MFA Film Festival
Wednesday, May 09, 2018, 6:00PM - 9:00PM
Osher Lecture Hall
800 Chestnut Street
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2018 MFA Film Festival

San Francisco Art Institute presents a screening of works by graduating MFA and Dual Degree students who excel in the moving image field. Steeped in an avant-garde tradition, SFAI’s MFA Film program encourages conceptual experimentation and fosters an independent spirit in both thinking and making. Across works in film and video, the featured artists open our eyes to new modes of understanding within the temporal-visual plane.



Mika Sperling
A Portrait of My Young Parents, 2018
6:53 minutes

A Portrait Of My Young Parents is a video work dedicated to Sperling’s Mother and Father who, for 20 years, have lived, worked and built a family in the most northern metropolis of the world: Norilsk, Russia. A place where the absence of light molds an entire season and withstanding the cold becomes essential to survive.

Music: Moritz Biele, Mika Sperling

Mo Sha
Fake Landscape, 2017
3:13 minutes

Fake Landscape depicts a seascape that is self-created through the shooting of a trash bag. The appearance of a landscape seems at first to be ordinary, but the details are composed of unusual materials, which have negative impacts on the environment.

Yuanyuan Zhu
Escape ? Where, 2018
8:27 minutes

Parents of an only child express their ultimate expectations to marry a man, build one’s own happy family, and of course, have kids, like “normal” people do. Shot mainly on the day the artist left China for San Francisco after winter break, Escape ? Where is a video work featuring the artist’s parents saying anything they want to the camera, as a gift to the artist. There’s no script, but real life.

Amina Shah
Mnemonic I, 2018
Digitized Film Hybrid, 3:00 minutes

Mnemonic I creates chronological ambiguity, referencing historical images of past conflicts. It is questioning the function of the archive, alerting us to the repetitive nature of events. It reveals the connection between contemporary and past conflicts using collective memory as a device. From this perspective, divisive rhetoric has different resonance and implications. Images of displacement, war, and migration also read differently. It anchors the idea of home, what it represents and its loss.

Jiaming Song
Beyond Good and Evil, 2018
8 minutes

The ancient legend of the Raven God is believed in the West to be related to the plague, while in Oriental culture the Raven God is seen as a guardian. Beyond Good and Evil explores this two-sided concept. A powerful man walks in the forest, seeming to look for something or preparing to pronounce someone’s death. How many masks are on his face? Is he an angel or a devil? No one knows.

Various Artists
ART147, 2018
30 minutes

The first student production reality show about the inner workings of the San Francisco Art Institute. Selected episodes. Produced as part of Christopher Coppola’s SFAI Reality Show course. Watch it on Youtube:


Original Image: Can Buyukberber (MFA 2017), Morphogenesis, 2016. Audiovisual piece for Fulldome; Dimensions variable; 10 minutes. Courtesy the artist.