2014 Reel Artists Film Festival (RAFF) Opening Night

By Roxy Rowe (Senior Writer)

Q:  What do you get when a bunch of filmmakers get together to show their movies about visual art and artists?

A:  Reel Artists Film Festival (RAFF).  It’s North America’s only film festival devoted exclusively to films about visual art and artists.

The 2014 RAFF rocked Toronto at the TIFF Bell Lightbox for five days:  February 19– 23.  This was RAFF’s 11th year of bringing a wonderful selection of international feature-length and short documentary films about visual arts to the screen.  This year’s features took viewers behind the scenes to watch how artists experiment with new concepts, materials and subjects in their practices.  Audiences were then treated to exciting interviews and panel discussions after film screenings with famed artists, directors and art experts.  This feature makes RAFF uniquely enjoyable as well as educational.

2014 Reel Artists Film Festival

Opening night featured the world premier of Kehinde Wiley: An Economy of Grace, a feature-length documentary about the renowned African-American artist Kehinde Wiley.  Wiley’s works are renowned for showcasing today’s people of colour represented via historical European painting stylesIn the film, Wiley explains his inspiration, approach and methods for his painting.  His subjects reveal surprise at how they are depicted in his paintings.

RAFF was created by the Canadian Art Foundation, which aims to advance the knowledge, understanding and appreciation of the visual arts in Canada.

Visit Kehinde Wiley  to view his amazing paintings or read the  GQ Magazine article ‘How Kehinde Wiley Makes A Masterpiece’ .