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Heather Frise

Living in: Toronto, Ontario
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Heather Frise is a Toronto-based filmmaker, educator and visual artist. Her experimental films and animations have screened internationally and won several awards, including a Genie Award for Bones of the Forest (w/Velcrow Ripper). Her drawings have appeared in exhibitions and publications in Canada and the US. For over seven years, she worked on collaborative, interactive documentary projects at the National Film Board of Canada and was Senior Documentary Development Editor on the Emmy-Award winning, Highrise.  She has worked for decades as a teacher, facilitator, and collaborator on participatory community media projects. She holds an MFA in Visual Art from York University and currently teaches drawing and time-based media at OCAD University.


Where were you born, where did you grow up, where do you live now?
Toronto, Toronto, and Toronto (but I lived on BC islands and Vancouver for many years)

First film you made, and where and when?
The Road Stops Here (w/Velcrow Ripper).  A doc about a logging blockade in the Walbran Valley, traditional territory of the Pacheedhat, 1990.

Latest film you made, and where and when?
A short dance film called Warming, 2019.

Describe your current living space
I share a small, two bedroom house with my mom, daughter, a dog, a cat, spider plants and recently a pair of ducklings.

What Canadian would you challenge to make an isolation movie?
Thirza Cuthand 

In the history of cinema whose isolation movie would you want to see?
Chantal Akerman 

Worst thing about being in isolation?
Not seeing my friends or my friend’s kids. Worrying about my mom and all those most vulnerable to the virus

Best thing about being in isolation?
The quiet and knowing that wild creatures were enjoying more freedom and cleaner air.

Favourite book to read in isolation?
I didn’t have tons of time but I did read poetry in the bathtub—Aisha Sasha John’s, I have to live, and Lisa Robertson’s, Three Summers.

Favourite music to listen to in isolation?
Etta James and my daughter singing absolutely anything 

Favourite movies to watch in isolation
A Woman Under the Influence and, yes, Cats (my mother loved it).

Favourite meal in isolation?
Meals? We mostly snack or picnic. 

What’s the last best thing you cooked?
Foraged garlic mustard pesto made with macadamia nuts