Home » Art Films at the Reel Artists Film Festival!

Art Films at the Reel Artists Film Festival!

As some of you probably know, I do the publicity for the Reel Artists Film Festival, which is put on each year in Toronto by the Canadian Art Foundation.

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Shooting the film Picture Start, showing artist Rodney Graham. Image: courtesy Helen Yagi.

This year, four days of films on art and artists take place at Toronto’s TIFF Bell Lightbox, and will feature some of the world’s greatest artists, including:

Sol Lewitt – Canadian premiere
William Kentridge – Canadian premiere
Wanda Koop – WORLD premiere
Carl Beam – Toronto premiere
Shuvinai Ashoona
Ai Weiwei – North American premiere
Pipilotti Rist – Canadian premiere
Jenny Holzer – Toronto premiere
Olafur Eliasson – Toronto premiere
Damian Ortega – Canadian premiere
Christian Boltanski – Toronto premiere
Nam June Paik – WORLD premiere
The Chinese art market – Toronto premiere
John Baldessari – Canadian premiere
The Vancouver School (Picture Start) – WORLD premiere
Andreas Gursky – Canadian premiere

Last night, I previewed William Kentridge: Anything is Possible, about the famous South African artist. It is a must-see for artists, particularly anyone interested in drawing, animation, theatre or opera.

The film offers incredible insight into Kentridge’s artistic process, which is complex and encompasses many different approaches and ways of working. He also describes how his childhood experiences and the history of South Africa have influenced his art.

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Kentridge in his studio, Johannesburg, 2003. Copyright and courtesy of William Kentridge. Photo: Anne McIlleron.

We see Kentridge at work designing the set for a production of Shostakovitch’s opera The Nose, for New York’s Metropolitan, and in his complex preparations (collage, video, animation, costume…) we see the artist experimenting with a necessary openness that creates fluidity in the final result.

There are 17 films in total at the 8th annual Reel Artists Film Festival, which I think is surely our most impressive lineup yet.

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An image from Picture Start. Image: Helen Yagi

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Artist Ian Wallace, from Picture Start. Image: Helen Yagi.

Artists Jeff Wall (represented not in Canada but by uber-gallerist Marian Goodman), Rodney Graham (represented by London’s Lisson Gallery) and Ian Wallace (Vancouver’s Catriona Jeffries Gallery) are well known in international contemporary art circles yet practically unknown outside the art community in Canada.

They began with a rock band called UJ3RK5 (“pronounced ‘you jerk’ – the 5 is silent”), and went on to take the art world by storm. The film explores how this happened, and what it is about Vancouver that created this surprisingly strong art scene.

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Shooting Picture Start. Image: courtesy Laughing Mountain Communications. Photo: Rosamund Norbury.

Picture Start will premiere at the Reel Artists Film Festival on Sunday, February 27 at 3:30 pm. Buy your tickets HERE.

6 Responses to “Art Films at the Reel Artists Film Festival!”

  1. fraser says:

    “…well known in international contemporary art circles yet practically unknown outside the art community in Canada.”
    am I just confused or is this a typo?

    Anyway, the festival should be great!

  2. AC says:

    Hi Fraser – I meant that while in London and New York artists such as Damien Hirst and Jeff Koons are known outside the art community, these Canadian artists might also be art stars but are only known inside the visual art community here…

  3. FS says:

    You can see the Kentridge film online at http://www.pbs.org/art21.

  4. Andrea says:

    It’s a great film – I really recommend it, to anyone interested in the artistic process, and particularly to artists. AC

  5. Sandy says:

    “…well known in international contemporary art circles yet practically unknown outside the art community in Canada.”

    Yeah, you might need to revise this a bit. I think you might be confused.

    • Andrea says:

      Hi Sandy – What I meant was that these artists are not household names, like Damien Hirst or Tracey Emin in London, for example. I mean, my aunt and neighbour will probably not know who they are. But they probably are better known now than when I wrote the piece.

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