space revealed as a corridor of opening and closing doors intent on separating and sorting the pieces.