Images Research Forum Call for Applications
photo: Sardar Farrokhi

photo: Sardar Farrokhi

Images Research Forum Call for Applications

news date: Mar 8, 2018

The Images Research Forum is an educational initiative that takes place during the 31st edition of Images Festival. Understanding the need to support the creation and dissemination of critical thinking and dialogue, Images Festival is inviting emerging colleagues to explore contemporary moving image culture within the context of the festival and with mentorship from leading international curators, artists, and researchers in the field.


This year’s forum will grant each participant a pass to attend the entire festival, include intensive seminar meetings with mentor and guests, and culminate in a public presentation. A successful applicant will be engaged in contemporary moving image culture in their own practice, through writing, curating or in graduate school.


Participation in the forum will be a commitment to attend as many of the screenings as possible and to present a culminating project that reflects on the works encountered in the festival, either in the form of a written piece of criticism to be published in an outlet, or a brief presentation given during the public conversation. Participants will be required to attend two meetings during the festival, with additional opportunities for conversations and group activities.


Festival dates: April 12-20, 2018

Research Forum seminars: April 15 1:00-3:00 PM ; April 18 1:00-4:00 PM


Emerging curators, writers, scholars, filmmakers and artists are encouraged to apply.

People of color, women, queer, trans and gender non-conforming people are encouraged to apply.


Images Research Forum will be lead by curator Ekrem Serdar.


Application should include:

  • CV
  • 350 word statement about why attending Images Festival and discussing contemporary moving image culture with a group of colleagues would be productive for you. Please indicate whether you’re interested in doing a written piece or a public presentation for the culminating project.
  • A writing sample (limit 800 words) OR a preview link to a moving image work you’ve produced OR Supporting materials (website, press release, documentation) of a screening or exhibition you’ve curated.​


Email all materials to with the subject line “Images Research Forum - your first and last name”


Application Deadline: Friday, March 23 by midnight.


Successful participants will be notified by March 30.


Please note: Participation in Images Research Forum is free, but participants coming from outside of Toronto are responsible for their own travel and accommodations.


Ekrem Serdar is the curator at Squeaky Wheel Film & Media Art Center (2015–present), where he is responsible for the organization’s exhibitions, public programming, and artist residencies. Previously, he was a programmer with Experimental Response Cinema (Austin, TX) which he co-founded. He is the recipient of a Curatorial Fellowship from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts (2017). He is an advisory member of Experimental Response Cinema, and the FOL Cinema Society (Istanbul). His writing has appeared in The Brooklyn Rail, Millennium Film Journal, INCITE: Journal of Experimental Media, 5harfliler, among others. He completed his B.A. in Critical Studies, and his M.F.A in Media Arts Production at the Department of Media Study at SUNY Buffalo. He is from Ankara, Turkey.


This program is generously supported by TD Bank Group.


Images Festival 2018 Programming Launch and Karaoke Party with Trisha Baga in conjunction with the opening of Trisha Baga’s exhibition Biologue
Trisha Baga, The Voice (video still), 2017. Image courtesy of the artist and Greene Naftali Gallery, New York.

Trisha Baga, The Voice (video still), 2017. Image courtesy of the artist and Greene Naftali Gallery, New York.

Images Festival 2018 Programming Launch and Karaoke Party with Trisha Baga in conjunction with the opening of Trisha Baga’s exhibition Biologue

news date: Mar 1, 2018

15 March 2018, 5:30-11PM

Gallery TPW


170 St Helens Ave. Toronto

5:30 - 7:00PM Press and Programming Launch

7:00 - 9:00PM Opening Reception of the exhibition Biologue

9:00 - 11:00PM Karaoke Pizza Party with Trisha Baga


Join us on 15 March 2018 at Gallery TPW to learn about the exciting programs featured during the 31st  Annual Images Festival happening April 12-20, 2018.

Images Festival’s newly appointed Head of Programming Aily Nash will discuss upcoming screenings, exhibitions, and performances of the 2018 festival schedule with returning Executive Director Heather Keung! Take this opportunity to meet Aily, welcome back Heather, and learn about our incredible line-up and the future activities of Images Festival.

Following the press and programming launch is the opening reception of Biologue, the first Canadian solo-exhibition by Trisha Baga co-curated and co-presented with Gallery TPW.


Beginning at 9PM, Trisha Baga will host a group karaoke party in the gallery. Help us celebrate the 31st edition of Images Festival with a night of singing and snacks.


Images Festival Announces 2018 Programming Highlights
Leilah Weinraub, SHAKEDOWN, 2017

Leilah Weinraub, SHAKEDOWN, 2017

Images Festival Announces 2018 Programming Highlights

news date: Feb 14, 2018

Images Festival’s opening night on Thursday, April 12 will be SHAKEDOWN by Leilah Weinraub at The Royal Cinema. SHAKEDOWN is an intimate time capsule of a weekly party founded by and featuring African American women in Los Angeles’ underground lesbian strip club scene in the early 2000s.


On Friday, April 20 the closing night program will include Djamilia, an exquisite documentary shot on Super 8, by French filmmaker Aminatou Echard at Innis Town Hall. Premiering in the Berlinale, and also making its North American premiere at Images, Djamilia traces the influence of Tchinghiz Aitmatov's 1958 novel of the same title, whose protagonist broke societal norms for female conduct, inspiring generations of women to follow their own desires and ambitions. The screening will be followed by a performance by the Egyptian-Iranian performer and musician Lafawndah.


This year’s Canadian Artist Spotlight is Steve Reinke - an artist, writer and queer Nietzschean best known for his monologue-based film essays. He returns to Toronto to present a solo screening program, as well as an exhibition at Vtape, and the presentation of What Weakens the Flesh is the Flesh Itself, a collaborative work with British artist James Richards, which premiered in the 2017 Venice Biennale.


On Friday, April 13 at the newly constructed Toronto Media Arts Centre (TMAC), artist Lucy Raven and musician Deantoni Parks will present Bullet Points for a Hard Western, a live performance inspired by the artwork and music of Walter De Maria.


Images Festival will present short form works by a number of renowned  international artists  including Korakrit Arunanondchai’s with history in a room filled with people with funny names 4 which recently won the Tiger Shorts Award at Rotterdam; Moyra Davey’s Hemlock Forest, which was first presented in the Montreal Biennial; British artist Patrick Staff’s Weed Killer, commissioned by MOCA Los Angeles; Wutharr, Saltwater Dreams by grassroots Indigenous based media group The Karrabing Film Collective; as well as the North American premiere of Ben Rivers and Ben Russell’s new collaborative film THE RARE EVENT.


In addition to Images Festival ON Screen programs, the festival is pleased to announce its co-presentation of 4 first-time, Canadian solo exhibitions. Mercer Union will present Black Friday, by Qatari-American artist, writer, and filmmaker Sophia Al-Maria. Black Friday foregrounds the artist’s ongoing investigation into the accelerated development of the Gulf Nations and the sobering signs of a hyper-capitalist future to come. In a new two-part installation, American artist Trisha Baga presents an immersive 3D video environment titled Biologue at Gallery TPW. In her first museum exhibition in Canada, Vancouver-born artist Sara Cwynar presents her acclaimed works Soft Film and Rose Gold alongside the debut of her newest film at Oakville Galleries. YYZ Artists’ Outlet will present When Things Occur by artist Oraib Toukan. This compelling work weaves together Skype conversations with Gaza-based photographers, fixers, and drivers who were behind specific images that diffused from screen to screen in the 2014 War on Gaza.


As something new, in partnership with Super 8 Hotel, Images Festival will present a site-specific, multi-channel installation titled Public Intimacies with works by Jon Wang, Dani Restack and Sheilah Restack. Taking place in hotel rooms at the Super 8 Hotel on Spadina Avenue, Public Intimacies speaks to the boundaries between public and private space, presenting works that challenge notions of domesticity, and contemplate themes of intimacy, expressions of sexuality, desire, and identity.


Images Festival is also excited to announce the 2018 jury: scholar and critic, Erika Balsom, artist and curator, Christina Battle, and film programmer Charlotte Selb who are tasked with selecting the winners of the festival’s many awards, including Marian McMahon Akimbo Award, TD Bank Group Award, and York University Award for Best Student Work on Screen. In addition to being on the jury, Erika Balsom will present a lecture titled "Mere" Recording? : Documentary, Contemporary Art, and the Orthodoxy of Ecstatic Truth at Innis Town Hall on Sunday, April 15.


The full program for the 2018 Images Festival will be announced on March 15th at the Images Festival Programming Launch presented in conjunction with the opening of Trisha Baga’s exhibition at Gallery TPW.


Images Festival Welcomes Head of Programming Aily Nash

Images Festival Welcomes Head of Programming Aily Nash

news date: Feb 8, 2018

Welcome Aily Nash

The Images Festival Board of Directors is pleased to announce our new Head of Programming, Aily Nash! Aily has distinguished herself as a strong voice in moving image culture as the co-curator of Projections, the New York Film Festival’s artists' film and video section, as well as co-curator of the film program for the 2017 Whitney Biennial. Aily has curated programs and exhibitions for MoMA PS1, Anthology Film Archives, Kiasma (Helsinki), Tabakalera (San Sebastian), FACT (Liverpool), Image Forum (Tokyo) and others. She curated five seasons of the Basilica Screenings series at Basilica Hudson (2012-2016). Her writing has appeared in the Brooklyn Rail, BOMB,, Film Comment, and elsewhere. In 2015, she was awarded a Curatorial Fellowship from the Andy Warhol Foundation. You may not have seen Aily around the office, as she is working remotely from New York - but Aily is working with Programmer Faraz Anoushahpour to bring together an exciting program for Images 2018. Welcome Aily!


Welcome Back Heather

Another huge welcome back to the festival this month is Executive Director Heather Keung. Heather is returning to the festival after a maternity leave - just in time for the lead-up to Images 2018. The Board and staff are excited to have Heather bring her remarkable talents and enthusiastic passion back to the organization. And Heather is delighted to rejoin the moving image community. Glad to have you back, Heather!


Thank You Keli! 

Another big transition for the festival is saying goodbye to our Development Director Keli Maksud. Keli has been an important part of the Images Festival family for 4 years, starting as our Operations Manager from 2013 to 2016, and then rejoining us as our Development Director from 2017 until 2018. Keli leaves the Images Festival to focus on her brilliant artistic practice at residencies in Korea, London and New York. The Images Festival would like to send out a sincere thank you for Keli's hard work, steady hand, and wonderful presence at the festival. You will be missed!

Images Festival co-presenting at The Toronto Palestine Film Festival

Images Festival co-presenting at The Toronto Palestine Film Festival

news date: Sep 22, 2017

Images Festival is pleased to co-present Ouroboros by Basma Alsharif at The Palestine Film Festival. The Canadian premiere will take place at the TIFF Bell Lightbox C2 on Friday, September 22nd at 5:30pm. 

Click here more information
Buy Tickets Here

Images Festival Catalogue

Images Festival Catalogue

news date: Jul 7, 2017

30th Images Festival Award Winners
OCAD University Off Screen Award Winners Ivana Dizdar and Alvin Luong for their exhibition Bidding War at Y+ Contemporary

OCAD University Off Screen Award Winners Ivana Dizdar and Alvin Luong for their exhibition Bidding War at Y+ Contemporary

30th Images Festival Award Winners

news date: May 9, 2017

Jury: Sharlene Bamboat, Johnson Ngo, Carly Whitefield

More with Less Award: Sponsored by CFMDC, CARFAC Ontario, Charles Street Video, Dames Making Games, Gamma Space, ImagineNative, LIFT, SAW Video, Toronto Reel Asian Int’l Film Festival, Amar Wala and Anonymous. This award was established in 2015 to honour Scott Miller Berry (Images staff 2001-2015) and is presented annually to a project whose artwork does more with less and honours the resourceful spirit. The recipient receives a $1,500 cash prize.

Scene 38, Nawapol Thamrongrattanarit
For capturing a rich and humorous meta-cinematic imaginary in a single shot

OCAD University Off Screen Award: Sponsored by the Ontario College of Art 
and Design University (OCADU), this award honours the strongest new Canadian or international installation or new media work in the festival. The recipient receives a $500 award.

Y+ contemporary
Bidding War, Ivana Dizdar and Alvin Luong
For its thoughtful integration of time-based media into a comprehensive installation and its simultaneously playful and critical approach to site-specificity, addressing poignant issues within urban/suburban cityscapes with humour. We love that they take the piss.

Steam Whistle Homebrew Award:
Sponsored by Steam Whistle Brewing, this award honours excellence and promise in a local artist. The recipient receives $500 and a Steam Whistle Prize Package.

Lumapit Sa Akin, Paraiso / Come to Me, Paradise, Stephanie Comilang
For its multivalent approach, moving between various screens, staged and appropriated images, and between speculative fiction and contemporary social realities to underscore the resilience of disenfranchised domestic workers.

Overkill Award: Sponsored by an anonymous donor. Established in 2000 to honour former Executive Director Deirdre Logue, this award is presented annually to an artist whose work approaches extremes of incorrigibility through form and/or content and challenges our notions of experimental practice. The recipient receives a $500 award.

Can’t Get You out of My Head Award
Hard as Opal, Dani Leventhal and Jared Buckhiester 
We’ve decided to amend the title of this award this year to recognize a work we felt was in the spirit of Deirdre Logue’s ‘extremes of incorrigibility’ but for which the ‘Overkill’ designation would have misread the approach. This Can’t Get You out of My Head Award goes to Hard as Opal for its truly sticky images.

Marian McMahon Akimbo Award: Sponsored by Akimbo Art Promotion. This award is given to a woman filmmaker each year to honour strong work in autobiography, complexity of “subject” and the spirit of Marian McMahon.
The recipient is funded to attend the annual Independent Imaging retreat (Film Farm) and workshop in Mount Forest, Ontario. The recipient also receives $500 worth of transfer services courtesy of Frame Discreet.

Untitled, Anonymous 

York University Award for Best Student Work on Screen: Sponsored by York University’s Department of CINEMA & MEDIA ARTS awarded to the best student work on screen. The recipient receives $500. 

Fiesta Forever, Jorge Jácome
For its technical expertise, seamless and subtle navigation of narrative layers and lost spaces.

Vtape Award for Best Student Work on Screen: Sponsored by Vtape, Toronto’s video art Distributor awarded to the best student work on screen. The recipient receives $500.

Herat in my Head in my Heart, Weeda Azim
For its deft interweaving of personal and political content in a concise experimental form. We want to see more!

Trinity Square Video Award: Sponsored by Trinity Square Video. This award honours the best GTA media artists at the Images festival. The recipient will receives a $100 membership + $1000 in-kind equipment rentals.

A Mountain That Opens Like a Door and Closes Like a Mountain, Felix Kalmenson
For its precise composition, and animating archival materials with signs of human life and physical vulnerability, toxicity, and collective memory.

Additional Award:

Special Programming Mention
We want to give a special mention to an exceptionally curated program, Housekeeping Notes, by the Images programming team. This program was dynamic in its form and content, the range of approaches and traditions it drew in, and threads it opened up.


2017 Images Festival Survey


2017 Images Festival Survey

news date: Apr 28, 2017

Participated in this year's festival? 

Please take a moment to fill out our 2017 festival survey here! 

I Want To Dance With Faith, Faith, Faith

I Want To Dance With Faith, Faith, Faith

news date: Mar 21, 2017

Join us at OFFSITE to celebrate Images Festival 30th Anniversary!
Come dressed in your best 1987 style - your Whitney Houston, your George Michael.
Featuring the DJ stylings of Lana Leprich! 
867 Dundas St. West
March 23rd 
6pm - 8pm Drink and Chats 
8pm - 2am Dance and Celebrations 
Catalogues will be available. A limited number of festival passes will be available for purchase at a special discounted rate!
Images Festival would like to acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, Heritage Canada, Ontario Arts Council, Toronto Arts Council, Telefilm Canada, and Goethe Institut.
For more information about the party click here

Images 30th Anniversary Festival

Images 30th Anniversary Festival

news date: Feb 28, 2017

The 30th annual Images Festival takes place April 20-27, 2017 across Toronto and will be attended by more than 25,000 people. Focusing on local, national and international contemporary moving image culture, Images Festival continues to present vanguard projects across cinematic, exhibition and live platforms. The festival includes eight days of screenings, events, performance and exhibitions, and will feature its International Artist Spotlight on Isaac Julien and Canadian Artist Spotlight on Deirdre Logue.

Leading up to the festival’s weeklong run, Images will launch exhibitions opening in artist-run centres and galleries across Toronto.  The exhibition line-up will feature new and recent works by Isaac Julien (in partnership with the Royal Ontario Museum and OCAD University), a three gallery retrospective and book launch by Deirdre Logue (A Space Gallery, Gallery 44, Tangled Art Gallery), Vancouver-based Karilynn Ming Ho (Trinity Square Video), Toronto-based Aryen Hoekstra (YYZ Artists’ Outlet) and many more.

Images Festival will be shining their International Artist Spotlight on London-based Isaac Julien and a retrospective of his earliest works Who Killed Colin Roach? (1983) And Territories (1984). As one of Britain’s top contemporary artists, Julien’s early works were fiercely vocal against police brutality towards British Black bodies. Julien’s first major solo exhibition in Toronto opens at the ROM on January 23 with a free screening of Who Killed Colin Roach?  On February 3.

A one night only performance by Paris-based Kapwani Kiwanga and co-presented by The Power Plant, AFROGALACTICA: A brief history of the future features a live reading with video projection, in which Kiwanga takes on the role of a fictional anthropologist to speculate on the future, investigating Afrotuturism as a means to examine the past from an African or African diasporic subjectivity.

This year’s Canadian Artist Spotlight is Toronto’s very own Deirdre Logue. A long time avid supporter and advocate of the country’s media arts scene, Logue’s longstanding commitment to the arts community will be honoured with three gallery exhibitions featuring new and old works, as well as a series of accessible media art works premiering at Tangles Art Gallery. A new monograph of essays on Logue’s entire body of work will also launch, and is co-published by Oakville Galleries in partnership with Gallery 44 and Images Festival.

A special evening of performance by the likes of Rita McKeough, Steve Reinke, Midi Onodera, Eleanor King, and more will take the place of the usual Spotlight screening.


Launch details and a full line up to be announced March 23.