A virtual reality experience & a series of short films played on a loop for the duration of the Guelph Film Festival in small unique venues.
Biidaaban: First Light
Lisa Jackson, Mathew Borrett, Jam3 | CANADA
In partnership with Guelph Public Library
Toronto’s Nathan Phillips Square is flooded. Its infrastructure has merged with the local fauna; mature trees grow through cracks in the sidewalks and vines cover south-facing walls. People commute via canoe and grow vegetables on skyscraper roofs. Urban life is thriving.
Language carries the knowledge of its speakers. Indigenous North American languages are radically different from European languages and embody sets of relationships to the land, to each other, and to time itself. But as Indigenous languages face the risk of disappearing, we risk losing what they have to teach us.
Rooted in the realm of Indigenous futurism, Biidaaban: First Light is an interactive VR time-jump into a highly realistic—and radically different—Toronto of tomorrow. As users explore this altered city now reclaimed by nature, they must think about their place in history and ultimately their role in the future.
Time: Mon-Thurs 9-8pm; Friday and Saturday 9-5pm; Sunday 1-5pm
Venue: Guelph Public Library, Main Library
Alexandra Lagarowich | CANADA
Cree director Alexandra Lazarowich riffs off classic verité cinema to craft a contemporary portrait of Métis women net fishing in Northern Alberta.
Time: Mon-Sat 9:30-11pm; Sun 11-7pm
Venue: The Bookshelf
Love Letters from Everest
Celeste Koon | CANADA
Imagine opening a dusty box of personal archives and then watching the photos and documents magically come to life in vivid, cinematic fashion. This is the magical world of Love Letters from Everest, where the power of words—propelled by postmarks—overcomes time and distance to lay the foundation for a life-long romantic adventure.
In intimate yet captivating detail, filmmaker Celeste Koon unfolds the transatlantic love story of her grandparents through the creative animation of paper ephemera—Kodachrome photos, newspaper clippings, maps—and, in particular, the handwritten letters they exchanged in 1956 during the first successful Swiss expedition to Mount Everest.
Time: 8-4pm Monday-Thursday; 7-5pm Friday-Sunday
Venue: The Common