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Rooftop patio showcases experimental films

By Clara Sadler, July 23 2015 —

Canadian experimental film series Fresh Short Shorts will showcase new and old videos on Broken City’s patio until August 19.

Inspired by the success of last year’s The Alphabetic Order of Things, an outdoor showcase of experimental Canadian films, EMMEDIA decided to host another series of similar screenings, expanding their selection to include both contemporary and historical experimental video.

The films shown at Fresh Short Shorts have been collected from media art centres across Canada. Each night’s screening starts with movies created on the east coast and gradually move to west coast films as the night goes on.

EMMEDIA programming director Vicki Chau credits the success of their experimental film screenings to their casual atmosphere and unique content.

“I think people are drawn to experimental film because it’s just so different from what’s offered elsewhere and it’s something they can have more of a discussion about,” Chau says. “It’s informal. You’re not stuck in a gallery or screen room. You’re on a patio with a bar, it’s very comfortable and you’re surrounded by people just drinking beer.”

Chau believes events like this are important because they give the public to opportunity to learn more about experimental video and expose people to unknown historical films.

“A lot of the film festivals are based around recent works that artists have done,” Chau says. “Unless you go to a library or archive that has all of these historical videos, you’d never have the chance to see them.”

By showing old films to younger generations, Chau wants to create a greater appreciation of experimental video, inspiring new artists to create films. She adds that the current accessibility of filming equipment makes it easier for aspiring filmmakers to start creating art.

“Camera today are only a couple hundred dollars and you get a pretty decent camera, whereas back then you had to spend at least twenty grand to get a broadcast quality camera,” Chau says. “I think nowadays it’s easier for people to explore their ideas further. They have more tools at their disposal and more ways to express their ideas.”

The next session of Fresh Short Shorts takes place on July 29 at 9:00 p.m. Admission is free.

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