River of Grass brings audiences on a journey through the past, present, and precarious future of the Florida Everglades. Reimagining Marjory Stoneman Douglas's groundbreaking non-fiction book "The Everglades: River of Grass" (1947), the film considers how Florida's climate crisis and landscape of inequity is historically rooted in the Everglades’ ongoing legacies of colonization. Combining a ghostly narrator, verité portraits of contemporary Floridians, and an otherworldly soundscape, River of Grass is a nuanced meditation on how historical events haunt and inextricably shape contemporary life.
Sasha Wortzel (she/they) is an artist and filmmaker working between New York and Miami. Blending the archival and the imaginary, her films, installations, and performances map the ways that structures of power haunt and inextricably shape our contemporary landscape. Wortzel’s films have been screened at the Museum of Modern Art’s DocFortnight, True/False Film Festival, DOC NYC, BAMcinématek, Blackstar, Berlinale, Open City Documentary Festival, and Sharjah Film Platform. Their work has been exhibited at the New Museum, Brooklyn Museum, The Kitchen, New York; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington DC; Krannert Art Museum, Champaign; and SALTS, Birsfelden. Wortzel has been supported by the Sundance Institute, Art Matters, Field of Vision, Queer/Art/Mentorship, and a 2018 NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellowship in film/video. Wortzel has participated in residencies including the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Workspace Program, Abrons Arts Residency for Visual Artists, Watermill Center, New York; and AIRIE (Artists in Residence in the Everglades), Florida. She is a 2020 studio resident at Oolite Arts, Miami Beach. Wortzel’s film Happy Birthday Marsha! (2018; co-director Tourmaline) won special mention at Outfest and is distributed by Frameline. Their work is in the permanent collections of the Brooklyn Museum and Leslie Lohman Museum of Art. She has been featured in publications including The New York Times, Artforum, Art in America, and New York Magazine.