new streaming channel: ResearchTV

I’ve added some of my older documentaries to this new online channel – ResearchTV, a peer-reviewed media platform for sharing knowledge through film.

My films Northland: Long Journey and Conversations on the Lake are available here in the section Social Sciences and Humanities: http://Virtual.researchTV.ca

Conversations on the Lake is a featured film in this first issue of the Guide:

new film: Borderland Memories (2020)

At the end of this tumultuous year I finally completed my film, Borderland Memories, in progress since I first visited the ancestral village of my father’s family, formerly Ludwigsdorf, Germany, now called Ludwikowice, Poland. Over several journeys to various locations in Poland and Germany, I filmed places, visited archives, and met with scholars, artists, and cultural workers in Europe and North America. My research in 2018 and post-production in 2020 was funded by the Canada Council for the Arts. The result is a one-hour documentary essay film, distributed by Canadian Filmmakers Distribution Centre (CFMDC).

Go to film page: https://ediesteiner.com/films-2/borderlandfilm

collaborative project – EXC-19

In the spring of this year as the pandemic forced us inside, filmmaker Midi Onodera invited me to participate in this participatory arts project, based on the Surrealist game The Exquisite Corpse. Each video has 4 participating artists, one each for text, image, editing and sound design. I decided to work on all 4 parts, and these and more than 60 other short films, produced by over 100 artists, can be seen on this website:     https://exc-19.com/

Toronto, April 2020

filmmaking in lockdown time

Berlin, 2018

Just days into the Covid-19 lockdown, I learned that I was fortunate to receive Canada Council for the Arts grant to support the post-production phase of my digital film project, Borderland Memories, a work in progress since 2015.  I began working with my sound and picture editing collaborators via Zoom and other online platforms, and the process of editing and audio production became a slow meditation in the restructured perception of time generated by social distancing. Online work time is both more compacted and more fragmented, producing a continual reassessment of the themes I am expressing for the future screen. What will the stories I’ve been exploring in this film for the past five years mean in the larger post-pandemic histories to come? Two years ago, I was in Berlin at this time, doing archival research at the German Historical Museum, filming in the city and in places along the German/Polish border, meeting with colleagues in the Silesian countryside and in the city of Wroclaw. Although I had gathered enough material to construct my film when travel options ended, I was hoping to return to Europe this spring for some final research and image production. Now I wonder what film festivals and screenings will be like in times ahead, and what are the ethics of future travel – for work, for time with loved ones abroad, to reach into a wider world.

Berlin, 2018

digital film

Views From Home: Facing North (2019)  records changing views from the filmmaker’s Toronto home over two decades and multiple seasons, moving from analogue film photographic studies to digital media practices as years of construction and redevelopment of the visible landscapes unfold. Key historical moments are cited to sound effects and ambient music. A part of this work was previously shown at Gallery 44 Members Space, Toronto. Below is the trailer. The short film is distributed by Canadian Filmmakers Distribution Centre (CFMDC).

 

borderland studies

Ludwikowice, Poland (2018)

Since 2015 I have travelled three times to Lower Silesia, Poland, where my father’s family lived for centuries under Bohemian, Prussian, and German rule. Their homes were in regional villages south of Wroclaw, a thousand-year old city. The earliest Silesians were migratory tribes. Traces of Stone Age habitation were found on the city’s riverbanks and Celtic populations passed through and moved on. Silesia was claimed by the kingdom of Poland shortly before the year 1000, followed by various competing rulerships and kingdoms as the land was bought, sold, seized in battles and traded in marriages between revolving political, social, and religious controls, becoming finally a province of the Republic of Germany until it was annexed to Poland after WW2. My relations, along with most ethnic Germans, were expelled to the west, leaving their homes behind. While in Silesia I filmed sites, visited archives, and recorded interviews for my media project, Borderland Memories. I was a visiting researcher on a team from Adam Mickiewicz University, Poland, and my project research and creation was funded by the Canada Council for the Arts.

films at Workers Arts & Heritage Centre

My film “Northland: Long Journey” is playing in the program Labour and Love as part of 150 seconds of Ontario Film Festival.

NORTHLAND-1984 Mine Shaft

NORTHLAND-1984 Mine Shaft (2007)

The research I cited for this project ten years ago, in part for my doctorate in Environmental Studies, was recently connected to new media stories. In the film, I interview a number of experts on the issue of aluminum prophylaxis. You can hear some of their comments in the film’s trailer, and read some 2017 news stories online at these links:

https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2017/04/15/in-human-experiment-ontario-miners-say-they-paid-devastating-price.html

https://www.thestar.com/opinion/editorials/2017/04/18/do-right-by-injured-miners-editorial.html

traveling films

A traveling film festival goes to some interesting places that a big metropolitan festival does not. There’s culture in the rural, and expanded landscapes inform regional communities. Conversations on the Lakean environmental documentary about the rural places of my childhood in towns bordering Lake Superior, has screened in several Northern Ontario venues and festivals, traveled through parts of India in Voices From the Waters, and in rural southern USA locations in the Ozark Shorts Film Festival, Ozark Mountains regional festival, USA. 

These rural communities are participants in helping to shape critical environmental discourses around water, land, and community, within multi-vocal themes and expressions.

Manitouwadge Lake with Red Pole

Manitouwadge Lake with Red Pole, 2012