BETWEEN THE FOLDS Screenings Explore the Art of Paper Folding

Posted on December 1, 2009

In cooperation with OrigamiUSA and The Mathematical Association of America Community Cinema presented 42 free screening events for BETWEEN THE FOLDS a documentary by Vanessa Gould that delves deeply into the magical intersection of mathematics, science, and art that is paperfolding which is also known as origami. The film drew huge crowds across the country.

Our first free event for BETWEEN THE FOLDS took place at the fabulous Urban Institute for Contemporary Art in Grand Rapids, Michigan where Community Cinema is in its 3rd smash season. Emily Maurin, Community Cinema Producing Partner with WGVU, told us, "We were extremely lucky to have two amazing paper folders with us––Richard Alexander, one of the film’s participants, and Rodger Despres, a local paper folder who has constructed a 45-foot long paper model train. They each offered a different perspective on paper folding. Richard spoke about his artwork as well as his experiences making his own paper. Rodger discussed how he has used paper to engineer working train cars and tracks. He was very excited since Richard was the first paper folder he had met! They talked about how paper folding is almost a secret society that is just now emerging as a mainstream art." In the video below, director Vanessa Gould gives a behind-the-scenes look at what it was like making the film, how she worked with artists and a discusses a variety of issues related to independent filmmaking.


"Crease Is the Word!" Jim Ridley writes in Nashville Scene about the upcoming free event for BETWEEN THE FOLDS at the Nashville Public Library THIS Sunday. "Vanessa Gould’s documentary has received rapturous notices for concentrating on the intersection of art and science that the ancient paper-folding art represents." 

Mary Delach Leonard writes in the St. Louis Beacon about our event at the Missouri History Museum. "Watching a former sculptor in France fold a flat sheet of paper into a three-dimensional human caricature ... is worth far more than 1,000 words -- which makes "Between the Folds" one of those unexpected documentaries you have to see to appreciate." Read more>>

In St. Louis, approximately 340 people showed up for the viewing of the film at the Missouri History Museum. Sydney Meyer of Community Cinema Producing Partner KETC said, "I was amazed watching the diversity of people fill the auditorium and overflow onto the steps and the sides of the theater. People of all ages laughed and clapped at various parts of the film, signaling they understood what the artists were trying to communicate to them. After the film, the fun continued as more than 120 folks stayed to try their hand at paper-folding with artist Sugi Taylor. There was a lot of laughter and concentration as people attempted to make a paper box and bird." As I walked around the tables, I heard comments like “I thought the simple figures would be easier. Now I admire the film artists even more!” or “I loved the film and I am amazed I can make this figure out of almost nothing… one simple square of paper.” Director Vanessa Gould spent 3 days at 3 Community Cinema events in The Los Angeles area, and we were so lucky that she took time to write about it.

"...I entered the room [at LA’s Pitches Detention Center] with Deputy Bates and a few other staff members just as [the prisoners] had finished the film. ...It was quite possibly the most enthusiastic reception the film has ever seen: a room brimming with almost-rowdy excitement and big smiles, a few thumbs up and hands on hearts. Even some paper hats and paper stars made out of the local county newspaper were floating around. There were far more questions and comments than we had time for. After about 20 questions, we all folded a simple model of a fox. I tried to remind them that if anyone made a mistake it was okay. They could try again. One of the good things about paperfolding is you can start over. More chances are possible." And, with that apt metaphor the afternoon was clearly a success. Community Cinema hopes to bring more films to prisoners through our new partnership with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. Read Vanessa's complete post here. Members of the Puget Area Paperfolding Enthusiasts Roundtable (PAPER) assisted audience members in folding a range of origami pieces in Seattle at the SIFF Cinema. PAPER founder Mark Morden spoke about paperfolding after the event while the audience members folded all around him. 


We also partnered with Craftzine and Makezine Blogs who posted articles about our free screenings of the film. In addition to being the perfect media partners for a film about paperfolding, the blogs are jam-packed with how-to's and DIY instructions to help you get started folding paper or to take your folding to the next level. If you missed one of our 40+ free preview screenings, don't miss BETWEEN THE FOLDS when it airs nationally on Independent Lens on PBS Tuesday, December 8 (check local listings). Now, get out there and fold some paper, America!


From our blog

  1. ITVS Welcomes Brandii Rice as Head of Business and Legal Affairs

    August 10, 2023

    ITVS is pleased to welcome Brandii Rice as our new Head of Business and Legal Affairs. In her role Rice will oversee business and legal affairs across the ITVS brand portfolio. In addition, she will guide licensing and business strategies to support ITVS’ content development, production, distribution and audience development goals. She will join ITVS

  2. Carrie Lozano Will Lead ITVS as President & CEO, Succeeding Sally Jo Fifer

    June 7, 2023

    Carrie Lozano joins ITVS from the Sundance Institute, where she served as director of Documentary Film and Artist Programs, supporting boundary-breaking filmmakers across the globe. At ITVS, she will continue to protect independent artists’ voices, editorial control and copyright while elevating nonfiction storytelling as an essential strategy

  3. Lisa Tawil Joins the International Board of INPUT

    June 1, 2023

    Discover how Lisa Tawil's appointment to the International Board of INPUT strengthens worldwide collaboration in public media.