top of page

David Ellis

Award winning filmmaker

A brief bio and director's statement:

Exploring a new digital avant-garde.

Award winning director David Ellis has emerged notably at the forefront of a new wave of experimental film making. With a fiercely original, distinctive and visionary style of movie making, his works are a personal cinema where traditional storytelling is redefined through the absence of dialogue or defined narrative. In this non-traditional storytelling portrayal, the interplay of image, sound and atmosphere leaves the viewer to create their own narrative in a cinema created as pure visual poetry without the burden of narrative or the limitation of language, intended to be responded to as pure art of moving image and sound. In his exploratory approach to film making, moving pictures no longer need to “make sense” as viewers form their own stories. As a filmmaker, he is influenced by Zen Buddhism and by early 20th century experimental avant-garde films by artists such as Fernand Leger, Man Ray,Viking Eggleling, Hans Richter, Walter Ruttman and others. His recent works employ influences from cubism, and Russian Constructivist & Suprematist works by such artists as Rodchenko, Malevich and Lyubov Popova, by employing the design elements as a pure graphic art form without the propaganda.While avant-garde in the same spirit as those early film pioneers, the work is non-narrative in the traditional sense, exploring the moving image, and the inter-dependency of the movement, timing, structure and evolution of the image on the screen with similar qualities in the sound that accompanies it.These works utilize this relationship of sound and image so that the sound is not simply a “cue” to “ready” the audience’s responses to the film. Audio is no longer background to fill an empty space around the visuals, but is on an equal trajectory with the image as an essential component.

Film Festivals & Awards

2023 - JA FEST International Poetry Film Competition - Lisbon, Portugal - Long Departure

2022 - AIDFF Athens Int. Digital Film Festival -Long Departure

2021 - OneTakeFilmFestival,Zagreb, Croatia

2021 - Suspaustas Laikas, Vilnius,LT - NO SIGNAL

2019 - New Filmmakers NY - Lamentation For Lost Dreams - 3 Études

2018 - VIFF Vienna Independent Film Festival - Lamentation For Lost Dreams - Three Études

2018 - SENE Film Festival - Providence, RI - Time Retrograde

2017 - SENE Film Festival - Providence, RI - Long Departure

2017 - Open Air Film Festival, Minsk, Belarus - Long Departure

2017 - London International Short Film Festival - Time Retrograde

2017 - Girona Film Festival,SP - Time Retrograde

2017 - Prague Independent Film Festival - Time - Retrograde - Award Best Experimental Film

2017 - Vienna Independent Film Festival - Long Departure & Time-Retrograde

2017 - US Super8 Film & Video Festival - Long Departure - Winner Best Film

2016 - PIFF Prague Independent Film Festival - NO SIGNAL - Winner Best Experimental Short

2016 - Boston Short Film Festival, Boston, MA - Long Departure - Winner Best Experimental Short

2016 - Dallas VideoFest, Dallas, TX - Long Departure

2016 - VIDEOMEDEJA, Novi Sad, Serbia - Long Departure

2016 - Cannes Short Film Festival, Nice, FR- NO SIGNAL

2016 - Blow-Up Arthouse Film Festival, Chicago - UHF

2016 - Experimental Superstars Film Festival, Novi Sad,Serbia - XdubX

2016 - SENE Film Festival, Providence,RI,USA - NO SIGNAL - Audience Award

2016 - U.S. Super 8 Film & Video Festival - NO SIGNAL - Honorable Mention

2016 - Manchester International Film Festival,UK - XdubX

2015 - 401 Film Festival, Providence, RI - UHF

2015 - New Jersey International Film Festival - U H F- Honorable Mention

2015 - Festival Parachute Light Zero, Paris, France - U H F

2015 - HANGAR Centre de Producció, Barcelona,SP - Solo screening

2014 - LIVEMEDIA- Webcast interview & screening - Palabras Perdidas - Barcelona, SP

2014 - HANGAR Centre de Producció, Barcelona, SP - Awarded 3 month filmmaker residency.

2014 - VIDEOFORMES International Digital Arts Film Festival,Clermont-Ferrand, FR - U H F

2013 - RhodyWood Indie Film Makers, Providence, RI

2012 - Gallery Eva, Provincetown, MA. - Selected Shorts

2012 - Indie Fest, La Jolla, CA. Award of Merit - FLASH-FILMS

2012 - Atlanta Shorts Fest, Atlanta GA. - FLASH-FILMS

2012 - Oak Cliff Film Festival, Dallas TX. - FLASH-FILMS

2011 - Provincetown Int. Film Festival, US - NEON

2010 - BAC-11 Festival, Barcelona, Spain - NEON

2010 - DNA Gallery, Provincetown, MA - FLASH-FILMS

Home: Services
JPG cropped augenhöhe booth portraits with Nizo Scan copy 2_edited.jpg

Profound Lucidity

The Inner Life of Objects

Mono-No-Aware - The Pathos In Things

My work explores the Japanese concept of "Mono-No-Aware", meaning, "the pathos in things". It can be an object or a moment when I feel an inexplicable essence that compels me to capture it in photo or film. The power is in its mystery. Presence-in- Absence, where a human interaction is implied. A chair waits. A coffee pot knows stories! Two trees in a fleeting instant as a train flies past speak to me. I listen and shoot.

Two Trees_edited_edited.jpg
Home: Welcome
Home: Portfolio
cropped jpg Afternoon cuppa'Berlin 4 copy.jpg

 Les Choses du Quotidien

Photographs of Everyday Things

The Japanese concepts of “mono-no-aware” (the pathos in things) along with the connection between people and things, has long attracted and fascinated me. In my images, the objects wait silently, each with its own inner life and implication.

“Choses du Quotidien”, or everyday things, is a photographic project depicting the extraordinary in the ordinary, by capturing the essence of the subjects’ inner fixed lives.

Photographies d'objets du Quotidien
Les concepts japonais de “mono-no-aware”, (le pathos dans les choses) et “ma”, (l’espace vide autour ou à l’intérieur des choses qui les rend utiles) avec l’interconnexion entre les gens et les choses, m’ont toujours attiré et fasciné. Dans mes images, les objets attendent silencieusement, chacun avec sa propre vie et implication.

"Choses du Quotidien”, est une collection de photos illustrant l’extraordinaire dans l’ordinaire, en capturant l’essence de la vie intérieure fixe des sujets.

David Ellis - Pézenas, France

Home: Text
Home: Portfolio
Cropped Olsen House, Cushing ME Pinhole Photograph copy 1.jpg

Pinhole Photographs
from Tin Containers

I have been experimenting shooting pinhole photographs over the last 25 years, by constructing my own pinhole cameras from tin containers, or by adapting vintage cameras and video cameras,by replacing the traditional glass lens with a thin strip cut from an aluminum pie plate, that has been pierced with a pin, creating a tiny aperture that allows the light and image to enter, exposing the photosensitive paper or film inside the camera or container.

Home: Feature
Home: Portfolio

Polaroid Pinholes

I have been experimenting for some time, shooting pinhole photographs using converted 1960's pack film Polaroid cameras.

Some I have removed the lens from, and replaced it with a thin sheet of aluminum pie plate with a tiny

hole created by piercing the metal with a pin. I rig the Polaroid camera shutter lever to open and close manually,

as I count the seconds for exposure. Polaroid development times vary greatly depending on the film type.

HYBRID cameras, I construct by using an early 20th century "back loading" box camera, that I remove the back door from to attach to a 1960's Polaroid pack film camera that I remove the bellows from. The box camera is then attached to the Polaroid "bellows-less" camera. The  bulb setting lever of the box camera is perfect for the longer exposures required. The simple glass box camera lens, when left intact under the strip of aluminum with the pinhole, creates Polaroid images that are soft and often very dreamy. The images can be equally dreamy, or at times sharp, when the lens is removed and replaced by the pinhole metal strip as the aperture.


Hybrid Cameras

Early 20th c. back-loading box camera attached to 1960's Polaroid cameras,a pinhole adapted Polaroid 210 camera with its lens replaced by a pinhole strip and an early 20th c. box camera with Polaroid back attached.


Hybrid Cameras

These cameras create very soft images on Polaroid pack film due to the pinhole pierced aluminum pie plate strip replacing the simple glass box cam lens. The box camera "bulb" setting lever is perfect for the often long exposures

Home: Services
Home: Portfolio