Experimental films exhibit at RIC

Film students are taking centre stage at the Ryerson Image Centre’s first student art exhibit of the year, but this is not your typical movie-going experience.

“Moving Frames, Shifting Boundaries: Artistic Experiments and Innovation in Film and Video,” featuring 65 films by first and second-year Ryerson students, opens tonight at the Ryerson Image Centre’s first exhibition of the year. The films are all “experimental,” meaning that they don’t follow a normal Hollywood movie structure.

The films were produced over the past two years as part of film and new media classes taught by Gerda Cammaer and Pierre Tremblay, who are the curators of the exhibition.

“I think it’s an excellent showcase of what we actually do in the school of image arts, particularly in the film program and the documentary media program,” says Cammaer.

The program is organized into three parts— odes to experiment, pop culture and Iceland.

Cammaer says the exhibition offers an opportunity for newer students to showcase their talent — something often reserved for fourth-year or graduating students.

“What we want to do is really show that the students who come to our school are very talented even before they start their formal training,” says Cammaer.

Third-year film studies student Lucas Ford’s I Know Places documents his experience on a 10-day workshop run by instructor Tremblay in Iceland last summer.

“It’s a really exciting opportunity to kind of promote student works because a lot of student projects just stay as school projects,” says Ford. “It’ also an opportunity to get exposure for ourselves, not only just within the Ryerson community, but all of Toronto.”

Second-year film studies student Sydney Boniface thinks the exhibition offers a unique experience for film junkies.  Boniface’s work Senses was shot on 15-mm film and explores the experience of sensory memory.

“It’s a different kind of viewing experience,” says Boniface. “You’re not going to get the type of narrative that you’re going to be able to see at a movie theatre.

Though the Image Centre also houses non-student exhibitions in the main gallery space, student gallery coordinator Sara Angelucci says they try to link the student gallery thematically with the Centre’s other programming. Students can submit their work online until the end of June for exhibitions featured in the upcoming school year.

“For our students, it’s an amazing opportunity that we have a student gallery where we can show their work,” says Cammaer.

Boniface agrees. “I’ve never really had an experience where the building is dedicated to such a small program,” she says.

“Moving Frames, Shifting Boundaries: Artistic Experiments and Innovation in Film and Video” goes tonight from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the Ryerson Image Centre student gallery. The exhibit runs until Oct. 27.

This story was first published in The Ryersonian, a weekly newspaper produced by the Ryerson School of Journalism, on September 18, 2013

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