Abolition Film Society


Apr 29, 04:00 PM - 09:00 PM

Co-presented by

Abolition Film Society shares films with prisoners.

Short works from the CFMDC archive are chosen for incarcerated participants based on their interests, then distributed within the limitations of the prison system: stills sent by mail, audio played on the phone, and low quality video clips transmitted via a for-profit online communication platform.

This screening showcases the films that were sent to incarcerated participants, and will be followed by a presentation on April 29th at 8:30pm.

Abolition Film Society is a collaboration with Prisoner Correspondence Project, a Montreal-based solidarity program for LGBTQ+ prisoners across Canada and the United States.

Works featured:

Xam by Geoffrey Pugen (Canada / 9:00 / 2020)

Xam is a sci-fi exploration on the future of surveillance and body hacking.

While in the London subway, an unsuspecting man opens a strange text, rendering him unconscious and dragging him through a wormhole. He awakes, lost, on the train tracks in Kiev, Ukraine, unable to communicate with friends or family. With the help of the hacker community in Kiev, and then Paris, the man harnesses alternative virtual transmissions in an attempt to find his way home.

Xam is told through an intimate, first-person frame and video collage to emphasize the increasing integration of human and technology. The story is inspired by the story of the filmmaker's grandfather who in 1905, was captured by the Russian Empire, but escaped somewhere in Ukraine by jumping off a train.

Whatever Happened to Jackie Shane? by Sonya Reynolds and Lauren Hortie (Canada / 8:12 / 2014)

Toronto, 1963. Jackie Shane - a black, queer, soul-singing, flamboyant Nashville-born, Toronto-based musician - had a hit song on the charts. The song was a sensation, and with the lyrics "Tell her that I'm happy, tell her that's I'm gay; tell her I wouldn't have it any other way", it was also an underground gay anthem. But before being able to fully enjoy the fruits of this success, Jackie suddenly disappeared.

Uncovering this forgotten piece of Toronto queer music history, artists Hortie and Reynolds recreate Jackie's story using original shadow puppets, overhead animation and stop motion techniques. Follow Jackie through the 1960s Toronto Yonge Street music scene, the tabloid rumours and scandals, to the mysterious disappearance. What ever happened to Jackie Shane? You have to watch to find out.

Unexplained as yet by E. Hearte (Canada / 2:40 / 2013)

The vernacular of gender identity is ever growing and changing, yet many continue to live beyond these definitions, defying language and category; we are unknown, akin to mythical creatures. Multiple exposures of a single roll of Super 8 film allow a brief glimpse into the heart of this chimera: to be unidentified...unexplained.

Ode to the Nine by Terry Jones (United States / 3:05 / 2018)

"Ode to the Nine" is influenced by video artist Jon Rafman. His work "9-Eyes" and "You, the World and I" inspired the filmmaker to make this video piece. This short experimental video allows the filmmaker to ponder the relevance of the moving image and what impacts it has on the Native experience of the past, present and future.

Whitewash by Nadine Valcin (Canada / 6:20 / 2016)

"Whitewash" examines slavery in Canada and its omission from the national narrative. The country prides itself as being the benevolent refuge where enslaved Africans who were brought to United States gained their freedom via the Underground Railroad. That powerful image overshadows the fact that slavery was legal in Canada for over 200 years under both French and British rule. "Whitewash" brings to light some of the slave families that were brought to Prince Edward Island by Loyalists and looks at how nine generations of descendants have assimilated to the point of leaving very few visible traces of their origin.

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