Last October seven artists, musicians and filmmakers from around the world, including several from Chicago, ventured out into the desolate beauty of the Icelandic countryside with the goal of creating a series of short films. The footage and field recordings they gathered have been compiled into a feature-length documentary titled "Outliers Vol. I: Iceland," which will be screened at Lincoln Hall in Lincoln Park on Tuesday night along with performances from several musicians who contributed to the film's score.
Before landing in Iceland's capital city Reykjavik, the seven artists who collaborated on the film--which include musician Benjamin Wynn, 32, who lives in L.A. but grew up in Hyde Park, Chicago filmmaker Anthony Ciannamea, 30, of Ravenswood, Ryan Sievert and Mark Wisniowski and photographers Tim Navis and Kim Holtermand--were total strangers. The film follows the journey of these strangers as they navigate unknown terrain and investigate the local culture.
"We didn't really know what it was going to be when it was finished at all," Ciannamea said. "We knew that we were taking a chance, but we knew that we would be coming back with a body of documented sound and images that we could to piece together to form a story."
Wynn, better known by his stage name Deru, says the film is testament to the power of the Internet as an incubator for collaboration.
"We all met each other through the internet. We got funding through the Internet on Kickstarter. We got press through the Internet, and we will eventually distribute [the film] and sell it through the Internet. We definitely couldn't have done it the same way even 5 years ago," Wynn said.
Despite the film's roots in 21st century technology, it is shot almost entirely in black and white, much of it on grainy super 8mm film, which director Ciannamea says was an important creative decision.
"We wanted to avoid the perception that everyone has in their head about Iceland," Ciannamea said. "We didn't want to have National Geographic-style calendar imagery. It really felt exhausting and physical, and we wanted that to be reflected in the film. We wanted it to feel as gritty as it was when we there."
Tuesday's multimedia performance will serve as the official launch party for the film. Deru as well as other soundtrack contributors Shigeto, Loscil and Sweatson Klank will perform full live sets as Ciannamea and his colleauges at Chicago Scenic Studios remix footage from the film to create unique visuals.
The first 200 ticket-holders to arrive at the event will be invited to a live screening of the film and a question and answer session with the artists before the show starts.
Tickets are $20 and are available here at