Ghostly Labor: A Dance Film

About the film

“Ghostly Labor: A Dance Film” is a short dance film created during the pandemic to share the stories of Bay Area farm workers with the world. Co-directed by John Jota Leaños and Vanessa Sanchez, this film is based on farmworker interviews in California, this work honors the sacred hands that feed us and was filmed on Avila Garcia Farms with support from Ayudando Latinos a Soñar (ALAS), a non-profit advocacy organization for farmworkers in Half Moon Bay, CA. “Ghostly Labor: A Dance Film” has received widespread acclaim, featuring an array of selections at internationally respected film festivals. Most notably, it screened at the 51st Annual Dance on Camera Film Festival at Lincoln Center in New York City, the longest-running and most esteemed dance film festival in the United States. The film was included in the renowned 23rd Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival, Barcelona’s globally recognized Dance Film Festival (Choreoscope 2023), Dance Camera Istanbul, the Bucharest International Dance Film Festival, Reel Work Labor Film Festival in Watsonville, the Capitol Dance & Cinema Festival in Washington DC, the London International Screen Dance Festival, which takes place at the prestigious Laban Theatre at the Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, and the Inspired Dance Film Festival at the Talbot Theatre in Australia. 

The film has also garnered multiple prestigious awards, such as “Best Short Documentary” at Dance Camera West in Hollywood, the leading dance film festival on the West Coast. It also received the “El XicanIndie Premio Mayor Award for Most Outstanding Film” at the XicanIndie Film Festival XXV in Denver. Additionally, the film won “Best of Festival” at the Third Coast Festival in Reno, Nevada, captured the “Audience Choice Award” at Boulder’s Sans Souci Festival of Dance Cinema, and was honored with the “Outstanding Excellence Award” at the Docs Without Borders Film Festival.

Listen to co-directors Vanessa Sanchez & John Jota Leaños in a podcast with the Experimental Film festival director.

upcoming screenings

Click here to see upcoming screenings and panel discussions of Ghostly Labor: A Dance Film near you.

To inquire about screening the film, please fill out our booking form.