Why We Fight is a celebration of the resilience of Guyanese people and the diaspora. An intimate visual essay that explores national identity through fractured and distant representations of Guyana. Bistonath paints a picture of a country still bound to its colonial past, and questions what it means to return home.
Thursday, November 24 | 8:30 PM – 10:30 PM
Canada in Short
This diverse collection of Canadian shorts explores themes of isolation, identity, loss, coming of age, the role of digital technology, borders, and urban growth.
Rating: PG - Some coarse language, mention of drug use and violence.
Inspired by the 2001 Algerian film Little Senegal, Roots and Chains is a stop-motion animation that highlights the beauty in the darkest corners of migrant experiences.
Directed by: Frances LacelleFrancis Lacelle comes from a place where people party in sand pits and drink under bridges. After being nourished by this suburban adolescence, he established himself in Montreal.
Set in 1970s Saskatchewan, Assini, a young Indigenous girl, comes to terms with what it means to be an “Indian.” Beautifully shot and scored, Assini will leave audiences feeling nostalgic for long summer days, and acutely aware of the complex challenges faced by First Nations then and now.
Directed by: Gail MauriceGail Maurice is an actor/filmmaker. She grew up in a Métis village in Northern Saskatchewan, and speaks her language Cree/Michif fluently. She’s currently working on a feature documentary about her 101 year old grandmother, titled Nokum, The World Through my Grandmother’s 100 Year Old Eyes.
Featuring music by Vybz KARTEL and set in the Montreal neighbourhood of Park Extension, Star invites us into the lives of teens hooked on popular blog WorldStarHipHop and fascinated with videos of live violence. Romanced by social media’s potential for recognition and fame, two brothers begin replicating this violence with unsettling consequences.
Directed by: Emilie ManneringWith a Bachelor's degree in graphic design from UQAM, Emilie Mannering divides her time between illustration, design and film. She is the recipient of several illustration and design awards (LUX, GRAFIKA, APPLIED ARTS). She wishes to explore the theme of identity through her work.
“Can you hear me?” Hypnotic and trance-like, we are instantly submerged into Gaia’s dimension. A cautionary tale set in the distant future, we are greeted with the juxtaposition of African, Indigenous dress and movements. In this journey, we are beckoned to reflect on our own use of technology and the use of our bodies, as we propel closer to reaching the tipping point of total disconnection from body and mind.
Directed by: Sharrae LyonSharrae Lyon is a filmmaker, dancer, writer, facilitator and healer who believes in the powerful role of futurism in answering and responding to the spiritual and internal questions to our existence. Sharrae is a recent graduate of Black Women in Film!.
“I can explain it to you, but I can’t understand it for you.” Handsome and Majestic follows the story of transgender teen, Milan, and his quest for acceptance in his rural community of Prince George. Milan shines as a hero and a role model to other transgender and gender nonconforming youth, as he stands up to those who bully him.
Directed by: Nathan Drillot & Jeff PetrySALAZAR film is a 5 year-old collaboration between Jeff Petry and Nathan Drillot. Their partnership galvanized over a mutual interest in telling unique stories of individuals and their communities, capturing sublime landscapes, and experiencing filmmaking as an integrated part of life.
After working in Alberta’s oil fields, eighteen-year old Jamie returns home to his mother who has advanced Parkinson’s disease, and reunites with an old friend. This understated drama deals with loss, masculinity, illness in the family, and the violence and guilt that emerge after deep-seeded repression. Through its talented cast and brilliant screenplay, Never Steady, Never Still unravels a secret that takes place amidst a lonely Western landscape.
Directed by: Kathleen HepburnKathleen Hepburn is a Vancouver based writer and director and graduate of the Canadian Film Centre's Writers’ Lab. Her debut feature Never Steady, Never Still is a film that exposes the tenderness that exists within struggle, and our ineffable connection to the landscape around us.
Fifteen teenagers residing in Parkdale’s describe sleeping arrangements with their family members. Through anonymous interviews, we learn about their apartment spaces, family dynamics, and the ways they negotiate privacy. Through light-hearted moments, Sleeping with Family comments on the rarely discussed experience of sharing close quarters that many immigrant families in Toronto’s aging highrises experience.
Directed by: Nicole Bazuin & Darren O'donnell
Darren O’Donnell is an urban cultural planner, novelist, essayist, playwright, filmmaker, and performance director. His short films include High School Health, Sleeping with Family, and Allegations, the Rob Ford Crack Video.
Nicole Bazuin is an artist and film director. Her work involves a strong focus on social innovation, highlighting women’s issues and promoting the empowerment of children and youth. She uses experiential storytelling and multimedia art to reimagine social issues.