The land on which we gather and organize is the territory of the Anishinaabe, Haudenosaunee, Huron-Wendat and the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation. Today, the meeting place of Toronto is the home to many Indigenous people.
A territorial acknowledgement can demonstrate a coming to awareness, and provoke thought and reflection, all of which are essential in beginning to establish reciprocal relations. This acknowledgement should not function as closure, resignation, or acceptance of the structural conditions of settler colonialism that remain in effect today. The Images Festival will continue to ask what it means for us to keep open a spirit of sustained inquiry into the complexities of our situation.
Images showcases artistic excellence in contemporary moving image culture through screenings, exhibitions and performances, providing artists with a supportive forum in which to present their work and make professional connections with the media arts community.
Images presents work that counters dominant mainstream narratives and provides alternative ways of thinking and seeing that expands the understanding of media art through our programming and education-based initiatives.
Images ensures that independent Canadian media artworks are well represented and is committed to presenting new works by local and Canadian artists (50% Canadian) representing the multiplicity of Canadian artistic practice
Images aims to develop an educated and appreciative audience for Canadian and International media arts through an engaging forum for the exchange of information, whether of a technical, aesthetic or critical nature for educators, curators, media arts professionals, and the public.
Images is an artist driven festival that expands traditional definitions and understandings of media art by experimenting with a multiplicity of artistic forms.
Images presents, promotes and pushes the boundaries of contemporary moving image culture.
Images raises the profile of independent media art to develop critical engagement for Canadian and international artists and audiences.
Toronto’s original interdisciplinary arts festival is a critical forum for the independent media arts in Canada and around the world and provides artists with a supportive and professional forum in which to present their projects. Many influential media artists have been nurtured by Images’ willingness to embrace new creative concepts and modes of expression in the media arts field. The Images Festival exhibits and encourages the work of artists producing film and video outside of mainstream commercial production, distribution systems and aesthetic conventions. In addition to the international competition programs drawn from submissions to the festival, Images includes artists’ retrospectives, national and regional spotlights, publishing projects, touring programs and special guest-curated programs.
The Images Festival was established by the Northern Visions Collective to look closely at the dynamics of accessibility. Images began as Toronto’s only alternative to the Toronto International Film Festival, integrating film and video from its inception, and later expanding to include installations, performances and new media. From the beginning, Images has been at the forefront in identifying and supporting work that has been marginalized or unrecognized by existing exhibition venues, and was crucial in opening up dialogue in the media arts community around issues of race, culture, gender and sexuality.
Images has presented numerous important retrospectives dedicated to Canadian artists (e.g. General Idea, 1989; Sara Diamond, 1990; Jean Pierre Lefebvre, 1991; Mike Hoolboom, 1995; Vera Frenkel, 1997; Ali Kazimi, 1998; Barbara Sternberg, 2000; Philip Hoffman, 2001; Richard Fung, 2002; Leslie Peters, 2004;Robert Lee, 2005, Vincent Grenier, 2006; Nelson Henricks, 2008, Louise Bourque, 2009, Ross McLaren, 2010, James MacSwain, 2011, and more recently Althea Thauberger, 2013, Jennifer Chan in 2014, and Iris Ng in 2015, Emily Vey Duke and Cooper Battersby in 2016, Deirdre Logue in 2017, Steve Reinke in 2018, and Casey Wei in 2019.) featuring spotlights on Canadian organizations such as the Western Front (Vancouver), Quickdraw Animation Society (Calgary), Les Films de L’Autre (Montréal), MobileGaze (Montréal), Atlantic Filmmakers Cooperative (Halifax) and La Bande Vidéo (Québec).