Experimenting with media art

Screenings, performances, installations at Antimatter film festival

Frames from Woodcarver by BEARwitness, screening as part of the 15th annual Antimatter Film Festival Oct. 12 - 20.

A short film made in response to the lack of justice in the murder of First Nations woodcarver John T. Williams by a Seattle police officer is making its Western Canadian premiere at the 15th annual Antimatter Film Festival (Mon., Oct. 15).

The short, Woodcarver, by BEARwitness of Canadian Aboriginal music collective A Tribe Called Red features looped video taken from the dash camera of the police officer’s cruiser layered with a video of an aboriginal man running.

“The song came first,” says BEARwitness. “When the officer was acquitted of any charges, that was the moment where we decided something needed to be said about this. We were starting to see some success at the time and we wanted to do something with that new voice that we were finding.”

As a tribute to Williams, ATCR started researching the story and came across a ton of news footage online.

“We started sampling those tracks,” says BEARwitness, and ATCR turned those samples into one of their trademark “Pow Wow Step” sounds.

The result is a stimulating, but not sensational, piece of media art.

“You have a street-involved aboriginal man walking down the street with a legal blade, he was deaf in one ear and a cop walked up to him, yelled at him and then shot him three times in the back — and then he got off. He is no longer on the force, but he was also never charged and that was the hardest part. It was awful that he was shot … it was broad daylight, it was on film … it’s that feeling that it’s still okay to kill Indians.”

Woodcarver is just one of several politically-charged films screening at Antimatter this year. Other themes include environmentalism, music, analogue techniques, found footage and more.

The festival, curated by Deborah de Boer and directed by Todd Eacrett of Deluge Contemporary Art, is a showcase of experimental cinema and international media art featuring performances, installations and screenings of feature-length and short films from as far away as Iran, Finland and Japan. The festival found a new home this year, taking over the 200-seat Vic Theatre (808 Douglas) with its 24-foot screen, clear sight-lines and professional projection and sound.

Also new this year is the democratic pay-what-you-can ticket structure, allowing anyone to enjoy any of the featured programs running Oct. 12 – 20 (suggested donation $5-8).

An installation of fictional film posters by Julio Orozco of Tijuana, Mexico will be on display in the back-lit poster boxes in the Vic Theatre’s lobby, while Adan De La Garza’s Methods for Composing Random Compositions will be featured in the Deluge gallery.

Also new this year is Tourist Season: Victoria Home Movie Day (Oct. 20, 2pm at 636 Yates), where everyone is encouraged to bring in their home movies shot in Victoria. If you have 8mm, Super-8 or 16mm film, contact organizers at hmd@antimatter.ws or 250-385-3327 to arrange a drop off.

For full schedule visit antimatter.ws. M


The Antimatter Film Festival runs Oct. 12-20 at the Vic Theatre and Deluge Contemporary Art.


Just Posted

Arkells rallying around their fans

Canada’s biggest band (for now) looks to outdo their last show in Victoria

DANCING ANYONE? Museum puts a swing into your step

Royal BC Museum hosting its next adult-only Night Shift event, a swing dance/mixer

Getting OUT with Intrepid Theatre

OUTstages queer theatre festival features packed week of entertainment for fifth anniversary

Vic High theatre staging musical class struggle tale

Cry Baby a love story and social commentary piece presented with campy style

Readers Theatre returns to Congregation Emanu-El

Audience members encouraged to envision plays’ actions from hearing scripts

VIDEO: RBCM’s Wonder Sunday brings fossils into focus

Every Sunday from 1 to 3 p.m. kids learn about science and history through interactive activities

B.C. animators land Oscar nominations

‘Animal Behaviour’ by Vancouver’s David Fine and Alison Snowden among several Canadians on the short list

Hollywood announces 2019 Oscar nominations

Netflix has scored its first best picture nomination, something the streaming giant has dearly sought

Reflections of Ladysmith: The Art of Michael Dean

Work, place and people are inseparable for Vancouver Island painter

‘Gotti’ leads Razzie nominations, Trump up for worst actor

The nominations were announced on Monday, Jan. 21 with some movies earning up to six nominations

Sidney Museum’s Lego Exhibition larger than ever

Hundreds of thousands of pieces on display in creations big and small, now through March 31

2019 Canadian Whisky Awards’ big winners announced

Awards held in conjunction with Victoria Whisky Festival

Netflix rejects request to remove Lac-Megantic images from ‘Bird Box’

At least two shows on Netflix’s Canadian platform briefly use actual footage of the 2013 tragedy

Most Read