Film Screenings

Friday  |Saturday Sunday  Film Descriptions and Q&A Leaders Bios


9:00 am – 5:05 pm

Location: Large Screening Room, Robarts Library, 130 St. George Street, 3rd Floor


Name of film




Some Ground to Stand On

Joyce P. Warshow




Sun-Kyung (Sunny) Yi


10:35 –11:00

Q and A with  Sun-Kyung (Sunny) Yi 



Piedra Libre Note: film discussed in session 159RT

Alejandra Vassallo and Pía Sicardi




How a People Live

Lisa Jackson



The Unapologetic Life of Margaret Randall Note: film discussed in sessions 65RT & 70

Lu Lippold



Finding Dawn

Christine Welsh



Q and A with Christine Welsh



The Inmates are Running the Asylum: Stories from the MPA Note: film discussed in session 188P

Megan J. Davies


9:00 am – 5:00 pm

Location: Small Screening Room, Robarts Library, 130 St. George Street, 3rd Floor


Name of film




Listening for Something… Adrienne Rich and Dionne Brand in Conversation

Dionne Brand



Mountains that take wing-Angela Davis and Yuri Kochiyama: A Conversation on Life, Struggles, and Liberation

C.A.Griffith and H.L.T. Quan



Edge of Joy

Dawn Sinclair Shapiro




Unlimited Girls

Paromita Vohra



Sisters of the Screen: African Women in the Cinema

Bettie Ellerson



Experimental Films curated by Sharlene Bamboat and Ponni Arasu




Q and A with the Experimental Films curators



10:30 am – 2:30 pm

Location: University College, Room 52

Gloria Rolando Retrospective. Gloria Rolando will be present at Roundtable 117, which is dedicated to her work.


My Footsteps in Baragua

Gloria Rolando



The Scorpion

Gloria Rolando





Roots of my Heart

Gloria Rolando



Cherished Island Memories

Gloria Rolando


12 pm – 3:00 pm

Location: Large Screening Room, Robarts Library, 130 St. George Street, 3rd Floor


Name of film




Motherless: A Legacy of Loss from Illegal Abortion
Note: film discussed in session 237RT

Barbara Attie and Janet Goldwater



Blindspot: North Carolina’s Era of Forced Sterilization
Note: film discussed in sessions 146P & 237RT

Dawn Sinclair Shapiro






30% (Women and Politics in Sierra Leone)

Anna Cady



Thorns and Silk

Paulina Tervo




Pratibha Parmar



Birthday Suit with scars and defects

Lisa Steele


12:00 pm– 4:45pm

Location: Small Screening Room, Robarts Library, 130 St. George Street, 3rd Floor


Name of film




Public Bodies//Hidden Histories: Disability and Difference in Eleven Digital Stories




Q and A with the Public Bodies//Hidden Histories curators Dr. Carla Rice and Eliza Chandler and the Hidden Histories filmmakers



Obachan’s Garden

Linda Ohama




Experimental Films curated by Sharlene Bamboat and Ponni Arasu




10:00 am – 1:00 pm

Location: UC 179


Name of Film




Stories We Tell

Sarah Polley



Q and A with Sarah Polley



12:00 pm – 2:00 pm

Location: Large Screening Room, Robarts Library, 130 St. George Street, 3rd Floor


Name of film




For a Place Under the Heavens

Sabiha Samar



Fragments of a Past

Uma Chakravarti



Film Descriptions and Q&A Leaders Bios

Some Ground to Stand On Joyce P. Warshow|35 minutes|Joyce P. Warshow and Janet Baus|1998


Joyce Warshow’s film documents the life and times of Blue Lunden, an American working-class lesbian. Combining photos, historical footage, and contemporary interviews, Warshow traces one queer tale, a life simultaneously normal and extraordinary. Pushed from the 1950s New Orleans gay bar scene for wearing men’s clothes, Blue went on to reclaim her child from adoption, get sober, and, finally, become a pioneer in feminist, queer, and anti-nuclear activism. From her current home at the Sugarloaf Women’s Village in the Florida Keys, Lunden reflects on her forty years as a path-breaker and—first reluctant, then enthusiastic—campaigner for social justice of all kinds.

Echoes | Sun-Kyung (Sunny) Yi |56:05 minutes| Sun-Kyung (Sunny) Yi |2012

This screening will be followed by a Q and A with the Filmmaker.


“Echoes” offers a multi-dimensional and emotionally resonant exploration of international adoptions from China. Filmmaker-Kyung (Sunny) Yi focuses on three women triangulated by their maternal desires and concrete needs: a Chinese mother who gives her infant up for adoption, a white middle-class American mother raising a Chinese girl, and a Canadian woman preparing to travel to China to pick up a baby. Avoiding trite conclusions, the film illustrates the complex dislocation and dissonance inherent to cross-cultural adoption as it probes universal issues of motherhood, child-bearing, belonging, and identity. At once understated and personal, “Echoes” is a subtle examination of timely social and cultural questions.

Filmmaker Bio:

Sun-Kyung (Sunny) Yi, journalist and author, has produced a large body of work in television, radio and print over the past 20 years. She has produced and directed numerous critically acclaimed documentaries, including Scenes From a Corner Store, Divorce: What I See, Hide and Seek: An Underground Trilogy, Thai Girls, North Korea: Inside the Hermit Kingdom and Made in Hong Kong, for CBC, TVO and AMC (American Movie Classics). Her films continue to be broadcast worldwide in more than 30 countries. The recipient of numerous accolades from the San Francisco Film Festival, The New York Festival, the U.S. International Film and Video Festival, and the Media Human Rights Awards, Yi has also contributed several hours of radio documentaries for CBC’s IDEAS program. Born in Seoul, South Korea, Yi immigrated to Canada and settled in Regina, Saskatchewan. Yi moved to Toronto in 1991 when she was granted an internship at The Globe and Mail upon receiving her B.A. in Journalism and Communications. In 1996 she founded Aysha Productions Inc., producing and directing more than a dozen documentary films. Yi and her partner John Haslett Cuff are currently in production on a documentary film for TVO.

Piedre Libra: The Journey of Memory along the Paths of Truth and Justice|Alejandra Vassallo and Pía Sicardi|75 minutes|Crowdsourced|2014

Members of the Piedra Libre team will be speaking in Session 159.


Decidedly collaborative, the largely crowd-sourced “Piedra Libre” is the joint project of filmmaker Pía Sicardi and historian Alejandra Vassallo. The film offers a creative approach to the commemoration of trauma and atrocity, exploring the cathartic properties of traditional cultural expression, as well as the rehabilitative potential in the performance of collective memory. In the documentary’s most memorable sections, two hundred women perform Afro-dance choreography in the streets of Buenos Aires, invoking—in spectacular fashion—the memories of the thousands of lives lost under Argentina’s various military dictatorships. But the filmmakers probe, too, individual approaches to memory and healing: interviews with various survivors, witnesses, and commentators highlight personal experiences of loss.

How a People Live|Lisa Jackson|59:05 minutes|Catrina Longmuir and Susan Bliss|2013


This documentary traces the after-shocks of forced relocation on one First Nations community. In 1964, the Gwa’sala and the ‘Nakwaxda’xw First Nations people, who had previously lived as two distinct groups on the British Columbia coast, were relocated to the Tsulquate reserve on Vancouver Island. Enacted by the Canadian government for administrative reasons, this move traumatized the communities in question: their new living conditions were substandard, and federal government unceremoniously burned their previous settlements to the ground. Returning to the village sites with community members decades later, filmmaker Lisa Jackson documents a journey of healing and regeneration. “How a People Live” traces how a fierce connection to the land and cultural traditions provide a means of overcoming hardship for one First Nations community.

The Unapologetic Life of Margaret Randall|Lu Lippold|60 minutes|Lu Lippold and Pamela Colby|2002

Margaret Randall will be the commentator on Session 65, a special panel dedicated to her work. Afterwards, she will conduct a poetry reading in session 70.


Filmmaker Lu Lippold offers a compelling filmic portrait of Margaret Randall, writer, academic, photographer, and activist. Lippold captures the continuing potency and relevancy of Randall’s extended public struggle over patriotism, belonging, and citizenship. (A vocal critic of U.S. foreign policy, Randall engaged in a sensational and contested attempt to regain her American citizenship after she left the United States for Mexico and Cuba; she was eventually successful.) Moving beyond the standard activist narrative, this film straddles the line between the political and the personal, critically exploring the story behind Randall’s outspoken radicalism. The film includes current footage, as well as archival images.

Finding Dawn|Christine Welsh|73:29 minutes|Svend-Erik Eriksen|2006

This Screening will be followed by a Q and A with the filmmaker


In this feature length documentary, Metis filmmaker Christine Welsh explores the troubling facts and personal stories behind the estimated 1200 Indigenous women and girls who have gone missing or been murdered in Canada over the past four decades.  By focusing on three representative missing and murdered women —Dawn Crey, who disappeared from Vancouver’s downtown East Side and whose remains were discovered on the infamous Pickton farm; Ramona Wilson, a young high-school student who was murdered along the “Highway of Tears” in northern British Columbia; and Daleen Kay Bosse, a young mother and university students who disappeared from Saskatoon — Welsh exposes the deep historical, social and economic factors that contribute to the epidemic of violence against Native women in Canada while also uncovering inspiring stories of strength, courage and resilience.  Finding Dawn puts a human face to a national tragedy and presents the ultimate message that stopping the violence is everyone’s responsibility.

Filmmaker Bio:

Christine Welsh, Associate Professor, Women’s Studies, University of Victoria is aMétis filmmaker and has been writing, directing and producing documentary films that give voice to the historical and contemporary experience of Indigenous women in Canada for the past 30 years. She wrote and produced WOMEN IN THE SHADOWS, a one-hour documentary about her search for her Metis grandmothers. The film won the Best Documentary award at the 1992 Vancouver International Film Festival and was nominated for the 1993 Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television Gemini award for Best Documentary. Welsh also wrote, directed, and co-produced KEEPERS OF THE FIRE, a one-hour tribute to Aboriginal women’s resistance, which earned her the honor of being named co-recipient of the first Alanis Obomsawin Award for outstanding achievement in the Canadian Aboriginal film industry. KEEPERS OF THE FIRE has been featured at major film festivals throughout Canada and the U.S. and has had special screenings at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts and Te Papa, the National Museum of New Zealand. Welsh’s, FINDING DAWN won the Gold Audience Award at the 2006 Amnesty International Film Festival in Vancouver, and was screened at the United Nations in New York for the 2007 International Women’s Day celebration.  She is currently developing a documentary media project about her two Métis uncles who were killed in WWII.

The Inmates are Running the Asylum: Stories from the MPA|Megan J. Davies|36:32 minutes|Lanny Beckman|2013

Megan Davies will be speaking about this film on Session 188.


Formed in 1971, Vancouver’s ground-breaking MPA (Mental Patients Association) offered a revolutionary patient-driven approach to sustaining, integrating, and healing people with psychiatric diagnoses. The early MPA was based on participatory democracy and, in providing homes, employment, and community to former patients, offered both empowerment and concrete quotidian assistance. Working collaboratively with academic scholars and talented young artists and film-makers, a group of early MPA members created this 36-minute documentary. At once an organizational history and an inquiry into mental health care in Canada, “The Inmates are Running the Asylum” documents struggle, triumph, and belonging. Like the MPA itself, this film is proudly activist and collective: a personal and deeply felt project.

Listening for Something . . . Adrienne Rich and Dionne Brand in Conversation|Dionne Brand|55:58 minutes| Signe Johansson and Ginny Stikeman|1996


This film showcases a vibrant and varied series of conversations between two great modern feminist minds: Adrienne Rich, renowned American poet and essayist; and Dionne Brand, Canadian writer, activist, and filmmaker. The viewer is invited into a set of open and expansive chats between the two women as they discuss subjects close to their hearts; topics include race, social justice, sexuality, poetry, and feminism. Shot in Tobago, Canada, and the U.S., this film offers the chance to witness the intimate dialogue of two women whose melding of politics, writing, and social engagement have inspired generations of activists, artists, and feminists.

Mountains That Take Wing—Angela Davis and Yuri Kochiyama: A Conversation on Life, Struggles, and Liberation|C.A. Griffith and H. L. T. Quan|97 minutes|C.A. Griffith and H. L. T. Quan|2009


This full-length film documents an extended and animated conversation between Angela Davis, the legendary scholar, activist and writer, and Yuri Kochiyama, Nobel Peace Prize Nominee and tireless campaigner for social justice. In their intimate dialogue, these two giants of modern feminism cover a broad range of topics, including war, cultural change, the prison industrial complex, history, cross-cultural and cross-racial alliances, art, and the role of women in social justice movements. Interspersing the women’s lively discussion with rare archival footage, filmmakers C.A. Griffith and H. L. T. Quan offer a reflection on two individual paths through the upheavals of twentieth-century activism.

Unlimited Girls|Paromita Vohra|94:21 minutes|SAKSHI|2002


Initially intrigued by active and contentious discussions regarding feminism in internet chatrooms, filmmaker Paromita Vohra embarks on a journey of activist discovery; “Unlimited Girls”—a portrait of the varied faces of modern feminism—is Vohra’s documentation of her voyage. Taken along for the ride, viewers encounter nuns, yuppies, students, activists, consumers, teachers as they pursue differing visions of equity for women and girls. Eclectic and playful, “Unlimited Girls” melds fiction and factual story-telling to pose important questions regarding women’s roles in modern society. In a time of cultural dispersion and ingrained individuality, Vohra asks, does a unified feminist movement still make sense? And how can feminists ensure the women’s movement remains relevant in a rapidly changing world?

Edge of Joy|Dawn Sinclair Shapiro|43:13 minutes|Tod Lending|2010

Dawn Sinclair Shapiro will be discussing her recent film, Blindspot, on Session 237.


Childbirth and attendant complications kill more than 36,000 Nigerian women a year. In “The Edge of Joy,” filmmaker Dawn Shapiro aims to discover why—and what is being done to assuage these catastrophic statistics. Following doctors and nurses on the frontline of maternal care, as well family planning officers, blood supply transportation staff, and expectant families, the film traces the complex factors leading to both maternal tragedies and miraculous survival. Featuring animation by Yoni Goodman and narrated by journalist Eliza Griswold, “The Edge of Joy” delves deep into Nigerian culture as it explores the face of maternal health care in the Africa.

Sisters of the Screen|Beti Ellerson|61 minutes|Beti Ellerson|2002


In this full-length film, director Beti Ellerson explores and celebrates the work of female filmmakers from Africa and the diaspora. Serving as both an anthology and introductory overview, the documentary intersperses interviews with Safi Faye, Sarah Maldoror, Anne Mungai, Fanta Régina Nacro and Ngozi Onwurah with footage from these filmmakers’ important works. Ellerson also probes into the contemporary politics of African feminist filmmaking, explicating the rift central to the 1991 Pan-African Festival of Cinema and Television of Ouagadougou (FESPACO), when diaspora women were asked to leave a meeting for African woman. “Sisters of the Screen” traces the strengths of pan-African feminist filmmaking as it suggests potential new directions and talents.

Experimental Films/Video on ‘Experimental Film/Video and History| Curated by Sharlene Bamboat and Ponni Arasu|2014

This screening will be followed by a Q and A with the Filmmakers


Curated by Sharlene Bamboat and Ponni Arasu, this one-hour set of experimental films and videos will be screened as a one-hour loop. The selection of these films is based on the principle of exploring the different ways in which the two forms and disciplinary methods of experimental film/video and history interact with one another. In keeping with the themes of gender and women’s history, the loop will include short experimental films that begin to address the following questions: How and when does experimental films/video adopt a historical perspective? How does an interaction with history alter the contours of experimental film/video; and similarly, how does experimental film/video realign, recreate and challenge the contours of history itself? What is the texture of this interaction in terms of aesthetic and content? How, then, do we use experimental film in classrooms and as a way of unpacking the questions that are often at the forefront of those working in gender history: that of linear temporality; layered sociality; the hegemony of hierarchies; the potential of dissent; the disaggregation of bodies and peoples in history; and the historical reimagining of stories that seek to scratch the surface of these hegemonic disaggregation and dichotomies, those often taken as default in history writing. What can historians learn from experimental film/video in performing this imagination? What can experimental film/video learn from a nuanced and rigorous historical approach? This curation seeks to address the types of disaggregation described above through an exploration of experimental film/video and history as methods, aesthetics and forms of representation. In addressing film/video as pedagogic tool, we also ask: which kind of films/videos can be used in a history classroom and which cannot, and why?

Curators’ Bio:

Sharlene Bamboat is a Toronto-based artist, working predominantly in film, video and performance. Shaped by a queer framework, her work calls into question narratives of diaspora, citizenship and nation-building. Through a re-examination of history, Bamboat elicits tongue-in-cheek performative videos and installations to question our contemporary moment marked by colonialism and neoliberalism. She regularly works in collaboration with artists and academics. As Bambitchell, she and artist Alexis Mitchell have created mixed-media installations: Inextricable (2009), Border Sounds (2011), Citizen Kenney: A Love Letter in 3 Parts (2012), Where the Trees Stood in Water (2013). Other collaborations include Throwback, with the Feminist Art Gallery (FAG) and artist Ali El-Darsa (2012), and a group project called TAG TEAM: Gay Premises (2013). Bamboat’s work has been exhibited internationally. Artistic Director of SAVAC (South Asian Visual Arts Centre), she sits on the program committee of the Pleasure Dome Film & Video Collective and the board of VTape.

Ponni Arasu is a Tamil queer, feminist, activist, researcher and organizer of feminist film festivals. She is an actor and theatre practitioner. She is also a doctoral candidate in the Department of History, University of Toronto.

My Footsteps in the Baraguá|Gloria Rolando|53 minutes|Images of the Caribbean|1996

This film screening is part of a four-film retrospective of Gloria Rolando’s work.

Rolando will be present at Roundtable 117, a special panel dedicated to her work.


In this documentary, filmmaker Gloria Rolando explores the diverse cultural history of Cuba and, more broadly, the centrality of migration in Caribbean life, as well as the rich cultural heritage inherent to the African diaspora. Focusing on the town of Baraguá, this film traces the looming legacy of the sugar trade, which resulted in the cultural intermingling of those who came as African slaves, migrants and English colonizers. Utilizing a creative approach to historical commemoration, Rolando melds interviews, photographs, and site visits (to locations such as Baraguá’s traditional sugar barracks) with the recreation of traditional dance, theatre, and music. This collaborative project is dedicated to three Caribbean intellectuals: Nicolas Guillen, George Lamming, and Rex Nettleford.

The Scorpion|Gloria Rolando|19 minutes|Telivision Latina and Images of the Caribbean |2000

This film screening is part of a four-film retrospective of Gloria Rolando’s work.

Rolando will be present at Session 117, a special panel dedicated to her work.


“The Scorpion” commemorates “El Alacrán” (“the Scorpion”), a Havana-based comparasa (a group of musicians and dancers) dedicated to Yemaya, the Yoruba goddess of the sea. Rolando explicates the long history of both “El Alacrán” and, more broadly, Havana’s carnaval, both of which have been in existence since the early twentieth-century. A thoughtful comparative and transnational history of the carnaval tradition, “The Scorpion” is also, at its heart, a celebration of the enduring prominence, relevance, and power of African cultural traditions in Cuba. Rolando lays bare the African roots of carnaval, comparasas, and, more broadly, the cultural landscape of Cuban music and dance.

Roots of my Heart|Gloria Rolando|51 minutes|Images of the Caribbean|2001

This film screening is part of a four-film retrospective of Gloria Rolando’s work.

Rolando will be present at Session 117, a special session dedicated to her work.


This film is the first full-length documentary cataloguing the 1912, government-led massacre of thousands of Afro-Cubans, primarily members of the Independents of Color. Founded in 1908 by Evaristo Estenoz, the Independents of Color was an AfroCuban political party largely comprised of veterans of the Mambi Army, the group that defeated the Spanish in two Wars of Liberation (1868-1878 and 1895-1898). Because, according to filmmaker Gloria Rolando, members of the Mambi Army were overwhelmingly Afro-Cuban, the Wars of Independence are most accurately understood as one of the largest slave revolts in the Southern hemisphere; the 1912 massacre, in turn, is inherently racial in both practice and meaning. The film uses rarely-seen historical images of the Mambi Army.

Cherished Island Memories|Gloria Rolando|38 minutes|Gloria Rolando and Gilberto Martínez|2007

This film screening is part of a four-film retrospective of Gloria Rolando’s work.

Rolando will be present at Session 117, a special session dedicated to her work.


Filmmaker Gloria Rolando’s reflections on the cultural, personal, economic, and historical connections forged between inhabitants of the Cayman Islands and the Isle of Pines. As people came and went between the islands, marriages and families were formed, fishing and farming traditions were interwoven, and African and Caribbean music and dancing were shared. Tracing these enduring links, Rolando troubles the separation between the present and past, modernity and ancestry. Filled with the beauty of the Caribbean’s natural heritage, as well as the voices of what Rolando calls the “human bridge” forged between the islands of the region, “Cherished Island Memories” is a thoughtful journey into Caribbean culture and history.

Motherless: A Legacy of Loss from Illegal Abortion|Barbara Attie and Janet Goldwater|28:36 minutes|Barbara Attie and Janet Goldwater|1992

Janet Goldwater will be discussing the themes addressed in this film on Roundtable 237.


In this half-hour documentary, filmmakers Barbara Attie and Janet Goldwater explore a significant and difficult subject: maternal death from illegal abortions. Focusing on four adults—three women and one man—who lost their mothers to complications from illegal abortions, the film addresses the emotional costs of the criminalization of abortion. But the narrative is political and historical, as well as personal: Attie and Goldwater interview doctors and medical historians, who offer trenchant explications of abortion in the U.S. from the nineteenth century until legalization in 1973. A landmark film, “Motherless” is an official component of the American Medical Women’s Association for obstetrics and gynecology, as well as a popular educational tool for teachers and activists across the country.

Blindspot: North Carolina’s Era of Forced Sterilization|Dawn Sinclair Shapiro|70 minutes|2014

Dawn Sinclair Shapiro will be speaking about Blindspot on Session 237


Blindspot is a hard-hitting expose about the history of North Carolina’s eugenic sterilization program and the struggle to get compensation for the victims of the program.  The compensation issue became a part of the 2012 political season with an unusual collaboration between Republican Thom Tillis and veteran Civil Rights and Social Justice Democrat Larry Womble.  The film doesn’t have a stake in whether or not the victims receive compensation, nor does it engage in “gotcha” journalism.  But motives and perceived agendas are probed, then and now, as we analyze past and contemporary understandings of eugenic sterilization.

30% (Women and Politics in Sierra Leone)|Anna Cady|10:40 minutes|Tessa Lewin and Andrea Cornwall|2012


This innovative short film documents the campaign to get a quota of 30% women in Sierra Leone’s national parliament. More broadly, this documentary investigates the civic, popular, and legal role of women in Sierra Leone. Though women took crucial roles in negotiating peace at the end of an 11-year civil war, female politicians have continued to face discrimination, violence, and marginalization as they fight for an equal role in governing their country. Visually arresting, “30%” utilizes the oil paint sequences of Em Cooper to stunning effect: filmed images of interviews and streetscapes merge seamlessly into animated sequences; this intermingling cleverly mimics the confusion, beauty, and chaos inherent to life in modern Sierra Leone.

Thorns and Silk|Paulina Tervo|13:27|Paulina Tervo|2009

“Thorns and Silk” inquires into the motivations, challenges, successes, and dreams of four women pursuing male-dominated fields in Palestine. Viewers encounter Hanan, a filmmaker who documents women’s wedding celebrations in Hebron; Majda, the only female Palestinian taxi driver in Jerusalem; Niveen, a young woman training to be a police officer in Jericho; and Yusra, who repairs heavy machinery and drives a delivery truck in a small village outside of Nablus. Filmmaker Paulina Tervo offers a respectful and thoughtful portrait of daily life in Palestine, and captures the unique struggles of women driven by necessity and courage to pursue unconventional jobs and modes of survival.

Emergence|Praitbha Parmar|18 minutes|Praitbha Parmar|1986


This short film by Praitbha Parmar explores women’s diasporic experiences and cultural production. Representing both their work and philosophies, Parmar celebrates the work of four artists, all women of color. Standouts include Audre Lorde, the renowned African-American poet and lesbian-feminist activist, and Mona Hatoum, the Palestinian video and installation artist. “Emergence” probes themes of race, modern alienation, female identity, and modern art through the lens of feminist art and writing.

Birthday Suit – with scars and defect| Lisa Steele| 13 minutes|Lisa Steele|1974


On the occasion of her 27th birthday, the artist made this work, which chronicles her passage through time. In the tape, she undresses, then reveals, touches, counts, dates and recounts the story of every scar on her body. This short film has since become iconic in the field of video art.

Public Bodies//Hidden Histories: Disability and Difference in Ten Digital Stories| Project Re•Vision Films|Curated by Carla Rice and Eliza Chandler

This session will be followed by a Q and A with the Public Bodies//Hidden Histories curators Dr. Carla Rice and Eliza Chandler and the Hidden Histories filmmakers

This event is accessible and ASL will be provided


This screening features eleven short videos created by women living with disabilities and embodied differences. Produced by Project ReŸVision, these videos—digital stories—uncover the hidden histories of bodies that are typically on display for public consumption but rarely attended to for the stories we/they have to tell. The themes explored in the digital stories span body histories, disability histories, mad histories, maternal histories, activist histories, and feminist disability legacies.

Filmmakers’ Bio:

Elaine Stewart (Film: slide/cascade) is a Toronto-based visual artist. She often uses mobility device constructs in her work to extend her explorations of physical disability and mental illness.

Mel Gayle (Film: Puzzle Piece) is a black, queer-crip poet and artist living on the stolen land of the Mississaugas of New Credit and Haudenosaunee people. She loves creating and performing about intersectionality, community, and the complicated ways we find to love each other.”

Dr. Kirsty Liddiard (Film: Me & You) is currently the Ethel Louise Armstrong Postdoctoral Fellow within the School of Disability Studies, Ryerson University, where she lectures and teaches on a range of disability issues.

Dr. Jen Rinaldi (Film: Litany of the white noise) is a full-time academic associate in the Legal Studies and Criminology departments at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology.  She obtained her doctoral degree in Critical Disability Studies and currently researches eating disorder recovery.

Sheyfali Saujani (Film: Reading Blind) is a PhD Candidate with the Department of History at the University of Toronto. She works on disability, multiculturalism and migration.

Karima Dorney (Film: How do you remember someone?) is currently on maternity leave from her PhD in Family Relations and Human Development at the University of Guelph. Her research looks at intersections of class, gender and health.

Dr. Roxanne Mykitiuk (Film: Mother Risk) is a professor at Osgoode Hall Law School, York University, Toronto.  She is indebted to Project Revision for enriching her life with compassion, community and creativity.

Janna Brown (Film: Untitled) is a visual artist, writer, and facilitator who is, for the moment, exploring connections between trauma, mental health, and belonging. As the current Artist-in-Residence with Tangled Art + Disability she is working on a digital story series using poetry, photography, and embroidery to find her ‘home’.

Dr. Hilde Zitzelsberger (Film: My Impossible Invulnerability) is an assistant professor at the University Of Ontario Institute of Technology.  Her interests include children’s and adult’s embodiments, gender issues, and health care technologies and places.  She enjoys rural living and spending time with her three dogs.

Vanessa Dion Fletcher (Film: Word) is a multidisciplinary artist who focuses on printmaking and performance. Her work is a process of investigating the influence of culture and politics on the relationship between our bodies and the land.

Jan Derbyshire (Film: Value Village) is a performer, playwright, theatre maker, director, teacher, and comedian. Her work involves solo performance, community and artist collaboration, traditional playwriting, experimental storytelling, video, words on paper, event creation, and stand-up comedy.

Obachan’s Garden|Linda Ohama|94:13 minutes|Selwyn Jacob, Linda Ohama|2001


What is memory; and what is truth? These are the evocative questions posed by this National Film Board production. At its most basic level, Linda Ohama’s film is a journey into one woman’s life, the filmmaker’s Obachan (grandmother), Asayo Murakami. Over 100 years old during filming, Murakami first arrived in Canada as a “picture bride” in 1923; over the subsequent decades, she adjusted to fishing village life in Stevenson, B.C., was interned during WWII, raised her family, and took part in community life. But this is also a deeply personal mystery story. As Ohama discovers as she probes into the past, Obachan has expunged certain painful narratives from her reminiscences. The result is a brave inquiry into the affects of trauma and upheaval on women’s lives.

For a Place Under the Heavens|Sabiha Sumar|53 minutes|Sachithanandam Sathananthan and Philippe Avril|2003


A personal examination of piety, fundamentalism, and women’s experiences in modern Pakistan from acclaimed director Sabiha Sumar. Drawing heavily on interviews with activists, scholars, and Pakistani women who have turned to fundamentalism, Sumar offers a thoughtful inquiry into schooling, politics, activism, women’s lived experiences, terrorism, and, more broadly, the tensions between religious and liberal forces in modern Pakistan. “For a Place Under the Heavens” also delves into the past as it explains the present: Sumar harkens back to the creation of Pakistan in 1947 in explicating how Pakistani women have created, resisted, and reacted to the increasingly fundamental tilt of civil and political life in their country.

Fragments of a Past| Uma Chakravarti|52 minutes|Public Service Broadcasting Trust|2012

Uma Chakravarti will be speaking on panel 156


The film locates the life and work of a woman political activist in her everyday existence, the relationships she lives out at home and in her work and the political affiliations she tries to hold together, even as they are subjected to multiple stresses. Through her journey of recovering her grandmother’s history for a different generation of women, in a poignant reminder of the ephemeral nature of memory, and the loss of remembrance itself, she cannot often recall the very event that led to her own political transformation, even as it is etched in the memories of so many others who outlived the tragedy of that event, or heard about it then, and over the many decades thereafter.

Stories We Tell|Sarah Polley|108 minutes|Anita Lee|2012

This Screening will be followed by a Q and A with the Filmmaker


In this deeply personal documentary, filmmaker and writer Sarah Polley probes the ambiguities and truths hidden within family stories and narratives of belonging. Skillfully melding interviews and personal reminiscences with old and current family footage, Polley explores the carefully-hidden secret of her own parentage, in the process interrogating the legacy of her charismatic, talented, and duplicitous mother (who died when Polley was eleven) as well as the connective tissue of her artistic and complex family. More than a family tale, the film also explores universal themes, including the shifting meaning of authenticity, belonging, and love. Winner of numerous awards, including the Grand Prix Focus, Toronto Film Critics Association Awards, and the New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Non-Fiction Film.

Filmmakers Bio:

Sarah Polley is a Canadian actress, director, and activist. Polley began acting at a young age, starring in a number of family films, as well as the beloved Canadian television series Road to Avonlea. As an adult, she attracted critical acclaim for her performances in ExoticaThe Sweet HereafterThe Weight of WaterMy Life Without Me, and Mr. Nobody, among other films. Polley began making her own films in 1999, and later received directorial training at the Canadian Film Centre. Away from Her, based on a short story by Alice Munro, marked Polley’s feature film directorial debut in 2006. The film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay, and won a Genie Award for Best Achievement in Direction. Take This Waltz, Polley’s second film, premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2011.  Stories We Tell is Polley’s first feature-length documentary. She has recently announced that she is working on adapting Margaret Atwood’s novel Alias Grace into a feature film. Polley is an organizer and activist, as well as an artist: she has a long history of community involvement, particularly in national and provincial issues and politics.

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