Images Festival Presents the 37th Edition: Rehearsing Refusal

Coco Fusco, La Noche Eterna (The Eternal Night), 2023. Digital video, 70 minutes. (Video still courtesy of the artist).

37th Images Festival: Rehearsing Refusal

Images Festival is honored to present the 37th annual festival Rehearsing Refusal taking place April 11–16, 2024 in Toronto, Canada. Rehearsing Refusal presents moving images from around the world that emphasize resistance and the subversion of oppressive systems through experimental film. Programs will debut at Innis Town Hall with additional programs online and at off-site venues: VTape, Mercer Union and TIFF. Tickets and festival passes are currently on sale via

Rehearsing Refusal is curated by Programming Director Jaclyn Quaresma alongside Images’ inaugural Curatorial Residents: Annie Wong, Nasrin Himada, wave~form~projects (Liz Ikiriko and Toleen Touq) and 2024 Images Festival Emerging Curator, Cole Forrest. This year’s edition presents 39 films, a debut performance by maryam tafakory—her first appearance in Canada—an art game night by DISNOVATION.ORG, a workshop series with Vanessa Machado de Oliveira Andreotti and more!

Two feature-length Canadian premieres bookend the 2024 festival: Coco Fusco returns to Toronto for La Noche Eterna (The Eternal Night) on opening night. Set against the ideological repression in Cuba, The Eternal Night rings with the transcendent potential of imagination, depicting the delicate dance of refusal as told through the story of three Cuban young men condemned for their beliefs and creations. Svetlana Romanova closes the festival with The Voyage of Jeanette, an experimental, discursive essay film that navigates western ontologies and its myths of “discovery” alongside Yakutian realities.

“This year’s theme of Rehearsing Refusal emerged from the films submitted to our annual open call, thus speaking to our artistic and socio-political climate” says Magdalyn Asimakis, Executive Director. “We aim to provide spaces for gathering and sharing around the crucial ideas put forward by artists, filmmakers, curators and writers,” says Jaclyn Quaresma, Programming Director at Images Festival. “This in itself is a rehearsal of refusal”.

A pre-opener to the festival, in partnership with TIFF Wavelengths Images is presenting the Canadian premiere of Wang Bing’s Man in Black: a documentary featuring Wang Xilin, one of China’s most important modern classical composers who discusses the details of his political prosecution at the hands of the Communist Party.

Festival highlights include: dreamworlds curated by Nasrin Himada; Kamal Aljafari (Paradiso, XXXI, 108), NIC Kay (wait, wait, wait (Renegade)), Rhayne Vermette (Black Rectangle), Sky Hopinka (Lore), and Tacita Dean (Green Ray) with a post-screening conversation between Himada and renowned curator Wanda Nanibush. Measured by Some in Seasons curated by Jaclyn Quaresma; Felippe Mussel (Espectro Restauración), Diana Vidrascu (Vulcão: O Que Sonha um Lago? (Volcano: What Does a Lake Dream?)), Nour Ouayda (The Secret Garden). A Tyrant’s Fear of Songs curated by wave~form~projects; Aryel René Jackson, Michael J Love (The future is a constant wake), Rana Nazzal Hamadeh (We would be freer), Maya Jeffereis (Fields Fallen from Distant Songs), Lananh Chu (Creases of Time), Charles Officer (Vocal Demonstration), Jayce Salloum (Untitled part 3b: (as if) beauty never ends)), Hoda Afshar (Undone), Colectivo Los Ingrávidos, (Borders), Firas Shehadeh (Like an Event in a Dream Dreamt by Another – Rehearsal). Curated by Annie Wong; Maia Gattás Vargas (Viento del este (East Wind)). Physical Rehearsal – Our bodies’ identities through narratives curated by Cole Forrest; Xinli She (Echappe), Yuka Murakami (Falling Piece), Jasmine Liaw (xīn nī 廖芯妮 (Understanding you)), Natasha Woods (As/Is), Nathan Clement (Max et les Étranges), Arina Chernova (Medusa).

An online child-friendly screening A Little More Connected highlights animated films by Miranda Javid (What Humans Do), Jamal Ademola (I Dreamed of Seeing Myself), Darcy Tara McDiarmid and Chantal Rousseau (Starlight Sojourn) and Nadine Chantal Leclerc (Dream Reunion).

In an ongoing effort to increase accessibility, two programs—a city in pursuit (Joyce Joumaa and Tamara Jones) and Viento del Este (East Wind) (Maia Gattás Vargas)—will feature ASL during post-screening conversations. On April 16, a screening for the visually impaired will include audio descriptions for Oriana (Beatriz Santiago Muñoz) and Creases of Time (Lananh Chu). Assistive listening devices are available on a first-come, first-served basis for all in-person screenings.

The festival includes community spaces for ample discourse and connection. Festival patrons can enjoy provisions at the inaugural pop-up Café.jpg located within Innis Town Hall; Café.jpg features beans from Hatch Coffee and fresh pastries by Issho Bakery. The opening night party will feature Ana Luisa djing at Images official night bar, The Embassy, located within the dynamic landscape of Kensington Market. Automaticamore (Diana Chan McNally) will conclude the festival with vibrant sounds taking place at Ace Hotel Toronto.

For the full calendar of programs and events, please visit

About Images Festival

Images Festival is a leading presenter of independent film and media culture in dialogue with contemporary art. We aspire to elevate conversations between artists, scholars, and the public about the politics of the moving image.


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