The Messenger

3pm, Saturday November 7

Bookshelf Cinema – $12

Su Rynard – Canada 2015 – 84min
Director Sy Rynard will attend
Presented by the Woolwich Arrow with support from Bird Studies Canada

Su Rynard’s wide-ranging and contemplative documentary The Messenger explores our deep-seated connection to birds and warns that the uncertain fate of songbirds might mirror our own. Moving from the northern reaches of the Boreal Forest to the base of Mount Ararat in Turkey to the streets of New York, The Messenger brings us face-to-face with a remarkable variety of human-made perils that have devastated thrushes, warblers, orioles, tanagers, grosbeaks and many other airborne music-makers.

On one level, The Messenger is an engaging, visually stunning, emotional journey, one that mixes its elegiac message with hopeful notes and unique glances into the influence of songbirds on our own expressions of the soul. On another level, The Messenger is the artful story about the mass depletion of songbirds on multiple continents, and about those who are working to turn the tide, including activists in Toronto. In ancient times humans looked to the flight and songs of birds to protect the future. Today once again, birds have something to tell us.

Su Rynard Director of Messenger

Director Su Rynard

Su Rynard is a filmmaker with a body of work that spans two decades. From her early video art to her recent feature films, she has worked across a range of approaches: dramatic, experimental, documentary and installation. Her interest in ecology, natural history and science has informed and inspired her recent projects, including The Messenger.

In 2006, Rynard wrote and directed her debut feature dramatic film, Kardia, which was awarded the prestigious Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize. In 2000 she directed the National Film Board feature length documentary, Dream Machine. Her films have screened in festivals including TIFF in Toronto and the IFFR in Rotterdam. She was a Director Resident at the Canadian Film Centre in 1996-1997 and is a graduate of the Ontario College of Art. 

Jody Allair of Bird Studies Canada will join Su Rynard for our post-film discussion.


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Guelph Film Festival
269 Liverpool St. N1H 2L6
Guelph, Ontario, Canada

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