Elderly people in Iranian nursing homes. A young girl who befriends a pack of coyotes. A new student in a school full of bullies. An old drag queen on the eve of her last performance.
Themes for the upcoming TrixXieFest are varied and come from around the world and right here at home in the form of films, music and performance, all meant to inspire, challenge, amuse and showcase women kicking some serious ass in the arts.
TrixXieFest is a semi-annual travelling pop-up festival created by the members of performance punk band TrixXie: Tallulah Focque (Liz Solo), Scarlet O’Whora (Charlotte Reid) and Marilyn Monroe-Takeout (Jenny Naish), who made their debut as an act at the first festival in 2014. The goal is to provide a venue to elevate the creative work being done in the province, particularly by women and alternative voices.
The first festival was music-focused; this time, the emphasis is on film, though there’s a significant live performance component.
“This year we kind of flipped it,” Solo said. “We wanted to hear voices from around the world. We asked in the call for submissions for short, experimental pieces that use new media, animation and new ways of making films, as well as political pieces and music videos.”
TrixXie received more than 100 film submissions from around the globe, and chose 30 or so for the festival lineup. Among them are pieces from Canada and the U.S., Argentina, Croatia, Japan, Germany and France, where animation is especially popular.
The largest percentage of films submitted came from Iran.
“We have six films ranging from one-and-a-half to 30 minutes long, all showing different personalities and stories of women in Iran,” Solo explained.
Among them: Sepideh Atashin’s “Ingenuity,” about the psychological effect of the Iraq/Iran war on children; “Where is My Mother’s House,” a short documentary by Selma Nayebi about elderly people living in nursing homes; and Zahra Jafari’s “One Triple Coffee,” about a woman working her way out of a violent domestic situation and trying to decide between two suitors. Jafari is screening two films during TrixXxieFest.
“Something that’s resonating with all of us is how much we can relate,” Solo said of the international work. “Our situations might be different, but we can relate to so many of the images and themes from women around the world.”
Local filmmakers showing their work include Jacqueline Hynes, Cara Lee Coleman, and Jenn Brown.
Both days of TrixXieFest will also feature short live monologues from local storytellers such as Solo, Naish, Ruth Lawrence, Wendi Smallwood and Monica Walsh, who will perform new work — so new that in some cases the pieces are yet to be completed. TrixXie — who will feature in a 15-minute webisode screened during the festival — will perform a live set at the closing night party.
Solo will also debut her long-awaited cyberpunk fairytale “The Machine,” which incorporates high-definition video and the technique of machinima, or screen-captured animation.
It amounts in part to a celebration of a growing feminist artistic community, especially locally.
“We feel that our community is widening and we are right in the middle of it,” Solo said. “It’s exciting.”
TrixXxieFest will take place June 24 and 25 at the Cox and Palmer Second Space in the LSPU Hall. Tickets are available at the LSPU Hall box office, online at rca.nf.ca and by calling 753-4531. A festival schedule and more information is available online at www.roles4women.com.