Swarm Season

DIRECTOR(S): Sarah J. Christman   COUNTRY: United States   YEAR: 2019   LANGUAGE(S): English   SUBTITLES: German, English   RUNNING TIME: 85 min

SECTION: International Competition 2019


Thursday, 03.10., 11.00 am, kinoeins
Sunday, 06.10., 5.00 pm, kinoeins, Q&A with Sarah J. Christman (Skype)


On the remote volcanic island of Hawaii, 10-year-old Manu and her mother collect wild, endangered bees in order to breed disease-resistant colonies. Her father is protesting on the sacred mountain Mauna Kea against the establishment of a gigantic telescope. On a neighboring mountain, six NASA scientists practice living on Mars, and under the ground and the water, the Kilauea volcano quivers fatefully.

The scientific view of the world and the cosmology of the indigenous people are both components of Sarah Christman’s feature debut. With an artist’s eye for details and plenty of time for amazement, SWARM SEASON draws fascinating parallels between the micro- and macrocosm, and challenges our understanding of nature, the world and ourselves. The form is sensory, impressionistic and free, with space for our own interpretations, while also razor-sharp, when Christman observes the bees, their necessary swarming and the intricate engineering of their hives as a prism to look at all life around us. If honey bees – one of the most robust and cooperative species on this planet – are threatened with extinction, what future does humanity have on Earth?


Sarah Christman makes films that explore the intersections between people, technology and the natural world. Her work has screened widely, including International Film Festival Rotterdam, Toronto Film Festival, New York Film Festival, MoMA Documentary Fortnight and the Los Angeles Film Forum. She received the New Visions Award from the San Francisco International Film Festival for her debut film Dear Bill Gates and Jury Awards from the Ann Arbor Film Festival for Broad Channel and As Above, So Below. She teaches at the Film Department of Brooklyn College and the Feirstein Graduate School of Cinema / CUNY. Swarm Season is her first feature-length film.


Dear Bill Gates (2007), Broad Channel (2010), As Above, So Below (2012), Gowanus Canal (2013), 7285 (2015), Swarm Season (2019)

PRODUCER: Sarah J. Christman   CAMERA: Zara Popovici   EDITOR: Sarah J. Christman   MUSIC: Cool For You 

PRODUCTION: Propolis Pictures