Adam talks about his work:
As Festival Director/CEO Piers Handling’s Programming Associate at TIFF, I watch a lot of movies. Mostly, I’m looking at submissions from Italy, France, and the UK, which are the regions that he oversees. We evaluate the films, lock our program, and then closer to the fall start liaising with guests, and writing notes for our program guide. During the festival, I’ll be introducing the films and running Q&As with filmmakers, producers, and actors on one of cinema’s biggest stages. http://tiff.net
I’m really excited about Future//Present, a special series of films within our Canadian Images program at this year’s VIFF. I’ll be curating films from distinct voices emerging in Canadian independent cinema. Today, some of the best filmmakers are working outside of normal avenues of production with courage and vision, and it’s our responsibility to give them our encouragement and advocacy to help stimulate a Canadian film culture predicated on artistic merit as opposed to conventional concepts of industry viability and commercial appeal. http://www.viff.org
Making the Case: Contemporary Genre Cinema, as it’s tentatively titled, is a book I’m editing that will be published in 2017 by The Critical Press. Featuring something like 20 essays by 20 different contributors on 20 different filmmakers, the goal of the book is to advocate for some of cinema’s greatest artists whose work isn’t always recognized properly due to the forms or modes they work within, whether it’s mainstream commercial cinema, or stigmatized genres. It’s actually an idea derived from a critical movement from a few years ago that I was involved in called “Vulgar Auteurism”. In fact, I did a presentation on it at UBC in Lisa Coulthard’s Action Cinema course! To give you an idea of the filmmakers we’re looking at, here’s a sampling: Paul W.S. Anderson, M. Night Shyamalan, Rob Zombie, and The Farrelly Brothers. I hope that the book makes a dent in shifting the critical discourse around these directors and other artists making great cinema in unexpected ways.
Adam was born and raised in North Vancouver. He attended Capilano University where he launched a short-lived film journal, The Parallax, and transferred to UBC where he graduated with a BA in Film Studies, and received the inaugural Mark Harris Memorial Scholarship Award for academic excellence and passion for cinema. Simultaneously, Adam worked for MUBI, where he helped run acquisitions, programming, and the website’s film journal, Notebook. In 2012, he was one of eight college-aged film critics accepted into the Locarno Film Festival’s Critics Academy run by Indiewire. Since then, Adam has been to numerous film festivals as a critic, guest speaker, and jury member, including Cannes, Berlin, and TIFF. In 2014, he was invited by the Harvard Film Archive to speak at a symposium co-presented by the Gulbenkian Museum in Lisbon on the work of Tsai Ming-Liang and João Pedro Rodrigues. As a writer, Adam has been published in major publications of film criticism including Film Comment, Sight & Sound, Cinema Scope, Fandor, Little White Lies, Filmmaker Magazine, Cineaste, Brooklyn Magazine, VICE, and others. He is currently editing a book on underrated contemporary genre filmmakers for The Critical Press—featuring esteemed contributors such as Jonathan Rosenbaum, Adrian Martin, and Matt Zoller Seitz—that will be published in 2017. Adam recently relocated to Toronto where he took a position at TIFF as Programming Associate for the Festival’s CEO and Director, Piers Handling. He has not turned his back on Vancouver, however, and will be curating a selection of films from emerging Canadian independent directors for a new program at VIFF called Future//Present. Adam will be at the Festival this fall to present the films. http://lumieremelies.tumblr.com
Adam talks about his time at UBC:
My time at UBC was pivotal to my development as a writer, thinker, and person. I think that, more than anything, my three years there helped me build confidence in myself, which has helped me in my career. I’m not going to lie and tell you that waving around my Bachelor’s Degree in Film Studies attracts a stampede of employers—but it’s an important foundation that I’ve built on independently. I enjoyed my classes, got along with the professors, and felt supported and encouraged to do what I do. I developed better habits with my writing that has aided me in my success as a freelance critic. I’ll never forget the classes with Mark Harris, his enthusiasm, passion, expertise, and whose overt cinephilia stimulated my own. I still think fondly of the first “A” I got on my paper for his Silent Cinema class in my first semester. All of the profs helped me and made me feel like I was in the right place, and the friendships with peers, and the cine-centric conversations that came with them, played just as big a role.