An incredible short film based on a photograph (thank-you Hesam Hanafi)

November 3, 2014 · 0 comments


From left to right, at the Cinema Politica book launch: Svetla Turnin, John Greyson, Thomas Waugh and Ezra Winton.From left to right, at the Cinema Politica book launch: Svetla Turnin, John Greyson, Thomas Waugh and Ezra Winton.

High up on the eleventh floor of Concordia’s EV (Engineering and Visual Arts) building in downtown Montreal 150 or so people gathered as a sun set reflected in orange hues across a range of high-rise buildings. In our own way we had organized an event that embodied the intriguing marriage of art and engineering, mostly expressed in the presentation by the unstoppable, insanely inspiring and altogether heroic human John Greyson (who in one part spoke of using GPS tracking devices to outline portraits of former fellow inmates by running through Toronto neighbourhoods).

We were gathered to hear John talk about his time in a Cairo prison and about art and solidarity and resistance, and expanding the narrative past himself and other “exceptional” news stories. We were also gathered to celebrate Cinema Politica’s tenth year of existence, not an easy feat in a climate where documentary funding and dissemination venues and windows seem to be closing at an alarming rate (and don’t get me started about our own funding struggles!). We were, lastly, also gathered to witness the launch of the first-ever Cinema Politica book, Screening Truth to Power: A Reader on Documentary Activism.

It was a magical, monumental and unforgettable moment in time.

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littlechildarticlescreenshotThe above graphic is a screen shot from the Art Threat site, which currently features my newest interview with an artist whose work is alive with history, heart and healing. I’ve been honoured and privileged to interview George Littlechild once before, and seized upon the opportunity for a follow-up on the heels of the release of a new book dedicated to this remarkable First Nations artist. Hop on over to Art Threat to read the full interview, and enjoy!


Greyson_MacaroniThis is the poster for the John Greyson talk and CP book launch in Montreal in a few days. Can’t wait!


10151143_846275895389102_901398184_nThis just in! NSCAD University has informed me that they will indeed offer my class, “Cinemas of Globalization” this summer. I’m thrilled to be heading to Halifax for May and June to teach this intense, around-the-world course on the cultural, social, historical and political context of non-mainstream and non-Western cinemas! Now, it’s time to curate the playlist and accompanying texts – sweet!


Strategies and Tactics

March 30, 2014

I’ll be speaking at this roundtable on April 9th in Montreal. Looking forward to it!

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Halifax and Beyond

March 20, 2014

Earlier this month I had the pleasure and privilege of participating in NSCAD’s Cineflux Symposium, an academic gathering that explores the “old new” forms, modes, practices and theories of cinema. My Postdoctoral supervisor, Dr. Darrell Varga, invited me to present a paper on the politics of presence and documentary activist screening spaces, which was indeed […]

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POV Magazine

February 21, 2014

When Marc Glassman, the editor of POV magazine, asked me to join the publication as the newest contributing editor last year I was honoured. As Canada’s only source of writing on documentary culture, politics and production, the quarterly has been my go-to on all things doc for some time. Started by the Canadian Independent Film […]

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Writing a PhD thesis is like sailing (if you’ve never done either)

February 19, 2014

On December 18th, 2013, I sat in a stodgy IT classroom in Carleton University (Ottawa), surrounded by five extremely intelligent people (one via Skype) who were there to challenge, provoke, rock and ultimately assess me. It was the end of six-and-a-half years of “doing” my PhD, and there I was, my doorstopper thesis in front […]

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Old and new political satire

July 11, 2013

These two short political satires (above) are from different eras (1986 and 2013, respectively) and tackling totally different issues (colonization/racism and sexuality/homophobia, respectively), but watching the newer of the two, Love Is All You Need totally reminded me of BabaKieuria, a classic that has been long-forgotten in the canons of political cinema.

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