Making people whose work is often invisible feel as if they count is a matter of great concern to Austin Texas filmmaker and former Daytonian Andrew Garrison. In the spirit of showing the dignity and meaning of everyday work most people take for granted, Garrison has collaborated with choreographer Allison Orr to create TRASH DANCE, a 68 minute film documenting the lives—and one extraordinary day in those lives—of 24 Austin garbage collectors. The award winning film is scheduled for a screening and Q and A with director Andrew Garrison at the 2012 FilmDayton Festival on Saturday, August 25 beginning at 5:15 PM.
Trash Dance debuted to rave reviews by audiences and critics at SXSW, where it received a special jury recognition prize. The film also won the Audience Award at the Full Frame documentary festival and most recently took away the Audience Award at the Discovery Channel’s Silverdocs festival. The Silverdocs festival proved to be extraordinary for Dayton, as not only Garrison’s film won, but also Julia Reichert and Steven Bognar’s film Sparkle, a documentary about legendary Dayton Contemporary Dance Company’s Sheri “Sparkle” Williams, which won the Short Documentary Audience Award.
Trash Dance’s main character, its choreographer Allison Orr, with her pixie haircut and wide disarming smile, had become known in Austin and beyond for her choreography of everyday movement like dog walking or roller skating. For this project, she undertook the monumental task of assembling the sanitation workers and their trucks on an abandoned runway and running the mass of garbage trucks through a specially choreographed “dance” spectacle for an assembled audience of over 2000. “It was pouring rain, we had seating for 700, and 2000 people showed up to watch it happen,” said Garrison from his home in Austin. “Nobody expected that kind of response.”
The big event was preceded by a full year of filming, beginning with a serendipitous meeting. “So much of this film, like so many films, depended on luck,” Garrison said. “I didn’t know Allison, but had read about interesting things she had choreographed with unusual performers. Roller skaters, dog walkers… I was ready to do something fun, ready to move my camera around.”
“I was at a meeting one night and a guy asked me what I was going to do next, so I told him I was interested in working with Allison. Turns out he was her husband, and she was due to start her safety training with the sanitation workers the following week…”
Article written and submitted by FilmDayton Volunteer Deb Lukjanovs. Read the full article at FilmDayton.com