Cinema Subterrain was a free microcinema in the basement of LA Mood's Comics and Games, in London Ontario. Originally part of the larger project of the Nofrequency Media Collective, it grew beyond it's original mandate and became a communal space for cult/ indie and fringe cinema enthusiasts in the city. Running bi-monthly, from January 2004-January 2006, Cinema Subterrain was largely programmed by myself, although I did invite guest curators such as Toronto's Dion Conflict to present screening programmes.
When it began as a screening venue, CinSub focused on works by DIY and experimental creators, but as time went on, the programming also featured cult and forgotten films, 'lost' television pilots, and screenings focused around small gauge cinema (8mm/Super 8mm/ 16mm). I also programmed special thematic events around popular cult figures in cinema. This included an annual 'Zilla Fest', dedicated to Godzilla film and culture (including video games and collector's meetup), and the annual 'Shatner Fest', which featured obscure video clips, shorts and features from William Shatner's Career.
Other events featured live performances using film projectors and record players, playing found home movie film footage and mixing it live to various forms of music. Or the Download This screening, which was originally programmed for the University of Toronto's Cinema Studies Society; which featured downloaded videos based on popular trends on file sharing networks prior to the introduction of YouTube.
After two years and many screenings, Cinema Subterrain ended. It was an incredible experience, and a wonderful community. Often the events became ad hoc pot luck affairs, with audience members bringing everything from pots of homemade chili, to home baked goods to share with others. CinSub was perhaps the longest running programme I have done to date, and is one of the foundational reasons why I choose so often to work in alternative spaces rather than traditional galleries. There's always been an odd charm to these kinds of underground spaces that draw me to them.