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Inch’ Allah

102 minutes – Drama
Language: French, Arabic
Release date: September 28, 2012
Production companies: micro_scope (Canada), ID Unlimited (France), July August Productions (Israel)
Canadian Distributor: Les Films Christal, Entertainment One

Chloé is a young Canadian obstetrician working in a makeshift clinic in a Palestinian refugee camp in the West Bank, where she treats pregnant women under the supervision of Michael, a French doctor. Facing daily checkpoints and the separation barrier, Chloe is confronted with the conflict and the people it affects: Rand, a patient for whom Chloe develops a deep affection; Faysal, Rand’s older brother, a fervent resister; Safi, their younger brother, a child shattered by war who dreams of flying across borders; and Ava, a young soldier who lives next door to Chloé in her apartment in Israel. Her encounter with the war draws Chloe into an adventure that’s both deeply personal and as large as the land. She loses her bearings, is uprooted, goes into freefall. There are trips that shake us and transform us. There are trips that shatter all of our certainties. For Chloe, Inch’Allah is such a trip.

Inch’ Allah is a Canada-France coproduction, filmed in Jordan.

Imch' Allah, movie, poster,
Crew:

Producer:

Luc Déry
Kim McCraw

Co-Producer:

Isabelle Dubar (France)

Associate Producer:

Eilon Ratzovsky (Israel)
Yochanan Kredo (Israel)

Line Producer:

Stephen Trayno

Director:

Anaïs Barbeau-Lavalette

Screenwriter:

Anaïs Barbeau-Lavalette

Cinematographer:

Philippe Lavalette

Editor:

Sophie Leblond

Composer:

Levon Minassian

Production Designer:

André-Line Beauparlant

Costume Designer:

Sophie Lefebvre

Cast:Roles:

Evelyne Brochu
Sabrina Ouazani
Sivan Levy
Yousef Sweid
Hammoudeh Alkarmi
Carlo Brandt
Marie-Thérèse Fortin
Ahmad Massad
Yoav Donat

Chloe
Rand
Ava
Faysal
Safi
Michael
Elaine (Chloe’s mother)
Imad
Soldier at the checkpoint

Fear of Dancing

Fear of Dancing, movie, image,

78 minutes – Documentary
Date of first broadcast: September 20, 2020
Production company: InSync Media, Tortuga Films, documentary Channel
Canadian distributor: documentary Channel

Fear of Dancing follows director Michael Allcock’s global quest to understand why he and so many others on this planet are terrified of dancing: what science calls chorophobia. Newly single and back on the dating scene, the filmmaker is forced to confront what makes a person bolt for the exits when the dance floor opens up. What triggers such a deep-seated reaction? Hilarious and heartbreaking, the search for answers reveals a rarely seen world rife with sex, spirituality, robots, virtual reality, and a deadly medieval epidemic. Along the way, Allcock meets celebrities, scientists and others who have taken extreme steps to overcome their chorophobia. In the end, Fear of Dancing attempts to make sense of what it means to be human through the simple act of dancing – or not.

Watch the trailer for Fear of Dancing.

Fear of Dancing, poster, movie,
Crew:

Producer:

Adam Pajot Gendron
Lalita Krishna

Director:

Michael Allcock

Screenwriter:

Michael Allcock

Cinematographer:

Geoffroy Beauchemin

Editor:

Dan Hawkes
Sylvain Bellemare (Sound Editor)
Valéry Dufort-Boucher (Sound Editor)
Francis Gauthier (Sound Editor)

Composer:

The Barr Brothers

Cast:Roles:

Michael Allcock
Stephen Fry
Peter Lovatt

Narrator
Self
Self

Michael Allcock

Michael Allcock, director,
Michael Allcock with Stephen Fry in a publicity photo from Fear of Dancing.

B: in Montréal, Québec

Born in Montreal, Michael Allcock is a director and screenwriter based in Toronto. The first documentary he wrote, Cass, showcased at Hot Docs 2000 and at the Yorkton Film Festival it was given both the Best Short Documentary and Best of the Festival award. It was also nominated for the 2000 Chalmers Award for best documentary. He also wrote Tyler’s Barrel, which screened at Hot Docs 2002, the Atlantic Film Festival, and Input 2003 in Denmark. Between 2003 and 2006, he wrote and story edited the WWI special First and Last, and the 3-hour series Canada’s War in Colour, both for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC). His 2007 made-for-television movie Vimy Ridge: From Heaven to Hell was nominated for a Gemini Award for Best Writing in a Documentary Program or Series. He began directing in 2007 and we list his credits as a director first.

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

Featherland (2009, short, documentary)

Semisweet: Life in Chocolate (2012, documentary)
Kubo’s Crickets (TV-2015, short, documentary)

Fear of Dancing (TV-2020)

TV Series:
Final 24 (2007, 1 episode)
F2: Forensic Factor (2009, 2010, 3 episodes)

Alien Mysteries (2013, 6 episodes)
Haunted Hospitals (2018, 2019, 13 episdoes)
Paranormal 911 (2019, 13 episodes)

Credits as a Screenwriter:
Cass (1999, short, documentary)

Tyler’s Barrel (2002)
First and Last (TV-2003, documentary)
Vimy Ridge: Heaven to Hell (TV-2007, documentary)
The Pagan Christ (TV-2007, documentary)
The Rise and Fall of the Grumpy Burger (2008, documentary)
Giant Crystal Cave (TV-2008, documentary)
Cab 138 (2009, short, documentary)
Featherland (2009, short, documentary)

Semisweet: Life in Chocolate (2012, documentary)
Kubo’s Crickets (TV-2015, short, documentary)
After Circus (2015, documentary)
Black Watch Snipers (TV-2016)
Sled Dogs (Co-writer, 2016, documentary)
Biography Presents: Joyce Mitchell & the New York Prison Break (TV-2017)

Fear of Dancing (TV-2020)

TV Series:
Starhunter (2000)
Canada’s War in Colour (2005, 1 episode)
On the Run (2005, 2 episodes)
Secret Files of the Inquisition (2006, 2 episodes)
Trapped (2007)
Final 24 (2007, 7 episodes)
Naked Science (2008, 1 episode)
F2: Forensic Factor (2008, 2009, 2010, 7 episodes)

Dig World War II (2012, mini-series, 2 episodes)
Alien Mysteries (2013, 2 episodes)
Infestation (2014)
Close Encounters (2014, 2 episodes)
Canada: The Story of Us (2017, mini-series, 2 episodes)
Haunted Hospitals (2018, 2019, 7 episodes)
Paranormal 911 (2019, 7 episodes)

Credits as an Actor:
Camp X (TV-2014)

TV Series:
New Urband Legends (Narrator, 2007-2011, 45 episodes)

Fear of Dancing, movie, poster,

Splinters

94 minutes – Drama
Language: English
Festival release date: September 8, 2018 (World Premiere, TIFF)
Release date: October 2nd, 2020
Production company: Emotion Pictures Inc.
Canadian distributor: Emotion Pictures

It has been two decades since Thom Fitzgerald’s feature debut The Hanging Garden won best Canadian Feature at the Toronto International Film Festival. He returned in 2018 with a film titled Splinters that again explores the interconnections of sexual identity, family, and small-town life in Nova Scotia. Based on the stage play by Lee-Anne Poole, Splinters centres on two strong-willed women. Belle (Sofia Banzhaf) has return home for her father’s funeral. Although she came out as a teenager, she has never reconciled that fact with her conservative mother, Nancy (Shelley Thompson). Amidst the family’s grief, Nancy’s disapproval of Belle hangs in the air like a dark cloud. Belle neglects to mention to her family that she has been dating a man named Rob for the past two years. She is reluctant to rekindle her mother’s traditional expectations of her and backpedal on hard-won battles to assert her identity. But the secret becomes harder to hide when Rob shows up to be the supportive boyfriend.

Splinters, movie, poster,
Crew:

Producer:

Thom Fitzgerald
Doug Pettigrew

Associate Producer:

R. Cooper Vollick

Director:

Thom Fitzgerald

Screenwriter:

Thom Fitzgerald

Cinematographer:

Luc Montpellier

Editor:

Thom Fitzgerald

Composer:

Stewart Legere

Production Designer:

Ryan Vessey

Costume Designer:

Emlyn Murray

Cast:Roles:

Sofia Banzhaf
Shelley Thompson
Bailey Maughan
Callum Dunphy
Deb Allen
Gil Anderson
Charlie Boyle
Mary-Colin Chisholm
Ailsa Galbrath
Keelin Jack
Stewart Legere
Daniel Lillford
Allister MacDonald
Simon Paul Mutuyimana
Jennifer Overton
Juanita Peters
Joddat Rafih
Hugh Thompson
Stanley Tomlinson
Ian Wilson

Belle
Nancy
Greg
Rob
Pearl
Clara
Belle, younger
Wilma
Classmate at the corner store
Erika
Hoke
Hemmingford
Greg’s friend Canso
Migrant Worker
Maizie
Nancy’s friend Louise
Belle’s manager Piero
Henry
Greg’s friend Stanfield
Chancey

Nettie Wild’s Roundup

Nettie Wild's Roundup, photo,
Promotional still for Roundup courtesy of NFB.

Nettie Wild’s Roundup
by Staff

(November 18, 2020 – Vancouver, BC) Look closely. Even closer. It looks like a piece of art, and it is in its own way. It is in fact a herd of cattle in a unique setting. The National Film Board of Canada (NFB) has released a new short from acclaimed filmmaker Nettie Wild titled Roundup.

It runs less than 20 seconds over 3 minutes in length and from extreme closeups to hovering drone shots Wild captures a gathering of 20 farm families in BC’s Peace region as they herd thousands of cows into their unique, circular Sunset Prairie corral. Designed to calm cattle rather than box them in, there is not another circular corral like it in the country. The production is also also unique in that there is no narration and no interviews. They’re not needed. The images tell the story and it is something special.

Nettie Wild's Roundup, photo
Photo of Nettie Wild by Robin Lupita Bain. Courtesy of NFB.

At home in the bush or on horseback, Nettie Wild has experienced the cattle drive at this corral several times. But it was when she saw the corral framed from on high from a drone that she was captured by the puzzling and complex beauty of the circling herd. She returned in 2019 to film Roundup, a cinematic contemplation of cows, humans, landscape and architecture.

She is also wildly passionate about how the small ranch — in a bind between big business and animal rights activism — might just be a place of balance. Whether that balance can sustain in the face of meat processing industry pressures and the impact of ever-encroaching oil and gas operations on grazing range, is another question.

Roundup is produced by Nicholas Klassen at the NFB’s Digital Studio in Vancouver and it is free to watch online on either Facebook, or YouTube.

Also see: Nettie Wild talks about Koneline: our land beautiful.

New Fund Backs 7 Films

New Fund Backs 7 Films, image,
Promotional photo for The Isley Brothers: Fight The Power courtesy of Storyline Entertainment.

New Fund Backs 7 Films
by Staff

(November 12, 2020 – Toronto, ON) Hot Docs has announced that seven Canadian documentary projects focusing on music will share in $127,500 in the first round of funding thanks to a new Hot Docs – Slaight Family Fund.

Selected from 97 applications, the films that received funding include four from Ontario, two from British Columbia and one from Québec. Described as a “first of its kind” in Canada, the fund is committed to filmmakers “telling engaging, high quality stories that embrace muysical forms and artists and demonstrate Canadian music’s role in the world.”

“We’re so glad to support these incredible Canadian music docs through this first round of funding,” said Gary Slaight, President & CEO of the Slaight Family Foundation.

“This year’s grantees showcase a wide range of musical talents,” said Heidi Tao Yang, acting industry program director at Hot Docs. “From Canadian legends and chart-toppers to lesser-known gems…we’re so excited for international audiences to discover these artists and the worlds they open us up to.”

Films receiving development funds include:

The Isley Brothers: Fight The Power (pictured above) from Storyline Entertainment’s Producer Ed Barreveld, who said “Despite The Isleys’ long and storied career and their seminal importance in American music, the band has been for the most part overlooked, and with Fight the Power we aim to give them the recognition they so richly deserve.” Based in Toronto, Storyline Entertainment is a documentary film and television production company that has been creating award-winning films since 2000 with more than 30 titles in their catalogue. Co-producers include former Fox Music president and Oscar nominee Robert Kraft and former BBC exec Nick Ware. The project will be directed by three time Emmy winner and Oscar nominee Sam Pollard.

I Never Follow The Rules looks at the now 46-year-old Canadian singer and composer Rufus Wainwright. Born into a musical family, his heartfelt songs most often deal with love, loss, relationships and politics. This doc from Intuitive Pictures is produced by Ina Fichman and directed by Stephen Dunn promises a profile of a “master showman as he enters a new phase in his life and career.”

Visitor Media has received funding for An Untitled Margaret O’Hara Project. Producers are Sean O’Neill and Christina Carvalho with O’Neill also directing. The project is described as “a surreal cinematic riff, weaving together the real and unreal to create a portrait of an artists whose work eludes classification and always drifts toward life.”

Films receiving production funds include:

Anne Murray Full Circle from Network Entertainment Inc will be produced by Lynn Fuhr and directed by Morgan Elliot. It is a profile film that explores the life of one of Canada’s most famous performers and international superstar.

The Beautiful Scars of Tom Wilson from Cream Productions will tell the story of a rock star who spent most of his life trying to find himself only to discover that his entire life was a lie. Shane Belcourt directs with Corey Russell producing.

One of the more intriguing titles is The Concert that Broke Up The Beatles. Ron Chapman directs this doc and coproduces with Trish Dolman. Set in Toronto in 1969. It includes a Beatle in crisis and a concert promoter with a crazy idea and a renowned documentary filmmaker fighting for access. These stories collide as one of the greatest rock concerts ever staged changes the music world.

For Nash the Slash Rises Again, Kevan Byrne and Tim Kowalski co-direct and Colin Brunton and Leanne Davis co-produce for Side Three Media Inc. The project is described as an “artistic celebration of integrity and courage, and the price tag that comes with it.” The film promises to explore the lost art of mystique and provide a compelling look into the fine line between public image and private identity.

The Slaight Family Foundation was founded in 2008 by John Allan Slaight.

DGC Announces New Leadership

DGC Announces New Leadership, image.
Warren P. Sonoda, Tracey Deer

DGC Announces New Leadership
by Staff

(November 11, 2020 – Toronto, ON) This past weekend, at the Directors Guild of Canada’s online session opening the elections for its National Executive Board, Warren P. Sonoda was acclaimed as DGC President alongside the Guild’s new 1st Vice-President, Tracey Deer.

“It’s not lost on me that this weekend saw remarkable election results from across North America, and in its own way, the Directors Guild of Canada bent its arc towards inclusion with the historic election of a Japanese Canadian as President and a Mohawk filmmaker from Kahnawake as its 1st Vice-President,” said the newly-elected Sonoda. “I’m honoured to serve our Guild with Tracey Deer and the entire DGC National Executive Board. We will continue our fight to improve the quality of life for our members, not just the economic returns of our livelihoods. We can do this by uniting our country through storytelling while celebrating our specificity of voice which makes us creatively exceptional. I hope this sends a strong signal to filmmakers and film-workers everywhere that the DGC is part of this progressive journey.”

Warren Sonoda and Tracey Deer will be joined by returning National Executive Board members Wanda Chaffey (2nd Vice President), Grace Gilroy (Secretary-Treasurer), Warren Carr (Production Department Rep) and Paul Day (Editing Department Rep), each of whom was also acclaimed.

National Executive Director Dave Forget also thanked outgoing DGC President Tim Southam: “In six years as DGC President, and in six years before that as National Directors Division Chair, Tim has led the Guild through a period of immense change that saw our membership more than double and our industry shift into the digital era. Tim Southam is above all a keen intellect, talented artist, stalwart defender of his fellow members and a true champion of Canadian culture. It has been a pleasure for all of us at the Guild to serve under his leadership.

Candidates elected to fill the board’s six remaining open seats will be announced November 23rd after the two-week members’ voting period is closed.

Northernstars joins with others in congratulating Warren P. Sonoda and Tracey Deer.

SOURCE: Directors Guild of Canada (DGC)

Carol Nguyen

Carol Nguyen, director,

Carol Nguyen is a Vietnamese Canadian filmmaker based in Toronto and Montreal. Her most recent film, No Crying at the Dinner Table, premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and had its international premiere at IDFA 2019, where she was also invited as the Opening Night speaker. It also received the Jury Prize for Short Documentary at SXSW. In November of 220 it was named one of the 12 short documentary films included in the 2020 DOC NYC Short List for Documentary Shorts. In the short documentary, Nguyen interviews her own family to craft an emotionally complex and meticulously composed portrait of intergenerational trauma, grief, and secrets.

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

Uprooted (2013, short)
How Do You Pronounce Pho (2014, short)
Petrichor (2015, short)
This Home is Not Empty (2015, short)
An Afterlife (2016, short)
Façade (2016, short)
Every Grain of Rice (2016, short, documentary)
Tundra (2018, short)
No Crying at the Table (2019, short, documentary)

No Crying at he Dinner Table, movie, poster,

Death of a Ladies’ Man

Death of a Ladies' Man, image,
Gabriel Byrne and Jessica Paré in a promotional image from Death of a Ladies' Man. Courtesy of Mongrel Media.

101 minutes – Drama
Language: English
Release date: January 29, 2021
Production Company:
Canadian distributor: Mongrel Media

Inspired by the work of Leonard Cohen, and set to some of his most beloved music, Death of a Ladies’ Man tells the story of a carousing college professor Samuel O’Shea (Gabriel Byrne), a hard drinking womanizer who has seen better days. His second marriage is ending, and his first wife and two grown children have turned against him. More problematic, he has begun seeing things: Frankenstein sidles to the bar; strangers sing and dance to Leonard Cohen tunes; and his much missed father Ben O’Shea (Brian Gleeson), who died when Samuel was just a boy, pops up for chats. Looking for answers, Samuel discovers he has a terminal brain tumour, which may be causing these odd visions, or he may just be going crazy. Samuel retreats to his family shack in remote Ireland, where he begins work on that great novel he always meant to write, and generally take stock. Surprisingly, or not, he meets and falls in love with Charlotte (Jessica Paré), a surprising woman who is full of unexpected surprises. All this leads Samuel to an utterly unforeseeable, but surprisingly happy ending. Death of a Ladies’ Man was filmed in Canada and Ireland and features an international cast.

NOTE: We list the cast in Order of Appearance:

No poster available, image,
Crew:

Producer:

Corey Marr
Don Carmody
Marie-Claude Poulin
Martina Niland

Line Producer:

Mario
John Brady (Ireland)

Director:

Matt Bissonnette

Screenwriter:

Matt Bissonnette

Cinematographer:

Jonathon Cliff

Editor:

Matt Lyon

Composer:

Stephen Rennicks

Costume Designer:

Odette Gadoury

Cast:Roles:

Gabriel Byrne
Massimo Cannistraro
Carolina Bartczak
Pat Kiely
Antoine Olivier Pilon
Nora Guerch
Mark Hauser
Natalia Bedik
Alexandre Simard
Charlie Bilodeau
Jack Kermezian
Steven Lapointe
Nicolas Nadeau
Thierry Ferland
Nikolaj Soerensen
Andrew Wolfe
Maxime Deschamps
Veronika Leclerc Strickland
Brian Gleeson
Jessica Fildes
Alex Nachi
Joel Bissonnette
Richard Jutras
Michael Hearn
Pascale Bussières
Karelle Tremblay
Dominic Desrochers
Andrew Bathory
Laurent Pitre
Patricia Gosselin
Suzanne Clément
Raphael Grosz Harvey
Tyrone Benskin
Karine Dion
Jessica Paré
Fred Mccloskey
Zahra O’Shea
Brendan Dowd
Simona Vasiliauskaite
Dara Rawat
Ingrid Craigie
Alexander “Knuckles” Pless
Oscar John Cadieux Pless
Emma Florence Cadieux Pless
Ollie Jeannine Cadieux Pless
Robert Brewster
Xavier Sotelo
Colin Friend
Mike Paterson
Anthony Kavanagh
Alex Ivanovici
Howard Rosenstein
Mamoudou Camara
Oliver Koomsatira
Marites Carino
Carol Jones
Afia Douglas
Hélène Lemay
Sandy Silva
Frédérique Annie Robitaille
Audrey Gaussiran
Sonia Clarke
Geneviève Mailly
Bobby Thompson
Stephen Baxter

Samuel O’Shea
Cab Driver
Linda
Jack
Layton
Single Woman
Arena Neighbour
Anthem Singer
Hockey Dancer #1
Hockey Dancer #2
Hockey Dancer #3
Hockey Dancer #4
Hockey Dancer #5
Hockey Dancer #6
Hockey Dancer #7
Hockey Dancer #8
Hockey Dancer #9
Bored Prostitute
Ben
Helpful Student
Student Clarke
Brendan
Donny the Bartender
Frankenstein
Dr. Sarah Savard
Josée
Male Performer #1
Male Performer #2
Alex
Tiger Lady
Geneviève
Chad
Jonathan
Angel
Charlotte Lafleur
Kevin
Death
Fur Trapper
Cheerleader
Buddhist Monk
Outdoor Rink Skater
Outdoor Rink Skater
Outdoor Rink Skater
Outdoor Rink Skater
Outdoor Rink Skater
AA Mike
AA Dancer #1
AA Dancer #2
AA Dancer #3
AA Dancer #4
AA Dancer #5
AA Dancer #6
AA Dancer #7
AA Dancer #8
Church Dancer #1
Church Dancer #2
Church Dancer #3
Church Dancer #4
Church Dancer #5
Church Dancer #6
Church Dancer #7
Church Dancer #8
Church Dancer #9
Church Dancer #10
Layton’s Boyfriend

Remembering Alex Trebek

Remembering Alex Trebek, image,

Remembering Alex Trebek
by Ralph Lucas – Publisher

(November, 2020 – Toronto, ON) More than 20 million people in Canada and the United States devoted 30 minutes of their lives to learning something new from television five nights a week. In an age of dumbed-down entertainment, the TV show Jeopardy! was an oasis of intelligence fashioned as a game show and hosted by Canadian-born Alex Trebek since 1984.

Most of his life story is well known. Trebek was born in Sudbury, Ontario, the son of a Ukrainian immigrant father and a French-Canadian mother. He earned a degree in philosophy at the University of Ottawa and began his career while still in school.

Trebek hosted a number of television shows in Canada during the 1960s including CBC Championship Curling, but fellow Canadian, the late actor Alan Thicke, encouraged him to move to California in 1973. He landed a hosting job on an NBC game show called The Wizard of Odds, but the odds were against it and Trebek moved on to shows like Double Dare, High Rollers, Battlestars, The New Battlestars, Classic Concentration and To Tell the Truth before joining Jeopardy!, which had first hit the air waves in 1964 hosted by Art Fleming. The show had been off the air for a few years when a new reimagined version came to the small screen with Trebek as host.

Trebek won six Emmy Awards for outstanding game-show host, most recently in 2019, and also received a Lifetime Achievement Emmy in 2011. In December of 2019 the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television announced that Trebek would be one of four recipients to be honoured with a 2020 Special Canadian Screen Award, but the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic caused those plans to be put on hold. He used his television show to announce his diagnosis of stage 4 pancreatic cancer in March 2019 and promised to fight on while continuing to work.

“We have lost an icon,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Twitter. Yes, Alex Trebek was certainly that, but to his millions of fans he had also become a friend, someone we spent a considerable portion of our lives with, someone who made us laugh with his quick asides, someone who urged his contestants to win big, someone who seemed to know more than anyone else we knew and who taught all of us something about the world we live in five times a week.

In a television interview he once quipped that Jeopardy! was a great gig and the money was very good. In a 2014 article, the Hollywood Reporter said Trebek was earning $10 million a year. He earned every penny, usually taping 5 shows each day while the show was in production. In an interview on CNN over the weekend one of the show’s producers let it be known that in Trebek’s last week of work, just two weeks before his passing, they taped 3 shows on one day and then one show each day on the following two days. His last show will air on Christmas day.

Sugar Daddy

Sugar Daddy, image,
Promotional photo from Sugar Daddy courtesy of Whistler Film Festival.

101 minutes – Drama
Language: English

Festival release date: December 1, 2020 – (Whistler Film Festival. World Premiere)
Release date: TBA

Production company: Clique Pictures, Violator Films, Floyder Films

Canadian distributor: levelFILM

Co-star and the film’s screenwriter, Kelly McCormack plays Darren, a new age music composer and performer who is trying to break into the record industry. After being fired from the job that pays her rent, she starts working as a “paid dinner companion” for older men. No sex, she proudly proclaims, but that doesn’t stop her arguing with her feminist friends over whether she is allowing herself to be treated as a commodity. But when everything seems to be falling apart, she seeks solace in the arms of an older man (Colm Feore) who seems to be in her corner and shares her love of music. This is director Wendy Morgan’s first full length feature film.

Also see: at Sugar Daddy at Whistler

No poster available, image,
Crew:

Producer:

Lauren Grant
Lori Lozinski
Kelly McCormack

Executive Producer:

Lisa Gutberlet
James Huntsman
Andreas Olavarria

Director:

Wendy Morgan

Screenwriter:

Kelly McCormack

Cinematographer:

Kristin Fieldhouse

Editor:

Christine Armstrong

Composer:

Marie-Hélène L. Delorme

Production Designer:

Jessica Jerome

Art Director:

Chareese McLaughlin (Set Decoration)

Costume Designer:

Mara Zigler

Cast:Roles:

Kelly McCormack
Colm Feore
Amanda Brugel
Ishan Davé
Nicholas Campbell
Noam Jenkins
Aaron Ashmore
Hilary McCormack
Kaniehtiio Horn
Michelle Morgan
Jess Salgueiro
Rob Stewart
Paula Boudreau
Tony Nappo
Andy McQueen
Vickie Papavs
Amish Patel
Brooker Muir
Kevin Claydon
Richard Walters
Jennifer Hui

Darren
Gordon
Nancy
Peter
Jim
Edward
Angus
Rae
Jenny
Sarah
Angela
Bill
Kathy
Don
Jeffrey
Linda
Chef Dan
John
Kyle
Danny
Stephanie

Sugar Daddy at Whistler

Sugar Daddy, image,
Promotional photo from Sugar Daddy courtesy of Whistler Film Festival.

Sugar Daddy at Whistler
by Staff

(November 6, 2020 – Toronto, ON) Organizers of the 20th annual Whistler Film Festival have announced their lineup and it includes films that will be streamed as well as a number of films that will screen in what they are calling the “in-theatre” portion of the festival.

There are two opening films this year. First up when the festival launches on December 1 is the world premiere of the Canadian feature Sugar Daddy, costarring Colm Feore and Kelly McCormack (pictured above), who also penned the screenplay. McCormack plays a musician who works as a paid dinner companion for older men…enter Colm Feore. The film is directed by Alabama-born actress-director Wendy Morgan.

Sugar Daddy at Whistler, image
Promotional still from the film In Her City.

The in-theatre launch on December 3 brings the world premiere of the Canadian film In Her City from director Carl Bessai. The film is a series of short vignettes that focus on young urban women in Toronto, New York and Los Angeles.

“With a particular emphasis on Canadian content creators and distinct and emerging new voices, the Whistler Film Festival continues to fill a valuable niche within the Canadian film festival ecosystem,” said Paul Gratton, WFF’s Director of Programming. “This year, we’re excited to bring the magic of WFF to a national audience through our online offerings and in-theatre for our regional fans. WFF has evolved into a premium showcase for exciting new motion pictures not previously shown at other film festivals. With our strongest lineup ever of Canadian gems to topical American Indies, our 20th edition selections simply crackle with the energy and creativity that result when brand new voices are mixed in with more established filmmakers.”

There are 89 films on the schedule with 32 of them being features. The online portion runs from Dec. 1 to Dec. 20, and those titles will remain available until Dec. 31 with a 24-hour window throughout Canada, but with some restrictions in Quebec. The in-theatre screenings will run from Dec. 3 to Dec. 6 in both Vancouver and Whistler, B.C.

Cinematic excellence remains at the heart of the Whistler Film Festival with 16 film awards in seven juried competitions. One of the most coveted awards is the Borsos Award for Best Canadian Feature, named in honour of Canadian filmmaker Phillip Borsos. This year, 15 Canadian films will contend for the five coveted Borsos Competition awards. Titles up for consideration include the World Premieres of An Introvert’s Guide To High School directed by Sophie Harvey, a comedic look at how high school pressures affect less outgoing students; In Her City directed by Carl Bessai; Indian Road Trip directed by A.W. Hopkins, a humorous First Nations road trip with scams, hidden loot and all kinds of funny hijinks; Mercy directed by Sam Flamont, about life in a medium-security prison after the shooting of a wounded deer; Sugar Daddy directed by Wendy Morgan starring and written by Kelly McCormack; and All-In Madonna directed by Arnold Lim about a young woman learning that her Dad may be murderer.

The festival says it will share net online proceeds on a 50/50 basis directly with the filmmakers or Canadian rights holders, as a way to support filmmakers struggling during the pandemic.

The full lineup and more information is on the WFF website. Click here for a link to the Whistler Film Festival and other December 2020 film festivals.

Cinéfranco Goes National

Cinéfranco Goes National, image,
Laurence Leboeuf and Patrick Hivon in Mont Fraser from K Films Amérique.

Cinéfranco Goes National
by Staff

(November 4, 2020 – Toronto, ON) When the 23rd annual Cinéfranco festival of International and Canadian Francophone cinema launches on November 20, it will be online and for the first time, national. Running until November 28, the festival has selected 17 features and two programs of short films. Using the Eventine festival platform, in addition to the filmed content Cinéfranco online will also carry post-screening conversations and panels.

The feature films come from Belgium, Canada, France, Lebanon, Morocco, and Senegal reflecting the diversity of the Francophone world.  As always filmmakers from Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick are well represented with the return of the popular Courts toujours (In Short) programs. Two new films will be added to the schedule each day with a 48 hour window for a household to view their selections once a stream is activated. Closing Night on November 28 will see three new films on the platform.

“In a year to remember, full of challenges for everyone, we at Cinéfranco are blessed and privileged to be able to continue bringing the best of International and Canadian francophone cinema to our audiences”,  said Marcelle Lean, Artistic Director and Founder. “During the pandemic we’ve stayed in touch with our community online, presenting films and conversations and are looking forward to embracing new audiences across Canada during the festival. The pandemic has given us all reason to pause and reflect as well as witness amplified inequities. We’ve curated this year’s film selection with that, as well as a need for some levity, in mind.”
Mont Foster, movie, poster,
Opening night’s double bill is a mixture of light and dark – a French comedy and Québecois psychological thriller with Méliane Marcaggi’s Belle Fille (The Morning After) and Québec director Louis Godbout’s Mont Foster, a psychological thriller in which Chloe (Laurence Leboeuf) and Matthieu (Patrick Hivon) retreat to their country house to reconnect as Chloe’s fragile mental state deteriorates. Meliane Marcaggi’s Belle Fille is all about mistaken identity, which propels this 2020 comedy. When Louise (Alexandra Lamy) escapes her cheating husband in Corsica for a wild night of passion with a man who ends up dead, she’s mistaken for his secret long-time girlfriend by his fearsome and loving mother played by Miou-Miou.

Closing Night’s Nadia, Butterfly stars real-life Olympian Katerine Savard as Nadia, who decides to retire from pro swimming after the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games to escape a rigid life of sacrifice. Quebecois director Pascal Plante, himself an award-winning swimmer brings empathy and understanding to this coming of age story of a young woman’s quest to find her identity outside of sport.

There is more information online and E-Tickets are available to purchase up to November 28 at 11:59pm from Cinéfranco.

Click here for links to more November 2020 film festivals.

Louis Godbout

Louis Godbout, film director,

B: in Québec

Louis Godbout began his career as a screenwriter before directing his first movie in 2019. We list his credits as a screenwriter first.

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

Coda (2018)
Mont Fraser (2019)

Life with Music (2020)
18 trous (2021)

Credits as a Director:
Mont Fraser (2019)

18 trous (2021)

Mont Foster, movie, poster,

Mont Foster

98 minutes – Thriller
Language: French
Release date: March 13, 2020
Production company: Les Films Primatice
Canadian distributor: K-Films Amérique
U.S. distributor: Mbur Films

Mathieu et Chloé viennent de traverser une dure épreuve. Ils se rendent à la maison de campagne pour se retrouver et reprendre des forces. Mais leur retraite paisible est vite perturbée par de curieux incidents qui ébranlent le fragile équilibre de Chloé. Convaincue que la nature recèle un grave danger, elle s’enferme peu à peu dans une réalité qui vire au cauchemar pendant que Mathieu croit assister impuissant à la dérive psychologique de sa femme. Deux réalités s’opposent, des tensions et des secrets font surface, un affrontement devient inéluctable, dans un thriller psychologique où mensonge, délire et vérité s’entrecroisent et se confondent.

Mathieu and Chloé have just gone through a tough ordeal. They go to their chalet on Mont Foster to reconnect and regain strength. But their peaceful retreat is quickly disrupted by curious incidents that shake Chloe’s fragile balance. Convinced that nature conceals a serious danger, she gradually locks herself in a reality that turns into a nightmare while Mathieu believes he is helplessly witnessing his wife’s psychological drift. Two opposing realities, tensions and secrets surface, a confrontation becomes inevitable, in a psychological thriller where lies, delirium and truth intersect and merge.

Mont Foster, movie, poster,
Crew:

Producer:

Sebastien Poussard

Director:

Louis Godbout

Screenwriter:

Louis Godbout

Cinematographer:

Jean-François Lord

Editor:

Claude Palardy

Composer:

Ramachandra Borcar

Art Director:

Frederic Devost

Cast:Roles:

Patrick Hivon
Laurence Leboeuf
Lucie Laurier
Émile Proulx-Cloutier

Mathieu
Chloé
Sara
Francis

Kimberly Laferriere

Kimberly Laferriere, actress,

B: November 3, 1982 in Montréal, Québec

Kimberly Laferriere is a member of various actors’ unions including ACTRA, DSAG-AFTRA and UDA (Union des artistes).

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

Winter Lily (2000)
Thinly Veiled (2009)
Beneath the River (2009)

The Greens (2010, short)
Des milliers et des milliers d’années (2013, short)
Saturday Night Special (2014, short)
Hailstorm (2014, short)
The Badge (2015)
Life on Juniper (voice, 2015, short)
Benjamin (2015, short)
La nouvelle vie de Paul Sneijder (2016)
White Night (2017)
Gracefield Incident (2017)
Mother! (2017)
Ordinary Days (2017)
Mommy’s Little Angel (TV-2018)
State Like Sleep (2018)
Pride, Prejudice, and Mistletoe (TV-2018)
Le Femme de mon frère (2018)

Serpent in the Bottle (2020)

TV Series – Cast:
21 Thunder (2017)
Fugueuse (2018-2019)

TV Series – Guest appearances:
2 frères (2000)
As the World Turns (voice, 2007)
1000 Ways to Die (2009)

Blue Mountain State (2011)
Being Human (2013)
Saving Hope (2015)
Cut N’ Dry Talent TV (2017)
Jérémie (2018, 2019)
Hudson & Rex (2019)

Web Series:
Shooting the Moon (2014)
Féminin/Féminin (2014-2018)

Kimberly Laferriere is represented by:
Agence Premier Role
3449, avenue de l’Hôtel-de-Ville
Montréal, Québec, H2X 3B5

Phone: (514) 844-7653
Email: info(at)premierrole.com

Ordinary Days, poster,

René Rousseau

René Rousseau, actor,

B: November 3, 1975 in Roberval, Québec

Québec-born actor René Rousseau should not be confused with the American actress named Rene Russo. Most of René Rousseau’s work so far has been in series television.

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

Noemi: The Secret (2009)

TV Series – Cast:
Première Ligne (Narrator, 2018)
Le Tailgate (Co-host, 2019)

TV Series – Guest appearances:
Les Bougon: C’est aussi ça la vie (2004)
Casting (2005)
Les Lavigueur, la vraie histoire (2008)

Série Noire (2014)

Anthony Ulc

Anthony Ulc, actor,

B: November 3, 1960 in Montréal, Québec

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

The Hotel New Hampshire (1984)
Miracle at Moreaux (TV-1985)
Ford: The Man and the Machine (TV-1987)
Shades of Love: The Rose Cafe (TV-1987)
Wednesday’s Children: Jenny (1987, short)
Wednesday’s Children: Alex (1987, short)
April Morning (TV-1988)
The Carpenter (1988)

Scanners II: The New Order (1991)
Dead Ahead: The Exxon Valdez Disaster (TV-1992)
Sleeping with Strangers (1994)
The Christmas List (TV-1997)
Honeymoon (1997)
Sealed with a Kiss (TV-1988)
Two of Hearts (TV-1999)

Black Point (2002)
Her Sister’s Keeper (2006)

The Entitled (2011)
Fade In (2011, short)
An Officer and a Murderer (TV-2012)
Blood Pressure (2012)
Crackmas (2013, short)
Cassidy (2012, short)
Baby’s First Christmas (TV-2012)
Breakpoint (2013)
Blind (2014, short)
Early Mourning (2014, short)
88 (2015)
10 Speed (2015, short)
Barn Wedding (2015)
Gone Tomorrow (2015)
Merry Matrimony (TV-2015)
Joseph and Mary (2016)
B&E (2017, short)
It (2017)
Cardinals (2017)
Magical Christmas Ornaments (TV-2017)
Darkside (2018)
It Chapter Two (2019)

The Toll (2020)
Bing! Bang! Bi! (2020, short)

TV Series – Cast:
Peacemakers (2003)
Guns (2009, mini-series)

TV Series – Guest appearances:
MacGyver (1990)
Street Justice (1992)
M.A.N.T.I.S. (1995)
Poltergeist: The Legacy (1997)
Dead Man’s Gun (1997, 1998)
The Sentinel (1998)
Sealed with a Kiss (1998)
Viper (1998)
The Crow: Stairway to Heaven (1998)
Millennium (1998)
The Outer Limits (1998, 1999)
The New Addams Family (1999)
First Wave (1999)
Hope Island (1999)

Hollywood Off-Ramp (2000)
Mysterious Ways (2001)
Night Visions 2001)
Stargate SG-1 (2001, 2002)
Breaking News (2002)
Just Cause (2002)
The DEad Zone 2003, 2006)
The Collector (2004)
Young Blades (2005)

Saving Hope (2012)
Cracked (2013)
Copper (2013)
Reign (2013, 2014)
The Listener (2014)
Rookie Blue (2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014)
Haven (2014, 2015)
Remedy (2015)
Fargo (2015)
Mayday (2016)
Murdoch Mysteries (2016)
Carter (2018)
Killjoys 2018)
The Detectives (2018)

Cardinals, movie, poster,

Deepa Mehta’s Funny Boy on CBC

Deepa Mehta's Funny Boy on CBC
, image,
Brandon Ingram (left) plays Arjie and Rehan Mudannayake plays Shehan in Deepa Mehta's Funny Boy. Courtesy of CBC Films.

Deepa Mehta’s Funny Boy on CBC

by Staff



(October 27, 2020 – Toronto, ON) Deepa Mehta’s new film, Funny Boy will be broadcast by CBC TV and their free CBC Gem streaming service on Friday, December 4. Mark your calendars because the award-winning writer-director always brings her best to any project she’s involved in.

Based on the evocative 1994 coming-of-age novel by Shyam Selvadurai and shot on location, the story is set in Sri Lanka in the 1970s and ‘80s and focuses on a young boy named Arjie who is coming to terms with his homosexuality against the backdrop of the increased tensions between Tamil and Sinhalese people before the breakout of the Sri Lankan Civil War. The screenplay was co-written by Mehta and Selvadurai.
Deepa Mehta, director,
“My mantra as a filmmaker has always been what one of the great filmmakers of all times, Luis Buñuel, said: ‘When a film is particular, that’s the very minute it becomes universal.’ Funny Boy, set on the island of Sri Lanka in the middle of its long and bloody civil war, is also a film about the power of love,” said Mehta. “In many ways, Funny Boy reflects the times of divisiveness we are living in today, where the call for a just society, a call for humanity is what we are all striving for.”

The book was the winner of the WH Smith Books/Books in Canada First Novel Award (1995) and the Lambda Award for Best Gay Men’s Fiction (1997). It was also shortlisted for the Giller Prize (1994) and named an American Library Association Notable Book (1996).

Produced by David Hamilton and Hussain Amarshi; Funny Boy stars Brandon Ingram in his feature film debut, Nimmi Harasgama, Ali Kazmi, Agam Darshi, and Arush Nand.

Funny Boy will be broadcast on CBC TV and the free CBC Gem streaming service on Friday, December 4 at 8 p.m. (8:30 NT). and will be available to stream on-demand in Canada on CBC Gem following its December 4 broadcast. It will premiere on Netflix outside of Canada on Thursday, December 10. Funny Boy was made possible with the support of CBC Films, Telefilm Canada and Ontario Creates.

Also see: Deepa Mehta

SOURCE: CBC

UPDATED: October 29, 2020: Telefilm Canada has announced that Funny Boy has been selected to represent Canada in the race for Best International Feature Film at the 93rd Academy Awards ceremony, taking place on April 25, 2021.

imagineNATIVE 2020 Wraps

imagineNATIVE 2020 Wraps, image,
From L-to-R: Kim Wheeler, Mélina Quitich Niquay, Lorne Cardinal, and Theola Ross. Courtesy of imagineNATIVE.

imagineNATIVE 2020 Wraps
by Staff

(October 27, 2020 – Toronto, ON) The 2020 imagineNATIVE Film & Media Festival wrapped on over the weekend, which included the announcement of this year’s awards, handled through an online Awards Presentation. The esteemed Sun and Moon Juries considered film, video, audio, and digital media works from Canadian and international Indigenous artists to select winners in 16 categories with over $53,000 in cash prizes and in-kind services.

The presentation was hosted by Tiffany Ayalik, and included musical performances by Decree and Fawn Wood.

In 2019 imagineNATIVE became the first and only Indigenous film festival in the world to be a Qualifying Festival for the Best Live Action Short category for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. This means that Njoukcamat (The Tongues) by Marja Bål Nango and Ingir Bål Nango, the 2020 winner for Best Live Action Short (in recognition of iN founders Cynthia Lickers-Sage and Vtape), will be eligible to submit for the Best Live Action Short category at the 2021 Oscars.

The 2020 imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival Award Winners are:

Best Documentary Work Long Format:
In recognition of the legacy of Alanis Obomsawin with support from CBC for a $5,000 cash prize
Miguel Hilari – Compañía

Best Documentary Work Short Format:
with support from TVO for a $2,500 cash prize
Theola Ross – Êmîcêtôsêt: Many Bloodlines

New Voice in Storytelling Award:
In honour of Jane Glassco and Ellen Monague with support from the CJ Foundation and Humber College for a $2,500 cash prize
Marc Fussing Rosbach – Naja (Little Sister)

The Sun Jury Award:
with support from the Directors Guild of Canada for a $2,500 cash prize
Evelyn Pakinewatik – Mooz Miikan

Best Dramatic Feature:
With support from CRAVE for a $7,500 cash prize
Kiel McNaughton – The Legend of Baron To’a

Best Live Action Short:
As mentioned above, in recognition of founders Cynthia Lickers-Sage and Vtape with support from Vtape ($2,500) and a donation from Jason Ryle ($5,000) for a $7,500 cash prize
Marja Bål Nango and Ingir Bål Nango – Njoukcamat (The Tongues)

Award for Innovation in Storytelling:
In recognition of Kent Monkman, with support from Sobeys ($2,500) and a donation from Kent Monkman ($5,000) for a $7,500 cash prize
Marja Helander – Suodji (Shelter)

Best Indigenous Language Production:
with support from Indigenous Media Initiatives for a $2,500 cash prize
Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu – Kapaemahu

The Moon Jury Award:
with support from the Directors Guild of Canada for a $2,500 cash prize
Nivi Pedersen – Pilluarneq Ersigiunnaarpara

Digital + Interactive Award, Mid-Career:
with support from imagineNATIVE for a $2,500 cash prize
Karla Hart – Virtual Whadjuk

Digital + Interactive Award, Early-Career:
with support from imagineNATIVE for a $1,500 cash prize
Mélina Quitich Niquay – Metaperotin

Experimental Audio Award:
with support from imagineNATIVE for a $2,000 cash prize
Nathan Adler – Gaawiin Gego

Narrative Audio Award:
with support from imagineNATIVE for a $2,000 cash prize
Kim Wheeler – Blood Money

The August Schellenberg Award of Excellence:
with support from Joan Karasevich Schellenberg, ACTRA National and ACTRA Fraternal Benefit Society for a $2,500 cash prize
Lorne Cardinal

APTN/imagineNATIVE Web Series Pitch Competition:
$40,000+ in kind prizing, $30,000 licensing fee from APTN, and $10, 000 cash towards production from Bell Fund along with additional in kind services
Kin – Thirza Cuthand, Justin Ducharme, and Lindsay Nixon

imagineNATIVE showcased a selection of the award-winning films with virtual Award Winners screenings on Sunday night. The imagineNATIVE Audience Choice Award, Feature Film with support from Air Canada, and the Audience Choice Award, Short Film with support from BMO, have yet to be announced.

SOURCE: imagineNATIVE

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