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b.h. Yael

Living in: Toronto, Ontario
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b.h. Yael is a Toronto based filmmaker and installation artist.

Her work has exhibited nationally and internationally and has shown in various settings, from festivals to galleries to community and activist groups, as well as at various educational venues. Yael’s films and installations have dealt with the many intersections of identity and family (Fresh Blood); they have focused on activist initiatives in Palestine/Israel (Palestine Trilogy and other works), as well as apocalypse, geopolitical and environmental urgencies (Trading the Future) which won the ‘Audience Award’ at the Ecofilms festival in Rhodes.

Yael premiered her most recent project, Lessons for Polygamists, at the Images festival, and No Lies, a one-minute short and silent version won awards at the Toronto Urban Film Festival and FAVA’s Gotta Minute. Yael has programmed arts lectures and media screenings including Art Creates Change at OCAD, where she is Professor of Integrated Media. Yael is currently completing a family memoire.


Where were you born, where did you grow up, where do you live now?
Israel, Laurentians in near isolation, Toronto.

First film you made, and where and when?
Student film, Why she got pregnant, at OCA.
After school, Is Dad Dead Yet?

Latest film you made, and where and when?
Lessons for Polygamists, my first animation, Toronto, 2017

Describe your current living space.
My house, mostly the front room upstairs, the kitchen, and now the garden…All of what you see in the video.

What Canadian would you challenge to make an isolation movie?
Writers: Gabor Mate, Rawi Hage, Kyo Maclear, Kerri Sakamoto…and others.

In the history of cinema whose isolation move would you want to see?
Akerman already made hers. Jane Campion? Someone who is reflective, pensive, funny… and political. Who would that be?

Start with local faves: Mike Hoolboom, Rebecca Garrett, Alexandra Gelis…You already have Richard Fung, John Greyson and Ali Kazimi, Jorge Lozano, Franci Duran… How about Vera Frenkel, Lisa Steele…

Worst thing about being in isolation?
Can’t hug my grand girls….and have to learn how to teach on line…and…

Best thing about being in isolation?
Time, and finished my memoir, will start on second draft soon…

Favourite book to read in isolation?
I have fallen off reading. Read Educated just before. Have a long list on my table: The Underground Railroad; Israel, Palestine and the Politics of Race; The Miracle of Analogy: Or The History of Photography, more of Lynda Barry, Federici…. have been looking at graphic novels, Bradley of Him by Connor Willumsen…

Favourite music to listen to in isolation?
By now it should be clear….I hate favourites. There are too many wonderful sources.

Anything danceable. Will always love Motown…and…

Favourite movies to watch in isolation?
Fallen off viewing too, for some reason. Did watch limited series: Chernobyl, excellent for disaster. Unorthodox….

Favourite meal in isolation?
My sister’s Ethiopian Mis’r Wat with veggies and injira… just made dosas last night….very little take-out, but loved Virtuous Pie, vegan pizza… and Craig Paiva dropped off a few excellent meals.

What’s the last best thing you cooked?
Trout with miso dressing…actually my sister made the dressing…HHmmm…I adapted a Passover recipe of an orange GF almond cake into a birthday sponge cake with fresh whipped cream and blueberries.

Any other question you’d like to answer?
What’s the expiry date for despots? And who will kick them out?