Indie Grits Festival | April 12-15, 2018

Sequoyah – “Blue Jays”

Friday, April 13 at 1:00 PM
Saturday, April 14 at 7:00 PM

Shorts Block: Southern Scenes

Lev Omelchenko | Atlanta, GA | 6 min
Genre: Music Video

A winged figure from a child’s dream appears again–this time in reality–awakening the dancer within. Gauzy, hypnotic cinematography and meticulously crafted costumes amplify the dreamlike qualities of this stunning music video.

Buy Tickets 04/13 Buy Tickets 04/14


Meet The Filmmaker

We asked our filmmakers some questions about them and their work. For further questions, join us at the designated post-screening Q+A!

Lev Omelchenko:

1. What is your connection to the South?

I grew up cold – Ukraine, Brooklyn, Boston – they’re all very cold. Very snowy. I was seeking something new, preferably with warm weather and a diverse arts community. I learned to drive, packed up my cousin’s old 2000 Ford Windstar Minivan with all my things and drove south to Atlanta in November of 2015.

I love Atlanta. Majority of the artists I collaborate with in Atlanta, like Sequoyah, are born and raised in the south. Atlanta is a beautiful city, and I would love to see the many talented artists hustling there receive the recognition they deserve.

2. Where did you get your inspiration for this work?

First and foremost: the Music. This is the first music video that I’ve done with an Atlanta artist. I was looking for a unique voice with an openness and desire to collaborate on art. I first saw Sequoyah at the Atlanta Contemporary. His father was on drums and his mother on back up vocals. Everyone was dancing. It was unlike any show I’d seen in Atlanta.

I asked him if he would like to work together, and he sent me his demos from his new album “Dream Sequence”.

I didn’t know anything about Sequoyah or his life, except for what I heard in the music. Listening to Blue Jays over and over I kept seeing an image of a man with large bird wings dancing. The rest of the story was born of my own imagination as it flowed over the rhythms of the song. I met with Sequoyah to pitch the concept (as it appears in the finished film). I asked him if he had a younger brother. Yes. Around the age of 9? Yes. Does he like to dance? Yes. Would he want to be in this music video? Yes. It was meant to be.

As I was developing the visual language for the film, some of the biggest inspirations were Kahlil Joseph and Wong Kar Wai. Kahlil Joseph has said that he doesn’t make music videos. He makes films. I share that sentiment. This video may not feel like a traditional music video, because it’s an equal outpouring of my own and Sequoya’s energy.

3. How did you start making films?

I took a video art class in college. I needed a lot of hair for my first film. Miraculously I found 2 giant containers filled with hair extensions in the hallway of my apartment. None of my 6 roommates knew where the containers had come from or why they were in the house. No one bothered to check what was in them for weeks, assuming it was someone else’s clothes. I took that as a sign that I was on the right path.

I finished a degree in Biology, and decided I would have an interesting life if I continued to experiment with film. This has been true.

4. Did anything interesting or funny happen on set during the shooting?

We were shooting the forest dance sequence, the generator was failing, and we finally got it going again and I turned around looking for Sequoyah. He was tired from dancing with the heavy wings and the choreographer, Anicka Austin, was embracing him and carefully realigning his body and energy. It was a really tender moment. I was really glad I had her on my team.

5. What do you look forward to the most during Indie Grits?

The opportunity of building community with new creative spirits.

6. Why should someone see your film?

It’s beautiful. Sequoyah’s music is beautiful. It’s unlike any music video you’ve seen before.


Film Shorts

“In Dog Beers I’ve Only Had Two”: A Lesson for Beginners
A Name That I Admire
All Fried: Carolina Fish Camps
All The Beautiful Girls
All The In-Between
Amarillo Ramp
An Accidental Drowning
Atlantic City
Baby Oil
below the neck, above the knees
Blanko – “Hallelujah”
Bless These Sounds Under the City – “THE SLEEPING 8”
The BLM Bridge Protest: One Year Later
Can’t Kids – “Coperroni”
The Checkout Line
Cowgirl Up
CPS Closings & Delays
Dishing Out Community
dragons & seraphim
Elizabeth Sees
F E B R A – “Fasterrrr”
Flagged: An American Love Story
Fluid Frontiers
Forgive Me
Fruit Don’t Fall Far
Gays for Trump?
Girls Rock Columbia
Grand Dragon
Growing Girl
Hair Wolf
Hardcore Wrestling Alliance
Kaye the Beast – “HEARD”
Kevin Devine – “Couldn’t Be Happier”
Kim Bush’s Abduction
Levitate, Levitate, Levitate
Lost Touch
me and my army
My Body Is Not My Own
My Name Is Marc, And You Can Count On It
Not For Medical Use
Nothing A Little Soap Can’t Fix
Ol Scratch
Pak Anggir
The Passages of Pride
Post Nuke
Prayer for Roy Moore
Recuerdos de Sangre / Blood Memories
Roadside Attraction
Sequoyah – “Blue Jays”
Serpents and Doves
Siler City: Bienvenido a Trabajar
Skater Boy and Friendly Cop
Socks on Fire: Uncle John and the Copper Headed Water Rattlers
Station 15
Steve’s Kinkoes
Sweet Nothing
This My Favorite Mural
Three Legged Dog
Tiger Toilet
The Traveler Takamure
You Can’t Play With Us