Governor General’s Awards in Visual and Media Arts

Mike Hoolboom Filmmaker

Mike Hoolboom on authorship, identity, fringe media and found footage.

Video by Serene Husni and Mariam Zaidi
Photo by Emma O'Brien

“His body of work is shape-shifting and contingent, continually reworked and re-edited, brought up to date.”

For the last 35 years, Mike Hoolboom has been one of the most prolific and influential filmmakers in Canada. He inhabits an area of filmmaking that he has dubbed “fringe” – a hybrid between experimental, avant-garde, personal and political filmmaking.

His films have had a significant impact on the cultural moments in which they appeared, particularly in regards to his missives from the position of a HIV-positive man…It is a body of work that is shape-shifting and contingent, continually reworked and re-edited, “brought up to date.”

Hoolboom has been able to harness the creative potential of the contemporary ubiquity of the moving image – his key composition structure has been the found footage collage – to describe life’s potential despite often staring deeply into death’s abyss.

Chris Kennedy, Executive Director, Liaison of Independent Filmmakers of Toronto (nominator)

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