Oct 20 – Free Film Screening!

Join us this Sun (Oct 20) at 5:30PM as we celebrate UNESCO World Day for Audiovisual Heritage! We’ll be taking a trip to TIFF for a FREE screening of Canadian cult classic THE BLOODY BROOD – in a brand-new 2K digital restoration! [MORE INFO]

First Meeting of 2019-2020!


Are you interested in the intersection of film and media studies, archives and preservation, and digital culture? Join our chapter of the Association of Moving Image Archivists! The world of media archiving is growing increasingly more complex and exciting by the day, and we at AMIA at U of T want you to join us in exploring the issues at its core.

Whether you’re new to the university or are looking for a deeper dive, we’ve got you covered. Analogue ride-or-die? We have film and video experts who will be conducting hands-on workshops. More of a digital nerd? The world of media archiving might look more like computer programming for AV file management. We’ll be touring Media Commons – Robarts Library, talking to working professionals at Film Reference Library at TIFF Bell Lightbox, and programming exciting events all year round.

Please join us for our first meeting of the year on THURS OCT 10 at 5pm! 
The meeting will be held in BL 520 so we can feed you pizza!! 🍕

We will be detailing opportunities in joining our executive board, so if you want some experience in governance (i.e. Secretary, Treasurer, Social Media Coordinator, ACA Liaison), join us!

2019-2020 Elections

Exciting news as we wrap up this academic year — AMIA@UofT is holding elections for the next set of executives!

All of our executive positions are available! This includes President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, Social Media Coordinator, and ACA@UofT Liaison

All U of T students are welcome to run! This is a great chance to get involved, both within the university and with the larger association!

We’ll be holding our elections this upcoming Monday, April 8th at 5pm in Bissell 520. To run for a position, you can send us an email at amiaatuoft@gmail.com with the position(s) you’re interested in and a little about yourself or just show up in person! No worries if you can’t make the meeting but would still like to run – just be sure to email us before 5pm on the 8th.

All execs are required to be members of AMIA but you can register after being elected: https://amianet.org/engage/join-amia/

Feel free to come out even if you’re not running for a position — exercise your right to vote and enjoy some free pizza!

For more details about the roles of each of these positions, feel free to send us an email at amiaatuoft@gmail.com! Follow our Facebook event for more: https://www.facebook.com/events/335773393727570/

Thanks for a great year and here’s to the next one!

AMIA Elections 2019

Winter Screening – March 11th

Our Winter screening is coming up fast!

What Happened, Miss Simone? Poster

Thanks to popular vote, we’ll be screening the 2015 biographical film What Happened, Miss Simone? which profiles the life and career of American singer, Nina Simone, using a mix of interviews and archival footage.

The screening will take place in the Media Commons Room #1 on Monday, March 11th and doors open at 6pm. Everyone is welcome to attend!




Image from IMDb: https://imdb.com/title/tt4284010


AMIA@UofT Updates

It’s been a while since we updated the blog but with another reading week coming up, we have some time to catch up and recap some of our events from this year!

AV Sales

Our AV sale in November was such a success that we held another sale at Innis College earlier this month! Unfortunately we had to end our sale early as the campus closed due to the weather but we still had a great turn-out over. We hope to offer another sale either this term or next since we got a lot of interest and we still have many DVDs, VHS tapes, and posters left over. Stay tuned for that announcement!

Film Screening

Fall Film Screening

On December 6th, we screened three films from the Media Commons 16mm collection:

  • Amblin’ (1968) – Steven Spielberg
  • The Fall of the House of Usher (1928, American) – James Sibley Watson & Melville Webber
  • La Chute de la Maison Usher (1928, French) – Jean Epstein

Our first film was Steven Spielberg’s first short film (on Film!) Two young hitchhickers meet in the desert on their way toward the beach; become friends, fall in love, and part ways. The film features an ambient soundtrack and no spoken dialogue.

The next two were both avant-garde, silent film adaptations of Edgar Allen Poe’s Gothic horror tale, set in a bleak and mysterious mansion. Robyn, our social media coordinator, prepared soundtracks for each that suited the films perfectly – an American-Indo Jazz soundtrack and a psychedelic ambient techno soundtrack.

Our next film screening will be on March 11th from 6-9pm and all are welcome to attend! We’re currently accepting suggestions on what you’d like to see, whether you have a specific film in mind or a general theme. Any film from the Media Commons 16mm film collection is up for grabs!


We were very busy with workshops this term!

In January, we had our film projection workshop with Kathleen McCarthy, the Audio Visual Coordinator at Innis Town Hall. Kathleen led us through her steps in preparing and projecting a film and then we got to go up to the booth and see it in action!

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February 5th was our film cataloguing workshop, led by Christina Stewart from the Media Commons. She presented on the many different types of film she sees in her work, and how to identify them, and then we got the chance to interact with the materials she brought (including smelling film!) to see how we would conduct a spot inspection.

Finally, Mark Pellegrino from the Media Commons led two workshops for us this year, both through the Inforum’s iSkills program. In October, he offered one on Basic Video Preservation and just last week led a workshop on FFmpeg: Digital Media for Access and Archival Preservation.

It’s been great learning from all these professionals in developing a wide set of skills! Thanks to all our workshop facilitators for these very informative workshops!

It’s been great to see so many new faces at our events! Don’t forget to get your suggestions in for our next film screening – just send us an email!

You can always find minutes from our past meetings on the Meeting Minutes page or send us an email @ amiaatuoft@gmail.com if you’d prefer to receive them in your inbox.

Audiovisual Garage Sale and Upcoming Events

Hi all! With reading week now upon us, it’s time for a check-in on AMIA @ U of T’s plans for the rest of the semester. You can also hear about these at our next meeting, November 13th at 5pm in BL 520.


Earlier this month, we joined forces with ACA – U of T Student Chapter for a tour of the Archives of Ontario and the Clara Thomas Archives and Special Collections at York University! If you went on the tour and would like to share a recap or photos on our blog, send us an email at amiaatuoft@gmail.com

Our next tour will be at Vtape, Canada’s leading artist-run, not-for-profit distributor of video art, on November 12th. Spots are filled but you can still add yourself to the waitlist here.

AV Garage Sale

We’re very excited for November 21st when we’ll be holding our Audiovisual Garage Sale from 9am to 5pm in the Bissell 2nd floor lobby! We are currently accepting donations of audiovisual and related material, such as VHS tapes, DVDs, vinyl, and books on AV topics. If you have anything you’d like to donate, give us a shout at amiaatuoft@gmail.com and we’ll be happy to take it off your hands!

Film Screening

Our last event of the Fall semester will be a film screening on December 6th. We’ll be showing a film from the Media Commons 16 mm collection, which you can view through the Classic Catalogue search here (select ‘Media Commons’ as library and ‘Film – all formats’ as type). Let us know of any requests or recommendations and we’ll vote on the film soon!

Next Semester

We have more events planned for the Winter semester, including several exciting workshops, so stay tuned for those in the new year! Hope to see you out at any or all of our events and as always, if you have an audiovisual-themed post or review you’d like to share on our blog, feel free to get in touch!

Happy Reading Week!



Elections Now Open!

Thanks to all who came to our meeting yesterday! We got a lot of enthusiastic pitches for what you’d like to see this year!

We also announced that our Fall election period is now open, running until October 9th when we’ll hold a meeting to vote on our new executives. Available positions include Vice-President, Secretary, and Social Media Coordinator.

AMIA Elections 2018

To nominate yourself, email us at amiaatuoft@gmail.com with the position(s) you’re interested in and why you think you’d be a great fit! All U of T students are welcome to run, regardless of program or concentration.

Those unable to attend the October 9th meeting can still run as long as you email your statement of interest beforehand.

As AMIA at UofT is a recognized student chapter of the larger association, all executives must be members of AMIA. You can find more information about joining and fees here: https://amianet.org/engage/join-amia/ (fees in USD). You don’t need to be a member to participate in our events or meetings but you can check out what they offer and see if it’s something you’d be interested in!

We’ll announce some of our scheduled events here soon but if you’d like a hand in planning them, be sure to apply!

Join our mailing list at amiaatuoft@gmail.com to stay up to date on all our events



AMIA@UofT 2018-2019 Year

Hope everyone had a great summer and is ready for a fun year exploring AV archives!

AMIA @ U of T already has a lot of exciting events planned for the upcoming year, including a video preservation workshop through iSkills (watch your email to sign up!), film screenings, and an AV petting zoo coming up next month!

All students are welcome to join, no matter your concentration, and we have a number of open positions so this is an excellent chance to get some student group experience and fill out that resume! You can come check us out at the MISC Clubs Fair on September 21st from 4:30 – 6:30 to learn more about us and our events.

Our next meeting is September 25th at 5pm in BL 520. Hope to see many new and returning faces as we kick this year off!

Join our mailing list at amiaatuoft@gmail.com to stay up to date on all our events

AMIA@UofT March 2018 Events!

AMIA@UofT had lots going on this March!

First up was our The Poor Little Rich Girl (1917) screening on March 8th at the Media Commons. This woman-centric production was chosen to align with International Women’s Day!

Some fun facts about this movie:

  • This film is based on a play of the same name written by Eleanor Gates. Gates founded the Liberty Feature Film Company in 1915, which is said to have been the only film company owned and managed by women at the time.
  • The screenplay was written by Frances Marion, the first screenwriter to win two Academy Awards.
  • Mary Pickford, the star of this film, is from Toronto! Pickford (despite being Canadian) was known as “America’s Sweetheart” at the height of her film career. She plays an 11-year old in this film (despite having been 25 when the movie was made!)
  • Pickford would go on to co-found United Artists along with Charlie Chaplin and others. UA was an important independent film distributor that veered from traditional studio theatre. ownership

Next up was the Digitization Workshop on March 12. This free workshop was held at the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives!

This workshop was intended to:

  • help participants learn more about digitization across multiple formats (VHS, cassette, CDs, etc.)
  • give participants some useful tips and tricks for digitizing their own personal collections as well as digitizing in archival institutions

CLGA archivist Lucie Handley-Girard gave the workshop participants helpful demonstrations about digitizing: VHS, cassette, photographs and film. AMIA@UofT President Mairead Murphy shared her experiences with digitizing CDs.

Here are a few tips from the workshop:

  • Check your archival object before trying to digitize it–make sure it’s in good shape (clean, not deteriorating, etc.) so that the digitization process won’t damage the object or the player!
  • Don’t edit/alter preservation copies of digitized material! Editing may be a good idea for access copies, however.

That’s all for now!

Ceremonial Handover of the AMIA@UofT Sign


Mairead, Maria, and Jefferson receiving the sign from Lucie and Elizabeth [Credit: Rachel E. Beattie].

A week ago today we did a ceremonial handover of the AMIA@UofT sign to the new executive!

Please welcome our new president, Mairead, our new social media executive, Maria, and our new secretary, Jefferson; Rachel remains as vice president temporarily.

Thank you to Lucie and Elizabeth for all their hard work!

-Maria Sokulsky-Dolnycky, Social Media Executive AMIA@UofT