Experimental films from the Handmade Film Collective (Halifax)
and the Lightproof Film Collective (Ottawa)
Essay by Penny McCann
Experimental filmmakers tend to toil in isolation, creating works that exist on the fringe of moving image making. In recent years, the decline of film labs, production centres, and film’s increasing expense has been accompanied by a rise of interest in DIY analogue filmmaking, spurring the creation of community-based informal support structures. This screening celebrates the output of two recently formed Canadian film collectives, one in Ottawa and one in the Maritimes, each of which seeks to support experimental analogue film practices.
Formed in 2018, the Handmade Film Collective is a group of practicing, enthusiastic, analogue, handmade filmmakers who have come together to showcase experimental analogue handmade films and support other filmmakers working in this specialized genre. Three of the artists are based in Nova Scotia: Dawn George and Rena Thomas in Halifax, and Herb Theriault in Kentville. Todd Fraser lives and works in Fredericton, New Brunswick.
Three of the four works presented by the Handmade Film Collective were created through the Plants on Film Commissioning project, a collaboration between the Atlantic Filmmakers Cooperative and the Handmade Film Collective. Over the course of four months, filmmakers were asked to create new 16mm films responding to the theme of plants and utilizing one or more handmade filmmaking techniques such as eco-processing, phytogramming, drawing or tinting.
This screening celebrates the output of two recently formed Canadian film collectives, one in Ottawa and one in the Maritimes, each of which seeks to support experimental analogue film practices.