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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, former director of the Toronto International Film Festival
 

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 1980s Canadian filmmakers, Mettler produces works which elude categorization. Melding intuitive processes with drama, experiment, and documentary, his films hold a unique and influential position, not only in the cinema but also in new art forms where filmmaking and other disciplines merge. 

Mettler’s additional activities include a range of ongoing engagements in music, dance and photography. He has presented gallery exhibitions of photographs and videos widely across Europe and Canada, and over the last decade has developed an improvisatory live image-mixing practice that has led to performances with a diverse array of artists in a wide range of locales, ranging from radio theaters and cinemas, to dance clubs and wilderness retreats. Recent commissioned performances include a collaboration with Biosphere at Hot Docs 2014, at the Toronto Symphony Orchestra’s New Creations Festival with composer Paul Frehner, and at in/future Festival with John Oswald in 2016. Most recently, Mettler has toured Europe as part of a trio with the anthropologist Jeremy Narby (The Cosmic Serpent, Intelligence in Nature) and Franz Treichler (The Young Gods).

Mettler’s collaborative partners have included 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, Neil Young, Jeremy Narby, Emma Davie, and many others.

Mettler’s films have been the focus of multiple retrospectives, including at the Toronto International Film Festival, BAFICI, Lincoln Centre, Pacific Film Archive, Jeu de Paume Paris, Cinémathèque Suisse, Porto/Post/Doc, Doc Buenos Aires, DOCMA Madrid, Hot Docs, and many others. His awards include a 2003 Genie (Academy of Canadian Cinema) Award for Best Documentary, the La Sarraz Prize at Locarno Film Festival, Grand Prix and Prix du Jeune Publique at Vision Du Reel, Grand Prize at Figueira da Foz, and Best Film, Best Cinematography, and Best Writing at Hot Docs. His work has been the subject of two books, Making The Invisible Visible (1995), and Of This Place and Elsewhere: The Films and Photography of Peter Mettler (2006). In 2017, Picture Of Light was selected by TIFF as one of Canada’s Essential 150 Canadian Films.

Meditations on our world, rooted in personal experience, Mettler’s works reflect the visions and wonder of their characters and audiences alike.

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Films


Films


Films

Feature documentary, an inspired collaboration between filmmakers Peter Mettler and Emma Davie and environmental philosopher David Abram (The Spell of the Sensuous).

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

Feature documentary, exploring our perception of time. 

Feature documentary, exploring the industrialization of the world’s second-largest oil reserve from above.

2009, Memorizer, Approx 200 min.

Video installation presenting a series of interviews in memory of the collector, artist and scientist Andreas Züst 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.

Documentary short, 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 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 and Théâtre Repère. The movement of the earth's tectonic plates is used to illustrate interconnecting stories on a human scale. 

Feature drama, a surrealistic fable about the search for identity in a media driven world.

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

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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Selected Highlights


Selected Highlights

Selected Highlights


Selected Highlights

The End of Time (2012)

Premio Qualita di Vita Award, Locarno Film Festival
Official Selection: Masters Series, Toronto International Film Festival
Canada's Top Ten Critic’s Selection
Best Documentary, Music, Camera, Swiss Film Prize Nominations
Reflecting Images Masters Official Selection, IDFA
International Competition, CPH:DOX
Opening Night Film, Imagine Science Film Festival
Opening Night Film, RIDM
International Competition, Dok Leipzig
Best of World Documentary, Jihlava International Documentary Film Festival
Wide Angle Documentary Showcase, Busan International Film Festival


Petropolis: Aerial Perspectives on the Alberta Tar Sands
(2009)

Included in Neil Young's 2014 Honour the Treaties concert tour
Prix du Jury du Jeune Publique Award, Visions du Réel
Fondazione Ente dello Spettacolo Prize, Festival dei Popoli


Manufactured Landscapes (2006)

Best Documentary, RiverRun international Film Festival
Reel Current Award, Nashville Film Festival
Best Canadian Film and Best Documentary, Toronto Film Critics Association Awards
Nomination for Best Cinematography, Cinema Eye Honors and IndiePIX
Genie Award for Best Documentary, Academy of Canadian Cinema
Best Canadian Film, Toronto International Film Festival
Grand Jury Prize nomination, Sundance Film Festival
Prix du Jeune Publique, Visions du Réel


Gambling, Gods and LSD (2002)

Grand Prix and Prix du Publique, Visions du Réel
Best Feature Documentary, Vancouver International Festival
Best Documentary, Festival du cinema nouveau
Best Documentary, Duisburger Filmwoche
Top Twenty Canadian Films, Toronto International Film Festival:
Best Documentary (Runner-Up), FIPRESCI
Genie Award for Best Documentary, Academy of Canadian Cinema
Award for Excellence in the Arts, Swiss Ministry of Culture
Named One of the Year’s Best Films, Film Comment Magazine


Balifilm
(1997)

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

2018
Yoshtoyoshto (Live visual mixing with Franz Treichler and Jeremy Narby), performance for Docs Against Gravity in Warsaw, Poland, May 12
Yoshtoyoshto, live performance at CPH:DOX, Copenhagen, Denmark, March 17

2017
Yoshtoyoshto (Live visual mixing with Franz Treichler and Jeremy Narby), performance at Porto/Post/Doc, Porto, Portugal, December 2
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

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

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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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Workshops & Lectures


Selected Workshops & lectures

Workshops & Lectures


Selected Workshops & lectures

WORKSHOPS & 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

JURY MEMBERSHIPS

Imagine Science Film Festival, New York
DocumentaMadrid, Spain
Festival dei Popoli, Florence, Italy
BAFICI Film Festival, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Era New Horizons Film Festival, Wroclaw, Poland
IDFA Documentary Festival, Amsterdam
Festival du Cinema Nouveau, Montreal
Visions du Reel, Nyon, Switzerland
Hot Docs, Toronto
Locarno International Film Festival, Switzerland
World Film Festival, Montreal
Ontario Arts Council, Toronto