February 7, 2010
by Canadian Architect
From February 24 to 28, 2010 in Toronto, the seventh annual Canadian Art Reel Artists Film Festival showcases 13 documentary films on the world’s top art figures. Throughout the festival, specially invited artists, writers, curators and directors will introduce the films and present post-screening conversations.
The festival will once again host a free day of films for students on Friday, February 26, 2010. The films are the North American premiere of Antony Gormley and the 4th Plinth (2009), on the British sculptor’s highly controversial live artwork in London’s Trafalgar Square, introduced by Canadian Art editor Richard Rhodes. The Toronto premiere of Pretend Not to See Me (2009) showcases several of Colette Urban’s performances in Newfoundland. The screening will feature a special performance by the artist, followed by a conversation with curator Barbara Fischer, director Katherine Knight and the artist. The Toronto premiere of Travelling with Yoshitomo Nara (2007) accompanies the acclaimed Japanese painter on an international road trip. This film will be introduced by Leah Sandals, associate editor of Canadianart.ca.
Other festival highlights include the world premiere of Fold, Crumple, Crush: The Art of El Anatsui, about the first black African artist to achieve the highest levels of world acclaim, introduced by the film’s director and founder of the Museum for African Art in New York, Susan Vogel, and the Canadian premiere of Two Artists: Andrea Zittel and Monika Sosnowka 1:1, introduced by artist and curator An Te Liu.
The festival also presents several Toronto premieres: painter Joanne Tod introduces a film on the profoundly influential American artist Chuck Close; a film on legendary Canadian painter Alex Colville will be introduced by artist John Dickson; Louise Bourgeois: The Spider, the Mistress and the Tangerine will be introduced by acclaimed author Katherine Govier; Si Sullivan m’était conteé, about legendary Quebec artist Françoise Sullivan, will be introduced by David Moos, curator of contemporary art at the Art Gallery of Ontario; a film on Swiss art dealer and founder of Art Basel Ernst Beyeler will be introduced by Samuel Keller, head of the Beyeler Foundation; and a film that captures the creative process of the polka-dot loving, Japanese avant-garde artist Yayoi Kusama will be introduced by prizewinning author Kerri Sakamoto.
The Reel Artists Film Festival presents – direct from Art Basel Miami and the Sundance Film Festival – the Canadian premiere of Jean-Michel Basquiat: The Radiant Child, a documentary by filmmaker Tamra Davis that tells the real story of legendary painter Jean-Michel Basquiat. The New York Times calls it “a profoundly moving testament to an artist who really could not do anything but make paintings, to the gritty New York of the early ’80s and to the creative community that helped foster Basquiat’s genius.”
“We are delighted to offer audiences films on visual art and artists that effectively convey the
significance of today’s most inspiring artistic talents,” says festival organizer and Canadian Art
Foundation executive director Ann Webb. “By offering an intimate glimpse into the lives of
important art world figures from Canada and abroad, the Reel Artists Film Festival provides an
accessible point of entry for audiences to learn about contemporary art.”
The festival launches on Wednesday, February 24, 2010, with an opening night screening and
celebration at the Royal Conservatory, TELUS Centre for Performance and Learning, Koerner
Hall, located at 273 Bloor Street West in Toronto. The Canadian premiere of Jean-Michel Basquiat: The Radiant Child will screen at 7:00pm sharp in Koerner Hall. Critic Sarah Milroy will introduce the
screening with one of the film’s producers, David Koh.
This screening will be followed by a celebration. Tickets are $175 in advance only. Phone 416.368.8854 ext. 102 or go to www.canadianart.ca/raff/tickets to order.
All other screenings take place at the Al Green Theatre, Miles Nadal JCC, 750 Spadina Avenue
(at Bloor Street) in Toronto. General admission tickets are $10 in advance; festival passes are $65
in advance. Rush tickets, if available, are $12 ($7 for students/seniors with valid ID) 15 minutes
prior to each screening. Order tickets online at www.canadianart.ca/raff/tickets or phone 416.368.8854 ext. 102.
The Canadian Art Foundation is a non-profit, charitable organization established to foster support
of the visual arts in Canada. The foundation unites art, ideas and people from coast to coast
through a diverse array of national and international programs and the publication of Canadian
Art, Canada’s most widely read visual arts magazine.
For more information, please visit www.canadianart.ca/raff