High Plains Winter (10 minutes, super 8 & 16mm), my first encounter with Cindy Stillwell's work, is a visual study of winter on the high plains of Montana, an exploration of majestic winter landscapes and how they affect the human spirit. I especially loved the scenes - which combine stunning images with a great use of music - about the American/Scandinavian sport ski joring. It's a sport that involves a horse pulling a skier, and the scenes which depict this combination of rodeo and high-speed skiing are really powerful. You can see the video below:
On Cindy's website you can also find videos and stills from other works, such as The First Story, a short film that "explores overland power in the western landscape: the big rigs on I-90 and the freight trains crossing Wyoming", and 111° Longitude, "a short experimental documentary collaboration with Yuri Makino, each filmmakers who find themselves living along the 111th meridian in the American west."
You can also see a trailer of the project she's currently working on, Mating for Life. "Part first person essay, part nature film, Mating for Life is an hour-long documentary that features the yearly migration of half a million sandhill cranes to the Platte River in central Nebraska. The film positions the journey of the cranes alongside the human search for meaning as we move into 'the second half,' meditating on turning forty, the lessons learned and our human ability to mate for life. The film is shot in HD, 16mm, and super 8."
Cindy's work has screened at venues worldwide, including Sundance Film Festival, MoMA, Walker Art Center, and the International Film Festival of Rotterdam. She teaches film production in the School of Film and Photography at Montana State University in Bozeman, Montana.