The Your Kontinent Festival was born in 2011. Built upon the foundation of the New Asia Film Festival (2008-2010) and the success of the Dream Project (2010), this spirited film and media art festival took off with a bang! Over the next three years, the festival grew from two days, to three days, to ten days, with an expanding repertoire of programs and activities for community audiences of all ages.
In addition to offering a wide selection of independent and experimental films from all over the world, we were constantly trying to find new and exciting ways of bringing film and media art into the community.
Featured Artist Program
The Featured Artist Program highlighted an artist whose work has profoundly influenced the Canadian media art landscape each year, including Paul Wong, Margaret Dragu, Dana Claxton, and Vjeko Sager. Art in Containers transformed shipping containers into pop-up media art galleries. Dim Sum Movie (later Screen Bites) brought cinematic experiences into local eateries with the perfect pairing of food and film. Theatre Under the Sky saw families gathering in Minoru Plaza for an outdoor screening of animated features after dark. By day, there were film screenings, industry workshops, and discussion forms. After sunset, Digital Carnival lit up the night sky with projections, music, and dancing.
With this shift from the New Asia Film Festival to the Your Kontinent Festival, we began moving away from the issue of Asian identities and gravitating towards the question of hybrid and diasporic identities. Where we once sought to explore alternative definitions of ‘Asia’ and ‘Asian-ness’, we now wondered how cultural identities were to be understood as the world becomes ever more globalized. How do we relate to one another in a world that is increasingly connected by technology? How can we help our communities better navigate our shifting reality?
What is Your Kontinent?
The phrase “Your Kontinent” is a variation on “Urkontinent,” the name coined by German scientist and geophysicist Alfred Wegener for Earth’s first continent – the first single, unbroken landmass. If it were to exist today, this continent would be a complex tapestry of cultures where many peoples and cultures exist side by side, much like the City of Richmond and the hyper-connected realm of the Internet. Deliberately using ‘your’ instead of ‘ur,’ we asked our audience to consider: What does *your* continent look like? What more can it be?