Previewing WNDX

Since 2005, WNDX — Winnipeg’s Festival of Film and Video Art — has been bringing exciting short and experimental films from Canadian talents to the general public. From Sept. 29 to Oct. 2 at Cinematheque, Platform Centre and the Gas Station Arts Centre, WNDX presents films and performance art from artists both from Winnipeg and across Canada. It is a film festival created by filmmakers, in support of filmmakers.

Among those showcased are films by the ITWÉ Collective, Joyce Wieland, Guy Maddin and performance art by Wafaa Bilal and Andrew Milne.

Thursday, Sept. 29: Opening night begins 7 p.m. at Cinematheque. New Prairie & Canadian Cinema 1: People This 2012 Shit is Hype! features twelve Canadian films. The night is advertised to showcase apocalyptic predictions, cynicism, and formal experimentation in short Canadian works that take a sidelong look at popular culture, nature, the spiritual digital, and the future of life as we know it. Afterwards, at 9 p.m., an opening reception will be held at the Platform Centre.

Friday, Sept. 30: 7 p.m. at Cinematheque, the ITWÉ Collective will showcase seven of their films. The group consists of Caroline Monnet, Sebastien Aubina and Kevin Lee Burton; their collective and individual works will be presented.

New Prairie & Canadian Cinema 2: Controlled Breach will then begin at 9 p.m.. As per the festival, the thirteen films shown examine space, places and memories that influence our sense of meaning. From work that extends our landscape tradition, to reflections on culture and iconic roles, to explorations of personal loss.

Saturday, Oct. 1: 3 p.m. at the Platform Centre, Guy Madden will give an artist’s panel discussing his installation, Hauntings 1, a multi-screen exhibit dressed up as a haunted house.

At 5 p.m., Cinematheque will host the first Joyce Wieland program. Wieland (1931-1998) was an influential Canadian experimental filmmaker and artist most active in the sixties to eighties. Wieland’s work focuses on the female identity and her artistic curiosity with manipulation of objects and the film stock itself.

The International Experimental: Winning the Human Race is a free program that starts at 7 p.m. in which Cinematheque will showcase eleven films from around the world. Winning the Human Race showcases the absurdity of humanity as we attempt to perceive and interact with the world and our struggle to find our place in it.

Beginning 9 p.m. at Canwest Place, the Crewin media panel presents Cyborg Cinema, a performance art exhibit by Wafaa Bilal and Andrew Milne. Bilal surgically installed a camera in the back of his head that took photos in one-minute intervals. Bilal’s demonstrates the camera for his exhibit and shows photos from his journeys through the U.S. and Middle East. The camera gives him a unique perceptive that allows him to capture images he wouldn’t have normally been able to access.

Milne’s performance consists of a neutral connection with an EEG (electroencephalography) machine that allows him to mentally “fly” through Google Maps. Selected recordings and images causes Milne’s brain to react in a premeditated, but unique way. Milne’s father inspired the image and recordings shown. The machine allows Milne to create an experimental narrative in a personal, yet publically accessible manner.

Sunday, Oct. 2: The day begins at 12 p.m., with an artist’s talk by Bilal and Milne.

Starting 3 p.m. at Cinematheque, the Joyce Wieland program begins its second half with three of her films shown (two short and one feature). The films deal with Canadian landscape and identity, both personal and national.

Closing the WNDX festival, The One Take Super 8 Event takes place 7 p.m. at the Gas Station Arts Centre. Super 8 films shot in one take by Manitobans will be shown with all films running 200 seconds or less. All the films are unseen before presentation and the unexpected will be the norm. WNDX is also releasing a DVD with highlights from past WNDX events during the event.


Spirit of the Bluebird by Xstine Cook.

Spirit of the Bluebird looks fantastic. The film is animated, but with a raw street-art style. The animation takes place on a wooden fence in a very powerful, organic and beautiful manner. I recommend this short for the curious as it is very accessible for those not used to experimental film.

3rdi by Wafaa Bilal

Wafaa Bilal is a photographer, but is popularly known as a performance artist. Bilal’s latest project was first conceived in 2010. A titanium plate was installed in Bilal’s head where a camera was mounted and took a picture every minute. The art piece was done in response to government surveillance. It should be an interesting exhibit and one I for sure will be attending.