Visions 4 Announces Keynote Speaker: Writer and Feminist Scholar Kiva Reardon

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On behalf of the Fourth Annual Visions Film Festival and Conference, I am pleased to announce that our April 4th event will feature Canadian writer and film scholar Kiva Reardon as our keynote speaker! Reardon is a bilingual (English, French) arts, film and television professional with experience in arts administration, communications, writing, editing, production, and social media. She also serves as an active member of the Toronto Film Critics Association and Alliance of Women Film Journalists.

With an inextinguishable interest in critical theory, cinema, and feminism, Reardon first attended McGill University in Montreal as an undergraduate, earning her B.A. in Cultural Studies in 2009. In 2012, she received her M.A. in Cinema Studies from the University of Toronto, where she also held a Teaching Assistant position throughout her graduate study (responsible for teaching a class of 40 students). Considering an obvious dedication to her extended education in cinema and cultural studies, one may assume that an equal, high-level of related work experience doubtful, at least until her formal study had been completed. Think so? You don’t know Kiva Reardon. So stop, take a few deep breaths, and prepare yourself for the highly effective scholar and writer that is Ms. Reardon. I have not even begun to express the true ambitious fire that seems to have engulfed her life and aspirations--a fire fueled primarily by a passion for the cinema, writing, and feminist theory.  

What is most impressive is Reardon’s creation of her very own film journal. She is founder and editor of Cleo Journal (April 2013– Present), a quarterly digital journal of film and film culture informed by feminist perspectives. She also holds the position of Staff Film Writer for The at Bell Media (May 2012–Present) and has worked as a freelance writer for the past five years (March 2009–Present), serving as an on-going contributor to Cinema Scope and NOW Magazine, with work published in the National Post, Reverse Shot, Ms. Magazine, Torontoist, Cinephile Journal, AV Club Toronto, and Rue Morgue.

In regards to production experience, Reardon was the Business Affairs Coordinator for Shaftesbury Films Inc. (May 2008 – August 2008), and held the Publicity Coordinator position for Insight Production Company from August to November in 2009. Reardon also worked as a Production Assistant for John Greyson Film (Greyzone Production Co.) from February to April in 2012.  

Her work with the Toronto Irish Film Festival as Public Relations Manager (February 2011– November 2011) was a very pleasant surprise not only for our staff, but myself as well, as I’m  holding her identical position on the Visions4 staff. I may have to squeeze in a few more of my own questions, as I would be a fool not to pick her PR brain for my own benefit! Although, the fact that Reardon does have festival staff experience is amazing and that will be a huge benefit for both the staff and herself regarding communication.

At Visions Film Festival and Conference, the same kind of emotion and ardor is present in our undergraduate filmmakers, scholars, and staff, along with professors and event guests. As keynote speaker of Visions4, Reardon will nurture these passions for film and writing inside of everyone--and perhaps create a few new ones as well. Established by the variety and sheer amount of successful work she has done this early in her surely long career, Reardon will have the ability to immediately invigorate the spirit of the undergraduate filmmakers and scholars in attendance, allowing their future aspirations to take form in reality, not from the point-of-view of starved dreams, but from a real-world perspective that has been rid of excuses and doubt. This of course accomplishes a primary responsibility of Visions: to help securely bridge the imposing transition between film school and film career.

Kiva Reardon is a true visionary with a well rounded range of experience in both the film and media industry, and she has extensive scholarly writing/editor knowledge as well, founding her own film publication. She is certainly a near-perfect rendering of the Visions4 mission as a whole, and her accomplishments and future aspirations are much more than intimidating--they are inspiring.