Surface Rites (2021)
Parastoo Anoushahpour, Faraz Anoushahpour, Ryan Ferko
Surface Rites Parastoo Anoushahpour, Faraz Anoushahpour, Ryan Ferko Iran/Canada16mm > digital24 min2021
A young Slovakian immigrant opens a uranium mine near Elliot Lake in northern Ontario, and later builds a massive replica of the modest church from his childhood village. Stranded amongst suburban streets named after prize-winning Holstein cows, this monumental cathedral now sits, unfinished and private. Teenage zombies emerge from lakes and rivers around Serpent River First Nation, once poisoned with uranium waste. There is talk of eugenics at a Holstein pageant, and a retired dairy farmer and his wife remember a recurring dream where their work is never done.
This film is available to stream globally after February 20, 2022. Unavailable in Europe before this date.
This film is co-presented with the Canadian Filmmakers Distribution Centre.
Image credits: all artworks, stills, and portraits courtesy of the artist © Ryan Ferko, Parastoo Anoushahpour, and Faraz Anoushahpour.
about the artist
Parastoo Anoushahpour (b. Tehran, Iran in 1986), Faraz Anoushahpour (b. Tehran, Iran in 1987), and Ryan Ferko (b. Mississauga, Canada in 1987) have developed a shared practice that explores the tension of multiple subjectivities as a strategy to address the power inherent in narrative structures. Since 2013, their work has been concerned with foregrounding the idea of place, seeking to both decode their surroundings and trouble the production of images through speculative narration and dialectical imagery. Parastoo Anoushahpour is a visual artist and filmmaker. She received a BA in Design for Performance from the University of the Arts London, Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design (2008); an MFA in Interdisciplinary Art, Media & Design from Ontario College of Art & Design (2014); and a Postgraduate Diploma from the Architectural Association School of Architecture (2009). She was a Chalmers Arts Fellow (2019). Faraz Anoushahpour is an artist, filmmaker, and programmer. He received a BA in architecture from the Architectural Association School of Architecture (2010), and an MFA in Interdisciplinary Art, Media & Design from the Ontario College of Art & Design (2014). He was Programmer at Images Festival (2014–2017), and an artist in residence at Prada Foundation (2017). Ryan Ferko is an artist working in film, video, and installation. He received a BA in History and Art History from the University of Victoria, and an MFA in Interdisciplinary Art, Media & Design from Ontario College of Art & Design (2014). Their collective work has been widely exhibited at festivals, museums, and galleries internationally, including Sharjah Art Foundation, Museum of Contemporary Art Toronto, European Media Art Festival, Punto de Vista Festival, The Horse Hospital, Edinburgh International Film Festival, Taipei Artist Village, Viennale, Toronto International Film Festival, Pleasure Dome, New York Film Festival, Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival, Mercer Union, International Short Film Festival Oberhausen, and four previous editions of Media City Film Festival. They are recipients of Media City Film Festival’s Chrysalis Fellowship (2019–2021) among other grants, awards, and accolades. Their films are distributed by the Canadian Filmmakers Distribution Centre. They live and work in Toronto.