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Stories of representation and possibility

Filmmaker, writer & performer Chase Joynt

Filmmaker, writer & performer Chase Joynt

Just a few days ago, Reelout Rita got in touch with filmmaker, Chase Joynt to learn more about his passion for storytelling. He was recently awarded the EP Canada/Canada Film Capital Award for Emerging Canadian Artist and the Jury Award at the Regent Park Film Festival so, he’s kind of a big deal. Not only does Chase appear in Buck Angel’s Sexing the Transman (the groundbreaking documentary playing at this years festival!) but he is also exhibiting an experimental documentary short at festivals all over the world. Akin explores the relationship and shared secrets between an Orthodox Jewish mother and her transgendered son (Chase). Beautiful in it’s simplicity, Akin is a touching short that Reelout is pleased to exhibit.

Reelout Rita: Your work (Resisterectomy, Everyday to Stay, Akin) is deeply
 personal and you are very candid about your thoughts and
 experiences as a 
trans person. What is it about your experiences that compelled
 you to share
 them with others? Why is it important to generate dialogue on 
these issues?

Chase: I started making this kind of work because I wasn’t finding 
representations of myself, or my experiences, that made sense to
 me. My artistic motivation
 has never been fueled by the belief that the existing work is 
“right or
 wrong” per se, but more so that I believe so many other 
important ideas are
 missing from the conversation. Complications, nuances, and 
contradictions map all over my experiences as a trans person, and 
I continue to wonder
 what it might mean to create work that pays specific attention
 to those
 missing pieces.

“Generating dialogue” as you suggest is complicated, because
 ultimately, you aren’t responsible for the conversations that 
stem from your work.
 Regardless, I continue to be motivated by those conversations,
 even when 
they sit in contradiction to my initial intent. I don’t make
 work to “fill
 gaps”, but rather to populate the field with other representative 
possibilities and personal potentials.

Reelout Rita: Akin juxtaposes the haunting sounds 
of Canadian group, Ohbijou,
with your own voice and suburban visuals. What is it about this 
band that 
appealed to you? Does music play a large role in your life? Will
 it be
 something that will continue to permeate your experimental features?

Chase: I am drawn to music, and music makers, that endeavor to tell 
stories. Like 
film, I think music is capable of taking audiences on a journey.
 I am very 
lucky to be in a community of artists in Toronto who generously 
offer their 
talents to other projects, which is admittedly the only reason I
 was able 
to use Ohbijou’s music in Akin. Casey Mecija (the lead singer
 of Ohbijou)
 writes music that inspires pictures. I think we can all
 reference music 
that compels us to close our eyes and imagine a world different
 from that 
which we can see, and Casey’s work continues to be a source of that 
inspiration for me.

Reelout Rita: As a Toronto native, what is it about
 Toronto that inspires you to 
create these works? Are there other cities that inspire you?

Chase: Though born here, I left Toronto after high school for a decade
 of life and 
love in California. I returned to Canada having transitioned,
 and as such 
experienced my return to the city as somewhat of a new person.
 Toronto is
 full of artists and thinkers that remind me to keep checking my 
assumptions about who I am, and about what that might mean to 
other people.

Reelout Rita: Akin touches on some of your
 youthful memories but I was wondering
 what some other memories might be? Was there a moment when you knew you
 wanted to be a 
filmmaker?

Chase: I’m pretty sure my mom would argue that I was born performing
 and making 
art for anyone who would watch or listen. “Youth” as a category 
of time for
 me is a complicated place; it contains a lot of violence and
 instability, all the while carrying strongholds of love and
 unending affection. I 
suppose that tension is what continues to fuel my work today… mom’s 
(unabashedly biased) opinions and endorsements included.

Reelout Rita: If you could say one thing to your younger self, what would it be and why?


Chase: I would tell that human to hold on. To trust that things will settle. And
 to avoid that first tattoo, cause that shit will be embarrassing in your 30’s.

Chase's mother drives through their old neighbourhood in Akin

Chase’s mother drives through old neighbourhoods in Akin

Be sure to catch Akin on Saturday, February 2 at 7pm in Cinema 1 of The Screening Room. Chase will be in attendance 🙂

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About Reelout

We host an 11-day queer film and video festival in Kingston, Canada in January/February each year!

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