Name of installation: Toronto Urban Film Festival
Artists: Over 70 contributors from nearly two dozen countries.
Location: On Pattison One Stop screens throughout the TTC network.
Date of display: Sept. 7–17
What’s it supposed to be?: Notice some peculiar moving images on the TTC’s Pattison One Stop screens during your morning commute? That’s because TIFF isn’t the only film festival in town this week. Now in its sixth year, the Toronto Urban Film Festival (TUFF), the largest commuter film fest in North America, has returned to our underground transit network. For the next week, 73 one-minute films (produced by artists hailing from 18 countries) will be displayed, adding some colour and narrative to the normally monotonous transit experience. The subject matter (as well as the medium) of the films is highly varied, but some highlights include Eva Zhou’s Yeti, which sees a Yeti grappling with the concept of dedication; Owen Eric Wood and Fatima Fakih’s Scarves, which presents eight non-Muslim women trying to put on a hijab; and Steve Reinke’s Beuys in Halifax, about a lecture in Halifax given nearly 30 years ago by German artist Joseph Beuys.
Some artists rely on live action to tell their stories, while others employ animation, but there are certain unifying concepts: the videos have to be silent, and they need to tell a self-contained story in a single minute. And if you’re not taking public transport in the coming days but still looking to catch a glimpse of these unique films, there are a few options open to you: all the videos are available online for viewing (in fact, the top 10 films of the fest will be determined by public e-voting) and the Drake Hotel will have a TUFF screening room that will show the films back to back throughout the day from Sept. 14–16.