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Samantha Adler de Oliveira Takes Her Experimental Film to the Festival Circuit

The Singing Glass was the centerpiece of the artist’s thesis work as a graduate student in MassArt’s Film/Video MFA program.

(L): Still from Samantha Adler de Oliveira’s Spinning Glass (2017), (R): The artist photographed by Chen Serfaty.

Tel Aviv-based filmmaker and Massachusetts College of Art and Design alumna Samantha Adler de Oliveira is taking her experimental documentary short The Singing Glass to the international film festival circuit. The film, which centers on the glass harmonica, a rare and mysterious musical instrument produced in the Boston area, recently screened at Tel Aviv Art Museum as part of EPOS International Art Festival and at Italy’s Faito Doc festival.

Samantha earned her MassArt MFA as a Fulbright scholar in 2017. As a graduate student, she began to experiment with analog film techniques, creating a series of stark, haunting video loops collectively titled Spinning Glass. These 3D-rendered animations were re-shot on 16mm film, hand-processed and digitally scanned. MassArt’s Film/Video program, with its rich lineage of analog film processes and its state-of-the-art digital video facilities, provided an ideal framework for the creation of this hybrid, experimental work.

The centerpiece of Samantha’s thesis work, The Singing Glass, was produced under the mentorship of MassArt Film/Video department chair Soon-Mi Yoo, whose own avant-garde essay film Songs From the North won the First Feature Award at the Locarno Film Festival.

Of her experience in the Film/Video MFA program, Samantha says: “Soon-Mi guided me through the development of my thesis film and encouraged me to constantly dig deeper. MassArt allowed me to deepen my theoretical understanding of the moving image and to enhance my technical experience within this vast medium. I am particularly grateful for the support of dedicated teachers who are themselves contemporary art practitioners.”

For more information on MassArt graduate degrees, visit massart.edu/Graduate-Programs.