Oct 29 – Nov 7 available in Ontario only
Helena Třeštíková / 2020 / Czech with English subtitles / Czech Republic / 67 mins / Canadian Premiere
Anny became a sex worker at the age of 46, and since then has kept returning to the streets of Prague, rain or shine, as cars pass by her at a snail’s pace. Director Helena Třeštíková recorded Anny between 1996 to 2012 as is her unique approach: she follows ordinary people for years in what she’s dubbed “time-lapse documentaries.” These carefully crafted portraits indirectly capture larger lines of histories — in this case, the economic crisis years that sometimes prompt Anny to reflect on communism. Gently edited, this documentary shifts in time between Anny slowly growing older and her daily life that is often challenging, filled with concerns about her grandchildren and her failing health. An insightful portrait of a person who, with courage and determination, carries on despite life’s surprises.
SCREENING WITH SCARS Alex Anna | 2020 | Canada / France | 10 min | French with English subtitles
Alex Anna’s body is a canvas: her scars come to life to tell a new story of self-harming. Live action and animation intertwine in this short and poetic documentary, both intimate and universal.
JOIN THE CONVERSATION: Q&A Watch a pre-recorded Q&A with Director Helena Třeštíková and learn about her experience documenting the life of Anny over 16+ years. The discussion will be moderated by Jenny Duffy, a representative from Maggie’s Toronto Sex Workers Action Project.
Angelo Madsen Minax / 2021 / English / USA / 76 mins / Canadian Premiere
After the inconclusive death of his young niece, filmmaker Angelo Madsen Minax returns to his rural Michigan hometown to make a film about a broken criminal justice system. Instead, he pivots to excavate the depths of generational addiction, Christian fervor and trans embodiment. Lyrically assembled images, decades of home movies and ethereal narration form an idiosyncratic and poetic undertow that guide a viewer through lifetimes and relationships. Like the relentless Michigan seasons, the meaning of family shifts, as Madsen Minax, his sister and his parents strive tirelessly to accept each other. Poised to incite more internal searching than provide clear statements or easy answers, North By Current dives head-first into the challenges of creating identity, the agony of growing up and the ever-fickle nuances of family.
“For me, a personal, first-person approach to storytelling was the only way to make North By Current. My own voice is the only one I feel capable of representing. This merger of personal and political storytelling became an opportunity for my family members and myself to converse, collaborate, and create together — our own version of transformative justice.” — Angelo Madsen Minax
JOIN THE CONVERSATION: Q&A WITH ANGELO MADSEN MINAX
Watch a pre-recorded Q&A with the filmmaker Angelo Madsen Minax about his experience creating the deeply intimate personal documentary North By Current. The discussion is moderated by Mike Hoolboom, a filmmaker and writer who lives in Toronto and director of Rendezvous 2020 opening film Judy Versus Capitalism.
Deepa Dhanraj / 2018 / Telugu, Tamil, Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati and English with English subtitles / India / 110 mins / Canadian Premiere
Rohith Vemula, a Dalit Ph.D research scholar and activist at University of Hyderabad who was persecuted by the university administration and Hindu supremacists, died of suicide on January 17, 2016. His suicide note, which argued against the “value of a man being reduced to his immediate identity” galvanized student politics and solidarity movements. The ensuing outrage gave rise to protests across India, calling the neglectful treatment and systemic oppression faced by Dalit people into question, and encouraging solidarity with minority groups facing similar discrimination from Hindu nationalists, students, administration and aligned governing authorities.
JOIN THE CONVERSATION: Q&A WITH DEEPA DHANRAJ
Please watch a pre-recorded Q&A with the director of We Have Not Come Here to Die, Deepa Dhanraj and the Director of As I Want, Samaher Alqadi moderated by filmmaker and film programmer Aisha Jamal.
Samaher Alqadi / 2021 / Arabic with English Subtitles / Egypt / France / Norway / Palestine / Germany / 86 mins / Canadian Premiere
Through words left unsaid to her late mother, director Samaher Alqadi’s next journey is unknown.
That is, until filming collides with a massive outpouring of enraged women filling the streets in response to an escalation of sexual assaults that take place in Tahrir Square on the second anniversary of the revolution. Alqadi utilizes her camera as a form of protection and begins documenting the growing women’s rebellion, not knowing where the story will lead her. When Alqadi becomes pregnant
during filming, she begins to re-examine the societal constructs of her own childhood in Palestine and what it means to be a woman and a mother in the Middle East. As I Want is a crucial, hard-hitting political commentary and an inward journey in which individual emancipation is linked to the collective process of liberation in the Arab world.
JOIN THE CONVERSATION: Q&A
Watch a pre-recorded Q&A with the director of As I Want, Samaher Alqadi and the director of
We Have Not Come Here to Die, Deepa Dhanraj. Conversation moderated by filmmaker and film
programmer Aisha Jamal and available at the same link as the film.