Media City: Thousandsuns Cinema

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Thousandsuns Cinema animates aspects of Media City Film Festival’s long-storied program history online. Featuring selections from hundreds of artists showcased by MCFF over its twenty-five year history, Thousandsuns presents short and feature-length films, previous MCFF commissions, fellowship screenings, retrospectives, and other cinematic endeavours connected with our activities since 1994. Moving image artworks exhibited in Thousandsuns Cinema will screen for a limited time. Conceived as a working space, THOUSANDSUNS will also function as an ever-growing online index, cataloguing artists operating in avant-garde film circles internationally. As MCFF works to migrate its immense history of previously screened filmmakers online, new artists will also be invited to exhibit their work. 

Among the many gems currently online are films by 2019 Cannes Grand Prix Winner Mati Diop; multiple retrospective programs, including one from Indigenous filmmaker Sky Hopinka (praised in The New York Times last month); pieces by Canadian national treasures Michael Snow and Joyce Wieland; a seminal work by the late, massively influential, US-based director Barbara Hammer; and much more from Brazil, Nigeria, England, Germany, Mexico, Windsor-Detroit, and beyond.  

Current streaming highlights include Atlantiques (2009), Mati Diop’s short film, which had its North American premiere at MCFF in 2010. Chronicling the story of a young Senegalese man’s journey across the Atlantic Ocean to Spain, the film was awarded one of MCFF’s top prizes at the time, as is the case for many of the works included in the THOUSANDSUNS CINEMA launch. Ephraim Asili’s Fluid Frontiers  (2017), Brazilian filmmaker Ana Vaz’s Há Terre! (2016), and Japanese/Canadian director Daichi Saïto’s Trees of Syntax, Leaves of Axis (2009), were all awarded Grand Prizes at past editions of Media City Film Festival, and are now showing on the site. 

THOUSANDSUNS CINEMA also features programs by 12 Media City Film Festival Chrysalis Fellows, a support platform for the production of innovative new films by local, national and international makers (launched in 2019); and a suite of more than a dozen films presented in generous partnership with Canadian Filmmakers Distribution Centre.

Oona Mosna, MCFF Program Director, remarks: “THOUSANDSUNS CINEMA provides this veritable treasure trove of artists’ cinema as a beacon during a time of global hardship, offering a glimpse at the vital work MCFF has been supporting since its inception in 1994. We are pleased to make these exceptional films available to worldwide audiences as part of this unique and growing platform. We also look forward to celebrating the art of cinema in person when it becomes safe to do so again.” 

THOUSANDSUNS will continue to add new films on a rolling basis. As the space grows, it will also act as an index, representing the thousands of filmmakers previously showcased by Media City Film Festival, celebrating artists working in avant-garde film circles internationally.


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