Elective Affinities

  • Tues Oct 17
Elective Affinities

with filmmakers Tomonari Nishikawa & Daïchi Saïto in person

Daïchi Saïto & Tomonari Nishikawa

Natives of Japan, Daïchi Saïto and Tomonari Nishikawa have developed their respective filmmaking practices outside of their home country. Since the early 2000s, the two filmmakers—Saïto in Montreal and Nishikawa in the US—have continued to produce celluloid-based work in 8mm, 16mm and 35mm. Two unmistakably distinct voices and expressions, their films nevertheless share many of the fundamental preoccupations with the medium, form, process and structure. Conceptual planning and painstaking processes inform both filmmakers’ unique and spontaneous responses to what’s available to them—be it formal elements within the individual frames of found footage or particular situations taking place in front of the camera at shooting locations.

Assistant Professor Tomonari Nishikawa’s films explore the idea of documenting situations/phenomena through a chosen medium and technique, often focusing on process itself. His films have been screened at numerous film festivals and art venues, including Berlinale, Edinburgh International Film Festival, Hong Kong International Film Festival, International Film Festival Rotterdam, London Film Festival, Media City Film Festival, New York Film Festival, Singapore International Film Festival, and Toronto International Film Festival. His film, sound of a million insects, light of a thousand stars, received the grand prize at Curtocircuíto International Film Festival and Arouca Film Festival in 2015, and his film installation, Building 945, received the 2008 Grant Award from the Museum of Contemporary Cinema in Spain. In 2010, he presented a series of 8mm and 16mm films at MoMA P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, and he has been an artist-in-residence at Headlands Center for the Arts, Liaison of Independent Filmmakers of Toronto, and the MacDowell Colony. www.tomonarinishikawa.com

Visiting Assistant Professor Daïchi Saïto is an independent filmmaker based in Montreal, Canada. As co-founder and administrator of Double Negative, a Montreal-based group of film/video/installation/projection performance artists dedicated to the exhibition and production of experimental cinema, Saïto has been actively involved in Montreal's filmmaking community. His work has been widely exhibited in major film festivals, museums, galleries and cinematheques worldwide, including: Centre Pompidou; The Austrian Film Museum; Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art in Porto; San Francisco MOMA; The New York Film Festival; The International Film Festival Rotterdam; The London Film Festival; The Edinburgh International Film Festival; The Hong Kong International Film Festival, among many others. In 2010, his film Trees of Syntax, Leaves of Axis won the Best of the Festival Award at the 48th Ann Arbor Film Festival and the Jury Grand Prize at the 16th Media City Film Festival. In the New York magazine Film Comment’s survey “A Decade in the Dark: Avant-Garde Film & Video 2000–2009,” Saïto was ranked third among the “25 Filmmakers for the 21st Century.” His films are in the permanent collections of the Austrian Film Museum (Vienna) and the Slovenian Cinematheque (Ljubljana) and distributed by Light Cone (Paris), Arsenal (Berlin) and the CFMDC (Toronto). Besides his artistic practice, Saïto has been active in curating programmes of experimental cinema over a decade, recently as Co-Director of CinemaSpace at the Segal Centre for Performing Arts in Montreal (2010-12). Saïto holds a BFA in Film and a MFA in Studio Arts from Concordia University in Montreal and has taught cinema at NSCAD University in Halifax, Escuela Internacional de Cine y TV de San Antonio de los Baños (EICTV) in Cuba and Concordia University in Montreal. In 2013, his book Moving the Sleeping Images of Things Towards the Light was published by Le laps in Montreal. The book has since been translated into Spanish and Slovenian.

  • Sketch Film #1 (3 min., 8mm, 2005)
  • Market Street (5 min., 16mm, 2005)
  • Sketch Film #5 (3 min., 8mm, 2007)
  • Lumphini 2552 (3 min., 35mm, 2009)
  • Green Fuse (3 min., 8mm, 2008)
  • Trees of Syntax, Leaves of Axis (10 min., 35mm, 2009)
  • Ten Morning Ten Evening and One Horizon (10 min., 16mm, 2016)
  • Tokyo—Ebisu (5 min., 16mm, 2010)
  • Shibuya Tokyo (10 min., 16mm, 2010)
  • Engram of Returning (18.5 min, 35mm, 2015)

Ithaca Premiere
1 hour 11 minutes
release year/country