WORLD PREMIERE :
Thursday, Sept. 22, 7:15 pm ADT (22:15 UTC)
Spectres of Shortwave / Ombres des ondes courtes
A film about radio waves, relationships, landscape, and loss.
Exciting news! Spectres of Shortwave is finally finished!
After seven long years, it’s finally time to share this film and the radio doc with the public! The final corrections to subtitles and credits were completed two weeks ago, and the DCP shipped out last week! The world premiere screening takes place at the Atlantic Film Festival in Halifax next Thursday, September 22, at 7:15 pm.
This documentary about the Radio Canada International shortwave towers is both a film and a radio documentary, and while viewers watch the film in one part of the world, listeners can simultaneously listen to the radio doc in other parts of the world.
The film will be premiering in Canada at the Atlantic Film Festival in Halifax, while the radio documentary simultaneously makes it’s premiere on Wave Farm Radio out of New York.
About the film:
Long before the internet, there was shortwave. A mysterious web of international shortwave radio towers once dominated the Tantramar marshscape. Meanwhile, local residents heard radio broadcasts emanate unexpectedly from their household appliances.
The Radio Canada International shortwave relay site was built during World War 2, to broadcast to Europe and Africa. It continued to broadcast around the world during the Cold War and beyond, not only for Canada, but also relaying transmissions for Radio Free Europe, Voice of Vietnam, Radio Korea, Radio Japan, and Radio China, among others. Located in Sackville, New Brunswick, it was perfectly positioned to transmit across the Atlantic Ocean, and covered most of the globe with its transmissions.
This experimental documentary film focuses on the flat marshland landscape accompanied by stories told by local residents and the technicians who worked at the site.
After beginning this project, the Canadian government announced that the Radio Canada International shortwave relay site would be shut down and dismantled. As such, a final chapter was added to the film, which documents the dismantling of this historic structure.
About the Radio doc:
While the images of the film capture landscape imagery of the towers over four seasons in various weather conditions, the sound track of the film doubles as a radio documentary as stories told by local residents and the technicians who worked at the site are accompanied by field recordings from the area as well as contact microphone recordings made from the towers themselves.
In the final chapter of the documentary, the audio is comprised only of the contact microphone recordings of the towers and the sounds of their demolition. The beginning of the demolition is a rich soundscape with the drones of all thirteen towers playing together. As each tower falls and crashes to the ground, it’s voice is removed from the mix, until we are left with the single drone of the last tower standing until it falls.
More info on the film, including video clips, photos, and press clippings can be found here:
World Premiere Film Screening:
Thursday, September 22, 7:15pm ADT
Atlantic Film Festival: Halifax, Nova Scotia
Cineplex Cinemas: Park Lane: Theatre 5
Ticket purchases and info: click here
World Premiere Radio Simulcast
Thursday, September 22, 6:15pm EDT (22:15 UTC)
Wave Farm Radio: Acra, New York
Tune in and listen online here :
This film was made possible with the support of
the Canada Council for the Arts,
the New Brunswick Arts Board,
the Shaw Hot Docs Completion Fund
the Linda Joy Post Award
the National Film Board of Canda : Atlantic Centre
the Atlantic Filmmakers Cooperative
studio Prim, and
Wave Farm WGXC FM