Doc Highlights at Images Festival
By Pat Mullen
Toronto’s Images Festival kicks off today for a week-long show case of experimental cinema. This festival of moving images isn’t only for die-hard cinephiles: it’s for anyone eager to explore works of art that push the boundaries of form, genre, and style. Images is a festival for discoveries, encounters, and revelations. At any given screening, the only thing to expect is to see something you haven’t seen before.
Here’s a quick rundown of what’s playing at the festival on the documentary front:
Tales of Those Who Dreamt
Dir. Nicolas Pereda | Canada
Thursday, Apr. 20 at the Royal Cinema at 7:00 PM
Images opens with the Toronto premiere of Nicholas Pereda’s acclaimed docu-fiction hybrid Tales of Those Who Dreamt. The film marks the first feature in the collaborative efforts of Pereda and Andrea Bussmann. Tales of Those Who Dreamt blurs fiction and reality to tell a story that lives in grey zones as the film explores the lives of Hungarian asylum seekers. This timely film blends forms and shifts reality to mirror the ambiguous space the family occupies and the sense of uncertainty they experience as they await the status of their application for residency in Canada.
The Work of Isaac Julien
Friday April 21 at Innis Town Hall at 7:00PM
To mark its 30th anniversary, Images looks pack to the work of acclaimed British artist Isaac Julien, whose artful and empowering representations of Black Londoners are just as relevant as they were three decades ago. The festival presents screenings of Julien’s Territories (1984) and Who Killed Colin Roach? (1983) in an event that will be followed by a discussion with lawyer Anthony Morgan and writer Yaniya Lee. (Stay tuned for a feature interview between Julien and POV editor Marc Glassman!)
Pierre Radisson – Fjord and Gulf
Dir. Ben Donoghue | Canada
Sunday April 23 at Innis Town Hall at 5:00PM
Fjord and Gulf has its world premiere at Images and festivalgoers must let the film wash over them with its methodical long takes that navigate the waters of the Gulf of St. Lawrence and the Saguenay Fjord in Quebec. This artful eco doc, shot on 16mm by a two-man crew aboard a Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker, uses the visual power of climate change to inspire activism and concerns for global warming. At the same time, the filmmakers’ rare access to the icebreaker affords an intimate glimpse at the workers on the front lines of the fight against climate change.
Meet You More Than Half-Way: The Toronto We Know
Dir. Various | Canada
Sunday April 23 at Innis Town Hall at 7:00PM
This programme of shorts features a quartet of experimental films and documentaries that cast views from the 6ix in new angles. The films draw from selfies, found footage, aerial drone shots, diaries, phone call recordings, and other materials both discovered and created to tell new stories of migration and belonging. The programme features Fariba by Mehrtash Mohit, Come to Me Paradise by Stephanie Comilang, Lessons for Polygamists by B.h. Yael, and Does the Sand Hear the Waves? by Taravat Khalili.
Electro-Pythagoras (a portrait of Martin Bartlett)
Dir. Luke Fowler | UK/Canada
Wednesday April 26 at Innis Town Hall at 8:00PM
Director Luke Fowler illustrates the fine art of the montage in the doc portrait Electro-Pythagoras (a portrait of Martin Bartlett). This non-fiction work, a performance piece of craft and style, draws upon an array of archival materials to pay tribute to the life of Canadian electronic music pioneer Martin Bartlett. The composer and educator, who died of AIDS in 1993, comes to life in this boundary-pushing exploration of the archives. The screening will be paired with a live performance of “Glyphs (Music from Martin’s Tape Archive)” by Luke Fowler and Ernst Karel.
Please visit imagesfestival.com for more information on this year’s festival.