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The Curve

2020 7 editions
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The Curve is the pulse of our nation, beating in its own time during this unprecedented time. Our creators, with their talent and insight, are bringing to life the voices of Canadians touched by COVID-19, both near and far. The Curve is an online destination where these experiences will be expressed in animation, documentary and digital storytelling formats.

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The Curve
  • Cities
    Designer Bruce Mau views the COVID-19 pandemic as a short-term crisis in a long-term trend toward positive development. He dares us to abandon our toxic lifestyle habits and urges us toward bolder urban design.
  • Economics
    Economist Armine Yalnizyan offers a radically honest and deliciously sweet review of our absurdly dysfunctional economic system and what we must do in order to survive and thrive in the 21st century.
  • Governance
    Criminologist and community activist Munira Abukar believes justice and equity begin in your own home and heart. Embracing the uncomfortable awakening that 2020 has brought about, she debunks the cozy narrative of social equality and puts her finger on the key issues needing change.
  • Worldviews
    Geneticist and environmentalist David Suzuki celebrates the pleasure of knowing we humans are squishy organic material in an inter-related web of life—and we’d better not forget that! An invitation to go out and play and learn from the real world.
  • In the Garden on the Farm
    As social-distancing measures set in during the COVID-19 pandemic, Kristin Catherwood moved back to her family’s farm to stay with her widowed father. Spring brings the usual urgency to plant the year’s crops, and Kristin starts thinking about planting her vegetable garden—a garden that brings deep memories of her mother and grandmothers.
  • K'i Tah Amongst the Birch
    Filmmaker/activist Melaw Nakehk’o has spent the pandemic with her family at a remote land camp in the Northwest Territories, “getting wood, listening to the wind, staying warm and dry, and watching the sun move across the sky.” In documenting camp life—activities like making fish leather and scraping moose hide—she anchors the COVID experience in a specific time and place.
  • Thursday
    Thursday, shot from filmmaker Galen Johnson's high-rise apartment during COVID-19 “lockdown” in Winnipeg, captures people going about their daily routines in the city's eerily empty streets, yards and parking lots, on their balconies and on the riverbanks. The extreme distance and the diminutive scale of humans is paired with sound close-ups—a combination that embodies the strange, heightened intensity of feeling of the time, knowing an era-defining tragedy is happening yet being so physically removed.
  • Come to your senses
    Nine artists across the continent document their sensory experiences of lockdown, and the results broke our editing program. What emerges is an absurdist collage that playfully flips the format of a video conference on its head. Filmmakers Alicia Eisen and Sophie Jarvis pose the question: is the human need to make sense of chaos an inherently chaotic pursuit?
  • How To Be At Home
    Lean into loneliness — and know you’re not alone in it. Filmmaker Andrea Dorfman reunites with poet Tanya Davis to craft tender and profound animation on the theme of isolation, providing a wise and soaringly lyrical sequel to their viral hit How to Be Alone.
  • Love in Quarantine
    When COVID protocols impose restrictions on human interaction, Millefiore Clarkes seizes the opportunity to reflect on the nature of love itself, juxtaposing her own existential quest with those of a teenager grappling with identity and self-worth in a time of social distancing, and a woman who finds surprising new romance despite pandemic isolation.
  • 60 Day Cycle
    When society shifts abruptly into pandemic low gear, a lone cyclist embarks on a tour that begins with shuttered shops and empty streets, and ends with a city opening up to a new reality.
  • Jia
    Jia
    Weiye Su 2020 10 min
    A young Chinese-Canadian couple is visiting family in Wuhan, epicentre of the virus, at the very moment the pandemic is declared. Interviewing his subjects in a novel socially distanced mode, director Weiye Su explores the culturally specific concept of Jia—an idea evoking family or home that acquires sharp new meaning during COVID times.
  • Pandemic - At the End of the World
    The Covid pandemic strikes a tragically familiar chord for the Inuvialuit of the Mackenzie River Delta. In the early 19th century John Franklin and his crew infected their ancestors with deadly smallpox. Other devastating epidemics would follow. Historian Randal Pokiak returns to the ancient site of Kitigaaruk, a community abandoned after the great flu epidemic of 1918, to deliver a vivid cautionary tale.
  • Very Present
    How does prolonged confinement shape our experience of time? Filmmaker Conor McNally explores the question in the company of his brother Riley, a young man who’s learning to cope with a new—yet strangely familiar—reality.
  • Being Prepared
    As the global pandemic reaches into the Arctic Archipelago, Inuk filmmaker Carol Kunnuk documents how unfamiliar new protocols affect her family and community. Her vividly specific soundtrack juxtaposes snippets from local radio broadcasts, issuing health advisories in both Inuktitut and English, with the sweet sounds of children at play. A richly detailed and tender account of disruption and adjustment.
  • COVID 19: The Future of Food
    How are you adapting to the pandemic? That’s the question Jérémie Battaglia and Vali Fugulin asked Canadian small and medium-sized business owners in April 2020 as part of the Pivot project led in partnership with the McGill Sustainability Systems Initiative. Out of these discussions, one major theme emerged — how COVID-19 has affected the eating habits of Canadians. Interest in local products and cooking exploded during the lockdown, but was it just a fad? Six months later, as the second wave was sweeping over the country, Jérémie wanted to continue the conversation with two of the business owners he met, restaurant owner Lil MacPherson and farmer Dave Kranenburg. Both have long advocated for the importance of making the agri-food industry more responsive and local. On a video-conference call, they reflect on the changes in behaviour we’re seeing and wonder if we might be witnessing a long-term paradigm shift in our relationship with food.
  • June Night
    Working in sublime self-isolation during the strange pandemic spring of 2020, avant-garde filmmaker Mike Maryniuk composes a surreal ode to rebirth and reinvention. Juxtaposing archival imagery with handcrafted animation, he conjures up a shimmering utopian dreamscape, a post-COVID world shaped by the primordial forces of nature—haunted by the genial spectre of Buster Keaton.
  • As Night Descends
    In conversations with passionate sociologist and political thinker Jean Pichette, the filmmaker views the forced downtime stemming from the current crisis as an opportunity to rethink our modes of existence and our relationship to others, nature, science, the economy, art, politics—in short, everything that makes us human.
  • "CONTACT" Requiem for a Word
    An investigation into how language is changing in the age of COVID-19. The complete upheaval of social relationships today is leading to the reinterpretation of certain terms, which have suddenly taken on a fatal connotation. This film is a funeral mass in memory of the word “contact.”
  • Jules' Impossible Summer
    Shot in Montreal over a four-month period, from May to September 2020, Jules’ Impossible Summer charts the evolving relationship between the filmmaker and her 19-year-old son through 15 redundant conversations about the importance—or the impossibility, depending on the point of view—of following the health restrictions imposed during the pandemic.
  • Road's End Chronicle
    The shore of a lake. A dam. Myriad testimonials that go right over our heads, just like everything else. Camped out in his car, a filmmaker stares out at the landscape through the raindrops coating the windows. Encounters emerge one by one. Voices multiply, at times validating each other, later contradictory. The filmmaker moves from worry to optimism. Only one question remains: Is there a right answer?
  • Sòl
    Many Black, racialized and immigrant women work with elderly patients as healthcare providers. Their jobs, already arduous and underpaid as it is, have become even more exhausting during the COVID-19 pandemic. While some public commentators have described them as overrepresented in this sector because of their culture, and hailed them as “guardian angels,” what do they themselves have to say? This cross-sectional portrait of some of these women takes the form of a meditative essay.
  • Sometimes I Wish I Was On a Desert Island
    As the world learns to live again in the midst of the pandemic, for many Arabic-speaking LGBTQ+ people living in Montreal, this is just a period of time like any other. When you’ve fled homophobic violence in your home country and endured a painful migratory journey, or you still face social prejudices stemming from intercultural and intergenerational conflicts, surviving social isolation is nothing new.
  • The Vigil
    Marguerite Paquin lives in a seniors’ home where 14 nuns from her religious congregation have succumbed to COVID-19. The film takes us from the grandeur of the landscapes of Côte-Nord, Quebec, where Marguerite has worked for 47 years, into the room where she sits confined today, finding a sort of liberation through prayer and unshakeable solidarity with her sisters who are suffering.
  • Back To School
    In Brampton, Ontario, eldest sibling Ollie Coombs documents the lives of their brother Nicolas (15) and sister Natalie (11), while they wait for the provincial government to announce it’s “back to school” policies for the upcoming year. This film offers a fresh glimpse into the day-to-day experience of one family living in the suburbs of greater Toronto, as Ollie interviews their siblings about school and the impact of the pandemic.
  • Have You Eaten?
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  • I Am Gay
    After working abroad for five years, filmmaker Ajahnis Charley returns home to Oshawa, Ontario, in the age of quarantine. In addition to reuniting with his family, he returns with a mission to share some deep personal truths. Surprising conversations ensue with his mother and three siblings creating, in this humorous and heart-wrenching story about our need to seek love and acceptance within our own families.
  • Nbisiing
    Afraid he would not see his community again Cole Forrest returns to North Bay from his current residence in Toronto. During his stay he confronts his fears and reconnects with his ancestors. Nbi means water and in the time of this pandemic, it is the lake, medicine, berries, and the land that he looks to for guidance.

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The Curve is the pulse of our nation, beating in its own time during this unprecedented time. Our creators, with their talent and insight, are bringing to life the voices of Canadians touched by COVID-19, both near and far. The Curve is an online destination where these experiences will be expressed in animation, documentary and digital storytelling formats.

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