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Resolution 2015

Thursday February 5th 2015, Doors: 6pm / Screening: 6:30pm

Mayfair Theatre, 1074 Bank Street, Ottawa

Admission $5

SAW Video’s members are a vital part of Ottawa-Gatineau’s media arts community and the driving force of our centre. Join us at the Mayfair Theatre as we celebrate their talent with the 2015 edition of Resolution, our annual screening of new members’ work. This eclectic event showcases Ottawa’s vibrant filmmaking scene with something for everyone, including drama, documentary, animation and experimental video art.

This year’s crop of videos shows the diversity of work being made by SAW Video members. Dramatic production is highlighted in two exceptional shorts, first-timer Alex Griffith’s Bedtime Stories, a story of a former couple struggling to communicate told unconventionally through internal monologues, and Digi60 and Sparta veteran James Campbell’s Skylights, a story of a father and daughter’s changing relationship over the years allegorized through a children’s folk tale.

Documentary production is represented by 68 anneés de l’hiver, a touching true story by Alexander Cruz of an elderly man born blind who regains his sight at age 68, renowned local filmmaker and educator Izabel Barsive’s Nihon Go, a visually arresting and contemplative experimental travelogue about the co-existence of excitement and slowness in contemporary Tokyo, and Jeff Parenteau’s Bending Limits, another experimental travelogue, this one depicting journeys through the haunted desolation of Death Valley and the brightly-coloured noise of the Las Vegas strip.

Experimental filmmaking is also on display in SAW Video Spotlight Award-winner Matthieu Hallé’s Apartment No. 2, an exercise in textural abstract photography that comments on the power of sight, Unkraut, a first-person meditation by SAW Video youth program alumnus Karina Griffith, currently a resident of Berlin, on feelings of alienation and how they relate to the immigrant experience, Kelly Ann Beaton’s STOP, a commentary on how our cluttered technological society eliminates personal space conveyed through split-screen editing, and Cantebury High School student Alex Sutcliffe’s Unseen Ottawa, an intriguing blend of still photographs of some of our city’s overlooked spaces and ‘old school’ analog video effects and glitches.

Animation can be seen in three shorts this year, Pixie Cram’s Joan, a sombre but gorgeous retelling of the Joan of Arc story created in pixilation, the technique of animating human bodies frame-by-frame pioneered by Norman McLaren, Sharon Katz’s Pop!, a humourous satirical take on modern consumer culture reminiscent of classic NFB cartoons, and a music video for the song Yellow Magic Schoolbus by local psychedelic rock outfit Street Meat, featuring a parade of monster faces animated by punk animator Phil Osborne in a DIY style with an energetic mixture of line drawings, stop-motion and puppetry. Music is also front-and-center in journalist-turned-director Travis Boisvenue’s surreal music video for Point Dume by Ottawa rockers The Yips, in which a young woman becomes entangled by strange magic in a gothic forest.

The screening will be followed by an afterparty at House of Targ (1077 Bank St.). Resolution 2015 ticketholders get into Targ for free without paying cover!

Presented by SAW Video Media Art Centre in partnership with Winterlude.

Resolution is part of Dialogical at SAW Video. In 2015, SAW Video will devote its whole programming year to activities that enhance a sense of community dialogue and interaction.

Programme:

Bedtime Stories (Alex Griffith, 2014, 5 min.)

68 anneés de l'hiver (Alexander Cruz, 2014, 10 min.)

Apartment No. 2 (Matthieu Hallé, 2014, 3 min.)

Unseen Ottawa (Alex Sutcliffe, 2014, 8 min.) 

Street Meat – Yellow Magic Schoolbus (Phil Osborne, 2014, 3 min.)

Pop! (Sharon Katz, 2014, 3 min.)

STOP (Kelly Ann Beaton, 2014, 2.5 min.)

Nihon Go (Izabel Barsive, 2014, 7 min.)

Bending Limits (Jeff Parenteau, 2014, 12.5 min.)

Skylights (James Campbell, 2014, 8 min.)

Unkraut (Karina Griffith, 2014, 2 min.)

The Yips – Point Dume (Travis Boisvenue, 2014, 2.5 min.)

Joan (Pixie Cram, 2014, 6.5 min.)

TOTAL = 73 min.

Synopses and bios:

Bedtime Stories (Alex Griffith, 2014, 5 min.)

Two ex-lovers meet for a coffee. We hear their internal monologues as they gauge each other’s intentions.

Alex Griffith is a writer/director splitting his time between Ottawa and Toronto. Bedtime Stories is his first short.

68 anneés de l'hiver (Alexander Cruz, 2014, 10 min.)

Pierre Paul Thomas grew up blind in Montreal. The only world he knew was shadowy and gray. Nevertheless, he managed to live a 'normal' life as a cook, teaching himself how to function by the sense of touch alone. After an accidental fall down the stairs, treatment for a head injury led to a life-changing surgery to repair his eyes. Now, Pierre Paul 'feels like a kid again.' He was blind, now he can see.

Alexander Cruz is a filmmaker and media producer who explores the need to create new meanings out of broken identities, narratives, myths and values. His work reflects the belief that beneath these surface layers lie the complexities, contradictions and mysteries of what makes us human.

Apartment No. 2 (Matthieu Hallé, 2014, 3 min.)

A camera, a human operator, and the world from an apartment.

Matthieu Hallé is a filmmaker currently living in Ottawa. He is the director of the feature film Margraue (2013) as well as various shorts. He studied film at Concordia in Montreal from 2011 - 2013.

Unseen Ottawa (Alex Sutcliffe, 2014, 8 min.)

This is an experimental film capturing little known peculiarities of Ottawa's urban landscape. In this private study, Alex Sutcliffe uses analog and HD video, plus analog and digital still photographs and pairs the images with a contemporary music soundtrack. The artist analyzes features of Ottawa’s urban landscape that go largely unseen by the general population.

Alex Sutcliffe is a Visual Arts student at Canterbury High School. This is his first experimental art film. He spent the summer of 2014 exploring and documenting Ottawa’s urban landscape and used the images as inspiration for this film. 

Street Meat – Yellow Magic Schoolbus (Phil Osborne, 2014, 3 min.)

A parade of random faces.

Phil Osborne started doing animation at SAW Video in 2003 as part of the Youth Program and never stopped making stuff since: toy robots, puppets, comics, screen prints and more. The things he grew up with in the 80s are still a big part of his style: Nintendo, He-Man toys, Thrasher magazine, Mad Magazine, and Topps trading cards. Osborne prefers not to dwell on the meanings behind things as long as they are somehow appealing, and enjoys using a lo-fi aesthetic. His artistic process is subconscious and embraces the accidental.

Pop! (Sharon Katz, 2014, 3 min.)

A good burp is the best thing for consumer indigestion.

Sharon Katz is a Canadian visual artist. Working in animated and still imagery, her work is about making familiar things strange. She does this by abstracting their form, slowing down time, or moving ordinary objects in ways that replicate the twitchings and squirmings of living things. The objects become illogical and their juxtaposition against each other or their environment generates a tension – a cognitive stretching – that gives rise to various readings of the work. Katz has a BSc from the University of Western Ontario and recently completed an MFA at the University of Ottawa.

STOP (Kelly Ann Beaton, 2014, 2.5 min.)

STOP is a short film that explores the effects of technology on human relationships, specifically how it alters time, distance and space that define individuals.

A working artist, Kelly Ann Beaton created Pink Slippers Productions, an Ottawa-based independent film and theatrical production company, in 1998. Her award-winning and critically acclaimed films, Mulberry Red, No. 17 (1999), 10:33 (2001), The Organist (2002) and My Fur Hat (2005) have been screened at national and international film festivals around the world. Her most recent film STOP had its Canadian premiere at the Dawson City International Short Film Festival in April 2014. In recognition of her work to date, Library and Archives Canada acquired and preserved copies of all her films in 2009.

Nihon Go (Izabel Barsive, 2014, 7 min.)

Nihon Go, filmed in Tokyo, is a tender look at a city where excitement and slowness coexist in a universe in perpetual motion, like dreams and nostalgic memories.

Izabel Barsive is an independent producer, filmmaker, visual artist, camera person and video editor. Her company Barsive Productions is based in Ottawa. Among other things, she specializes in dance projects (screendance / documentation). One of her most recent dance art videos, Lustrale, was presented in numerous festivals in Canada, Central America, South America, Japan and Corsica. It was also broadcast on Bravo! and TFO in Canada. Patsy, her latest dance art film, was released in Winter 2011/12 and was also included in many screendance festivals. As a director and reporter, she received several nominations and awards and she has participated in juries for arts organizations such as Ontario Arts Council, Manitoba Arts Council, City of Ottawa and SAW Video among others. She was on the board of directors of Cinéfranco, a French film festival based in Toronto. She is also a part-time professor at the University of Ottawa, St-Paul University and an art educator in schools, the community and for overseas projects. As a trained occupational therapist, she also gives media arts workshops to people with special needs.

Bending Limits (Jeff Parenteau, 2014, 12.5 min.)

Bending Limits is an experimental documentary that chronicles the artist’s travels through Las Vegas Valley, Valley of Fire and Death Valley National Park.

Jeff Parenteau has been making films for 9 years. To date, most of his films have been experimental narratives that touch on themes of surrealism, nostalgia and dreams. His films have been screened domestically and internationally.

Skylights (James Campbell, 2014, 8 min.)

Skylights uses live-action and animated storytelling to allegorize parental love. The story follows widowed father David and his daughter Sara as their lives are interwoven with a children’s folk tale. The characters experience the usual trials and challenges that a family faces as children grow and explores the meaning of love and family. As Sara becomes a parent, she is able to experience the depth of her father’s love in a new way and attempts to convey what she has learned from him to her own child.

James Campbell has been producing and directing scripted short films for over 15 years. Born and raised in the small farming community of Chatham Ontario and a graduate of Western University, James took his love of film and applied it to teaching younger filmmakers the craft in the New York/Pennsylvanian area. Since then, James has made several moves but finally relocated to Ottawa, and has been applying his love for film and multimedia to many of his newer film projects.

Unkraut (Karina Griffith, 2014, 2 min.)

Some plants, although hardy and industrious, are unwanted in our gardens.  We label them ‘weeds’ and try to keep them outside of our borders. Unkraut is a visceral expression of the immigrant experience in Europe.

Karina Griffith’s installations and work with the moving image challenge notions of identity and belonging. Her films explore the themes of fear and fantasy, often focussing on how they relate to identity and the immigrant perspective. By juxtaposing seemingly different documentary footage, she creates contrasts that explore personal phobias to expose the universality of alienation. Her work has screened at festivals and exhibited at museums and galleries in North America and Europe, including the National Archives of Canada in Ottawa and the Marshall McLuhan Media Centre in Berlin, Germany. In 2014, Galerie Myrtis named her as an “International Artist to Watch.”

The Yips – Point Dume (Travis Boisvenue, 2014, 2.5 min.)

A music video for Ouija rock band The Yips. A young woman is exiled into a surreal forest and struggles through strange realizations.

Travis Boisvenue is a journalist-turned independent director, who self-releases short documentaries on art, culture, and design, and directs music videos for local artists that have appeared on Vice, MuchMusic, and more.

Joan (Pixie Cram, 2014, 6.5 min.)

A surreal and minimalist version of the story of Joan of Arc, created during an artist residency at Centre de production Daimon. The film was made entirely using pixilation and frame-by-frame technique - there is no live action.

Pixie Cram is a filmmaker and media artist based in Chelsea, Quebec. Her work includes animation, fiction, documentary and installation. Her films have been shown at several festivals in North America including Media City (2010) Antimatter (2010) and the Chicago 8-Fest (2011). Pixie Cram co-founded the Windows Collective (2008), a group devoted to the creation and exhibition of experimental works using film as a basis. On top of her own art practice, she works as a freelance director, editor and videographer.

 


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