Manifesto



Film art is not market-oriented. Film artists are engaged in art-making, not in the production of mass-market commodities.

Film art creates new, autonomous uses for the medium, distinct from the functions of entertainment, education and communication that drive the commercial image industries (though it is frequently educational, entertaining and communicative!).

What is generally considered “entertainment” feels to us like a dreary grind. We look for innovation, directness, indirection, real character and vision in the moving image.

The film artist is free to redesign filmmaking and film viewing procedures from the ground up, creating novel conditions of production and reception alike. We reserve the right to alter or reject any standardized aspect of the film experience, from the film emulsion and camera to the theatre, projector and projection screen.

As an art on the economic fringes, experimental film is also free to comment on popular culture, ideology, and social mores, whether to subvert or to offer alternatives.

As an audio-visual art form, film should be considered alongside other such forms.  Film art frequently has more in common with painting, poetry, photography, video art, or installation art than with mainstream movies and television. As such, it should be included, with respect for its specific characteristics and history, in the exhibition programs of cultural institutions such as art galleries and museums.

Film was THE art of the twentieth century. All contemporary art has been and is still being made under the conscious or unconscious influence of cinematic form and content. Much contemporary art directly references or uses film.

From the very beginnings of film, there have been experimental films by artists such as: Georges Méliès, Alice Guy, Edwin S. Porter, Emile Cohl, Luis Buñuel, Fernand Léger & Dudley Murphy, Viking Eggeling, Germaine Dulac, Man Ray, Dziga Vertov, Ogino Shigeji, Hans Richter, Len Lye, Norman McLaren, Maya Deren, Marie Menken, Stan Brakhage, Margaret Tait, Jordan Belson, Kurt Kren, Andy Warhol, Artavazd Pelechian, Michael Snow, Joyce Wieland, Malcolm LeGrice and David Rimmer, to name just a few. And now, today, a myriad of filmmakers in Canada and around the world are engaged in the creation of film art. In just over a century, film has achieved a great history intertwined with makers and concepts in the larger history of art.

We believe in knowing history and tradition, which point the way to new art.

Film art sets you free as viewer and as maker. Society needs more film art!

 

 

Signed (for AfFA),

Scott Berry, Executive Director, Images Festival; Board Member, Pleasure Dome; filmmaker

Gerda Cammaer, filmmaker; Assistant Professor, Department of Image Arts, Ryerson University

Mary Daniel, film & video artist

Chris Gehman, filmmaker; curator; Board of Directors, Images Festival

Tracy German, filmmaker; P/T Professor, Sheridan College

Ilana Gutman, Professor, Humber Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning; member of LOOP Collective; Board of Directors, AluCine Latin Film Festival; filmmaker

Philip Hoffman, filmmaker; Associate Professor, Department of Film, York University

John Kneller, filmmaker; film instructor, Sheridan College

Jeffrey Paull, retired Professor, Sheridan College

Izabella Pruska-Oldenhof, PhD candidate, York University and Ryerson University Joint Programme in Communication and Culture; Course Director, Ryerson University; filmmaker; member of LOOP collective

John Price, filmmaker; educator, Humber College; IATSE local 667 International Cinematographers Guild member

Barbara Sternberg, filmmaker

Karyn Sandlos, filmmaker; educator

Tom Taylor, Director, Pleasure Dome (Artists Film & Video Exhibition Group)

Mike Zryd, Assistant Professor, Department of Film, York University; President, Film Studies Association of Canada




The Association for Film Art writes, "As part of our mandate, AfFA is not opposed to other moving-image media, but it firmly believes that the rich history and potential of film should be abandoned or ignored because of changes in the commercial image industry. Filmmakers are not nostalgic–like other artists working in media with long histories, such as painting and printmaking, they are living and creating NOW.  Film has a special place in the world and will continue to do so.  We champion film as a personal or collective art form that is practiced independent of the narrow aesthetic, ideological and technical parameters of the corporate movie business."




ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Based in Toronto, the Association for Film Art (AfFA) is a coalition of filmmakers, educators, and critics who have come together to promote film art and encourage conditions favorable to its continued flourishing. They share a common commitment to the medium of film (photochemical emulsion, projected on film) as an art form. AfFA advocates on behalf of film art to funders, cultural institutions, educational institutions, the media, and others.






 

 

 

 

 


 

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