The Canadian Art Foundation Reel Artists Film Festival is North America's only film festival devoted to documentaries on visual art and artists.

In this video, taped during the 2010 Reel Artists Film Festival in Toronto, Newfoundland artist Colette Urban and Toronto artist Katherine Knight, director of a film about Urban titled Pretend Not to See Me, join curator Barbara Fischer in conversation.

Pretend Not to See Me was screened on Friday, February 26 at the festival. The film follows artist Colette Urban at her oceanfront farm in remote Newfoundland as she restages 13 of her enigmatic performances from a lifetime of work. Set against rugged east-coast beauty, Urban emerges as an empathetic, courageous and visionary character, someone following a dream and sustaining courage through acts of creative risk.

In this video, Urban, Knight and Fischer discuss the surreal quality of Newfoundland as the location for Urban’s performances, the experience of recreating a performance for a film camera and the relationship between filmic and performative experiences. The video ends with a short performance by Urban at the festival, where she emerged onto the darkened stage as a silent owl figure, shining lights into the audience.

To learn more about the Reel Artists Film Festival, visit


The Reel Artists Film Festival is presented by the Canadian Art Foundation. Our mission is to promote the understanding and appreciation of the visual arts in Canada by providing an informative, provocative and lively forum for audiences to engage with artists and their works. For more information about our programs, please visit

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