ReFrame Film Festival 2023

Will You Look At Me, Shuli Huang

Art Embodied: ReFrame Film Festival reveals full lineup of docs

January 26 – February 3, 2023
Streaming online across Canada

ReFrame Film Festival, one of Ontario’s best-kept secrets in documentary film, will be streaming online across Canada from January 26 – February 3, 2023. The social justice doc fest is committed to keeping film-watching accessible and has a PWYC option for every one of the 60+ films available on-demand. ReFrame ’23 boasts the best nonfiction docs on the festival circuit, exploring innovations in the documentary form, stories about fascinating artists and archival experiments.

FACT MEETS FICTION

Feature films that are disrupting the traditional documentary form include Chase Joynt’s multi-award-winning film Framing Agnes which employs an all-star cast of artists and performers to engage and re-enact an archive of never-before-seen histories of transgender people. Foragers by Palestinian artist Jumana Manna, interweaves documentary, fiction and archival footage to depict the dramas around the practice of foraging for wild edible plants in Palestine/Israel. Foragers captures the joy and knowledge embodied in these traditions alongside their resilience to prohibitive laws enforced by the state of Israel. Winner of the Crystal Bear Award and Teddy Award at the Berlinale, Alis takes place inside a Colombian shelter, where filmmakers invited a group of teenage girls to conjure a new roommate named Alis, an invented character that acts as a catalyst for insight into their lives and imaginations. Meeting Point portrays two filmmakers who reconstruct scenes from their family’s shared history; their fathers were imprisoned together in 1975, under the Pinochet dictatorship in Chile. As the filmmaking process unfolds, the emotional traces of this story reveal how past atrocities continue to haunt Chilean families today.

Foragers, Jumana Manna

AN ARTIST’S LIFE

This year’s program also looks deeply at the lives of artists. Winner of the Cannes prize Semaine de la Critique in 2022, Shuli Huang’s Will You Look At Me is an autobiographical film about a young Chinese filmmaker who returns to his hometown in search of himself, when a long due conversation with his mother dives the two of them into a quest for acceptance and love. The Colour of Ink follows Toronto artist Jason Logan, who creates unique inks for some of the world’s most celebrated artists by using unconventional materials, many of which he finds while foraging in locations ranging from the landfill beaches of Toronto’s Leslie Street Spit to the Mojave Desert. Through creative interviews with her friends and striking tableaux of her unique art works, For Your Peace of Mind, Make Your Own Museum allows the audience to fall in love with Senobia, an outsider artist in a small village in Panama who saw art in everything and transformed her house into The Museum of Antiquities of All Species.

The Colour of Ink, Brian D Johnson

EXPERIMENTS WITH ARCHIVES

Subject explores the life-altering experience of sharing one’s life on screen through the participants of five acclaimed documentaries. As tens of millions of people consume documentaries in an unprecedented “golden era,” the film urges audiences to consider the impact on documentary participants—the good, the bad, and the complicated. Sam Now uses the home movies of a pair of teenage brothers to investigate the mystery of their mother’s disappearance 25 years ago. Riotsville, USA uses all archival footage for a fascinating look at a fictional town built by the US military in the 1960s that cast soldiers as rioters for training purposes. The film explores the militarization of the police and creates a counter-narrative to the nation’s reaction to the uprisings of the late ’60s.

Living on the Threshold, Vincent Bruno, Marine Chesnais

ART EMBODIED

Short films that connect us to our physicality include Living on the Threshold, about contemporary dancer Marine Chesnais, who travels to Réunion Island to collaborate with migrating humpback whales, Vibrations – Inner Music follows deaf dancer Kassandra Wedel, whose band interprets her dancing and not the other way around, and Our Glorious Bodies which celebrates disabled bodies with community crowd-sourced images told through poetry.

PASSES ON SALE NOW

Don’t miss out on nine days of documentary magic! Virtual Festival Passes, ticket-packs and Pay-What-You-Can tickets for individual films are available now. For more information and to purchase tickets visit: reframefilmfestival.ca/festival.

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