Learning about ressources and teaching students how to succeed as filmmakers
Non-profit group Community. Empowerment. Education. Development. (CEED) invited Concordia students to connect with award-winning filmmakers for a series of screenings, talks and workshops at the John Molson School of Business, on Tuesday Jan. 29th. The panel of filmmakers was composed of Concordia students, video artists and a National Film Board (NFB) alumni.
She’s a Woman, the first screening of the evening, filled the room with the steady rhymes of Gulu-based rapper and music educator MC Twitch. Directed by Concordia student filmmakers Sandra Hercegova, Jane Lakes and colleague Karane Tuhirirwe, She’s a Woman highlights music as a means of empowerment for Ugandan youth. The film was produced during their summer internship with CEED, which partners Ugandan and Concordia-based videographers with youth in Gulu to produce community-driven projects.
Martine Chartrand, who said she is not a filmmaker but rather an animator, was the second panelist of the evening. Her NFB-produced film, Âme Noir is a painting come to life; purple and blue paint swirl in abstract configurations until they finally settle into the shape of a woman and her grandson. Calling Âme Noir “a film about childhood,” Chartrand paints black history through time, tenderness and hardship. Her brushstrokes conjure scenes of slave ships, the underground railroad and speakeasies playing jazz. As a Haitian adopted by Québecois parents, the artist found it important to deconstruct her dual identity and explore the theme of otherness in her work.The panel concluded with Anna Grigorian’s video art; juxtaposing elaborately constructed sets of toilet paper and glittering word art alongside the political speeches of Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin, Grigorian obscures the boundary between reality and the absurd. When asked how to get your work out in the world, Grigorian recommended FilmFreeway, a hub for film festival submissions worldwide.
Following the panel, workshops were hosted by Amber Jackson from CUTV and Shanice Bernicky from Concordia’s Feminist Media Studio. Jackson focused on developing a voice as a creator, whereas Bernicky facilitated a discussion on representation and marginalized identities in the mediascape.
Both CUTV and the Feminist Media Studio are excellent resources for filmmakers. CUTV offers production workshops for Concordia students, lends out recording equipment, and possesses an iMac-equipped atelier outfitted with editing software. The Feminist Media Studio is a network of graduate and PhD students offering a community space for cross-platform creation, generative discussion, and also lends camera equipment to members.
Photo by Annie Yeo.