Festival Accès Asie in collaboration with the Gesù presents an evening of film screenings relating to Asia followed by a discussion and a Q&A session with the audience.
The screenings, divided into two parts, will be held at the Salle d’Auteuil of the Gesù on Thursday, May 15th starting at 5:30 pm. Three documentaries and one in situ dance film addressing various themes will be presented during this evening rich in discoveries and sharing.
In the first part of the program, the audience will have the pleasure to see the documentary short Belly Dance with a Twist (bilingual in English and French with subtitles) by Gilda Boffa as well as the medium-length documentary Stolen Memories (English) by Kagan Goh. As its title indicates, Boffa’s film immerses itself in the world of belly dance, but from a male perspective. She provides a brief summary of the role of men in the history of this ancient dance while sharing the story of Pierre Khoury, a young Montrealer of Syrian origins who became a professional belly dancer despite the resistances expressed by his family.
Director Kagan Goh became interested by an old photo album found by his brother that contained pictures of a Japanese Canadian family dating back to 1939. In his film, Goh attempts to find the owners of the album, aware that they must have been confined in an internment camp in 1942 when Japanese nationals were all considered ‘enemy aliens’.
The evening will continue with a second screening of the short Dafeena (no dialogue) by Philip Szporer and Marlene Millar and of the documentary The Tibet Within (French version) by Eva Cirnu. Dafeena is a poetic film in which two Indian dancers dressed in colourful silk perform in the unique setting of abandoned crystal and copper mines. The performance, choreographed by Natasha Bakht, is captured in part across layers of spun glass, giving a supernatural feel to the images.
Cirnu’s film is dedicated to the Tibetan’s struggle to preserve their culture and identity while in exile. The Tibet Within pays a tribute to the Tibetans’ courage and presents their efforts to protect their art, language and religion, while denouncing the constant violations of human rights in Tibet.
At the end of each of the two screenings, there will be a bilingual discussion between the audience and the directors. A beautiful occasion to exchange on these dazzling and moving films.
Gilda Boffa completed a bachelors in Communication Studies and a masters in Film Studies at Concordia University in Montreal. She wrote her thesis about an Iranian director and won a scholarship to travel to Iran in 2008. She published several articles and a book chapter about Iranian cinema. She also completed a certificate in Arabic language and cultures at UQAM and a certificate in translation at Université de Montréal. She has been studying, performing and teaching belly dance and other Middle Eastern dances for eight years. She was the coordinator of Festival Accès Asie from September 2013 to February 2014. Belly Dance with a Twist is her first film.
Kagan Goh was born in Singapour in 1969. He studied film in Toronto at the Ryerson Polytechnical University. His controversial documentary about the phone sex industry, Mind Fuck, won several prizes including 1st prize in the documentary category at TVO Telefest. For his trilogy Stolen Memories, Breaking The Silence and Mary Seki In Memorium, Goh has solicited and benefitted from the support and the implication of the Japanese Canadian community. He now lives in Vancouver.
Holding a degree in contemporary dance and design, Montreal filmmaker Marlene Millar directed her first award-winning film in 1989; The Woman and the Sink. She obtained her BFA in Film Production from Concordia University and then continued her studies at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She received the Pew Dance-Media Fellowship in 1999 at UCLA.
Philip Szporer has been active in the field of Canadian dance for more than 30 years. He teaches in the department of contemporary dance at Concordia University. Szporer is also Scholar-in-residence at the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival. He received the Jacqueline Lemieux award in 2010 from the Canada Council of the Arts as well as the Pew Fellowship from UCLA. In 2001, Philip and Marlene cofounded the Mouvement Perpétuel film production company to direct and produce acclaimed documentaries and films about art and dance. Their films are screened in several festivals across the world and during important events.
Holding a degree in Art and Design from Concordia University in Montreal, Eva Cirnu shares her journey between two passions: art and human rights. This has brought her to work in Haiti, Nepal, India and Madagascar, in the fields of design, communication and project management. Her interest for human rights has also led her to work as coordinator of peace missions and humanitarian operations seminars of UQAM’s Political science and law faculty. She is Canada Tibet Committee’s Francophone section coordinator. The Tibet Within is her first film.
Gilda Boffa – Director
Kagan Goh – Director
Marlene Millar & Philip Szporer – Directors
Eva Cirnu – Director