Saturday, February 24, 2018

Antimatter Film Festival explores the experimental, again

October 15, 2014 by Gillian Sellman, contributing writer

For a smaller city, Victoria is lucky to play host to a surprisingly large number of art festivals. Out of all of them, Antimatter Film Festival just might be the most diverse.

The festival’s two founders, Todd Eacrett and Deborah de Boer, were involved with what is now known as the Victoria Film Festival when they realized they wanted to go down a different path.

“We wanted to go in a more experimental and art-based direction,” says Antimatter festival director Eacrett, “and the people who were sponsoring the film fest at the time wanted to do more of a mainstream kind of festival.”

A still from Jennet Thomas’ The Advice Shape, one of around 140 pieces in this year’s Antimatter festival (photo provided).

This disconnect brought rise to Antimatter, an experimental media art festival that’s now in its 17th year. According to Eacrett, Antimatter hopes to bring something different to the Victoria arts scene.

“What we hope to accomplish is bringing to Victoria audiences a range of media work,” says Eacrett, “whether film, video, and, in some cases, sound-based, that they’re really not going to be able to see otherwise.”

Eacrett believes the festival brings viewers more than they can find on their computer screen.

“Even in these days where everyone has access to everything on the internet, there’s a difference to seeing it on your phone and seeing it on a big screen with a room full of people,” he says.

Another unique aspect about Antimatter is its diversity, says Eacrett.

“We have 20 or so countries represented this year, and there’s about 140 pieces in the festival,” he says.

This makes for a truly unique experience. Eacrett says that with the huge body of work, there’s something that should appeal to almost everyone.

“I encourage people to come out and check and see what’s on different nights,” he says.

Scott Fitzpatrick, whose work is being shown at the festival for the fourth time, says that Antimatter has lots to offer.

“I appreciate their programming; it’s really diverse and they show so much,” says Fitzpatrick. “It’s a great place to go see stuff, whether local or international, and I really like the vibe.”

Fitzpatrick appreciates Antimatter’s efforts to support a wide range of work.

“Antimatter has always been really good at fostering these kinds of pop-up film communities across the country; they don’t just pander to the big cities,” he says.

The unique nature of Antimatter is the perfect place for something like Fitzpatrick’s direct animation.

“Direct animation is the process of creating a moving image by taking a clear celluloid and affixing something to it, either by scratching or painting on it,” explains Fitzpatrick.

Fitzpatrick’s film The Pieced Quilt is focused on print-based work and is a good example of the fest’s experimentalism.

“It’s a film adaptation of a catalogue of American quilts. I took Scotch tape and lifted everything off the book and put it onto 16mm film,” he says. “It’s all repeating patterns and freeze patterns created by these photographs of quilts.”

Antimatter Film Festival
October 17-November 1
Various downtown locations

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