Digital Afterlives

An existential disaster comedy.


A man in all white in an infinite black space is awakened by the bombastic strains of Franz Liszt’s “Totentanz” (“The Dance of the Dead”).


Digital Afterlives has screened at 40 film and dancefilm festivals in Australia, Europe, England, Ireland, Canada, the USA, India and Mexico.  It was awarded the “Jury’s Stellar Award for Screen Dance” at the Thomas Edison Film Festival, USA, “Best Dance Film (under 5 minutes)”, at the NewGrounds: Dance Film Collection, Tampa, Florida, Best Film Edit at the Red Rock ScreenDance Film Festival, “Best Editing” at the Portland Dancefilm Festival; “Audience Favorite” at Austin Dance Festival’s Dance on Screen; “DDFF Innovator” at the Dallas Dance Film Festival; and “Best Lighting in Professional Film Artists Screendance” at the Idaho Screendance Festival.  It was also a Finalist for “Outstanding Achievement in Dance on Film or New Media” at the Australian Dance Awards and “Best Experimental” at the SAE Atom Awards in Melbourne. 


“Attending a Screendance festival sometimes feels like watching MTV in the 90s: a steady succession of ever new clips in bite-sized format, waiting for your favourite to come on. Occasionally all the stars align and a film achieves a perfect synthesis of editing, musicality, camera and human movement. Digital Afterlives by Richard James Allen and Karen Pearlman (The Physical TV Company, Australia), sees Allen himself, dressed all in white with winged angel shoes, dance through a black infinity with a bemused look on his face, like someone who just died and went to heaven – only to realise the afterlife isn’t at all what he expected. Or did anyone guess it would be angels in trainers exhaustedly jumping around to Franz Liszt? Brimming with digital effects such as multiplying, overlaying, zooming and shrinking, it is the virtuosic musicality of this choreography of tricks that stands out, and a sweet whimsical humour perhaps comparable to Disney’s masterpiece Fantasia.

Suzanne Frost, Springback Magazine


“Sublime,” Holly Pittman, Curator, Noosa International Film Festival.

“Beautiful dancing and magical video,” Nora Garda, Co-director, International Iowa Screendance Festival.

“One of my ABSOLUTE favourite dancefilms of all time (yeah, I said it!)”, Jen Ray, Curator, CAPITOL Dance & Cinema Festival.

Digital Afterlives is a super film, truly a delight – a wonderful, skilful and witty movie that really stands out.”

Alex Reuben, UK Dance Filmmaker