The Images Festival is one of the more interesting of the many Film Festivals held each year in Toronto. Strictly speaking, they are not just a film festival but rather a media festival with an emphasis on experimental film, video art, music, performance, new media and installations. They held a press conference and launch party on the evening of Tuesday, March 9 to introduce their catalogue and prepare us for the festival itself which runs April 1-10, 2010. The catalogue is available for free at any Queen Video, Suspect Video, The Film Buff or Soundscapes as well as the festival 25 venues. It can also be downloaded here.
This year’s festival features 145 artists including Bruce LaBruce, Luo Li, Nicolás Pereda, Shary Boyle, Christine Fellows, Daniel Barrow, Tacita Dean and Mary Margaret O’Hara. The opening night will show the feature Port of Memory by Kamal Aljafari which will be preceded by the controversial short film Covered by John Greyson. This will be the North American premiere of Covered after Greyson pulled it from the Toronto International Film Festival in 2009 to protest what he claimed was a connection between TIFF’s spotlight on Tel Aviv and the Israeli government’s “Brand Israel” campaign.
Many of the screening and events will be free or pay-what-you-can. The festival will also host artist talks, performances, gallery tours, and parties. In the last few days of the festival, they will host the 2010 International Experimental Media Congress, a large gathering of artists which they haven’t done since their first in 1989. It’s intended to “promote ongoing international conversations and provide platforms for creative discussions about the burning issues related to experimental media production, exhibition, dissemination, criticism, pedagogy and reception. Including panels, roundtables, dialogues and international field reports, the Congress will bring together over 50 invited film, video and new media artists, theorists, archivists and curators from around the world for an intense four days of discussions and debate.”
I’m looking forward to seeing some new work by friends, including the debut short film by Becky Ip called Lungful Lustre. Also, TIFF programmer Alex Rogalski brings to the festival an event that he founded in Regina in 2000, the One Take Super 8 Event (OTS8). Thirty filmmakers were given a cartridge of Super8 film to shoot a project which they submit undeveloped. Thus the screening on April 7 will be the first time the filmmakers themselves will get to see their work. This promises to be a fun night.
For more information, check out their website http://imagesfestival.com/
PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS: ON SCREEN, OFF SCREEN AND LIVE IMAGES:
OPENING NIGHT GALA: Kamal Aljafari’s quiet and poetic Port of Memory opens the festival with a portrait of a neighbourhood and its residents in the port city of Jaffa, Palestine. As a prologue to the opening of the festival, John Greyson’s Covered makes its Toronto premiere;
CLOSING NIGHT GALA: Live Images 6 features a WORLD PREMIERE live performance and music from Toronto’s own Shary Boyle with Winnipeg’s Christine Fellows;
ON SCREEN: The Festival unspools 80+ new films and videos by artists from Canada and international artists spanning the globe, including works by Toronto artists Luo Li, Nicolas Pereda, Jon Sasaki, and many others.
CANADIAN ARTIST SPOTLIGHT on the 30-year career of filmmaker Ross McLaren including rare screenings of Weather Building and Summer Camp; with a Karaoke version of his legendary film Crash 'n Burn as an afterparty;
OFF SCREEN: The fastest growing section of the Festival and for good reason! This year sees over 20 exhibitions by Canadian and international installation artists at 15 venues throughout the Greater Toronto Area. Artists participating in exhibitions running throughout April include Khadim Ali, Jayce Salloum, Tacita Dean, Wang Bing, Sharon Lockhart, Peter Campus, Michael Snow, Brenda Goldstein, Emily Wardill and Emma Hart and Benedict Drew among many others;
LIVE IMAGES: One of the most popular series at the festival, featuring film, video and audio artists, musicians and other performers live and in person with spectacular media-based performances. Highlights include: Guelph’s Polydactyl Hearts Collective exploring the performative intersection of sight and sound, New York-based performance duo robbinschilds’ absurd, playful and humorous dance and multimedia performance, Sonya and Layla Go Camping and No Images, a curated performance of sound and sensations in a darkened room!
SHIRIN NESHAT’S WOMEN WITHOUT MEN
The 23rd Images Festival is thrilled to be collaborating with The Power Plant to co-present an advance screening of internationally-renowned contemporary artist Shirin Neshat’s first feature film Women Without Men (made in collaboration with Shoja Azari). Following the film, Jian Ghomeshi, host of 'Q', CBC Radio One's national arts and entertainment program leads a discussion with Shirin Neshat for all ticket holders.
Ticket Information for Women Without Men
Saturday March 27
$15 advance tickets, $18 at the door
$50 VIP tickets (LIMITED AVAILABILITY) includes reception with the filmmakers, reserved seating and gift bag!
Advance tickets available now at www.imagesfestival.com/store
In person at Queen Video (Cash, Credit or Debit, 412 Queen West), Soundscapes (Cash only, 572 College) and The Power Plant (cash only).
Same-day tickets available at The Royal from 6:30 PM (cash only).
The Images Festival thanks Mongrel Media.
Women Without Men opens theatrically in Toronto Friday April 2.
EXPERIMENTAL MEDIA CONGRESS
Images is thrilled to be hosting the 2010 International Experimental Media Congress (April 7-11, 2010) which coincides with the closing days of the 23rd Images Festival. The first Congress since the storied 1989 Toronto Experimental Film Congress, this gathering will promote ongoing international conversations and provide platforms for creative discussions about the burning issues related to experimental media production, exhibition, dissemination, criticism, pedagogy and reception. Including panels, roundtables, dialogues and international field reports, the Congress will bring together over 50 invited film, video and new media artists, theorists, archivists and curators from around the world for an intense four days of discussions and debate.
The Experimental Media Congress takes place at the Ontario College of Art & Design and York University.
Made possible thanks to generous public funds from the Canada Council for the Arts, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council and the City of Toronto through the Toronto Arts Council.
Registration required. Space is limited.
Registration and full schedule with participants, hotel partners is available at