Chris Gehman


I don’t like having my picture taken, and don’t like looking at pictures of myself. Nor do I think that a person’s picture tells you much about them. This image is from my film Refraction Series, and for whatever reason that I cannot explain, seems to me to represent me better than a portrait photo would.

Chris Gehman is a filmmaker, curator, educator and critic. His films have screened at venues around the world, including Anthology Film Archives (NYC), Canadian Film Institute, EXiS (Seoul), TIFF, and Experimenta (Bangalore); Dark Adaptation (2016) premiered at TIFF and screened at the 2017 Berlinale. Chris was Artistic Director of the Images Festival (2000 to 2004), and has worked as a programmer for Cinematheque Ontario and the Toronto International Film Festival. As an independent programmer he has organized screenings for venues such as Experimenta, B92/Rex Cultural Centre (Belgrade), Winnipeg Film Group, Image Forum (Tokyo), Lago Film Fest (Italy), and the Ann Arbor Film Festival (USA). Chris contributed to the recent anthology Process Cinema: Handmade Film in the Digital Age (McGill-Queens UP, 2019), and was co-editor, with Steve Reinke, of the critical anthology The Sharpest Point: Animation at the End of Cinema (YYZ Books, 2005). He has written on the work of Simone Jones, Philip Hoffman, Janie Geiser, Lindsay Page, and John Porter for critical anthologies and exhibition catalogues, and contributed to periodicals such as Millennium Film Journal and Cinema Scope. He has served on the boards of directors of a number of media arts organizations, most recently the Hand Eye Society (2015-19).



Why did you get involved in this project?

To have some fun during an escalated COVID-19 workload, and have a sense of connection, however, indirect, to other creators!

Did the one week turn-around for the work help or hinder your creativity?

I am normally a very slow filmmaker, so I would say it was helpful.

How did you feel about working on a project where you didn’t know who you were collaborating with?

You can’t be a control freak to participate! I enjoyed the idea of creating some material that would be passed on to another person to have to figure out how to give it shape.

Has being involved in the project changed your thoughts on creativity?

It’s encouraged me to think about how I can use video as a faster, more immediate way of making things; normally I work on film in a very slow way using painstaking frame by frame processes. This project reminded me that there are other ways…

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