I hope this message finds you and your families and communities in good health and spirits during the current circumstances. I know that the conditions necessitated by COVID-19 have lasted much longer than expected and I am grateful for your continued resilience and widespread generosity shown by people throughout AMPD over the past six months.
Looking for something interesting to do during the pandemic?
Why not tune into a free screeing of new and interesting films produced by students in the Cinema & Media Arts program at York University? They are presenting the third and final instalment of Lockdown Fest Aug. 20 to 23, with a group screening taking place Aug. 21 at 7 p.m. followed by a Q-and-A with the filmmakers.
In A Tough Day, a father reflects on his dysfunctional upbringing and how that has shaped him today, while the filmmaker discovers a new side of her father through his memories. Averie Severs directed this personal documentary in her third year of York University's Film Production program. It can now be viewed in the YorkFlix library.
Pride Month 2020 will be remembered as a month of action. Without the big parade or shoulder-to-shoulder crowds on Church Street, we were forced to set aside the free swag, the "gay tourism" and the corporate sponsorships to reflect on why we celebrate Pride in the first place. We were reminded that it is a time to protest, to care for ourselves, care for those who live in the margins, and to make some noise. And looking back at this past year, it is clear that AMPD made a lot of noise.
Public Access and Tangled Art + Disability invite disabled, crip, d/Deaf, Mad, Sick, and chronically ill artists to submit proposals for artworks that explore accessibility and digital publishing.
The Department of Cinema and Media Arts expresses our solidarity with Black Lives Matter and reiterates our commitment to racial and social justice as well as an anti-oppression framework. Specifically, we recognize that anti-Black racism is inextricably linked to colonialism and to the systems of power which also perpetuate the marginalization of Indigenous peoples, and we recognize that the Department of Cinema and Media Arts is also not exempt from complicity in this culture of racism and these systems of power. We commit to developing a serious and sustained action plan that builds on the initiatives and recommendations of colleagues and students. The action plan is intended to be organic, dynamic and open to ongoing revision, expansion and sustained reflection.
Another school year has come to an end, which means it is time to celebrate and send-off our graduating class as they prepare themselves for the next stage of their careers.
These are truly extraordinary circumstances. In any other year, we would gather in the large Centre of Excellence at the Aviva Centre, surrounded by family and friends. There would be hugs, high fives, and photo opportunities. But even though the love cannot be shared in-person, we want the Class of 2020 to know that we hold them deeply in our hearts.
Samantha Bryan graduated from York University's Film Production program in 2019. In her final year of study, she wrote and directed Departed Bonds, a deeply personal documentary short film about her mother.
Departed Bonds is now available in the YorkFlix library. We interviewed Samantha about her experience creating the film.