What Ails Democracy?: An Interview with Astra Taylor

In Miami, the struggle to stay above water is manifest. Model buildings are built to test hurricane force winds,[i] while defensive sea walls, high-capacity pumps, and stormwater drainage systems are installed in those areas most at risk.[ii] The menace of rising sea levels and extreme weather events is felt more concretely by some more than […]

An Interview with Sophie Robinson about her film Me, My Mouth and I

First staged in 1972, Samuel Beckett’s dramatic monologue, Not I, is stark by design—consisting only of a woman’s mouth, hovering about eight feet above the floor and illuminated by a single spotlight. Speaking in rapid, tangential sentences, the voice belongs to a character called, simply, Mouth. In her 2018 film, Me, My Mouth and I, […]

An Interview with Hot Docs Forum Producer Dorota Lech

Dorota Lech is a Polish-born, Toronto and Los Angeles-based film programmer and independent curator. Since 2013, she has worked for the Toronto International Film Festival, where she is currently the Section Head of the Discovery programme and an International Programmer. She holds a double M.A. in Political Science and Gender Studies from McGill University and […]

An Interview with Black Gold Programmer Sarah-Tai Black

Sarah-Tai Black is a programmer and arts writer based in Toronto. Since 2017, she has curated Black Gold — a monthly screening series at The Royal Cinema dedicated to celebrating black screen icons and filmmakers. On March 7th, to celebrate its second anniversary, Black Gold will be screening a rare 35mm print of Claire Denis’ little-seen […]

An Interview with Filmmaker and Artist Nazlı Dinçel

When Michael Sicinski wrote about Turkish-American experimental filmmaker Nazlı Dinçel for our SHORTS issue, he described the discomfort that her films can elicit in audiences as imperative to the radical politics of her work: “they are strategic interventions of sorts, bringing sexual bodies into a space where they still have the power to be disruptive.” […]

A Complicated Dualism: An Interview with Patricia Rozema

Patricia Rozema comes by her interest in dualism naturally. Raised in a Calvinist home in southern Ontario, religious fables — dealing in warring virtues and identities — formed the criterion of her childhood. Mindful of the efficacy of these tales, her directing career has stood in opposition to convenient symmetry. For Rozema, discord — between […]

cléo recommends: Sophy Romvari’s Pumpkin Movie

Sophy Romvari’s Pumpkin Movie was conceived in light of the scariest thing the Toronto-based filmmaker could imagine: “men.” The film, which premiered at True/False before playing Hot Docs and Sheffield, centres on two friends (played by Romvari and Leah Collins Lipsett) convening on Skype for an annual rendezvous in which they carve pumpkins and swap […]

An Interview with Mouly Surya about her film Marlina the Murderer in Four Acts

The third feature from acclaimed Indonesian director Mouly Surya, Marlina the Murderer in Four Acts (2017) is a feminist revenge tale for our current moment. The film — which screened in the Directors’ Fortnight at Cannes — is striking not only for its setting on a remote Indonesian island; like all good Westerns, the action runs from start […]

An Interview with Aminatou Echard about her documentary Djamilia

Fictional characters, as with the people we encounter in our own lives, morph over time in the annals of our memory. They become, like most things, a reflection of our relationship to them. This is the paradox central to French filmmaker Aminatou Echard’s 2017 documentary Djamilia, which explores the relationship that women in contemporary Kyrgyzstan have to […]

An Interview with Ella Cooper of Black Women Film! Canada

Black Women Film! Canada is a leadership program and collective dedicated to forwarding the careers, networks and skills of filmmakers and media artists who are Black female-identified. Based in Toronto, the program was founded by Ella Cooper: artist, filmmaker, educator, and community organizer. As evidenced by her leadership of BWF!, Ella has an ingenuity that permeates […]

An Interview with TIFF Programmer Danis Goulet

For the ardent cinephile or first-time audience member, a well-curated shorts programme is a sight to behold. Here you will find filmmakers from every corner of the world in conversation. To really lean into the metaphor: if variety is the spice of life, then a festival’s shorts section is the whole buffet, and then some. With TIFF […]