A global environmental film project consisting of cinematic and meditative scenes of dawn captured on May 3, 2020 — International Dawn Chorus Day — from all over the globe weaved together into a lyrical meditation on the first light and sounds of the day. All scenes were captured safely by professional and amateur filmmakers and sound recordists from their unique vantage point while on lockdown. The film pieces together footage of the dawn into a singular experience as a metaphor for hope as we pause and contemplate the version of ourselves and the world we will bring forward as the dawn breaks on this trying time.


Director’s Statement

We gathered contributions from 35 filmmakers in 13 countries – from Cambodia to Italy to Armenia – to piece together this 20-minute film. The film weaves together meditative shots of the dawn of May 3 as observed, in most cases, from our unique lockdown perspectives as a metaphor of rebirth, something many of us are contemplating during this time as we start to imagine what we and the world will look like when we emerge from these crises. From the exotic calls of a Malaysian Night Heron captured in a park in Taiwan to a Muslim call to prayer captured from a rooftop in Cambodia, each shot also has a story to tell, one in which the sounds and sights merge with a felt presence of the individual behind the camera to form an intimate portrait of a moment in time. The Dawn Chorus is not meant to be a highlight reel of beautiful shots of the dawn but rather an embodied experience of witnessing the first light and sounds of the day, one that mimics the rhythms and pacing of such a gesture. It’s an opportunity for viewers to pause and contemplate the version of themselves and the world we will bring forward as the dawn breaks on this trying time.

The Dawn Chorus

2020 US 21 min
Festival Year: 2021
Director, Producer: Patrick Shen
Types: Documentary, Short, Watch Now
Topic: Arts and Environment, Global Perspectives

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