Karen Aqua
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Twist of Fate
Twist of Fate
Ground Zero/Sacred Ground
Ground Zero/
Sacred Ground
Perpetual Motion
Perpetual Motion
Nine Lives
Nine Lives
Yours for the Taking
Yours for the Taking
Heavenly Bodies
Heavenly Bodies

Twist of Fate

(2009 • Running Time: 8:40)
Soundtrack: Ken Field
Music: Birdsongs of the Mesozoic with Encanti

Twist of Fate still

This 35mm experimental animated film explores the transformative experience of being diagnosed with a life-threatening illness. This expressionistic piece captures impressions of such an experience: upheaval, uncertainty, a sense of physical intrusion, and loss of control. Exploring this emotional and physical landscape, the film visualizes an internal world inside the body, imagined on a cellular level.

“Aqua is an enormously gifted artist and animator, and her compositions constantly thrill, with their sweeping, expanding, and swirling sense of musicality, drama, and composition. Her visual inventiveness is coupled with an emotional intelligence and sensitivity”

— David Finkelstein, filmthreat.com

Read the entire review (opens in a new window):


“Modern illness is a combination of the scientific, the mysterious, and the ineffable—a startling subject for Aqua, one of the animation world's most playful, rhythmic talents.”

— Telluride Film Festival

“A masterpiece. I was deeply touched.”

— Branka Bogdanov, Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston

“With experimental animation and collage techniques, Karen Aqua presents a beautiful and astonishing account of her experience with cancer. ū"Twist of Fate" is less a literal representation of events than an expressionistic rendering of Aqua's diagnosis, treatment and recovery.”

— Medical Film Symposium

Black Maria Film & Video Festival, 2010: ūDirector's Choice Award
James River Film Festival, Virginia, 2010: ū2nd Prize and People's Choice Award
Ann Arbor Film Festival, 2010: ūEileen Maitland Award
Mostra de Ciencia e Cinema, Spain, 2010: ūSpecial Mention
USA Film Festival, Dallas, Texas, 2010: ūFinalist
Athens Film & Video Festival, Ohio, 2010: ūHonorable Mention

Telluride Film Festival, 2009
Starz Denver Film Festival, 2009
Ottawa International Animation Festival, 2009
Anima '09 International Animation Festival, Argentina
Annecy International Animation Festival, France, 2010
Hiroshima International Animation Festival, Japan, 2010
Atlanta Film Festival, 2010
Big Muddy Film Festival, Illinois, 2010
Maryland Film Festival, 2010
L'Étrange Festival, Paris, 2010
Wiesbaden International Weekend of Animation, Germany, 2010
Medical Film Symposium, Philadelphia, 2010
Kos Health Film Festival, Greece, 2010
Stockholm International Film Festival, Sweden, 2010
Mostra de Ciencia e Cinema (Science Film Festival), Galicia, Spain, 2010
Marblehead Festival of Arts Film Festival, Massachusetts, 2011, 2012
SCINEMA Festival of Science Films, Australia, 2011
Experiments in Cinema, Albuequerque, NM. 2011

Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA), Boston, 2009
M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas, 2009
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, 2009
Medical Film Symposium, Philadelphia, 2010

Film Collection:
Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston
Copyright © 2003—2015 Karen Aqua & Ken Field