GAZA DIARIES

GAZA DIARIES

Film still from Home Movies Gaza by Basma Alsharif. Courtesy the artist.

Thursday February 29, 2024

  • Doors 6:30PM; Introduction + films 7:00PM; discussion 8:30-9:15PM
  • FREE ENTRY
Arrell Family Foundation Auditorium

Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) 1025 Queen Street West, 2nd floor
Toronto, Ontario

GAZA DIARIES - Short Film Program

Following up on the successful online screening and facilitated storytelling with Emily Jacir’s documentary “Letter to a Friend” on November 27 there was strong interest by Workman Arts’ staff to hold a followup event to again hold space for difficult discussions about current events and the mental health impacts of violence, of discrimination and the constant stream of news and how the information out of Palestine affects us as artists, as mental health workers and how these issues impact the Workman Arts membership and the public. 

Ma mère, David et moi

Taysir Batniji / 2012 / Palestine / 15 minutes

The narrative thread in Taysir Batniji’s video is a telephone conversation between the artist located in France and his mother located in Gaza. Starting from this intimate, fragmented, difficult and sometimes indistinct exchange, the artist questions the resonance of words like displacement, in-between and exile. Through a triple point of view, Ma mère, David et moi explores how to look at one’s home from elsewhere and how to establish connections by combining narration, souvenirs, impressions, the personal stories and news coverage.

Home Movies Gaza

Basma Alsharif / 2013 / Palestine/France / 24 minutes

Home Movies Gaza introduces us to the Gaza Strip as a microcosm for the failure of civilization. In an attempt to describe the everyday of a place that struggles for the most basic of human rights, this video claims a perspective from within the domestic spaces of a territory that is complicated, derelict, and altogether impossible to separate from its political identity.

Scenes of the Occupation from Gaza

Mustafa Abu Ali / 1973 / Palestine / 14 minutes

A rare film by Mustafa Abu Ali, one of the founders of the Palestine Film Unit, the first filmic arm of the Palestinian revolution. Shot by a French news team, the footage was edited by Mustafa in Lebanon to produce one of the earliest films on the occupied territory in Gaza. Scenes of the Occupation from Gaza employs experimental editing techniques to produce a cinematically and politically subversive film. The film won the prize as best film at the Damascus Film Festival in 1973 and was the only film produced by the Palestine Cinema Group, which in 1974 became the Palestine Cinema Institute.

Electrical Gaza

Rosalind Nashashibi / 2015 / Palestine/UK / 18 minutes

In Electrical Gaza, Rosalind Nashashibi combines her footage of Gaza, and the fixer, drivers and translator who were her constant company alongside animated scenes. She presents Gaza as under a spell; isolated, suspended in time, difficult to access and highly charged. She shows us Gaza as she experienced it in the quiet pause before the onslaught of Israeli bombardment in the summer of 2014.

Gaza Diary

Taysir Batniji / 2010 / Palestine / 5 minutes

“Every time I return to Gaza, feelings of frustration, sadness and anxiety come over me, especially in the first days. So much had changed for the worse in my absence ! As my city gradually deteriorated, I was torn between my desire to stay (to hold on to it) and to leave…Being born in Gaza, as well as other reasons I cannot explain, certainly nurtures my fascination with the place. I want to record my daily life the way others keep a journal."

– T.B.

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Discussion to follow with Dr. Anas Al-Kassem

Trauma and bariatric surgeon practicing in Canada. Dr. Al-Kassem received his MD in Damascus and completed general surgery training at University of Ottawa. He is the co-founder of UOSSM, the Union of Medical Care and Relief Organizations and is active in many humanitarian organizations and was in Gaza as part of a medical convoy in December 2023.

ADDITIONAL ACCESSIBILITY INFORMATION

Building and venue are wheelchair accessible. 

Enter on Queen Street main doors, just east of Ossington, elevators from main lobby to 2nd floor or take stairs at the rear of the lobby up one flight of stairs.

Films presented with English subtitles and/or captions; introductions and discussion will use microphones. 

Active listener available during and after program

Fully accessible and gender neutral washroom just outside Auditorium, additional washrooms nearby.Fixed chair seating plus moveable chairs (various sizes), mats and cushions available.

ALSO OF INTEREST

No recommended events under this criteria

Behind the Scenes Insights on Directing the
Award-Winning Documentary BLUE SKY WHITE CLOUDS

To celebrate the Canadian premiere of the German film BLUE SKY WHITE CLOUDS at Rendezvous With Madness, join us for an insightful talk about filmmaking featuring accomplished director Astrid Menzel.

The film BLUE SKY WHITE CLOUDS is streaming across Canada from November 6 – 12. You do not have to watch the film before attending the seminar but it is encouraged. The film page is found here Tickets to watch the film online are purchased through a donation of $0 -20. 

SEMINAR – Behind the Scenes Insights on Directing the Award-Winning Documentary BLUE SKY WHITE CLOUDS

Filmmaker Astrid Menzel explores the process of directing a feature film, dissecting her latest documentary BLUE SKY WHITE CLOUDS. Participants of this seminar will walk away with a deeper understanding of various aspects of film direction, production and techniques as well as uncover personal insights about the highs and lows of the process, including:

Topics Covered

  • Different aspects and challenges of filming one’s own family.
  • How to turn subjective thoughts and struggles into a dramaturgical outline of an intensive and personal documentary.
  • The mix of materials and techniques used during the editing of the film.
  • Open Q&A
Monday, November 13, 2023

5:30 – 7:00 PM
Artscape Youngplace
180 Shaw Street, Toronto, Unit 302

The cost of this seminar is free 
Capacity is 20

STREAMING NOW
November 6 - 12, 2023
Get Tickets

ATTILA

Stephen Hosier | 2023 | Canada | 80 minutes | English with open captions | World Premiere

GENRE: DOCUMENTARY
TYPE: FILM | IN-PERSON
KEYWORDS:  ISOLATION | ADDICTION | HOMELESSNESS | TRAUMA | ABUSE |  MENTAL HEALTH

Canadian filmmaker Stephen Hosier focuses the lens of his feature debut uncomfortably close to home as he joins his childhood friend, Richard Csanyi, in investigating the life and death of the latter’s twin brother, Attila. Found dead on a Hamilton rooftop in May 2020, the 28-year-old was expelled from a long-term care residence even as he grappled with addiction and schizophrenia. 

A creative expression of grief and healing, this stirring home-grown film compassionately explores the intersection of personal trauma and the systems that fail those in need, while striving toward a place of forgiveness and understanding. ATTILA is a beautiful portrait honouring one man’s tragedy and the family he left behind, while providing the audience with a valuable window into the extreme systemic obstacles experienced by far too many in Canada and around the world.

Tuesday, October 10, 2023 marks the 75th Anniversary of World Mental Health Day. This year’s theme  is ‘mental health is a universal human right’. The sentiment aligns with the ambitions of ATTILA the film. In presenting an authentic and local portrayal of homelessness, addiction and schizophrenia, we hope to destigmatize these circumstances and create a space for dynamic conversation that leads to change. 

Join us after the film screening for a post-film panel discussion moderated by Aisha Jamal (filmmaker and film programmer) featuring Dr. Naheed Dosani (palliative care physician and health justice activist), Chris Summerville (Schizophrenia Society of Canada), Diana Chan McNally (community and crisis worker) and other special guests to be announced.

Pre-Festival Event
Tuesday, October 10, 2023

This film is unavailable for streaming.

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LIKE A FISH ON THE MOON / ZAN, MARD, BACHE / زن، مرد، بچه

DORNAZ HAJIHA | IRAN | DRAMA | 2022 | 78 MINUTES | FARSI WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES | TORONTO PREMIERE

GENRE: FICTION (FEATURE)
TYPE: FILM | IN-PERSON
KEYWORDS: FAMILY | YOUTH | MUTISM

درناز حاجیها | ایران | درام | ۲۰۲۲ | ۷۸ دقیقه | فارسی با زیرنویس انگلیسی | اولین نمایش تورنتو

(ژانر: داستانی (بلند

نوع رویداد: فیلم، حضوری

کلید واژه: خانواده، جوانان، نا گویایی/اللی

A transfixing and brooding, unafraid film where there are no winners. But there are truths to be had.”–Robert Daniels

Ilya is a normal, healthy four-and-a-half year-old boy. He goes to daycare and enjoys playing. He comes from a stable background with loving parents. But for reasons known only to himself, he has stopped talking. Contrary to what you might expect, Dornaz Hajiha’s superbly-acted film zeroes in on the boy’s parents, Haleh and Amir (Sepidar Tari and Shahdiyar Shakiba). In the first scene, a psychologist probes their relationship and recommends that they reverse roles, that is, Amir should take over responsibility for getting Ilya dressed, feeding him, and the thousand other little things that his wife routinely does for their son. He grudgingly agrees. But it’s Haleh who really struggles with the new arrangement. She feels helpless and redundant. And Ilya still isn’t talking.

In her spare, empathetic first feature film, Hajiha establishes authenticity; it’s almost as if we are watching an observational documentary. As the distressed parents consult one specialist after another, all to no avail, their own mental health suffers and the marriage cracks apart, leading to a devastating climax. 

– The Cinematheque (Vancouver)

فیلمی متحول کننده و غم انگیز که در آن هیچ کس پیروز نیست، فقط حقایقی هستند که آشکار می شوند’

رابرت دنیلز

ایلیا پسری چهار و نیم ساله است. عادی و سالم. او به مهد کودک می رود و از بازی کردن لذت می برد.از خانواده ای حامی و

والدینی مهربان برخوردار است. اما به دالیلی که فقط خودش میداند، دیگر حرف نمیزند. بر خالف آنچه انتظار می رود، درناز حاجیها در فیلم خود به والدین ایلیا می پردازد، هاله و امیر ) با بازیگری درخشان سپیدار طاری و شهدیار شکیبا(. در اولین صحنه فیلم، روانشناسی رابطه ی آنها را زیر سوال می برد و به آنها توصیه می کند که نقش خود را با یکدیگر عوض کنند. یعنی امیر مسئولیت پوشاندن لباس ایلیا، غذا دادن به او و هزار یک مسئولیت دیگری را که همسرش به طور معمول برای پسرشان انجام می دهد را به عهده بگیرد. او با اکراه موافقت می کند. اما این هاله است که با وضعیت جدید دست و پنجه نرم می کند. او احساس درماندگی و بیهودگی می کند و ایلیا کماکان صحبت نمی کند.

.درناز حاجیها در اولین فیلم بلند خود، با دقت، حساسیت و همدلی دنیایی را خلق می کند که همانند فیلم های مستند مشاهده گر است

 والدین  مضطرب در پی پاسخ به مشکل فرزندشان بی نتیجه به متخصصین متعدد مراجعه می‌کنند و در نهایت  سلامت روان و ازدواجشان با نابسامانی و مصیبت روبرو می‌شود.

FEATURED PANELISTS

Aref Mohammadi, Documentary Filmmaker
Dr. Abbas Azadian, Psychiatrist
Dr. Guita Movallali, Psychologist, Audiologist
Roxana Zadbehgan, Speech Therapist
Afie Mardukhi, Moderator (I2CRC)

Sunday, November 5, 2023

CAMH Auditorium
1025 Queen St W, Toronto
Reception 3:30 PM | Film 5 PM
Reception tickets: ($20 includes film) Afie- 416-388-9314 (or at the door)

Get Tickets
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Intercultural Iranian Canadian Resource Centre

Drawing Workshop with Logan MacDonald

We invite you to participate in a drawing workshop led by artist Logan MacDonald and facilitated by guest-curator Sarah-Tai Black. This workshop is an exercise in quiet tracing and features drawing activities focused on silence and audio-free learning, playing and collaboration.

Pre-registration is not required but recommended. 

Masking with a KN95, N95, or better mask is required in this space. Masks and hand sanitizer are available onsite for visitors and there is an air purifier rated for the room size in use. This is a scent-free environment — we kindly ask that you please refrain from using scented products before visiting.

Tuesday, October 31, 2023

4 – 5:30 PM
Artscape Youngplace
180 Shaw Street, #302
Toronto, ON

Holler Rat (the performance) by Anya Liftig

In Holler Rat, Anya Liftig’s recently published debut memoir, the writer and artist traces the many contradictions of her life—from her Appalachian childhood to her career as a performance artist, to a year-long period in which her life completely fell apart. Her story is a journey of catalysts, calamities, art-making and madness, and catharsis. Using her own book as a performance document, in Holler Rat (the performance) Anya Liftig performs a 6-hour reading of her memoir—the typical author appearance at a book launch elongated to absurdity—while moving around and taking up various positions on a basketball court empty of players and gameplay.

Anya Liftig is a performance artist and writer. Her works have been exhibited at TATE Modern, MOMA, Queens Museum, Movement Research, Performer Stammtisch Berlin, Performance Space London, and many other venues around the world. As a dancer and actress. Liftig’s work has been published and written about in theNew York Times Magazine, BOMB, The Wall Street Journal, Vogue Italia, PAJ, New York, Theater Magazine, and many others. Her experimental film and video work has been screened in festivals globally. Her essays have been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and noted in Best American Non-Fiction. She is a Connecticut Council for the Arts Emerging Arts Fellow in Creative Writing, a recipient of a Franklin Furnace Award, and fellowships at MacDowell and Yaddo. 

https://www.anyaliftig.com/

https://www.instagram.com/anyaliftigart/

Saturday, November 4, 2023

Old Gym, CAMH Community Centre
1001 Queen Street West, at corner of Lower Ossington Avenue
Entrance: Unit 3, south of Stokes Street at south end of Gordon Bell Road

1 PM – 7 PM
Durational Performance
Come and go as you wish

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Same As Sister - Upstairs, In Our Bedroom

Image Credit: Emma Joy

Join performance collective, Same As Sister (S.A.S.)/Briana Brown-Tipley + Hilary Brown-Istrefi and York University’s 3Dance research team – VR advisor Lora Appel & disability arts advisor Rachel da Silveira Gorman, for an open conversation and demonstration about their project in development, Upstairs, In Our Bedroom

Upstairs, In Our Bedroom is an interdisciplinary performance that places Same As Sister’s experiences as female identical twins of color next to the real-life story of outsider authors June & Jennifer Gibbons (a.k.a. The Silent Twins). Utilizing dance, text, mobile VR technology, and puppetry they will reveal the dual struggles to be recognized as individuals within a pairing and within a racist and patriarchal society.

ABOUT THE ARTISTS 

Same As Sister (S.A.S.) is a NYC and Toronto-based performance collective led by twin choreographers Briana Brown-Tipley + Hilary Brown-Istrefi. Initiated in 2013 to make experimental narrative performance accessible to a diverse audience through collaborative and interdisciplinary practices, their commissions have been presented at The Citadel: Ross Centre for Dance (Toronto); Base: Experimental Arts + Space (Seattle); Archaeological Museum of Messenia (Greece); Danspace Project (NYC); Centre d’Art Marnay Art Centre (France); BRIC Arts | Media House (NYC); and New York Live Arts (NYC), among other venues. S.A.S.’s 2022 commission, This is NOT a Remount, was nominated for a Dora Mavor Moore Award for Outstanding Production (Dance). They were an Alternate and Finalist for the Jerome Foundation’s 2021-22 and 2019-20 Jerome Hill Artist Fellowship (Dance), and are the recipients of a Foundation for Contemporary Arts’ 2022 and 2017 Emergency Grant (Dance); Queens Council on the Arts’ 2020 Queens Arts Fund New Work Grant (Multi-Discipline); and a New York Foundation for the Arts’ 2019 NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellowship (Choreography). Same As Sister is currently a commissioned resident artist of the 2023 HERE Artist Residency Program (HARP) in NYC. 

Lora Appel is an Associate Professor of Health Informatics at the Faculty of Health at York University; Adjunct Researcher at Michael Garron Hospital; and a Collaborating Scientist at University Health Network, the largest medical research organization in Canada. Lora heads the Prescribing Virtual Reality (VRx) Lab, which designs and conducts studies that introduce and evaluate AR/VR/MR therapeutic interventions for patients, caregivers, and healthcare providers in different settings ranging from acute-care hospitals to community care. She has received several grants from the Canadian Centre for Aging and Brain Health Innovation to pursue this work in aging and dementia care. More recently her research has expanded into novel uses of VR for other patient populations and clinical conditions, such as those living with epilepsy, specialized dentistry with stroke patients, and low-vision therapy for pediatric oncology patients and seniors with AMD. She is very enthusiastic about creating technological interventions that are preventative, holistic, and tailored to the individual with a special focus on sensory-health. Lora’s love for the arts (as complementary to the sciences) has led her to explore the potential applications of VR in choreography, dance pedagogy, and performance. 

Rachel da Silveira Gorman is an interdisciplinary scholar, choreographer, and curator working across fine arts, humanities, and sciences. Gorman’s current projects focus on disability data justice, AI bias, and machine learning; dance and VR; biochemical mechanisms of health inequity; and aesthetic ideologies of disability and race. Gorman has created 20 dance-theatre, site-specific, and screendance productions, ten of which have been remounted or rescreened at festivals. Critic Paula Citron called Waking the Living “a disturbing and riveting reality check,” and Passing Dark a “melancholy journey… of intense sadness.” Gorman served on the editorial committee of Fuse Magazine, and on the curatorial committee at A Space Gallery, where they curated a cycle of four exhibitions on political grieving. Gorman’s writings on ideologies of disability and race have appeared in American Quarterly, thirdspace, and the Journal of Literary and Cultural Disability Studies. They hold a PhD from the University of Toronto and an MFA from York University. 

Upstairs, In Our Bedroom is being commissioned and developed through the HERE Artist Residency Program (HARP), NYC, with additional support from Dancemakers (Toronto). The project was developed in part during a 2022-2023 Plug-N-Play Residency at Toronto Dance Theatre.

Saturday, October 28, 2023
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back home

NISHA PLATZER | 2022 | CANADA / CUBA | 90 MINUTES | ENGLISH WITH OPEN CAPTIONS

GENRE: DOCUMENTARY (FEATURE)
TYPE: FILM | IN-PERSON
KEYWORDS: SUICIDE | TRAUMA | FAMILY | OVERSTIMULATION | ANXIETY

back home follows the filmmaker’s pursuit to get to know her older brother, Josh, twenty years after he took his own life. As she connects with the friends who knew him best as a teen, a complex portrait emerges. Through intimate recollections re-imagined on Super8 and 16mm, and lyrical images hand-processed with plants, seaweed, soil and ashes, back home floats between memory and present time in a fragmented meditation on identity, grief and loss: illuminating the transformative power of healing in community.

DIRECTOR’S STATEMENT

It is my pleasure to share my first feature film, “back home,” with you. I was 11 years old when Josh’s death forever changed our family and shifted my perspective on the value of closeness and the impact broader society can have on a young mind. “Back home”’s unique handmade quality recalls the photochemical processes I found solace in during my teenage years when I took refuge in the high school darkroom. The abstract film images represent the changing chemistry of Josh’s brain, as well as illustrating my physical pain – a manifest form of grief.

Screening with Short Film

White Noise | Tamara Scherbak | Canada | Drama | 2023 | 18 minutes | English with open captions

White Noise follows Ava, who suffers from misophonia – an extreme hyper-sensitivity to sound. When this reaches new terrifying heights, her doctor enrolls her in an experimental trial involving an anechoic chamber: the world’s quietest room.

Opening Night Film
Friday, October 27, 2023

CAMH Auditorium
1025 Queen St W, Toronto
Reception 5 PM | Box office: 5:30 | Film 6:30 PM

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ATTILA

STEPHEN HOSIER | CANADA | DOC | 2023 | 80 MINUTES | ENGLISH | WORLD PREMIERE

GENRE: DOCUMENTARY
TOPICS: FILM | IN-PERSON
KEYWORDS: ISOLATION | ADDICTION | HOMELESSNESS | TRAUMA | ABUSE | SCHIZOPHRENIA

Canadian filmmaker Stephen Hosier focuses the lens of his feature debut uncomfortably close to home as he joins his childhood friend, Richard Csanyi, in investigating the life and death of the latter’s twin brother, Attila. Found dead on a Hamilton rooftop in May 2020, the 28-year-old was expelled from a long-term care residence even as he grappled with addiction and schizophrenia. 

A creative expression of grief and healing, this stirring home-grown film compassionately explores the intersection of personal trauma and the systems that fail those in need, while striving toward a place of forgiveness and understanding. ATTILA is a beautiful portrait honouring one man’s tragedy and the family he left behind, while providing the audience with a valuable window into the extreme systemic obstacles experienced by far too many in Canada and around the world.

Tuesday October 10, 2023 marks the 75th Anniversary of World Mental Health Day. This year’s theme is ‘mental health is a universal human right’. The sentiment aligns with the ambitions of ATTILA, the film. In presenting an authentic and local portrayal of addiction and schizophrenia. We hope to destigmatize these circumstances and create a space for dynamic conversation that lead to change.

Join us after the film screening for a post-film panel discussion moderated by Aisha Jamal (filmmaker and film programmer) featuring Dr. Naheed Dosani (palliative care physician and health justice activist), Chris Summerville (Schizophrenia Society of Canada), Diana Chan McNally (community and crisis worker) and other special guests to be announced.

Hashtags: #RWMFEST #MindtheGaps #ATTILAfilm

Masking is required at all Rendezvous events for everyone’s safety (masks provided) Thank you.

World Mental Health Day
Tuesday, October 10, 2023

Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema
506 Bloor St W, Toronto

THIS EVENT HAS PASSED.

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