Toronto Film Festival

From: Michael Zryd (email suppressed)
Date: Sun Aug 26 2007 - 14:52:05 PDT

It feels strange to take exception to John Porter on the subject of
experimental film in Toronto, when he is widely acknowledged as our
pre-eminent historian of the scene, but I must interject with at
least another perspective on Toronto. Charles Dickens may have nailed
Toronto in 1842, and I'm not sure when Jonas Mekas last visited the
city and was bored by it, but the last several decades have changed
Toronto and its arts community. Toronto is perhaps the most
multicultural city in North America, with multiple vibrant arts
communities, and the most active experimental film and video scene
outside New York in North America. An enviable arts granting system
(Canada Council, Ontario Arts Council, Toronto Arts Council, among
others) has nurtured a wide variety and number of screenings and
festivals (John's website is one of the best ways to see what's on
offer in Toronto regarding experimental film http:// There are pockets of conservatism, and like
other places, occasional insularity in the art world, but "very small-
town Conservative," I think mischaracterizes Toronto in general and
its arts scene in particular. I agree with John about the shameful
history of censorship in Ontario. But the antics of the Ontario
Censor Board alone (now euphemistically called the Ontario Film
Review Board) put the lie to the accusation that Toronto is boring.

Mike "Civic Booster" Zryd

Michael Zryd
Associate Professor
York University
Department of Film, CFT 223
4700 Keele St.
Toronto, ON M3J 1P3 CANADA
email suppressed
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