SCMS Conference presentation by Antonio Peláez Barceló

SCMS presentation about new scholarly approaches to film festivals by Antonio Peláez Barceló at SCMS 2023 Conference

SCMS, Society for Cinema and Media Studies, had its 2023 Conference in Denver, from April 12 to April 16.

Within the panel New Scholarly Approaches to Film Festivals, I’ve been the Chair and second panelist, with the presentation “Cultural diversity in film festivals: TIFF seen by local and foreign press”.

Sheraton Hotel at Denver, where the SCMS 2023 Conference was held from April 12 to April 16.

Guest speaker at TMU’s Films For Change

Poster for the course Films for Change in Hispanic Culture, with guest speakers Diana Sanchez, Rodrigo Barrios and Antonio Peláez Barceló.

On May 11, 2023, I’ll be a guest speaker in the course Films For Change in Hispanic Culture.

It’s a course supported by Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU) and directed by Enriqueta Zafra, Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures of the TMU.

I’ll be talking about journalism and cultural diversity in film festivals. With the participation of the students, we’ll look at how different journalists and different media talk about films spoken in Spanish at festivals like Cannes, Toronto, San Sebastian, or Sundance. And how can they apply their own visions and knowledge to their visit to Panama to talk about Panama International Film Festival.

Teamwork: Reporting about an assaulter at Lakeshore Campus

A Toronto Police Car is parked outside Humber College Lakeshore Campus.

On March 30, 2023, a Humber College Professor of Multiplatform Journalism, shared a CTV news update about two assaults happening at Humber College Lakeshore Campus. He asked Humber Etcetera editors for a news story that same day.

As international editor, I offered myself and asked for the assistance of Humber College teammate Muhammad Hamza.

He not only agreed but arrived immediately and found out that neither guards nor students knew about what had happened two days before.

When I arrived with the camera, audio and video equipment, we both asked students and professors about the incidents that had happened two days before.

After showing the photos the police had distributed to several people, one student told us she had seen the suspect the day before and agreed to be recorded on camera.

We showed up later at 22 Division of Toronto Police, but they had no additional news about the suspect.

Nevertheless, we could interview Humber College’s director of public safety and emergency management Rob Kilfoyle, who gave us important details about the investigation.

Interviewing Kilfoyle with Muhammad Hamza has been a rewarding experience, as my classmate asked very important questions for our report, which can be read here.

Teamwork: Interviewing Gil Penalosa with Santiago Helou

Gil Penalosa being interviewed by Santiago Helou and Antonio Peláez Barceló.

On Feb. 10, 2023, Toronto mayor John Tory announced he was going to resign. It was 8.30 p.m.

That same evening, I texted to Gil Penalosa, the mayoral candidate who arrived on second place. I had already interviewed him and with other two classmates, we’ve covered his electoral night.

¨This maybe good for Toronto,” he replied agreeing to grant me an interview.

When I was going to pitch the story, I saw that one student of 2nd grade whom I met during the electoral night, Santiago Helou, wanted to interview him also.

I called him, he hadn´t already get in touch with Penalosa, so I asked him

Housing, TTC, sustainability: Penalosa’s focus in his quest for mayor’s chair

Interview with composer Michael Lee Bishop (Sundance 2023)

Sundance Film Festival Headquarters in Park City. 2023.

I’ve been covering Sundance Film Festival 2023 in person for Radiocine.

There I met composer Michael Lee Bishop, who has created the soundtrack for the film Aliens abducted my parents (and I feel kinda left out).

In this interview with Michael Lee Bishop we talk about how to learn music, how to create music for the screen, and where Michael will be having holidays after he finishes his next score, which coincidentally has also aliens in its title.

Journalists are writers, writing provides meaning

The fifth meaning of the Oxford dictionary about the word write says: “to put information in the appropriate places on a form.”

Over the last three months or so, the course Emerging Technologies, which is part of the Ontario Graduate Certificate of Journalism in Humber College, has been showing how there are different ways of writing, but in the end journalists are writers, because they (we) put information, and they do it put it in the appropriate places through thinking.

Social media may help you to reach “the appropriate places,” but at the end technologies can only emulate our process of thinking, as we have seen when covering AI innovations, or in these days with the echo of ChatGPT. The selection, editing and writing of a story, independently of the final format (written, video, audio) is is what makes it compelling, important.

Writing is not just “to make letters or numbers in a surface,” which is the first meanings.

The roots are the same, although we must know the tools (websites, newsletters, social media, Artificial Intelligence, etc.) in order to make the most of it.

Internet seemed to promise, at its earliest days, some kind of paradise where you could express freely, do everything from scratch and triumph even if nobody knew who you were.

This Internet mythology seems to be present in our days, with the figures of influencers and start-ups, but the biggest winners are not writers, they’re technology companies.

By trying to get our attention, they seem to be putting in our hands the necessary tools for success, for achieving a big audience.

That’s the paradise of journalists. If you write for nobody it’s like if you write nothing.

But these companies must show their accounting and several reports at the end of each quarter. They must be profitable, and after that they can pretend to search for a better world.

We, as journalists, must look for the truth and then try to be profitable.

Trying to be profitable, to have an audience, without previous truth through the process of writing is what politics are calling communication. It includes lots of tricks and procedures to convince the people of your story, even when you have no story.

Technologies are bringing us a tool to reach a bigger, or at least different audience. Writing to provide our best knowledge to our audience may lead us closer to the truth.

I remember a very insightful interview I had with Indian filmmaker Vinay Shukla during TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival) 2022.

He had directed the documentary While we watched about Indian journalist Ravish Kumar, who is suffering harassment and receiving all kind of threats (mainly by e-mail or social media) because he’s usually critic with the government’s labour.

We were talking about journalism and the search of the truth. He, as filmmaker, wondered if we ever get to know the truth. “At least we know what it isn’t,” I told him, and he agreed and like this sentence that had come to me like a revelation.

This website won’t be the truth. We won’t find the truth tomorrow or the day after tomorrow.

But technologies may helps us. Sure they may help us.

At least, as long as we pilot them. Even spaceships need a captain (be it Kirk or Han Solo).

Antonio’s interviews, streamings and short films in English

Tamar Bird at Cannes Beach while being interview by Antonio Pelaez
Akshata Nail is an artist who made an installation followed by a workshop at Humber College’s hall.
Tamar Bird is a Canadian producer. She was at Cannes Film Festival as part of the market initiative Impact.
Max Hermans is the creator of Greenshot, an app that helps us to track the carbon footprint of our film production.
In this program, we talk about Canadian experimental cinema thanks to the release of the book
Moments of Perception (Experimental Film in Canada).
Our guests are: Barbara Sternberg, Jim Shedden (editors and co-authors of the book),
and Stephen Broomer and Michael Zryd (co-authors).
Author of over 53 films, Alanis Obomsawim (89) has received
the Jeff Skoll Award in Impact Media as part of the 2021 TIFF Tribute Awards.
Andréa Picard is programmer in Toronto International Film Festival. Among other responsibilities,
she is in charge of Wavelenghts, the section of TIFF devoted to experimental cinema.