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Ben Rivers is an English experimental filmmaker and artist whose work blends fiction and non-fiction, exploring themes of community, utopia, hermetic living and investigating spaces more broadly. His works include I Know Where I’m Going, Slow Action and Two Years at Sea among many others. Sea won the FIPRESCI International Critics Prize at the 68th Venice Film Festival.
Ben Russell is an American artist whose films, installations, and performances engage the history and semiotics of the moving image. His works include the Trypps series, an “ongoing study in trance, travel, and psychedelic ethnographies,” River Rites, and Let Each One Go Where He May.
The duo presented their co-directed feature, A Spell to Ward Off the Darkness, at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival. We were very excited to meet at our studio space at OCAD U’s Graduate Gallery and talk about their work together on this film and its relationship to the rest of their work.
This interview is from our extensive 2013 Toronto International Film Festival coverage and the full length interview was released in October 2013.
Special thanks to our friends for help in releasing Issue #15: Götz Spielmann, Ted Kotcheff, Ben Rivers, Ben Russell, Martha Shane, Lana Wilson, Aidan Cowling, Julie Chappell, Michael Arnon, Suzan Ayscough, Liam Crockard, Julian Higuerey Nunez, Vincent Van Cooten, Niki Tsourounakis, Genevieve Parent, Jason Charters, Liam Romalis, William F. White, Signs of Toronto and Williams Design.