Imperial Valley (cultivated run-off)

The Imperial Valley represents one of California´s most important regions of industrial agriculture. Corporate agricultural production interests have been able to successfully cultivate and exploit this geological part of the Sonora desert through a gigantic irrigation system fed by the Colorado River, as well as the All-American Canal specifically engineered for this purpose and which attained sad notoriety through the Mexican migration movement. The system´s run-off flows through pipes, pumps and canals leading to the Salton Sea, an artificial lake that is approaching ecological as well as economic disaster, just as bordering regions of Mexico.

With Imperial Valley (cultivated run-off) Lukas Marxt approaches this problem in a very ingenious way. He begins with a bird´s eye view of an irrigation canal coursing through a desert landscape. A drone camera flies the length of the canal, subsequently flying over Imperial Valley landscapes from the same perspective. Initially appearing as nothing more than spectacular documents of agricultural monocultures, the shots become increasingly abstract – additionally heightened through the accompaniment of an electronic score. Is this an actual or artificially simulated landscape? This ambiguity is precisely the point: The Imperial Valley is becoming the "Uncanny Valley", a place that is not yet or no longer natural and thereby appears eerie. A landscape post landscape (or its medial representation) is a geometric concept of lines, surfaces, points and color spots, regardless whether of an animate or lifeless nature. Although manmade, it is not a place for people anymore, neither ontologically nor in reality. The post-apocalypse is not a matter of the future, we are already in the thick of it. (Claudia Slanar)

Translation: Eve Heller

Accompanied by baleful, alarming, whistlingbooming electro sounds (Jung An Tagen), a speedy drone flight over California´s Imperial Valley becomes a journey in an extinct, abstract, uncanny, hostile landscape: a dystopian science fiction scenario, anchored in the reality of the present. (Michelle Koch, Diagonale 2018)

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Jury Statement GIJÓN INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL 2018 (Award)

GIJÓN INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL 2018:
PRINCIPADO DE ASTURIAS PRIZE FOR BEST SHORT FILM

Imperial Valley (cultivated run-off) by Lukas Marxt
(Austria, Germany, 2018)

“For the excellent use of the cinematographic image and its experience to generate mental states that encourage reflection on the current paradigm in which basic natural resources are dehumanized and manipulated, becoming goods in favor of the interests of the capitalist system.”
-
Jury: Carla Andrade, Jukka-Pekka Laakso, Vanesa Fernández
--
http://en.fic.gijon.es/page/19030-awards-56th-edition

Jury-Begründung Kurzfilmfestival Köln 2018 (Award)

Kurzfilmfestival Köln 2018

3. JURYPREIS
Colorgrading (1 Studiotag) gestiftet von WeFadeToGrey

Imperial Valley
Regie: Lukas Marxt

Einem Raumschiff gleich schwebt der Film über endlose Flächen der landwirtschaftlichen Nutzung. Kameradrohne und Mensch beschleunigen, bis die Welt eine Sammlung von Texturen wird, zuerst ein fremder Planet, dann ein Abstraktum. Dazu eine Musik, die an dystopische SciFi-Filme vergangener Zeiten erinnert. Im Anthropozän ist die Industrie zu Landschaft geworden. Aus Chaos wurde geometrische Ordnung, die bittere Schönheit des Verwalteten, der man sich kaum entziehen kann.

Ein politisches Statement, dass sich auch in seiner Klarheit und Dringlichkeit nie auf einen Slogan reduzieren lässt.


http://www.kffk.de/2018-preistraeger/
Orig. Title
Imperial Valley (cultivated run-off)
Year
2018
Countries
Austria, Germany
Duration
14 min
Director
Lukas Marxt
Category
experimental, Documentary
Orig. Language
no dialogue
Credits
Director
Lukas Marxt
Cinematography
Lukas Marxt
Editing
Lukas Marxt
Montage Consultant
Vanja Smiljani´c
Production
Lukas Marxt
Supported by
Ministerium für Familie, Kinder, Jugend, Kultur und Sport NRW, Kunststiftung NRW, BKA - innovative film
Available Formats
DCP 2K flat
Aspect Ratio
16:9
Sound Format
5.1 surround
Frame Rate
25 fps
Color Format
colour
Digital File (prores, h264)
Festivals (Selection)
2018
Karlovy Vary - Int. Film Festival
Berlin - Intern. Filmfestspiele Berlinale - Shorts
Dresden - Filmfest
Graz - Diagonale, Festival des österreichischen Films
Frankfurt - LICHTER Film Festival
Osnabrück - EMAF - European Media Art Festival (EMAF Media Art Award of the German Film Critics)
Paris - Rencontres International Paris/Berlin
Hamburg - Dokumentarfilmwoche
Wien - VIS Vienna Shorts
Hamburg - Internationales Kurzfilmfestival
Moscow Int. Experimental Film Festival
Zagreb - 25fps Film & Video Festival
Cork - IndieCork Film Festival
Neubrandenburg - dokumentART
Gijon - International Film Festival (PRINCIPADO DE ASTURIAS PRIZE FORBEST SHORT FILM)
Amsterdam - IDFA, Int. Documentary Filmfestival
Kassel - Dokumentarfilm- & Videofest
Uppsala - Int. Short Film Festival
Wiesbaden - exground on screen
München - UnderDox, Festival für Dokument und Experiment
Victoria - Antimatter Underground Film Festival
Brooklyn - Imagine Science Films
Köln - Kurzfilmfestival (3rd Jury Award)
Aguilar de Campoo - FICA Festival Int de Cortometrajes
Edinburgh - International Film Festival
Guanajuato - Festival internacional de Cine
Palm Springs - Int. Short Film Festival
Zürich - VIDEOEXperimental
Vila do Conde - Festival Internacional de Curtas-Metragens
Palic - Festival of European Film
Prizen/Kosovo Dokufest Doc Film Festival
2019
Ann Arbor - Film Festival
Bratislava - Febiofest
Wroclaw - WRO-International Media Art Biennale
Regensburg - Kurzfilmwoche
Santiago de Compostela - Curtocircuito
Rotterdam Architecture Film Festival
Torino - CinemAmbiente
Ulju (Korea) – Mountain Film Festival
Berlin - Interfilm-Festival
Stuttgart - Filmwinter, Expanded Media Festival
Tampere - Film Festival
Regensburg - Kurzfilmwoche
Montevideo - Festival Cinematográfico Internacional del Uruquay
2020
Trondheim - Minimalen Short Film Festival