MEDIA CITY FILM FESTIVAL’S CHRYSALIS SHOWCASE
All screenings & events at Mackenzie Hall Cultural Centre: 3277 Sandwich Street. Windsor, Ontario, Canada. February 14-16, 2020.
ADMISSION: Pay What You Like / By donation / FREE
THERE FOR A WHILE THEN GONE: FILMS OF CHRISTOPHER MCNAMARA
• Friday, February 14 at 7 pm: Main Gallery, Mackenzie Hall. Total running time: 55.5 minutes.
Establishing Shots, 12.5 min, 2006
House of Lee, 7 min, 2013
The Use of Movement, 16 min, 2009
Cincinnati, 8.5 min, 2016
There for a While and Then Gone, 11.5 min, 2018
Christopher McNamara (Canada) is an award-winning film and video artist who creates single-channel work, audiovisual installations, and live performances. He is a founding member of Media City Film Festival and former Artistic Director of Artcite Inc. His work has been featured in galleries, museums and festivals including, the International Film Festival Rotterdam, Western Front (Vancouver), Kunst Werke (Berlin), Mercer Union (Toronto), Projection Gallery (UK), Ann Arbor Film Festival, Galerie B 312 (Montréal), the Khyber Art Centre (Halifax), Binz 39 (Zürich), and the Sherwell Art Centre (UK). In addition to his film & video practice, McNamara works with three distinct audio art collectives: Thinkbox, Nospectacle and Noiseborder Ensemble. He has performed at international music festivals including, Mutek (Montréal), Spark (Minneapolis) and Detroit Electronic Music Festival. McNamara is a Lecturer IV in the Department of Film, Television, and Media at the University of Michigan. He is the recipient of numerous Canada Council and Ontario Arts Council grants, including a Chalmers Art Fellowship. He lives in Windsor, Ontario and Ann Arbor, Michigan.
ARROWS OF THE EARTH: FILMS OF ANA VAZ
• Friday, February 14 at 9 pm: Main Gallery, Mackenzie Hall. Total running time: 65 minutes
Brazilian filmmaker Ana Vaz makes films rich in beauty and political attentiveness, engaging with the ghosts of colonialism and modernity that infuse both her country and the rest of the Americas. Her first film “Sacris Pulso” uses a film version of Clarice Lispector’s vision of Brasília, Brasiliários, as source material to create an inter-temporal family voyage into the Oscar Niemeyer-designed city; the capital is referenced again in “The Age of Stone”, which travels to western Brazil and places an entropic structure into fraught conversation with Niemeyer’s original designs. In “Occidente”, Vaz voyages to Portugal to delve into a history of colonialism, but instead sees its struggles being re-performed in everyday interactions; “There is Land” returns home, exploring the backcountry to investigate the notion of land ownership in a country as vast as Brazil. Finally, “America: Bay of Arrows” takes us to a site of first contact, where Christopher Columbus was confronted by the indigenous Taíno — a foundational and formative challenge to a nascent colonialism. –TIFF
Occidente, 15 min, 2014
A Idade da Pedra, 29 min, 2013
América: Bahia de las Flechas, 9 min, 2016
Há Terre! (There is Land!), 13 min, 2016
Atomic Garden, 8 min, 2018
Ana Vaz (Brazil) studied at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology and Le Fresnoy. She was also a member of the SPEAP (Sciences Po, École des Arts Politiques) conceived and directed by Bruno Latour. Her film and digital artworks have been exhibited at Tate Modern, Palais de Tokyo, Jeu de Paume, Curtas Vila do Conde, Visions du Réel (Nyon), NYFF, and five previous editions of Media City Film Festival. She is a recipient of the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s Kazuko Trust Award, Media City Film Festival and Fronteira Festival (Goiânia) Grand Prizes (2015). She is also a founding member of the collective COYOTE with Tristan Bera, Nuno da Luz, Elida Hoëg and Clémence Seurat, a cross-disciplinary group working in the fields of ecology, ethnology and political science. Vaz is a 2020 Sundance Film Institute Nonfiction Grantee.
HEART OF A MOUNTAIN: FILMS BY PARASTOO ANOUSHAHPOUR, FARAZ ANOUSHAHPOUR & RYAN FERKO
• Saturday, February 15 at 2 pm: Main Gallery, Mackenzie Hall. Total running time: 59 minutes
Over the last five years, the Toronto-based trio of Faraz Anoushahpour, Parastoo Anoushahpour, and Ryan Ferko has brought their diasporic experiences to bear on a series of unique and fascinating projects for both the gallery and the cinema. Foregrounding place as a central aspect of their practice, the artists present location — whether it be Berlin, Taipei, Belgrade, Windsor, a village in Iran, or Cathedraltown in Markham — as cipher, and their work seeks to both decode these surroundings and trouble the image through speculative narration and dialectical imagery, which often oscillates between archival material and evocative location shooting. – TIFF
Bunte Kuh, 6 min, 2015
Heart of a Mountain, 15 min, 2017
Chooka, 21 min, 2018
Hrvoji, Look At You From The Tower,17 min, 2019
Parastoo Anoushahpour (Iran / Canada) is an artist originally from Tehran now based in Toronto working predominantly with video and installation. She was an artist in residence at the Mohammad and Mahera Abu Ghazaleh Foundation (Jordan), Tabakalera International Centre for Contemporary Art (Spain), Taipei Artist Village (Taiwan), ZK/U Center for Art and Urbanistics (Germany), and Banff Centre for Arts & Creativity (Canada). Her recent solo and collaborative work has been shown at Punto de Vista Film Festival, Sharjah Film Platform, Viennale, NYFF, TIFF, Images Festival, IFF Rotterdam, Internationale Kurzfilmtage Oberhausen, Experimenta (Bangalore), and Media City Film Festival (2015-2018). She is a 2019 Chalmers Arts Fellow.
Faraz Anoushahpour (Iran/Canada) is an artist, filmmaker, and programmer originally from Tehran and currently based in Toronto. He was Programmer at Images Festival (2014-2017), and participant in the Belligerent Eyes residency at the Prada Foundation (Venice, Italy), among others. His collaborative film and installation work employs various performative structures that operate in relation to specific sites. His work has been screened and exhibited at the New York Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, International Film Festival Rotterdam, Internationale Kurzfilmtage Oberhausen, Experimenta (Bangalore), ZK/U Centre for Art and Urbanistics (Berlin) Media City Film Festival, Mercer Union and Gallery 44 (Toronto).
Ryan Ferko (Canada) is an artist working predominantly in film and video. Across cinema and gallery, his films and installations are concerned with landscapes as unstable sources of narration. Ferko turns to myth, story-telling, amateur ‘experts’, and distorted memories as a way to find narrative’s alternative official histories. His artwork emerges as an extension of his research and critical writing, exploring how history is narrated by the competing forces of urban development and architectural heritage. Recent screenings and exhibitions have been held at Tabakalera Centre for International Culture, Sharjah Art Foundation, TIFF (Wavelengths), NYFF (Projections), 24th Jihlava International Documentary Film Festival, Viennale, Edinburgh IFF, Punto De Vista International Documentary Festival, Crossroads, and three previous editions of Media City Film Festival. He lives and works in Toronto, Ontario.
CHANTING AT THE CRYSTAL WORLD: SELECTED FILMS OF BEN RIVERS
• Saturday, February 15 at 4 pm: Main Gallery, Mackenzie Hall. Total running time: 84.5 minutes.
Mountains they knew, and jungle, the sun, the stars —
these seemed to be there. But even after they slashed
the jungle and burned it and planted the comforting corn,
they were discontent. They wanted the shape of things.
They imagined a world and it was as if it were there
— a world with stars in their places and rain that came
when they called. It closed them in. Stone by stone,
as they built this city, these temples, they built this world.
They believed it. This was the world, and they,
of course, were the people. Now trees make up
assemblies and crowd in the wide plazas. Trees
climb the stupendous steps and rubble them.
In the jungle, the temples are little mountains again.
It is always hard like this, not having a world,
to imagine one, to go to the far edge
apart and imagine, to wall whether in
or out, to build a kind of cage for the sake
of feeling the bars around us, to give shape to a world.
And oh, it is always a world and not the world. – At Tikal, William Bronk
The Shape of Things, 2 min, 2016
This Is My Land, 13.5 min, 2006
Origin of the Species, 15.5 min, 2008
Things, 21 min, 2014
The Ambassadors, 9 min, 2018 (made with Anocha Suwichakornpong)
We The People, 1 min, 2004
Surprise Film, 22.5 min, 2019
Ben Rivers (UK) studied at Falmouth School of Art. He’s made 30+ films since 2003, ranging in theme from explorations of unknown wilderness territories to candid and intimate portraits of real-life subjects. His film and digital artworks have been exhibited at nearly every major venue dedicated to moving image art worldwide, including CPH:DOX, Harvard Film Archive, Indielisboa, IFF Rotterdam, Clermont-Ferrand, Courtisane, Image Forum, Viennale, MoMA, Sarajevo Film Festival, TIFF, 25FPS and seven previous editions of Media City Film Festival since 2008. He won the Fipresci international critics prize at the 68th Venice film festival and the Baloise Art Prize, Art Basel 42 (2011), Robert Gardner Film Award (2012), IFFR Tiger Award for Short Film (2011 & 2014), EYE Art Film Prize (2016), was shortlisted for the Jarman Award (2010 & 2012), and numerous other prizes internationally, including an Honourable Mention at MCFF 2009. His most recent feature Krabi, 2562, co-directed with Anocha Suwichakornpong had its world premiere at Locarno Film Festival (2019). Amongst other programming activities, River’s is co-founder of The Machine that Kills Bad People, a bi-monthly film club at ICA organized with Maria Palacios Cruz, Beatrice Gibson, and Erika Balsom.
OUR UNQUIET UNION: FILMS OF NAZLI DINÇEL
• Saturday, February 15 at 7 pm: Main Gallery, Mackenzie Hall. Total running time: 61 minutes.
Dinçel’s films are rooted in the body, charting her and her lovers’ flesh across experiences of desire and dislocation. Hand-making her films—scratching, sewing, hammering, letter-punching, and typewriting all figure into the process—allows the artist to manifest intensely private subject matter in an equally physical cinematic object. Moments of carnal sublimation or self-pleasure, breakdowns of communication, and the lyrical textures of bodies in the spaces they inhabit all contribute to Dinçel’s self-described “female polemic against representations of the body.” Her work also gestures toward her upbringing in Turkey, from which she emigrated on her own as a teenager; the films’ painstaking construction evokes traditions such as rug-making, while their themes signal an urgency of self-expression without shame or reductive notions of gender. Reminiscent of Carolee Schneemann and Kathy Acker but articulated through a contemporary critical voice that is uniquely her own, Dinçel’s films are knowing, vital anthems about empowerment through art. – MoMA
Instructions on How to Make a Film, 13 min, 2018
Solitary Acts #4, 8min, 2015
Her Silent Seaming, 10.5 min, 2014
Reframe, 4min, 2009
Solitary Acts #5, 5.5 min, 2015
Between Relating and Use, 9 min, 2018
Solitary Acts #6, 11 min, 2015
Nazlı Dinçel (Turkey / USA) is a first-generation immigrant born in Ankara, Turkey. She studied at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Her films have screened at museums, festivals, and micro-cinemas around the world, including the MoMA and MoMI (NY), IFF Rotterdam, MuMok (Vienna), BAFICI (Buenos Aires), Hong Kong IFF, etc. Dinçel’s hand-made work reflects on experiences of disruption. She records the body in context with arousal, immigration, dislocation, and desire with the film object: its texture, color and the tractable emulsion of the 16mm material. Her use of text as image, language, and sound imitates the failure of memory and her own displacement within a western society. She is recipient of The Helen Hill Award from the Orphan Film Symposium, Ann Arbor Film Festival’s Eileen Maitland Award, a Mary L. Nohl Fund Fellowship (2018), and is currently a 2019–2020 Radcliffe Institute Fellow at Harvard University. She lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
ALTARS OF ACTION: FILMS OF COLECTIVO LOS INGRÁVIDOS
• Saturday, February 15 at 9 pm: Main Gallery, Mackenzie Hall. Total running time: 67.5 minutes.
Against the exaltation of the image over sound, and the gradual isolation of violence, Ingrávidos proposes a relational image with political determination. Images disintegrate, separate from the sound, multiply, and stutter, connecting with each other and cracking up visual grammar like an egg. The interaction between the images dissociates their communal narrative practices, opening up the possibility of new critical approaches. Following Harun Farocki’s dialectical analysis of form and content, Ingrávidos subverts the hierarchical relationship between the visual form and the auditory, reclaiming the autonomy between them. The sound becomes the center of the attention, political discourses, machine guns, bubbling acid that dissolves bodies, and the audio recordings of police prosecutions create an overwhelming sound landscape that speaks directly to the political situation in Mexico, generating a complex and paradoxical relationship that disrupts the sense of discourse, and stimulates the perceptive domain of the viewer.
– Almudena Escobar Lopez (Alternative Film & Video Festival, Belgrade, Serbia).
Alphabet / A, 7.5 min, 2013
Eroded Pyramid, 9 min, 2019
Shrines, 3.5 min, 2019
Have You Seen?, 7 min, 2018
Parallax, 5 min, 2018
Tear Gas, 1.5 min, 2019
Impressions for a Light and Time Machine, 7 min, 2014
The Sun Quartet, Part 1: Sunstone, 8.5 min, 2017
The Sun Quartet, Part 2: San Juan River, 13 min, 2017
Soldadera / Percusión Visual, 5.5 min, 2013
Colectivo Los Ingrávidos (Mexico) was formed in order to provide a radical, avant-garde alternative to the commercial and corporate mode of filmmaking in Mexico and internationally. They have created 300+ films since 2012. Their film and digital artworks have been exhibited at Arnolfini Gallery, International Film Festival Oberhausen, Flaherty Film Seminar, VDrome, Crossroads, Filmadrid, Ambulante Cine Documental (Mexico City), Media City Film Festival and the 2019 Whitney Biennial. They were awarded the Images Festival’s Marian McMahon Award and Third Prize at MCFF (2018). Their recent collection of poetry SOLARIS was published by Evidence at the Centre for Expanded Poetics (Montréal).
INVENTORY OF BLACK ROSES: SELECTED FILMS OF CHRISTOPHER HARRIS
• Sunday, February 16 at 2 pm: Main Gallery, Mackenzie Hall. Total running time: 52 minutes.
Artist filmmaker Christopher Harris uses a bold, experimental filmmaking technique to excavate repressed histories and cultural memories. Fully aware of the sweep of avant-garde film as described by Princeton Professor Emeritus P. Adams Sitney in his renowned book “Visionary Film,” Harris has developed his own ingenious form of cinema to, in his words, “counter-act Western hegemony over African culture in the New World.” –Lynn Sachs
A Willing Suspension of Disbelief + Photography and Fetish, 17 min, 2014
28.IV.81 (Bedouin Spark), 3 min, 2009
Reckless Eyeballing, 14 min, 2004
Halimuhfack, 4 min, 2016
Sunshine State (Extended Forecast), 11 min, 2007
Distant Shores, 3, 2016
Christopher Harris (USA) is an artist whose films and video installations read African American historiography through the poetics and aesthetics of experimental cinema. His work employs manually and photo-chemically altered appropriated moving images, staged re-enactments of archival artifacts and interrogations of documentary conventions. His current project is a series of optically-printed 16mm experimental films in conversation with canonical works of African-American literature. Recent exhibitions include a career retrospective at the Belo Horizonte International Short Film Festival, and solo screenings at the Locarno Film Festival, Images Festival, and Encontro de Cinema Negro. Additional exhibitions have been held at the Brakhage Center Symposium, Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, UnionDocs, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Artists’ Film Biennial at the Institute of Contemporary Art, IFF Rotterdam, the Viennale, among many others. Harris received a 2019-20 Artist Residency Award from the Wexner Center for the Arts and was a featured artist at the 2018 Flaherty Seminar. He is the recipient of a 2017 Alpert/MacDowell Fellowship and a 2015 Creative Capital grant. He is Associate Professor, Head of Film & Video Production at the University of Iowa.
THE MEASURED END: SELECTED FILMS OF CHRIS KENNEDY
• Sunday, February 16 at 4 pm: Main Gallery, Mackenzie Hall. Total running time: 74 minutes.
Often combining a careful concern with the apparatus and a high degree of formal rigour with thoughtful attention to social reality and history, Kennedy’s films examine the interpenetration of a kind of phenomenology – how the things of the world appear to consciousness – with the material possibilities of film (multiple exposures, hand processing, found footage, multi-frame presentations). – Scott Birdwise
The Initiation Well, 3.5 min, 2020
the acrobat, 6 min, 2007
lay claim to an island, 13 min, 2009
349 (for Sol LeWitt), 1min, 2011
Towards a Vanishing Point, 8 min, 2012
Memo to Pic Desk, 6.5 min, 2006
Watching the Detectives, 36 min, 2018
Chris Kennedy (Canada) is an independent filmmaker, programmer, and writer based in Toronto. He is currently Executive Director of the Liaison of Independent Filmmakers of Toronto. He programmed for the Images Festival (2003-06), Pleasure Dome (2000-06), and TIFF Cinematheque’s The Free Screen/Wavelengths (2012-2019). He co-founded and co-programmed Early Monthly Segments (2009 to 2018). His films have screened at 100+ film festivals worldwide and have been featured in solo shows at the Canadian Film Institute, Los Angeles Film Forum, Nam June Paik Art Center, La Plata Semana del Film Experimental and the Pacific Film Archive. He has written extensively about film and music, including features on Akio Suzuki, Olivia Block, Metamkine, Ute Aurand, and others. His film “Watching the Detectives” won the Ken Burns Award for the Best of the Festival at the Ann Arbor Film Festival (2018)
A DISLOCATED WILD: FILMS BY SKY HOPINKA
• Sunday, February 16 at 7 pm: Main Gallery, Mackenzie Hall. Total running time: 63 minutes.
The searching, striking digital films of Sky Hopinka are complex formal arrangements, conceptually and aesthetically dense, characterized by an intricate layering of word and image. But they are also wellsprings of beauty and mystery, filled with surprising confluences of speech and song, color and motion. A member of the Ho-Chunk Nation of Wisconsin, Hopinka (three of whose shorts are featured in the 2017 Whitney Biennial, opening this month in New York) has described his work as “ethnopoetic,” a term that encompasses several imperatives—among them, the mission to reclaim the ethnographic gaze that has dominated the representation of indigenous cultures and to bring the indirection of poetry to an exploration of Native identity both past and present.– Dennis Lim, Artforum
I’ll Remember You as You Were, Not as What You’ll Become, 12.5 min, 2016
Jáaji Approx., 7.5 min, 2015
Dislocation Blues, 17 min, 2017
Visions of an Island, 15 min, 2016
Fainting Spells, 11 min, 2018
Sky Hopinka (Ho-Chunk/Pechanga) was born and raised in Ferndale, Washington and spent a number of years in Oregon and California. In Portland, he studied and taught chinuk wawa, a language indigenous to the Lower Columbia River Basin. His video work centers around personal positions of Indigenous homeland and landscape, designs of language as containers of culture, and the play between the known and the unknowable. He received his BA from Portland State University and his MFA in Film, Video, Animation, and New Genres from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. His work has been exhibited around the world, including at ImagineNATIVE, Sundance, TIFF, NYFF, the Whitney Biennial (2017), and four previous editions of Media City Film Festival. His film Jáaji Approx. was awarded MCFF’s Third Prize (2014). He is the recipient of the More with Less Award from the Images Festival (2016), the Tom Berman Award for Most Promising Filmmaker at the 54th Ann Arbor Film Festival (2016), the New Cinema Award at the Berwick Film and Media Arts Festival, and the Mary L. Nohl Fund Fellowship (2018). He was a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University (2018-2019), and Sundance (2019). He currently teaches at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, British Colombia.
Food and “private receptions” held each day. All welcome. Screening programs curated by Brandon Walley & Oona Mosna
MCFF acknowledges support from the Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Arts Council, Allied Media Projects, City of Windsor‘s Arts, Culture and Heritage Fund, Arts Council Windsor and Region, and other partners, members, and volunteers. Special thanks to Mackenzie Hall staff, and Common Ground Art Gallery. Events dedicated to Windsor-Detroit avant-garde cinephiles and especially to Nova Faxon Kimmerly Morin (b. May 16, 2017).