ReFrame Film Festival 2024

Orlando, My Political Biography, Paul B. Preciado

Performing Arts Meets Docs: ReFrame Film Festival Announces Full Lineup

Celebrating 20 years, ReFrame Film Festival is taking place January 25 – February 4, 2024, and will screen over 60 films as part of its hybrid festival. The in-person component of ReFrame 2024 will be hosted in downtown Nogojiwanong/ Peterborough, ON from January 25 – 28. Immediately following the in-person experience, a selection of the program will screen on-demand during the Virtual Festival, January 29 – February 4, and will once again be available from coast-to-coast-to-coast for a full week. The social justice doc fest is committed to keeping film-watching accessible, and has a PWYC option for every film. ReFrame ‘24 celebrates the art that brings us together and features a long list of docs focused on performance.

Some films offer a behind the scenes look at performing artists like Maboungou: Being in the World, which celebrates the influential career of Montréal-based dancer, choreographer, and philosopher Zab Maboungou, of Franco-Congolese origin.

Similarly, the Legacy Song Project: Atlantic Chapter, invites audiences into the creative process of musician Sarah McInnis. Featuring the profound stories of 8 Atlantic Canadians, this evocative short film and live musical performance captures stories about the universal experiences of loss and how songwriting can be used as a bridge to connect us with our loved ones, past and present.

The power of music is further explored in North Circular, a documentary musical that travels the length of Dublin’s North Circular Road exploring the history, music and streetscapes of the country’s most beloved and infamous places. “Those in power write the history. Those who struggle write the songs.”

Queendom, Agniia Galdanova

Performance is resistance in Agniia Galdanova’s Queendom. Gena, a queer artist from a small town in Russia, dresses in otherworldly costumes made from junk and tape, and protests the government on the streets of Moscow. She stages radical performances in public that become a new form of art and activism – and put her life in danger.

Art is often where we turn in the face of overwhelming truth and emotion. There Are Hierarchies of Grief features poetry written and performed by Smokii Sumac, who reflects on the wisdom and strength of bereaved mothers as he is faced with the grief of waking up to a changed world–the day after Donald Trump was elected as President of the United States.

Art can also be the way we express ourselves when an experience impacts us beyond words. Iron Butterflies incorporates breathtaking dance into its investigation of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, shot down by Russian forces over eastern Ukraine, killing all 298 people on board.

Iron Butterflies, Roman Liubyi

Orlando, My Political Biography, also plays with performance on screen by taking Virginia Woolf’s classic novel as a starting point for a bold, joyous reflection on the nature of contemporary Trans life and a celebration of Queerness. 27 different people, all Trans and non-binary, from ages 8 to 75, come to play Woolf’s fictional character while also narrating their own lives. An exploration of mid-twentieth century Trans archives evokes the real historical Orlandos in their struggle for recognition and visibility.

Among the many intersections between documentary and performance, Demon Box is notable. Ten years in the making, Sean Wainsteim revises his semi-autobiographical magic-realism short film about trauma, suicide, and the Holocaust, and transforms it into a painful, blunt and funny dissection of the film and his life.

Demon Box, Sean Wainsteim

Don’t miss your chance to engage with these films celebrating the beauty and power of performance in documentaries. It all starts with Opening Night’s Boil Alert, a genre-bending film that pushes the boundaries of documentary and poignantly explores the human dimension of the water crisis in Indigenous communities, as well as the impact it is having upon Native identity.

The widely diverse ReFrame program also speaks to pressing issues of climate change, Indigenous sovereignty, police brutality, confronting ableism, and more. Most films will be available with captions.

Passes on Sale Now

Be sure to check out the 20th anniversary edition of ReFrame! Festival-goers can purchase 3 types of passes this year: In-Person Pass for $100, Virtual Festival Pass for $50 (a reduced selection of the films shown in person), and Hybrid Pass (Virtual & In-Person Festival Pass), for $125. Pay-What-You-Can tickets for individual virtual films will be available starting January 17, and on a rush basis at Festival venues for in-person screenings. For more information and to purchase passes visit:

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