The Sound We See

A Global Slow Film Movement

Initially developed as part of Echo Park Film Center’s free youth filmmaking program in Los Angeles, The Sound We See uses analog filmmaking techniques and the “City Symphony” genre practiced in the 1920s by Walter Ruttmann and Dziga Vertov as starting points to explore communal creative process and contemporary environments.

Discovering and redefining techniques of past avant-garde urban documentarians, 37 teens with little or no prior filmmaking experience worked with 16mm cameras and black and white stock to create a stunning 24-hour cinematic journey with each hour of the day represented as one minute on film. The Sound We See: A Los Angeles City Symphony premiered with a bespoke live score performed by a talented ensemble of local musicians.

The project sparked a global “Slow Film” movement with youth and multi-generational communities in Vietnam, India, Canada, Europe, Mexico and Japan creating their own 16mm and Super 8 City Symphonies, not only shooting but processing (using both traditional and eco-friendly chemistry) and editing the film by hand, and presenting public exhibitions of the finished work in non-traditional venues. Each community pushes the process to new directions and discoveries; The Sound We See is an ongoing cinematic conversation on the relevance of handmade film in the 21st century.

See the films here.


Sound We See Projects:

The Sound We See: A Los Angeles City Symphony
(Fall 2010)
An Echo Park Film Center Youth Filmmaking Project

The Sound We See: A Rotterdam City Symphony
(Spring 2012)
In partnership with Deelgemeente Rotterdam Centrum, Filmwerkplaats, Gemeentearchief Rotterdam, Hogeschool Rotterdam, International Film Festival Rotterdam, Piet Zwart Institute, Research Center Creating 010, SONOR, Willem de Kooning Academy and WORM.

The Sound We See: A Hanoi City Symphony
(December 2012/January 2013)
In partnership with Hanoi Doclab and The Goethe Institute.

The Sound We See: A Guwahati City Symphony
(December 2013/January 2014)
In partnership with Desire Machine Collective.

The Sound We See: An Echo Park City Symphony
(May/June 2014)
An Echo Park Film Center Community Filmmaking Project commissioned by Los Angeles City Council District 13.

The Sound We See: An Old Crow Village Symphony
(September 2014)
In partnership with Bite Size Media, Canada Council for the ArtsOur World and the Vuntut Gwitchin Government.

The Sound We See: A Somerset County Symphony
(March/April 2015)
In partnership with British Council, Somerset Film/The Engine Room and Actiontrack Performance Company.

The Sound We See: A Berlin City Symphony
(May 2015)
In partnership with LaborBerlin.

The Sound We See: A Vancouver City Symphony
(January/February 2016)
In partnership with Cineworks and The Gathering Place.

The Sound We See: A Tokyo City Symphony
(May 2016)
In partnership with Blum and Poe Tokyo.

The Sound We See: A Göteborg City Symphony
(November 2016)
In partnership with Göteborgs Konstskola, Konstepedemin, and Röda Stens Konsthall.

The Sound We See: A Mexico City City Symphony
(January 2017)
In partnership with LEC (Laboratory Experimental de Cine).

The Sound We See: A Vratsa City Symphony
(June 2017)
In partnership with Municipality of Vratsa Bulgaria, Vratsa Regional Historical Museum and Vratsa Youth Center.

The Sound We See: A Riga City Symphony
(July 2017)
In partnership with ArterritoryBaltic Analog LabBaltic-American Freedom Foundation, Live Riga and Riga International Film Festival.

The Sound We See: A Pamplona City Symphony
(March 2018)
In partnership with Ayuntamiento de Pamplona, Gobierno de Navarra, Centro Huarte de Arte Contemporáneo, NICDO, Punto De Vista International Documentary Film Festival.