Sarah Friedland (she, her, hers) is a filmmaker and choreographer working at the intersection of moving images and moving bodies. Through hybrid, narrative, and experimental filmmaking, multi-channel video installation, and site-specific live dance performance, she stages and scripts bodies and cameras in concert with one another to elucidate and distill the undetected, embodied patterns of social life and the body politic. Her work has been screened, installed, and performed across film, art, and dance venues including New York Film Festival, New Directors/New Films, Ann Arbor Film Festival, BAMcinématek, Performa19 Biennial, Sharjah Art Foundation, the American Dance Festival, and Mubi, among many others. She is a 2021 NYSCA/NYFA Fellow in Film/Video and a Pina Bausch Fellow for Dance and Choreography.
A coming of (old) age film, Familiar Touch follows an octogenarian woman’s transition to life in an assisted living facility as she contends with her own desires and conflicting self-narratives amidst her cognitive impairment. The protagonist Ruth experiences herself primarily as a twenty-something woman, without losing the selves and experiences of her sixty intervening years. A feature-length narrative film, Familiar Touch centers the embodiment and physical experiences of the elder facility’s residents and staff, reflecting and challenging our socio-cultural mores regarding aging (ageism) and independence, the work of caregivers, and collective living.