MEDIA CITY FILM FESTIVAL: BRIEF HISTORY
Media City Film Festival (MCFF) is a trailblazing international festival for film and digital art, presented in Windsor, Ontario and Detroit, Michigan since 1994. The House of Toast Film & Video Collective / MCFF also facilitate commissions, residencies, fellowships, workshops and other activities year-round. HoT/MCFF is the only organization in the world to regularly present artists’ film on both sides of an international border, and is recognized as a globally significant destination for the production and exhibition of artists’ cinema.
Media City Film Festival will celebrate its 25th anniversary edition in 2021. Since its inception in 1994, the festival has received more than 50,000 entries from over 120 different nations, hosted hundreds of visiting artists and filmmakers and engaged tens of thousands of audience members in public programs in Windsor-Detroit and internationally, including gallery exhibitions, film screenings, live performances, workshops, lectures, special artists’ editions, and other events.
The festival takes place at venues across the US-Canadian border, including at The Detroit Institute of Arts, The Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, and the Art Gallery of Windsor. Media City’s main venue is the historic Capitol Theatre and Arts Centre. Over the years, MCFF has earned a reputation worldwide as a the leading venue for the presentation and reception of artists’ cinema, and is lauded for its “sheer excellence in programming”, its impeccable technical presentation standards, and its convivial and inclusive atmosphere. It is the only Canadian organization in history to be supported by John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, and became one of only two non-American organizations to be supported by The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences since the inception of their granting program in 1967 (the other is the Toronto International Film Festival).
Media City attracts filmmakers and audience members from around the world to participate in five to seven days of screenings, live performances, exhibitions and artist’s discussions. Films premiered at Media City have had subsequent screenings at institutions including The Museum of Modern Art, Centre George Pompidou, Tate Modern, Whitney Museum of American Art, Harvard Film Archive, International Film Festival Rotterdam, New York Film Festivals and countless other museums, microcinemas, festivals and biennales worldwide.
HoT/MCFF also hosts residencies, fellowships and commissions, expanding our activities to provide meaningful production support for filmmakers through its Mobile Frames Residencies and Chrysalis Fellowship programs. Residency and Fellowship artists have produced dozens of award-winning films and installations since 2012. Kevin Jerome Everson, Sky Hopinka, Christopher Harris, David Rokeby, Malena Szlam, Daïchi Saïto, Ephraim Asili, Chris Kennedy and Ana Vaz are some of the filmmakers who have participated. Previously commissioned works have had world-premiere screenings at hundred of venues internationally, including La Biennale di Venezia, Tate Modern, New York and Toronto International Film Festivals.
HoT/MCFF’s newly minted THOUSANDSUNS CINEMA is a way to engage audiences with artists’ cinema online. Featuring selections from hundreds of artists showcased by MCFF over its twenty-five year history, THOUSANDSUNS presents short and feature-length films, previous MCFF commissions, fellowship screenings, retrospectives, and other cinematic endeavours connected with our activities since 1994. This space is conceived to offer worldwide online access, and will also function as an ever-growing index, cataloguing artists operating in avant-garde film circles internationally.
PREVIOUS AWARD WINNERS at Media City Festival Festival have included: Mati Diop, Robert Beavers, Peter Hutton, Ben Russell, Kevin Jerome Everson, Camilo Restrepo, Peter Tscherkassky, Ephraim Asili, Ute Aurand, Bruce McClure, David Gatten, Cauleen Smith, Nathaniel Dorsky, Robert Fenz, Guy Maddin, Samantha Rebello, Antoinette Zwirchmayr, Pablo Mazzolo, Sky Hopinka, Ana Vaz, Shiho Kano and countless more.
RETROSPECTIVE & other featured presentations at Media City Film Festival have included: Yoko Ono, Alvin Lucier, Matana Roberts, Warren Sonbert, Johan vander Keuken, Eija-Liisa Ahtila, Sergei Loznitsa, Martin Arnold, Friedl vom Gröller (Kubelka), Malcolm LeGrice, Kurt Kren, Abigail Child, Helga Fanderl, Peter Hutton, Karl Kels, Gerard Holthuis, and many others.
Just a Few of the hundreds of artists and filmmakers screened at the festival over the years: Barbara Hammer, Akosua Adoma Owusu, Michael Snow, Manon De Boer, Harun Farocki, Sharon Lockhart, David Claerbout, Gustav Deutsch, Walid Raad, Nathaniel Dorsky, Andy Warhol, Peter Gidal, Basma Alsharif, Standish Lawder, Nicky Hamlyn, Jang Minyong, Jim Jennings, Thomas Köner, Mark Lapore, Saul Levine, Rose Lowder, Matthias Müller, Julie Murray, Deimantas Narkevicius, Tomonari Nishikawa, Jayne Parker, John Price, Jurgen Reble, Joost Rekveld, Ben Rivers, Hannes Schüpbach, Guy Sherwin, Phil Solomon, Scott Stark, Ichiro Sueoka, Mika Taanila, Robert Todd, Tran T. Kim-Trang, Naomi Uman, Bart Vegter and Apichatpong Weerasethakul.
A searchable database of all works presented from Media City Film Festival’s 25+ year history is in the works. You can view catalogues from previous editions of the festival (2008 – 2018) here. Festival Founders: Dierdre Logue, Christopher McNamara, Britta Poisson, Kim Truchan, and Dermot Wilson.
For information about works from past editions, publications and touring programs contact: Oona Mosna, Program Director: email@example.com