LIFT Round-Up 2016

Alter Ego by Serene Husni

The Liaison of Independent Filmmakers of Toronto (LIFT)
is pleased to present ROUND-UP 2016

Toronto, July 12, 2017—The Liaison of Independent Filmmakers of Toronto (LIFT) is pleased to announce the LIFT Round-Up 2016, a screening of films made by LIFT members last year, as well as selections from our Film Access program, supporting deaf artists and artists with disabilities, and our Syrian Youth Filmmentor program. LIFT is a member-driven, charitable organization that provides affordable access to equipment, training and facilities for those who want to make films, out of a passion for, and commitment to, the practice of filmmaking. Join us on Thursday, July 20, 2017 for a special presentation of recent short films made by LIFT members at the Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema.

LIFT supports a diversity of filmmakers and filmmaking genres and the programme reflects this—from documentary to dramatic narrative to music video and experimental film. The films were made using LIFT’s equipment, ranging from Super 8mm and 16mm to 35mm and High-Definition Video.


Oil Men, Sam Larson, drama, 7 min.
Based loosely on a true story, Oil Men is about a young chemist, Leanne, who is researching tar sand extraction in Fort McMurray. Her mother, an incredible symbol of strength and independence, is a former trucker whose rare form of leukemia is taking her life; a disease brought on by her prolonged proximity to the toxic petroleum chemicals she once hauled. With her young child in mind, Leanne must contrast the economic prosperity of her livelihood to the environmental degradation of her work.

Building History: The Story of Benjamin Brown, Martin Edralin, documentary, 8 min.
A portrait of Toronto’s first practicing Jewish architect. Working at a time of anti-Semitism in the city, Benjamin Brown’s buildings stand as a testament to Toronto’s cultural and industrial history.

Marijuana Cigarette, Sally Walker, music video, 2.5 min.
This is a music video for the single Marijuana Cigarette by the Cool Hands. The bluesy failures sung about here inspired an aggressive video that documents a live performance interrupted by crowds.

Beat Me Up, Joachim Tingle, music video, 3 min.
Music Video for the Manta Raze inspired by Wes Craven films and the Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

Experiments in Light, Jaene F. Castrillon, experimental, 3 min.
This short explores light as a meditative state while encouraging the viewer to take a moment to be present within themselves. Highlighting footage from my narrative self-portrait A Celebration of Darkness (2015) and re-cutting it to refocus on the various macro shots of crystals as an expansion on the themes of light and darkness.

Alter Ego, Serene Husni, experimental, 3.5 min.
An experimental video portrait of Mike Hoolboom, fringe filmmaker and winner of the 2017 Governor General Award in Visual and Media Arts. Alter Ego uses films and an audio excerpts from Hoolboom, to talk about the camera, memory, and authorship. The artist himself is performed by another artist, Jessica Karuhanga. The film was commissioned by the Canada Council for the Arts.

The Muffin Man, Courtney Bruneau, music video, 4.5 min.
A mad baker, The Muffin Man crafts an aphrodisiac muffin to satiate a lustful appetite. A girl is seduced into an erotic affair with the muffin, which she believes is a man. Music video for CR Extraordinaire.

Stroke, Weibin Wang, documentary, 5 min.
Through a skype call, the filmmaker investigates the cause of his grandfather’s sickness. The film uses abstract imagery to capture the inner conflicts of a traditional Shanghainese home.

What is Cinema?, Matias Bo, experimental, 2 min.
A brief film essay about the question of cinema through a short journey of the immortality and the mortality of the film language.

They Heard Voices, Jonathan Balazs, documentary, 8 min.
An excerpt of a longer documentary film that explores the hearing voices (HV) movement, chronic psychosis and the schizophrenia label. The film is a series of wide-ranging interviews with voice hearers, medical historians, anthropologists and psychiatrists from Britain and America, presenting different people’s views.

City Lights (at Balmoral), Sandy McLennan, experimental, 3 min.
Visiting the city at a friend’s apartment with living room and bathroom windows right on Avenue Road.  Edited in camera, hand-processed colour, sound of the street. Simple cinema du terroir.

Mills, Stephen Broomer, experimental, 3.5 min.
The ruins of a nineteenth century farm in the brush off Moatfield Drive in Toronto—a stone shack without a roof and, not much further, a well, long since abandoned as a sewer. We made a quick inventory: splintering branches; stars and asterisks; coded tags. Made with Cameron Moneo, January 2016.

Heidi Lost, J. L. Whitecrow, drama, 6 min.
Produced through the 2016 LIFT and imagineNATIVE Mentorship program.
Set in a post-apocalyptic dystopian society called the Hive, a fierce, independent Indigenous female has to face the biggest decision of her life when society goes on high alert.

Step into my World, Nicola Di Capua, documentary, 8 min.

Produced through the Film Access program.
A scenario is created: a one day shoot where the entire crew is deaf, except an aspiring hearing production coordinator who comes to work without knowing the life-changing experience that awaits him.

Welcome to Ataratiri, Adam Roy Cohoon, documentary, 2.5 min.
Produced through the Film Access program.
A tour of the West Don Lands via super 8 and motorized wheelchair.

City Witch, clementine morrigan, experimental, 2 min.
Produced through the Film Access program.
City Witch is an invocation of city magic. Pulsing with the power of strange-familiar beauty, City Witch opens to deep, reciprocal relationship with more-than-human worlds. A liminal space of magic, madness, trauma, survival, resilience, and relationship, City Witch is a love letter to life still living wherever it can.

a n c e s t o r a d i o; tuning the ocean (i), mel monoceros, experimental, 8min.
The first in a triptych-in-progress exploring the confluence of archival memories, inherited grief and their vibrations into the present and beyond. tuning the ocean (i) reaches a net into the static filling the space where memories should live, but do not. With each dip into the electric depth, wisps of memory left after their mother’s death float through the weave and are dissolved back into the writhing water mass. Buoyed by a submarinic aural landscape, tuning the ocean (i) submerges our ancestral antenna, divining a frequency, searching for a clear channel.

Thug Luvin’, Romeo Dontae Tresean Biggz Pierre, music video 2.5 min.
Produced through the Film Access program.
A music video for Romeo’s I Just Might…

Sand of Time, Ali Saeedi, animation, 1.5 min.
Produced through the Film Access program.
A stop motion animation that explores the travels between two countries, Iran and Canada.

Lost, Heba Diab, drama, 1.5 min.
Produced through the Syrian Youth Filmmentor program.
A young Syrian newcomer finds herself lost in the fast-moving streets of Toronto. As she’s seeking help in a language she’s not yet familiar with, she comes to a realization.

Untitled, Sarah Lazakani, documentary, 1 min.   
Produced through the Syrian Youth Filmmentor program.
A day in the life of a newcomer as she navigates her new city while recalling the companionship of her friends.

Memory, Hanan Nanaa, documentary, 3 min.
Produced through the Syrian Youth Filmmentor program.
Memory gives us a brief glimpse into the mind of the director’s younger sister Ilham; a resilient soul advocating for children’s education.

Thursday, July 20, 2017
Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema
506 Bloor Street West
Toronto, Ontario   M5S 1Y5

Admission: $8.00 for LIFT and Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema Members, $10.00 for non-members

(No one turned away for lack of funds)

About the Liaison of Independent Filmmakers of Toronto (LIFT)
The Liaison of Independent Filmmakers of Toronto (LIFT) is Canada’s foremost artist-run production and education organization dedicated to celebrating excellence in the moving image. 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. LIFT is supported by its membership, Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Arts Council, Ontario Trillium Foundation, Ontario Arts Foundation, the Government of Ontario and the Toronto Arts Council.


For additional information please see or e-mail Executive Director Chris Kennedy at with subject heading: LIFT Round-Up 2016

Preview links and photo stills available upon request.


Thursday 20 July 2017 –

Non-members: $10.00 non-members (cash only)
Members: $8.00 for LIFT and Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema Members (cash only)

Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema 
506 Bloor Street West 
Toronto ON Canada