Canada Looks South: Latin American Heritage Month Virtual Screening

Shorts Program
Multiple Directors
70 min

On VLAFFs Vimeo from October 20th to November 20th

Curated by VLAFF’s Programming Teams over the years

To celebrate the 20th anniversary of VLAFF, we have curated a program that brings together much of the history of Latinx-Canadian filmmakers whose work has screened at VLAFF throughout the years. This program will be presented from October 20th to November 20th for free on our portal, and in December on the 20th anniversary of Bogoshorts, the short film festival in Bogotá, Colombia.

Director: Alexandra Gelis

Toronto/Colombia, 2014
3 min

A masterpiece of multi-screen bodily decomposition, Borders offers a nine-screen collective portrait, made entirely out of photographs. Inviting six of her queer feminist housemates who identified as women for a suite of portrait sessions, the artist pictures the borders of skin, and by recombining them into a grid creates an always shifting composite body that floats between genders. The soundtrack is created out of the spaces between words, the beginnings of sentences, the pauses and hesitations, where the unconscious lives. – Mike Hoolboom

Salix Tree
Director: Victor Arroyo
Montreal/Mexico, 2015
10 min | Spanish with English subtitles

Filmed and hand processed with super8mm.
Re-photographed and scanned to 2k.

Salix Tree is the documentation of a displaced domestic space, a self-ethnographic document about exile, displacement and belonging. Salix Tree is a self-ethnographic document meant to be experienced as a passage between languages, a concentration of voices whose identity remains opaque. Some of these voices materialize into complete translation, while others provide a departure from national identity and their dominant linguistic form. In which language does one self-documents when there is no mother tongue anymore? Is the narrator who is telling the story identical with the narrator about whom the story is being told? As immigrants we are meant to forever wander between the home we just lost and the one we are forming once again. And this is true about language as well. Whatever second language we are communicating with, no matter how much we master it, we never quite own it. Language is a masquerade as much as it is a product of domestication and control.

Silvia in the Waves
Director: Gio Olmos
Montreal/Mexico, 2017
13 min | French with English subtitles

Noa struggles to honor the identity of his recently deceased parent while his mother tries to uphold the appearance of a conventional family. Grief and fantasy entwine to reveal the complex relationship between history and erasure, identity and memory.

Suit of Lights
Director: Francisca Durán
Toronto/Chile, 2018
18 min | Spanish & English with English subtitles

Suit of Lights is an expressive documentary composed with footage of a Spanish bullfight, that iconic imagery of highly decorated masculinity and violence masked as nationalism. The footage was drawn from Jacques Madvo Collection material filmed in Spain between 1976-1983. Madvo shot this footage at a time when Spain began its difficult and flawed transition to democracy in the years following dictator Francisco Franco’s death in 1975. “To make peace is to forget. To reconcile it is necessary that memory be faulty and limited,” stated Susan Sontag in Regarding the Pain of Others. The film consists of 16mm footage that has been decayed in soil, transformed by microbes and contact-printed and laboriously re-photographed and these abstractions of light and darkness ground the inquiry surrounding why citizens accept the harm done to others in their name.

Dir. Cecilia Araneda

Winnipeg/Chile, 2020
13 min | Spanish & English with English subtitles

Unarchive juxtaposes the filmmaker’s father’s life with the political history of Chile – his birthplace – over the past century. It reflects on how we remember and how we forget, and the role of the camera in transcending the complex space in between.

Director: Jorge Lozano
Toronto/Colombia, 2021
6 min | Spanish with English subtitles

Visually resplendent, and philosophically political, or is it politically philosophical? It features the flow, the intensity, and the rhythm of thought itself, or perhaps even: the rhythm of new thought, of a new idea, the momentum required to overcome the dust of the past, in order to invent something else.

I Remember Everything
Director: Gabriel Souza Nunes
Vancouver/Brazil, 2022
5 min | Portuguese with English subtitles

A film essay about the nostalgia for one’s birth home that pulses within the life of an immigrant.

Winner of VLAFF’s 2022 Latin-Canadian Film Contest

We gratefully acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts for this special presentation.

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