Magic in the Dark – AMAAS Symposium May 9th in Edmonton

AMAAS’ annual gathering of the provincial media arts community is taking place, Friday, May 9th in Edmonton, Alberta.  Plan to arrive for the evening of Thursday, May 8th for the opening gala of the Global Visions Film Festival, and stay until Saturday morning for the AMAAS annual general meeting.  Registration forms are: here.  Spaces are limited, register early to guarantee your participation.

Major announcements at FAVAfest!

FAVA gala audience

The FAVA fest gala on Saturday night was a roaring success! Hundreds of people packed the lobby and theatre for a night of awards and celebrations from Edmonton’s media arts co-op. Dignitaries representing the city and provincial governments attended, including the Honourable Minister of Culture, Heather Klimchuk.

The evening opened with Debussy’s Claire de lune performed live by pianist Cameron Watson, accompanied by a new short film, Variations on a Chosen Landscape by Wes Miron, which was specially commissioned for this night. Following this, the awards were presented.

Production Awards grant cash and production credits to produce the best film, video, and documentary projects. This year, the awards were presented to:

  • The Helen Folkmann Film Award: Lindsay McIntyre and Dave Morgan
  • The Lisa Trofimova Video Award : Katrina Beatty
  • The Joe Viszmeg Documentary Award: Beth Wishart-McKenzie.

Also for this year, a new award was announced: the Alex Thomas Haug award for an emerging filmmaker was created to accommodate a new artist who shows great promise. This year’s Alex Thomas Haug Award was presented to Ali Sultani, a former Video Kitchen student who specializes in science fiction stories with a psychological bent.

The Awards of Excellence recognizes the best work from FAVA members in the past 18 months. Winners this year were:

  • Best Short Narrative: Dylan Rhys Howard, This Wind
  • Best Experimental: Eva Colmers, Autumn
  • Best Animation: Carlo Ghioni A Walk in the Park
  • Best Documentary: Lindsay McIntyre, Where We Stand
  • Best Music Video (tie): Christina Ienna, New Black
  • Best Music Video (tie): Fish Griwkowsky, Something’s Wrong/You Don’t Love Me Lover
  • Special Jury Prize: Parker Thiessen, Fin d’une Epoque

The Outstanding Achievement Award recognized Rick Gustavsen, a founding member of FAVA who has worked on more than 1500 FAVA member works, usually as a cinematographer.

During the course of the evening, FAVA Interim Executive Director Dave Cunningham announced an exciting new project was announced: FAVA TV, an online channel of works by independent artists in Edmonton. Programming will include films, performances, and variety shows.

Viewers can access this content and artists can create a profile at


What’s up, Doc Soup? Last screening of the season on April 2, 2014

Doc Soup is a monthly screening series that treats audiences to the best in documentary features. We had an email conversation with Stephen Schroeder, 
Executive Director of the Calgary International Film Festival, one of the co-producers of the Calgary Doc Soup, about the series, and the last film they are showing for this season:

Q: How did Doc Soup start?
A: Doc Soup Calgary started in Fall 2008, and has run every year since then. Doc Soup is actually a national series, originated by Toronto’s Hot Docs International Documentary Festival. Doc Soup Calgary is co-produced by Hot Docs and CIFF, and the other Doc Soups in other cities are co-produced by Hot Docs and local partners in each location.

Q: What kinds of films do you show? What niche does it fill in the Calgary film scene?
A: They are all new, notable (and, in many cases, award-winning) documentary films. Calgary has a great audience for docs. In fact, Doc Soup Calgary is by far the best attended of all the various Doc Soups in Canada.

Q: How are the films selected?
A: CIFF and Hot Docs jointly select each month’s film. CIFF Senior Features Programmer Brenda Lieberman represents CIFF in the selection process, and has been doing an amazing job. She really has a great sense of what Calgary audiences want to see.

Q: How was the attendance of this year’s series?
A: Last year’s series set a new attendance record, but this year’s (2013-14) is already on track to beat that. The audience has grown to the point where most of the screenings sell out, so folks should get their tickets early, or, better yet, buy a series subscription next year. Total Doc Soup attendance for the 2013-14 series is expected to hit about 2,000. There are six films in the series, one per month, from November 2013 through April 2014.

Q: Why should people attend the last film?
A: Tim’s Vermeer is the last film. It was hugely successful at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival, and is the story of one of the art world’s greatest mysteries.

Q: What is being planned for next year?
A: Doc Soup Calgary will be back for another great series from November 2014 through April 2015! Subscriptions are the best deal, and also guarantee entry in the event of a sold out film. Subscriptions will go on sale later this Spring, and the first film of the series (November’s film) will be announced in September 2014 during the 15th annual Calgary International Film Festival.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014, 7:00 PM
Cineplex Odeon Eau Claire Market Cinemas, 200 Barclay Parade Southwest

Buy tickets here.

$100 Film Festival

$100 Film Festival
March 6-8, 2014, various venues.
How many film festivals are you going to this year? Actually, probably not many. These days, the term “film” is pretty much metaphorical: most festivals are moving toward digital. But literal film festivals are now very rare.

Calgary Society for Independent Film’s $100 Film Festival is one of only a handful of festivals that remain 100% celluloid. (As an aside, “celluloid” too is merely a figure of speech — motion picture film is now made from much more stable plastics.)

The $100 Film Festival celebrates the medium of film, screening works on reels, on projectors.  About 30 films will be shown, with a focus on the works of Louise Bourque, this year’s Visiting Artist. She will also be giving an artist talk at ACAD and leading a workshop on hand manipulation of 16mm film.

A component that was recently added is the Film/Music Explosion (metaphor!), a program that matches musicians to filmmakers. This results in a live performance with the band, accompanied by the purr of projectors showing the Super 8 film.

When the festival began 22 years ago, the challenge was to create a work using only four Super 8 cartridges. That limitation has been lifted making its name largely symbolic, but the festival continues to support the spirit of low-budget, independent film.

For more information and tickets, see

Last call to submit to Global Visions: February 28

Global Visions in Edmonton is Canada’s longest running documentary film festival. It has grown from a university-sponsored event to being Western Canada’s biggest documentary festival. This year, they have expanded to a full 8 days of programming from May 8-15.

In addition to  programming streams for music documentaries, a retrospective and Canadian films, the festival is targeting the best of Alberta films in the LOCALVisions program.

This year as always, Global Visions is waiving the submissions fee for Alberta filmmakers.

For more information, see

To submit, follow this link.