GUEST BLOG POST: HIFF Programmer Tori Flemming (CFAT)

Tori Flemming is a member of the HIFF 2017 Programming Committee as well as the Programming and Communications director at CFAT. 

Do you think it’s strange for us to collaborate with an artist-run centre, to put on an a screening that’s a collaboration with another artist-run centre?”

This is the question I posed to the Centre for Art Tapes programming committee shortly after we all watched the Monitor 12 Program coordinated by the South Asian Visual Arts Centre. The program titled Figures Pointing Outside the Frame is a collection of short video works curated by Oliver Husain, Otty Widasari and Yuki Aditya. The works were innovative, thoughtful and sometimes challenging. The whole programming committee quickly came to the consensus that this was important work to bring to Halifax.

“Isn’t collaboration what we do though?” a committee member replied to me.  This was true – at CFAT our job is to support artists, and we rarely do it all by ourselves.

I’m wearing a lot of hats approaching this year’s HIFF. I am the Programming and Communications Director at the Centre for Art Tapes, one of the team of programmers for the festival, and I am also a working media artist. From all the angles I see the festival, HIFF appears to me to be the perfect incubator for collaboration.

When I first graduated from post-secondary, my first call was to Alex at AFCOOP to figure out exactly how I was going to get what I needed in order to continue to making work. My second call was to Tom at CFAT. Between these two centres I found not only the gear to make work, but also other artists to collaborate with and get support from. The artist-run centres of Halifax quickly became a core community.

HIFF can have this same effect all concentrated into one short week. My first year as a filmmaker at HIFF I watched a short by Amanda Dawn Christie and was visually in love but completely unable to figure out how she technically pulled off her visuals. At a reception I saw her and realized I could just ask her! And I did.

Through my work at CFAT I see a lot of projects come through the door (and a lot of frantic last minute editing leading up to the due date for HIFF submissions). Artist-run centres become the place to ask questions like “Do you know anyone who could help with the sound on this project?” Festivals like HIFF become the chance to build the networks we use for these collaborations.

As a programmer, I understand the responsibility that comes with choosing what works get shown at events like HIFF. At CFAT we’re constantly discussing how to show more work to more people. Monitor 12 at HIFF is the perfect example of how groups like SAVAC, CFAT and AFCOOP can pool resources and audiences to spread ideas and help artists get their works shown.

Whether you are a filmmaker or an audience member, let this year’s Halifax Independent Filmmakers Festival be an invitation to you to ask questions, start conversation or discuss your own work. You could find yourself collaborating on your next big project.

Catch Monitor 12 on Friday, June 9th at 9PM and stay for the Q+A session following the screening facilitated by Tori.