It’s the 25th anniversary of Images Festival which ‘is the largest North American festival for experimental and independent movie image culture’. For the next ten days there are three ways you can experience the festival: ON SCREEN – film and video screenings, LIVE IMAGES – live performances or OFF SCREEN – media art installations. Although some of the art shows have opened and there have been a few pre-festival screenings, this evening (Thursday, April 12/12) is the official launch of the festival.
The opening Gala film The Nine Muses by John Akomfrah is playing at the Royal Cinema. Due to prior commitments I am unable to make the screening as I am writing an exam, darn school, who thought it was a wise idea to take some night courses? The stills of the film look stunning and I am sorry I wasn’t able to attend, plus they had a Q&A with the filmmaker.
I am, however, able to attend the opening party. So here I walk along Spadina Avenue to find the ‘POP up’ gallery lounge set up for the festival. Ta da…found it. Art by Julieta Maria in the window, a bouncer at the door, down some stairs and I have arrived. It’s about 10pm and the room is more than half full. It’s going to be busy as people are still making their way over from the screening. I like this place; it’s got an edge, nothing fancy just a room set up with a front gallery showing Alexandra Navratil’s Sample Frames piece, a wall with a screen that will show Duncan Campbell’s film Arbeit, a place to buy some drink tickets, a bar to redeem the drinks from and MAGIC an ‘official grill cheese’ sponsor set up for snacks. It’s not shiny and glitzy, it’s got the feel of artists making things happen, as I said, I like it.