Canadian Images

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Canadian Images

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Organized at Trent University, Canadian Images was developed as a film festival after the visit of Gerry Pratley of the Ontario Film Institute to a fourth year Trent seminar. 1978 was the first year the festival took place and every single screen at Trent was used and some screens at the commercial film theatres in the City of Peterborough were used as well. Artists such as Budge Crawley, Michael Snow and Joyce Weiland attended in the first year. Films, displays and seminars were held throughout the festival. Trent students helped visitors and delegates to the festival. Orm Mitchell and John Wadland were the force behind the first festival of which 8 500 people attended. In the next two years 20 000 people came from all over Canada to view the work of Canadian artists. In its fourth year a board of directors was established with Susan Ditta, a Trent graduate, as the Executive Director. Unfortunately Canadian Images started to operate under a deficit and after the unlawful screening of the uncut "A Message From Our Sponsor" the festival went downhill. The screening of "A Message From Our Sponsor" resulted in a court case between the Ontario Film Censorship Board, acting under the Ontario Theatres Act, and Susan Ditta and Ian McLachlan, festival chairman and English professor. They were found guilty after considerable expense to the University. In 1985 the Festival was shut down. (Taken from: Cole, A.O.C. "Trent the Making of a University, 1957-1987." 1992.)

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