In my previous post, I highlighted a group of women active in the Montreal art and technology field. I enjoy sharing about people Bis Films has worked with and who are important to us. Writing that post, I realized how many more amazing women surround us but just didn’t fit into the narrow field of “art and technology.” That is why I want to take advantage of a recently released short video, Be Peace, featuring Jo Willers and Janie Pelletier, to share my experience in making the video.
Today is International Women’s Day and we would like to celebrate it by giving a little shout-out to some of the women in our community who we think are doing remarkable work and who impress us on a regular basis. May their passion and hard work be a source of inspiration and pride to us all. Here are just a few:
It all started on a cold December night. A small group of friends gathered around a small kitchen table and attempted to wow each other with their favorite pasta recipe. Eight unique dishes were served, grades were allotted, a winner was proclaimed. Thus, The Foodie Collective was born.
Even though the earthquake that struck Japan seems so far removed from our everyday reality – notice the few and far apart newspaper articles these days – a group of Montrealers led by Joe Allen have organized a fundraiser to help in “picking up the pieces.”
This Saturday, the 14th of May, will see a full day of art related activities happening at OFF Interarts, 5143 St-Laurent, with the humble goal of raising money for the Japanese Red Cross. There will be a mix-match of art, film (I will be showing my film, Circle Haiku), craft sales and traditional Japanese performances from noon to 5pm. The night will then change gears around 7:30pm as local musicians will be taking the stage: Steve Cohen, Alex Robshaw, Melina Soochan and Shaking Judy.
Check out the Art for Japan website for more information.
Something I am definitely looking forward to this week is the opening of a new performance piece at the M.A.I. Bird Messengers is the new performance piece from aboriginal artists Moe Clark (whom I worked with on the film Circle Haiku) and Emilie Monnet. The performance combines storytelling and song that celebrate ancestral ways of prayer, peacemaking, and healing from Indigenous peoples across the Americas. Check out their Facebook page.
In the spirit of uploading all of our past projects to Vimeo, Circle Haiku is a film that I directed back in 2009. For this film, I teamed up with Moe Clark, spoken-word poet extraordinaire and songstress. We brought our distinctive passions together – me for the moving image and Moe for the healing sounds of music – in an attempt to create a meditative look at… well everything.
I sit, looking at the Bis Films Vimeo page and I think: “How is it that Kat and I both graduated from Concordia Communications Studies and have been pushing forward in the film/video production world since 2008, yet we have so few videos online?” I think it’s time to assert our digital presence on the pages of Vimeo.
This morning, a friend of ours, Chris Zacchia at www.forgetthebox.net released a video he directed in response to the CRTC’s decision to meter Internet usage. Gratefully, the government has overturned this decision forcing the CRTC to rethink they’re plans and motives. But will they? Thanks to OpenMedia.ca and thousands of pissed off Internet users, the battle to keep the internet accessible to all has, so far, been successful.
Around this time in 2005, Katherine was teaming up with Chris Taylor with one goal in mind: to create the best Film II horror film ever to come out of the Concordia Communications Studies department. Shot on 16mm film in Taylor’s redecorated apartment (I especially remember the blood/rot stain on the ceiling over the bed) with Constantine Kourtidis as main character, the Asian inspired horror film tells of a paranoid-schizophrenic man who discovers he has a winning lottery ticket and thinks this evil spirit has come to claim it. Check it out for yourself!
Roughly 9 months ago, Haiti was hit by an earthquake. A lot of money was raised and promises were made: “You will not be forsaken. You will not be forgotten.” said Obama, days after the natural disaster.
A journalist friend of mine, Jonathan Montpetit, was part of the passengers leaving on the first plane heading for Haiti to report on the unfolding events. When he returned to Montreal, he had a few stories to tell about the state of things – what he saw. He talked about things in precise and direct words, yet his stories remained somewhat distant and the details hard to imagine. He told of destruction, panic, tears of loss, bodies, and above all the smell of death. Listening to him, I did my best to understand, through my mind’s eye, what it was to live in that time and place as a Haitian or as a journalist witnessing the scene. Despite the blanket coverage Haiti received in the weeks after the quake, I have to admit it was difficult to put myself in his shoes.