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CDN Films at TIFF 2021

CDN Films at TIFF 2021, image,

CDN Films at TIFF 2021
by Ralph Lucas – Publisher

(July 30, 2021 – Toronto, ON) August arrives this weekend, which means the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) isn’t far behind. In fact it opens on September 9 and runs for 10 days. The 46th edition of the festival will offer more than 100 films under the banner of an Official Selection. And, most important to many and probably all cinephiles, there will be a return of in-person screenings at the downtown TIFF Bell Lightbox, Roy Thomson Hall, the Visa Screening Room at the Princess of Wales Theatre, and Festival Village at the iconic waterfront location of Ontario Place.

As has been our annual task since our first year online 25 years ago, we take a look at some of the Canadian films screening this year. There are varying degrees of Canadian from 100 percent to something quite less. Co-productions are now common as the cost of producing movies has risen over the last few decades and the Canadian part of some films is almost purely he financial end of the deal. We are still completing pages for some of the movies mentioned in this article, but there should be more than enough to give you an idea of what will be on the screen when you see it at TIFF or after its official release. These are the films that have caught my attention.

Maria Chapdelaine was slated to open in Québec in late 2020 but with the onslaught of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re not sure it did. Based on the beloved Québec novel by Louis Hémon, it was first filmed in 1983. Directed by the renowned Gilles Carl, it costarred Carole Laure and Nick Mancuso. The 2020 version is a lush production that tells the story of a young woman having to choose between three suitors, each promising a different life. The title character is played by Sara Montpetit, making her screen debut. In the role first occupied by Mancuso, Émile Schneider plays François Paradis, one of her suitors. Maria Chapdelaine will screen in the festival’s Contemporary World Cinema.

All My Puny Sorrows, image,
Sarah Gadon & Alison Pill in a publicity still for All My Puny Sorrows.

Michael McGowan is one of our favourite directors. His career has given us some of the nicest films ever produced in Canada. They include 2008’s One Week which showed off the country between Toronto and Vancouver while a young man on a motorcycle, Joshua Jackson, makes the journey of his life. Score: A Hockey Musical got the big TIFF treatment when it was selected to be the festival’s opening Gala film in 2010. While ultimately it became a better piece of entertainment on television than on the big screen, it was a terrific piece of filmmaking. Then there’s Still Mine, the gentle and heartbreaking love story of an 89-year-old New Brunswicker (James Cromwell) who comes up against the system when he sets out to build a more suitable house for his wife (Geneviиve Bujold) whose memory is starting to go. This time McGowan returns to TIFF for a Special Presentation of his latest film, All My Puny Sorrows. Based on the 2014 international best-selling novel by Mriam Toews, All My Puny Sorrows tells the story of two Mennonite sisters, played by Alison Pill and Sarah Gadon, who leave their religious lives behind. One has become a concert pianist obsessed with ending her life, the other is a writer who is wrestling with this decision and makes profound discoveries about herself.

Wildhood, movie, image,
Wildhood promotional still by Riley Smith. Used with Permission.

Wildhood is an Indigenous feature from Rebel Road producer Gharrett Patrick Paon and written, directed and co-produced by Bretten Hannam. Shot in Nova Scotia the story opens in a rural east-coast trailer park. Link, played by Phillip Lewitski, lives with his toxic father and younger half-brother Travis. When Link discovers his Mi’kmaw mother could still be alive, they light a flame and make a run for a better life. On the road they meet Pasmay, a pow wow dancer drawn to Link. The film is in English and Mi’kmaw. Wildhood screens at TIFF in their Discovery program.

The Middle Man, movie, image,

The Middle Man is a Norway-Canada-Germany-Denmark co-production that was shot in Ontario and Germany. The international cast includes Canadian heavyweight stars Don McKellar, Paul Gross and Rossif Sutherland along with Sheila McCarthy and Kenneth Welsh. Based on the novel SLUK by Lars Saabye Christensen, the feature is produced, directed and the screenplay adapted by Norwegian-born Bent Hamer. He made his debut in 1995 with a film titled Eggs. It went on to win the Best First Film at the 19th Moscow International Film Festival and received the FIPRESCI Prize at the 1995 Toronto International Film Festival. The Middle Man comes seven ears since his last feature, 2014’s drama 1001 Grams. The Middle Man is described as an oddball comedy and screens in the Special Presentations program.

Other Canadian films we will detail next week include Scarborough, Learn To Swim and Clifford the Big Red Dog, a Canada/United States/United Kingdom co-production based on the children’s book series. You wouldn’t think of this as a typical “festival film” but programmers are making a nod toward family viewing now that cinemas are beginning to open up.

While not a Canadian film, the documentary Jagged is about Ottawa-raised singer-songwriter Alanis Morissette and it will have its World Premiere gala presentation at TIFF 2021.

Please note: TIFF’s full schedule will be released on August 24.

Northernstars logo imageRalph Lucas is the founder and publisher of Northernstars.ca. He began writing about film and reviewing movies while in radio in Montreal in the mid-1970s.

Michael Musi

Michael Musi, actor,
Michael Musi as Terrance in a CBC publicity photo for Kim's Convenience.

B: in Montréal, Québec

Michael Musi is best known for playing Terence on the hit CBC-TV sitcom Kim’s Convenience from 2016 to 2021. The series Something Undone was co-written and produced by Musi, a former Montrealer from a Middle Eastern background who is also an accomplished playwright.

Features & TV Movies:
VR indicates Direct-to-Video Release

Jude & the Jinn (2015, short)
Little Italy (2018)
The Kindness of Strangers (2019)
Dinner For Three (2019, short)
Radio Silence (TV-2019)

All My Puny Sorrows (2021)

TV Series – Cast:
Kim’s Convenience (2016-2021)

Something Undone (2021)

TV Series – Guest appearances:
Single Ladies (2015)
Man Seeking Woman (2016)
Blink Twice (2019)

Christian & Nat (2020)
Something Undone (2021)

Little Italy, movie, poster,
Poster for Little Italy courtesy of eOne Films.

Jordan Poole

Jordan Poole, actor,

B: in Halifax, Nova Scotia

Jordan Poole was just 3 when he began his acting career. He is known mostly for playing Alex in 27 episodes of Mr. D between 2012 and 2018.

Features & TV Movies:
VR indicates Direct-to-Video Release

Moving Day (2012)
Some Things Won’t Sleep (2014, short)
Ingrid and the Black Hole (2016, short)
You Ruined Our Life! (2017)
Birthmarked (2018)
Your Two Cents – Game of Phones (2019, short)

Take it Easy (2020, short)
Wildhood (2021)

TV Series – Cast:
Mr. D (2012-2018)
Cam Boy (2021, mini-series)

TV Series – Guest appearances:
Haven (2012)
You & Me (2014)
Pure (2017)
Creeped Out (2018)

Chapelwaite (2021)

Avery Winters-Anthony

Northernstars Director's Chair, image,

Avery Winters-Anthony began his career by appearing in a couple of short films. One of them, Wildfire, was the basis for the 2021 feature Wildhood, which was selected to have its World Premiere at the 2021 Toronto International Film Festival. He plays the role of Travis in both films.

Features & TV Movies:
VR indicates Direct-to-Video Release

Wildfire (2019, short)
Popsy (2019, short)

Wildhood (2021)

Remembering Dave Barber

Remembering Dave Barber, image
Photo of Dave Barber courtesy of the Winnipeg Cinematheque.

Remembering Dave Barber
Staff Editors

(July 29, 2021 – Toronto, ON) Northernstars has learned of the passing of one of the more important people in Canadian film and in particular to the filmmaking community in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Dave Barber was a crucial figure in the development of independent cinema in Winnipeg and an ally to generations of Winnipeg filmmakers. Part of the Winnipeg film group Cinematheque, Barber was a senior programmer there since 1982. The organization’s Interim Executive Director David Knipe confirmed that Barber passed away Monday night peacefully and surrounded by family. He had been extremely ill in hospital and was receiving care at the time of his death.

His reach was wide. We were alerted to his passing by someone in Québec and this statement, “We are deeply saddened to learn of the death of our colleague and dear friend Dave Barber,” came in a Twitter Post from The Cinematheque in Vancouver. “He was a kind, generous, and unpretentious man who was much-loved by the communities he served and the many filmmakers he encouraged. He made a difference and he will be missed.”

In addition to his work with Winnipeg’s film community, Barber played an important role in the formation of the Gimli Film Festival and was a senior film programmer there for six years. He was the recipient of many awards for his efforts including the Winnipeg Arts Council’s first ever ‘Making a Difference’ award in 2007, which highlights art professionals who contribute to the growth and development of the arts in Winnipeg.

A friend and mentor to all, Winnipeg-based writer-director Sean Garrity, quoted in an article by CBC News, said “He made time for everybody and was happy to help filmmakers at every level.”

Savonna Spracklin

Savonna Spracklin, actress,

B: in British Columbia

Savonna Spracklin grew up in the small coastal town of Prince Rupert, British Columbia and was still quite young when she became curious about capturing and honouring someone’s essence, whether through a written piece, a photograph, a song, or film, which led to her career in front of the cameras. She was a Leo Award Recipient for Best Performance by a Female in the 2017 WebSeries Telegraph Cove. She plays the role of Sarah in the 2021 feature Wildwood. She plays Casey Woodburn in the series Tribal.

Features & TV Movies:
VR indicates Direct-to-Video Release

Aching Shaking Hands (2012, short)
O for a Thousand Tongues (2017, short)
The Watcher (2018, short)
Hold the Dark (2018)

Wildhood (2021)

TV Series – Guest appearances:
Mohawk Girls (2017)
Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce (2018)
Yellowstone (2018)

Big Sky (2021)
Tribal (2021)

WebSeries:
Telegraph Cove (2016)

Joshua Odjick

Joshua Odjick, actor,

Joshua Odjick graduated from high school at Kitigan Zibi Kikinamadinan in Maniwaki, Québec in 2018 and went onto to Heritage College in Gatineau. He began his professional career in 2019 and his first credits appeared in 2020. In the 2021 film Wildhood, he plays the key role of Pasmay. He is also in the Pascale Bussières 2021 film Bootlegger.

Features & TV Movies:
VR indicates Direct-to-Video Release

Boundless (2021, short)
Wildhood (2021)
Bootlegger (2021)

TV Series – Cast:
Unsettled (2020)
The Swarm (2022)

TV Series – Guest appearances:
Coroner (2020)

Wildhood

Wildhood, movie, image,
Wildhood promotional still by Riley Smith. Used with Permission.

– Drama
Languages: English, Mi’kmaw
Festival release date: September 2021 (World Premiere – Toronto International Film Festival)
Release date: TBA
Production company: Rebel Road Films
Canadian distributor:

In a rural east-coast trailer park, Link lives with his toxic father and younger half-brother Travis. When Link discovers his Mi’kmaw mother could still be alive, they light a flame and make a run for a better life. On the road they meet Pasmay, a pow wow dancer drawn to Link. As the boys journey across Mi’kma’ki (Nova Scotia), Link finds community, identity, and love in the land where he belongs.

Wildhood is an expansion of Hannam’s earlier short film Wildfire, which was the winner of the award for Best Short Film at the Screen Nova Scotia awards in 2020. Filmed in English and Mi’kmaw, Wildhood will have its world premiere at the 2021 Toronto International Film Festival. It was also selected to be the opening night film for the 2021 FIN Atlantic International Film Festival.

Also see: Wildhood, Nova Scotia.
Also see: September Film Festivals.

No poster available, image,

Crew:

Producer:

Gharrett Patrick Paon
Julie Baldassi
Bretten Hannam

Executive Producer:

Damon D’Oliveira

Director:

Bretten Hannam

Screenwriter:

Bretten Hannam

Cinematographer:

Guy Godfree

Editor:

Shaun Rykiss

Composer:

Neil Haverty

Production Designer:

Michael Pierson

Art Director:

Jackson Noble

Costume Designer:

Emlyn Murray

Cast: Roles:

Phillip Lewitski
Joshua Odjick
Michael Greyeyes
Joel Thomas Hynes
Savonna Spracklin
Avery Winters-Anthony
Jordan Poole
Samuel Davison
Steve Lund
Desna Michael Thomas
John R. Sylliboy
Becky Julian
Guillermo Knockwood
Bobby Pierro

Link
Pasmay
Smokey
Arvin
Sarah
Travis
Skater
Ryan

Denys Arcand’s Testament

Denys Arcand's Testament, image,
Photo of Denys Arcand @ 2018 by Maurie Alioff for Northernstars.ca

Denys Arcand’s Testament
by Ralph Lucas – Publisher

(July 28, 2021 – Montréal, QC) Denys Arcand turned 80 in June of this year but shows no signs of slowing down. Yesterday the Quebecor Fund Board of Directors announced a number of projects that will receive funding under its film production support program, and Denys Arcand’s Testament is one of those films.

Being produced by Cinémaginaire and distributed by Les Films Séville, Testament gets the Arcand treatment as he turns his attention to the state of the world today. Described as a “biting satire” of our times, the film takes on political correctness, identity politics, protest, cultural scandal, activism, media storms and other controversies, as it follows an elderly man who has lost faith in humanity but finds his bearings again and rediscovers happiness.

Testament is one of four projects selected in the 22nd round of the Film Production Assistance Program, submissions for which closed on May 25, 2021. The following Canadian producers and distributors will share a total of $540,000: Amalga Créations Médias inc., Cinémaginaire inc., Go Films, Attraction Images Productions XVI inc. and Les Films Séville inc.

Here’s a short take on the other three films receiving support:

Ru focuses on 11-year-old Tinh, who has fled Vietnam with her family aboard a makeshift boat. Now, after surviving a thousand perils, she must adjust to her new life in Québec. Ru is a film adaptation of the acclaimed novel of the same name by Kim Thúy. It is being produced by Amalga Créations Médias inc., and will be distributed by Les Films Séville Inc.

Le Plongeur is set in Montréal the winter 2002. A 19-year-old student and heavy-metal fan, Stéphane, is on a downward spiral. He has become addicted to gambling, fallen into debt and lost his apartment. He gets a job as a dishwasher at a restaurant, where meets a cast of eccentric characters and becomes swept up in the swirl of life at a restaurant during the pre-Christmas rush.
Le Plongeur is produced by Go Films and will also be distributed by Les Films Séville Inc.

L’Arracheuse de temps is based on a story by Fred Pellerin. Set in 1988, an 11-year-old boy in the town of Saint-Élie-de-Caxton is worried his ailing grandmother may die. The old spinner of yarns tries to convince her grandson that Death does not exist. Her tale takes us back to 1927, the year in which a group of villagers managed to outwit Death and escape its clutches.
L’Arracheuse de temps is being produced by Attraction Images Productions XVI Inc., and distributed by Les Films Séville Inc.

Since it was launched in September 2010, Quebecor Fund’s Film Production Assistance Program (which previously included event production) has granted 99 projects a total of nearly $16 million, including nearly $15 million for 85 film projects and more than $1 million for 14 event projects.

Quebecor Fund also has an Export Assistance Program (EXAP), which supports export initiatives by funding the development of audiovisual content adapted for non-Québec and international markets as well as marketing efforts. Since its inception in March 2014, more than $9.7 million has been invested in 41 export business models with 27 partner companies, and the Fund’s partner, the Canada Media Fund (CMF), has invested an additional $2.5 million since 2017. In this 18th round, the CMF and Quebecor Fund are each investing $150,000, for a total of $300,000, in the business model of Happy Camper Média inc.

Since June 2020, Quebecor Fund has also granted specific funding, now in its 3rd round, to promote female shareholding in the partner companies that receive EXAP support. In this round, KO Distribution inc., will receive an $80,000 grant to support the transfer of shares to key female personnel. To date, support with a total value of $240,000 has been extended under this component.

SOURCE: Quebecor Fund

Northernstars logo imageRalph Lucas is the founder and publisher of Northernstars.ca. He began writing about film and reviewing movies while in radio in Montreal in the mid-1970s.

Bretten Hannam

Bretten Hannam, producer, director,

Bretten Hannam is a writer-director-producer. His film Wildhood is his second feature length film. Shot in Nova Scotia in 2020, it was due for release in the Spring of 2021 but the COVID-19 pandemic intervened. We list his credits as a Producer first.

Also see: Wildhood, Nova Scotia.

Features & TV Movies:
VR indicates Direct-to-Video Release

Puppy (2010, short)
Roanoke (2011, short)
Nigredo (2013, short)
Kreb (2013, short)
Body Language (2013, short)
I Am Syd Stone (Associate Producer, 2014, short)
North Mountain (2015)
Transmission (2016, short)
Elmiteskuatl (2019, short)
Wildfire (Co-producer, 2019, short)

Wildhood (2020)

Credits as a Director:
New Skin (2008, short)
Puppy (2010, short)
Deep End (2011, short)
North Mountain (2015)
Elmiteskuatl (2019, short)
Wildfire (2019, short)

Wildhood (2020)

Credits as a Screenwriter:
New Skin (2008, short)
Champagne (2010, short)
Puppy (2010, short)
Deep End (2011, short)
North Mountain (2015)
Elmiteskuatl (2019, short)
Wildfire (2019, short)

Wildhood (2020)

TV Series:
Trickster (Story coordinator, 2020)

Paulina Alexis

Paulina Alexis, actress,
Kiawentiio as Beans and Paulina Alexis as April. Photo by Sebastien Raymond courtesy of Mongrel Media.

B: in Alexis Nakota Sioux Nation, Alberta

Paulina Alexis, “Mina” to her friends, is a Stoney tribe member of the Alexis Nakota Sioux Nation, west of Edmonton, Alberta. The youngest of four children, she is descended from a long line of cultural singers and artists, hunters, storytellers, scholars and filmmakers. Brought up in a family of filmmakers, she became a performer at an early age. She has performed singing, motivational speeches, dancing, and acted in short non-union films all her life. Besides continuing her acting, her dream is to become a director and to take Indigenous comedy/storytelling to the next level, and onto the big screen. She wants to create a positive impact for her people and to always remind Indigenous youth to believe in themselves and to follow their dreams because anything is possible. She stars as Willie Jack in the FX series Reservation Dogs.

Trivia: Her Indigenous name is Wagiya Cizhan, which mens “young female eagle.”

Features & TV Movies:
VR indicates Direct-to-Video Release

Beans (2020)
Ghostbusters: Afterlife (2021)

TV Series – Cast:
Reservation Dogs (2021)

Beans, movie, poster,

Coroner Starts Season 4

Coroner Starts Season 4, image,
Serinda Swan stars as Dr. Jenny Cooper. Image courtesy of CBC.

Coroner Starts Season 4
by Staff Editors

(July 27, 2021 – Toronto, ON) Muse Entertainment, Cineflix Studios, and Back Alley Films have announced the start of production on season four of Coroner in Toronto and other locations in Ontario. Serinda Swan stars as coroner Dr. Jenny Cooper with Roger Cross (Dark Matter, Caught) as Detective Donovan McAvoy. Inspired by the best-selling series of books by M.R. Hall and created for television by Morwyn Brebner (Saving Hope, Rookie Blue), the new season will debut on CBC and the CBC Gem streaming service in Winter 2022.

The new season, 12 60-minute episodes, will also see Swan at work behind the camera making her television series directorial debut. She joins directors Adrienne Mitchell (Durham County, Bellevue), Ruba Nadda (Frankie Drake Mysteries), Farhad Mann (Murdoch Mysteries), Samir Rehem (Tiny Pretty Things), Cory Bowles (Pretty Hard Cases) and Liz Farrer (Coroner). Award-winning writer/producer Adriana Maggs (Caught, Grown Up Movie Star) will lead the series as Showrunner with a celebrated and illustrious writing team including Noelle Carbone (Wynonna Earp), Shannon Masters (Cardinal), Laura Good (Burden of Truth), Nathalie Younglai (Super Zee), Seneca Aaron (Nurses), Wendy ‘Motion’ Brathwaite (Akilla’s Escape), JP Larocque (Another Life), Mazi Khalighi (Foraldraskap) and Lindsey Addawoo (Promise Me).

Adriana Maggs, writer, director,
Photo courtesy of Mongrel Media.
“I am thrilled to be joining this wonderful and important series in its fourth season, following the success created by Morwyn Brebner. It has been very exciting to slip into the world of Jenny Cooper and Coroner, and to further explore how death tells us everything we need to know about life today,” said Adriana Maggs (pictured). “We are so appreciative to CBC for their continued support for this series. This season we will explore more fascinating bodies and cases filled with mystery and intrigue, and continue to showcase this amazing ensemble of Canadian talent with our international viewers and fans.”

Coroner was the highest-rated new drama series premiere on CBC in 2019. season four returns with Dr. Jenny Cooper fresh from recent and sudden loss determined to start anew. To cope with her grief, she buries herself in her work but a new face in the office causes Jenny to re-examine her relationship with life and death. At home, Jenny is dealing with the return of the mother who abandoned her as a child. Detective Donovan McAvoy, fresh from recovery, seeks to prove he’s fit to be back on the job and unintentionally finds himself in a situation that creates a rift between him and partner Malik Abed. Ross finds new passions and interests – one of them being Jenny’s assistant, Alphonse). Gordon and Peggy reunite, though Jenny is convinced Peggy is not as perfect as she seems. Through a collection of emotionally intense, and spine-tingling cases, this season addresses grief, isolation, openness, impermanence, forgiveness, and resilience of spirit. Jenny and all those around her learn to live in the moment, learn to be free, and learn that the vulnerability you possess can be your greatest strength.

Coroner is produced by Muse Entertainment, Cineflix Studios, and Back Alley Films with the financial participation of the Canada Media Fund, the Bell Fund, the IPF’s COGECO Television Production Fund, TVA, the Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit, and the Ontario Film and Television Tax Credit. Adrienne Mitchell is executive producer for Back Alley Films, Aren Prupas and Jonas Prupas are executive producers for Muse Entertainment with Peter Emerson and Brett Burlock as executive producers for Cineflix Studios. Serinda Swan is also Executive Producer with Showrunner Adriana Maggs, writer Noelle Carbone as well as Morwyn Brebner and Suzanne Colvin-Goulding. Janis Lundman serves as Consulting Executive for Back Alley Films. For CBC, Sally Catto is General Manager, Entertainment, Factual & Sports; Trish Williams is Executive Director, Scripted Content; Sarah Adams is Director of Current Production, Drama; and Gosia Kamela is Executive in Charge of Current Production, Drama. Cineflix Rights has the exclusive worldwide distribution rights to the series.

Click here to see the cast and crew of Coroner.

The Middle Man

The Middle Man, movie, image,

95 minutes – Comedy
Language: English
Festival release date: September 2021 (TIFF Toronto International Film Festival)
Release date: September 17 2021 (Norway)
Production companies: Bulbul Film (Norway), The Film Farm (Canada), Pandora Film (Germany), Profile Pictures (Denmark) in association with ZDF/ ARTE, Bord Cadre Films and Sovereign Film. A CRAVE Original Film
World Sales: The Match Factory
Canadian distributor: levelFILM
German distributor: Pandora Film Verleih

Based on the novel SLUK by Lars Saabye Christensen, Frank Farrelli (Pål Sverre Hagen) takes on the job as a middle man in the God-forsaken town of Karmack, USA, a community in a depression so deep that they need someone to professionally communicate more of the bad news. The Middle Man was shot in Ontario, Canada and Germany and is a Norway/Canada/Germany/Denmark co-production.

We list the cast in the order provided by Pandora Film.

Th Midle Man, movie, poster,

Crew:

Producer:

Bent Hamer

Executive Producer:

Jamal Zeinal-Zade
Andreas Roald
Dan Wechsler
Jim Stark

Co-Producer:

Simone Urdl
Jamie Manning
Jennifer Weiss
Reinhard Brundig
Nina Frese
Jacob Jarek

Associate Producer:

Meinolf Zurhorst
Alexander Bohr

Director:

Bent Hamer

Screenwriter:

Bent Hamer

Cinematographer:

John Christian Roselund

Editor:

Anders Refn

Composer:

Jonathan Goldsmith

Production Designer:

Diana Magnus

Art Director:

Anja Fromm
Bruno Rocca

Costume Designer:

Amanda Lee Street

Cast: Roles:

Pål Sverre Hagen
Tuva Novotny
Paul Gross
Don McKellar
Nicholas Bro
Nina Andresen Borud
Rossif Sutherland
Trond Fausa Aurvåg
Akset Hennie
Kenneth Welsh
Sheila McCarthy
Bill Lake
Rosalie Chilelli
Josiane McCartney

Frank Farelli
Brenda
The Sherriff
The Doctor
The Pastor
Frank’s Mother
Steve Miller
Bob Spencer
Arthur Clintstone
Mr. Miller
Mrs. Stout
Mr. Stout
Sally
Veronica Mills

All My Puny Sorrows

All My Puny Sorrows, image,
Sarah Gadon & Alison Pill in a publicity still for All My Puny Sorrows.

103 minutes – Drama
Language: English
Festival release date: September 2021 (TIFF – Toronto International Film Festival)
Release date: TBA
Production companies: Carousel Pictures, Mulmur Feed Company, Sugar Shack Productions
Canadian distributor:

Based on the 2014 international best-selling novel by Mriam Toews, All My Puny Sorrows tells the story of two Mennonite sisters who leave their religious lives behind. One has become a concert pianist obsessed with ending her life, the other is a writer who is wrestling with this decision and makes profound discoveries about herself. Shot in North Bay, Ontario, All My Puny Sorrows was selected to have a Special Presentation at the 2021 Toronto International Film Festival.

Also see: McGowan Shoots Puny Sorrows.

No poster available, image,

Crew:

Producer:

Michael McGowan
Tyler Levine
Patrice Theroux

Line Producer:

Effy Papadopoulos

Director:

Michael McGowan

Screenwriter:

Michael McGowan

Cinematographer:

Daniel Grant

Editor:

Orlee Buium
Michelle Szemberg

Production Designer:

Danny Haeberlin

Art Director:

Thalia Stefaniuk
Karen Churma (Set Decoration)

Costume Designer:

Renee Fontana

Cast: Roles:

Sarah Gadon
Alison Pill
Donal Logue
Mare Winningham
Amybeth McNulty
Mimi Kuzyk
Martin Roach
Dov Tiefenbach
Michael Musi
Rick Roberts
Boyd Banks
Elizabeth Saunders
Kelly Martin
Aly Mawji
Marin Almasi
Josh Bainbridge
Racine Bebamikawe
Morgan I. Bedard
Gabrielle Jennings

Elfrieda (Elf)
Yolandi (Yoli)
Jake
Lottie
Nora
Tina
Psychiatrist Johns
Jason
Finbar
Elder
Pastor
Marta
Patient
Nic
Young Yoli
Irate Man
Nurse
Cop
Young Elf

Coroner

Coroner, series, image,
Serinda Swan stars as Dr. Jenny Cooper in the series Coroner.

60 minutes – Series, Drama, Medical
Date of first broadcast: January 7, 2019
Originating Network: CBC
Production company: Muse Entertainment, Back Alley Films, Cineflix Studios
Distributor: Cineflix Rights

2019 – 8 episodes
2020 – 8 episodes
2021 – 10 episodes
2022 – 12 episodes

Coroner is inspired by the best-selling series of books by M.R. Hall and was created for television by Morwyn Brebner (Saving Hope). This character-driven drama is about Dr. Jenny Cooper (Serinda Swan), a recently widowed new coroner who investigates suspicious, unnatural or sudden deaths in Toronto. The series reflects the rich diversity of Toronto, and each case brings Jenny into a new arena in the city, touching on buzz-worthy contemporary themes.

Also see: Coroner Starts Season 4.

No Poster Available

Crew:

Executive Producer:

Morwyn Brebner (Creator)
Adrienne Mitchell (Back Alley Films)
Jonas Prupas (Muse Entertainment)
Peter Emerson (Cineflix Studios)
Brett Burlock (Cineflix Studios)
Adriana Maggs
Serinda Swan

Director:

Adrienne Mitchell
Paul Fox
Sherren Lee
Winnifred Jong
Ruba Nadda
Farhad Mann
Samir Rehem
Cory Bowles
Liz Farrer
Serinda Swan

Screenwriter:

Morwyn Brebner
Seneca Aaron
Noelle Carbone
Shannon Masters
Laura Good
Nathalie Younglai
Seneca Aaron
Wendy Brathwaite
JP Larocque
Mazi Khalighi
Lindsey Addawoo

Cinematographer:

Samy Inayeh

Production Designer:

Elisa Sauve

Cast: Roles:

Serinda Swan
Tamara Podemski
Alli Chung
Saad Siddiqui
Roger Cross
Nicholas Campbell
Lovell Adams-Gray
Sherilyn Allen
Éric Bruneau
Ehren Kassam
Mark Taylor
Uni Park

Dr. Jenny Cooper
Alison Trent
Taylor Kim
Dr. Neil Sharma
Det. Donovan McAvoy
Gordon Cooper
Dr. Dwayne Allen
Courtney
Liam Bouchard
Ross Khalighi
Clark (2021)
Melanie (2021)

Steven Yaffe

Steven Jaffee
Photo of Steve Yaffee from Space & Time courtesy of IndieCan Entertainment.

B: July 28, 1986 in Toronto, Ontario

Steven Yaffee, pictured in a publicity still from Space & Time, began acting in his late teens. He made his stage debut playing Billy Narracott in the highly acclaimed stage production of War Horse in Toronto, the longest running and most successful play in Canadian history. He is an avid baseball player as well as a competitive ice and roller hockey player.

Features & TV Movies:
VR indicates Direct-to-Video Release

Land of the Dead (2005)
Screening (2006)
Song of Slomon (2007, short)
Mookie’s Law (2008, short)
Coopers’ Camera (2008)
Growing Op (2008)
This December (2008, short)
Diverted (TV-2009)
Fateful (2009, short)

Unrivaled (2010)
Verona (2010, short)
Toilet (2010)
“a fish story” (2013)
The Twelve Trees of Christmas (TV-2013)
SPIX (2015, short)
My Viola (2015, short)
Total Frat Movie (2016)
Serialized (TV=2016)
Golden Boys (2016, short)
Space & Time (2017)
Victim (2018, short)
Heroin (aka Heavy, 2019)

The House on Carter Road (2021, short)
Fixation (2021)

TV Series – Cast:
M.V.P. (2008)
Majority Rules (2009)

TV Series – Guest appearances:
Paradise Falls (2001)
Dark Oracle (2004, 2006)
Renegadepress.com (2006)
Beautiful People (2006)
Runaway (2006)
Aaron Stone (2009)

Rookie Blue (2010)
Flashpoint (2010)
Combat Hospital (2011)
Warehouse 13 (2011)
Against the Wall (2011)
Lost Girl (2012)
Murdoch Mysteries (2014)
The Expanse (2017)
Private Eyes (2017)
The Mist (2017)
Supernatural (2018)
Carter (2018)
Ransom (2019)
Ghostwriter (2019)

Space & Time, movie, poster,

Rainbow Dickerson

Rainbow Dickerson, actress,
Rainbow Dickerson as Lily and Kiawentiio as Beans. Photo by Sebastien Raymond, courtesy of Mongrel Media.

B: in Maryland

Rainbow Dickerson is best known for her work in the award-winning feature, Beans. She was named a Rising Star in 2020 at the Toronto International Film Festival. She is also an ABC Disney Discovers recipient, and was named Best Supporting Actress in 2021 by the Vancouver Film Critic.

Official website.

Features & TV Movies:
VR indicates Direct-to-Video Release

Horizon (2009, short)
The World at Night (2009, short)

Beans (2020)
This is Their Land (2021, short)

TV Series – Guest appearances:
Banshee (2016)
Chicago Fire (2016)
Gone (2018)
The Patron (2019)

Beans, movie, poster,

TIFF Honours Two

TIFF Honours Two, image,
Photos of Alanis Obomsawin and Denis Villeneuve by Ralph Lucas for Northernstars.ca

TIFF Honours Two
by Staff Editors

(July 22, 2021 – Toronto, ON) Joana Vicente and Cameron Bailey, Co-Heads of TIFF, have announced that award-winning documentary filmmaker, writer, singer, and activist Alanis Obomsawin will be honoured with the Jeff Skoll Award in Impact Media at this year’s TIFF Tribute Awards and Academy Award®–nominated French Canadian filmmaker Denis Villeneuve will receive the TIFF Ebert Director Award. The 2021 TIFF Tribute Awards will take place during the 46th edition of the Toronto International Film Festival.

“This year more than ever, TIFF is delighted to come together and celebrate leading industry talent with the 2021 TIFF Tribute Awards,” said Joana Vicente, Executive Director and Co-Head, TIFF. “An exciting highlight of the Festival is a career retrospective of one of the most acclaimed Indigenous directors in the world, Alanis Obomsawin, entitled Celebrating Alanis. The Jeff Skoll Award in Impact Media recognizes leadership in creating a union between social impact and cinema. As a gifted documentary filmmaker and impassioned storyteller, Alanis brings awareness to vital Indigenous issues and is widely recognized as a national treasure because of her extraordinary body of work. What is truly beautiful is that this year, we are celebrating two incredible filmmakers, both of whom have deep personal ties to this country and have contributed to our cinematic landscape in very unique ways.”

“The TIFF Ebert Director Award recognizes filmmakers who have exemplified greatness in their career,” stated Cameron Bailey, Artistic Director and Co-Head, TIFF. “Denis Villeneuve’s many films, including Blade Runner 2049, Arrival, Sicario, Enemy, Prisoners, and Incendies, to name a few, and his upcoming epic adaptation of the seminal novel Dune, which he directed, co-wrote, and produced, are a testament to Denis’ boundless ability for authentic, passionate storytelling. There is no question Denis is an accomplished and outstanding filmmaker. He has a wonderful body of work and operates at an incredible level of excellence on the world stage. Over the years, Denis has brought many of his films to TIFF, so we feel a special closeness to him. It is wonderful to be celebrating his career at this time.”

The TIFF Tribute Awards honour the film industry’s outstanding contributors and their achievements, recognizing leading industry members, acting talent, directorial expertise, new talent, and a below-the-line artist and creator. The Awards also serve as TIFF’s largest annual fundraiser to support TIFF’s year-round programmes and core mission to transform the way people see the world through film. This year’s event will raise funds for TIFF’s diversity, equity and inclusion initiative and champion a safe, community-focused and inspiring return to cinemas. The 2021 TIFF Tribute Awards will be co-produced by Bell Media Studios and, for the second straight year, will be broadcast nationally by CTV and streamed internationally by Variety.

A member of the Abenaki Nation and one of Canada’s most distinguished filmmakers, Alanis Obomsawin is a filmmaker and producer at the National Film Board of Canada, where she has worked since 1967. On December 10, 2020, Obomsawin received the Rogers-DOC Luminary Award at the DOC Institute Honours, which is given to an individual who embodies the creative spirit of the Canadian documentary tradition and displays generosity by supporting the next generation of doc makers through mentorship. In October, she received the Glenn Gould Prize, as chosen by an international jury. Obomsawin’s 2019 production Jordan River Anderson, The Messenger was her 52nd film, completed in the 52nd year of a legendary filmmaking career devoted to chronicling the lives and concerns of First Nations people and exploring issues of importance to all. On June 27, 2019, Obomsawin was named a Companion of the Order of Canada — its highest honour. In Fall 2021, the retrospective Alanis Obomsawin: Lifework will be presented at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin.
Dune, 2020 movie, poster,
Denis Villeneuve is an Academy Award®–nominated French Canadian filmmaker best known for having directed Blade Runner 2049, Arrival, Sicario, Prisoners, and Incendies. His astute attention to detail and unique visuals have established Villeneuve as one of the premier filmmakers working today. Villeneuve is gearing up for the release of his highly anticipated film adaptation of Frank Herbert’s science fiction novel, Dune, which he directed and produced, as well as co-wrote with Jon Spaihts and Eric Roth. The film stars Timothée Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac, Josh Brolin, Stellan Skarsgård, Dave Bautista, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Zendaya, Chang Chen, with Charlotte Rampling, with Jason Momoa, and Javier Bardem.

In 2020 the TIFF Tribute Awards celebrated the remarkable talents and contributions of Mira Nair, Sir Anthony Hopkins, Kate Winslet, Chloé Zhao, Terence Blanchard and Tracey Deer, some of whom went on to win awards on the international stage — such as Zhao (Nomadland), Deer (Beans), and Hopkins (The Father). Meryl Streep, Taika Waititi, Mati Diop, Joaquin Phoenix, and Roger Deakins were celebrated during the Awards’ inaugural event in 2019. More information on the 2021 TIFF Tribute Awards event and this year’s honourees to follow in the coming weeks.

The festival also announced that with the federal government’s decision to open the border in August, they will be adding the Scotiabank Theatre Toronto for the first five days of the festival to its list of in-person venues to accommodate a select number of additional public asa well as Press & Industry screenings.

SOURCE: TIFF

Beans

92 minutes – Drama, Indigenous Canadian History
Language: English, some French
Festival release date: September 13, 2020 (TIFF, World Premiere)
Release date: July 2, 2021 (Québec), July 23, 2021 (Wide)
Production company: EMA Films
Canadian distributor: Mongrel Media

Inspired by true events, Beans is the coming-of-age story of a Mohawk girl named Tekehentahkhwa, who more often goes by her quirky nickname, Beans (Kiawentiio). She’s a loving big sister to her constant sidekick, Ruby (Violah Beauvais), as they play in the woods and carefully avoid the rough and tough kids of their neighbourhood on the Mohawk reserve of Kahnawà:ke, Québec. When the Oka Crisis erupts, her community is cut off from the outside world and Beans seeks out the toughest girl she knows, April (Paulina Alexis), to help her transform into the brave Mohawk warrior that she needs to be to survive. While she gains acceptance with the cool clique, she isn’t prepared for the racism and violence she comes face-to-face with as the conflict escalates. Unable to cope, she descends into a dark, rage-filled existence focused on revenge. It’s not until her reckless actions put everyone she cares about into peril that she wakes up to what’s really important in her fragile world.

Beans was named Best Film at the 2021 Canadian Screen Awards.
Also see: Tracey Deer Knows Beans.
Also see: Canadian Films at TIFF – 2020.

Beans, movie, poster,

Crew:

Producer:

Anne-Marie Gélinas

Executive Producer:

Meredith Vuchnich
Justine Whyte

Associate Producer:

Kenneth Proulx

Director:

Tracey Deer

Screenwriter:

Tracey Deer
Meredith Vuchnich

Cinematographer:

Marie Davignon

Editor:

Sophie Farkas Bolla

Composer:

Mario Sévigny

Production Designer:

André Chamberland

Costume Designer:

Éric Poirier

Cast: Roles:

Kiawentiio Tarbell
Rainbow Dickerson
Violah Beauvais
Paulina Alexis
D’Pharaoh Mckay Woon-a-Tai
Joel Montgrand
Taio Gélinas
Brittany Leborgne
Kelly Beaudoin
Jay Cardinal Villeneuve
Dawn Ford
Ida Labillois-Montour
Caroline Gélinas
Angie Reid
Adam Leblanc
Francis Lamarre
Alex Bisping
Jérémie Earp-Lavigne
Karl Farah
Jonathan-David Bédard
Sébastien Beaulac
Sara Sue Vallée
Roberto Mai
James Milvain
Ryan Bommarito
Alexandre Lavigne
Lucinda Davis
Michel Eid
Max Lafferrière
Karl Walcott
River Tioherot Dailleboust
Paul Graif
Herb Luft
Olivia Fillion
Mégane Lemée
Kaylin Montour
McKenzie Kahnekaroroks Deer-Robinson
Carlo Harrietha
Jean-Mathieu Bérubé
Thomas Liccioni
Tyler Hall

Beans / Tekahentahkhwa
Lily
Ruby
April
Hank
Kania’tariio
Coyote
Karahkwenhawi
Hazel
Gary
Mrs. Arsenault
Dorothy
Victoria
Aunt Mimi
Police Officer #1
Police Officer #2
Police Officer #3
Police Officer #4
Police Officer #5
Police Officer #6
Police Officer #7
Céline
Adam
Hotel Manager
Angry Rioter
Pierre
Elaina
Army Officer #1
Army Officer #2
Army Officer #3
Lily’s Newborn
News Anchor #1
News Anchor #2
Isabelle
Edith
Nadine
Mohawk Teen Girl
Rioter
Rioter
Stunt Police Officer #1
Stunt Police Officer #2

Jay Cardinal Villeneuve

Jay Cardinal Villeneuve, actor,

B: in Slave Lake, Alberta

Indigenous filmmaker and actor Jay Cardinal Villeneuve is from Slave Lake, Alberta. His 2018 NFB film, Holy Angels, was featured in the Edmonton International Film Festival. It is an artistic documentary about Lena Wandering Spirit and her experiences in the residential school system in the 1960s. We list his credits as an actor first.

Features & TV Movies:
VR indicates Direct-to-Video Release

The Road That Binds Us (2005, short)
Indigenous Streets: A Native Gangster Tale (2010, short)
Mîkiwâm (2013, short)
The Yawning (2015, short)
The Revenant (2015)
Wait for Rescue (2016, short)
No Reservations (2017, short)
Cop and a Half: New Recruit (TV-2017)
Meatball Sub (2018, short)
The Body Remembers When the World Broke Open (2019)
Fifty Shades of Red (2019, short)

Beans (2020)
Brother, I Cry (2020)

TV Series – Guest appearances:
Level 9 (2000)
Search and Rescue (2009)
Land of the Giant Robots (2010)
Jay and Shaun’s Movie Minute (2012)
Animism (2013)
Coyote’s Crazy Smart Science Show (2017)
Altered Carbon (2018)
Supernatural (2018)
Siren (2019)
Get Shorty (2019)

Credits as a Director:
Reserved for Hollywood (2010, short)
Mîkiwâm (2013, short)
Hickey Gone Wrong (2015, short)
Holy Angels (2017, short, documentary)

Credits as a Screenwriter:
Reserved for Hollywood (2010, short)
Mîkiwâm (2013, short)
Hickey Gone Wrong (2015, short)

The Body Remembers When the World Broke Open, movie, poster,

Beans, movie, poster,

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