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By Adam Thomas

Thursday December 1, 2005

Knitting you a festival Despite a city bylaw inspection resulting in a possibly permanent altering of the function of the Butchershop, this years Toquefest will make sure you get what it is giving. Justin Adams, director for the outdoor film and music festival, now in its fourth year, has determinedly pulled together over 25 short films and seven bands to be featured over two nights. Dress warm. To know more check out

ONLY: It seems that each year you keep trying to step it up, take it to the next level. Where are you trying to go with this?

J: This year I feel that it has become what I have always wanted it to be. I don’t know that it will ever have fifty films or a hundred films; I’m not concerned about that. I like the number this year, and I like the number of musical acts that are involved. I like the two-night set up. I think that this year it has come to fruition as to what my initial idea of what it could be.

ONLY: How did you decide to break down the two nights.

J: The Robson square night is the main program with the bulk of the films and bands, and the Butchershop night is more intimate; a slightly more condensed version. There will still be a selection of films including part of the Arthur Lipsett retrospective, as well as music.

ONLY: It can be pretty exhausting pulling all this stuff together, how’s your stamina?

J: I am feeling a bit rundown, but it’s close now so I’m also starting to get excited. But it’s also one of those things…be careful what you wish for.

ONLY: But having done this a couple of times before, it must have made it easier, in terms of programming to be able to approach people as a larger more legitimate festival of some kind.

J: Yeah well people are looking at it as an actual festival with some…umm…

ONLY: …credibility?

J: Yes thanks…credibility. Well the fact that Ryan played last year at the festival, I think for the first time on the west coast…having things like that helps brings attention to it. But I think it still has some of the guerilla independent spirit. Which can get tricky to maintain.

ONLY: Were there pressures to go bigger? To get bigger names, bigger films?

J: Yeah, sure, and to get involved with bodies that have money…It’s not that I don’t want that, and I realize it’s necessary for growth but I just don’t want that to change its focus. But it’s difficult when I have to be the mediator. Even though this year I’ve enlisted the help of a few good, like-minded people, it’s still a fine line.

ONLY: Ok, one personal favorite.

J: I’m terribly excited to be able to present Don Hertzfeld’s film The Meaning of Life. He’s a world-renowned stick figure animator. He made Billy’s Balloon, which was a favorite at Spike and Mikes. He was nominated at Cannes and his film Rejected was nominated for an Oscar. This is his latest film. It’s really neat because it’s a profound depiction of the eternal question about the meaning of life. He’s taking like a billion years and condensing it into twelve minutes.

ONLY: You started at the showboat and returned again this year to Robson square.

J: Yeah and I know it’s a city landmark, but I think that it feels kind of hidden away. Someplace you could maybe stumble on. But it’s also got some very Canadian elements: it’s a skating rink and the architecture makes it look like it’s a space ship.

Friday Dec. 2nd 8pm at the Butchershop — By Donation
Saturday Dec. 3rd 7pm-12am at Robson Square — FREE!!