Festival internazionale Segni della Notte - Urbino
International Festival Signs of the Night - Urbino

5° Festival internazionale Segni della Notte - Urbino - March 30th - April 3rd, 2022

19th International Festival Signs of the Night- Italy



The Dream Machine
Michael William West
France / 2021 / 0:09:29

A woman experiments with a Dream Machine, hoping to escape trouble. Within the light and dark of the machine, violent emotions awaken.




“ The Dream Machine” was invented by the painter Brion Gysin and popularized by William S. Burroughs in order to live the great adventure of the dream. Michael William West, a fervent lover of esoterism, creativity, spiritualism and pop culture, pays tribute to the writer in a exceptional hallucinatory and visionary journey. For this, he used the “cut-up” technique, bringing out the implicit and the unacknowledged. He puts like this its main character, a woman, in the situation to emerge out of any structured life, making her lose all control of herself. His cinematic trip is unique.


have been fascinated by the device known as The Dreamachine for a long time. I first discovered it due to my interest in the art of some of its notable practitioners such as William S. Burroughs, Brion Gysin and Kurt Cobain. The Dreamachine was in fact created by the Beat Generation computer programmer and electrical technician Ian Sommerville. In spite of the simplicity, it was the first technological step towards realising one of mankind’s great ancient ambitions – witnessing one’s own dreams from a wakeful state. The Dreamachine is a kind of Wright Brothers’ ‘1903 Flyer’ for the visualisation and control of dreams. It seems strange, in Western culture, that few other technological advances have been attempted to further this kind of visualisation of dreams. It could be said there is even a cultural fear of doing so. Mankind’s last adventure will not be to Alpha Centauri, but into his own deep unconscious self, and this will require greater courage than any conquistador or spaceman. There may be terrifying truths in our own underworld that have yet to surface. However, it could be said that cinema is a medium of transferring dreams to conscious understanding. My short film The Dream Machine was a brief exploration of this idea, the meeting of Dreamachine and cinema. I’m very glad to have participated in the festival Segni della Notte alongside many other adventurous films that I enjoyed watching. To have been given the main award for Cinema in Transgression by this experienced and knowledgeable jury is an honour. I hope to return in future for another edition.


The Signs Award honours films, which treat an important subject in an original and convincing way

Masks (Masques)
Oliver Smolders
Belgium / 2021 / 0:23:00

A filmmaker mourns the fading faces of his loved ones and evokes the ritual of masks as way of connecting to the afterlife.




The Signs Award goes to "Masks "by Olivier Smolders for the comprehensive, complete and in-depth exploration to the complexities of human emotion.


The Night Award honours films, which are able to balance ambiguity and complexity characterized by enigmatic mysteriousness and subtleness, which keeps mind and consideration moving

Andrius Žemaitis
Lithuania / 2021 / 0:39:00

This is a story about an orphan girl Alizava and her unfamiliar father, whose soul inhabits various things. In an abandoned mansion a childish ritual commences, erasing the line between the living and the dead. A silent dialogue between the girl and her father summons others. Who are they?




The Night Award goes to "Alizava" by Andrius Žemaitis for its enigmatic look at the way we speak to each other and its fascinating ambiguity.


Film's events transport the viewer back some decades ago, to an authentic clay quarry of Šaltiškis village and it's surroundings in the region of Akmenė, Lithuania. We see a 7 year old orphan Alizava, living in odd circumstances with her grandfather. The girl's daily life is full of solitude, but rich with images, sensibilities, childish rituals and secrets. Child's untold longing for her unfamiliar parents is felt in the landscapes of clay quarry, and her daily games harbor undercurrents about the secret of life and death. Alizava's relation with her environment is open and immediate; depicted nature conceals foundations of the motherly, while ordinary objects - of fatherly archetypes. The viewer is not held by hand. In the film's minimalist plot, similarly to the imagination of Alizava herself, symbols of death, life and family are intuitively intertwined. The rules driving film's plot are left undisclosed, but the rhythm of visual and sound motifs invokes emotions, curiosity and fantasy, encourages the viewer to fill in missing pieces and create a meaning for that which is seen.


The Edward Snowden Award honors films, which offer sensitive (mostly) unknown information, facts and phenomena of eminent importance, for which the festival wishes a wide proliferation in the future.

Patrick Dionne, Miki Gingras
Canada / 2021 / 0:18:11

"Yulí" is a journey through the reflections of a young middle-class Colombian; who, influenced by the news media, struggles with her fears and prejudices towards a neighborhood that has a bad reputation.




The Edward Snowden Award goes to "Yulí" by Patrick Dionne, Miki Gingras for showing the courage to seek the truth sincerely under authoritarianism.


Starring Vera Miles
Andrew Hahn
United States / 2021 / 0:29:46

A first-person sci-fi thriller, "Starring Vera Miles" is constructed from nearly 100 classic films and mixed with dialogue from various Vera Miles roles that becomes our heroine's internal voice, as the montage of subjective camera shots becomes her vision of a questionable reality.




The Special Jury Prize goes to "Starring Vera Miles" by Andrew Hahn for the true video art approach in the footsteps of the old greats.


Chile 1973
Mike Hoolboom, Jorge Lozano
Costa Rica / 2022 / 0:08:14

Based on a trove of photographs made by Koen Wessing, who bore the risk of documenting the streets of Santiago, even the dreaded stadium, newly filled with police backing the coup. When freshly elected president Allende began sharing resources with the poor, the reaction shot from Washington was predictably swift. One of Nixon’s oldest financiers worked for Pepsi, and coalmining interests were not far behind. In order to protect shareholders, the CIA put their favourite general in charge, a dictator who pipelined money into the American dream. But resistances old and new continued to grow, including interventions by radical feminist architect Josefina Mena Abraham, a legacy of upholding the commons that persists to this day.




Special mention goes to "Chile 1973" for reminding us of the U.S. state interventions in Chile and subtly pointing out the forgetfulness of our times.


The movie began with an invitation. There are new caretakers bringing to light the work of radical feminist architect Josefina Mena Abraham. How to let the past inhabit our apartments so that we can speak together again?


The Signs Award honours films, which treat an important subject in an original and convincing way

Once I Passed
Martin Gerigk
United States / 2022 / 0:10:00

Walt Whitman is one of the most important poets in American literature. His main work, Leaves of Grass, was written over a period of forty years, and describes human nature, society, and the natural world, both physically and philosophically. Many have speculated about Whitman's private life, to this day. Whitman never wrote publicly about his personal relationships. In 1860, he published his poem "Once I Passed Through a Populous City", an aphoristic account of a romantic relationship with an unknown woman. In 1925, the original handwritten copy of the poem was discovered, in which Whitman writes, however, not about a woman but about an affair with a man in an anonymous city, which may have been his first physical experience of love. Whitman did not dare to publish the original version of his poem, because of the social prejudices of his time. To this day, only the altered version is printed in most anthologies. "Once I passed" is dedicated, on the one hand, to the obviously autobiographical context with all its personal drama, and on the other hand to the content of the poem itself, the profoundly quiet, yet powerful story of two lovers.





Martin Gerigk composes a subtle evocation, about the work of Walt Whitman, “Once I Passed through a populous city” (from “Leaves of Grass”), of his poetic experimentation in which he is a kind of stroller lost in a teeming town and for whom its cacophony is a real langage. He skilfully enriches his film with collages, inspired by Dadaism and Surrealism, by the Serbian artist, Nikola Gocić.


"Once I passed" is a very personal film about love in general, but also representative of all the love stories that have had to be lived in secret throughout the ages. Therefore I am very happy that the film has received so much attention at the FISDN Festival. I hope that I could touch the audience with the visual but also musical implementation. And maybe I could sensitize one or the other for the topic.