August 9, 2022

AMPD alums create magic at the8fest 

Led by interim co-chair and AMPD research officer Aimée Mitchell (MA 2007), the8fest has been creating a unique space for small-gauge filmmakers to display raw gems for the past 15 years.  

Celebrating 50+ years of small-gauge film history, the festival is a vital preservation forum for filmmakers and viewers alike to support film-on-film screenings and digital platforms to showcase these works. Six AMPD alums are featured in the festival lineup, shooting in various forms of small-gauge film, including 8mm and Super 8. 

“While most people document the world through digital formats, there are artists who are still drawn to the portability, intimacy and tactility of small-gauge celluloid,” says Mitchell. “the8fest exists to celebrate those artists and provide a forum where they can meet, share techniques for shooting, developing, and editing. Most importantly, we introduce new artists and audiences to the format.” 

On top and through one another ii by past AGO X RBC Artists in Residence Nada El Omari (BFA) and Sonya Mwambu (BFA) tell the story of newfound spaces filled with stories and thoughts, new sounds and trees, new times, all travelling – always and forever – on top and through one another. Jatun Llaxta, Noh Kaah by Marcos Arriaga (MFA 2003) explores ancient native cities in America.  

Meanwhile, Eva Kolcze (MFA 2014) created Facing the Waves to study light and shadows on a late summer afternoon. The beautifully hand-processed film TOR-MTL-TOR by Zoë Heyn-Jones (PhD 2018) documents a frantic yet contemplative trip by bus from Toronto to Montréal. Completing the AMPD lineup, film professor Charlie Egleston (MFA 2008) tells the story of Family Portrait #4, an introspective reflection of family life during a succession of lockdowns. 

the8fest is made possible through funding provided by the Canada Council of the Arts and Toronto Arts Council, and sponsors including Archive/Counter-Archive, Canadian Filmmakers Distribution Centre, Home Made History Project, Images Festival, Liaison of Independent Filmmakers of Toronto and Pleasure Dome. 

The festival runs online until August 11, 2022. To learn more about the8fest and view the festival, click here.