Friday, July 8, 2011

BITE ME! Toronto international Body Image Film & Arts Festival, July 8-10

This weekend marks the 2nd annual BITE ME! Toronto international Body Image Film & Arts Festival. Film screenings get underway this afternoon before the official Opening Night Reception and screening of Katrin Bowen's Amazon Falls.

BITE ME! Is a non profit arts, culture, media literacy and education organization. Its mission is to advance the public’s understanding of critical social justice issues pertaining to self discovery & identity through the body, representations and interpretations of body perceptions and body images. BITE ME! explores, challenges and redefines the contested “body beautiful” wrapped in our experiences of the provocative and the every day. 



Location: National Film Board (NFB), 150 John St. (Richmond & John)

BITE ME! Sneak Peak Film Picks:

 Filmmaker: Dena Ashbaugh (Canada, 2009, 62 minutes)  Model and actress Ashbaugh’s own struggle with anorexia and bulimia places her in the director’s chair sharing the stories of 3 women who have survived eating problems and have found hope, happiness and creative community healing.

2:15      LATCHING ON: The Politics of Breast Feeding in America
Filmmaker: Katja Esson (USA, 2010, 36 minutes) To breast feed or not to breast feed that is the raced classed and ethical question. From breast feeding boutiques, sexy bras to marches women are busting out from society’s obsession with regulating their breasts!

4:00      CLUB NATIVE
   Filmmaker: Tracey Deer (Canada, 2008, 78 minutes) How deep is your blood? Are you native enough to count? Deer reveals the divisive legacy of more than a hundred years of racist and sexist government policy and reveals the consequences of the lingering “blood quantum” ideals.

Opening Night Reception 6:00 – 7:30p.m
. Performances and Giveaways!

Opening Night Feature Film 8:00 - 10:00p.m.

AMAZON FALLS Filmmaker Katrin Bowen (in attendance).
2010, Canada, 80 min
Official Selection, 2010 Toronto International Film Festival
An ageing B-movie actress struggles against the burden of the Hollywood dream machine to make it in a merciless and unforgiving movie industry.

Award-winning Filmmaker Katrin Bowen
is joined by Trey Anthony (Da Kink) and others for a post film discussion on women, image and the industry.


12:00 pm – 10:00 pm @ National Film Board


12:00   FLAWED   Filmmaker: Andrea Dorfman (CDN, 2010, 12 mins)
An animated short about a woman who meets a man who turns out to be a plastic surgeon which, in turn, leads the heroine to question her own imperfections.

(Closed Captioned) Filmmakers: Bernadette Wegenstein & Geoffrey Alan Rhodes (USA, 2007, 65 minutes)
Nely Galán, the creator, producer and life coach of the hit TV reality makeover show The Swan shares why she created the series that takes women from “ugly duckling” to “gorgeous womanhood.” Beyond Galan, critics sound off on the implications of the cosmetic knife being branded as ‘savior’ to women’s woes.

(Subtitled) Filmmaker: Paula Heredia (USA, 2009, 62 minutes)
Traveling through villages in five African countries, this extraordinary film presents an insightful look at a quiet revolution taking the African continent by storm. Contrary to the “west’s” (the leader in cosmetic surgery including Vaginoplasty) beliefs, not every person in Africa believes in or advocates for Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).

2:45      BEAUTY MARK
Filmmakers: Diane Israel, Carla Precht & Kathleen Man (USA, 2009, 51 minutes)
How do our families influence our own contradictory relationship with our bodies? Accompanied by a plethora of storytellers including cultural critic Eve Ensler and Naomi Wolf, Israel’s personal account of her life as a former champion triathlete tells her story.

20 MIN INTERMISSION (Enjoy Refreshments Courtesy of BITE ME!)


Filmmaker: Calvin Sun (USA, 2007, 17 minutes) Sun explores the intersections of beauty, constructs of Asian American so-called femininity and race.

BITE ME! Festival Retro Pick:

4:20      INSIDE OUT
(Some Subtitles) Filmmaker: Zohreh Shayesteh (USA, 2006, 39 mins)
Maria is a middle-aged single woman with three children. Saman is a newly married young man. Arash is an eighteen-year-old high-school drop out. They have one thing in common: They are transgender and living in the Islamic Republic of Iran.

5:00      WEIGHTLESS
Filmmaker: Faith Pennick (USA, 2010, 39 mins)
A person’s size does not define their physical activity. Plus size female scuba divers rule the ocean at Big Adventures a program giving fat women a chance to learn how to scuba dive without being “weighed down” by the stigma of size.

20 MIN INTERMISSION (Enjoy Refreshments Courtesy of BITE ME!)


Filmmaker: Lucie Schwartz (USA, 2008, 27 minutes)
Who controls women’s body issues? Set in France, the culinary capital of the world, the documentary follows Sarah, an 18 year-old college student with a “pro ana” blog and Valerie Boyer, a passionate legislator on a mission to render websites like Sarah’s illegal.

Filmmaker: Matthew Ogens (USA, 2007, 92 minutes) Chronicles the lives of four mortal men and women who work as immortal characters on the sidewalks of Hollywood Boulevard some in search of fame and fortune and others…in search of an identity.

30 MINUTE INTERMISSION (Enjoy Refreshments Courtesy of BITE ME!)

8:30      ORGASM INC. The Strange Science of Female Pleasure Filmmaker: Liz Canner. (USA, 2009, 78 minutes) Do you have female sexual dysfunction or is it your cheating partner that’s killing the mood? How did the Berman sisters’ career flourish as an entire nation told women they had sexual dysfunction? Exploring how the media and capitalist machines are able to create then “sell us sickness and disorders” and how this encourages women blaming themselves for sexual unhappiness.


12:00 pm – 10:00 pm @ National Film Board


BITE ME! Festival Retro Pick
12:00    BEAUTY DOES LIE: The Untold Stories of Autoimmune Diseases (Some Captioning) Filmmaker: Courtney G. Smith (USA, 2006, 46 minutes) Exploring the lives of seven Black women living with various forms of autoimmune diseases, including lupus, multiple sclerosis, Sjogren’s syndrome, pernicious anemia and myasthenia gravis. How does our health impact our relationship with our bodies? What new identities and relationships are created through the impaired body?

(Closed Captioning) Filmmaker: Sabina England (London, 2010, 19 minutes)
Wedding Night tackles the stereotype of the “Good South Asian Girl” through a dramatic and comedic retelling of a South Asian couples wedding night.

1: 30     PINK SARIS
Filmmaker: Kim Longinotto (USA, 2010, 96 minutes) Longinotto is often drawn to tough women. Now she follows Sampat Pal Devi, the leader of the “Pink Gang,” who brings her own brand of justice to the streets of Uttar Pradesh, India, combating violence against women. “If you’re shy, you’ll die.” This is just one of the catchy aphorisms uttered by the formidable Sampat Pal Devi, leader of the Gulabi Gang (a.k.a. the “Pink Gang”) and advocate for community women looking to break the cycle. Possible Discussion TBA.

3:20      The “KCLPAS” Story
Filmmaker: Kim Chee Lee (CDN, 2010, 6 minutes) Manitoba-born LGBT senior Lee tells the story of a gay senior’s experience in a nursing home while retelling his own family story of love and acceptance.  Kim Chee Lee in attendance.

3:30      GEN SILENT
Filmmaker: Stu Maddux (USA, 2010, 63 minutes) LGBTQ seniors who fought the first battles for equality are now having to go back into the closet to survive. Co-Presented with EGALE CANADA, BLACK CAP, and Inside Out . Followed by Panel Discussion.

20 MINUTE INTERMISSION (Enjoy Refreshments Courtesy of BITE ME!)

5:30      FAT CHANCE Filmmaker: Yuka Sekiguchi (USA, 2007, 52 minutes) Single mom and filmmaker Sekiguchi is determined to find the roots of her overeating but what she finds instead is a far more compelling and life altering. She even gets her mojo back.

6:30      TEETH
(Closed Captioned) Filmmaker Alice Arnold (USA, 2007, 27 minutes) Teeth can make you or break you. An amusing but informative look at the psychological, social and economic issues involved in our concerns about dental hygiene and how the marketplace perpetuates and exploits these anxieties.

BITE ME! Festival Retro Pick
7:00      PENIS DEMENTIA: The Search for the Perfect Penis Filmmaker: Michael McNamara (CDN, 2005, 52 minutes) Does the perfect penis exist? Jump on and explore this documentaries search for answers to penetrating questions about one of the most important patriarchal symbols of power and prestige: The Penis.  Discussion to follow with Carlyl Jansen owner of Good for Her Toronto's cozy, comfortable place where women and their admirers can find a variety of high quality sex toys, books, DVDs, workshops, sensual art, and much more.

20 MINUTE INTERMISSION (Enjoy Refreshments Courtesy of BITE ME!)

8:15      SAY MY NAME Filmmaker: Mamamess (USA, 2009, 73 minutes) Is a video girl “oppressed” or is she simply “gettin’ paid?” What if someone writes your rhymes are you still an artist? In a hip hop and R&B world dominated by men and often noted for misogyny, the female lyricists featured speak candidly about class, race, sexualities and gender in pursuing their passions as women in hip hop. Hear from Roxanne Shante, MC Lyte and Monie Love to Erykah Badu, Remy Ma, Estelle, Chocolate Thai and many others.

END See you in 2012!!!

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