Hanna Pajala-Assefa & Alla Kovgan
area: Media Art, Film
nationalityFinnland / Russia & USA
areaMedia Art, Film
residenceHelsinki & Berlin
recommending institutionVIS Vienna Shorts
time periodJune 2019 - June 2019
Born in Moscow, Alla Kovgan has divided her time between Europe and US, making films and projects with artists from different disciplines since 1996. She brings 15 years of experience working with dance and film collaborations on screen and in theatre, as well as a strong record as a documentary director/writer/editor. Alla’s film NORA about Zimbabwe-born dancer Nora Chipaumire, has been presented at over 120 festivals as well as at MOMA, LOUVRE and TATE MODERN. It was selected to represent the United States at INPUT 2011 and received 30 awards in every kind of genre (fiction,
documentary, video art). NORA was broadcast on ARTE/ZDF, PBS, TV3 (Spain), NRK (Norway) and SVT (Sweden). Within the last decade, Alla co-directed, wrote and edited an Emmy-nominated TRACES OF THE TRADE (Sundance, PBS) about the role of the North in the US slave-trade and MOVEMENT REVOLUTION AFRICA (ZDF/ARTE) about Contemporary Dance traditions in Africa, which "Village Voice" described as a “knockout”. Alla also edited MY PERESTROIKA (Sundance, PBS, Silverdocs, Full Frame) about the last generation of Soviet children to grow up behind the Iron Curtain in the USSR. Since 1999, Alla has been a member of the KINODANCE Company, an interdisciplinary artist collaborative, creating performances and installaitons. KINODANCE's work has been supported by the Bank of America Celebrity Series, ICA (Boston), New England Foundation for the Arts and others. Critics describe KINODANCE performances as "…a daring and dramatically theatrical experience” and “…a breathtaking synthesis of live and filmed dance”. In 2008, KINODANCE was selected as one of Dance Magazine’s “25 To Watch”.
She is a recipient of many grants and awards including a Poynter Fellowship at Yale University (2012), a Bogliasco Foundation Fellowship (2011), a Massachusetts Cultural Council Fellowship (2009)
and Brother Thomas Fellowship (2009) for artists working at a high level of excellence and creativity. For the last five years, Alla has been developing a stereoscopic 3D film about the legendary choreography Merce Cunningham. Her most ambitious project to date, CUNNINGHAM is a French/German/US co-production funded by the Rockefeller Foundation, the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, National Cinematography Center (CNC – FRANCE), ARTE/BR TV, Hamburg, Wuttenberg, NRW Film Funds, BKM and FFA Federal German Funds, French-German Mini-Treaty Fund and private investors/donors.
Hanna Pajala-Assefa is a contemporary artists whose work orients around the disciplines of contemporary dance and performance and tis expressed in forms of media art, dance film, contemporary performance and embodied interactivity in VR. She has led and carried out multiple interdisciplinary projects involving contemporary dance, tangible technology, music and multimedia. Her extensive experience spreads over choreography, concept design, content curations as well as event and project production. Her strength lays in developing and facilitating multidisciplinary creative projects and managing complex challenges of production and drive them to success.
Alla Kovgan will develop a script for a new 3D feature film, based on life and art of "Eun Me Ah", a contemporary dance choreographer from Korea.
Will develop the VR/XR experience Skeleton Conductor. -development of an real-time full-body movement based interactive VR experience where the HMD displayed sound and visual narrative is created through perceivers intuitive kinetic musical metaphors and embodied cognitive abilities.