Contact
Short bio:
Canadian media artist Penny McCann's body of work spans three decades and encompasses both dramatic and experimental films and videos. Her work has been exhibited at festivals and galleries nationally and internationally, including the Centre national d’art contemporain (Grenoble, France), the Hamburg International Short Film Festival (Hamburg, Germany), Experiments in Cinema (Albuquerque, New Mexico), the Canadian Film Institute (Ottawa), the Owens Art Gallery (Sackville, New Brunswick), and Festival international du film sur l’art (Montreal).
Longer bio:
Penny McCann's body of work spans three decades and encompasses both narrative and experimental films and video. McCann’s narrative works, The Sisters (1993/17:45), The Fires of Joanna (1998/42:19), Helpless (2000/21:40), and The Professor and the Blind Girl (2009/7:08) involve folk tales or imaginings retold in highly codified ways. McCann’s earlier experimental works Marshlands (2000/6:07), Away for Christmas (2004/4:05), Lake Ontario (in my head) (2006/5:12), In Between (remembering and forgetting) (2010/37:36), and Tourist of memory (2010/5:30), form a sustained poetic meditation on landscape, memory and time.
According to Scott Birdwise for the Canadian Film Institute, McCann’s work “…often takes the form of a kind of indefinite journey, where landscapes of memory and dream track across the frame in flashes of light and colour. The horizon is a central visual and conceptual trope, suggesting at once the projection of a sublime destination and an impossible experience of time and memory fulfilled.”
In the past decade, McCann’s approach to image making shifted to include hand-processed techniques. In 2008 and 2010, Penny participated in the Independent Imaging Retreat, aka the Film Farm, in Mount Forest, Ontario, led by Philip Hoffman. Through these periods of study and experimentation, McCann has expanded her filmic vocabulary to include deeply resonant hand-processed 16mm imagery in her films, most notably Lot 22, Concession 5 (2009/3:57), Crashing Skies (2012/5:02), Gibraltar Point (transformed) (2017/6:07), and Phenomena (2019/8:50).
McCann’s work has been exhibited at festivals and galleries nationally and internationally, including Centre national d’art contemporain (Grenoble, France), the Hamburg International Short Film Festival (Hamburg, Germany), Experiments in Cinema (Albuquerque, New Mexico), the Owens Art Gallery (Sackville, New Brunswick), the Canadian Film Institute (Ottawa), and Festival International du film sur l’art (Montreal, Quebec).
A native of Kingston, Ontario, Penny lives and works in Ottawa and is a long-time activist/worker in the Canadian media and visual arts community including serving as chair of both the Independent Media Arts Alliance 1996-1999 and the Media Arts Network of Ontario, 2014-2016. Penny is past Director of SAW Video Media Art Centre, 2004-2018. In 2007 in recognition of her contribution to the Ottawa media arts community, Penny was awarded the Victor Tolgesy Award for achievement in the arts.
  • Director (4 Credits)
    Events in the Tunnel
    Experimental, Short
    Expo Film (this film is my memory)2020
    Experimental, Short
    Phenomena2019
    Experimental, Short
    Gibraltar Point (transformed)2017
    Experimental, Short
  • Producer (2 Credits)
    Phenomena2019
    Experimental, Short
    Gibraltar Point (transformed)2017
    Experimental, Short
  • Writer (1 Credit)
    Expo Film (this film is my memory)2020
    Experimental, Short
Official competition
Expo Film (this film is my memory)
True/False Film Festival
Columbia, Missouri
2022
Official selection
Expo Film (this film is my memory)
Istanbul Experimental Film Festival
Istanbul
2021
Winner, International Found Footage Competition and Audience Award
Expo Film (this film is my memory)
Dresdner Schmalfilmtage
Dresden
2021
Official selection
Gibraltar Point (transformed)
Festival International des films sur l'art
Montreal
2017
Contact
Share:
Résumé & Attachments
Share:
Résumé & Attachments