Josephine Massarella Artist Award – 2019 Announcement

Artist and filmmaker Larissa Fan


Toronto, June 12, 2019—The Liaison of Independent Filmmakers of Toronto (LIFT) is pleased to announce that Larissa Fan is our inaugural Josephine Massarella Artist Award Winner. Larissa Fan is a Toronto-based artist who works in 16mm and Super 8mm film. She is interested in the unique qualities of analogue film—including emulsion, texture, and the frame—and how they can be used to both expressively represent and reflect the subject matter. Her interest is both documentary and poetic, using filmmaking as a way to experience the world mindfully. This award will assist Fan in returning to filmmaking after an absence of seven years, in order to make her film Gone Birds. Gone Birds will be a short experimental film, which catalogues bird species that have become extinct over the last 500 years. The causes of extinction include habitat loss, hunting, predation by introduced species, and introduced diseases.

The Josephine Massarella Artist Awardwas established this year to honour the memory of Josephine Massarella, who passed away in June of 2018 after a short illness. She was an important part of the LIFT community—making three films upon returning to filmmaking after many years spent raising family and care-giving for relatives. The award assists female-identifying artists 50 years and older, who have had to step away from artistic practice for at least five years and need support in the research and creation of a first new work on their return.

“I am so grateful to LIFT and the Massarella family for this opportunity. The grant is a lovely tribute to Josephine, I hope I’ll be able to do her proud.”

—L. Fan

More information on Josephine Massarella here:

Larissa Fan is a Toronto-based artist who works in 16mm and Super 8mm film. She studied at the Ontario College of Art & Design and has an MFA in Film Production from York University. She is interested in the unique qualities of analogue media and uses experimental techniques to expressively document moments in the world around her. Her work has screened nationally and internationally at venues including Anthology Film Archives, Images Festival, and Kassel Documentary Film and Video Festival. Larissa has been involved with the Toronto film community as an administrator at Images Festival and Canadian Filmmakers Distribution Centre (CFMDC), and as an independent writer and programmer. Her films are distributed through CFMDC.

The Josephine Massarella Artist Award is funded out of the Josephine Massarella Memorial Fund and is sustainable for a three-year trial period (2019-2021). We would like to thank her family for their support of this award. Anyone interested in making a donation to continue this award beyond the first three years can make a tax deductible charitable donation to the fund via


About the Liaison of Independent Filmmakers of Toronto (LIFT)
LIFT is an artist-run charitable organization dedicated to facilitating excellence in the moving image through media arts education and production resources. LIFT exists to provide support and encouragement for independent filmmakers and artists through affordable access to production, post-production and exhibition equipment; professional and creative development; workshops and courses; commissioning and exhibitions; artist-residencies; and a variety of other services. Founded in 1981 by a small collective, LIFT has since grown to become one of the foremost centres of its kind globally.


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Wednesday 12 June 2019 –


Liaison of Indepedent Filmmakers of Toronto (LIFT) 
1137 Dupont Street 
Toronto ON Canada