There are a lot of fantastic film-y (totally a word) events happening in Toronto this June; we've been making announcements all week about a lot of them—and we aren't even done yet! And we've got another to add to your list: DocNow.
DocNow is a festival celebrating the works of graduates from Ryerson's MFA in Documentary Media Program. It's a mix of emerging and established artists and takes place all throughout June. And the very best part? It's absolutely free!
For the 10th Anniversary this year, there are 10 exhibitions and 10 films being showcased. Photo exhibitions, multimedia presentations, short films—you can experience all sorts of powerful storytelling. If we're being honest, all 20 projects sound fantastic but we're going to highlight a few events and projects specifically.
FESTIVAL LAUNCH PARTY - Gladstone Hotel, June 5 - DocNow kicks off with a panel discussion about the ethics of documentary a thefeaturing filmmakers Tiffany Hsiung (The Apology), Brett Story (A Prison in 12 Landscapes) and Michelle Latimer (The Underground). More launch parties should start with panels featuring badass women filmmakers, if you ask us.
FILM SCREENING ONE: The first round of films screens at Hot Docs Cinema on Tuesday June 12 and at Ryerson on June 16. Some highlights of the program:
IN-BETWEN THE LINES - A documentary film about the former media officer for the Syrian Coalition, Bayan Khatib. (Sarah Claydon)
WALLS - A short documentary that chronicles the gradual segregation of the filmmaker’s family within her home and the impact mental illness has on her family members. (Lauren Gillies)
THE WALLED CITY (CIUDAD AMURALLADA) - A short documentary film which explores the daily lives of residents living within a marginalized neighbourhood of Cartagena, Colombia. (Katrin Kocsis)
TETA, OPI & ME - A poetic, meditative, multilingual, and feeling-driven short film, documenting the intricacies of the artist’s playful process in capturing her grandparents’ enduring romance through social, political and racial adversity. (Tara Hakim)
FILM SCREENING TWO - The second round of films screens at Hot Docs Cinema on Tuesday June 19 and at Ryerson on Saturday June 23. The Ryerson sreening also includes a panel discussion from Michelle Demeyere (Documentary Archivist, Banger Films), Gabor Pertic (Senior International Programmer, Hot Docs), Olena Decock (Industry Programmer, Conference and Funds, Hot Docs) and guests. Some highlights of the program:
BILL IN THE SKY - Examines the environmental impacts of Bill’s bird migration innovations (on which the film Fly Away Home was based) and considers the ripples of his art and creations throughout Canada and the world. (Kate Latimer)
GOLI, A TALE OF THREADS - Is a poetic glance at the craftsmanship of handloom textile weaving in the workshops of Kashan. (Sara Naimpour)
IN SEARCH OF HOME - Traces the immigration of a 26-year- old Egyptian woman seeking refuge in Canada after being forcibly displaced from her home following political detention by the new military regime. (Mohamed Dawood)
206 CARLTON - Wednesday June 13, Cinecycle - This film by Sylvia Nowak investigates the former residence and headquarters of internationally infamous Holocaust denier, Ernst Zundel and explores the history of racism and anti-racism that has existed and continues to exist in the city of Toronto. A panel discussion will follow the screening.
Along with the films screenings you can see various artworks at galleries throughout the city all through June. Highlights include:
(IN)VISIBLE WOUNDS - Gallery 50, May 30-June 10 - A multichannel video installation that looks into China’s one-child policy in relation to propaganda, government control and family memories. (Winnie Wu)
SHKAKAMIKWE KIDO - RM 322, June 8-30 - A multifaceted project that provides an immersive documentary experience that speaks to local land stewardship, Indigenous cultural practice, and land-based pedagogy, articulating the connection between ‘re-presencing’ identity and the land as a source of knowledge. (Natasha Naveau)
QUEEN OF THE BANDS (CARNIVAL AND “MONARCHY” IN THE 416) - Areej Art Gallery, June 23-30 - A multimedia gallery installation, explores the complexity of Queenliness through the audio and photographic documentation of four women who performed as the head female masqueraders within the complex political framework of Toronto Caribbean Carnival’s 2017 King and Queen competition. (Chante Barnwell)
This is seriously just a small sampling of an incredible program. You can read about all the projects HERE and check out the schedule HERE. We're looking forward to cramming our brains and hearts with fantastic storytelling via DocNow this month and we hope you are too.