Apex Ape

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Apex Ape is an experimental film, and original creature that explores the changing American image through the lens of local legend. Inspired by interviews with East End residents and video archives from LTVApex Ape examines societal decay through impressionistic cinematography, treating our familiar landscape as a living organism. As viewers are confronted with the husks of our past, they may even catch sight of the illusive Ape, a cryptid-inspired manifestation of those left behind in a rapidly changing habitat.

Apex Ape was created as part of Guild Hall’s 2021Community Artist-in-Residence program. The film will be installed as a multi-channel video installation in our Minikes Garden, allowing the public to enter the film at any time throughout the evening.

  • Julian Alvarez

    Julian Alvarez is a Filmmaker and Photographer based in New York City. He has worked under the mentorship of National Geographic and LA Times photojournalists, and has traveled the world working in documentary and narrative film. As a graduate of Tisch School of the Arts, with a concentration in Directing & Cinematography, Julian has won awards for his technical achievements in undergraduate film. The short films Elliotland, and J1, on which Julian served as Director of Photography, went on to become finalists in the First Run Film Festival, New Faces New Visions, The Richard Harris International Film Festival, and the Indie Film Fest. You can often find Julian with a camera in hand. Visit https://julian.zone/ for more about Julian.

    Role: Co-director of Apex Ape, Director of Photography, Co-writer


  • Brenna Leaver

    Brenna Leaver is a multidisciplinary artist and creature creator who earned her BFA in Industrial Design at the Rhode Island School of Design. Brenna specializes in costume and creature design, furniture, wood and metalworking, and jewelry and metalsmithing. This skillset crosses over cinematically into animation and narrative performance. In 2018, Brenna toured the US and Canada performing and constructing creatures with the Big Nazo Creature Band. In 2020, she worked under designer Misha Kahn in the construction of his exhibition “Soft Bodies, Hard Shapes.” One of her creations--a lonely cowboy creature named “Shave my Beard,”--won the RISD Industrial Design faculty award. Brenna’s work has also appeared in Baxter St at CCNY, Electric Zoo, and the Museum of Natural History.

    Role: Co-director of Apex Ape, Production Designer, Co-writer


  • Devon Leaver

    Devon Leaver’s films have appeared in the Sundance Film Festival, Hamptons International Film Festival, Take 2 Film Festival, Lone Star Film Festival, Museum of Contemporary Art in Miami, HBO, the Pollock Krasner House, the Louis Armstrong House Museum, and Baxter St at CCNY. Devon wrote and directed Galoot, an experimental film and month-long immersive solo exhibition that served as the culmination of Leaver’s participation in YoungArts | Baxter St Residency Program. With her creative partner, Chloé Aktas, Devon co-wrote/produced an interactive film, Uncoupled, for Adaptive Studios and Eko, which was sponsored by Warner Music Group. Devon is also a session vocalist and voice actor. She has provided the voiceover for Major League Gaming and Activision Blizzard Entertainment Inc., McKinsey & Company, Class Solver, Crucial Music, and several independent audio dramas. She was both executive producer and voice actor for Vimeo Staff Pick Lance (in a Neckbrace), which premiered on day 1 of the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. She was nominated for the 2019 Audioverse awards for her role in the Still Lives radio drama (sponsored by Tapeable) and regularly enjoys breaking traditional storytelling boundaries.

    Role: Writer / Producer



Education Programming is supported by The Patti Kenner Arts Education Fellowship, Lucy and Steven Cookson, The Hearthland Foundation, Stephen Meringoff, Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation, Susan and Stephen Scherr, and funding from the Lewis B. and Dorothy Cullman Endowment Fund, and The Melville Straus Family Endowment.
Guild House Artist-in-Residence/ Community Artist-in-Residence:
Principal Sponsors: Lucy and Steven Cookson, and The Hearthland Foundation
Lead Sponsor: Bobbie Braun-The Neuwirth Foundation, Christina and Alan MacDonald, and Lynn and Bruce Surry
Co-Sponsor: Diamonstein-Spielvogel Foundation/Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel, and Judith Hope
Additional Support: Nina Gillman and Mary Heilmann

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