Mitchell Stafiej is a disabled filmmaker and sound designer who lives and works in Montreal, Quebec. He has lived with Type 1 Diabetes since he was 16 years old. His films explore the potential and the political power of juxtaposition and the cut; language-less demonstrations of social change. He embraces textural images and harsh sound and often shoots films on 16mm and lo-fi technology like HI-8 and cell phones. He is constantly on the search for the ‘anti-image’ and tries to expand the notion of what can be considered cinematic.
His past documentary work explored the politics of racism, hate, and religion. His first documentary The Devil’s Trap was a deeply personal and harrowing exploration of a highly secretive and religious cult. It used analog media to represent the degrading state of mind of the main character. The film premiered at CPH:DOX, where it competed for the F:ACT Award. In fiction, Mitchell destabilizes traditional narratives to create portraits of distinct moments in time. His first film Found, used cell phone images and characters filming themselves to present a family struggling with grief. His next film, the 16mm fever dream A, funded by Telefilm Canada, followed an alcoholic ambient musician who locked himself in his apartment on a dangerous seven-day bender. His next film, Waste Island, shot on HI-8, is a portrait of an irreverent and lonely Type 1 Diabetic who returns to his hometown for one night to relive his teenage glory days. His upcoming documentary is an experimental exploration of the definition of the word 'inequality' under capitalism.
He received his M.F.A. in Studio Arts from Concordia University in 2018 and currently teaches film production, film studies, and art history at John Abbott College.
Type One Films is an independent film production company from Montreal, Quebec. Founded in 2015 by filmmaker Mitchell Stafiej, Type One prioritizes and produces documentary, fiction, and short films made by directors living with a disability.
Through each of its productions, Type One tries to advocate for equal opportunity and access to funding for filmmakers that live with a chronic illness and/or mental and physical disability.
Type One refers to Type 1 Diabetes -- an illness that producer and director Mitchell Stafiej has lived with since 2007.