Sadako and the Cranes
Seattle, Washington | July 2023
Synopsis: A young Japanese American girl is walking through the Peace Park in Seattle. When she sees a statue of Sadako Sasaki, her mom explains that Sadako was a young girl who folded 1,000 origami cranes and wished for peace before passing away due to radiation from the Hiroshima bombing. At the Peace Park in Seattle in present day, the spirit of Sadako and her origami cranes come to life. The young girl is left with a message of peace and inspiration, and Sadako’s story lives on for the next generation.
A film by Gabrielle Nomura Gainor and Trial & Error productions, presented in partnership with Hiroshima to Hope. Hiroshima to Hope’s annual event on Aug. 6 commemorates the victims of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and all victims of war and violence.
Credits: Whitney Bashaw (Director), Paul Kikuchi (Music), Gabrielle Nomura Gainor (Choreography & Creative Direction). Cast: Ayako Shapiro (Sadako), Kiyomi Gainor (Girl), Sarah Baker, Hailey Bortel, Megan Felise, Gabrielle Nomura Gainor, Fumi Murakami, Truong Nguyen and Kaylyn Ready (Cranes). Special thanks: Lauren Dudley, Suzanne Fujinari, Stan Shikuma and Tess Wendel.
Seattle, Washington | June 2023
Trial and Error Productions and Native Soul present the music video for Don Howell’s “Something Beautiful.” Music and lyrics by Don Howell, directed by Arlene Martínez-Vázquez, edited by Ben Laurance
Psyche & Cupid: A Puppet Film
Seattle, Washington | June 2022
Psyche and Cupid: A Puppet Film is based on the earliest written version of the tale of Psyche and Cupid, which comes from the 2nd-century AD Latin novel, Metamorphoses or Golden Ass, written by Apuleius.
Apuleius’ tale of these exceptional young lovers, allegories for soul and desire, is reimagined from a more racially diverse and female-centered perspective, exploring the experience of a young woman seeking agency in the ancient world’s patriarchy.
The Wrath of Demeter
Seattle, Washington | September 2018
The Wrath of Demeter (TWOD) is a puppet film based on The Homeric Hymn to Demeter. This hymn tells the familiar story of Persephone’s abduction by Hades and includes an embedded story about Demeter’s journey to the town of Eleusis.
In this film, the original hymn is contrasted with a feminist retelling in which Demeter’s triumph is recognized and Persephone has a say in how events unfold. This is accomplished by using the original Greek poem as the soundtrack and contrasted with sub and supra titles, which tell the contemporary version.
Ancient storytellers often changed the story to fit their audience. Following this model, we added a scene. You’ll know which scene that is because there is no Greek sound track for it. It’s not a mistake, there never was any such dialog in the original poem.
Women and Vision
Seattle, Washington | October 2016
Women and Vision is a film that was made as part of the exhibition “Just One Look” which was held in conjunction with the conference Visions: Feminism and Classics VII held at the University of Washington and sponsored by the University of Washington’s Department of Classics.
The film is a collection of short videos made by more than 50 women from all over the globe using their smart phones. The women were contacted both through personal connections and through social media. They were asked to state their name, where they lived and to answer the question “What do you see?” The women were told that they could describe what they saw physically or metaphysically. The videos were curated, but not edited. Their collective visions make an interesting picture of what a diverse group of women were thinking before the 2016 presidential election.