Sala (S8) Palexco | Saturday June 8th | 5:00 pm | Free entry to all venues until full capacity. It will not be possible to enter the venues after the screening has started.

Eve Heller | 2005 | Austria, USA, Canada | 16mm | 10 min

Shot in the Saugeen River using a special underwater housing, Behind this Soft Eclipse is a film-poem of the utmost subtlety and finesse, in which images emerge from black only to vanish again. (Chris Gehman)

I was imagining a collaboration of parallel worlds or a kind of doubled consciousness, a sense of the corporeal and the riddle of absence. The body of the film depends on a spine of interlocking contrasts in the form of negative and positive space, day and night shots, under and above water elements. These are cut on motion and qualities of light that are sometimes gentle and sometimes jarring, to convey the tender labor of hosting a balance. Eclipse is an elegy for Marian McMahon who co-founded the Film Farm (Independent Imaging Retreat) in Southern Ontario, where it was produced. (Eve Heller)

Helen Hill | 1999 | USA, Canada | 16mm | 5 min

The playful short film combines pixilation, tinting and toning (orange and blue), a countdown with images of farm animals, friends dancing like marionettes, vast fields of daisies, a statue of St. Francis (patron saint to animals), and two piglets. (Janine Marchessault, Process Cinema: Handmade Film in the Digital Age, McGill-Queens 2019)

A cinematic love letter to her husband Paul which Helen filmed during a summer in Ontario at Phil Hoffman’s Film Farm (a filmmaking workshop where she learned to hand process her own films). Helen beckons Paul to follow her down the road where Paul’s new pig waits. The film features their much loved daisies, their much respected Saint Francis, and their baby pig Daisy. After they were married, Paul and Helen kept a pot bellied pig in New Orleans which they named Rosie. (Harvard Film Archive)

Deirdre Logue | 1998 | Canada | 16 mm | 3 min

Deirdre Logue’s short and deceptively simple film Scratch conveys the filmmaker’s physical insertion into nature only this time the experience is not sensual release, rather it is a sadomasochistic and painful journey.  We read “My path is deliberately difficult”. Facing the camera, she puts thistles down her underpants, and pulls them out again. The sounds of breaking glass as well as the crackle of film splices are almost the only sounds heard in this mostly silent film. Intercut are found footage images from an instructional film, we see a bed being automatically made and unmade, glass breaking and plates smashed. This film is sharp and painful. Her body is treated like a piece of emulsion –processed, manipulated, scratched, cut to fit. (Janine Marchessault  “Women, Nature and Chemistry: Hand-Processed Films from The Independent Imaging Workshop”, Lux: A Decade of Artists Film, Pleasure Dome/YYZBooks 2006) 

Jennifer Reeves | 1998 | USA, Canada | 16mm | 10 min

We Are Going Home is a gorgeous surrealistic film that has all of the characteristics of the trance film and more. It is structured around a dream sequence that has no real beginning or end. The film is in no doubt a nod to the Surrealists as these highly processed landscapes belong to the unconscious. (Janine Marchessault  “Women, Nature and Chemistry: Hand-Processed Films from The Independent Imaging Workshop”, Lux: A Decade of Artists’ Film, Pleasure Dome/YYZBooks 2006)

David Gatten | 1997 | USA, Canada | 16mm | 14 min

A history of scarred surfaces, an inquiry, and an imagining: For the marks we see and the marks we make, for the languages we can read and for those we are trying to learn. Reproduced by hand on an old contact printer resulting in individual, unique release prints. (David Gatten)

Hardwood Process made by David Gatten is a handmade diary film, which not only records scarred surfaces of the hands, the floors and the film emulsion, but also reveals his memories of the emotional events. Gatten started making Hardwood Process as he was participating in Film Farm Retreat in 1996. During the Film Farm Retreat, Gatten learned to experiment with various hand processing techniques, chemical treatments, and optical and contact printing. He was excited about this experience and intended to make something about it. As he says in “Interview With David Gatten”, an article in Adventures of Perception: Cinema as Exploration-Essays/Interviews written by Scott MacDonald, “I wanted to make a contribution to the conversation; I wanted to share what I was excited about.” (David Gatten) 

Marcia Connolly, Angela Joosse | 2008 | Canada | 16 mm | 4 min

An Exquisite Corpse made in three parts during the 2008 Film Farm, with assistance from the in-camera rewind function of the Bolex camera, a matte box, and chance.

Karel Doing | 2018 | Australia, Netherlands, U.K., Canada | 16mm to HD | 2 min

A couple of years ago I discovered new possibilities for the creation of images on film-emulsion by using the internal chemistry of plants. This technique is a combination of photograms and chemigrams and because of the lack of an accurate term I have named this method ‘phytogram’. I have worked with this idea in my back garden, using available plants and weeds. Dandelions turned out to yield particularly good results. This short film is entirely dedicated to the power and beauty of this humble plant. (Karel Doing)


Annapurna Kumar | 2018 | USA | 16mm to HD | 3 min

A playful and inventive animation film that utilizes botanical hand-processing techniques in conjunction with found footage, to explore consumer desires and nightmares.

Mike Rollo | 2022 | USA | 16mm to HD | 8 min

Fingers pluck fallen evidence of flight; placed and traced to make avian light. The images in Plume are made up of frame imprints of feathers that had been soaked in a plant-based developer solution, and reanimated using optical printing and digital editing techniques.

Adrian Kahgee | 2021 | Saugeen First Nation, Canada | 16mm to HD | 6 min

Kahgee, from Saugeen First Nation territory, develops her film with dandelions (a colonial plant) and trilliums (indigenous to the Saugeen territory) to consider their histories (how they came to be on the land) and their medicinal properties. At the center of my metaphorical bag, writes Kahgee, is cultural knowledge that is deeply woven into the land. Plants are also connected to understanding the world in terms of change, transformation, survival and interconnectedness. (Janine Marchessault & Philip Hoffman, “Blooming Harmonics: Feminist Ecologies of Process Cinema”, Expanded Nature, Lightcone, 2022)

Preceded by two recent films by Philip Hoffman:

Philip Hoffman in collaboration with Alexander Granger and Jason O’Hara | 2023 | Canada | 35mm photogram to HDV | 10 min

A procession of herbs “emerge in all their structures, colors and epidermis”. The motion picture itself becomes a plant which delicately stretches petioles and petals. (Séance #3 – Sentir Comme Une Plante, Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, Paris). These motion picture photograms were initiated through a five hour plunge into the darkroom; remembering the Galician celebration of flowers on the road in Baiona, near Vigo in 2019, here too we made a floral carpet of photograms. (Philip Hoffman)

451 SADDLER STREET 44°10’20.6″N 80°49’27.0″W
Philip Hoffman & The Fabulous Festival of Fringe Film Phytogram Workshop Participants:  Cole Forrest, Heather Harrigan, Loic Minty, Xdzunúm Danae Trejo-Boles | 2022 | 16mm to HD | 6 min

A community workshop put on by the Fabulous Festival of Fringe Film in Durham, Ontario, engages participants in a group phytogram-making collaboration. The resultant work suggests a long stream of what phytogram `founder’ Karel Doing suggest as a kind of vegetal `being’, a vernal world beyond what we can know or judge. Music: “Surface Tension” by Loic Minty. (Philip Hoffman)



For 30 years, between the greenery and the rivers near Mount Forest (Ontario, Canada), a unique retreat for filmmakers takes place at the Film Farm, conducted by Philip Hoffman and a dedicated staff of innovative film artists (Rob Butterworth, Christine Harrison, Deirdre Logue, Scott Miller Berry and Terra Jean Long). Founded in 1994 as the Independent Imaging Retreat, Film Farm is an artist-driven, intensive, week-long analogue filmmaking workshop and is a central part of Canada’s experimental film scene. The Film Farm has initiated and enhanced the work of local, national and international filmmakers and has expanded the traditions of experimental filmmaking in Canada and beyond. The workshop concentrates on hand-processing of 16mm film, most recently (since 2012) working with botanical developing processes. Works of the Film Farm are influenced by the methodology of Process Cinema, developed over many years through Hoffman’s own filmmaking and the Process Cinema course he has taught since 2007 at York University. In Process Cinema, artists replace the usual protocol of the script, with a direct engagement with the world through the hand-cranked Bolex camera and handmade analogue filmmaking processes. 

The first part of the program presents films made in Film Farm’s first years, when its methods of hand processing celluloid with conventional photo chemicals was established, and many of the films completed on 16mm. The second part of the program reflects recent concerns as the Film Farm turned to more ecologically friendly processing practices, using local flowers and plants to develop the films, and then finished as digital films. As well in the second part of the program the Film Farm-Saugeen First Nation collaboration is represented, which have been taking place since 2018 in Chippewa Hill near Southampton, Ontario. The Saugeen Takes on Film works are a collaboration between Film Farm, the Fabulous Festival of Fringe Film, Archive/Counter Archive, York University and CFMDC, in conjunction with artists, storytellers, knowledge keepers and youth from the community. 

At Film Farm, participants are asked not to come with an idea, that somehow they will find it during their stay. Having now produced almost 300 “graduates” (of whom almost two-thirds are women) and over 100 completed works, the Film Farm has helped sustain a spirit of discovery and risk in contemporary experimental filmmaking. For many of the filmmakers in the program, the Film Farm has been a catalyst as they embarked on their practice of artist filmmaking.

Philip Hoffman