Café Ex: The Films of Sarah Abbott
Inaugurated in 1998, the eighteenth season of this ongoing visiting artist series presents artist-curated evenings of independent experimental film and video in the intimate atmosphere of Club SAW. Once again, the series features Canadian experimental cinema, with guest filmmakers presenting their work and engaging in extensive discussions with audience members for a "pay-what-you-can" admission. On February 4th, the Canadian Film Institute is proud to present the works of filmmaker Sarah Abbott.
Sarah Abbott is a Vanier scholar, Canadian filmmaker and artist whose work engages issues of being, human rights, ethics and the environment. She works in a variety of genres and mediums, with an aim to push boundaries of expression and stimulate viewer involvement. The scope of her projects ranges from personal meditations to collaborations to directing cast and crew. Sarah's film and video work has received numerous grants, awards and international festival selections. Sarah is an Associate Professor in the Department of Film, Faculty of Media, Art, and Performance, at the University of Regina. There, she created an intensive filmmaking development model in which her students work alongside local film industry professionals to create a short film (Out In The Cold, This Time Last Winter). For her innovative teaching methods, filmmaking endeavours, ability to bridge cultures, commitment to empowering people, and passion for communicating hard-hitting issues, Sarah received the 2012 Saskatchewan Lieutenant Governor’s Arts Award for Arts and Learning.
In the Minds of All Beings
21 minutes, Tibet/USA/Canada, 2011
HD video / colour
In the Minds of All Beings: Tsogyal Latso of Tibet takes us to the 8th century birthplace of Khandro Yeshe Tsogyal, the founding mother of Tibetan Buddhism, and the greatest enlightened woman in Tibet. Blending legend and history, the film recounts an ancient story and shows how the wisdom and blessings of Yeshe Tsogyal have continued to our present time. Amidst the stark beauty of Central Tibet is the sacred landscape of Tsogyal Latso and a small community of nuns who settled in after the Cultural Revolution to revitalize it and fulfill their deep desire for spiritual practice.
This Time Last Winter
25 minutes, Canada, 2010
Red Camera production / HD exhibition / colour
A young woman, Iona, cannot remember how the gash on her head got there. When her mother tells her it was inflicted by Iona's indie rock musician boyfriend, Wes, Iona refuses to believe it. To find out for herself, she returns to his funky warehouse apartment - full of love, desire, magic and the location of her last memory. Through interracial relationships and the healing potential of a talking circle, the film explores violence in young relationships and the moment of choice we face when the urge to be violent surfaces.
Out In The Cold
30 minutes, Canada, 2007
Super 16mm production / HD exhibition / B&W
"On a night so cold it hurts to breathe, three First Nations men find themselves abandoned on the outskirts of town."
This poignant and oftentimes humorous drama is rich in metaphor while exploring themes of loss, memory and disregard. The script was inspired by the freezing deaths of several First Nations men in Saskatoon, allegedly as a result of a “starlight tour,” the non-sanctioned police practice of taking individuals to an isolated edge of town and abandoning them to the elements. In 2001, Amnesty International included the freezing deaths in their report of international human rights abuses. Starring Gordon Tootoosis.
Sarah Abbott will attend the screening to introduce and discuss her work.