Raphael Bendahan, born in Casablanca, Morocco in 1949, immigrated to Toronto, Ontario in 1956. Studied English Literature and Bunuel’s Spanish Cinema at the University of Toronto. Founding member of The Canadian Film-Makers Distribution Centre, (Toronto 1970) and Mind and Sight Gallery (Toronto 1973), published the photography journal Impressions Magazine (Toronto, 1969-73). While attending Rochdale College in Toronto, he worked as a freelance photographer and radio documentarist for CBC radio, researcher for CBC archives and the Multicultural History Society of Ontario. His photography has appeared in Jewish Dialogue, Saturday Night Magazine, This Magazine and Tamarack Review. He moved to Montreal in 1978 to obtain his Master of Fine Arts degree (1981) and became a founding member of Mainfilm Co-Op (1980) and Prim Video (1984) where he served as executive director. Most of his earlier films are imbued with an exilic memory. They trace the diasporic culture of splintered communities by using experimental techniques and fragmented narratives. His two photography exhibitions, Façade and Holy Week In Spain, broach the present as history.
Mr. Bendahan’s films and videos have been shown nationally and internationally in various venues: the Toronto Film Festival, Canada House (London), The National Gallery of Canada, The Art Gallery of Ontario, The Montreal International Film festival, FIFA (The Festival International of Films on Art), Le Centre George Pompidou (Paris), Le Musee du Quebec, Belgium’s 5th Experimental Film Festival of Knokke Heist, The New York City Experimental Film Festival and Millennium Film Archives in New York. The University of New Mexico, the Knokke Heist Film Archives in Belgium, the National Gallery of Canada and the Canada Council Art Bank in Ottawa have collected his films videos and photographs. His photo The Tribe won the Grand Prix Prize of Focal Press and was recently on display at Rideau Hall’s Exhibition “Diasporart”, Ottawa (2010).
Mr. Bendahan has taught photography, film and video production at The Okalakatiget Society in Nain, Labrador, the Fine Arts program of Concordia University and the Saidye Bronfman Centre in Montreal. Currently he divides his time between Toronto and Montreal.