Ann Oren is an artist and a filmmaker. Her films and video installations feature characters existing in the liminal space between performers and audience. By dissolving distinctions between plant, animal and human, she asks what it is to be human in an ecosystem immersed in digital culture. Questions about intimacy, identity, and the lack thereof keep emerging through various audio-visual approaches. In her process she explores gender, fictosexuality, animality, interspecies and other forms of hybridizations. Through an initially narrative language, she leads the spectator emotionally into a space that engages critical thinking.
Her work’s institutional presentations include The Moscow Biennial for Young Art, The Hammer museum, The Tel-Aviv Museum, Anthology Film Archives, Apexart, Künstlerhaus Bethanien and Kindl - Zentrum für zeitgenössische Kunst.
After moving to Berlin in 2015, her artistic focus expanded to cinema. She directed PASSAGE in 2020, which premiered in Oberhausen Short Film Festival, and won many awards including Best Experimental Short at Slamdance. Her first narrative feature film PIAFFE won several awards including the Junior Jury Awards at Locarno Film Festival and the Silver Hugo Award at the Chicago International Film Festival. It was screened in dozens of festivals around the world including San Sebastián, BFI London, and a long lineup on the way.
Born in Tel-Aviv (1979), Ann studied Film (BA) and Fine Arts (MA) at The School of Visual Arts, NY. She lives/works in Berlin.
PIAFFE Interview (french)
Débordements, Johanna Pataud & Thomas Bingham
"Oren déploie un magnifique ballet où les rapports de force dansent comme des champs de force magnétiques, entre attractions et répulsions, où ce duetto évolue dans un tema con variazione autour de cette allure de dressage. Un somptueux répertoire de nos Piaffe quotidiens."
PIAFFE wins the Best Film Award from the Junior Jury
Márgenes International Film Festival, Madrid.
PIAFFE wins the Spirit of the Festival Award,
This award celebrates new and daring voices in contemporary fiction cinema from European first and second time directors. The jury statement “Ann Oren’s Piaffe, a daring, kinky exploration of blossoming female sexuality, was an obvious candidate. Composed of indelible images, impeccable sound design, and erotic charge – as spearheaded by Simone Bucio’s quietly carnal central performance – Piaffe marks an extraordinary debut. We simply cannot wait to see what Oren does next.”
PASSAGE wins Saigon Experimental Film Festival International Jury Award
PASSAGE wins the MAYA Award,
(named after Maya Deren and in honor of her legacy)
PIAFFE wins the Silver Hugo Award at the New Director's Competition,
PIAFFE review Another Gaze, Laura Staab, 15.10.2022
"While the erotics, fragility and tactility of the film recall a cinéma du corps or a cinema of extremity, Oren – who appropriated an image of Isabelle Huppert’s eye from Michael Haneke’s The Piano Teacher for her first video installation, ‘An Eye for an Eye’ (2010) – explores contagion through more oblique methods of montage and association."
PIAFFE review We Love Cinema, Piaffe – a greatly seductive, bona fide cinematic pleasure, Xuanlin Tham, 14.10.2022
"Ann Oren's sexy and imaginative debut feature is a delightful, sensual tale about surrendering to artistic and bodily instincts"
PIAFFE review Screen Anarchy, Shelagh Rowan-Legg, 12.10.2022
"Piaffe circles strange and erotic territory, not often found in those stories of humans become other - this human wants what her new animal part gives her, and she unfurls like the ferns her love studies, but that want might be dangerous. Oren crafts a slightly off-setting but haunting tale of a girl and the creature (human or otherwise) she wishes to become."
PIAFFE review I-D Vice, Josh Slater Williams 12.10.2022
PIAFFE review Director’s Notes, James Maitre, Oct 2022
"An intoxicating concoction of freedom, desire and animalistic tendencies, Ann Oren’s feature needs to be seen to be believed... A genuinely startling and surreal debut feature."
PIAFFE recieves a Special Mention, BIEFF Bucharest International Experimental Film Festival
PIAFFE wins Best International Feature Film, Calgary International Film Festival
PIAFFE screens at
San Sebastián Film Festival Zabaltegi-Tabakalera
PIAFFE wins First Prize @ Junior Jury of the International Competition
Locarno Film Festival
PIAFFE review, Clarisse Fabre, LE MONDE
"In this erotic and sexual neo-Bunuélien "pas de deux"... Ann Oren's Piaffe lit up the final days of the competition, deploying its surrealist material from a part of the cinema craft: foley artistry..."
"Néo-bunuélien, ce « pas de deux » érotique et sexuel... Piaffe, d’Ann Oren, l’un des dix-sept longs-métrages qui concourent pour le Léopard d’or, aura illuminé les derniers jours de la compétition, déployant sa matière surréaliste à partir d’un métier du cinéma : le bruitage."
PIAFFE review, Paul Attard, IN REVIEW ONLINE
"This is about as radical and forward-thinking as contemporary cinema gets."
PIAFFE review, Nicholas Bell, IONCINEMA
"A fantastical homage to the magical attributes of cinema and the untapped eroticism lurking within our primordial brains, Oren constructs a hypnotic exercise of metamorphic hedonism."
PIAFFE review, Sophie Monks Kaufman, INDIE WIRE
"Piaffe is its own playful and majestic beast."
PIAFFE review, Daniel Kothenschulte, FRANKFURTER RUNDSCHAU
"Rarely has one seen such free, undefined eroticism in the cinema. At the same time, it's one of the most beautiful Berlin films, making neglected monuments like the Hufeisensiedlung in the Britz district shine. What a gift: if Maya Deren, the great American avant-garde pioneer, were alive today, she would probably make a film like this."
"Selten hat man im Kino eine so freie, undefinierte Erotik gesehen. Zugleich ist es einer der schönsten Berlin-Filme, der vernachlässigte Denkmäler wie die Hufeisensiedlung im Ortsteil Britz zum Strahlen bringt. Was für ein Geschenk: Wäre Maya Deren, die große amerikanische Avantgarde-Pionierin, heute noch am Leben, dann machte sie wohl einen Film wie diesen."
PIAFFE review, Muriel del Don, CINEUROPA
"..Ann Oren captures the audience’s imagination by way of an elegant and poetic work which urges us to take a critical look at our relationship with “normality”.
10 Must-See Movies at the 2022 Locarno Film Festival, Sophie Monks Kaufman, INDIEWIRE
"This is a sexy, queer and questioning gem."
PIAFFE premieres at
BLUE and THE MIDDLE–SCHOOL SYNDROME
on view @ Electronic Language International Festival – FILE
Galeria de Arte do Sesi, São Paulo
July 13th- to August 28th
wins first prize @ Shortwaves Film Festival, Poznań
Dances with camera competition
For the compelling disruption of the relation between body, sound and camera. The director well managed to shape an alluring character that strongly connects to the audience. The cinematography discloses with subtlety the texture of the body.
DEAD BODY POSE
will screen at Hamburg Short Film Festival / DEUTSCHEN WETTBEWERBS 2, 2+3 June