2019 Images Festival Wrap Up

May 13, 2019

Thank you from the 32nd Images Festival!

The 32 edition of the Images Festival took place from 11-18 April 2019 at 19 venues across the city. Showcasing artistic excellence in contemporary moving image culture, the festival presented 13 exhibitions, 70 on-screen works, and two live performances. Highlights include sold out presentations of Lido Pimienta and Aisha Sasha John’s performances as well as our Closing Night Outer Worlds program at the Cinesphere.

Special thank you to the over 50 artists who attended the festival to present and speak about their work, including: Adam Khalil, Aisha Sasha John, Amy Lam, Andrès Baron, Anton Vidokle, Bayley Sweitzer, Beatrice Gibson, Byron Peters, Callum Hill, Charles Mudede, Christopher Harris, Davani del Rocio Varillas Munoz, Denise Ferreira da Silva, Duane Peterson, Emilija Škarnulytė, Ellis Sam, Ephraim Asili, Eve-Lauryn LaFountain, G. Anthony Svatek, Gabi Dao, Jean-Jacques Martinod, Jessica Johnson, Jon McCurley, KC Wei, Kelly Richardson, Leila Sujir, Lido Pimienta, Lily Jue Sheng, Lisa Jackson, Louis Henderson, Lucy Tulugarjuk (Uyarak), Madeline Ivalu, Marie-Hélène Cousineau, Marnie Ellen Hertzler, Michael Keshane, Michael Snow, Nevet Yitzhak, Nicole Kelly Westman, Oliver Husain, Pamila Matharu, Public Studio, Rory Pilgrim, Ryan Ermacora, Sarah Pupo, Sharona Franklin, Simon Mercer, Sophia Feuer, Stephanie Comilang, Thorbojorg Jondsdottir, Tyler Macri, and Zeinabu Irene Davis.

Thank you to all the audiences, curators, speakers, sponsors, funders, partners, volunteers, board, and staff who made this year's Images Festival so memorable. We couldn’t have done it without you. This year’s festival included many meaningful conversations, and we want to keep that going! Your feedback is incredibly valuable and helps guide us in our future planning. We look forward to hearing from you.

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Winners of the 2019 Images Festival Awards

Congratulations to all the winners of this year's Images Festival Awards! The 2019 Festival Jury included Michèle Pearson Clarke, Priya Sen, and Lydia Ogwang.

2019 Images Festival 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. $500 cash.

For its honest, ambitious, and insightful look at the play, the curiosity, and the violence of childhood, the York University Award for Best Student Work on Screen goes to A Black Hole is a Black Hole in the Ground by Sofia Feuer and Tyler Macri.

2019 Images Festival Marian McMahon Akimbo Award: Sponsored by Akimbo Art Promotion. Awarded to a woman filmmaker 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. $500 in-kind transfer services courtesy of Frame Discreet.

For its poetic collectivity and personal vulnerability, the Marian McMahon Akimbo Award goes to Plural Dreams of Social Life by Beatrice Gibson at Mercer Union. The exhibition runs until June 1st.

2019 Images Festival Overkill Award: Sponsored by an anonymous donor. Established in 2000 to honour former Executive Director Deirdre Logue. To an artist whose work is impervious to constraints – willful, unruly and uncontrollable. $500 cash.

For her willingness to redefine, to expand, and to provoke, the Overkill Award goes to Aisha Sasha John for her live performance Heat.

2019 Images Festival OCADU 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.

For displaying an impressive scale and scope of collaborative feminist world-making, spanning over three decades, the OCADU Off Screen Award goes to Arnait Ikajurtigiit: Women Helping Each Other at the Art Gallery of York University. The exhibition runs until June 23rd.

2019 Images Festival More with Less Award: Sponsored by CFMDC, Charles Street Video, Dames Making Games, Gamma Space, ImagineNative, LIFT, Reel Asian, SAW Video, Trinity Square Video, and Anonymous. Established in 2015 to honour Scott Miller Berry (Images Director from 2001-2015), this award goes to a work that best demonstrates a resourceful artistic intent, doing more with less. $1,500 cash.

For doing more with less in both form and content, the More with Less Award goes to Gary by Simon Mercer.

2019 Images Festival 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.

For her unwavering political stance and willingness to always tell the truth, the Steam Whistle Homebrew Award goes to Pamila Matharu for One of These Things is Not Like the Other at A Space.


Critiques of the 2019 Images Festival

The 32nd Images Festival (April 11-18) hosted Research Forum, an educational initiative that invited 10 participants to attend seminars, meetings with curators, artists, and researchers, gallery tours, screenings, performances and other events. Read more about the program here, and this year’s participants here.

On April 17, the festival’s programming included a public presentation by the Research Forum. During the event, QTBIPOC participants delivered the document Collective Critiques on the 2019 Images Festival, and requested that the video documentation of the event be publicly released. See here for the documentation and here for the Executive Director’s public response letter.


Currently on View

Plural Dreams of Social Life at Mercer Union 

Award winning exhibition Plural Dreams of Social Life by Beatrice Gibson in on at Mercer Union until June 1st. Be sure to check it out!

Arnait Ikajurtigiit: Women Helping Each Other at AGYU 

Award Winning exhibition Arnait Ikajurtigiit: Women Helping Each Other is up at the Art Gallery of York University until June 23rd!


Image by Adrian Armenti