As a moving image artist, I am committed to a feminist cinema of opposition that re-imagines personal and social histories in the spirit of engagement with an earlier age of radical-romantic image making. Using anachronistic strategies of cinematic collage, I stitch together original 16mm footage, found/archival films, images, music and text into lyrical, unsentimental, sometimes funny films that mine the tension between the subjective, lived experiences of women / artists / mothers with our interior lives of fantasy and projection, mourning and dread.
I am restless; I have no brand. Here to explore the scary dark rainbow of time.
The films of Sasha Waters are “nothing short of groundbreaking.” Her feminist portrait of three dominatrixes in pre-9/11 New York – Whipped – funded in part by Sub Pop Records – was selected for the first-ever Sundance Producers conference and aired nationally on the Sundance Channel in the early 2000s. Her next film, Razing Appalachia, was the first ever feature documentary about the devastations wrought by mountaintop strip mining. More recently, Sasha’s deep dive into the archives of trailblazing American photographer Garry Winogrand fundamentally challenged and changed the art historical understanding of his legacy. The resulting film Garry Winogrand: All Things are Photographable was called one of the year's best by The New Yorker, won a Special Jury Prize for “Best Feminist Reconsideration of a Male Artist” at the 2018 SXSW Film Festival, and screened theatrically around the world. Her research also led to Garry Winogrand Archive 1948-1984, a book project currently underway. Also in progress is a concert documentary Trouble Don’t Last – part love letter, part eclectic gospel mix tape –sparked by Sasha’s quest to rescue from obscurity the unfinished film about the Soul Stirrers by American icon Bruce Conner. Originally filmed in 1984 and currently in post-production, Trouble Don’t Last has received support from the Catapult Film Fund, Field of Vision and the National Endowment of the Arts.
Sasha’s essay films and experimental shorts – from Chekhov for Children – a Top Ten mention in the Senses of Cinema World Poll – to 16mm films such as Respiration and Fragile – embrace a personal, artisanal approach to craft. Her work has been exhibited at Kassel Dokfest, Rencontres Internationales Paris/Berlin; Microscope Gallery, Vox Populi, Anthology Film Archives, Pacific Film Archive, the Brooklyn Museum, the Museum of the Moving Image; Union Docs, the Library of Congress, the Speed Art Museum and the Gene Siskel Film Center, among other international venues. Selected festival screenings include IMAGES in Toronto, the Telluride Film Festival, the San Francisco International Film Festival, the Rotterdam, Tribeca, Ann Arbor, Woodstock, Chicago Underground, Big Sky Documentary, Vancouver International, and Palm Springs Film Festivals.
Sasha has completed residencies at MacDowell, Yaddo, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts; was awarded a 2019-20 Virginia Museum of Art Fine Arts Fellowship and is the 2016 recipient of the Helen Hill Award from the Orphan Film Symposium. A professor of Film and Art Foundation at VCU in Richmond, Sasha is included in Edited By: Women Film Editors, a survey of women who "invented, developed, fine-tuned and revolutionized the art of film editing," and in the FemEx Film Archive, an ongoing collective archive of interviews with feminist experimental filmmakers.
Artist Profile in The Observers