Film and video from The Netherlands and Canada

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Thursday, February 26, 2009 @ 19:30
Studio Theatre, Harbourfront Centre

This special double feature was conceived of as an exchange between two festivals—the Impakt Festival in Utrecht and the Images Festival in Toronto—on the occasion of the Shift Festival. Arjon Dunnewind (Impakt) and Pablo de Ocampo (the Images Festival) have each assembled a program that tries to define something about their respective countries through video. Free Admission

Part I - Neighbours
Curated by Arjon Dunnewind, Director, The Impakt Festival

The Netherlands are known as an open and tolerant country, a secularized society with a liberal attitude towards drugs, abortion and euthanasia and well defined rights for sexual and cultural minorities. With the assassinations of Pim Fortuyn and Theo van Gogh however, this reputation is no longer taken for granted. Dutch society is changing, although opinions differ on the direction and impact of these changes. Immigration, integration and the position of new cultural and religious values play in important role in this discussion. How do the 'old' Dutch citizens deal with the new elements in their society and how to the 'new' Dutch citizens relate to the open-minded image of the Netherlands.

Anna LangeDe Aardappeleters (The Netherlands, 2006, 7 min)
Julika RudeliusTagged (The Netherlands, 2003, 13 min)
Corinna SchnittDas schlafende Mädchen (Germany, 2001, 8 min)
Klaas van Gorkum & Iratxe JaioMonitoring the Dordtselaan for Maximum Peace of Mind (The Netherlands, 2004, video, 15 min)
Erik van LieshoutRespect (The Netherlands, 2003, 8 min)
Wendelien van OldenborghNo False Echoes (The Netherlands, 2008, 30 min)

Part II - Postcards from True North
Curated and introduced by Pablo de Ocampo, Artistic Director, The Images Festival

How do you define a country through video art? A preposterous notion if there ever was one, particularly Canada, the world's second largest country by land mass. This collection of videos provides five short encounters with Canada through moving images. The diverse works in this program represent a cross-section of places and ideas oft associated with this country. Composed of found footage sources, Aleesa Cohene's All Right explores xenophobia and multiculturalism in Canadian immigration policies. Brother Tongue / Langue Fraternelle tells the story of twin brothers in a womb, the stronger of which envelops the weaker, a metaphor for the filmmaker's status as an Anglophone in Canada and the broader implications of the English language as the "stronger brother." As a counterpoint, Nikamowin (Song) focuses on the language in Canada which precedes both English and French. In it Kevin Lee Burton speaks and remixes the Cree language narration to reflect on the power of his lost language. Closing the program is Mike Rollo's Ghosts and Gravel Roads (recently selected as one of Canada's Top Ten for 2008 by Toronto International Film Festival Group) shifts the focus to Saskatchewan to create a portrait of the emptiness and absence in small forgotten towns of Canada's prairies.

Aleesa CoheneAll Right (Canada, 2003, video, 7 min)
Daniel CockburnBrother Tongue / Langue Fraternelle (Canada, 2006, video, 16 min)
Kevin Lee BurtonNikamowin (Song) (Canada, 2007, video, 11 min)
Mike RolloGhosts and Gravel Roads (Canada, 2008, video, 16 min)


Impakt is an independent organisation for contemporary sound and image. Our main projects are the Impakt Festival, the Impakt Events, Impakt Works and Impakt Online.

The Impakt Festival is an international manifestation: installations, film, video, fine arts, new media, music and live performances. Each year there are several thematic programs, as well as an expanded panorama program. The thematic programming focuses on current artistic developments and puts them in a broader social or historic perspective; the panorama program presents a general overview of the most idiosyncratic and exciting work. Every year about 125 installations, photographs, videos, websites, films, performances, cd-roms and concerts from approximately 30 different countries around the world are on display; interviews and discussions are held daily, allowing artists to introduce their work. In the past we have presented Alicia Framis, Bas Jan Ader, Carsten Nicolai, Doug Aitken, Eija Liisa Ahtila, Francis Alÿs, Guy Ben-Ner, Hans Op de Beek, Jim O'Rourke, Lisl Ponger, Marcel Broodthaers, Olaf Breuning, Patricia Piccinini, Radian,, Mouse on Mars, The Yes Men, The Speculative Archive, The Atlas Group, Thomas Köner, Victor Alimpiev, Yael Bartana, and many other artists.

Impakt Events are small scale monthly projects like film screenings, in-person shows, artist talks, lectures, concerts or small exhibitions. With Impakt Online we co-produce and promote internet projects; six of these projects are launched each year on our website. Every year Impakt invites fours artists (or groups) to Utrecht to produce a new work within the Impakt Works residency program. This residency program is part of EMAN, a European network with partner organisations in Germany, Bulgaria and the UK.

For more information on Impakt please visit

Images Festival LogoEstablished in 1987, the Images Festival is the largest festival in North America for experimental and independent moving image culture, showcasing the innovative edge of international contemporary media art both on and off the screen. From Super-8 and hand-tinted celluloid to the latest video art, Images has presented thousands of films and media based projects in our 21+ year history. Images is committed to an expanded concept of film and video practice: alongside film and video screenings, the festival presents groundbreaking live performances, media art installations in local galleries and new media projects by many renowned Canadian and international artists. We go out of our way and over the edge to provide Toronto with an annual extravaganza of image making. Attended by more than 30,000 people each year, Toronto’s 2nd oldest film festival is a critical forum for the independent media arts in Canada and around the world and provides artists with a supportive and professional forum in which to present their projects. Many influential media artists have been nurtured by Images’ willingness to embrace new creative concepts and modes of expression in the media arts field.

The Images Festival exhibits and encourages the work of artists producing film and video outside of mainstream commercial production, distribution systems and aesthetic conventions. In addition to the international competition programs drawn from submissions to the festival, Images includes artists' retrospectives, national and regional cinema spotlights, publishing projects, touring programs and special guest-curated sections.

For more information on the Images Festival please visit

Anna Lange is a multimedia and interdisciplinary artist who studied at the Academy for Visual Arts in Hertogenbosch and at the Sandberg Institute in Amsterdam. She produced three short silent movies on Super-8 before working in sound. Moons Dark (2007) was her first film project with sound and was presented on 35mm.

De Aardappeleters

(The Netherlands 2006, 07:00 min)

In the cult around the potato the life of two old peasants at their farm, the filmer portrays a lost way of life, by which she was deeply influenced. It is a tribute as well as a goodbye with a relativating note. Concerning us as much as the two humble characters.

Julika Rudelius is currently based in Amsterdam. She attended the Hochschule für Bildende Künste in Hamburg, the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam and participated in the Rijksakademie artist-in-residence program. Her work examines social behaviour patterns as well as physical and verbal communication, especially with respect to how these factors contribute to the creation and reproduction of social hierarchy.


(The Netherlands 2003, 13:17 min)

'Tagged' is a group portrait of boys who are using their appearance to break free from the persistent generalizations about 'immigrants' as opposed to 'Dutch people'. But first and foremost, these are boys who, no different from other adolescents in this world, are trying to break out of their puberty by creating security for themselves in a close-knit group, with dress codes that are unintelligible and unfathomable to others.

Corinna Schnitt began her practice with an understudy in wood sculpture before studying at the Hochschule für Gestaltung in Offenbach and at the Düsseldorf Art Academy. She has created a series of experimental short films in which she pushes daily phenomena to the point of absurdity in showing them in as an endless loop.

Das schlafende Mädchen

(Germany 2001, 8:30 min)

A sailing boat is cruising into the wind. The camera detaches itself from the scenery to enlarge the field of vision and pans over a suburb tinged in faded light: a still life of white fences, all absolutely identical, little green lawns and red gabled roofs -- just as much models as the miniature schooner. The tranquil progress of the camera over the raster of stereotyped detached and terrace houses presents an artificial idyll dominated by exclusions and norms.

Iratxe Jaio was born in Basque Country, but lives currently in the Netherlands. Klaas van Gorkum is Dutch, but lived in Africa for most of his youth. Their collaborative work is an investigation into the conflict between individual and collective identity, using documentary methods to visualize the relation between people and their social, cultural and physical contexts.

Monitoring the Dordtselaan for Maximum Peace of Mind

(The Netherlands, 2004, video, 15:00 min)

Monitoring the Dordtselaan for Maximum Peace of Mind is a voyeuristic sequence of observations from the bedroom window, made over a period of a year. The video shows daily life in the Dordtselaan, one of the so-called 'hotspots' of Rotterdam. A 'hotspot' is a location in the city where drastic measures are taken to curb street criminality, ghetto forming and illegal immigration. One of these measures is the temporary suspension of constitutional citizens rights, authorizing police to shut off whole streets and perform body searches on all passers-by, without having to go through the usual legal procedures.

Erik van Lieshout studied at the Academy for Art and Design in Hertogenbosch and at Ateliers '63 in Haarlem. His work was featured in the Fourth Berlin Biennial for Contemporary Art (2006); the Gwangju Biennale (2006); and the Biennale of Sjarjah, Dubai (2004), and has also been presented at the Oberhausen Short Film Festival.


(The Netherlands 2003, 8:00 min)

Two white, goofy-looking Dutch guys rolling down a Rotterdam street. They are Van Lieshout (spectacles, baseball jacket) and his brother Bart (wedge haircut, yellow fleece), and it appears that they're caught up in a stop-and-search swoop. A tipsy Eric and Bart roam late-night Rotterdam with their cameraman in tow. Bart complains about his lack of a boyfriend, and Eric, with the sense of mission only a skinful of beer provides, reject's Bart's plan to see a midnight skin-flick in favour of cruising the local North African teens.

Wendelien van Oldenborgh was born in Rotterdam. After graduating from Goldsmiths College in London, her work has been presented at the Van Abbemuseum and MuHKA. Van Oldenborgh's films explore communication and interaction between individuals, often against the backdrop of a unique (public) location.

No False Echoes

(The Netherlands 2008, 30:00 min)

No False Echoes refers to the policy for radio broadcasts from the Netherlands to the Dutch East Indies, in which the maxim 'no false echoes' had more than a purely technical connotation. Philips had a monopoly on the technology and decided the content of the broadcasts via its own broadcasting corporation. The PHOHI (Philips Omroep Holland Indië) wanted to stay as far away from politics as possible, particularly from the opinions of Indonesian republicans. The broadcasts focussed on the authentic Dutch identity. The installation presents different perspectives on the colonial history of radio side by side. Salah Edin, a well-known Dutch rapper of Moroccan descent whose lyrics often deal with social exclusion and recognition, reads the text "Als ik eens Nederlander was" (If I were a Dutchman) by Soewardi Soerjaningrat, an ironic ode to national identity.

Aleesa Cohene is a video artist who works with found media to build an emotional language through which to explore contemporary political paradigms. Her videos have shown in festivals and galleries internationally including screenings at the Rotterdam International Film Festival and the Oberhausen Short Film Festival.

Daniel Cockburn combines a penchant for narrative film with an experimental video practice to create works balancing on the edge between formalism and storytelling. He received his B.F.A. in Film & Video Production from York University in 1999 and has since made films and/or videos commissioned by LIFT, Trinity Square Video, Charles Street Video, and Vtape.

Kevin Lee Burton is a director, film festival programmer, offline editor and freelance camera operator who is Swampy Cree from God's Lake Narrows, Manitoba. Kevin was awarded Best Experimental Video and Best Indigenous Language Production for his experimental film NIKAMOWIN (SONG) at the 2007 ImagineNATIVE Film Festival.

Mike Rollo was born and raised in Saskatchewan, and is currently living in Montreal where he is a founding member of Double Negative Collective. In 1999, Mike received his BFA in Film Production from the University of Regina and in 2004 he received his MFA in Studio Arts from Concordia University.