Planner . Filmmaker . Edmontonian
A local filmmaker is offering Air Canada passengers a window on Edmonton through its window-covered bathrooms.
Adam Bentley’s cheekily titled film ICUP looks at the public bathrooms on Whyte Avenue that opened last year. The bathrooms have been designed with floor to ceiling windows meant to allow people to see in for security reasons.
The film is a finalist in the EnRoute Film Festival, which allows passengers to watch the entries in flight or at several screenings. Prizes include trips to the Sundance Film Festival and a top prize of $5,000.
“It happens on all their seat-back consoles, so you will be able to watch a little bit of Edmonton 35,000 feet up,” said Bentley.
A full-time urban planner, Bentley said he wanted to make a film about the bathrooms, because they represent a bigger discussion.
“I have always been interested in how people perceive and use public space,” he said.
The six-minute documentary features interviews with the architect, Murray Davidson with the Old Strathcona Businesses Association, and regular Edmontonians.
Bentley said he has found that the design really divides people.
“When people see it, it definitely polarizes their opinions making them either uncomfortable or very comfortable with it,” he said.
Davidson said when he was first approached about the documentary he was surprised, but when he thought about the uniqueness of the project and Bentley’s urban planning background it made sense.
“It was right up his alley to do the documentary and we thought great, great exposure,” he said.
He said he is not at all worried about what thousands of Air Canada passengers might think when they see the documentary.
“It shows proper design and that we are forward thinking and we are catching up with the rest of the world,” he said.
Davidson said the bathrooms are a great addition to the area and not just for the bar crowd.
“They are heavily utilized throughout the day. Contrary to popular belief, they have done counts and it is equally used by men and women – about 500 on the average weekend.”