PuSh Blog

Kiss the Rabbit: Celebrating 10 Years of the PuSh Festival

June 05, 2014

Still image of Norman Armour from Kiss the RabbitFocusing on one thing for more than 10 minutes a day can prove difficult for the best of us today. Focusing on one three-week event, once a year for ten years is a labour of love that comes with great tenacity and vision — it’s a feat worth documenting. That’s exactly what local Vancouver director, Ian Barbour, signed up for when he accepted the creative challenge of condensing ten years of international and local interdisciplinary performing arts (and everything in-between) into a forty-nine minutes and forty second video. Kiss the Rabbit debuted at the Vancity Theatre to PuSh Festival patrons in May this year, before its nationwide release on the TELUS Optik Local network, thanks to the TELUS community programming grant. We spoke with Ian about his experience working with PuSh and Gob’s Squad in time for the film’s release on the PuSh Festival’s YouTube channel. You can stream the video at the end of this page.

What about this project made it enticing to you as a filmmaker?
I enjoy working on projects that have a strong element of randomness, and I think much Gob Squad’s Super Night Shot embraces the potential of the everyday random encounter. That and the excitement around PuSh’s 10th anniversary, and PuSh’s willingness to give us a lot of freedom as to where to take the project, made this an exciting project to work on.

What did you take away from the project?
The relationships with people involved with PuSh and the artists in Gob Squad were the most important things for me. Every person I worked with on this project has been so generous and kind, and I would love to see other collaborations grow out of this.

Were there any particular challenges/surprises?
Not knowing what you will get is always a bit scary with any documentary project. With the coverage of SNS being central to the concept, our fate was tied to that of the performance. However, the artists in Gob Squad were incredibly generous with their time and let us film both the dress rehearsal and final performance. This gave us a good practice run, as well as twice the coverage we would have had if we had only filmed the gala performance. In the end, both performances were incredible, so some of our hardest decisions were about what not to show.