Seeing

Reel Artists Film Festival

The Canadian Art Foundation’s 12th annual Reel Artists Film Festival — RAFF (Thursday, March 26 to Saturday, March 28, 2015, at the TIFF Lightbox, 350 King St. W.) is screening three documentaries on the subject of risk-taking in the arts. Discussions with the filmmakers follow each presentation.

The Films

Beltracchi: The Art of ForgeryFruitMarket-0627web-660x374

The festival opens with Beltracchi: The Art of Forgery directed by Arne Birkenstock. It follows German artist Wolfgang Beltracchi who “pulled off the biggest art-forgery scandal of the past 100 years”. He went to jail, served his time, and continues to make art. Beltracchi’s case is still ruffling feathers as art evaluators, involved with the sale of his copies, are charged with conspiracy. His “fame” lives on in award-winning books and documentaries like this one. Watch the trailer here.

Cartoonists: Foot Soldiers of DemocracyIMG_5434-660x440

In post-Charlie Hebdo times, French director Stéphanie Valloatto’s Cartoonists: Foot Soldiers of Democracy pushes buttons. It profiles 12 cartoon artists from different countries who aren’t afraid to draw. One of them says, “A drawing that won’t hurt anyone doesn’t exist.” Watch the trailer here.

Patron Saint Janusz-Reflection-tondo-Phil-Richards-1985web-660x440

What kind of person commissions 100 portraits of himself? Toronto art collector, politician and psychiatrist Janusz Dukszta is the subject of Michael Kainer’s documentary film Patron Saint which screens on Saturday, March 26. The Polish refugee commissioned the portraits over a 60-year period. Kainer captures an intriguing subplot about Toronto’s art scene and the Polish refugee’s love of art.

Featured artists in the documentary: Stephen Andrews, Terry Berkowitz, Bob Daignault, Cathy Daley, Patrick De Costa, Marc de Guerre, Andy Fabo, Tom Falus, Oliver Girling, Rae Johnson, Bryan McBurney, James I. MacDougall, Barbara Mercer, Michael Merrill, Charles Pachter, Evan Penny, Fabrizio Perozzi, Goran Petkovski, Vincenzo Pietropaolo, Phil Richards, Max Streicher, Yves Tessier, Jim Vacola, Olaf von Brinckenhoff, Ewa Wilczynski, Tony Wilson and Paul Young. Watch the trailer here.
Look for our write-up of this one after we see it.

See the full RAFF program here.

– Elizabeth Cinello

This article can be found in GOING OUT, in the section What We’re Seeing.

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