Ingrid Nachstern wins LA Film Award

Photo by Luca Trufarelli


By David Prendeville

Award-winning director and choreographer Ingrid Nachstern, who ran the Nachstern Ballet School in Sandymount for nineteen years until 2017, has had great success with her new film Shoe Horn/Office. The film recently won Best Experimental Film at the Los Angeles Movie Awards.


The film had already been screened at the Brooklyn Film Festival-New York, American Dance Festival’s Movies by Movers in North Carolina, Screen Dance International in Detroit, Movimiento en Movimiento In Mexico City and Light Moves Limerick. It has also been screened in London in connection with ADF. It has been the recipient of numerous other awards so far including: IndieFEST California, Best Shorts California, Remi Winner at 51st Annual WorldFEST Houston and an Honorable Mention from Experimental Forum in Los Angeles.


Ingrid describes the film as dealing with “everyday sexism, particularly in relation to common cultural conventions around female clothing and the restrictive nature of women’s clothing down through the ages.” She tells me a direct inspiration for the film was an outrageous comment made by the father of the Stanford student Brock Turner, who, upon his son’s conviction for sexual assault, referred to the assault as “20 minutes of action.” Ingrid also adds to this a more positive influence: “Nicola Thorp was an inspiration. She was fired from her job in London for wearing flats to work. She took a court case against them and won.“


Ingrid’s dance company Night Star Dance Company has been in operation since 2003 and in 2014 progressed into filmmaking. Its first two films, Table Manners/Stopping at Red Lights and Freedom – to go! have won several international awards and been screened internationally. Table Manners won the Silver Screen Award at the Nevada International Film Festival and Freedom – to go! won the Audience Award at the Brooklyn Film Festival. Shoe Horn/Office is a reflection of the company’s shift in direction from Screendance into more experimental film.


Speaking about the award itself, Ingrid tells me: “I am really delighted and honoured to have received this. It is really wonderful to get international recognition for my work, which feels so important and relevant right now.” As nice as this recognition is Ingrid adds that: “the most important thing is to get the film seen and for people to engage with it.”


Shoe Horn/Office was both written and directed by Ingrid. It was filmed in Dublin in St Ann ‘s Park in Raheny. The production of the film was supported by Dublin City Council, Dance Ireland, Dance World and Kripps Shoes. Some of the cast include: Michael Cooney, Millie Daniel-Dempsey and Molly Keane.