The Winter Ghost

A house spirit appears inside an empty living space after it has been been vacated. However, it's not only the building's memories that she has for company...

"The past never leaves us;
there’s always an atmosphere to consider;
you wound the air as cleanly as you can the flesh…"
From 'In The Dream House' by Carmen Maria Machado

The Winter Ghost - A short, beguiling dance mystery.

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*** STOP PRESS *** 02/06/2021 - The Winter Ghost is nominated as an INTERNATIONAL FINALIST in the 2021 FuoriFormato Festival - Stories We dance!!! Grazie a tutti! ***

*** STOP PRESS *** 07/08/2021 - The Winter Ghost is awarded an HONOURABLE MENTION in the WildDogs International Screendance Festival 2021 ***

*** STOP PRESS *** 20/10/2021 Offically selected: Immagi]na Film Fesitval ***

*** STOP PRESS *** 25/10/2021 Offically selected: Imajitari Film Festival ***

*** STOP PRESS *** 17/11/2021 Offically selected: Inshadow Lisbon Screendance Festival ***

*** STOP PRESS *** 14/01/2022 Offically selected: Central Michigan International Film Festival ***

  • Mark Esper
  • Mark Esper
  • Mark Esper, Katja Vaghi
  • Katja Vaghi
    Key Cast
    "The Winter Ghost"
  • Ashley Webb
    Music / Sound Design
  • Project Type:
    Experimental, Short
  • Runtime:
    11 minutes 55 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    May 10, 2021
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital, 4K
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • FuoriFormato 2021 - Stories We Dance
    European Premiere
    International Selection
  • WildDogs International Screendance Festival 2021
    Honourable Mention
  • IMMAGI]NA Experimental Film and Dance for Camera festival 2021
    November 19, 2021
    Official Selection
  • Imajitari International Dance Film Festival 2021
    October 28, 2021
    Official Selection
  • InShadow Lisbon Screendance Festival 2021
    November 17, 2021
    Offical Selection
  • Central Michigan International Film Festival 2022
    United States
    February 20, 2022
    Offical Selection
Director Biography - Mark Esper

Born in Maidenhead in the UK, Mark left Oxford to study film and narrative structure with the London Screenwriters’ Workshop and later worked as a freelance multi-media designer.

However, through his love of extreme sports he picked up photography again and since become more widely known as a freelance photographer. Since joining New York based photo agency Polaris Images his photos have been published in titles like National Geographic Traveller, Rolling Stone, Der Spiegel and The Guardian newspaper amongst others.

Award-wise he has been consecutively nominated for the ANI Coup de Coeur award (2010-2014), The Renaissance Photography Prize (2013-2014), the New York Photo Festival (2015), International Color Award (2015), Lens Culture (2015), LightBox Photographic (2015) and awarded 2013 Art Of Photography Prize in San Diego, USA and a 2017 Gregor International Calendar Award.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

Winter Ghost is a short dance film. Shot in Berlin, Germany during the last embers of 2020, dancer and dramaturge Katja Vaghi is the winter ghost. A spirit who appears inside our empty living spaces after they've been vacated, it is not only the building's memories that she has for company...

"The past never leaves us;
there’s always an atmosphere to consider;
you wound the air as cleanly as you can the flesh…"
From 'In The Dream House' by Carmen Maria Machado

Dancer - Katja Vaghi
Director, Editor, Filming - Mark Esper
Music / Sound Design - Ashley Webb

[This version is for competition / festival consideration. A 4K edit has now be been completed together with an EPK and extra marketing materials, all of which are available upon request].

05.06.2021 - Mark Esper

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CAST SPOTLIGHT - About Katja Vaghi:

Katja Vaghi is a Swiss Italian choreographer, somatic teacher and dance researcher. Through her education in modern dance and ballet at Ballet Arts in NYC, Katja uses different modern dance techniques (in particular Horton and Limón) together with urban and traditional dances (Hip hop and funk, Bharatanatyam and African dance). She holds a MA in literature and linguistics from Zurich University and a PhD in dance philosophy at the University of Roehampton (UK) and has been lecturing in dance history, performance theory, improvisation and instant composition in several institutions in the UK and Germany. Her research interests are reference practices and intermediality, the comic in dance, screendance, and embodiment in spatial perception.

CAST SPOTLIGHT - About Ashley Webb:

Ashley Webb is a musician born in Oxford but now based in Bristol, UK. 

Although learning to play traditional instruments as a child, Ashley was drawn to the sound of synthesisers and the mood they were able to create. Early on he was inspired by bands that were able to combine an experimental approach with pop music which in turn led to an interest in the various strands of music that evolved from the rave scene of the early 90’s.

Leaving Oxford, he enrolled on a sound engineering course in Manchester, UK to learn some recording basics, gain access to equipment and start experimenting with ideas. It was at this time he had started to take an interest in more experimental music and electronic scores of the 70's and 80's. 

Today, he self releases music under the pseudonym ‘My Blue Extremes’ - a project purely designed to allow him to release music in whatever style he feels at the time.