Inaugural STAY HOME FILM FESTIVAL to Premiere Virtually This Weekend

'Stay Home Film Festival: A virtual expression of the quarantine experience through movement on film' will take place on Saturday, January 23, 2021 at 8PM ET.

By: Jan. 21, 2021
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Inaugural STAY HOME FILM FESTIVAL to Premiere Virtually This Weekend

The inaugural Stay Home Film Festival: A virtual expression of the quarantine experience through movement on film has been announced! Dancers, choreographers, movement artists, and filmmakers were given several prompts/criteria to be considered for the festival. Priority was given to works which 1) featured a solo performance (production crews may consist of multiple artists); 2) were filmed in a living space - not in a public space or outdoors; and 3) had a focus on dance or movement, rather than an intensive script or dialogue.

SHFF acknowledges the importance of accessibility in the arts, so there was no fee required to submit work or to participate in the festival. The festival itself is entirely virtual & is a pay-what-you-can event, with a suggested donation of $15 that will be distributed directly back to the choreographers.

The inaugural festival will feature 16 short dance or movement-based films, 10 of which are world premieres. The choreographers, dancers, and filmmakers have varying backgrounds and areas of expertise that have ensured a dynamic and inspiring program.

Tune in below!

Creator/Curator of SHFF: Martha Lavery

Martha graduated from Hofstra University's Honors College in 2014 with a BA in Dance & Minors in Film Production & Psychology. She has since danced for 50+ choreographers & companies (modern, contemporary, performance art, improvisation, classic jazz, hip hop, heels, etc); notable performances include SummerStage in Central Park, performing around Italy & China, & having students perform her choreography at Carnegie Hall. She has also been commissioned to create 30+ original pieces - in her "genrefluid" style & otherwise - in addition to material created weekly for her classes in public school/charter school/studio settings (teaching kindergarteners through professional adults in various genres). Throughout the pandemic, she has continued to create work for both stage & film, most recently having two films for which she performed & choreographed being accepted into the inaugural Dance Is Activism Film Festival, hosted by Earl Mosley/Diversity of Dance, Bridge For Dance Studio, & Producers Club. Lavery created this festival with the aim to create an outlet for artists to express their quarantine/social distancing experience that is safe for creators and audience members alike. IG: @marmar_out FB: Martha Lavery YouTube: Martha Lavery -


Renay Aumiller (in collaboration with Jen Guy Metcalf)

Renay Aumiller has presented her dance works in the US, Sweden, UK, Canada, & Pakistan as the founder/artistic director of RAD | Renay Aumiller Dances. She has performed for choreographers based in Chicago, FL, NY, NC & has toured Taiwan, Cambodia, & Italy with Kirstie Simson. She has enjoyed guest residencies at universities/studios across the US & China and has presented her research in dance education in national and international conferences. She earned an MFA in Choreography from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign & a BA in Dance Studies from UNC-Greensboro. She is an Assistant Professor of Dance at Elon University and a Franklin Method Educator.

Jen Guy Metcalf is an Associate Professor of Dance at Elon University. She earned an MFA in Choreography from UNC-Greensboro and a BFA in Dance from Point Park University. She performed with Bodiography Contemporary Ballet, The Kearns Dance Project, & for many independent choreographers. Metcalf is the founder/director of TERRANOVA Dance Theatre which has been based in Greensboro. She is an award-winning choreographer/filmmaker who has presented her work in the US, Ireland, Sweden, Amsterdam, Turkey, Scotland, Brazil, and Bosnia & Herzegovina. IG: @renay.aumiller.dances FB: TERRANOVA Dance Theatre

Taylor Cambria

Taylor Cambria has been dancing for over 20 years in multiple styles. She is thankful to the Stay Home Film Festival for an outlet to create work during these difficult times. IG: @tcambs

Tracy Coval (Choreography by Chelsie Hill)

Tracy Coval is from MA & has been a competitive dancer for over 20 years. "Life drastically changed for me in 2015, where I lost the ability to use my legs due to birth defects being left untreated/unrecognized until late adulthood. I faced double amputation on my feet twice, and beat the odds; my feet were saved. Because of the damage to my spinal cord, I am partially paralyzed from the waist down, and a full-time wheelchair user. I began training with Chelsie Hill, the founder and CEO of the Rollettes Dance Team... an international women's wheelchair dance team, focusing on women's empowerment. My wheelchair doesn't stop me from doing what I love, dance. Once I began working with Chelsie, my confidence improved... it feels amazing to pursue my passion once again. I want to show that people with disabilities can do anything anyone else can. IG: @tracy_coval @chelsiehill @beccaonthefritz FB: Tracy Coval, Chelsie Hill, Becca Fritz

Liz DeBlasi

Liz began dancing at 4 years old and was trained in ballet, pointe, tap and jazz. She was a dance major at Adelphi University with a focus in ballet and modern dance. She was also the captain and co-choreographer of the dance team at Adelphi with a focus in hip-hop and jazz. She was later trained in bellydance and was a professional bellydance soloist for 6 years. She performed with Danceworks NYC for 7 seasons. IG: @libbydb

Diana DiCocco

Diana is a Brooklyn resident, originally from Massapequa, NY. DiCocco has continued dancing post-grad alongside her day job at a post production facility by joining DanceWorks NYC, an Astoria-based recreational dance company, in 2017, where she has performed in their biannual showcases for 5 seasons, led a virtual workshop, and will be debuting her choreography in their upcoming first virtual showcase. IG: @diana_dicocco

Heather Gardner

Heather Gardner is a 2019 Hofstra dance graduate. She resides in Long Island teaching Contemporary and Jazz at Body Language Dance and Theatre Arts Studio. This is her first time creating a short movement based film. IG: @heatherg_dance

Katelyn Halpern

Katelyn Halpern is a multidisciplinary artist from Austin, Texas. Her eclectic body of work includes evening length danceworks JUICE and Loose Heart, public installation Labyrinth No. 9, and a series of embroidered styrofoam trays. She lives and runs SMUSH Gallery in Jersey City, NJ. IG: @khalpern

Jon Lee

Jon Lee is a choreographer, presently residing in Astoria, Queens. While not being a dancer by trade, dance has been a big part of Jon Lee's life for a long time. He has a passion for various street styles & for making shapes. IG: @jonleehasaninsta YouTube: Jon Lee -

Sam Lobel

Sam Lobel is a dancer, teacher, and choreographer based in NY. She has presented her work at the Young Choreographer's Festival, Uptown Rising, On 1 Condition, NYC Choreographer's Forum, NACHMO, APEX, Sybarite Love is Love, Think Tank the Showcase, and more. She has worked with Nicholas Palmquist as an associate choreographer for the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund, Peridance Certificate Program, and the Steps Professional Performance Workshop. She is the choreographer for this year's production for Tisch New Theater at NYU. IG: @sam_lobel

Hannah McClean

Hannah McClean is a Brooklyn, NY based dance artist. Brought up as a competitive gymnast, she has trained in a multitude of dance styles, eventually earning her BFA in dance from Cornish College of the Arts, Seattle, WA (Cum Laude, 2017). Recently, McClean has collaborated and performed works for Amirov Dance Theatre, Beth Soll and Company, Sommer Ulrickson and David Parker. McClean has also produced her own works in Phoenix, AZ, Seattle, WA and New York, NY. Additionally, McClean is a movement educator in public & private schools, and studios throughout the five boroughs. IG: @hannahmccleannn FB: Hannah McClean

Emma Pattison

Emma is a dancer and visual artist based in Brooklyn, NY. They currently run Variety Pack Collective, a collaborative choreographic practice of NYC-area dancers, and @emmmoves, a daily movement diary. Their practice focuses on building meaningful community, centering queer experiences, and creating interdisciplinary work with writers, musicians, and other artists. IG: @emmmoves @varietypackcollective

Ellie Reid

Ellie Reid is a New York-based performer/choreographer, & a current BFA dance/choreography student at NYU Tisch School of the Arts. Her work is narrative driven and she believes in retelling stories with themes of identification, struggling through adversity, love and betrayal, and moments of simplistic human interaction. She loves sharing her passion for movement with audiences & is grateful for her ability to do that through choreography. IG: @ellie_reid17

Miguel (Mikey) Sanchez

Miguel (Mikey) Sanchez is a dancer, choreographer, and aspiring dance filmmaker from Lancaster, PA. He started training at age 19 and currently trains in modern, jazz, ballet, & hip hop techniques, pursuing a BFA in dance at Temple University. In November, Sanchez premiered his first dance film titled "Identity", a 14 minute film shot on iPhone that presents his personal journey with self-identity. His film was chosen by a panel of professors to be shown at the ACDA's 2021 dance festival. IG: @mikeysanchez22

Anna Tan

Anna Tan studied public health and dance at Tulane University, where she received the Jill Karp Choreography Prize for her choreographic capstone project Safety Net. She then received her Master of Public Health (MPH) degree at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University, where she was able to continue her dance training at Barnard College. Anna Tan is also the choreographer and artistic director for her NYC-based contemporary dance company, A. Tan Dance. Founded in 2017, the company's mission is to present emotional, thought-provoking, & dynamic dance pieces and to offer opportunities for dancers navigating careers outside of dance to develop and flourish artistically. IG: @a_tan_dance

Ashton Waldron

Ashton Waldron is a screendance filmmaker in NYC. She completed her MFA degree in dance with Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University in 2020. Her thesis delved into how to make screendance resonate with the general public by ways of incorporating social media. Waldron also finished her BA in dance education at Winthrop University & had the fortunate opportunity to study dance & movement at ADF for two summers. IG: @ashton_waldron_dance

How to view SHFF:

The Stay Home Film Festival will be held virtually via YouTube Premiere on Saturday, January 23, 2021 at 8PM ET and will remain online afterwards. During the virtual premiere, viewers will be able to comment in real time as they watch the films. A talkback/Q&A with select choreographers will be held on Zoom immediately following the premiere. Links to both the Zoom talkback and the virtual program, where viewers can follow along during the premiere, can be found in the YouTube Premiere video description, as well as in the festival's Instagram bio @stayhomefilmfest .

Artist bios & festival updates can be found on the SHFF Instagram account at @stayhomefilmfest . There is no official ticketing for this event; viewing & talkback participation is free & open to the public. A suggested donation of $15 via Venmo @stayhomefilmfest will be distributed directly back to participating choreographers.

SHFF on YouTube:

Choreographer Talkback/Q&A via Zoom:



Facebook Event:

Martha Lavery was also the guest on Five Years Later Podcast (Episode 12) specifically to discuss SHFF.

Listen below!