HOT EVENTS MGT MAGAZINE VISITING ARCHIVE MGT PARTNERS MGT TEAM
My Gay Toronto - 416 Scene

The imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival: art, kweenz, horror, politics and even puppets

by Drew Rowsome

Multidisciplinary artist Steven Paul Judd's tag, "Warning: Use of this product may open your mind," applies to the 17th annual imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival as a whole. Judd, a renowned filmmaker in  his own right, is the subject of the documentary Dig It If You Can that I was lucky enough to screen in advance. His work is a hilarious and thought-provoking fusion of pop art, pop culture and activism; his story is inspiring.

It doesn't hurt that Judd is more than a little easy on the eyes and watching him create - a scene in his studio where a giant cardboard "Indian Elvis or maybe a Link Wray" mask is a comic set piece set amongst dĂ©cor gone mondo - and explain that process is fascinating. The pointed humour of Judd's work appears to be a reflection of his personality and Dig It If You Can is a must-see if only as an introduction to an important and entertaining artist.

The other screener I received was The Kweenz of Kelston. The Kelston Kweenz are a group of gay and transgender students at an Australian school who have found salvation from bullying by voguing. The film follows them rehearsing for a talent or voguing competition (the back story is a little vague) and talking about their lives. The subjects have astonishingly beautiful faces, a refreshing amount of attitude, and one dance move that involves falling flat onto the floor that looks painful. Though voguing, coming out and bullying have been documentary subjects many times before, the only negative about The Kweenz of Kelston is that it is a short instead of a feature, the Kweenz could have used more time to strut their stuff.

A festival of any sort isn't complete without abundant gay content, so ImagineNATIVE is also presenting The Promise of Piha where a closeted young man sleeping with his best friend "navigates the difficult demands of his family, the church and his heart." For the lesbians there is Sparrooabbán (Me and My Little Sister) and Sweet Night, but the catalogue also teases some intriguingly homoerotic films including Spear which fuses film, dance and nubile young bodies in a coming of age tale.

Taking advantage of the festival's timing, just before the festive Halloween season, imagineNATIVE in partnership with Rue Morgue, features The Witching Hour, a collection of horror films. Presented as "midnight madness screenings" Dressed to Kill, the puppets of Hipster Headdress and Remains, Human promise thrills and chills that are particularly intriguing among the dozen fright flicks to choose from.

As if combining The Witching Hour with the pop/politic sensibilities of Steven Paul Judd, the already in full swing Media Arts Festival gifts the A Space Gallery, 401 Richmond St W with a sampling of Jay Soule's Indigenous Movie Monsters series. These faux-horror film posters cleverly indiginize classic horror film posters to a spooky, comical and unsettling effect. There is an artist's talk as part of the imagineNATIVE Art Crawl taking place on Friday, October 21 where the many other exhibits will also be highlighted. 

There are over 96 films and seven exhibits to choose from so there is much more on offer than these films matching my predilections for gay, camp and shivers. But, trust me, Steven Paul Judd is irresistible.

The imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival runs Wed, Oct 19 to Sun, Oct 23 throughout the city with screenings at TIFF Lightbox, 350 King St W. imaginenative.org

11

RELATED ARTICLES / ARCHIVE:
- Fortune and Men's Eyes: sex and violence at 50 - Dec '17
- Review: The Boy Who Brought Down a Bathhouse - Nov '17
- Plumbum returns in A Christmas Carol!- Nov '17
- Guillermo del Toro: At Home with Monsters haunts the AGO- Nov '17
- trace: How Jeff Ho's mother created a diva - Nov '17
- Group Hex Vol 2 launches with the terrifying Hallow-Queen - Oct '17
- Legends of Horror reveals the beauty in Halloween horror - Oct '17
- Assassins: Ryan Kelly joins a killer cast - Oct '17
- Screemers has an anniversary party and it is a happy horror - Oct '17
- Kawa Ada returns to the starlit world of Salt-Water Moon - Oct '17
- Toronto After Dark Film Festival: horror, sci-fi, camp and buckets of gore - Oct '17
- The CAMINOS Festival presents Augusto Bitter's CHICHO - Oct '17
- Darker Harder Chocolate: longer, juicier and sexier - Aug '17
- Erased - Jul '17
- Pearle Harbour's Chautauqua pitches a tent at SummerWorks - Jul '17
- Review:Flooded - Jul '17
- Toronto Fringe 2017 - Jun '17
- Stewart Legere at Buddies - Jun '17
- Forte: 20 years of song - May '17
- No Elephant Show - May '17
- The Youth/Elders Project - May '17
- Lavander Railroad - May '17
- The Case of the Golden Purse - May '17
- It's All Tru - Apr '17
- Hot Docs decides to Take A Walk On The Wildside - Apr '17
- Shakesbeers Showdown - Apr '17
- Jeff Ho, Prince Hamlet, Pearle Harbour... - Apr '17
- Buddies and Katinka Kature do some Spring Queening - Apr '17
- Kinky Jesus Competition - Apr '17
- Holy Cow(s)! - Mar '17
- Sousatzka - Feb '17
- C'est Moi - Jan '17
- Suitcases - Nov '16
- The Clergy Project - Oct '16
- Uncovered: Queen & Bowie - Oct '16
- Slut: Keith Cole hosts a three-way - Oct '16
- Halloween Haunt 2016 - Oct '16
- ImagineNATIVE - Oct '16
- Songs and Screams 2 - Oct '16
- Tomson Highway reveals the secrets of The (Post) Mistress - Oct '16
- Donnarama joins the HallowQueens to amp up the horror and fun of Screemers - Oct '16
- Monster Rock Orchestra - Oct '16
- Two Kittens & A Kid - Sep '16
- Follow Your Heart - Sep '16
- The Mowglis - Sep '16
- Transformation: G Elliott Simpson's photography - Aug '16
- Bryan Cheatham helps Chippendales... - Aug '16
- Emmanuel Cyr - Jul '16
- Songs Of Screams - Jul '16
- Bright Lights - Fringe - Jun '16
- The Taming of the Shrew - Jun '16
- Fringe Festival 2016 - Jun '16
- Bianca Del Rio calls Madonna a cun* - Jun '16
- Inside Out - May '16
- Kiss Rocks Vegas rocks - May '16
- Rocking Horse Winner - May '16
- How to Plan an Orgy in a Small Town - May '16
- Closet - May '16
- Scarberia - Apr '16
- The Terrible Parents - Apr '16
- August: Osage County - Apr '16
- Kinky Jesus competition - Mar '16
- No Strings (Attached) - Mar '16
- A line in sand - Mar '16
- A Zine About Family - Feb '16
- Footsteps Accross Canada - Feb '16
- Threesome - Feb '16
- Brandon Crone - Feb '16
- Evel Dead - Feb '16
- Salt-Water Moon - Feb '16
- 2016 Rhubarb Festival - Feb '16
- Stephen Jackman-Torkoff: making art and Progress - Jan '16
- Something Strange - Jan '16
- Into The Woods - Jan '16
- Toruk - Thomas Evan - Jan '16
- Heart of Steel - Jan '16
- Toruk - Dec '15
- Facing Home - Nov '15
- Kawa Ada - Nov '15
- Late Company - Nov '15
- Taylor Dayne - Nov '15
- Ties That Bind - Oct '15
- Camios Fetival - Oct '15
- Graham Scott Fleming - Oct '15
- Screemers '15 - Oct '15
- More Dark Hard Chocolate - Oct '15
- The Rise and Fall of Civilization - Oct '15
- Oasis Love - Sep '15
- TRANSformation Project - Sep '15
- Stonewall - Sep '15
- Cabbagetown Tour of Homes - Sep '15
- In Case Of Nothing - Sep '15
- Jacob Niedzwiecki - Aug '15
- Brooke Lynn Hytes - Aug '15
- Michael Caldwell - Jul '15
- Evalyn Parry - Jul '15
- Kris + Dee - Jul '15
- The Dora Awards - Jun '15
- First Time Last Time - Jun '15
- Jeremy Jordan - Jun '15
- Coming Out Queer - May '15
- Ballad of the Burning Star - May '15
- Christian Denice - May '15
- Adamaolozza - Apr '15
- locus - Apr '15
- Keith Cole - Apr '15
- Cavalia - Odysseo - Apr '15
- Njo Kong Kie - Mar '15
- Mandy Goodhandy is Tranny! - Mar '15
- Time Stands Still - Mar '15
- Bare - Mar '15
- My Dinner with Casey Donovan - Mar '15
- Mysteriously Yours... - Feb '15
- Piccolo Diavolo - Feb '15
- Progress Festival -Feb '15
- Girlesque Expo - Jan '15
- Into The woods - Jan '15
- Rhubarb Festival 2015 - Jan '15
- CircleJerk - Nov '14
- Cinderella - Nov '14
- The Art of Building a Bunker - Oct '14
- Halloween Haunt 2014 - Oct '14
- Constant Bernard - Sep '14
- Kurious - Sep '14
- John Waters 101 - Jul '14
- Summerworks Festival - Jul '14
- Viva Cabaret & Komunka - Jun '14
- Happiness With Side Of... - Jun '14
- Writing In The Sand - May '14
- Queer Bathroom Stories - May '14
- Getting intimate with Kris + Dee - Apr '14
- Auction at Waddington's - Apr '14
- Review: Francis Bacon - Apr '14
- Francis Bacon - Mar '14
- Around - Mar '14
- MGT & Thom Allison - Mar '14
- the Boylympics - Feb '14
- Rhubarb gets the gold - Feb '14
- 360 Screening - Feb '14
- Edith Head - Jan '14
- A Crackpuppy Christmas - Dec '13
- The pride and passion of Brian Bantugan - Dec '13
- The neon lights are bright on Broadsway - Dec '13
- From Russia with divas - Dec '13
- Genres collide in creepy Gothic glory - Nov '13
- People are Horrible Wherever You Go - Nov '13
- Bent beauty supreme - Nov '13
- Christmas off-to-school shopping - Oct '13
- Diving into The Deep Ending - Oct '13
- What Lurks Within - Oct '13
- Art Of Scare - Oct '13
- A message from the Action Man - Sep '13
- Gay Sherlock & Blood, guts and jazz hands - Sep '13
- Summerworks Festival - Aug '13
- A light and frothy disaster flick - Jul '13
- The Naked Truth About High Shool - Jun '13
- Lest we forget: Raid of the Rainbow Lounge - Jun '13
- Cats & A Clown Invasion - May '13
- Roller coaster therapy works - May '13