The Weight of Mountains, Film & Media

General information

Brief description of organisation

The Weight of Mountains is an artist run program that collaborates with art organisations globally. It is nomadic and somewhat decentralised from mainstream notions of ´the institution´. As an ongoing platform it takes shape as its own artistic project embracing concepts found in philosophy, law, global/local, community, and arts. We tailor a space for filmmakers to be free in their ideas with a cultivated space made anew for each biennial residency and encourage filmmakers to find likeminded adventurers within our frame.

We hold values of environmental, community, or site-specific ideologies that mean we are responsive and respectful of places we visit.

We encourage personal and professional development and hope to continue along our trajectory of gathering voices together, so that in half a century we can look back upon a chorus of filmmakers ideas in symphony with the environments we have immersed into. Our final work may only be realised when we cannot go on any longer.

The organization "The Weight of Mountains" is founded and run by it´s two co-curators, Melody Woodnutt and Tim Marshall.

Organisation founded in


Brief description of residency program

The Weight of Mountains is a biennial and nomadic filmmakers platform. Every two years a residency takes place in a remote, overwhelmingly present, or challenging location; forming a global film collective and providing a presentation platform for new film works.

January 4 – April 10, 2018, The Weight of Mountains (TWOM) will be based in Dawson City, Yukon Territory, north-western Canada – the region of First Nation Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in and a small city of 1800 that has been outwardly defined by the goldrush era. We will collaborate with the Klondike Institute of Art and Culture and present with the Dawson City International Film Festival. The Weight of Mountains is an artistic inquiry and development residency program for filmmakers and film artists that walks the line between structure and freedom. It encourages filmmakers to consider the intersection of humanity and environment in new film works for a 2018 festival outcome.

This residency is unique as a many headed beast: a biennially rotating film collective on assignment, a performance of place, a cultural mirror, a momentary Narnia, an interventionist, a portal, an international exchange and dialogue, and a discovery of the invisible.

The Weight of Mountains residency tailors a space for filmmakers to immerse themselves into remote, overwhelmingly present, or challenging environments world wide to intervene, divert, connect, challenge and enhance their creative practice with fellow contemporaries; bringing together international artists and cross-pollinating film and media with global perspectives.

On-site 2018: One glance at Dawson and we become struck with a strong sense of history, time, and place – a fortified identity stemming from a bygone era of gold mining. It is this immediacy, a great obvious presence - and a town architecture suspended in time for what could be a theatre set - that steers the outsider with an evocative lure of pre-conceived notions. It is this frank and inescapable perception that gives means for searching further. What is face value and what is invisible? Film is a vehicle for the expression of ideas, humanity, the unknown, the diverse… what can it see beyond those first glances, the facades, the obvious? How does this place and landscape become more considered, more intimate; pushing beyond the stereotype (used in cookie-cutter reality tv-shows) to reveal to us its multifaceted character? What does this land, the poetics, the humour, the wacky, the absurd, the natural, the deeply affecting, or the historical conjure within us? What reciprocally emerges?

Filmmakers are based in Dawson with The Weight of Mountains to create a new solo work for a festival outcome. This includes the Dawson City International Short Film Festival and further pursuit of additional festivals is encouraged. Cooperation exists with Klondike Institute of Art and Culture for presentation, community screenings, workshops, etc. The Westminster Hotel (the Pit) is the headquarters for this biennial as it´s a character driven locale within Dawson.


-Applications open: March 20, 2017
-Applications close: May 8, 2017 & round 2 submissions available by email request to due by May 22.

Filmmakers Notified: no later than June 9, 2017.
Residency held: Jan 10 – April 4, 2018.
Presentation with TWOM & Dawson International Short Film Festival: March 29 – April 1, 2018.

Cost to participate: $2000 CAD, includes:
- Accommodation (1 hotel room per person) at the Westminster Hotel, Dawson City for duration of the residency (Jan 10 - Apr 4).
- Inclusion into The Weight of Mountains programming (symposia/screenings/talks etc)
- Presentation of your film work through collaborative efforts of The Weight of Mountains, the Klondike Institute of Art and Culture, and the Dawson International Short Film Festival.

Does not include:
- Flights
- Living Expenses
- Insurance (ensure you are covered by your own travel insurance)

Expectations of Filmmakers:
- To present one artist talk + screening + one workshop exchange for fellow TWOM filmmakers. Any additional workshops for the local Dawson community is negotiable.
- To create a new film work of their own focus and creative pursuit onsite. A rough cut, finished short, or presentation will be presented with TWOM and Dawson International Film Festival, March 29 – April 1, 2018.

Filmmakers Funding:
- The Weight of Mountains (TWOM) will sponsor 2 filmmaker placements for applicants with exceptional talent and situations that may prevent them from attending without a sponsorship. At present, this only applies to the $2000CAD program and accommodation costs. Filmmakers will still need to seek ways to cover travel and living costs.

- We encourage filmmakers to investigate grant opportunities or incomes before final selection notification of June 9 – if your grant deadline is close to this date feel free to contact for queries or selection updates.

- Must be over 21 years old
- Must have made at least 2 film works

- Online application:
- Must include CV, 1 professional reference letter, 1 character reference letter

Residency program since


Disciplines and media
  • Visual Art
  • Performing Arts
  • Music
  • Educational Programmes
  • New Media
  • Animation
  • Curatorial
  • Film Making
  • Includes Sound art/film score, Screen based practice, filmmaking, moving image, community arts, film as social sculpture
Type of organisation
  • Artist-Run

Exists with support form host organizations as TWOM is nomadic

Residency conditions

Duration of residencies
  • 3 months
Number of artists resident at one time

between 5 and 10

Companions allowed
  • Partners
  • Other

Visits are allowed, but no collaborators, film crews, or production assistants. It is for solo film works.

Grants available

2 sponsorships will be awarded. This will cover the CAD$2000 accommodation costs and program. Does not cover travel and living costs. The Weight of Mountains does not provide grants. We can supply acceptance letters or tips on funding. We encourage artists to source funding from their own countries or arts organizations in their region.

Expenses paid by artist
  • Travel
  • Supplies
  • Food

Program fee includes housing and programming/space.

Expectations of the artist
  • Presentation
  • Exhibition

Skill-share workshop and artist talk, presentation with Dawson Intl. Short Film Festival

Application who/how

Open Call

Selection procedure

By Committee

Presentation of artists' work

Arranged on a case-by-case basis

Description of residency


OtherRemote Yukon town, Dawson City, northern Canada

  • Kitchen
  • Makeshift Workspace for writing or developing ideas.
  • Private Room
Working language(s)
  • English
Other activities happening at the space
  • Workshops
  • Presentation
  • Films
  • Cafe/Restaurant
  • The Westminster Hotel (accommodation site) hosts live music down in their bar. Residency takes place above a bar. Filmmakers hold artist talks, screenings, and skill-share sessions at the Klondike Institute of Art and Culture, Dawson City.

How to reach

By plane

1 hr flight (approx.) from Whitehorse, Monday, Wednesdays & Fridays.
Air North also connects from Whitehorse to Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Yellowknife and Ottawa.
(867) 668-2228 or 1-800-661-0407

By car

Dawson City can be accessed from Whitehorse via the beautiful and well-maintained Klondike Highway (approx. 5.5 hrs, winter conditions)

There are several car rental companies in Whitehorse.

**The Weight of Mountains is currently investigating travel plans for filmmakers by car from Whitehorse.

Nearest airport

Whitehorse, then car or propellor plane to Dawson.

Contact information

The Weight of Mountains, Film & Media
975 Third Ave
Y0B 1G0 Dawson City, Yukon Territory

Phone: +61(0)410992989

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