Aïda Ruilova’s rhythmic, visceral short films & video work are both culturally and self-reflexive; exploring the cycle of influence and obsession that feeds into creating a work of art. An ode to the slasher genre, a love letter to an erotic exploitation auteur, passions expressed by an aging movie star, and an exploration of a legendary film maker’s own idols are all subjects in Ruilova’s work --- revealing the layers of inspiration and fetishism that bind an artist with their creative precursors. By injecting her own strongly realized sensibilities and references into these pieces, Ruilova is offering a highly personal insight into how the cyclical relationship of influence and admiration informs one’s own creations.
Born & raised in Beijing, educated in London & the US, shifting gears from studying Political Science to Film Production, Chloé Zhao has devoted herself over the last 5 years largely to one project. The film,"Songs My Brothers Taught Me", became the subject of an intensive research & development process, nurtured largely by a list of awards, labs, & fellowship grants too numerous to name, amongst them prestigious awards from IFP (2014 Gotham Awards Spotlight on Women Filmmakers 'Live the Dream' grant), the San Francisco Film Society, Film Independent, Cinereach, the Adrienne Shelley Foundation, & perhaps most importantly, Sundance Institute. With a timespan of over 5 years from inception to completion & release, Chloé never lost the essential purpose of her work --- to document through a narrative form the lives of Lakota Youth on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Knowing her, it should come as no surprise that she would find in Native At-Risk-Teens a well of opportunity for understanding & a ripe, potent source for narrative.