Sunday November 19 5:50 am

Spotlighting events along the south shore of Lake Michigan


11/11/2017 - 09:00
11/11/2017 - 14:00

WHO: Chicago-based multimedia group Digital Tapestries
WHAT: Premiere of “Footsteps” and screening of 3 other short films
WHERE: Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N. State Street, Chicago, IL 60601
WHEN: Saturday, November 11, 2017 from 11:00 PM to 2:00 PM
WHY: “Footsteps” was just selected for The Chi-Town Multicultural Film Festival
COST: $10 admission. Tickets available at

11:00am – 12:00pm: Doors open with music by Ronnie Malley (oud) whose music is featured in Footsteps.
12:00pm—12:40pm: Film screening
12:40pm—1:00pm: Q&A let by the award-winning author Ethan Michaeli
1:00pm-2:00pm: Response art session & Reception

“Footsteps” (10 minutes) is a short film in Arabic with English subtitles produced by Digital Tapestries. The film’s central character, Mort, takes the audience on his path to walk through our uncertain world, tracing as he goes the footsteps of all humanity imprinted on the earth’s surface. Through his travels and engagement in society, we are led to reflect upon ourselves and how we live our lives.

The film evokes questions of race and ethnicity and encourages us to believe that what matters is not our external identity, but rather the way we choose to walk through life. The themes of Mort’s journey are reiterated by the repeated appearances of a child’s shoe, a metaphoric reminder that by listening to the voices of children we can focus on the needs of the next generation and thereby, we can also find our way as adults.

The film is based on a poem in a recently published book likewise named “Footsteps,” written by Hart, a licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC) with a master’s degree in clinical counseling from the School of Education at DePaul University. Hart has worked with many immigrants and refugees in his 10 years of experience as a practicing psychotherapist, and he wrote “Footsteps” in response to the recent rise in the number of incidents of race-based discrimination.

“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,” Hart said.

“Footsteps” was just selected in The Chi-Town Multicultural Film Festival (CMFF).

The screening at Gene Siskel Film Center also includes Digital Tapestries’ other short films: “Remember You” (20 mins), “Tides of Sunrise” (5 mins), and “Red Latte” (5 mins), all of which also examine the meaning of human relationships. The screening will be followed by a Q&A and an interactive response art activity.

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.”

For more information about Digital Tapestries’ work, visit: