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ADF’s Movies By Movers is a festival dedicated to the celebration of the conversation between the body and the camera. We love sharing the history of the collaboration between the ephemeral art of live movement and the perpetual nature of film. And we love receiving new expressions of these forms from all over the world from artists like you. Students, emerging artists, seasoned professionals, even those who would not consider themselves “artists,” but have great ideas, find room on our screens to share their craft.

While ADF’s Movies By Movers is by all accounts, a dance film festival, our definition of dance is broad and includes whatever you consider to be dance. Modern dance, ballet, jazz, cirque, parkour, skating, sports. We love it all. We screen it all! We also love all genres of filmmaking – experimental and digital technologies, documentary, choreography for the camera, animation, and student work. We invite you to keep us on our toes – literally – and help us keep pushing boundaries and redefining definitions

My Place, or Yours?


ADF's Movies by Movers
Director and Curator 2010-2022.

Hagan founded MBM in 2010 with a desire to create an inclusive platform for supporting screendance artists while exploring curatorial philosophy and practice. Since handing the festival over to Jennifer Scully-Thurston in 2022, Hagan has been freelance curating. Hagan has guest curated for the Leeds International Film Festival, Sans Souci Festival of Dance Cinema, the Dance Films Association, and Fifth Wall Fest.

Moving images, moving bodies. Movement and film just go together. From the early experiments of artists like Loie Fuller and physical comedians like Charlie Chaplin, to the lush spectacle of the movie musicals of the 1930s and 40s starring dancer/choreographers like Bill Bojangles Robinson and Fred Astaire, to the avant garde movement with the likes of Maya Daren and Merce Cunningham, to Michael Jackson’s Thriller – moving bodies and the camera have shared an ongoing, dynamic conversation.

ADF’s International Screendance Festival, founded in 1997, and Movies by Movers, founded in 2010, have screened over 500 films combined. In 2016, the two festivals merged and launched ADF’s 21st year of celebrating screen dance.


From "A trip Around My Navel," by Julie Iarisoa (Madagascar) and Elizabeth Meade (Asheville, NC). Revolve Gallery, 2019.

My Place, or Yours? is an exploration into the politics and practice of collaborative work. The artists in this exhibition have all arrived here with the goal of making work together, from a distance. More specifically, the majority of the participants here have embarked on a journey through the philosophy and practice of “Artistic Surrogacy.” 

 Artistic Surrogacy is a method of sharing artistic concepts through performances, presentations, experiences, and objects which are shared, in that one person’s (or several persons) ideas are placed in the hands of another (or a group) to be executed with care in the absence of the originator (s). While choreography is like this - where dancers are the vessel of the choreographer - artistic surrogacy is different, in that the work can take place between people of different training, different artistic genres, even. The goal of artistic surrogacy is to find creative ways of embodying and bringing to life ideas shared, with respect to differences in demographic, culture, training, geography, and lived experience of the collaborators. In essence, artistic surrogacy is a way of transmitting ideas across borders, across bodies, in ways that uphold the core values of the work, while leaving room for translational growth.

 At its core, Artistic Surrogacy is about access. Who has access to institutional spaces? Who has access to the capital necessary to create work? Who has access to the cultural capital it takes to be recognized in the art world? How can artists subvert the impact of institutional bias, geographical isolation, sexism, racism, ableism, geopolitics, distorted societal beliefs about value, economic imbalance, and a deteriorating environment due to ground and air travel, through their pursuits? Through their collaborations, female-identified and non-gender conforming brown, black, and white artists from various socio-economic backgrounds, who are inventors, storytellers, magic-makers, caretakers, scholars, chronically ill, disabled, able-bodied, formally and informally educated, institutionally recognized and unrecognized, traveled and untraveled, from our region, from across the United States, and the world, make the experience of the arts more democratic for themselves and their audiences.

My Place, or Yours? was mounted at the Revolve Gallery in Asheville, NC April 5th- June 30th, 2019. A different cohort of artists had their work on exhibition in a show of the same name at the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts in Boone, NC July 5th- December 7th, 2019.


"Hungry God," by Suhada Gokhale (Malaysia), Wabwila Mugala (Greensboro, NC), and Jennie Carlisle (Boone, NC). Turchin Center, 2019.

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