Dinca — contemporary art blog

Night Mayor by Guy Maddin


Night Mayor (2009) is the latest short film by Canadian-expressionist-surrealist filmmaker Guy Maddin.  The ten-minute film will have its world premiere at the upcoming 2009 Toronto International Film Festival.  Set during 1939 in Winnipeg, Canada, the film follows a Bosnian immigrant who conceives a way to harness the power of the Aurora Borealis — also know as the northern lights — and the Bosnian immigrant uses the northern lights to broadcast imagery coast to coast.  Continue reading this article to watch two minutes from the film and for a longer synopsis.

Side Note: The phenomenon of Aurora Borealis is produced from an interaction between the Earth’s magnetic field and solar wind.


Winnipeg, 1939. A Bosnian immigrant to Canada, Nihad Ademi, conceives of a way to harness the power of the Aurora Borealis in order to broadcast imagery of his vast and beloved adopted land from coast to coast to coast. From his tenement apartment-cum-laboratory, with the help of his large and eager family, Nihad perfects his device and prepares to bring Canada – or at least images of Canada, from the fighting beaver on – to its own people. From directly in the centre of the country, a startling broadcast emanates like ripples in a formerly placid pond.

Incredibly, due to the unfathomable powers of the Northern Lights, the device begins projecting images that do not even exist – images plumbed first from the depths of Nihad Ademi’s subconscious mind, and presently from the group consciousness of the whole citizenry of Canada.

However, all of this does not rest easy with the government. They stage a raid on Nihad’s laboratory in an effort to prevent the dissemination of unregulated patriotic imagery. The climactic donnybrook between cops and family leads to the tragic suspension of this remarkable method of broadcast, and relegates Nihad Ademi to the footnotes of Canadian history.

Night Mayor Video Clip:



NFBC: Guy Maddin talks about Night Mayor (Guy Maddin Interview)

Cinematical: Guy Maddin’s New Short to Premiere at TIFF

Night Mayor on IMDB

1 Comment

  • Erika says:

    Guy Maddin is such a wonderful man. I interviewed him last November for visual arts magazine BlackFlash and we’ve been in contact since. He always informs me of his latest works I always find myself amazed by his ideas and fascinations.

    It was a pleasure seeing Night Mayor at TIFF and an even bigger pleasure finally meeting him face-to-face. He’s probably the most kind-hearted director I’ve ever seen!

    Anyways…thanks for posting this. I’ll also be posting an article about Night Mayor shortly.

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