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Lise Swenson collaborating with Southern Exposure

Award: $35,000 Media Arts Grant awarded in 2001

Premiered: December 2003

Media artist Lise Swenson, and Southern Exposure collaborated to create Mission Movie, a  film exploring the changing character of San Francisco’s Mission District in the late 1990s. Mission Movie  premiered outdoors in a Mission parking lot, and was later screened in schools,, galleries, and film festivals.

In the late 1990s through 2000, San Francisco underwent rapid growth and gentrification due to the arrival of new technology businesses. Many Mission District families, businesses, non-profit organizations, and artists were priced out of their living and working spaces. Mission Movie’s goal was to foster conversations about the place and a deeper understanding of what the neighborhood still was and could be in spite of its many changes.

A core team of six artist/filmmakers worked closely with Swenson on the film. Fifteen individuals from the broader community, contributed their stories to the script and remained involved as advisers throughout the film’s development. Beyond these two core groups, Mission Movie involved more than 150 people in cast, crew, and volunteer positions.

Lise Swenson has been producing and exhibiting work since 1982. She creates single channel videos, multiple monitor video installations, performance, and agit prop. Her work has been exhibited internationally, screened at numerous festivals, and garnered many awards and grants. Mission Movie was Swenson’s first feature-length narrative work.

Southern Exposure was founded in 1974 on the premises of Project Artaud, the oldest artist-owned live/work space in San Francisco. It evolved into a non-profit, artist-run organization that presents diverse, innovative contemporary art, and related programs, such as panels, symposia, performances, and educational activities.