Laura Piccinin / 2022 / English / Canada / 30 minutes
Asha and her best friend sit together in a tense familiarity and plan, in detail, the end of Asha’s life. She has suffered for decades, unable to be treated, despite truly valiant efforts to be well. Her best friend, conflicted between her belief in the right to die with dignity and her increasing desire to save a life, has become integral to carrying out the suicide plot. The Suicide Key infuses a sense of dark humour to comment on the absurdity of living with severe mental illness, and the complex and difficult decisions to be made surrounding life, death, and the pursuit of an acceptable happiness.
Laura Piccinin was born to tell stories. Whether as a dancer/aerialist with Tokyo Disney, a playwright and performer for the new Canadian musical Every Silver Lining or her solo shows LESBIHONEST and The Suicide Key, a teacher at the Toronto District School Board, or as a comédienne in Footloose with Just for Laughs, Laura’s unstoppable passion in life lies in telling people all sorts of eccentric stories — whether they want to hear them or not.
This body of work titled Coal Mines and Tree Tops follows the main character, a canary through different scenarios meant to represent an autistic experience. These images represent the experiences of the artist, Dani. However, they are meant to be related to by anyone who finds a connection to the work. This body of work discusses Dani’s personal experiences as an autistic person. Dani chose the canary as a visual metaphor for strength, sensitivity, vulnerability, and perceived expendability. Each piece explores a different experience and their creation has helped Dani process these experiences, some for the first time. In this series, Dani visually discusses subject matter such as: positive connection, strengths, relationships, abuse, sensory management and overwhelm, vulnerability to predatory individuals, coping mechanisms, the weight of masking and more.
“I decided to create this work about my experiences because I finally feel safe to do so. I feel it is time to remember out loud, to create visual evidence of past and present challenges and joys associated with my identity. I feel it is time to start sharing my experiences with others. This is a first step in what I hope will be an ongoing discussion in my work. This work serves to benefit me therapeutically and also possibly provide others with understanding and a sense of compassion between myself and those who have had similar experiences.” -Dani Crosby
Dani Crosby is an artist, illustrator, arts educator and community collaborator working and living in central Oshawa. Art has become many things for Dani – a service they offer and an experience to share in academic settings. But before any of these things it serves as a place to put the parts of themselves that have nowhere else to go. Dani recognizes how lucky they are to have this outlet. Dani has been making art since childhood and has never stopped. They began showing, creating illustrations, and teaching visual arts in 2004 and continue to this day.
JOIN THE CONVERSATION: CHANGING THE NARRATIVE
AUTISTIC REELS: RECLAIMING OUR STORIES
Sun, Oct 31, 1 PM ET
Note: The link to the virtual panel is accompanied with the film ticket to “Autistic Reels: Reclaiming Our Stories”.
All films are PWYW
Haiena / 2020 / Japanese with English subtitles / Japan / 63 mins / North American Premiere
Winner of the Cinema Fan Award at the 2020 PIA Film Festival at the National Film Archive of Japan, Luginsky is an incredibly unique animated film replete with early and modern computer graphics, still photography and a collage of cut-outs, which are dizzyingly utilized to maximum effect to tell a story which seems as delirious as the protagonist. The main character of the film is named Deerman, whose head is a deer and who recently endured an accident resulting in chronic hallucinations. Deerman has recently lost his job, and in a series of events that led him to become reliant on alcohol, frequently is beaten up as a result of his drunken behaviours. His addiction takes an even worse turn when he stumbles upon a panther-barmanpriest who creates a forbidden cocktail for Deerman designed by an ex-boxer named Luginsky that alters his life even further with so-called reality and fantasy dancing in unprecedented ways. A most unique film of fantastical visions you won’t soon forget.
JOIN THE CONVERSATION: Q&A WITH DIRECTOR HAIENA
Please join film artist Haiena for a virtual Q&A to discuss his experience creating the unique
animated reality of Luginsky. The discussion will be moderated by animator animator Jeff Chiba
Stearns with Japanese to English interpretation, ASL interpretation and captioning.