Changes at Gimli Film Fest

•April 4, 2013 • 1 Comment

April 4, 2013


**Addendum, April 15, 2013 : As a reaction to a filmmaker outcry regarding the issues discussed in the article below, the Gimli Film Fest and the NSI have opened up a “special call” for local films. For more on this announcement, please see this Cineflyer article.

Interested Manitoban filmmakers can submit their films on NSI’s website before May 15th, with the option to also submit to NSI’s Online Film Fest, or not.

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For the first time in it’s history, Gimli Film Fest will be closing it’s short film open call.

The festival has announced on their website that the National Screen Institute will instead be programming the short film component of their festival, culling exclusively from the films already available on NSI’s Online Short Film Festival.

This means that local filmmakers are blocked out of the festival, unless they successfully submit their films to NSI’s Online Film Festival. Sadly, the deadline for local filmmakers to do so has already expired for the 2013 festival.

This presents a number of problems for local filmmakers who don’t want their films online, added to the fact that neither Gimli Film Fest nor NSI pay filmmakers for the exhibition of their art. Also a source of contention is the fact that Gimli’s new head programmer (in 2012) is Joy Loewen, the former NSI Drama Prize program manager.

Many local filmmakers are also rightly worried that NSI’s Online Film Fest consists mainly of narrative-centric films that are mostly over two years old. I would bet that NSI will be hard-up to find a Manitoban film in their roster that hasn’t already screened at Gimli in previous years.

In the past, Gimli has been the best Manitoban film festival for local filmmakers of ANY genre to get a screening. It was a really fantastic variety, lovingly assembled by programmer Matthew Etches.

Gimli was – in fact – the festival that I first witnessed my own work upon the screen, and was a great stepping stone for many local emerging filmmakers. But in recent years, I have been nervously witnessing a festival steadily sloping towards a family-friendly, politically correct, festival for vacationing cottagers.

And, given the festival’s location, perhaps this is not a bad choice after all. But for filmmakers and film buffs in Manitoba, it certainly leaves a lingering thirst that Blue Hawii and Jaws 2 just can’t quite quench.

Local filmmaker Stéphane Oystryk’s said this about the recent changes to the short film programming:

“It seems to me that short film programs are the heart and soul of film festivals. They’re an opportunity to showcase up and coming talent as well as give a concise glimpse of where cinema might be headed in the future and what kinds of ideas are floating around out there. When a festival refuses to program their own short film programs and instead relies on another festival’s selections, they forfeit the chance to really define themselves as a festival and offer their audience something special and unique. Shorts are where all the fun is. At least in my opinion.”

“This turn by the Gimli Film Festival SMACKS of laziness,” said another Winnipeg filmmaker, Damien Ferland. “To rely on another organization to provide preselected films shows the indifference of the programmers. The diverse regional, national and international short film programming was something that worked well. There is a lot of potential that the Gimli Film Festival has but it’s sometimes plagued with some very bad decision making.”

There has been little reaction from the Gimli Film Festival over criticism of their recent changes, although they did remove the portion of their website that explained their engagement with NSI. I personally wrote Gimli chair and founder, Conservative Senator Janis Johnson, who replied “Thank you for your email re the GFF short film programming changes. You have made some good points but times change and with it film festivals.”

Johnson also recommended I contact Cheryl Ashton, the festival’s director, from whom I received no response.

Local filmmaker Shelaugh Carter won best Manitoba Short Film at the Gimli Film Fest in 2011 with her film One Night. She was a fan of the festival’s past short film programming, and wonders if the changes are a sign of budget constraints.

“[I] loved how they programmed before ( regardless if my films were chosen!!) I saw very creative films from International filmmakers – a wide range in approach ….. curating thru one festival to get to another seems to be happening across Canada…. I’m wondering if it is non profit choice re: tightening budgets and trying to survive,” she wrote via email.

-Aaron Zeghers

How to Apply for Film Funding in Manitoba

•February 9, 2013 • 5 Comments

February 9th, 2013
by Aaron Zeghers

You want to make a film, I get it. So do I. But what now?

Getting a film funded can be tough, especially if you are early in your career. It’s important that you make small, affordable filmmaking attempts yourself, before applying for most grants. And perhaps even more important is knowing the history of your art form – cinema! – and where your work fits into this milieu.

Most Manitoban filmmakers will need an history of exhibition to qualify for grants from the Manitoba Arts Council, Canada Council for the Arts, and I believe the Winnipeg Arts Council grant has this provision as well. Basically, if you haven’t made a film and screened it somewhere (preferably a legit festival or curated screening), you’re going back to the story board. This is proof that distribution is key to your practice as a filmmaker, as troublemaker Clint Enns tackles for Cineflyer HERE!

However the Winnipeg Film Group does have a First Film Fund, that virtually any member can apply for.

There are also a number of alternative or corporate funding sources, like the BravoFACT fund, MTS’s Stories from Home, courses through the National Screen Institute, and additional funds from Manitoba Film & Music.

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The Application

Most film and video grant applications are similar, though each will have it’s unique specifics that you must be careful to follow. Be sure to carefully read all the rules, regulations and required items. You can expect to include an artistic CV, synopsis, treatment or script, artistic outline, support material and budget in most applications. Other additions like storyboard or shot list, shooting schedule, letters of support, letters of commitment, cover letters, and proof of pre-existing funding may be required.

When writing a grant there is many things to consider, but perhaps most important is “know your audience”. Arts organizations will generally care about different things than, say, BravoFACT. Most arts organizations will want, first and foremost, a project that is artistically valid. Why are you doing what you’re doing? How does this project relate to your greater artistic practice? Do you exhibit a strong understanding of the medium you work in, as an artist?

On the other hand, BravoFACT or NSI jurors will probably be more likely to raise questions like: Is it marketable? Is it entertaining? What kind of audience does this have? Is it funny/cute/scary/thrilling/sexy?

However, all cash-money gate keepers will want to see your previous work. This is very important. Your support material is usually submitted on DVD (or VHS according to many of the guidelines!) and should show a strong relation to the project you’re applying to.

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The Manitoba Arts Council

MAC is by and far the best funding organization within Manitoba. They have some great grants for local filmmakers from all walks of life, ranging from $6,000 to $20,000. The grants are relatively easy to apply to, and the gestation period after applying to a grant is usually pretty reasonable.

Here are the programs offered via MAC:

Travel / Professional Development Grant

Aboriginal Arts Creative Development in Film/Video // up to $7,500.

Aboriginal Arts Mentorship Training and Development // up to $5,000

Scriptwriting Grant // up to $6,000

Film Project Grant // up to $6,000

Film Production Grant // up to $20,000

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The Winnipeg Arts Council

Twice a year there’s the WAC Individual Artist Grant deadline. Emerging artists can get $2,000 and mid-career or established artists can get up to $5,000. WAC accepts submissions from all artists, but from what I’ve seen filmmakers making tradition films are rarely funded. This is probably mainly due to the fact that a lot of artists apply and there isn’t a lot of money to be had.

However, it is far from impossible to get a WAC grant. I would recommend applying with an idea that you already have some momentum for. It seems like WAC bites when a) the project is semi-underway already, or b) if you will be exhibiting the final product at an art show. And of course you want to have a strong artistic explanation of what you want to do and why you are choosing to do it.

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The Canada Council for the Arts

Another great place to apply for arts funding, no matter where you are within Canada. Their emerging artist film grants are perfect for those that have a few films and screenings under their belt. Established and Mid-career artists can get a maximum of $60,000.

Scriptwriting Grants // from $3,000 to $20,000

Production Grants // $3,000 to $60,000

Research/Creation Grants // $3,000 to $60,000

Aboriginal Media Arts Program // $3,000 to $60,000

Travel Grants for Media Arts Professionals // $500 to $2,500

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The Winnipeg Film Group

The WFG has a couple of film funds available to its members.

The First Film Fund is a perfect bet for young, enthusiastic filmmakers. You can get up to $3,000 cold hard cash and $2,000 services from the WFG so it is perfect for a relatively short idea.

The Production Fund is a maximum $2,000 grant available for either production or post-production of a short film. The truth here though is that there is WAY MORE money available for post-production than production. So, if you can get your shoot done this is a perfect grant to apply for some finishing funds!

Finally, there is the Hot House Award offered by the Winnipeg Film Group. Not to be confused with the NFB animation program by the same name that far precedes this award, the Manitoba Hothouse Award offers $10,000 cash and $5,000 services to one established Manitoban Filmmaker every year.

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MTS’s Stories From Home (formerly MTS On Demand)

This local documentary series is a great opportunity for those that have some credible experience in making films. The key is to get in touch with the great folks that run this program, and have your Winnipeg-related doc pitch ready to go. Generally I believe they fund projects from $5,00 to $25,000, but there have been exceptions to this rule. Check out some of these docs on the Stories From Home Youtube channel here.

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BravoFACT

BravoFACT has been changing the format of its contact pretty drastically and often lately, so be sure to check out their website for details.

Right now they are looking for 7.5 minute “creative, narrative proposals” and they are offering up to $50,000 for it. Not bad bang for your buck!

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The National Screen Institute

NSI doesn’t really provide film funding, it offers education programs through which you MAY be able to create your film. The successful applicants undergo rigorous training, jumping through hoops to the finish line that may or may not contain the funding for their film. I’ve never applied to NSI so it’s probably best for you to just check out their website.

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Manitoba Film & Music

Manitoba Film & Music (MF&M) has two funding programs that can be of varying use to local, independent filmmakers, depending on your situation.

Most useful is the Emerging Talent Grant Program, which is for projects that have “received production funding awards through a competitive, juried process from a recognized industry organization.” In simpler words, if you have received a grant from MAC, WFG, WAC, CCA, or another juried application process, Manitoba Film & Music will match that amount up to $10,000. This is a really great way to beef up your budget, but beware! There is a TONNE of paperwork required by MF&M, and you must have a registered business and bank account for said business to even apply. That being said, don’t shy away from this grant, just be sure to keep very good track of every penny you spend, and perhaps seek out someone that has gone through this process before and get their advice.

There is also the Micro-budget Grant Program, which allows productions of less than $100,000 to get a 10% increase care of MF&M. In nearly every case this grant is useless, especially considering that receiving this grant will grind your Film Tax Credit.

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Manitoban Film Tax Credit

For larger-budget productions it is wise to take advantage of the Manitoban Film Tax Credit which will allow you to get back up to 65% of your labour costs on the project, which can often be a LOT of cash. However, there is a lot of paperwork, dealing with the government, and business skills needed to do this on your own. You also have to have an incorporated production company with a Canadian Revenue Agency registered payroll. Just to incorporate costs $450, plus the costs of hiring an accountant to do your corporate year end taxes ($1000 ballpark). So I would say you’d want to have a budget of around $20,000 before taking advantage of this tax break.

If anyone is interested in this, feel free to message me and I can hook you up with my Film Tax Credit accountant and Corporate accountant!

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Please consider this article a work in progress! If you have comments, additions, please leave a comment and I will add them, or email them to cineflyer at gmail.com

Drugs ‘n’ Bugs : Lowlife in Winnipeg

•November 16, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Found just off the Atlantic coast, it is a strange beast indeed that rears its ugly head. Hopped up on psychedelic starfish slime and haunted by a mud monsters and creepy crawlies, Lowlife is the film to single-handedly coin the term “mudsploitation”.

The horror film’s strange aesthetic seems at home in Winnipeg, with its black and white, gritty, and surreal-at-times aesthetic. The film follows the ever-troubled musician Asa (Darcy Spidle) as he makes floundering attempts to win back his former girlfriend and maintain his addiction to the psychotropic substance he squeezes from the asshole of some unsuspecting starfish.

Lowlife is the first feature collaboration between Dog Day frontman Seth Smith and the non-actor’s actor Darcy Spidle, a big wig at Divorce Records / Obey Convention. Both of these music minded men took a break from their main projects to cast off into the emotional shallows of no-budget feature filmmaking.

But the $5000 gamble of self-financing paid off for director Seth Smith, who went on to win the $10,000 audience award for Best Feature at the 2012 Atlantic Film Festival, in addition to a host of media acclaim.

Vice Magazine called Lowlife “the feel-bad hit of 2012” and Fantasia Film Festival described the 2012 addition to their festival as “A chaotic labyrinth, LOWLIFE seeks inspiration from extreme narcotic-induced delirium to deliver unconventional visuals that recall ERASERHEAD.”

Lowlife certainly steals a page or two from Lynch, with perhaps some influence from early Cronenberg, Burroughs, and Luis Buñuel. But the final product is uniquely its own, a melange of recognizable if not obscure film fringe tropes and aesthetics.

As part of the film’s insanely ambitious 3-day screening bonanza in every province of Canada, Low Life plays Winnipeg on Nov. 17th at 8:30PM at Frame Arts Warehouse (318 Ross Ave.) care of Open City Cinema, Ghost Town MB, and Big Fun. You can find details about the Winnipeg screening of Lowlife HERE!

For more on this film check out this great feature article and interview with director Seth Smith, written by Fast Forward Weekly’s Josiah Hughes.

-Aaron Zeghers

OCC: “I Shot it on 16” Screening!

•October 7, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Open City Cinema and the Winnipeg Film Group present:
“I Shot it on 16” film experiment screening

Tuesday, October 9th, 2012
@ Frame Arts Warehouse (318 Ross St.)
Doors at 7:30 // Pay What You Can!

In one night, Open City patrons will witness twelve new films created by twelve brave Winnipeg souls that ventured out on a 16mm film excursion this summer, via the WFG’s “I Shot it on 16” experimental film workshop.

Earlier this summer, these eager filmmakers picked up a bolex and a roll of film and – for many of them – shot their virgin frames of 16mm. With some instruction from Mike Maryniuk, Aaron Zeghers and Josh Marr, these celluloid newcomers learnt how to shoot, edit and finally mess with their original footage with various direct animation techniques like scratch animation, tinting, toning and more, much more!

This Tuesday all will be revealed as you get to taste the forbidden fruits of their labor. Find the event on Facebook HERE!

The filmmakers are:

James Dixon
Matheu Plouffe
Jim Pomeroy
Paul Carvelli
Lawrence Bird
Ian Bawa
Omar Velasquez
David Greisman
Fabian Velasco
Rhayne Vermette
Aaron Zeghers
Mike Maryniuk

In addition, Open City Cinema will be presenting an additional special screening of surprise films!! See you there!

-OCC

Greg Hanec’s Downtime, circa 1985

•October 2, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Downtime image cover poster 1985

With the DVD release of Greg Hanec’s Downtime only a few weeks away, I thought it was high time I published these couple Downtime clippings that were passed on to me from the desk drawer of Cinematheque programmer Dave Barber.

The picture above is a Cinematheque advertisement created for a midnight screening of Downtime when the film was first released. It features a high-contrast version of the trademark image — from the same original image that will appear on the Downtime DVD cover, available at the DVD release on October 18th at 7PM at the Cinematheque.

Below is a review of Downtime from City Magazine’s Melissa Steele in the fall of 1985. Steele, for the most part, makes an intelligent critical assessment of Downtime, aptly boiling it down to a story about regular people that are “imprisoned by a suffocating cycle of boredom and isolation.” She continues to praise Downtime as a great achievement for first-time filmmaker Hanec, and for the all-amateur cast.

Steele claims Hanec’s Downtime to be an urban version of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s 1962 novel One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich. Despite the vague similarities in pacing, the characters in Downtime are far from the tyrannical hardships of a 1950s soviet labour camp. They drift through life, working at jobs that neither discomfort them or invigorate them, living lives that certainly aren’t hard, just boring. Perhaps saying that Downtime is a first world version of One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich would be more apt.

Even more apt would have been drawing comparisons to Hanec’s contemporary Jim Jarmusch, specifically his early works Permanent Vacation and Stranger Than Paradise, neither of which Hanec was able to see until after Downtime’s completion in 1985.

My personal favourite part of the article comes at the end, when we see Greg’s do-or-die attitude as an artist fully illustrated. “If I can’t make it in filmmaking, I don’t think I should go make sitcoms. I’ll go and be a cook in some restaurant or something,” says Hanec.

In her review, Steele attacks the editing of Downtime, specifically the inconsistent nature of the fade outs and cuts. Although I am not sure, I would guess that these inconsistencies were more likely a constrain of the $16,000 price tag of the film than anything. The good news is, since the new DVD was restored from the original negatives, the fades and cuts had to be re-applied by yours truly. As Greg and I re-assembled the film from the HD transfer, we were forced (the transfer had no fade outs) to reassess some of the fades as well as colour correction, with the result being a more succinct, more vivid, tighter edit than ever seen before.

Greg Hanec, actress Maureen Gerbrandt and U of W Film Prof John Kozak will all be at the Cinematheque in person to launch the brand new DVD, and will be speaking after the film. Check out the Facebook event here!

And of course, stay tuned for more on Downtime, coming to Cineflyer in the weeks leading up to the release of this often overlooked masterpiece of regional cinema!

Downtime press city magazine article 1985

downtime city magazine article 1985

downtime greg hanec 1985 article city magazine

HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE 7th ANNUAL WNDX ONE-TAKE SUPER 8 EVENT (or THESE ARE SOME OF MY FRIENDS)

•October 1, 2012 • Leave a Comment

by Scott Fitzpatrick
Oct. 1, 2012

the one-take super 8 has in a short time become my favourite event of the winnipeg year. i made my first film for the one-take in 2010, and have taken part every year since. overall 2012 was an incredibly strong year for the event, despite the absence of some of my favourite regular players (heidi, leslie, clint, damien, delf, noam, darcy – you better be back next year!). my film, (titled: gets braces) played second-to-last, and the 26 films that preceded it set the bar very, very high. here are my (5) favourite films from the show (in no particular order):

Living on the Edge – dir. Aaron Zeghers
a meditation on life and death via kingdom animalia. some beautiful long-exposure photography makes this one of zeghers’ most visually striking and restrained works to date, while he continues to refine his skill at crafting blissfully smothering atmospherics.

Blotto – dir. Mike Maryniuk
a dizzying dose of fun-formalism from mike maryniuk. splashes of paint succumb beautifully to centrifugal force. for about fifteen seconds i thought this one was a dud; problems with soft focus right off the hop. once the picture came through sharp however, this was a stunner. one of mike’s best one-takes yet – pro work, but still ragged and off-hand.

These Are Some of My Friends – dir. Stephane Oystryk
i know it’s not polite to pick favourites, but this was my favourite. i’ve been a pretty grizzly fan since before i knew who or what pretty grizzly was. this film, a series of portraits, friends musing over their tenuous places in life, is easily his strongest work to date. the one-take has continuously proven an ideal platform for oystryk’s particular brand of wide-eyed, lo-fi filmmaking. he has a style like linklater, but with a less rigid approach to form and unique in its disarmingly genuine sentimentality. here oystryk’s friends take turns discussing age, responsibility, and how time can get away from you if yr not careful. in the end i think steph’s cat gets the most screen-time, and our last friend is short-changed as a result. her narration carries on after the picture’s rolled out, into an elliptical ending somehow as content in its present as it is unsure of its future. talk about time getting away from us. yet another pretty grizzly short with legs enough to be a feature.

The Sneaky Snogger – dir. Cynthia Wolfe-Nolin
i insisted my pal cwn shoot a one-take this year. i got to help her out with her “i shot it on 16” film in 2011 and have been anxiously awaiting her next analog endeavor ever since. her film, a chaplin-esque kissing booth sketch, was constructed with razor-sharp precision and featured the most arresting photography of the evening. a lovely lilting soundtrack and a jarring ending as surreal as it was subtle made this one of my favourites of the lot. c-dubs may be a notorious wild-card IRL, but her filmmaking is surprisingly and refreshingly disciplined.

The Joy of Creating – dir. Ryan Simmons
could (should?) have been called ‘noam gonick makes something queer in the woods with goats’. i don’t remember any actual jokes in this one, but i did giggle throughout. chalk it up to simmons’ ascerbic wit and keen cinematic eye. josh marr as goat wrangler for my favourite performance of the night. so adorable!!

ALSO AWESOME:
Dave Barber – Hung Dry on a Meat Jag
Kelly Duke – Steel Petals, Bright Lights
Matheu Plouffe – El Diablo the Undefeated
Darren Young – Circles / Grey Man’s Gardens
Ian Bawa – Spectre
Karen + Jaimz Asmundson – Citizens Against Basswood
Sonya Ballantyne – Taking the Long Way Home

A Look at WNDX 2012

•September 25, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Winnipeg’s experimental film festival is just around the corner, boasting six short film programs with work from around the globe, a three-part focus on Beat Cinema, two expanded cinema performances, and a mobile cinema that will traverse Winnipeg’s decadent landscape.

For WNDX, bringing a tonne of experimental films, filmmakers and related events to Winnipeg is nothing new, but there are some changes at the 2012 festival. Most obviously is the fact that “WNDX, Festival of Moving Image” is a new title for the festival (formerly WNDX Festival of Film and Video Art). It aims to be simpler and more inclusive says festival producer Jaimz Asmundson.

By far the most important and deserved change is the fact that the short film programs are now separated by thematic distinctions instead of geographical ones. Instead of a local, regional, national and international short film programs, WNDX is now sporting films from around the world in five new thematic categories. The categories appear to be broken down into structural films, fun formalist films, performance films, experimental documentary films, and experimental narrative films. This is an important change, and one that I think will undoubtedly only benefit the festival and its audience.

Each year WNDX tends to focus their retrospective efforts on an important avant-garde or underground filmmaker, in recent years focusing on George Kuchar and Joyce Wieland. This year, the festival has chosen to focus instead on a genre of experimental filmmaking: Beat Cinema. This three-part series was curated and will be introduced by author and beat guru Jack Sargeant in person! For a great introduction into Beat Cinema check out this article by Jack Sargeant here!

-Aaron Zeghers

The festival kicks off Wednesday night at 9PM with the opening of Situated Cinema at RAW Gallery, a mobile theater project envisioned by Solomon Nagler, Thomas Evans and Craig Rodmore. For those of you wondering how a mobile theater on wheels is going to fit into the RAW Gallery basement suite, I have two words or you that harken back to early Cineflyer days: “RAW” “FUR”

Thursday evening the festival gets underway at 7PM with the short film screening focusing on structural film: “The Memory Palace”. This will be a great program, with local favourites Scott Fitzpatrick, Heidi Phillips, three premiere’s from international filmmakers, and Dan Browne’s meditation on death Memento Mori, which won the WNDX Jury Prize for Best Canadian Work. Also included will be Christine Lucy Latimer’s The Pool, a film vs. digital distortion which was very recently mentioned on Bad Lit by Mike Everleth.

Later on Thursday at 9PM in the Winnipeg Film Group’s Black Lodge is an expanded performance Magic Lantern Ceremony featuring Gehenna, AB by Doreen Girard and Intertidal by Alex MacKenzie, with both artists in attendance. Girard and MacKenzie both use antiquated analog technology to do live film performances with 35mm slide reversal film and 16mm film amongst others.

Friday kicks off at 5 PM at the Cinematheque with “Watching You, Watching Me, Watching You”, a shorts program of experimental performance films. Included is a world premiere from Winnipeg’s Freya Björg Olafson and a regional premiere by Erin Buelow. Cineflyer Sask’s editor Ian Campbell offers a world premiere of his film The Floating World, and with any luck will be there in person as well.

At 7PM, the shorts continue, this time with a formalist sentimentality, in “Do iPhones Dream of Electric People”. Winnipeg dominates this program with it’s specialty, fun formalism, with contributions by Mike Maryniuk, Rhayne Vermette, Clint Enns, and myself, Aaron Zeghers. The main course of this meal will be Jacques Perconte’s 40-minute glitch ode to impressionist painters that won the WNDX Special Jury Prize for Best International Work.

The Friday evening ends with the first two parts of the three-part Beat Cinema retrospective at Cinematheque. This series will be led by Jack Sargeant, author of Naked Lens: Beat Cinema and general know-it-all of the beat movement. As the WNDX program guide describes, in the Beat Cinema programs, Sargeant will combine “works made by beat writers, their friends, affiliates and underground filmmakers”.

“These three screenings offer a rare glimpse into areas such as ‘spontaneous’ cinema, improvised underground film, and beat notions of creativity. Mixing documentary works with experimental films, narrative features and dreamlike escapades; these films highlight the beat relation to cinema,” says the WNDX program, available HERE!

Saturday is a full day of activities, beginning with an Expanded Cinema artist talk at 2PM moderated by Sol Nagler. “The designers of the ‘Situated Cinema’ project, Craig Rodmore and Thomas Evans, as well as visiting expanded cinema performance artists, Alex MacKenzie, Tasman Richardson and Jeremy Bailey, will discuss their work, their processes and what they feel is in store for the future of the
medium.”

At 3PM, the short films begin with “Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea” a program of experimental documentaries, including Deco Dawson’s recent TIFF award-winning short on surrealist Jean Benoit, Keep a Modest Head. The program also includes films from Toronto’s 35mm master John Price, Trevor Anderson’s well-received 2010 film High Level Bridge, and Joel Wanek’s film about Winnipeg-south, Heart of Durham.

At 5PM, the short films continue at the Cinematheque with the experimental narrative program, “Learning How to Fall”. Included in this program are new works from Darryl Nepinak, Murray Toews, WNDX favourite Clark Ferguson, and Matthew Rankin’s new film Tabula Rasa.

The evening then shifts to Negative Space, for a 9PM expanded cinema three-some, “Cathode Ray Remission”. Winnipeg’s Fletcher Pratt will experiment with audio/video synthesizers, followed by performance artist Jeremy Bailey (Ontario) and his bold new software that will save art, The Future of Creativity. Another WNDX favourite Tasman Richardson will close out the night with an installation of 15 seizuring televisions that “target the audience like a paparazzi firing squad”.

The night will end in style and possible debauchery with an “award ceremony”, aka. PARTY! for anyone who has a WNDX pass, ticket stub or convincing pleads to the door person.

The final day of the festival, Sunday begins with a Beat Cinema Brunch and Lecture by Jack Sargeant at 1PM at Mondragon.

At 3PM at the Cinematheque on Sunday is Films By Prairie Women Filmmakers, as curated by Cecilia Araneda. This program features mostly work from before 2007 by important prairie female filmmakers, including Winnipeg’s own Carole O’Brien, Paula Kelly, Coral Aiken and Danishka Esterhazy, and Saskatchewan’s Sarah Abbott and Dianne Ouellette. The program is meant to be a kind of vaguely defined retrospective of “women directors who emerged on the prairies before the digital age [and have] never truly been properly acknowledged,” as written in the program guide. While the goal to review and celebrate works by prairie women is undoubtedly important, one might wonder how films from 2009 and 2011 fit into this pre-digital retrospective category. Questions also come to mind as to why some of Winnipeg’s most influential female experimental filmmakers who are still hard at work today are not included in this program, while their contemporaries that have since abandoned experimental tendencies are included.

The grand finale of WNDX is once again the heralded One Take Super 8 event at the Gas Station Theater, as championed by the effervescent Alex Rogalski. Approximately 35 brand new films from Winnipeg filmmakers will premiere at this event, each one shot in sequence on a roll of Super 8, to be screened in the theater for the very first time!