Since the portals of the Elsa silver mine closed for good in 1989, the population of Keno City, a community that housed many of Elsa’s miners and workers, dwindled to a mere twenty inhabitants. But unlike many other frontier mining towns, this tiny end-of-the-road settlement defied complete abandonment. In Keno, a close-knit group of people continue to live out their dreams while working towards reviving a town with almost no services. This film draws a portrait of a quasi-ghost town as it shifts into a new era. Through detailed and storied observations, captured in both video and film footage, Keno City of Silver connects the collapse of the silver mining industry with filmography, mirroring the history of Keno with that of silver-based photography and the arrival of the digital age. The full version runs for 18 minutes.
Produced, directed and edited by Jessica Auer
Cinematography by Terryll Loffler
Music performed on site by Scott Buchanan
Keno City of Silver was exhibited/screened at Movimenta Biennale, in Nice, France (2017), Antimatter Media Art festival, Victoria B.C. (2017), Cinema on the Bayou Festival, Lousiana, USA (2019) and was shortlisted for the LOOP Barcelona Discovery Award (2019).
Full length version below