Loading Events
  • This event has passed.

Apr 25, 2019 at 7:30 pm

Gender As Ritual

Screening to be followed by discussion with Elena López Riera and Jocelyn Miller

After a resounding and successful festival run with her last few films including winning prizes at Locarno Film Festival, Zinebi, Abyciné and Aguilar de Campoo Film Festival,  Elena López Riera comes to NYC for a solo exhibition at MoMA PS1.

It is with great pleasure to welcome her to UnionDocs to show an expanded program of recent short films that intermingle observational and essayistic approaches with filmic portraiture to form poetic representations specific to her native coastal town in Southern Spain. Riera’s films nimbly capture microcosms of social and cultural phenomena that resonate widely. She lays bare the complexity of gender and sexuality uncovering the latent complications of regional tradition, ritual, and expectations passed along through intergenerational identities.

After screening her latest film at TIFF’s Wavelengths Andréa Picard noted it as, “Elegant, sly, and finely observed… a fascinating film about men, as much as it is about birds, invokes themes of masculinity and courtship, speaking volumes about intimate, patriarchal village communities along the Mediterranean, where silent physical gestures often convey more than words,”

The film follows one of the most central paloma races from the artist’s hometown, where trainers prepare their birds for a special race won not by the fastest bird, but by the male pigeon who is able to chase and “conquer” a single female one. The race begins with the flight of this female bird, followed by the release of a multicolored, swarming flock of male pigeons in hot pursuit. Riera will also be sharing a sneak peek at her latest project, a work in progress that looks at the concept of litany, as a performative discourse on catholic traditions in Southern Spain. Elena in this work parses the collective voices and rituals of generational expectations for love, desire, family, marriage, and partnership. In this project she engages a queer theoretical discourse to explore the deconstruction of societal gender expectations.

The screening will be followed by a conversation between Elena López Riera and MoMA PS1 Assistant Curator Jocelyn Miller.



27 min., 2015

After years of exile, Rafa returns to his village in the south of Spain and has to face all the ghosts left behind.

Premiered at Director’s Fortnight at Cannes Film Festival, Quinzaine des réalisateurs and Locarno International Film in 2015

Las Visceras

16 min., 2016

A humid summer afternoon in a southern town, a woman peels a rabbit with her hands. The children, the old and the dogs contemplate the daily ritual of death.

Premiered at premiered at the Quinzaine des réalisateurs and Locarno International Film Festival in 2016

Won the Silver Mikeldi Award for best Documentary

Los Que Desean

24 min., 2018

In the South of Spain, a multicolored pigeon race will be won not by the fastest bird, but the one who will be able to seduce a female pigeon and fly alongside her the longest.


Locarno film festival 2018 (Switzerland) – Pardino d’oro

Zinebi 2018 (Spain) – Grand Award of Zinebi

Abyciné 2018 (Spain) – Short Film award

Aguilar de Campoo Film Festival 2018 (Spain) – Critics’ Award from Caiman cuadernos de cine



Toronto TIFF 2018 (Canada) – Wavelengths section

San Sebastian Festival 2018 (Spain) – Zabaltegi-Tabakalera section

European Film Awards 2018 (Spain) – Nominated for the short film section

Reykjavík International Film Festival (Iceland) – International short film competition

Curtocircuito 2018 (Spain)- Péninsule section

Fidocs 2018 (Chili)

Alternativa Barcelona 2018 (Spain) – International short film co mpetition

Gijon International Film Festival 2018 (Spain) – The night of the Spanish short film

Hiroshima International Film Festival (Japon) – International s hort film competition

Festival Márgenes 2018 (Spain) – Escáner section

Tenerife short Festival 2018 (Spain) – International competition

Frontera Sur Festival 2018 (Chili)

Pravo Ljudski Film Festival 2018 (Bosnia)

Soleure Film Festival 2019 (Switzerland)

Cinéma du réel 2019 (France)

Ficunam 2019 (Mexico) – Atlas section

Mecal 2019 (Spain) – Documentary section

Festival de Málaga 2019 (Spain) – International short documenta ry competition

Portland International Film Festival 2019 (USA)

Frame of representation 2019 (UK)

Cinemajove 2019 (Spain)

Athens International Film 2019 (Greece)

Art of real 2019 (USA)

Busan International Short Film Festival 2019 (Korea)

Curtas Vila do conde 2019 (Portugal)

Work-in-Progress Sneak Peek!

By Elena Lopez Riera, 2019

67 min

Elena López Riera is visual artist and filmmaker from Spain, holding a PHD in Audiovisual
Communication. In 2008 she moved to Switzerland, where she teaches cinema and
comparative literature at Geneva University. She also has worked as a programmer for film
festivals such as Entrevues Belfort (France) , Sevilla European Film Festival (Spain) and
Visions du réel (Switzerland), where she has been a member of the selection committee
since 2017.

Her first short film, Pueblo was premiered at the Directors’ Fortnight of Cannes Film festival,
in 2015 and was selected for more than 20 international festivals. In 2016 her film Las
vísceras was selected at Locarno Film Festival, and received the Mikeldi Silver Award at
Zinebi Film Festival. Her latest film, Los que desean, nominated for the European Film
Awards, won the pardino d’oro at Locarno Film Festival in 2018. Her films have been
screened at prestigious international film festivals such as: Toronto, San Sebastián, Zagreb,
Cinéma du réel, Vila do Conde, Leuven, Mecal, Curtocircuito, Filmadrid, Hiroshima, Rio de
Janeiro, Cali, Rekjiavik, Lincoln Center in New York. Los que desean has been also invited
by Moma PS1 as a part of its spring open house exhibition March-May 2019.
Elena López Riera is also co-founder of lacasinegra, an artists’ collective dedicated to
research and experimentation with new audiovisual devices, with whom she co-directed the
feature film Pas à Genève.

She participated in the first international film seminar of the Tabakalera Art Center, at the
Berlinale Talent Campus, as well as the Ikusmira Berriak residency program of the San
Sebastián Film Festival, the Arché lab of Doc Lisboa festival and at the prestigious
Cinéfondation residence of the Cannes film festival. In 2019 she has her first solo exhibition
at Domium Art Center in Salamanca (Spain). She is currently preparing a video installation
commanded by Art Center Cineteca in Madrid and developing her first feature film, El agua.

Jocelyn Miller is Assistant Curator at MoMA PS1, and has been a member of MoMA PS1’s curatorial team since 2011. She recently organized Projects 106: Martine Syms at The Museum of Modern Art (2017) and Maria Lassnig: New York Films 1970-1980Body Armor (both 2018); Past Skin (2017); and Meriem Bennani: FLY (2016) at MoMA PS1. She has co-organized solo exhibitions with Reza Abdoh, Naeem Mohaiemen, Ian Cheng, Mark Leckey, Cao Fei and Simon Denny, as well as career retrospectives of the artists Maria Lassnig and James Lee Byars, the latter both at MoMA PS1 and Museo Jumex, Mexico City. She also serves as Editorial Manager for MoMA PS1’s curatorial department, overseeing museum publications, and served as Editor for the 2015 Greater New York: Readers series. She received her BA in Comparative Literature at Princeton University.

+ Get Tickets


The numbers below include tickets for this event already in your cart. Clicking "Get Tickets" will allow you to edit any existing attendee information as well as change ticket quantities.
Tickets are no longer available


Apr 25, 2019
7:30 pm – 10:30 pm
Free – $10.00


352 Onderdonk Avenue
Ridgewood, NY 11385 United States
+ Google Map

Support UnionDocs’ next phase and new building by becoming a member

Peek in the window of our bustling building in NYC and tune into the ideas and energy bubbling up from the UNDO Center.

Tune into cutting-edge, powerful and poetic documentary programs and connect to conversations with the artists and thinkers passing through.

Now available at the Apple Store.



Unlimited access to all of our monthly offerings for the price of two espressos.



Keep it simple and save. Unlimited access to our sweet offerings for a reduced, annual fee and receive some added benefits.



In the neighborhood, a working artist, student or senior? This membership is for you. Fill out a quick form for a discount code to an annual membership.



Get all of the benefits of the Annual UNDO Membership plus an annual subscription to UnionDocs Editions, a set of publications, merchandise or special objects.

UnionDocs is grateful for support from:

UnionDocs is hiring. 

Join the UnionDocs team.

Pod Pod 2023 Group 02

Pod Pod is now accepting applications.
Apply today!

Calling all AUDIO MAKERS looking for a bit of motivation, peer support, collective production and a dose of inspiration for your personal project —  join us for 3 months this Fall!