Images Festival is happening online and it’s free

While other film festivals postpone or cancel, the annual independent film and media art festival is going forward with a virtual program


IMAGES FESTIVAL OF INDEPENDENT FILM AND MEDIA ART streaming Thursday (April 16) to Wednesday (April 22) at imagesfestival.com.


Coronavirus concerns have forced some film festivals to postpone their 2020 editions, and others to cancel them entirely. And some, like Hot Docs, have made arrangements to put a small assortment of their program online.

The 33rd edition of the Images Festival, which starts this Thursday (April 16), is going forward as planned… virtually. And at no charge.

The annual festival of independent film and media art will be livestreaming its program of experimental cinema, artist talks and panels at its website.

It’s a reduced program, with just one thing happening at any given time, but it’s still pretty impressive. And, again, access is free, though Images is open to donations in lieu of admission – which will be directed to the festival’s “artists, arts workers and community.”

The festival gets underway Friday at 8 pm with the opening-night gala, Sky Hopinka’s maɬni – towards the ocean, towards the shore, an observational study of two people living in the Columbia River Basin. The film will be followed by a Q&A with Hopinka and curator and archivist Almudena Escobar López.

This year’s Canadian Spotlight honouree, Mohawk visual artist Skawennati, is uniquely suited to a streaming presentation: her machinima projects use video game imagery and sci-fi narratives to examine Canada’s history of Indigenous disenfranchisement, and thus look perfectly at home in a browser window.

Her nine-episode series TimeTraveller™, produced between 2008 and 2013, screens Friday (April 17) at 6:30 pm, along with 2018’s short The Peacemaker Returns, followed by a Q&A with LACMA film curator (and ImagineNative programmer) Adam Piron Skawennati will deliver a solo artist talk Saturday (April 18) at 2 pm.

I’d also recommend checking out No News Today (April 21, 3 pm), which assembles three recent shorts by London filmmaker Ayo Akingbade: Tower XYZ, Street 66 and Dear Babylon. Known as the Social Housing trilogy, they’re an artistic interpretation of street-level politics and social awareness in the UK, and they’ll be followed by an online Q&A with Akingbade by Images artistic director Steffanie Ling.

The 33rd Images Festival streams from April 16 to 22 at the festival website. You can find the full schedule and program details here.

@normwilner

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