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Bee Film
with Cathy Lee Crane and Beth Custer
Friday, May 15, 7:30PM
Aurora Members Free, Non-Members $10

Avant-garde filmmaker Cathy Lee Crane returns to  Aurora Picture Show to present the World Premiere of Bee Film along with long-time collaborator and composer Beth Custer. This multiple projector live cinema performance explores the life of bees in Hilo, Hawaii and their caretakers who are working to preserve an endangered species, and is presented in the endangered species of 16mm film. Bee Film will take place at 7:30PM on Friday, May 15 in Aurora Picture Show (2442 Bartlett Street).

BeeFilm was shot on the Bolex camera in the summer of 2012. It documents one beekeeper near Hilo, Hawaii as she prepares a place for her new hive. This project explores the threat of extinction of the honeybee through the medium of 16mm film, also under the threat of extinction. The projected triptych of images on a screen is produced from three projectors looping over 600' of celluloid through the gallery. This visual, spatial depiction of the apparatus of single frames that produce images mimics the flight pattern of bees to and from a hive that produce honey. This installation celebrates commitments to preserve these species (bees and celluloid) which happens in small communities of collaboration around the world; communities of beekeepers and communities of micro-cinemas.

The filmmaker and her long time collaborator, composer Beth Custer celebrate their process of collaboration live. As film loops and its resultant triptych change through the filmmaker's manipulation of the projectors, so too, live analogue musical loops from clarinet work in loops. Film and sound (including the buzz from the projectors!) work together like a musical fugue.

In conjunction with this program, bee expert Jennifer Scott will be at Aurora starting at 7pm with her observation hive in the outside courtyard and will be available for conversations about all things bees. Read more about Jennifer here:

This piece was commissioned by and will enjoy its World Premiere at the Aurora Picture Show in Houston, TX. Special thanks to the Texas Commission on the Arts for their support of this program. You can learn more about Crane and Custer at and

Cathy Lee CRANE has been making experimental narrative and documentary films on 16mm for nearly twenty years. She was named a Guggenheim Fellow in 2013 and received the New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship in Film in 2009 for her lyrical re-combinations of archival and staged material. The completion of her first feature Pasolini's Last Words (2012) was supported by a grant from the New York State Council on the Arts and enjoyed its World premiere at the Festival du Nouveau Cinema in Montreal as a "gem of world cinema" in the Panorama International section. Her short 16mm films (1994-2010) have been broadcast on European television, are held in the Forum des Images collection in Paris, and are distributed by Canyon Cinema and Lightcone. They have won the following festival awards: Best Black-and-White Cinematography (Cork 1996), Best Experimental Film (CSU Media Arts 1997), and the Certificate of Merit/New Visions (San Francisco International 2002). In addition to this short work, she has collaborated as projection designer and cinematographer for Harun Farocki, Joanna Haigood, and Strom/Carlson among others. Crane received the first North American survey of her work at LA Filmforum in March 2011 while an Artist-in-Residence in the Directing Program at California Institute of the Arts. She is currently Associate Professor in the Department of Cinema, Photography and Media Arts at Ithaca College specializing in directing actors for film.

Beth Custer is a San Francisco based composer, performer, bandleader, and the proprietor of BC Records. She composes for theatre, film, dance, television, installations and the concert stage. Beth has created scores for the contemporary chamber ensembles Left Coast Chamber Ensemble, Zeitgeist, Earplay, City Winds, and Turtle Island and Kronos String Quartets; for the theatre productions of Campo Santo Theatre, Berkeley and San Diego Repertory Theatres, Magic Theatre, California Shakespeare, Overtone Industries, and Cornerstone Theatre; for the dance troupes Joe Goode Goode Performance Group, Roco Dance, Flyaway Productions, Ledoh, Harupin Ha, and Osseus Labyrinth; for the films of Cathy Lee Crane, Melinda Stone, Betsy Bayha, KQED, CBS/Film Roman, and Koohan Paik (aka Camera Obscura). Beth has created four musicals with award winning writer Octavio Solis. Her collaborative scores with inventor and MacArthur Fellow Trimpin lead her to compose Vinculum Symphony, a site-specific, large-scale work that unites chamber musicians with experimental instrument builders. She has over twenty-five recordings out with her ensembles Eighty Mile Beach, Clarinet Thing, Trance Mission, The Beth Custer Ensemble and Club Foot Orchestra. Her numerous awards include a six week artist residency in an Italian castle at Civitella Ranieri.

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