Path of Bees
Chel White, a director of narrative, animated and experimental film, cites dreams and the subconscious as his greatest influences.Artist Bio
Path of Bees is a feature-length film that tells the story of nineteen-year old Emery Forrest, a pot-smoking, epileptic artist. After an aneurysm leaves his abusive step-father in a coma, Emery returns home to determine if he can care for his autistic younger brother without losing his freewheeling sense of himself. Emery has an extremely rare form of temporal lobe epilepsy that causes him to have seizures when he calls up deep, disturbing memories, particularly those of his step-father. Consequently, he lives in the present and within Mitty-like daydreams where he imagines himself in grand and often humorous scenarios. In addition to his active fantasy life, Emery seeks refuge in art, creating paintings that depict the world as he sees it. As he navigates his personal challenges, Emery gets involved with Yvonne, a trans-gender woman with a secret way of supporting herself. Throughout the film, bees carry a heavy symbolic weight drawn from German Mythology, in which “the path of bees” referred to the air as “filled with the souls of the dead.”
A director of narrative, animated and experimental film, Chel White cites dreams and the subconscious as his greatest influences. A Rockefeller Fellow, his work has screened at the Brooklyn Museum, Museum of Modern Art, and the Van Gogh Museum. He has held retrospectives at the Portland Art Museum, Austin Film Society and Ottawa Animation Festival. His film festival screenings include Berlin, Rotterdam, Ann Arbor, Hong Kong, Annecy and three films in Sundance. His short film, Wind, on the topic of climate change, premiered opening night in the 2007 Tribeca Film Festival with speaker Al Gore. White’s festival awards include Best Short Film from the Stockholm Film Festival, Best Animated Short from the Florida Film Festival, and Best Music Video from SXSW for his groundbreaking project for Radiohead’s Thom Yorke. White’s 2012 narrative feature, Bucksville, a fictional look at a radical militia in a small Pacific Northwest town, is eerily prophetic in the wake of the Trump election and Malheur Wildlife Refuge occupation. White’s project, Bird of Flames, is a surrealistic video for David Lynch and Chrysta Bell. Chel White lives in Portland, Oregon.