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Peter Mettler


Peter   Mettler

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Peter Mettler


Peter   Mettler

"Peter Mettler is an incomparable talent in Canadian cinema. The innovation and audacity of his work, his dedication to the cinematic art form, and his ability to conjure up images that remain permanently etched in one's mind, secures his place as one of this country's most distinguished contemporary filmmakers."
Piers Handling, Director of the Toronto International Film Festival

Mettler is known for a diversity of work in image and sound mediums – foremost for his films such as “Picture of Light” and “Gambling, Gods and LSD” but also as a photographer and groundbreaking live audio/visual mixing performer. His work bridges the gap between experimental, narrative, personal essay, and documentary. He has collaborated with an extensive range of international artists and has been honored with awards and retrospectives worldwide.
 

From the very beginning of his career Peter Mettler has created films deemed impossible to make, yet readily appreciated once they exist. A key figure in the critical wave of 80's Canadian filmmakers, Mettler produces works which elude categorization. Melding intuitive processes with drama, essay, experiment or documentation, his films hold a unique and influential position in creative expression not only in film but also in new art forms where cinema and other disciplines merge. 

Additional artistic activities include a wide range of ongoing engagements in music, dance and photography. Over the years Mettler has presented photographic gallery exhibitions in Europe and Canada. More recently he has been experimenting with live sound and image mixing performances with a diversity of musical artists in an extremity of locales ranging from radio theatres to dance clubs and wilderness locations. An interview with Mettler on these activities is included in the 2005 publication “The VJ Book” by Paul Spinrad.

Based both in Switzerland and Canada, Mettler is a strong supporter of independent creativity, having collaborated with numerous filmmakers, artists and musicians such as Werner Penzel, Michael Ondaatje, Atom Egoyan, Peter Weber, Fred Frith, Jim O'Rourke, Tom Kuo, Alexandra Rockingham Gill, Robert Lepage, Andreas Züst, Bruce McDonald, Patricia Rozema, Andrea Nann, Edward Burtynsky, Jennifer Baichwal and many others. 

He is active in the development of community networks which foster and share the growth of innovative creative forms and new means of production and distribution which will allow the independent artist to reach his or her particular audience while lightening the financial and ideological pressures of the commercial market.

A book on his work entitled Making the Invisible Visible was published in 1995 and another entitled Of This Place and Elsewhere: The Films and Photography of Peter Mettler by Jerry White was published in 2006 as a retrospective film and photography edition by the Toronto International Film Festival. 

Meditations on our world, rooted in personal experience, his works reflect the visions and wonder of their characters and audiences alike. Mettler’s films have garnered many prizes and been the focus of several retrospectives internationally.

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Films


Films


Films

2014, Broken Land, 75 min.

Artistic collaborator, cinematography and editor of feature documentary about conflicting viewpoints of America's wall to Mexico. Directed by Stéphanie Barbey and Luc Peter.

2014Plastikman in Detroit, 50 min.

Multiscreen real-time documentation of Plastikman concert in Detroit.

Feature documentary, exploring our perception of time. 

Documentary for Greenpeace Canada. An exploration from above of the industrialization of the world’s 2nd largest oil reserve.

2009, Memorizer, Approx 200 min.

Video installation presenting a series of interviews in memory of the collector, artist and scientist Andreas Zust for Aargauer Kunsthaus Switzerland.

2007, Shostakovitch/Notes in Silence, 25 min.

An Andrea Nann dance theatre piece, an evocation of the times and spirit of composer Dimitri Shostakovitch.

2007, Away, 3 min.

Cellphone film for the National Film Board of Canada on the trials of being electronically over-connected.

2006, Manufactured Landscapes, 86 min.
 

Cinematographer and creative consultant for the feature documentary, follows photographer Ed Burtynsky witnessing China’s massive industrial revolution and its impact on the planet.  Directed by Jennifer Baichwal.

Feature documentary, an epic journey across cultures, people and time, exploring notions of transcendence and belief.

Diary and performance, a lyrical tribute to the creative forces found on the island of Bali.

Feature documentary, takes a film crew to the Sub Arctic to capture the wonder of the Northern Lights on celluloid. 

Feature drama, an adaptation of the play by Robert Lepage & Co. The movement of the earth's tectonic plates is used to illustrate interconnecting stories on a human scale. 

Feature drama following the search for identity in a media driven world.

Material shot during a three month journey through Switzerland, Berlin and Portugal. A lyrical film which is no ordinary travelogue or diary. 

A first-person foray into the disorienting realm between reason and sensation. A rendering of the experiences of a mental patient wandering outside institutional confines for the first time in many years. 

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Current & In Progress / Collaborations


Current & In Progress Projects
Associates & Collaborations

Current & In Progress / Collaborations


Current & In Progress Projects
Associates & Collaborations

CURRENT & IN PROGRESS PROJECTS
Becoming Animal with co-direction by Emma Davie
Greener Grass in development series project
Live audio-visual performances with Jeremy Narby and Franz Treichler.
Ongoing development of image performance software tools with Derivative Inc.
Short film production about Albert Hofmann.
Ongoing various live performances TBA.

ASSOCIATES AND COLLABORATORS
Werner Penzel, Michael Ondaatje, Atom Egoyan, Peter Weber, Fred Frith, Jim O'Rourke, Alexandra Rockingham Gill, Tom Kuo, Jane Siberry, Robert Lepage, Andreas Züst, Bruce McDonald, Andrea Nann, Patricia Rozema,  Edward Burtynsky, Jennifer Baichwal, Greg Hermanovic, Richie Hawtin, Neil Young, Gabriel Scotti & Vincent Hanni, Costanza Francavilla, Jeremy Narby, Franz Treichler.

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Selected Highlights


Selected Highlights

Selected Highlights


Selected Highlights

The End of Time
"Premio Qualita di Vita" Awarded by the Junior Jury, Festival del Film Locarno 2012
”Official Selection: Masters Series” TIFF 2012
"Canada's Top Ten" TIFF 2012
"Swiss Film Prize Nominations" Best Documentary, Music, Camera
“Reflecting Images Masters” IDFA, 2012
“International Competition” CPH:DOX, 2012
“Opening Night Film” Imagine Science Film Festival, 2012
“Opening Night Film” RIDM, 2012
“International Competition” Dok Liepzig, 2012
“Best of World Documentary” Jihlava International Documentary Film Festival, 2012
“Wide Angle – Documentary Showcase” Busan International Film Festival, 2012

Petropolis: Aerial Perspectives on the Alberta Tar Sands
Included in Neil Young's "Honour the Treaties" concert tour 2014
“Prix du Jury du Jeune Publique” at Visions du Réel 2009
“Fondazione Ente dello Spettacolo” Prize at Festival dei Popoli 2009

Manufactured Landscapes
RiverRun international Film Festival: Best Documentary
ashville Film Festival: Reel Current Award
Toronto Film Critics Association Awards: Best Canadian Film & Best Documentary
Cinema Eye Honors and IndiePIX : 2007 Nomination for Best Cinematography
Academy of Canadian Cinema: Genie Award: Best Documentary
Toronto International Film Festival: Best Canadian Film
Sundance Film Festival: Grand Jury Prize nomination
Visions du Reèl, Nyon: Prix du Jeune Publique

Gambling, Gods and LSD
Visions du Reèl, Nyon: Grand Prix & Prix du Publique
Vancouver Int’l Festival: NFB Best Feature Documentary
Montreal Cinema Nouveau: NFB Best Documentary
Duisburger Filmwoche: 3SAT Prize for Best Documentary
Toronto International Film Festival: Top Twenty Canadian Films
& FIPRESCI Documentary runner-up
Academy of Canadian Cinema: Genie Award - Best Documentary
Swiss Ministry of Culture: Award for Excellence in the Arts
Lincoln Center/Film Comment: One of the Year’s Best Films

Balifilm
Sonic Boom: Live performance with Evergreen Club Gamelan
Duisburger Filmwoche: Best Short Film
Visions du Reel: Opening Night Presentation

Picture of Light
Hot Docs Toronto: Best Film, Best Cinematography, &Best Writing
Locarno International Film Festival, Switzerland: La Sarraz Prize
Swiss Ministry of Culture: Award for Excellence in the Arts
Figueira da Foz International Festival: Grand Prize (Images & Documents)
MCTV Award: Best Ontario Film
Yamagata International Documentary Festival: Award for Excellence

Tectonic Plates
Figuera da Foz:  Most Innovative Film of the Festival
Mannheim Film Festival: Catholic Jury Award
Colombus, Ohio: Grand Prize & Award for Excellence

Scissere
Norman Maclaren Award: Best Student Film, Festival of Festivals (Toronto International Film Festival)

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Retrospectives & Exhibitions


Retrospectives & Exhibitions

Retrospectives & Exhibitions


Retrospectives & Exhibitions

RETROSPECTIVES
Cinematheque Suisse, Lausanne, 2016
DOCMA Madrid, 2015
DOC Buenos Aries, 2015
Lincoln Center, 2013
Planete + Doc, 2013
Hot Docs 'Focus On', 2013
Cinematheque Quebecoise, 2012
Festival Dei Popoli, 2010
Toronto International Film Festival September 2006
Retrospective at the FilmStudio in Rome May 2004
Retrospective Jeu de Paume, Paris, 2003
Director in Focus, BAFICI, Buenos Aries, 2003
Retrospective ARSENAL, Berlin 1999.
Retrospective tour in Holland, by MECANO, 1998
Retrospective and Photo exhibition at CINEMATEQUE ONTARIO 1996 - Toronto.
Retrospective at VIPER Festival 1995 - Lucerne, Switzerland

EXHIBITIONS
Planete + Doc, 2013
Hot Docs 'Focus On', 2013
Cinematheque Quebecoise, 2012
Museo Marino Marini, Florence, “Notations (for the End of Time), 2010
O’Born Contemporary Gallery, Toronto, “Mise en Scene”-2008
Group Photographic Exhibition showcasing “Teledivinitry” prints
Greener Pastures Contemporary Art, Toronto “Teledivinitry” Lightboxes - 2006
Lennox Gallery, Toronto, Retrospective Photographic Works - 2006
Galerie Sala 1, Rome, Photo Exhibition/installation “Orientation”– 2005
S.A.W. Gallery Ottawa solo show of video image compositions "Teledivinity", 2004
Installation Solothurn Galerie S2, 2002
Installation Schlesinger Stiftung, Appenzell Switzerland
Exhibition of B&W photographic prints, "I Died Shortly Thereafter". Solo show, 
Foto Forum - St.Gallen, and Galerie Neugebauer  -  Basel, Switzerland 1995

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Performances


performances

Performances


performances

2017
Live Visuals for ZK COLLECTIVE in Ibiza, April 8
Live Visuals for Sebastian Mullaert at Blue Dot, Kitchener, Ontario, March 3

2016
Live Visuals mixing for Archi-Textures at Round, Toronto on December 31
Yoshtoyoshto (Live visual mixing with Franz Treichler and Jeremy Narby), performance at Musée d'ethnographie de Genève - MEG, Genève, November 24
Yoshtoyoshto (Live visual mixing with Franz Treichler and Jeremy Narby) performance at Théâtre de Vidy, Lausanne, November 19
Live Cinema Performance with John Oswald, at The Ontario Place Cinesphere September for the IN/FUTURE Festival, Toronto, September 18
Peter Mettler with composer Paul Frehner presents From The Vortex Perspective with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Toronto, March 9

2015
Live Film Mix for The Whole Shebang 2015: Taken By Night presented by Dreamwalker Dance Company, Toronto, November 26, 27 & 28th, 2015
Yoshtoyoshto (Live visual mixing with Franz Treichler and Jeremy Narby) World Premiere performance at VideoEx, May 30, 2015
Live Cinema improv with Fred Frith, performed at Planete + Doc, May 12, 2013
Live Cinema performance with Biosphere at the Royal Cinema in Toronto, April 28, 2013
“Meteorologies” Image and Sound mix improv with Fred Frith, performed at Cinematheque Quebecoise - Montreal, Centre Culturel Suisse - Paris and Videoex Zurich, 2012
Electric Eclectics 2011, Live mix performance with Tom Kuo and Anne Bourne
Constellation Young Gods, 2010 – Live audio-visual performance with musicians Gabriel Scotti and Vincent Hanni
INIT, Toronto, 2009 – Live audiovisual performance with a roster of Toronto performers, presented by Tom Kuo and Brian T. Moore.
VideoEx 2009 & Institute for Computer Music and Sound Technology, Switzerland 2009 – Live improvisational performance with Fred Frith, including discussion and screening of Balifilm.
Kunstraum Walcheturm New Years Party, Switzerland 2008 – Live video mixing (with DJ Styro, Bang Goes and others).
Zwei Tage Zeit, Switzerland 2008 – Live improvisational image mixing performance (with Fred Frith). In conjunction with The International Society for Contemporary Music.
Bas-Reliefs, Toronto 2007 – Chartier Danse, a multi-disciplinary collaboration from a team of eleven
artists under the artistic direction of Marie-Josée Chartier.
In the Mix, Toronto 2007 – Improvisational live performance in collaboration with various artists (including Tom Kuo, Anne Bourne)
Live image mix performance with The Art of Time Ensemble, Enwave Theatre, Toronto, part of “America and The Black Angel”, by composer George Crumb.
Live improvisational image mixing performance with Fred Frith, La Corbiere, Village Nomade, Switzerland 2007
DeLeon White Gallery, Toronto (with Monolake) ‘Pusher’ series
Harbourfront, Toronto 2007 (with Andrea Nann) dance theater piece ‘Shostakovitch/Notes in Silence’
Nuite Blanche 2006 at the Drake Hotel, Toronto, with Derivative, Tom Kuo, Adam Marshall
TIFF 2006 special live event performance ‘Elsewhere’ (with Murcof, Marc Weiser/Rechenzentrum, Martin Schuetz, Telefunk, Evergreen Gamelan, Tom Kuo, Adam Marshall)
Harbourfront, Toronto 2006 (with The Art of Time Ensemble & Andrea Nann) ‘Shostakovitch’
Danse Cite, Montreal 2006 (with Marie Josee Chartier) ‘Bas Reliefs’
Qtopia Uster 2005 (with percussionist Lucas Niggli)
Rohstofflager Zurich 2005 (with DJ Sven Vath)
RAI3 Rome live national broadcast 2005 (with Fred Frith)
CPH DOX Copenhagen 2004 (with Transmediale)
Nyon Visions du Reél, Closing Night 2003 (with Martin Schuetz)
Schauspeilhaus Zurich: The Box 2003 (with Martin Schuetz)
Walcheturm Galerie Zurich 2003 (with Fred Frith)
Buenos Aires Film Festival 2003 (with Prinzessin in Not)
Burning Man Nevada, 2003 (various DJs)
Om Festival 2003, 2004, 2005 (with Telefunk)
Expo Swtitzerland 2002 (with Fred Frith)
Member of improvisational music trio, ESP, Switzerland, 1993 - 1998

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Selected Feature Articles


selected feature articles

Selected Feature Articles


selected feature articles

24 Images - Spring issue #157, various writers dedicated to “Mettler L’Alchimiste”
Point of View, Winter 2009, Marc Glassman: “Peter Mettler, Part Two”
Point of View, Fall 2009, Marc Glassman: “Peter Mettler, Part One” 
Musicworks 2007, Joel McConvey: “Improvisational Alchemy and the Art of Peter Mettler”
24 Images 2007, “Rencontre Catherine Martin et Peter Mettler”
Jump Cut 2006, Catherine Russell: “ Gambling Gods and LSD Cinephilia and the Travel Film”
Take One Special Edition 2005, Geoff Pevere: “Peter Mettler: The Pursuit of Wonder”
Point of View 2002, Jack Blum: "The Quest for Transcendence, Gambling Gods and LSD"
Cinemascope , 2002, Jason McBride:  "Betting On Transcendence" ( GGLSD)
Take One , 2002, Stephan Lam : "In Search of Wonder" Peter Mettler's Gambling Gods and LSD
OffScreen  2002, Daniel Stefick: " Mettlerism"
Take One , 1995, Tom McSorely: “Paradox and Wonder: the Cinema of Peter Mettler
Take One , 1994, Peter Harcourt : "  In Search of Wonder " Peter Mettler's Picture of Light
BOOK – “Making the Invisible Visible”, Schoenholzer/Pitschen 1995
BOOK – “Of this Place and Elsewhere, The Films and Photography of Peter Mettler” Jerry White 2006

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As Cinematographer


selected credits
as cinematographer

As Cinematographer


selected credits
as cinematographer

'Broken Land'  directed by Stéphanie Barbey and Luc Peter.
‘National Parks Project: Gros Morne' by Ryan J. Noth, produced by FilmCAN and Stitch Media
‘Manufactured Landscapes’ (also Creative Consultant) by Jennifer Baichwal
‘Into the Night’ by Annette Mangaard
‘Streetcar’ with Peter Chin by Nick de Pencier
‘Krapps Last Tape’ with John Hurt by Atom Egoyan.
‘The Ring’ by Angus Reid
‘Leda and the Swan’ by Alexandra Rockingham Gill
'The Life is the Red Wagon’ by Jane Siberry
‘Family Viewing’ by Atom Egoyan.
‘Artist on Fire’ with Joyce Weiland by Kay Armatage
‘Walking after Midnight’ by Jonothan Kay
‘A Trip Around Lake Ontario’ with David MacFadden by Colin Brunton
‘Passion A Letter in 16mm’ by Patricia Rozema
‘Divine Solitude’ with Nana Gleason by Jean-Marc Lariviere.
‘Next of Kin’ by Atom Egoyan
‘Open House’ by Atom Egoyan
‘Knock Knock’ by Bruce McDonald
‘David Roche Talks To You About Love’ by Jeremy Podeswa

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Business & Organizations


business & organizations

Business & Organizations


business & organizations

2000  Alpenhof, Appenzell Switzerland. Founding member of arts community collective/retreat.
1986  Grimthorpe Film Incorporated created as a sole proprietorship. Used as structure for film services, production and resource base for artists, technicians and equipment.
1984  LIFT – Liasion of Independent FilmmakersToronto. Founding member.

 

1984-85  New School of Drama: Intensive Acting Program
1977-82  Ryerson Polytechnical Institute: Film and Photography, Bachelor of Fine Arts program
1977  Canadian Junior College, Switzerland: Honours Diploma, Gr. 13
1972-76  Upper Canada College: High School Education

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Workshops & Lectures


Selectedworkshops & lectures

Workshops & Lectures


Selectedworkshops & lectures

Alma Lov Art Center, Sweden
HEAD - School for cinema studies, 3 week intensive, Geneva, Switzerland
UnionDocs, NYC, Center for Documentary Art, Workshop
Planete Doc 2013 Master Class
Dawson City and Whitehorse Master Classes
Art of Peace in a Time of War – Symposium Participant
DOC Toronto – Panel on Collaborations with NGOs
CFC – NFB Feature Documentary Film Program
HEAD – Geneva Switzerland
FOCAL – St. Anton Switzerland
HGKZ – Zurich, Switzerland
ECAV – Sierre, Switzerland
Jeu de Paume, Paris
OCAD – Toronto
CPH-DOX- Denmark
Film School – Helsinki
Museum of Fine Art – Buenos Aries
Visions du Reel – Nyon, Switzerland
Ciezyn Festival - Poland
Praxis Screenwriters Workshop – Vancouver
Emily Carr College of Art – Vancouver
Cineworks - Vancouver
Banff Television Festival - Alberta
Concordia University: Arts and Film Departments - Montreal
SUNY - Buffalo
Sudbury Film Festival - Sudbury
Ryerson Polytechnical Institute - Toronto
York University - Toronto
University of Toronto, Innis College - Toronto
University of Toronto, Department of Physics - Toronto
Humber College - Toronto
LIFT (Founding Member) - Toronto
Ecole d'arts visuel de Geneve - Geneva, Switzerland

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Jury Memberships


jury memberships

Jury Memberships


jury memberships

DocumentaMadrid
Festival dei Popoli, Italy
BAFICI Film Festival - Main Competition
Era New Horizons Film Festival, Wroclaw
IDFA Documentary Festival, Amsterdam
Festival du Cinema Nouveau, Montreal
Visions du Reel, Nyon Switzerland
Hot Docs - Blue Ribbon Jury - CIFC Documentary Awards - Toronto
Locarno International Film Festival - "Leopards of Tomorrow" - Switzerland
World Film Festival - Student Awards Juror - Montreal
Ontario Arts Council: Production Grant Juries x 3 – Toronto

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Articles


Written Contributions

Articles


Written Contributions

DOX –European Documentary network
24 Images – Montreal
The VJ book – San Francisco
WOZ - Zurich
Realscreen -Toronto
Vertigo - London
Vertigo - Paris
Life With Out Death book