Haptic Poetics

July 5 ,  11:00 am

 —  11:00 pm

All times are listed in Eastern Daylight Time (EDT)

Maia Torp Neergaard, Naoami Pacifique, Hope Strickland, Laura Moreano Bueno, Yudhajit Basu, Hovig Hagopian



Curated by Bouchra Assou


“A poem, to my mind, creates visible or auditory forms for something that is invisible, which is the feeling, or the emotion, or the metaphysical content of the movement.” 
Maya Deren, Film Culture, No. 29, 1963


Drawing from the outstanding pool of student film submissions, this year’s student program conjures narratives of embodied, tactile, and multisensory visuality. These exceptional works foreground material reflections on rituality, collective memory, dreams, temporality, and Language.


Through a blend of choreographed movement and dance, haptic sound, voiceover, and montages of skin, water, and landscapes, the films in this showcase effectively mobilize the
audience’s senses and invite them to interact with/become a physical part of the work.


“Haptic Poetics” introduces us to a series of intimate and evocative meditations on the body as a site of resistance, healing, and survival.


— Bouchra Assou


Content note: Al-Nisā by Maia Torp Neergaard includes mentions of domestic abuse. 
If I could name you myself includes mentions of sexual violence.


Maia Torp Neergaard


Al-Nisāʾ documents a group of women gathered in a workshop space in Berlin. They are together to work on issues around integration, human rights, and homeland. Common for them all are questions and wonderings about issues faced by a woman in a new country. Common for them is the homeland of Syria.

after a room

Naomi Pacifique 


Nights are long inside Naomi and Ram’s room. Tonight, they’ve invited Marina over and their messy space is under scrutiny. Exploring intimacy as personal playground, skin as intimate map, Naomi’s docile body is coming loose amidst the tension inside a room she continues knowing and unknowing. The small expressive child inside her is itching to ring its giggle through the night, before day breaks.

If I could name you myself (I would hold you forever)

Hope Strickland
UK | 2021 | DIGITAL | 7 MIN


Cotton is a plant with connotations that far surpass its delicate white flowers, bringing to mind issues of enforced labour, of exploitation and of colonialism. Yet the very crop for which creole women were forced into labour, offered a form of herbal resistance: cotton root bark could be used as birth control. Herbal knowledge carefully gathered and held, was used amongst the women to defy a lineage of servitude. Beneath the inherent violence of the slave economic system, we find quiet resistance and moments of deep, loving rebellion.


Laura Moreno Bueno
SPAIN | 2021 | DIGITAL | 8 MIN


NÍOBE explores the emotions that emanate from crying. A sensory journey through the corporeality of two women who are one. Is it possible to reach ecstasy through movement?


The filmmaker explores the duality of feelings and lets the bodies speak to each other and express what words cannot.



Yudhajit Basu
INDIA | 2020 | DIGITAL | 20 MIN 


An ethnographic film exploring the legend of a Mahadeo Koli Goddess, Kalsu, whose story and identity remains impregnated in the consciousness of the women of the tribe even today. The film tells the story of the Goddess while drawing visual contrasts between primordial and contemporary images.


Hovig Hagopian 
FRANCE | 2020 | DIGITAL | 21 MIN 10 SEC


Yerevan, capital of Armenia. 230 metres underground, in the Avan salt mine, men and women walk to breathe easier. Physical activities and medical consultations set the rhythm of the timeless world of this underground clinic, where lives intersect and stories are told.


  • Maia Torp Neergaard (b. 1993) is a film artist from Copenhagen investigating collaborative ways of working and living, Maia moves slowly looking at matters of human rights and nature–working in fields of documentary + experimental film and expanded cinema. 

    Currently a master student at Malmö Art Academy HBK Braunschweig.


  • Noami Pacifique is a Swiss-Dutch muli-disciplinary artist. Across the arts, Naomi’s work interests itself in intimacy and the spaces found there to discover and reinvent both oneself and the environment one is surrounded by. ‘after a room’ is her graduation film from London Film School.

  • Hope Strickland is a researcher and artist filmmaker from Manchester, UK, with current interests in postcolonial ecologies, queer, diasporic assemblages and the bonds between resource extraction and racial violence. Recent work has explored black metamorphosis alongside taxonomies of imperial control; working across 16mm, digital and archival formats to question and disrupt the distances between myth, fabulation and machinations of power. Hope's films have screened internationally at festivals including the 59th New York Film Festival, Ann Arbor Film Festival and Alchemy Film and Moving Image Festival, Scotland.


  • Laura Moreno Bueno (1995) is interested in the transfiguration of audio-visual codes from digital or analogical media. She studies creation at Elías Querejeta Zine Eskola (San Sebastián), which allows her to continue her research on body representation and delve into analogical processes. He is making an audiovisual diptych about crying, where he is looking for a way to represent tears through movement and the installation 'III'. She is currently developing 'The sound of images', where, thanks to photosensitive sensors, she converts projected images into sounds.

  • Yudhajit Basu has received the Grand Prize at Oberhausen ISFF for Kalsubai, and his earlier short films Quiro and Khoji are currently running on MUBI. His feature, What We Lost in the Fire, was selected in the NFDC Co-Production Market in 2020.

  • Hovig Hagopian is born in 1994 in Paris, France. 

    After studying cinema at the Sorbonne Nouvelle, he entered in 2016 La Fémis film school where he studied cinematography. STORGETNYA is his graduation film.


Co-presented with

  • Toronto Arab Film Festival
  • York University School of the Arts, Media, Performance and Design

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  • Canada Council for the Arts
  • Government of Canada
  • Ontario Arts Council
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  • Toronto Arts Council
  • Vtape
  • York University School of the Arts, Media, Performance and Design
  • 0_TD
  • Digital Arts Ressource Centre
  • The Japan Foundation
  • The Fabulous Festival of Fringe Film
  • CalArts
  • Art Museum

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A territorial acknowledgement can demonstrate a coming to awareness, and provoke thought and reflection, all of which are essential in beginning to establish reciprocal relations. This acknowledgement should not function as closure, resignation, or acceptance of the structural conditions of settler colonialism that remain in effect today. The Images Festival will continue to ask what it means for us to keep open a spirit of sustained inquiry into the complexities of our context.