Holiday Movies Initiative

Los Angeles, 2004 – Founding of a film collective,

members and participants: Daniel Adams, Antonia Baehr, Nancy DeHoll, Ulrike Ertl, Stacy Goldate, Alice Könitz, Corinna Schnitt, Jennifer Sindon, Isabell Spengler, and others

The Holiday Movies Initiative (HMI) is an international filmmaking collective that has been producing films on joint holidays since 1995.
It got its name in 2004 with the production of the film "The Natural Life of Mermaids." The members of the group vary from project to project, and other group names were used before 2004. In order for a film to be called a "Holiday Movie", a particular, collective, and spontaneous working method is crucial. In 2004, on the occasion of the exhibition of "The Natural Life of Mermaids" in Los Angeles, the filmmakers decided to record their working method and the goals of their collaboration in five individually written manifestos.*

The following is the press release for that exhibition:

"The Holiday Movies Initiative is an international filmmaking collective which includes but is not limited to Antonia Baehr, Nancy de Holl, Alice Könitz, Jennifer Sindon, and Isabell Spengler. In 2004 they have each created their own manifesto outlining the purposes, goals, and techniques of the group. There is, however, a light-heartedness throughout, which pokes fun at more serious and high-minded art and filmmaking manifestos of the past. The most common thread between the individual manifestos is 'having fun.' 'Holiday movies are filmed entirely on vacation,' so 'they have to be fun in order to get made.' However, through these playful means, the group aims to 'challenge the familiar logic of narrative conventions,' and 'create worlds of their own … with their own rules and reality.'"

(Jean Milant, press release, exhibition "The Secret Life of Mermaids", Cirrus Gallery, Los Angeles, 2004)

*PDF as download: Manifestos from the Holiday Movies Initiative

Online video publication:
 Isabell Spengler speaking about the HOLIDAY MOVIES INITIATIVE

HMI productions featured on this website:
Da Kiekste Wa, France/Germany, 2000
Transformation in the Land of Enchantment, USA, 2003
The Natural Life of Mermaids, USA, 2004
Lantouy, France/Germany, 2006
Mummy, Germany, 2006

Holiday Movies Initiative

Members of the Holiday Movies Initiative during the production of "The Natural Life of Mermaids", 2004: Alice Könitz, Nancy DeHoll, Jennifer Sindon, Isabell Spengler