Footsteps (10 minutes) is a short film with Arabic and Spanish versions produced by Digital Tapestries. The title Footsteps was chosen connecting to the the underlying theme and visual motif of traces of human footsteps imprinted on the earth’s surface. The film through the central character, Mort, takes audience to work through our uncertain world and it is through his travels and engagement in society that we can reflect upon ourselves in how we live our lives. The film evokes questions on race and ethnicity and encourages us to believe what matters is not our external identity, but rather the way we choose to walk through our life. A sub-theme, through the metaphor of the child’s shoe, is that children guide us and it is by listening to their inner voice that we as adults can also find our way.
The film is based on a poem in a recently published book Footsteps written by Hart in response to discriminatory policies. Hart calls his artistic process Street Psychotherapy. “Through our ‘Street Psychotherapy,’ I hope to facilitate for our audience meditative moments of reflection and discovery beyond the surface of our human existence, by examining difficult themes, such as our current political landscape,” said Hart.
In his films as well as his clinical therapy practice, Hart integrates mindfulness with existential philosophy - the belief that individuals have the capacity to develop meaning in their lives through life's inherent challenges. Hart originally formed Digital Tapestries in response to serving the diverse needs of his clients through interactive books and films. Each of Digital Tapestries’ productions encourages participants to reach beyond a surface level response to discover their own humanistic strengths.
Hart’s unique approach is derived from his life experiences. After personally facing depression and the confusion it causes, he was inspired to explore artistic ways to engage others. Also by drawing on the years he lived in Japan, Hart incorporates aspects of Eastern philosophy into his aesthetic style.
A native of Chicago, Hart grew up in a creative environment, including his artistic mother and father. He cites Charlie Chaplin as one of his sources of cinematic inspirations.
“Like Chaplin, I try to artistically expose the trials of everyday people within often austere social and political contexts. At the same time, I try to gracefully blend touches of humor into narratives providing rich moments of contemplation,” Hart said. “I am always exploring ways for viewers to find something reflective and joyful that they can bring to their daily lives within our contemporary social landscapes.”