Quick stats about the movie

The exploration of a building’s decay is conveyed through choreography and an original score that are both in decrescendo illustrating the building’s gradual retreat from the physical world, and nature’s advance on it.

This is the first in a trilogy of screendance films about our tug-of-war with nature.

Creative team

Writer/director: Duncan McDowall
Producer: Sach Baylin-Stern

Director’s statement

Duncan McDowall says:

“We were going for something that brought together dance and architecture. I’d always been fascinated with decaying buildings, and pairing this up with dance made it more exciting and better suited to a dynamic medium like film.

So we netted out on this screendance piece that aimed to illustrate how a building slowly melts away under the stress of time, vegetation and, most importantly, water.

Dorotea Saykaly’s choreography and performance is the centerpiece of the story and the wasted architecture is its setting. Now we’re getting ready to shoot part two, Brief Candle, the reverse of PAINTED in more ways than one.”

About Duncan McDowall


After growing up a little all over the world, Duncan now calls Montreal home. After studying history, his first work experience was as a writer in documentary film and television.

In 2010, he turned to fiction and his first screenplay won the Grand Prix at the 2010 Cours écrire ton court short film scriptwriting contest. He went on to present the film as part of Telefilm Canada’s Not Short on Talent delegation at the 65th Cannes Film Festival, and right around the same time PAINTED was nominated for three awards, and received Best Dance Film at the Fastnet Festival in Ireland.

Duncan has a few more shorts and feature-length dramas in pre-production, as well as the second part of the screendance trilogy on the verge of being shot. In the way of hobbies Duncan’s an avid runner, a terrible engineer, and an accomplished dreamer.

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