Visions in the Fire

: Documentary Feature
GENRE: Documentary
STATUS: Post-Production


Alaskan Native glass artist Preston Singletary redefines what it means to be a contemporary Indigenous artist by blending Tlingit stories and iconography through the medium of glass transforming his audience's understanding of both art and culture.


We explore the journey of Tlingit artist Preston Singletary beginning with his experience as a youth filled with creative passion at the dawn of the 1980s in Seattle. His exploration of personal context leads first to music, and then to glass. He emerges to become an internationally renowned glass artist known for his masterful fusion of classic European glass blowing traditions with Tlingit iconography. We follow his work from conception to exhibition, from the world of fine art to the importance of reaching an expanded audience in the realm of public art. His evolution as an artist and leader in cultural transformation forms the crux of this film.


Our documentary weaves together two main story threads. Preston’s journey as a contemporary artist told through verité footage of his creative process and hot shop work, key interviews and the outstanding imagery of his creations. Also, his personal story is highlighted within the context of the history and challenges of the Tlingit people since colonization. These stories are further outlined by respected experts and cultural figures such as Rosita Worl, Wayne Price, Lily Hope, Dawn Biddison, Eleanor Hadden and Nadia Sethi. The film highlights Singletary as an influential American artist along with the importance of his contribution to an ever evolving cultural understanding of Alaska Natives and Native American life and art. A more traditional documentary style will be expanded with graphics, animation, art and Tlingit language to create an immersive experience into Preston's world.


Michael Kleven - Director/Cinematographer

Kleven’s creative career began with work in theater, radio and photography He has produced successful video and film projects for a number of Northwest artists and business owners. He is especially proud of his work as a cinematographer and location sound recordist. He enjoys working with many of the young and innovative directors who hone their craft in the Pacific Northwest. He brings an artist's eye to his work as a photographer for portraits, events and natural subjects. He combines creativity, an artistic sensibility and a clear focus on technical elements for superb media. His clients include work with Microsoft, Boeing, Amazon, ABC Television and the Discovery Channel.

Elke Hautala - Producer/Editor

Filmmaker, host, media creator - Elke Hautala is a creative professional with a dedicated positive attitude and a myriad of experience in the entertainment industry. With a background that includes work as both a performer and an administrative professional for companies such as 20th Century Fox and Starbucks, Elke has now parlayed her unique skill set into a filmmaking career that includes special interest interviews, oral histories and international documentary work. A Mary Gates grant recipient/scholar and an award winning creative non-fiction writer, she has a passion for the intersections between art, performance, history and gender studies. Her goal is to connect the world through visual storytelling. She has been honored to receive a 2017 GAP Grant from Artist Trust and a 2018 City Artist Grant from the City of Seattle for her work with Michael Kleven and Heartstone Studios.

John W. Comerford - Executive Producer

John W. Comerford is President of Paradigm Studio, an independent motion picture production company based in the Pacific Northwest. Recently, he produced the four-star (iTunes) documentary feature film and series entitled Icons Among Us: Jazz in the Present Tense. The next step for John is the release of the critically acclaimed Wallflower (Variety), a true-to-life story based on events surrounding a mass-shooting framed in Seattle's electronic dance music community. He co-wrote and co-produced the award winning Around the Fire (Giffoni Film Festival, Best Picture) that has been distributed worldwide. The picture is a music-driven drama, centered on issues of adolescent experimentation. Distributors and exhibitors of Mr. Comerford's work include Showtime, Starz/Encore, Public Television, Netflix, Hulu, iTunes, Amazon, Cannes Film Market, Seattle International Film Festival, Mill Valley Film Festival, South By Southwest Film Festival and EuroArts. In addition, his work has been exhibited and supported by institutions such as The Smithsonian, Jazz at Lincoln Center, President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities and presented in Hollywood as part of AFI Fest's opening night red carpet.


Connect With The Filmmakers:


The Gotham Film & Media Institute - Fiscal Sponsorship Program 2024
2018 City Artist Grant from the Office of Arts & Culture in Seattle, WA
2021 Post-Production Grant from Sealaska Heritage


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