Swarm Season
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This impressionistic documentary is a heavenly and entrancing look at the end of the world. It’s an intensely well-made film, finding something truly moving in between the worlds of NASA and indigenous cosmology.
— CriterionCast
A puzzle-like enigma that tantalizingly circles around its subjects. Christman’s documentary resembles a work of science fiction.
— MUBI Notebook


Santa Fe Film Festival
Santa Fe, NM
Thursday - October 17, 2019 - 13:30 @ The Screen
Friday - October 18, 2019 - 11:00 @ The Screen

Ânûû-rû Âboro International Film Festival
New Caledonia
Sunday - October 20, 2019 - 18:30

Environmental Film Festival Australia
Melbourne, Australia
Friday - October 25, 2019 - 20:45 @ Cinema Nova

New York, NY
Monday - November 4, 2019 - 19:00
*Filmmaker will be in attendance*

Kasseler Dokfest
Kassel, Germany
Wednesday - November 13, 2019 - 21:45

Brooklyn Academy of Music
Brooklyn, NY
Thursday - November 14, 2019 - 19:00
*Filmmaker will be in attendance*


Santa Cruz Film Festival
Santa Cruz, CA
Saturday - October 12, 2019 - 12:00 @ Tannery Center

Northwest Film Forum
Seattle, WA
Sunday - October 6, 2019 - 19:00
Monday - October 7, 2019 - 19:00
*Filmmaker in attendance*

Tacoma Film Festival
Tacoma, WA
Sunday - October 6, 2019 - 13:00 @ The Grand Cinema
*Filmmaker in attendance*

Nuremberg International Human Rights Film Festival
Nuremberg, Germany
Thursday - October 3, 2019 - 11:00 @ kinoeins
Sunday - October 6, 2019 - 17:00 @ kinoeins

Art of the Real, Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires, Brazil
Monday - September 23th, 2019 - 21:30

Anthology Film Archives
New York, NY
Sunday - September 22, 2019 - 19:00
*Filmmaker in attendance*

Bertha DocHouse
London, UK
Saturday - September 20, 2019 - 21:00 @ Bloomsbury
Sunday - September 21, 2019 - 20:50 @ Bloomsbury
Monday - September 22, 2019 - 18:00 @ Bloomsbury

Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University
New Brunswick, NJ
Saturday - September 20, 2019 - 10:00 @ Rutgers Cinema
*Filmmaker in attendance*

Sheffield Doc/Fest
Sheffield, UK (UK Premiere)
Saturday - June 8, 2019 - 13:40 @ The Light Cinema 6
Tuesday - June 11, 2019 - 09:15 @ The Light Cinema 8

Maryland Film Festival
Baltimore, MD
Friday - May 10, 2019 - 16:30 @ Parkway Theater
Saturday - May 11, 2019 - 16:00 @ Parkway Theater
*Filmmaker in attendance*

Art of the Real, Film at Lincoln Center
New York City (US Premiere)
Wednesday - April 24, 2019 - 18:30 @ The Walter Reade Theater
*Filmmaker in attendance*

Copenhagen, Denmark (World Premiere)
Friday - March 23, 2019 - 19:30 @ Cinemateket
Wednesday - March 27, 2019 - 19:00 @ Cinemateket
Friday - March 29, 2019 - 12:00 @ Dagmar
*Filmmaker in attendance*




On the remote volcanic island of Hawaii, 10-year-old Manu and her mother collect wild, endangered bees in order to breed disease-resistant colonies. Her father is protesting on the sacred mountain Mauna Kea against the establishment of a gigantic telescope. On a neighboring mountain, six NASA scientists practice living on Mars, and under the ground and the water, the Kilauea volcano quivers fatefully.

The scientific view of the world and the cosmology of the indigenous people are both components of Sarah Christman's feature debut. With an artist's eye for details and plenty of time for amazement, Swarm Season draws fascinating parallels between the micro- and macrocosm, and challenges our understanding of nature, the world and ourselves. The form is sensory, impressionistic and free, with space for our own interpretations, while also razor-sharp, when Christman observes the bees, their necessary swarming and the intricate engineering of their hives as a prism to look at all life around us. If honey bees - one of the most robust and cooperative species on this planet - are threatened with extinction, what future does humanity have on Earth?


creative team


Sarah Christman - Director, Producer, & editor

Sarah Christman makes films that explore the intersections between people, technology and the natural world. Her work has screened widely, including International Film Festival Rotterdam, Toronto Film Festival, New York Film Festival, MoMA Documentary Fortnight and the Los Angeles Film Forum. She received the New Visions Award from the San Francisco International Film Festival for her debut film Dear Bill Gates and Jury Awards from the Ann Arbor Film Festival for Broad Channel and As Above, So Below. She teaches in the Film Department of Brooklyn College and the Feirstein Graduate School of Cinema / CUNY.  Swarm Season is her first feature length film.


Zara PopovicI - Cinematographer

Zara Popovici is a Romanian cinematographer based in Paris. She studied filmmaking in Bucharest, New York and Paris, where she earned her masters degree in Documentary Film Directing. She has shot numerous short fiction films including Trois rêves de ma jeunesse (Berlinale, 2018) and documentary films including Un Temps Pour Danser (Visions Du Réel, 2016). Swarm Season is her second feature documentary. 


kevin t allen - sound designer

MUsic - cool for you

Sean Dwyer - Location Sound Recordist

Natacha Ikoli- Colorist

Thomas Rivera Montes - Associate Editor