Art Film and Shorts
Sat. Oct 3
Place Sun Yat-Sen
Rue de la Guachetière and Rue Clark)
How might the dispersed notions of diaspora be brought to light by screen? What does a fruitful relation between diasporic expression and representation via moving and time-based image media look like? COMMON ALIENS: Art and Shorts Outdoor Film Screening is a collaborative curation of 12 short films by North American people of colour, featuring an eclectic array of styles.
The featured Artworks & Shorts range in ways of expression and storytelling from filmmaker's autobiographical insights to experimental slivers of their personal or observed diasporic experiences.
Film Programming // Amanda Nguyen, Cynthia Or, Kate Whiteway
So What is a short animated film about how we all judge one another while feeling insecure about ourselves. This film follows several characters and their encounters with people in their daily lives.
Grace An is an artist specializing in 2D animation, comic-book arts and illustrations. She has appeared in multiple conventions, exhibitions, film festivals and publications around Canada under her brand, Sunshinable. Grace is from Toronto, Ontario, currently living in Montréal, Quebec.
Boyfriend combines YouTube-captured webcam videos with images of dominant East Asian masculinity. Headlined by a Mandarin cover of Justin Bieber’s pop hit “Boyfriend”, K-pop stars, J-pop stars, Taiwanese diaspora, and Canto-pop icons, are recut against confessional Asian American "dudes" who discuss the superficial aspects of performing the archetypal romantic straight male partner in Asian culture.
Jennifer Chan makes remix videos, gifs, installations and websites that contend with the gendered affects of media culture. Chan had solo screenings and exhibitions at Transmediale 2013 (Germany), Future Gallery (Berlin), Images Festival (Toronto), Vox Populi (Philadelphia), The Nightingale (Chicago), and recently LTD (Los Angeles). Her work has been featured on Rhizome, Furtherfield, LEAP, Dazed Digital, New Hive, and Sleek Magazine. Chan’s videos are distributed by VTape (Toronto). She was born in Ottawa, raised in Hong Kong, and is now based in Chicago.
∂∫¬ is the birth of my transient spirit, existential anxiety in-flux, the ouroboros of dreams. I fear my own essence, so I defend a fantastic death. What happens when you can't trust your mind any longer? Where every memory of happiness was really a slithering romanticization of rejection you had been ignoring all along? Intertwined hearts beat like a temple drum away from the residue of lost ghosts within the synthetic paradise of my conscious pleasure. Creeping despair … withdraw the sanctity. What is the afterlife for the queer soul? Who must I pray to, clasping onto mouldy faith and rotting diasporic roots? Enter the cave palace and watch me overdose on myths and dreams. An experimental video collage coagulating sacred kitsch imagery into a personal symbolic realm to contemplate religious, cultural, sexual and gender identity. The opalescent bile of spiritual healing, and the imaginative lengths we go to escape oppression via the imagination.
In this life, I am a diasporic queer trans Indian/Malawian/Canadian entity. I am real. I am ruined. Un-ruined. My hybrid art practice delves into the infinite symbols surrounding the magical queer spirits of the galactic diaspora, as well as the ephemeral decay of all things classified "real" or “true”. My inspiration wades in opalescent silver swamps perfumed by gender torment, romantic hallucinations, and the mythological creatures lounging under the ruins of their queer utopia. I am an interdisciplinary artist, with experience in direction, singing, acting, filmmaking, photography, and dance. I have just completed a Bachelors of Arts degree in Cultural Studies at McGill University. I am a resident DJ on the feminist queer Venus Radio collective on CKUT, Montreal’s local community radio station.
Seen through the lens of 12-year-old Quang, Aquarium uses a loose narrative framework. Via sounds, textures, spatiality and movement, fragmented encounters between characters evoke psychological experience similar to that of memory, distorted by experience and imagination. Set in a roadside motel and bar, the film highlights spatial and social isolation. This is compounded by the overlap of domestic and commercial space that Quang, his brother, and aging grandmother inhabit, as well as the ocular space of Quang's camera.
Editor and screenwriter, Omar Elhamy is an editor and screenwriter currently settled in Montreal. From living in Cairo, Dubai and Marseille, he gained experience as an assistant director and editor for works that were screened in festivals in Rotterdam, Venice, and Marseille. He is now co-writing two feature length films.
Cabinet works with an assemblage of still digital images of objects found in Buenos Aires that the maker found denoted Chineseness. Stimulated movement, as paired with the sounds of bandoneon, weave a dialogue about what an encounter with Chinese can mean in a context outside the maker's home base in Montreal. Cabinet was created at the Fundación ´ace para el Arte Contemporáneo in Buenos Aires during an Exploration Residency.
Hera Chan is experimenting with different ways of making slower cinema. She used to do more traditional journalism. Hera is currently based in Montreal.
Tengri is a wind burial, influenced by Shamanism, an old Mongolian tradition. When someone dies, the corpse is carried on a cart until a bump causes the body to fall. The place where the corpse lands becomes a simple tomb.
Alisi Telengut, an artist based in Montreal, creates animation frame by frame under the camera, with painting as the medium, to generate movement and explore hand-made and painterly visuals for her films. Her works are visual poetry and focus on lyrical representations of nomadic traditions of Central Asia. Her recent films received awards at the 24th Stockholm International Film Festival, the 36th and the 37th Montreal World Film Festival and Canada International Film Festival. In addition to being screened at Slamdance, Florida, Edinburgh, Annecy, ZINEBI, and various worldwide film venues and exhibitions as animation and moving image artworks, these films have also contributed to enthnographic, ethnocultural and archaeological research archives.
A profound human-animal and human-nature relationship is represented in Tears of Inge by a painted world filled with a camel’s emotion and tears. It is based on a real Mongolian nomadic story narrated by the filmmaker's grandmother.
Database explores a dysfunctional tunnel of images. This piece takes you through a roller coaster of appropriated footage sourced from a database archive, representing a collective subconscious which we are all a part of. The use of repetition, and looping imagery illustrates a detached and suspended virtual reality— a mind scape, mood, or reoccurring dream. We live in a generation of daydreamers. Due to technological advances aided by the internet, it is easy for us to feel as we are being watched or surveyed by the advent of social media— to feel alien from society, yet somehow functioning within it. This sense of detachment can makes us feel removed from our bodies, as a way to communicate in ways beyond language. Perhaps, a metaphysical rendering of abstract human communication and how one can find themselves lost in the tunnel of interpretation in order to discover a deeper meaning or understanding of the world.
James Huang is an artist currently living and working in New York City. He studied at New York University, with a BFA in Photography & Imaging and a minor in Studio Art.
Tremor addresses the often contentious intersection of cultural practice and contemporary space. Just as the retina of the viewer is jarred, overwhelmed, alienated from the environment of the film, so is diasporic culture expressed as both familiar and inaccessible at the same time. The aesthetic, represented by an assemblage of iconographic cultural accumulation, envelopes the viewer in a cultural romanticism of “Otherness”. Together the 'inherited,' traditional clothing, small apartment, and Elvis make up the diasporic costume. Yet, disparate elements featured combine strategically to express a cohesive, Canadian urban identity which is both involving but also impenetrable. Though the film explores notions of cultural romanticism, through these juxtapositions, it also reveals a position that looks at cultural exchange and ideas of 'Otherness' as symbiotic and two sided. Lastly, we chose the name Tremor to both literally reflect the visual turbulence of the camera and also to reference moments of instability inherent in the formation of diasporic self.
Cynthia and Linx, roommates in Montreal, found each other through a mutual desire to reconnect with their Chinese heritage as well as their love for food and fashion. Coming from different contexts, both share an affinity for crafting art objects, image-making, pole dancing, clothes making, film and using fun as a necessary means to make art. Their collaboration as roommates and people in life is like a giant lived and performed art-project on youth culture and its mania/malaise.
Ali Shan is a short documentary about memory and dreams. Ali Shan is a mountain located in Taiwan that is a popular destination and historic landmark for local tourists, known for its immaculate sunrise. In 1987, when I was ten years old, my family and I climbed to its peak. My memory recalls that the sun appears so close it is as if you can reach out and touch the rays of light. In December 2008, I returned to Ali Shan with a 16mm Bolex camera. I wanted to attempt to recreate my memories of that experience...to touch the sun. Some elements from the sound design are from an original 1987 analog video that my father filmed from that first trip.
Yung Chang / 張僑勇, based between China and Canada, is known for his feature documentaries, Up the Yangtze (2008), China Heavyweight Fruit Hunters (2013). Both Up the Yangtze and China Heavyweight premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and went on to garner numerous awards including two Taipei Golden Horse Awards. Up the Yangtze had one of the highest documentary box office releases in 2008 and China Heavyweight had a theatrical release in over two hundred mainland China cinemas — a first for a social issue documentary. He is currently working on Eggplant, his first narrative feature. He is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, the organization behind the Academy Awards.
Gaborone acts as a semi-documentary exploring the relationship between a mother and daughter as they travel between two continents to get the daughter to university. The tensions rise as they both realise that this is the end of chapter in their lives and the beginning of a new one where they are more independent of each other. The film uses the locations to comment on the reality of leaving not only your home, but your culture and identity, and the fear and loneliness that follows as the dreams of a new world do not match its reality.
Noncedo Khumalo is a second year Film Animation student at the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema of Concordia University in Montreal. She is a native of Montreal, Canada, Johannesburg, South Africa and Mbabane, Swaziland. Her multicultural upbringing serves as an influence in her films and designs.
Zhang, like so many other Chinese immigrants in Québec, runs a neighbourhood corner store seven days a week. Over the years he works diligently in hopes of providing a secure future for his family in their adopted country. Quotidian pressures had lightened somewhat until, suddenly, his resolve and the beginning of hard-won security are challenged by recurring symptoms of lymphatic cancer. A Winter Song looks into the achingly human story behind a typical Chinese-run dépanneur in Montréal.
男主角老張和許多華人移民一樣,為了生活辛苦經營一週七天不打䙤的便利商店. 在這個陌生的新國家他一直努力工作,就是為了帶給家庭安定的感覺.而週而復始的 辛勤和所背負的家庭責任在有一天突然發生轉變,且是一個很大的挑戰----曾經得過 的淋巴癌又有復發的可能… 改編於真實故事
Aonan Yang is an award winning filmmaker and producer based in Montreal. He is the co-founder of GreenGround Productions, a film production company that specialized in international co-productions; he is also the co-founder of CineGround Media, a unique camera rental, production and post-production solution centered around the RED and ARRI Digital Cinema Systems.