About Cinema Politica
CINEMA POLITICA is a Montreal-based media arts, non-profit network of community and campus locals that screen independent political film and video by Canadian and international artists throughout Canada and abroad. We believe in the power of art to not only entertain but to engage, inform, inspire, and provoke social change. Cinema Politica is the largest volunteer-run, community and campus-based documentary-screening network in the world. All screenings are by donation.
Cinema Politica is committed to supporting alternative, independent, and radical political film and video, and the artists who dare to devote time, passion and resources to telling stories from the margins. We program works that feature under-represented characters and tell stories which confront and challenge conventional fiction and documentary narratives.
With continued support from the Canada Council for the Arts, Cinema Politica is able to focus on independent Canadian filmmakers whose work explore political issues and stories of oppression and resistance that are excluded from the mainstream media.
Cinema Politica also relies on the essential contributions of audiences and local members while building an international alternative distribution and exhibition network for independent political film and video.
To read more from various media who have covered Cinema Politica, visit our media page.
THE CINEMA POLITICA CREW
Emails: first name + this domain name
Co-founder and Executive Director: Svetla Turnin
Co-founder and Director of Programming: Ezra Winton
Administrative Assistant: Tina Gelsomini
Programming Assistant: Lorenzo Singoretti
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
+ Pepita Ferrari // Producer, Director and Festival Programmer
+ Michael Lithgow // Writer; Video Artist; PhD in Media Studies (Carleton)
+ Inês Lopes // PhD, Education consultant; Founder of CP-UQAM
+ Liz Miller // Filmmaker (The Water Front); Assoc. Professor (Concordia)
+ Thomas Waugh // Professor in the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema (Concordia)
+ Ezra Winton // Director of Programming and Co-founder - Cinema Politica; Editor - Art Threat; PhD candidate in Media Studies (Carleton University)
PRESELECTION PROGRAMMING COMMITTEE (2010-2013)
+ Sandy Dubya
+ Alexandra Guité
+ Shannon Harris
+ Rémy Huberdeau
+ Brandon Judd
+ Arshad Khan
+ Amy Miller
+ Mariam Zaidi
+ Pablo Velez Tobar
+ Marina Serrao
THE CINEMA POLITICA NETWORK
View Cinema Politica Network in a larger map The Cinema Politica Network comprises a network of several local film exhibition sites, series, and festivals across Canada, Europe and the USA. The Canadian component of the network has nearly 70 active locals, most of which are located on high school, college and university campuses, and the international component has nearly 30 active locals.
Beginning in 2008 we introduced a small membership fee to join the CP Network, in exchange for the organizational and programming services we offer. This includes access to our 300+ catalogue of films. If you are interested in starting up a Cinema Politica local, please visit this page or contact Svetla Turnin.
CINEMA POLITICA'S MANDATE
Cinema Politica’s main objective is to promote, disseminate, exhibit and promote the discussion of political cinema by independent artists, with an emphasis on Canadian works. All pieces that are screened are political works - they represent cinema texts that engage an audience on important socio-political, cultural, environmental and economic issues that are provocative in challenging dominant ideologies and accepted norms. Exhibited works are innovative and seek to educate, entertain and especially inspire audiences to participate in open and inclusive spaces. Emphasis is placed on works that tell stories underrepresented by mainstream media, including narratives around political struggles within Canada, and stories that deal with oppression and/or identity politics.
The position of the artist in society is taken into account in the curatorial process, with a focus on artists who are marginalized and/or struggle against oppression in respective contexts. Of all the cultural industries in Canada, cinema has the lowest percentage of Canadian content at the mainstream or commercial level. The Canadian Film and Television Production Association and Canadian Heritage reports that in 2006 Canadian film represented a mere 4.4% of screen space in Canadian theatres (and there is certainly no shortage of works, the Canadian submissions to Hot Docs 2007 totalled 222 documentary films and videos alone). Cinema Politica is a project rooted in the belief that diversity and plurality in culture, media and the arts builds stronger publics and leads to increased democratic practices by engendering social inclusion and participation while educating audiences. Accessibility to media and utilization of both public institutions and public space remain incredibly important to the spirit of this project, therefore the majority of screenings are free to all. Sometimes, due to high screening and/or shipping costs, we ask for a small donation at the door.
MEDIA COVERAGE OF CINEMA POLITICA
While we don't want to sound ungrateful, the mainstream state and corporate media has largely ignored us. We're not surprised - a scruffy grassroots network screening documentaries urging us all to change the system isn't the kind of story you'll read at CBC.ca or in the Globe and Mail. But all is not lost!! More discerning media continue to write about Cinema Politica locals and the network. You can check it all out at cinemapolitica.org/media.