(June 11, 2014 – Toronto, Ontario) Recently we’ve received a lot of short, bulletin-like news items that we find hard to place but still deserve mention. As we have done in the past, the best thing for us is to gather them together in a single piece that knits together separate stories from across the country, which is proof in itself that the film industry, while never truly robust, is alive and kicking just about everywhere you look.
With all the attention focused on the 70th anniversary of D-Day you can be forgiven if you didn’t notice the rapid approach of the 100th anniversary of World War 1, which erupted on July 28, 1914. Beginning this week, specifically this Friday, June 13, the Vancouver International Film Festival presents a remarkable production that shouldn’t be missed.
Commemorating the centenary of the outbreak of what British propagandists dubbed both “The Great War” and “The War to End All Wars”, Apocalypse WWI is a monumental undertaking, France-Canada co-production led by French documentarians Isabelle Clark and Daniel Costello. Culled from more than 500 hours of archival material, this is WWI as you have never experienced it before: artfully colorized in a painstakingly researched process that brings the footage to life with unprecedented impact. Unfolding over five stunning 52-minute installments, Apocalypse WWI takes viewers to the battlefields, inside the minds of those who governed, and to the heart of the everyday life of civilians behind the lines. It transports us from the trenches in northern France to the front lines of Russia, Serbia, Turkey, Palestine and the Arabian deserts. Click here for more information about Apocalypse WWI.
If you were thinking of submitting a film to the Atlantic Film Festival, the deadline is this Friday. Being the dreaded Friday The 13th, you might be able to get an extension if you can convince someone you actually suffer from triskaidekaphobia. But we doubt that will work.
Speaking of film festivals, The 8th annual Toronto Urban Film Festival (TUFF) returns to subway platform screens across Toronto from September 5 – 15, 2014. TUFF is open to Canadian and international filmmakers. The festival pays artist fees for selected films, and awards thousands of dollars in cash and prizes. TUFF films play to an audience of over 1 millions daily commuters on screens across the Toronto subway system plus millions more on screens across Canada. Celebrated Canadian filmmaker Guy Maddin is the TUFF 2014 Guest Judge. TUFF accepts all genres of silent, one-minute film, video, and animation of interest to an urban population, which can be screened to a general audience. Submissions are free Before June 15 and the final deadline: July 15, 2014. Click here for more about TUFF.
Next Monday, June 16, in Toronto, aspiring documentary filmmakers and those just curious about the process and impact of making films about things that happen all around us shouldn’t miss a talk being given by award-winning director, John Kastner. Kastner and Executive Producer Silva Basmajian tackle the subject of documentary films and in particular their latest feature, Out of Mind, Out of Sight. Discussion topics will include the positive economic impact filming has on a community, the added value that festivals have on the industry, and reaching bigger audiences with new distribution models for docs that include VOD exposure. The speakers include John Kastner (Director), Silva Basmajian (Executive Producer), Jane Jankovic (Commissioning Editor, TVO), Elizabeth Radshaw (Industry Programs Director, Hot Docs) and Robin Smith, (President, KinoSmith Inc.). The talk will be given at the Ritz-Carlton in Toronto beginning at 5:00pm. Click here to reserve your tickets.
This Sunday on the CBC documentary series The Passionate Eye, Oscar-winning director Alex Gibney exposes the abuse of power in the Catholic Church and a cover-up that winds its way from the row houses of Milwaukee Wisconsin, through the bare ruined choirs of Ireland’s churches, all the way to the highest office of the Vatican. By investigating the secret crimes of a charismatic priest who abused over 200 deaf children in a school under his control – the film shows the face of evil that lurks behind the smiles and denials of authority figures and institutions who believe that because they stand for good they can do no wrong. THe doc will have a repeat airing on CBC News Network on June 21. Click here for more about Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God.