On The 8 Fest 2015! Part One


January 30-February 1st at SPK Polish Combatants’ Hall, 206 Beverley Street, Toronto

“The 8 fest is a unique Toronto-based film festival that presents all forms of small-gauge film: 8mm, Super 8 and 9.5mm, as well as works in installation, loops, and ‘proto-cinema devices’ like zoetropes.

The 8 fest is a festival for anyone using small-gauge to create rough little gems on film – personal, handmade, experimental, animations, diaries, essays, collage, cut-ups, performance/film, music/film.” http://the8fest.com/ (for full schedule)

Last year, we had the privilege of covering this wonderful festival for the first time. That coverage can be found here:


It was an eye opening experience. This year, we’re previewing a few of these films and giving you our thoughts on them before the fest. We’ll be at the festival at various programs and will bring you views as we parse them throughout and after.

This is our first set of previews, with another one to be posted up on Friday.

On Hungry Bones, Rands, and Grizzly

by Jennifer Valencia.


Hungry Bones by Berny Hi & Chrystene Ells    (Saturday January 31 9pm – Cut Paste and Animate)

Berny Hi: http://www.bernyhi.ca/

Chrystene Ells: http://chrystene.com/

“When your body is so starved for a basic element that it consumes itself.

In-camera editing done for inclusion in the One Take Super 8 Event in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan (2014)”


Hungry Bones is a sort of follow up film to Chrystene Ells’ video Parathyroid Punk. Parathyroid Punk was half PSA and half thank you note to all those who helped Chrystene with her diagnosis and much need surgery to remove the parathyroid tumor that was killing her. Hungry Bones is the intimate story of both her struggle with the tumour and life after it was removed. Co-directed with Berny Hi, Chrystene describes her 10 year ordeal through a voice over. It is not just a telling of her story, but a very intimate portrayal of what her body was going through. In her voice you hear the emotional toll her illness was causing her and the subsequent release and relief when the tumour was removed. Her body slowly began to function as normal. At its core the film is a love note to her recovering body as it seeks out the element it is missing, screaming out for it, while also looking with wonder towards the universe that creates the atoms that make up our bodies and providing the element her bones so desperately needed. It is a lovely and relatable short for anyone who has suffered any illness or chronic pain and has experienced some form of relief from it.



Rands by Lucas Martin     (Friday, January 30 11pm Bagerooo, eight! Part One)

Super 8 sound 3:45

“In this city, we suffer from “world-class” anxiety.  As we push forward with ever increasing development, we move into a deepening introversion from one another.  Through desperation, we forsake our sense of history and self and the communities we once prided ourselves on are pushed aside in favour of gleaming towers.”

Untitled copy

Rands is a meditation on the phenomenon of the ever expanding upwards metropolis. This short focuses on the construction site of a high rise building. By using various camera angles and film speeds Lucas Martin deconstructs the site into more manageable and digestible pieces. Martin seeks to examine our anxiety brought upon the construction of tower upon tower around us by showing us, close up, the bare bones of a building. By displaying the skeleton of the site, the workings inside the building become more discernible. The building isn’t just a looming structure of concrete, steel and glass; it’s a living being. As someone who lives right next to a construction site of town houses and an eight story condo building, I understand what Martin is trying to do. When I found out that the houses and a building were going up, I was anxious but now that construction has started it has become a part of my everyday life. Every morning I see the construction workers close up from out my window doing their individual jobs, slowly, but surely building level after level. Martin looks at a site like my neighbours through a childlike curiosity reflecting upon it and its effect on our expanding communities.

3. Grizzly by Craig Orrest  (Sunday, February 1 9pm Bagerooo, eight! Part Two)

Untitled 2 copy

A lonely grizzly bear roams the plains of Yukon. Silently he is observed by a brave and curious onlooker.  Together in their own way they contemplate the wilderness and the solitude it brings. We are shown a view of nature without commentary almost like if we were there watching the bear ourselves. This silent observation provides the onlooker with respite from their chaotic lives while the grizzly labours to prepare itself for the approaching winter. Who knew a silent short about a grizzly bear foraging in the Canadian tundra could be so entertaining?

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