(March 17, 2014 – Toronto, Ontario) The 2014 edition of the Canadian Film Fest kicks off later this week with the twice made Patch Town. What began as a short blossomed into a feature and this year it gets a boost because costar, Zoie Palmer, just picked up a Canadian Screen Award after 20,000 fans across Canada and the globe voted to make her the winner of the Fan Choice Award for Favourite Canadian Screen Star.
The festival, now in its 8th year, only runs for three days starting this Thursday and wrapping on Saturday. In that short time 6 features and 14 shorts are on tap all screening at The Royal on College Street in Toronto.
“From dramas, to documentaries and genre films, this year’s lineup represents the diversity of work coming from the Canadian filmmaking community,” said Bern Euler, Executive Director of the Canadian Film Festival. “It is an honour to present these films for Toronto audiences to enjoy and celebrate all of the talent in our own backyard.”
Here`s a rundown of the features at the 2014 Canadian Film Fest:
PATCH TOWN (Opening Night Film). Director: Craig Goodwill Cast: Zoie Palmer, Julian Richings, Rob Ramsay, Scott Thompson. Inspired by his award-winning short film of the same name, Craig Goodwill’s feature debut is a surreal, one-of-a-kind vision of faux Russian folklore laid over a sharp satire of contemporary consumer culture. Jon is just another mindless laborer on an assembly line, but at no ordinary factory. Day after day he and his fellow drones harvest kids from cabbages – kids that will go on to become the beloved toys of little boys and girls in the land outside this dreadful factory. But when Jon discovers an awful secret that he and all the indentured workers are actually grown-up and discarded toys, he’ll have to take on a villainous corporation to reunite with his long-lost mother, protect his newfound family, and finally find freedom.
THE BIRDER Director: Ted Bezaire Cast: Tom Cavanagh, Mark Rendall, Jamie Spilchuk, Cassidy Renee, Tommie-Amber Pirie, Allana Harkin, Scott Cavalheiro, Jim Annan, Graham Greene and Fred Willard. Ron Spencer, a mild-mannered high-school teacher and devoted bird watcher is thrown into a tailspin of despair after his long sought after position as “Head of Ornithology” at the local Birding Park is given to the young and flashy Floyd Hawkins.
THE PRIVILEGED Director: Leah Walker Cast: Sam Trammell, Joshua Close, Laura Harris, Lina Roessler. Richard Hunter, a promising young lawyer at a prestigious firm, has the perfect future mapped out. However, a costly mistake with a powerful client has put it all at risk. In a desperate attempt to save his job, Richard and his wife Tara spend the weekend at the cottage of senior partner Preston Westwood. The young couple is quickly seduced by their charismatic hosts’ lavish lifestyle but it is clear that something ominous lies just below the surface. After a devastating act of violence reveals that they have become pawns in a blood feud between the Westwoods and a local family, Richard and Tara must decide what they are willing to sacrifice for success: their morals, their marriage, or their lives.
PLAY THE FILM Director: Alec Toller Cast: Kristian Bruun, Kelly McCormack, Danny Pagett, Colin Munch, Tim Walker, Caitlin Driscoll, Gwen Cumyn, Roger Bainbridge, Peter Higginson, Robb Wiggin, Conor Bradbury, Claire Armstrong, Bryony Byrne, Suzette McCanny. When the opening night of a new play goes horribly awry, the actors are forced to frantically improvise the plot onstage. Clashing egos, tested friendships and a series of disastrous misunderstandings combine to create the most offensive, shocking and accidental piece of theater ever to debut in front of a live audience.
H & G Director: Danishka Esterhazy Cast: Breazy Diduck-Wilson, Annika Elyse Irving. A modern retelling of The Brothers Grimm fairy tale Hansel and Gretel, H & G follows a girl and a boy living in poverty and neglect. After finding themselves lost in the woods, they see a house that appears to be magical and rush toward it. But in this house, danger lurks and all they have is each other.
AFTERPARTY (Closing Night Film) Director: Michelle Ouellet Cast: Graham Coffeng, Ali Liebert, Nicholas Carella, David Milchard, Jodi Blafour, Christina Sicoli, Emma Lahana, Peter Benson, Erica Carroll. On the night of his brother’s wedding, best man Charlie gets the old gang back together for a fun-filled, post-reception after party at the newlyweds’ home where he has been staying for several weeks. Unsure of how to proceed with his own troubled marriage, Charlie reunites “the fellas” fifteen years after high school in hopes that revisiting the past will help him find clarity about his plans for the future. What Charlie finds, however, is that while his friends have all taken different paths, they are all faced with similar conundrums that come with being in their thirties.
There`s an impressive list of short films and more information available online at the Canadian Film Fest website. Click here for a link to that an other March 2014 film festivals.