Antioch University Seattle core faculty member BJ Bullert has received a second$10,000 grant to complete her new short film on Seattle’s Space Needle.
An artist as well as an educator, Bullert believes in the power of the visual and literary arts to address social change. “The film seeks to capture the zeitgeist of today, where women’s voices are rising, we have more power, and we are coming into their own after decades of relative invisibility,” she says. Her documentary film-in-progress seeks to “feminize” the Space Needle, inviting viewers to revisit this icon of the Northwest by considering its unique shape and its origins in sculpture, and, possibly, even modern dance.
Using poetry to convey the emotional context of visual realities is one avenue for expression that Bullert focuses on in this film. “Poets know how to create atmosphere,” she explains. “They invoke alternative realities beyond conventional narrative.” Poets can tell stories that reach into the imagination.
Bullert has commissioned works from three Seattle women poets, including Jourdan Imani Keith, whose poem “A Ticket Up,” dedicated to dancer Syvilla Fort, is the inspiration for many of her visual shots.
Excerpt: The space needle is my whisper, my arms are still/ in flight, my leap of legs in concrete/ a grand plie at night
Bullert hopes to finish the film by the end of the year. “The project is going very well,” she said, “and I’m very grateful to have received such generous funding!”
She will submit the film to film festivals before offering it to local television stations for broadcast.
Bullert is also in the process of designing a documentary film course which will be offered online this winter. She is excited about a plan to use current and accessible experiential teaching materials for the class, especially in the run-up to the Sundance Film Festival and the Academy Awards. She is also looking forward to further connecting her professional work as a documentary filmmaker with her work as a teacher.
To see some of her other films, visit: