Dance film by Jen Guy Metcalf and J McMerty ’00 awarded first place in LA film festival

The film, “The Nature of Consciousness,” was an official selection of the Women’s Independent Film Festival in Los Angeles and earned the top award in the experimental category.


“The Nature of Consciousness,” a film by Assistant Professor of Dance Jen Guy Metcalf and J McMerty ’00, director of the Elon in LA program and assistant professor in the School of Communications, won first place in the experimental category at the Women’s Independent Film Festival in Los Angeles. 

Metcalf and McMerty have collaborated on multiple films. “The Nature of Consciousness,” their fourth film, has been named an official selection of London Experimental Film Festival, Utah Dance Film Festival, Rio WebFest, inHabit—A Festival of Dance on Film and Women’s Independent Film Festival.

The Women’s Independent Film Festival was held April 7 at The Complex in Hollywood. The film was screened alongside 30 other films with women in key positions such as director, producer, writer, lead protagonist, editor or cinematographer. Metcalf served as the film’s director, choreographer and editor with McMerty overseeing cinematrography. 

The film was created in the summer of 2016 during the Elon in LA program and was shot in Palm Springs at Wintec’s wind turbine farm. Two students, Ashley Abbott ‘18 and Natalie Brown ’18, served as production assistants and costume coordinators. Mathew Domenic D’Amico ’13 was one of seven performers in the film. He earned his B.F.A. in Dance Performance & Choreography in 2013 and moved to Los Angeles where he is a professional dance artist. Other professional dancers in the film include Kayla Aguila, Elizabeth Sutton, Tanner Boyer, Stephanie Kim, Ashley Hoffman and Ryan Shaw.

“The Nature of Consciousness” will be shown May 19 at the inHabit—A Festival of Dance on Film. The festival adjudicators have curated a collection of 10 films from the United States, United Kingdom, France and Australia. The screening takes place at Fair Oaks Movie Theatre in Arroyo Grande, California.

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