EDIE STEINER RETROSPECTIVE

20th FEMALE EYE FILM FESTIVAL, "Always Honest, Not Always Pretty"

Supported by

Edie Steiner headshot2021.jpeg

FeFF looks forward to celebrating the work of Canadian artist Edie Steiner. No stranger to the Female Eye, Steiner’s work has been showcased at the festival over the years: Conversations on the Lake (2014), Northland: Long Journey (2007), Felicity’s View (2001), and These Experiments (2001). As well, her photographic works have been featured as part of FeFF’s group photo exhibits over the years, in 2001, 2005, 2015 (Fire), 2016 (Water), and 2017 (Air). 

 

Edie is multi-talented: a singer/songwriter, filmmaker, and photographer. She produces independent media art projects that cross several genres, including fiction film, documentary, academic, and experimental work. A member of the 1980s experimental film collective The Funnel, Edie produced Super 8mm films in performances with her original music. She later served on the board of directors of the Liaison of Independent Filmmakers of Toronto (LIFT) while making short narrative films featuring her original music collaborations with Canadian artists Chip Yarwood and Malcolm Lewis, Juno Award–winning producer Michael Phillip Wojewoda, and Australian composers Colin Offord and Daniel Rojas. Among her published works is the text for Offord’s Bold New Strategies Suite (EMI International, 1999). 

 

Edie’s films have been broadcast on Canadian public television and have garnered international awards. Her early documentary photography was acquired by the National Gallery of Canada, and she has exhibited in many galleries, including the Art Gallery of Ontario (New Portraits and Exposure). Her music artist portraits are represented by Analogue Gallery (Toronto) and include

some of the best-known musical legends of the 1970s and ’80s (Blondie, the Ramones and Patti Smith, to name a few).

 

Steiner holds a PhD in environmental studies and has taught arts-based practices in Canadian and international educational institutions. Recent work includes a one-hour documentary film, Borderland Memories (2020). Exhibitions include Arsenal Kino, Berlin; Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity; Cinematheque Ontario; Cinémathèque québécoise; Collective for Living Cinema, NYC; Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York; and international film festivals. Television broadcasts include CBC, W Network (formerly Women’s Television Network), Vision TV, Much (formerly MuchMusic), and community cable.

 

Professional associations (current): Association for Literature, Environment and Culture in Canada (ALECC); Canadian Filmmakers Distribution Centre (CFMDC); The Film-Makers’ Cooperative (NAGG); Gallery 44 Centre for Contemporary Photography; Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada (SOCAN); and Vtape.

 

For more information check out ediesteiner.com.

​PROGRAM ONE

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temporal assemblages (2022)

Experimental/Artist film. 14 min

temporal assemblages is an ecological video poem exploring human presence and absence in natural and built environments. Although the performers in the film are directed within the frame, the locations serve as canvasses for improvisation and the landscape is an equal player in the narrative of the scene. A meditation on impermanence and the transience of place, the title is inspired by assemblage art where fragments of existing artistic objects are reconstituted into new artworks. The filmmaker here samples her own archive of media materials produced over several decades of practice, from analogue photography, Super-8mm and 16mm film recordings, early video and sound, mixing obsolete technologies with new recordings. Fragments of spoken word poetry mix with scientific nomenclature in onscreen text, embedding ecological histories with the material constituents of the scene. An earlier version of the prologue, Entering the Lake, was published in 2017 as video poetry in The Goose, an online publication of the Association for Literature, Environment, and Culture in Canada.

Borderland Memories (2020)

Documentary. 61 min

Borderland Memories merges historical images with new recordings, following filmmaker Edie Steiner’s quest to locate her father’s former home in Lower Silesia. Her ancestors were among millions of ethnic Germans expelled from Silesia when it was annexed to Poland after WW2. As a young man, Edie’s father immigrated to rural northern Canada and never returned to Silesia. The filmmaker explores her loss of intergenerational cultural belonging as a German immigrant child, a post-Holocaust identity implicated in the crimes of the nation she was born into. Over several journeys to Silesia she traces her Jewish ancestral line at national archives in Poland, visits the village of her ancestors, and interviews scholars and community members, engaging in discourses of migration, borders, witnessing, and kinship. Moving between still photography, archival records, family documents, original artwork, text, and a variety of digital and analogue sources, the film unfolds in a tapestry of intersecting voices and images: post- Communist villages set in pastoral landscapes, the cities of Berlin and Wroclaw, and the Oder-Neisse Rivers forming the German/Polish border as both a dividing and uniting boundary. The project’s postproduction was completed in the early 2020 pandemic working remotely. Funding for the project’s research and post-production stages was provided by the Canada Council for the Arts.

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​PROGRAM TWO

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Views from Home: Facing North (2015)

Experimental/Artist film, 6 min

First shown as an art gallery installation at Gallery 44 Members Space in 2014, Views from Home: Facing North explores the changing view from the filmmaker's home on the Toronto/Tkaronto waterfront over a fifteen-year period and is a record of rapid urban encroachment over multiple seasons. The film moves from analogue film photography to present day digital images in time with a culture moving from analogue to digital practices over the years of the recordings. Central to the frame is the site of Fort York, which gradually disappears from view as years of construction and new towers erase it from the epicenter of the landscape views. Key historical moments that have occurred on this national historic site are cited in on-screen text, with music and audio ambiences underscoring the unfolding of real time changes in a specific location.

Conversations on the Lake (2014)

Documentary, 28 min

Conversations on the Lake investigates politics of dwelling in rural Northwestern Ontario communities along the Lake Superior north shore. It was nominated for Best Documentary at the 2014 Female Eye Film Festival and was shown in film festivals internationally, including travelling festivals abroad and in rural communities The film explores how the land, its waters, and its landscapes are valued by citizens who live and work in communities bordering the Canadian side of the largest freshwater supply on the continent, expressing a sense of place unique to the region. With the landscape as a central character, speakers from rural towns, environmental organizations, and First Nation communities give voice to diverse ecological and social themes affecting Lake Superior and its environs. Filmmaker Edie Steiner lived her early life the rural north and has produced several films and lens-based artworks in and about Northwestern Ontario.

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Northland: Long Journey (2007)

Documentary, 16 min

Northland: Long Journey (2007) is an evocative meditation on filmmaker Edie Steiner’s quest for new truths regarding her father’s death from occupational illness three decades prior. The film revisits an early National Film Board of Canada film, where her mining father is posed as a heroic worker. He later died from exposures to workplace toxins, but his death was officially deemed to be unrelated to his work environment. A generation later, new scientific evidence amended the original legal and medical judgments, and the process of making the film became an appeal for justice. Filmed in a small mining community in Northwestern Ontario, with testimony by the filmmakers’ widowed mother as well as by experts and activists including Stephen Lewis, the film explores how truth is shaped by phenomena over time. Awards include Best Short Documentary at the 2008 Reno Film Festival, Final Cut Award 2008 Lake Havasu Arizona Film Festival, and People’s Choice Award at the 2008 Vox Popular Film Festival, which also included the film in its ‘best of’ 10th year anniversary in 2014. Additional festival screenings include Planet in Focus and several environmental and international festivals.

Felicity’s View (1999)

Short Drama, 20 min

“Do you have 23 minutes to spare to become amazed and delighted? Then this short production is for you. Elizabeth Shepherd is wonderful as Felicity… Edie Steiner directed with feeling”.

Jim Bawden, TV Highlights, Toronto Star, July 9, 2000. (CBC broadcast)

Felicity’s View is short fiction film about two aging people whose lives are transformed by the rekindling of erotic desire. Shot on 16mm film by cinematographer Derek Rogers, with production design by Lillian Sarafinchan, the film features performances by stage and screen legend Elizabeth Shepherd and the late Lew Lehman. The filmmaker collaborated with Australian composers Colin Offord and Daniel Rojas to create music for the film’s score (available on SoundCloud: lyrics & vocal by Edie Steiner, music by Colin Offord, Daniel Rojas). Felicity’s View was broadcast on CBC (Canadian Reflections) and WTN (Women’s Television Network). Awards include Bronze Award for Short Drama at the 2000 Houston International Worldfest and a Jury Prize at 2000 Festival of Nations, Austria.

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