Melika Bass – E125 VAB – April 26 at 7pm – FREE!

Don’t miss the last Headroom event of the season, a night of slow-burning and speculative fictions that deconstruct the familiar to reveal narrative worlds organized by their own habits, rituals, and codes. Incorporating elements from theater and dance, these abstract and striking narratives are not like anything you’ve seen before!

We’re teaming up with the School of Art and Art History to present Melika’s screening in a new space, room E125 in the Visual Arts Building (VAB). Hope to see you there!

“American filmmaker Melika Bass…author of a unique cinema of atmosphere and historical reminiscences…one of the revelations of the festival.” – Roberto Manassero, Torino Film Festival.

Recently named one of Filmmaker Magazine’s “25 New Faces of Independent Film 2018,” Melika Bass is the recipient of an Artadia Award (NYC), 2 Media Arts Fellowships from the Illinois Arts Council, the Kodak/Filmcraft Imaging Award from the Ann Arbor Film Festival, an Experimental Film Prize from the Athens International Film Festival, and a Special Mention Prize from the International Jury of the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen.

Bass was one of a dozen international filmmakers (including Ragnar Kjartansson, Ryan McGinley, Alma Har’el, John Cameron Mitchell, and Ramin Bahrani) commissioned by Icelandic band Sigur Ros to create an original film for their Valtari Mystery Film Experiment. Melika Bass’s film Shoals is featured in Indie-Outlook’s “180 Essential Films by Female Directors,” and her Prairie Gothic Trilogy films (Songs from the Shed, Shoals, and Waking Things) are streaming online at Fandor.

Screenings and exhibitions include the BAMcinemaFest, Brooklyn; Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (solo exhibition); Torino Film Festival, Italy; Film Society of Lincoln Center, New York; Kino der Kunst, Munich; Ann Arbor Film Festival; Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit; Anthology Film Archives, New York; BFI London Film Festival; Athens International Film Festival; Segal Center for the Performing Arts, Montreal; International Short Film Festival Oberhausen, Germany; and the Split Festival of New Film, Croatia. Her work has been profiled and reviewed in Filmmaker Magazine, Time Out Chicago, Bad at Sports, Art Daily, Rolling Stone Italy, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Reader, Pitchfork, and the Chicago Sun-Times.


16mm to HD, 2011, 52min.

A slow-burning prairie grotesque. On the grounds of a rural sanitarium, three young women search for wellness, as a cult leader seeks to control their bodies through labor and daily rituals.

Directed by Melika Bass.
Featuring Carolina Gonzalez Valencia, Emily Irvine, Chris Sullivan, and Kayla Wroblewski.


Super16mm film to 2K, 2018, 30min.

In the American suburbs, two women mysteriously and sensuously entwine in this slow-burning, saucy, abstracted fable on the longing and laboring female body.

Directed by Melika Bass.
Featuring Selma Banich and Penelope Hearne.
Co-produced by Dave Tolchinsky and Dan Silverstein.

Total Running Time: 82min.

HEADROOM is sponsored by the Department of Cinematic Arts, the School of Art and Art History, and the Public Digital Arts Cluster..

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all UI-sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires an accommodation in order to participate in this program, please contact Cinematic Arts at 335-0330 or