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Sponsored feature: presented by Images Festival
IMAGES FESTIVAL. Toronto’s leading festival in moving image arts features thousands of media-based projects, from screenings to performances to art installations. Local galleries. April 12-20, 2018. More event info at imagesfestival.com.
Images Festival returns to Toronto this week, bringing experimental screenings, exhibitions and performances to the city. The festival can always be relied on to showcase the kind of artistic work you can’t find anywhere else. This year’s programming is set to expand upon what fans have come to know and love about it over the years.
Positioned at the intersection of visual arts and film – two creative worlds that have much in common yet usually remain distinct – Images aims to bring them together to inform, inspire and create more conversations and connections between these mediums.
We chatted with Images’ head of programming, Aily Nash, to find out which screenings and performances you shouldn’t miss out on.
While more traditional film fans may shy away from experimental programing, Nash made it clear that this year’s lineup features something for everyone.
“We bookend the festival with our opening and closing night films, both born from the filmmakers’ decades-long investments in distinct communities. They share the experiences and desires of women worlds apart – from an African-American lesbian strip club scene in Los Angeles in Leilah Weinraub’s Shakedown, to various generations of women and girls in Kyrgyzstan in Aminatou Echard’s Djamilia. These brilliant documentaries are groundbreaking, with powerful stories that are accessible to all audiences,” she noted.
Nash is also particularly proud that this year the festival will feature “the first Canadian solo exhibition of Qatari-American artist, writer and filmmaker Sophia Al-Maria,” whose Black Friday (April 13 to June 2 at Mercer Union) presents her ongoing investigation into the accelerated development of the Gulf Nations, and the sobering signs of a hyper-capitalist future to come.
This year, the Canadian Artist Spotlight goes to Steve Reinke, who will be in attendance on April 16th at Innis Town Hall for a retrospective screening featuring six of his videos, including 2016’s Atheists Need Theology, Too and 1992’s Squeezing Sorrow From An Ashtray.
Nash also highlighted a new two-part installation by American artist Trisha Baga, Biologue. The immersive 3D video will be featured at Gallery TPW throughout the run of the festival.
If you’re looking to check out one of the live performances this year, she recommends “Lucy Raven and Deantoni Parks Bullet Points for a Hard Western, a live performance inspired by the artwork and music of Walter De Maria,” happening April 18th at the Toronto Media Art Centre.
Cap off the festival on April 20th with a closing night performance by Lafawndah at The Garrison, where Egyptian-Iranian performer, musician and filmmaker Yasmine Dubois will bring her stunning vocals and pop songwriting prowess to the stage.
Nash closes with the real reason you should carve out some time for the festival. “The works in this year’s program are both formally and politically innovative. The program presents the large gamut of approaches and voices that inhabit this hinterland of moving image culture. What many of the works and artists have in common is the skill to take care, to listen, to watch and to learn from others – this is the most urgent practice today, and the most radical.”
Whether you are an Images regular or new to the festival, this year’s lineup will be sure to open your mind and expand how you view the moving arts.
Find out more about this year’s festival at the Images Spark Page.