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Gabby Velis

Gabby Velis, actress,
B: [getbirthdaylink types_field=""][wpv-conditional if="( $(wpcf-born-in) ne '' )"] in [getborninlink types_field="Toronto, Ontario"][/wpv-conditional][/wpv-conditional]

Gabby Velis made her acting debut in the 2020 film Falling, which was the directorial debut for actor Viggo Mortensen. She is the daughter of actor Juan Carlos Velis.

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

Falling (2020)

Falling, movie, poster,


120 minutes – Drama, Biography
Language: English
Release date: October 9, 2020
Production company:
Canadian distributor: Mongrel Media

Based on events from a 1998 lawsuit, Percy follows small-town farmer Percy Schmeiser, who challenges a major conglomerate when the company’s genetically modified (GMO) canola is discovered in the 70-year-old farmer’s crops. As he speaks out against the company’s business practices, he realizes he is representing thousands of other disenfranchised farmers around the world fighting the same battle. Suddenly, he becomes an unsuspecting folk hero in a desperate war to protect farmers’ rights and the world’s food supply against what they see as corporate greed.

Percy, movie, poster,


Daniel Bekerman
Ian Dimerman
Ethan Lazar
Garfield Lindsay Miller
Hilary Pryor
Brendon Sawatzky

Executive Producer:

Kellon Akeem
Todd Berger
Deepak Kumar Bhagat
Andrew Chang-Sang
Mark Gingras
Beata Gutman
Mayur Hasija
John Hills
Kevin Hoiseth
Dwight Howard
Ryan Krivoshey
John Laing
Andy Marks
William G. Santor
Matthew Shreder
Yandy Smith


Lauren Grant

Associate Producer:

Natalie Novak Remplakowski

Consulting Producer:

Pravesh Sahni (India)

Line Producer:

Lisa Cichelly
Rakesh Singh (India)


Clark Johnson


Garfield Lindsay Miller
Hilary Pryor


Luc Montpellier


Geoff Ashenhurst
Maureen Grant
Susan Maggi

Art Director:

Scott Layton

Costume Designer:

Sandra Soke


Christopher Walken
Martin Donovan
Christina Ricci
Peter Stebbings
Luke Kirby
Zach Braff
Adam Beach
Zoe Fish
Roberta Maxwell
Andrea del Campo
Anna Hardwick
Bradley Sawatzky
Melissa Hood
Jason Wishnowski
Ernesto Griffith
Jai Mession
Angela Narth
Matthew Stefanson
Blake Taylor
Ron Verwymeren
Dean Harder
Monique Alvarez
Daina Leitold
Sarah-Jane Marquez-Hicks
Warren Ellis

Percy Schmeiser
Rick Aarons
Rebecca Salcau
Head of NGO, Rebecca Salcau’s boss
Peter Schmeiser
Jackson Weaver
Alton Kelly
Mary Schmeiser
Louise Schmeiser
Brenda Kelly
UK News Anchor
Meghan Lewis-O’Connor
Investigator #1
Washington Post Reporter
News Anchor
Chief Justice Beverly McLachlin
Sales Clerk
Karl Steiger
Judge Lean
Bob Black
ane Doe
Ottawa Journalist
Mill Worker

Eli Goree

Eli Goree, actor,
B: [getbirthdaylink types_field="May 26, 1994"][wpv-conditional if="( $(wpcf-born-in) ne '' )"] in [getborninlink types_field="Halifax, Nova Scotia"][/wpv-conditional][/wpv-conditional]

Eli Goree earned a degree in Film and Television acting from the Canadian Film Centre in Toronto. He played the role of Dave Albritton in the film Race, which was about Jesse Owens life leading up to the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin. Goree plays the role of Cassius Clay/Muhammad Ali in the 2020 feature One Night in Miami, based on the play by first-time playwright Kemp Powers, which was first performed in 2013. The movie marked the directorial debut of actress Regina King.

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

Enough (2006, short)
Abducted: The Carlina White Story (TV-2012)
Far from Home (TV-2014)
Godzilla (2014)
Christmas Truce (TV-2015)
Toni Braxton: Unbreak My Heart (TV-2016)
Race (2016)

One Night in Miami (2020)
Let’s Die Together (2020)

TV Series – Cast:
‘Da Kink in My Hair (2009)
Eve of Destruction (2013, mini-series)
Dead of Summer (2016)
Riverdale (2018-2020)
Pearson (2019)

TV Series – Guest appearances:
Soul (2009)
Pure Pwnage (2010)
Supernatural (2012)
Emily Owens M.D. (2012, 2013)
Motive (2013)
The 100 (2014, 2017)
Heartbeat (2016)
Legends of Tomorrow (2016)
Glow (2018)
Ballers (2018)

Race, movie, poster,

Joy Coghill

Joy Coghill, actress,
B: [getbirthdaylink types_field="May 13, 1926"][wpv-conditional if="( $(wpcf-born-in) ne '' )"] in [getborninlink types_field="Findlater, Saskatchewan"][/wpv-conditional]D: [types field="death" output="raw"][/types][wpv-conditional if="( $(wpcf-died-in) ne '' )"] in [types field="died-in" output="raw"][/types][/wpv-conditional]

Born Joy Dorothy Coghill. She played Portia Da Vinci in 6 episodes of Da Vinci’s Inquest between 1998 and 2003.

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

Never Say Never (TV-1955, General Motors Theatre)
Shivers (1975)
Jacob Two-Two Meets the Hooded Fang (1978)

The Trout That Stole the Rainbow (1982, short)
Change of Heart (1984)
Nobody’s Child (TV-1986)
Blue Monkey (1987)
Christmas Comes to Willow Creek (TV-1987)
The Little Match Girl (TV-1987)

From Flores (1990, short)
Omen IV: The Awakening (TV-1991)
My Son Johnny (TV-1993)
Miracle on Interstate 880 (TV-1993)
Sherlock Holmes Returns (TV-1993)
Snowbound: The Jim and Jennifer Stolpa Story (TV-1994)
Andre (1994)
The Other Mother: A Moment of Truth Movie (TV-1995)
Color Me Perfect (TV-1996)
Silence (1997)
The Sleep Room (1998)
Double Jeopardy (1999)

Flight of the Reindeer (TV-2000)
A Day iof Life (2000)
Living With the Dead (TV-2002)
Betrayed (TV-2003)
Regarding Sarah (2006, short)
Amma (2008, short)

TV Series – Cast:
Anyone for Alice (1959, mini-series, Studio Pacific)

TV Series – Guest appearances:
The Beachcombers (1980, 1984)
Red Surge (1988)
Airwolf (1987)
Unsub (1989)

21 Jump Street (1991)
Street Justice (1991)
The Commish (1994)
The X Files (1995)
Sliders (1995)
My Life as a Dog (1995)
Poltergeist: The Legacy (1996, 1997)
Viper (1997)
The Outer Limits (1998)
Stargate SG-1 (1998)
The Crow: Stairway to Heaven (1998)
Nothing Too Good for a Cowboy (1999)
Da Vinci’s Inquest (1998, 1999, 2001, 2003)

Change of Heart

Change of Heart, movie, image,

56 minutes – Drama
Release date: 1984
Production company: National Film Board of Canada

Change of Heart is a compassionate drama about the disintegration of a loveless marriage. Edna and Bob have spent all their married life working on their farm. After thirty years, no longer willing to tolerate Bob’s hostility and bullying, Edna packs her bags. Her decision to leave her husband and build a new life throws the family into an uproar and dramatically brings into focus the issue of a farm wife’s right to a share of the family gains, and the problems associated with mid-life divorce and older women’s re-entry into the workforce.

Change of Heart took the Blue Ribbon Award in the Drama Category at the Itinerant – American Film and Video Festival in 1986.

No poster available, image,


Anne Frank

Executive Producer:

Tom Radford
Sig Gerber (for CBC)


Anne Wheeler


Sharon Riis


Richard Leiterman


George Appleby


Matthew McCauley

Production Designer:

David Moe

Costume Designer:

Wendy Hudolin


Joy Coghill
Tom Heaton
Ken James
David Neale
Susan Stackhouse
Joy Thompson-Allen
Ian Tracey
Molly Whalen
Paul Wood
Patricia Hamilton
Bruce Parkhouse
Graham McPherson
Warren Graves
Orest Kinasewich


Cameras Roll for Coroner 3

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

Cameras Roll for Coroner 3
by Staff

(September 16, 2020 – Toronto, ON) Muse Entertainment, Back Alley Films and Cineflix Studios have announced the start of production on Season Three of the hit CBC original drama series Coroner. Inspired by the best-selling series of books by M.R. Hall, Coroner was created for television by Morwyn Brebner (Saving Hope, Rookie Blue) and stars Serinda Swan in the title role as Dr. Jenny Cooper.

“We are ecstatic to be returning to Coroner for season three! It has been no small feat to resume production amidst this pandemic, and we are truly grateful to the CBC for their support. This season, Jenny and team will continue to explore intriguing cases, as they grapple with our quickly shifting times,” said showrunner Morwyn Brebner and lead director and executive producer Adrienne Mitchell. “We are excited to share these powerful and relevant stories with our loyal Canadian and international viewers, as well as our new American fans.”

In Season Three, Jenny Cooper moves past her Season Two trauma and embraces her whole self. In the process of healing, she and live-in boyfriend Liam are now separated, while Detective Donovan McAvoy (Roger Cross) faces his mortality in a new way. Ross (Ehren Kassam) stumbles his way through identity challenges, while Gordon (Nicholas Campbell) hallucinates about the possibility of a life once lived. In a series of touching, personal, and harrowing cases, this season addresses unorthodox therapy sessions, and uncomfortable, messy, and beautiful personal encounters. Jenny and those around her begin to truly understand what it means to be alive as they dance with death.

Joining the cast this season are Mark Taylor (Flashpoint) as Clark, a crown attorney working with Jenny on a new inquest, and Uni Park (Kim’s Convenience) as Melanie, the coroner office’s new pathologist. Season three ups the number of episodes to 10 and is scheduled to debut on CBC and the free CBC Gem streaming service in Winter 2021.

Shot in Toronto, the series has been sold around the world and can be seen in the United States, in sub-Saharan Africa, France, Germany, Spain, Poland, Romania, Serbia as well as in Latin America and Brazil. In the UK, Coroner premieres on Sky Witness, with Season Two currently on air and Season Three to follow next year.

Coroner is produced by Muse Entertainment, Back Alley Films and Cineflix Studios. Morwyn Brebner is executive producer and showrunner, Adrienne Mitchell (Durham County, Bellevue) is lead director and executive producer for Back Alley Films, Jonas Prupas is executive producer for Muse Entertainment with Peter Emerson and Brett Burlock executive producers for Cineflix Studios. Aren Prupas and Janis Lundman serve as Consulting Executives for Muse Entertainment and Back Alley Films, respectively. For CBC, Sally Catto is General Manager, Entertainment, Factual & Sports; Trish Williams is Executive Director, Scripted Content; Helen Asimakis is Senior Director, Scripted Content; and Sarah Adams is Executive in Charge of Production. Cineflix Rights has the exclusive worldwide distribution rights to Coroner.


SJIWFF to Open with Little Orphans

SJIWFF to Open with Little Orphans
by Staff

(September 15, 2020 – Toronto, ON) The St. John’s International Women’s Film Festival has announced its opening and closing gala films. It has also announced that this edition, the festival’s 31st, will be (almost) all digital during its run from October 14 to 18.

The ExxonMobil Opening Night feature, Little Orphans, is a film that’s creating some buzz in Canada. It is one of 14 films on the The Directors Guild of Canada list in the running for the 2020 DGC Discovery Award. This list highlights the top new emerging directors to watch for during this festival season. Written by and costarring Emily Bridger, Little Orphans is directed by Ruth Lawrence. The film is about unresolved fallout on important things relationships, family abandonment and secrets of the self. And it’s set against a backdrop of a St. John’s winter. Click here to watch the trailer and learn more about the film.
While the festival is headed online, there will be a special in-person event for Little Orphans on Saturday, October 17 at Cineplex Mount Pearl Square. The festival will announce details of that soon.

The RBC Closing Night feature will present Queen of the Morning Calm, the debut feature by Vancouver writer and director Gloria Ui Young Kim. The story follows a young Korean sex worker trying to make a better life for her little girl, Mona. A mother-daughter love story, Queen of the Morning Calm is a powerful journey of emancipation and redemption.

The St. John’s International Women’s Film Festival runs from October 14 to 18. Look for a link on our October 2020 Film Festivals page.


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

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: Cameras role for Coroner 3.

No Poster Available

Executive Producer:

Morwyn Brebner (also Showrunner)
Adrienne Mitchell (Back Alley Films)
Jonas Prupas (Muse Entertainment)
Peter Emerson (Cineflix Studios)
Brett Burlock (Cineflix Studios)


Adrienne Mitchell
Paul Fox
Sherren Lee
Winnifred Jong


Morwyn Brebner
Seneca Aaron


Samy Inayeh

Production Designer:

Elisa Sauve


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
Liam Bouchard
Ross Khalighi
Clark (2021)
Melanie (2021)

Rhiannon Morgan


Rhiannon Morgan is pictured in a publicity still from the 2019 short movie Always Going Never Gone about a Banshee that clings to the last living soul of a forgotten community. Rhiannon Morgan plays the Banshee.

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

The Gift (TV-1998)

Pretty Girls (2008, short)

Brad (2010, short)
Made in Dagenham (2010)
Newfoundland at Armageddon (TV-2016)
Away from Everywhere (2016)
Waste It (2017, short)
New Woman (2019, short)
Black Conflux (2019)
Always Going Never Gone (2019, short)

Little Orphans (2020)

TV Series Guest appearances:
Republic of Doyle (2016)

Always Going Never Gone, movie, poster,

Kyra Harper

Kyra Harper, actress,

Kyra Harper is an actress and producer. She played the role of Dr. Virginia Coady on the hit series Orphan Black. She olays Aunt Maureen in the 2020 film Little Orphans.

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

Parallels (1980)
Whodunit? (VR-1980)
Renegades (1989)

Getting Married in Buffalo Jump (TV-1990)
Strange Horizons (1992)
Replikator (1994)
To Die For (1995)
Swann (1996)
Dangerous Offender: The Marlene Moore Story (TV-1996)
…First Do No Harm (TV-1997)
The Defenders: Payback (TV-1997)
Judgment Day: The Ellie Nesler Story (1999)
Forget Me Never (TV-1999)
Johnny (1999)
Dear America: A Journey to the New World (TV-1999)

All-American Girl: The Mary Kay Letourneau Story (TV-2000)
Cheaters (TV-2000)
Baby (TV-2000)
Fast Food High (2003)
Gracie’s Choice (TV-2004)
The Good Shepherd (2004)
Martha Behind Bars (TV-2005)
Find (2006, short)
Eye of the Beast (TV-2007)
Cyborg Soldier (VR-2008)
Of Murder and Memory (TV-2008)
Anne of Green Gables: A New Beginning (TV-2008)

The Camera and Christopher Merk (2010, short)
Embryonic (2012)
What We Have (2014)
Boxing (2015, short)
The Death of Ian Hall (2017, short)
The Glass Castle (2017)

Final Exam (2017, short)
Hellmington (2018)
It’s Nothing (2019, short)

Little Orphans (2020)
Six Days to Die (2020)

TV Series – Cast:
Anne of Green Gables: The Continuing Story (2000, mini-series)
Hard Rock Medical (2013-2018)
Orphan Black (2015-2017)

TV Series – Guest appearances:
Night Heat (1987)
Street Legal (1987, 1991)
The Campbells (1990)
Seasons of Love (1999)

Wonderfalls (2004)
This is Wonderland (2004, 2005)
The Dresden Files (2007)
Heartland (2009, 2019)

Human Target (2010)
Warehouse 13 (2010)
Lost Girl (2011)
The Firm (2012)
Damien (2016)
Mary Kills People (2017)
Ghostwriter (2019)
Running with Violet (2019, 2020)

Coroner (2020)

Little Orphans, movie, poster,

A Star is Lost

A Star is Lost, movie, image,

75 minutes – Musical comedy
Language: English
Release date:
Production company: National Film Board of Canada
Canadian distributor: National Film Board of Canada

A musical comedy feature about the trials and tribulations of making an old-time musical spectacular. Take an inexperienced studio head, add a villainous competitor, an eccentric director, and an exquisite star who has never sung a note in her life, and you’ve got problems, but they’re nothing to compare with the situation once your exquisite star is lost!

No poster available, image,


Daisy de Bellefeuille

Executive Producer:

John N. Smith


John Howe


John Howe
Don Arioli


Savas Kalogeras


Marie-Hélène Guillemin


Don Arioli
Jack Creley
Tom Harvey
Eric House
Ken James
Tiiu Leek
Les Nirenberg
Al Waxman

Billy Norman
Chief Dingo
Alfred E. Sydney
Junior Mammoth
Gloria Glyde
Inspector Bruno

Emily Bridger

B: [getbirthdaylink types_field=""][wpv-conditional if="( $(wpcf-born-in) ne '' )"] in [getborninlink types_field="St. John’s, NL"][/wpv-conditional][/wpv-conditional]

Emily Bridger is an actress, director and screenwriter. Her 2020 film, Little Ophans was selected to open the 2020 St. John’s International Women’s Film Festival. She is seen on the right in the trailer for Little Orphans above. We list her credits as an actor first.

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

Patiently Wasting (2008, short)
Pretty Girls (2008, short)
Epilogue (2008, short)

Brad (2010, short)
The Fourth Minute (2010, short)
The Wake (2011, short)

Little Orphans (2020)

TV Series – Guest appearances:
Three Chords from the Truth (2009)
Republic of Doyle (2010)
Little Dog (2018)

Hudson & Rex (2020)

Credits as a Screenwriter:
Epilogue (2008, short)

Brad (2010, short)
Kathy (2011, short)
Sadie (2014, short)
In So Many Words (2016, short)
Waste It (2017, short)
Hopeless Romantic (2018)

Little Orphans (2020)

TV Series:
Reel East Coast (2015)
Absolutely Canadian (2019, mini-series)

Credits as a Director:
Epilogue (2008, short)

Brad (2010, short)
In So Many Words (2016, short)
Waste It (2017, short)
Lamenting Pluto (2018, short)

Credits as a Producer:
Epilogue (2008, short)
In So Many Words (2016, short)

Little Orphans, movie, poster,

Ruth Lawrence

Ruth Lawrence, actress, director,

Ruth Lawrence is an actor and director. Her 2020 film Little Orhpans was selected to open the 2020 St. John’s International Women’s Film Festival. It was also included on the Directors Guild of Canada list of 14 films in contention for the 2020 DGC Discovery Award. This list highlights the top new emerging directors to watch for during the festival season. We list her credits as an actor first.

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

Behind the Wall (2008)
Screamers: The Hunting (VR-2009)

Snarbuckled (2010, short)
Four Sisters (2010, short)
Contracts (2010, short)
Surprise! (2011, short)
Clipper Gold (2011, short)
Cracker Barrel (2012, short)
Desperate Scribbles (2013, short)
Body and Bones (2019)

Under the Weather (2020)

TV Series- Cast:
Random Passage (2002, mini-series)

Credits as a Director:
Two Square Feet (2012, short)
Little Orphans (2020)

Credits as a Screenwriter:
Two Square Feet (2012, short)
Hopeless Romantic (2018)

Credits as a Producer:
Wind MOney (Associate Producer, 2013, short)
Hunting Pignut (Co-producer, 2016)
The Perfect Family (Co-producer, 2016, short)
Waiting Outside (Co-producer, 2017, short)

TV Series:
Reel East Coast (2017)

Little Orphans, movie, poster,

Little Orphans

80 minutes – Drama
Language: English
Festival release date: October 14, 2020 (St.John’s International Women’s Film Festival)
Release date: TBA
Production company: Imagine That Productions
Canadian distributor: Game Theory Films

Little Orphans follows Gwen (Emily Bridger), who begrudgingly comes home for her sister’s wedding, where she is confronted by unresolved fallout on relationships, family abandonment and secrets of the self. Set against a backdrop of a St. John’s winter, Little Orphans tackles ideas of home and discovery.

Little Orphans was selected to open the St.John’s International Women’s Film Festival in October 2020.

Little Orphans, movie, poster,


Jennifer Hawley

Executive Producer:

Sherry White


Ruth Lawrence


Emily Bridger


Stéphanie Anne
Weber Biron


Kimberlee McTaggart


Justin Merdsoy

Production Designer:

Gina Anderson

Art Director:

Michele Stamp (Set Decoration)

Costume Designer:

Karen Pottle


Emily Bridger
Marthe Bernard
Kyra Harper
Andy McQueen
Rhiannon Morgan
Des Walsh
Anouk Cornelissen-May
Allison Woolridge
Monica Walsh
Patricia Andrews
Andrew O’Brien
Peter Halley
Andrea Monro
Jenina MacGillivray
Nabila Qureshi
Luke Lawrence
Karen Monie

Aunt Maureen
Uncle Billy
Singer 3
Singer 2
Singer 1
Preschool Worker
Fancy Mom

Nadia, Butterfly

107 minutes – Drama
Language: French, English
Festival release date: 2010 (Cannes)
Release date: September 18, 2020 (Québec)
Production company: Nemesis Films
Canadian distributor: Maison 4:3

Twenty-three year old Nadia has decided to retire from professional swimming after the Olympics. She sees her life as a life of sacrifice and needs a change. After her last race, she slips away into nights of excess, but this new phase is simply transient and cannot hide her real inner quest: to define her identity outside the world of high level sport.

Nadia, Butterfly is an official selection of the 73rd edition of the Cannes film Festival. It stars Olympic swimmer Katerine Savard in the role of Nadia. This is Pascal Plante’s second feature film.

Nadia Butterfly, movie, poster,


Dominique Dussault

Executive Producer:

Sylvain Corbeil


Pascal Plante


Pascal Plante


Stephanie Weber Biron


Amélie Labrèche

Art Director:

Joëlle Péloquin

Costume Designer:

Renée Sawtelle


Katerine Savard
Ariane Mainville
Pierre-Yves Cardinal
Hilary Caldwell
Cailin McMurray
John Ralston
Amélie Marcil
Eli Jean Tahchi
Andrew Di Prata
Andrew Simms
Marie-José Turcotte

Greg Dale
Massage therapist
Lebanese fencer
Italian rower
Ronnie Bennett

Around the Festivals

Around the Festivals, image,
Promotional still for David Byrne’s American Utopia courtesy of HBO.

Around the Festivals
by Ralph Lucas – Publisher

(September 10, 2020 – Toronto, ON) When it comes to film festivals at this time of year the big news, naturally, belongs to the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), which gets underway tonight. In some ways it might be the smallest festival since those early days when it was known as The Festival of Festivals, yet in other ways it might be the largest TIFF ever. Smallest in that the big stars are missing, there are far fewer on-screen showings and those in-cinema films will be subject to social distancing in the seating arrangements. However, by going digital, more people than ever may get to see festival films, albeit on their home screens.

The 45th edition opens with David Byrne’s American Utopia (pictured above), directed by Spike Lee. It’s a filmed version of Byrne’s Broadway show with the former Talking Heads frontman singing his most popular songs backed by 11 musicians from around the world. Making history, this opening Gala screening will occur with both in-cinema and drive-in screenings combined. TIFF runs until September 19. Northernstars took at look at some of the Canadian films at TIFF here and here.

Speaking of reaching a larger audience through digital distribution, the OIAF (Ottawa International Animation Festival) opens September 23 and goes online worldwide, with single tickets or passes available. While Canada has produced some terrific feature animated movies, you mention animation in this country and people usually think of the National Film Board and their long award-winning record of producing animated shorts. There are two world premieres in official competition this year. The first Thanadoula, is an animated documentary from Toronto-based director Robin McKenna. We have written about Thanadoula before, but the short synopsis is: Layering real-life details with an otherworldly magic, Thanadoula recounts the story of an end-of-life doula brought to her calling through the loss of her beloved sister. It runs a little more than six and a half minutes.

Also screening in competition is the international co-production HIDE by UK-born, Hungary-based creator Daniel Gray whose 2006 short t.o.m. (with Tom Brown) was named Best Graduation Animation at OIAF. HIDE runs 11 minutes and it’s about two brothers who entertain themselves playing hide and seek. As one counts, the other hides in a small cabinet. Seconds pass… then minutes… years…and decades.

Other NFB productions and coproductions at OIAF include Quebec animator Jean-François Lévesque’s I, Barnabé (NFB with the participation of ARTE France), the latest NFB work from the creator of The Necktie (2008). 4 North A is the first collaboration between Newfoundland native Jordan Canning and Saskatoon-born Howie Shia, now both based in Toronto. And then there’s Altötting (Studio Film Bilder/NFB/Ciclope Filmes) by German animator Andreas Hykade, featuring design by Portugal’s Regina Pessoa.

There is far more from the NFB including some VR productions, as well as productions from around the world at OIAF. The festival runs from September 23 to October 4. There is a link to their website on our September Film Festivals page.

The Toronto Palestine Film Festival (TPFF) also starts September 23. We don’t pay a lot of attention to it as our focus is strictly on Canadian films and filmmakers but there is a link on our September Film Festivals page.

Also on Wednesday, September 23 Canada’s biggest Black Film Festival, the Montreal International Black Film Festival (MIBFF) kicks off at 7PM with Sergio Navarretta’s The Cuban starring Louis Gossett Jr. The festival ramps up the next day when a record 120 films from 30 countries will be available online and across Canada and around the World. Films will highlight topics such as the Environment, Immigration, Music, Human Rights, Women’s Rights, Systemic Racism, LGBTQ identity and Black Lives Matter. The MIBFF wraps on October 4 and a link to their website can be found on our September Film Festivals page.

There’s also a link to the Calgary International Film Festival (CIFF) where, for the first time, the full lineup of selected films will be available for streaming to audiences in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. The opening film on September 24 is Falling, a Canada-United Kingdom-Denmark coproduction that marks the feature directorial debut of Viggo Mortensen.

John Ware Reclaimed, movie, image,
Image from John Ware Reclaimed courtesy of the National Film Board.
The NFB is also well represented here with the world premiere of a feature documentary on a vital piece of Alberta’s history titled John Ware Reclaimed, which follows acclaimed Calgary-born filmmaker, author and playwright Cheryl Foggo on her quest to re-examine the mythology of Ware, the Black cowboy who settled in Alberta before the turn of the 20th century. Her research uncovers who this iconic figure might have been, and what his legacy means in terms of anti-Black racism, both past and present. Three award-winning NFB features are in the festival’s DGC Canadian Documentary Competition: Wintopia by Mira Burt-Wintonick (EyeSteelFilm/NFB), Stateless (Hispaniola Productions/NFB) by Michèle Stephenson and The Forbidden Reel (Loaded Pictures/NFB) by Ariel Nasr.

It’s a bit of a look ahead but we’ve had updates from two Toronto-based October festivals. The ReelWorld Film Festival runs October 14-19. This year, the festival includes 36 features, shorts, and webseries created by Canadian filmmakers identifying as Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour. The entire festival will be available online and passes go on sale today.

On October 20 the 21st imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival will begin its five day run. This year they’re trying something uniquely different. The opening gala film isn’t a single film but a shorts program featuring a gathering of international shorts created by artists from seven different nations: Êmîcêtôsêt: Many Bloodlines by Theola Ross (Cree); Between Two Lines by Jack Steele (Wiradjuri); Te Wao Nui by Ngariki Ngatae (Māori); Nuxalk Radio by Banchi Hanuse (Nuxalk); Audrey’s Story by Michelle Derosier (Anishinaabe); Kapaemahu by Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu (Kanaka Maoli); and The Fourfold by Alisi Telengut (Mongolian, Telengut). The Closing Night Gala will be the Canadian premiere of Compañía by Bolivian director Miguel Hilari, which follows the daily rhythms of a small mountain community. Click here for information about festival passes.

Click here for a list of October 2020 film festivals.

As we have over the past many years, this is our first look at the 2020 Film Festival Season. There will be more to report on as the weeks unfold.

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.


?? minutes – Sci-Fi
Language: English
Release date: December 18, 2020
Production company: Legendary Pictures
Distributor: Warner Bros. Pictures

In the far distant future, Duke Leto Atreides accepts stewardship of the dangerous desert planet Arrakis, also known as Dune, the only source of the most valuable substance in the universe, “the spice”, a drug which extends human life, provides superhuman levels of thought, and makes faster-than-light travel possible. Though Leto knows the opportunity is an intricate trap set by his enemies, he takes his Bene Gesserit concubine Lady Jessica, young son and heir Paul, and most trusted advisers to Arrakis. Leto takes control of the spice mining operation, which is made perilous by the presence of giant sandworms. A bitter betrayal leads Paul and Jessica to the Fremen, natives of Arrakis who live in the deep desert.

Directed by Denis Villeneuve with a screenplay by Jon Spaihts, Denis Villeneuve Eric Roth, Dune is an international co-production of Canada, Hungary, the United Kingdom and the United States. This is the first of a planned two-part adaptation of the 1965 novel of the same name by Frank Herbert. Trailer courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures.

Dune, 2020 movie, poster,


Cale Boyter
Joe Caracciolo Jr.
Mary Parent
Denis Villeneuve

Executive Producer:

Herbert W. Gains
John Harrison
Brian Herbert
Kim Herbert
Tanya Lapointe
Byron Merritt
Richard P. Rubinstein
Jon Spaihts
Thomas Tull


Denis Villeneuve


Jon Spaihts
Eric Roth
Denis Villeneuve


Greig Fraser


Joe Walker


Hans Zimmer

Production Designer:

Patrice Vermette

Art Director:

Tom Brown (Supervising art director)
Karl Probert (Senior art director)
David Doran (Art director: vehicles)
Tibor Lázár
Gergely Rieger
Samy Keilani (Second unit)

Costume Designer:

Bob Morgan
Jacqueline West


Timothée Chalamet
Rebecca Ferguson
Oscar Isaac
Josh Brolin
Stellan Skarsgård
Dave Bautista
Stephen McKinley Henderson
Chen Chang
Sharon Duncan-Brewster
Charlotte Rampling
Jason Momoa
Javier Bardem
David Dastmalchian
Babs Olusanmokun
Michael Nardone
Charlie Rawes
Richard Carter
Stephen Collins
Oliver Ryan
Gloria Obianyo

Paul Atreides
Lady Jessica
Duke Leto Atreides
Gurney Halleck
Baron Vladimir Harkonnen
Glossu ‘Beast’ Rabban
Thufir Hawat
Dr. Wellington Yueh
Gaius Helen Mohiam
Duncan Idaho
Piter De Vries
Gurney Sergeant
First Trooper
Second Trooper
Deaf Trooper
Hawat Specialist
Gloria Obianyo

Justin G. Dyck

Justin G. Dyck, film director,

Justin G. Dyck is a director-cinematographer-editor. We list his credits as a Director first. His credits contain a large number of Christmas films but he made a dramatic turn in 2020 when he produced and directed his first horror feature, Anything for Jackson.

Also see: Meet Konstantina Mantelos.

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

Double Talk (Co-director, 2009, short)

Monkey in the Middle (2014)
My Dad Is Scrooge (2014)
Forest Fairies (2015)
A Puppy for Christmas (TV-2016)
Operation Christmas List (2016)
Super Detention (2016)
A Witches’ Ball (2017)
48 Christmas Wishes (Co-director, TV-2017)
A Very Country Christmas (TV-2017)
Best Friend from Heaven (2017)
Christmas Wedding Planner (TV-2017)
My Perfect Romance (TV-2018)
Christmas with a View (TV-2018)
Christmas with a Prince (TV-2018)
Hometown Holiday (TV-2018)
Christmas Village (TV-2018)
Christmas Catch (TV-2018)
A Very Country Wedding (TV-2019)
Art of Falling in Love (TV-2019)
Love Alaska (TV-2019)
Christmas with a Prince: Becoming Royal (2019)
Christmas in Paris (TV-2019)
Baby in a Manger (TV-2019)

Love by Accident (TV-2020)
Anything for Jackson (2020)
Ponysitters Club: The Big Sleepover (TV-2020)
Love in Harmony Valley (TV-2020)
Christmas in the Rockies (2020)
A Christmas Exchange (TV-2020)

TV Series:
Ponysitters Club (2017-2018)
The Wedding Planners (2020)

Credits as a Producer:
Harsh Light of Day (Executive Producer, 2011, short)
Fast and Furriest (2017)
Anything for Jackson (2020)

Anything for Jackson, movie, poster,


Falling, movie, image,
Lance Henriksen & Viggo Mortensen. Photo by: Brendan Adam-Zwelling courtesy of Mongrel Media.

112 minutes – GLBT, Drama
Language: English
Festival release date: September 11, 2020 (Toronto International Film Festival)
Release date: TBA
Production companies: Perceval Pictures, Zephyr Films, Scythia Films
Canadian distributor: Mongrel Media

John (Viggo Mortensen) lives with his partner, Eric (Terry Chen), and their daughter, Monica (Gabby Velis), in California, far from the traditional rural life he left behind years ago. His father, Willis (Lance Henriksen), a headstrong man from a bygone era, lives alone on the isolated farm where John grew up. Willis’s mind is declining, so John brings him west, hoping he and his sister, Sarah (Laura Linney), can help their father find a home closer to them. Their best intentions ultimately run up against Willis’s angry refusal to change his way of life in any way. In his directorial debut, Mortensen explores the fractures and contrasts of a contemporary family. Willis’s abrasive nature, by turns caustic and funny, is aggravated by memory loss, bringing past and present into conflict. As father and son finally confront events that have torn them apart, including their differing recollections of John’s mother, Gwen (Hannah Gross), we embark on a journey from darkness to light, from rage and resentment to acceptance and hard-won grace.

Falling marks the feature directorial debut of Viggo Mortensen and is a Canada-United Kingdom-Denmark coproduction.

Falling, movie, poster,


Viggo Mortensen
Chris Curling
Daniel Bekerman

Executive Producer:

Danielle Virtue
Brian Hayes Currie
Peter Touche
Stephen Dailey
Peter Hampden
Norman Merry

Associate Producer:

Anya Ryzhenkova
Natalie Novak Remplakowski


Viggo Mortensen


Viggo Mortensen


Marcel Zyskind DFF


Ronald Sanders, CCE, ACE


Viggo Mortensen

Production Designer:

Carol Spier

Art Director:

Jason Clark

Costume Designer:

Anne Dixon


Sverrir Gudnason
Lance Henriksen
Terry Chen
Hannah Gross
Carina Battrick
Ava Kozelj
Laura Linney
Gabby Velis
Bracken Burns
Liam and Luca Crescitelli
Grady McKenzie
Etienne Kellici
William Healy
Viggo Mortensen
Ella Jonas Farlinger
Piers Bijvoet
David Cronenberg
Paul Gross
Henry Mortensen
Noah Davis
Taylor Belle Puterman
Bo Martyn
Maxwell McCabe Lokos
Johnny O

Willis (23-43 Yrs)
Willis (75 Yrs)
Sarah (4-6 Yrs)
Sarah (11 Yrs)
Sarah (45 Yrs)
John (Baby)
John (4 Yrs)
John (9-11 Yrs)
John (16 Yrs)
John (50 Yrs)
Dr. Klausner
Dr. Solvei
Sergeant Saunders
Diner Waiter Rasmussen
Flight Attendant Harris
Danny Ward

Kim’s Convenience – Take 5

Kim's Convenience, cast, photo,
The cast of the TV series Kim's Convenience. Photo courtesy of CBC.

Kim’s Convenience – Take 5
by Staff

(September 9, 2020 – Vancouver, BC) Thunderbird Entertainment has announced that production of the next season of its hit CBC original comedy series Kim’s Convenience begins today in Toronto. One of Canada’s most-watched homegrown comedies, the fifth season is set to premiere on CBC TV and CBC Gem in Winter 2021. As previously announced, CBC has also renewed the series for a sixth season.

In season five, the Kim family faces one of its toughest challenges yet, as they navigate a difficult medical diagnosis for Umma (Jean Yoon). With Appa (Paul Sun-Hyung Lee) stepping up as the primary caregiver, and a recently graduated Janet (Andrea Bang) moving back in, boundaries are inevitably crossed. Meanwhile, Jung’s (Simu Liu) brief trip to business school tests his relationship with Shannon (Nicole Power) as Kimchee (Andrew Phung) reconnects with his family, and his high school crush.

“After months of zoom calls, the Kim’s family is finally together again – as close as we can safely be in these challenging times,” said Ivan Fecan, Executive Producer/Producer. “We are looking forward to bringing a whole new season of love and laughter to our audiences. See you in the New Year!”

Earlier this year, Kim’s Convenience was recognized by TV Guide as one of the best “feel good” streaming series available. It was also recently dubbed as a perfect quarantine distraction by Oprah magazine. Additional accolades include numerous Canadian Screen Awards, Leo Awards, ACTRA Awards and a Canadian Comedy Award. The series has also received nominations for awards from the Writers Guild of Canada, and the Directors Guild of Canada. In addition, the series has received international acclaim, winning a 2019 award for “Most Popular Foreign Drama” at the 2019 Seoul International Drama Awards in South Korea.

In addition to airing in Canada on CBC and CBC Gem, the series also streams on Netflix and is watched on cable and VOD platforms around the world, including in Japan and Korea.

A CBC original series, Kim’s Convenience is based on the award-winning play by Ins Choi, who also adapted it for television. The series is produced by Ivan Fecan and co-created by Ins Choi and Kevin White on behalf of Thunderbird Entertainment in association with the Soulpepper Theatre Company. Executive Producers are Ivan Fecan, Alexandra Raffé, Ins Choi and Kevin White, and Sandra Cunningham is Supervising Producer. For CBC, Sally Catto is General Manager, Entertainment, Factual & Sports; Trish Williams is Executive Director, Scripted Content; Michelle Daly is Senior Director, Comedy, Scripted Content; and Sandra Picheca is Executive in Charge of Production.

SOURCE: Thunderbird Entertainment Group Inc.

Also see: The cast of Kim’s Convenience.