Between the Cuts with Mary Stephen

From growing up in Hong Kong to immigrating to Montreal, her father’s Bolex films to working with director Eric Rohmer, film editor to film director, there is no shortcut to covering the journey Mary Stephen has taken in her 30-plus years in film. Join us in conversation with our 2023 Fire Horse recipient as Mary retraces some of the formative moments that have laid the foundation for her artistic vision and practice.

This talk will be moderated by Xi Feng and feature a screening of the short film The Memory of Water or Jeanne Moreau and Steamed Fish (2018) along with other film clips and excerpts from Mary’s filmography.

Light snacks and beverages will be provided.

Thurs, June 13 2024
5PM– 8:30PM ET

The Commons @ 401 Richmond
401 Richmond, 4th Floor

The film screening portion will be subtitled in Chinese and English. The artist talk will feature selected clips without captions.


With Support From


Xi Feng

Xi Feng is a Chinese-born Canadian film editor based in Montreal. Having lived in China, Canada, and France, she has cultivated a unique blend of cultural and artistic sensitivity. Xi has worked as an editor on award-winning films, including Clebs, Cette Maison, Caiti Blues and most recently, Universal Language which won the inaugural Audience Award at the Quinzaine des Cinéastes. Her filmography includes films premiered at prestigious festivals such as Berlinale, Cannes, Sundance, Vision du Réel, Hot Docs, etc. She also served as an editing mentor for festivals such as Hot Docs, Reel Asian and CCDF.

Mary Stephen

Born in Hong Kong, Mary’s family immigrated to Canada, where she finished high school and went to Loyola College of Concordia University for Communication Arts. Moving to Paris for graduate studies, Mary became French New Wave director Eric Rohmer’s film editor and occasional co-composer for several decades. In the last 15 years, she travelled and worked extensively with fiction and documentary filmmakers from several continents as film editor, associate-producer or script advisor. A partial list of these includes Yoïchiro Okutani’s Nude At Heart, Japan-France coproduction for Arte; Ann Hui’s Love After Love (Venice Biennale 2020 Life Achievement Award);Our Time Will Come; Septet, a story of Hong Kong (Cannes 2020); Nicole Shafer’s Buddha In Africa (NHK Award); Tiffany Hsiung’s The Apology (Peabody Award); Seren Yüce’s Majority (Venice Lion of the Future); Du Haibin’s Umbrella, 1428 (Venice Biennale Orizzonti Doc Award), and A Young Patriot; Lixin Fan’s Last Train Home (IDFA Grand Prize); Michka Saäl’s China Me; Lina Yang’s Wild Grass of Qingdao; Jessey Tsang Tsui Shan’s Flowing Stories, Winter Chants and Lady Improper; Adam Wong’s The Way We Keep Dancing; Amos Why’s Dot 2 Dot and Napping Kid; Li Yang’s Blind Mountain (Cannes Un Certain Regard); Hüseyin Karabey’s My Marlon and Brando (Tribeca Best New Director), and Do Not Forget Me Istanbul omnibus film with directors from the Baltic region: Hany Abou-Assad (Palestine), Aida Begic (Bosnia), Stefan Arsenijevic (Serbia), Stergios Niziris (Greece), Eric Nazarian ( Armenia).

Mary’s works as writer and director include Ombres de Soie, Justocoeur, A Very Easy Death, Pawaganak: the Great Canadian Puberty Rite, Vision from the Edge: Breyten Breytenbach Painting the Lines, and The Memory of Water. Her films have been in numerous international festivals and are being restored at the Immagina Ritrovata in Bologna right now for the permanent collection of M+ Museum of Hong Kong.

Nominated for Golden Horse, Independent Eye, and HK and Turkish film awards, and Feature Artist at Reel Asian Film Festival 2002, Mary also guest-teaches, takes part in juries and forums, and mentors young filmmakers in many countries. She is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the French Académie des Césars, the CCE (Canadian Cinema Editors), the SOCAN and Rough Cut Service. She received the Chevalier in the Order of Letters and Arts of the French Cultural Ministry in 2018, Reel Asian Fire Horse Award 2023, and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the CCE in 2024.

She is currently at work on her new essay film PALIMPSEST: TRACES OF A NAME, coproduced by 24Images (France), Volos Films (Taiwan), ProduSa (Hongkong) and Arte (France/Germany). She raised 3 children as a divorced mom and lives in Paris close to them, their partners and her 2 grandchildren.

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