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More Hot Docs 2021 – Take Two

More Hot Docs 2021 - Take Two, image,
Still from Neighbouring The Moon courtesy of Hot Docs.

More Hot Docs 2021 – Take Two
Ralph Lucas – Publisher

(April 16, 2021 – Toronto, ON) As promised yesterday, today we continue our look at Canadian films playing in some of the many programs at Hot Docs 2021. We mentioned two films in the World Showcase but didn’t provide any details. The first has the intriguing title Neighbouring the Moon.

Reza Farahmand was born in Birjand, Iran in 1978. He graduated in Agricultural engineering but turned to filmmaking and is mostly known for his documentary films. His first film, Climbing Room was given a First Place Award at the Fajr International Film Festival and also won a Crystal Simorgh for Best Documentary Filmmaker in Valencia, Spain. More recently, Women with Gunpowder Earrings brought him a Best International Director Award from the Locarno Film Festival. Neighbouring the Moon runs 75 minutes and focuses on Syrian sisters Juli and Maryam who, along with their mother have spent the last nine years living in a cramped room inside Aleppo’s biggest hospital. While their mother attends to COVID-19 patients, Juli and Maryam form their own brigade of young hospital helpers. Neighbouring the Moon is about an anything-but-normal family dealing with what seems like an endless war, the scourge of the COVID-19 pandemic while holding onto their dreams of a normal life. This is a Canada-Iran-Syria co-production in Arabic with English subtitles. All Hot Docs films can be screened online across Canada from April 29 to May 9.

More Hot Docs 2021 - Take Two, image,
Still from Only I Can Hear courtesy of Hot Docs.

Only I Can Hear from director Itaru Matsui is a Japan-Canada co-pro that profiles a remarkable teenager in a very remarkable family. A family that for five generations has produced only deaf children. Nyla, who is 15 when this documentary was shot, is the only one born with the ability to hear. An ability she declares is both a gift and a curse. Nyla is one of four CODA children in this 52-minute doc. CODA stands for Children of Deaf Adults. Only I Can Hear is essentially about communication and finding acceptance in a world that relies on the spoken word.

Systems Down is another Hot Docs program and Dead Man’s Switch a crypto mystery is a new doc from director Sheona McDonald. The crypto part deals with the rise of new currencies based on not much more than faith. Think Bitcoin, one of several blockchain currencies. The Dead Man part is the true story of Gerald Cotten, one of many entrepreneurs and once CEO of Canada’s largest cryptocurrency exchange. Investors poured more than $200 million into his company when…and this where the mystery part begins, while on his honeymoon in India he suffers a mysterious death that leave his trusting investors empty-handed. Vancouver-based director Sheona McDonald’s previous credits include the documentaries Inside Her Sex, When Dreams Take Flight and Capturing a Short Life. Dead Man’s Switch a crypto mystery runs 78 minutes.

More Hot Docs 2021 - Take Two, image,
Still from The Face of Anonymous courtesy of Hot Docs.

Another Canadian film in the Systems Down program is Gary Lang’s The Face of Anonymous. The 87 minute film is a profile of the famous, or infamous Commander X , the persona behind some fairly nefarious goings on online including an affiliation with Anonymous, the very elusive online network responsible for corporate takedowns and political disruption. He takes credit for crippling credit card companies that were attempting to sideline Wikileaks and claims a role in the Arab Spring. In short a compelling character now ready to go public about his exploits and expose a group that safeguards its secret identity. Gary Lang has directed, written or produced over three hundred highly-rated programs seen on international television and brings a wealth of experience to this fascinating doc. The Face of Anonymous is a Canadian film in English with some Spanish and English subtitles.

More Hot Docs 2021 - Take Two, image,
Still from The Death of My Two Fathers courtesy of Hot Docs.

In an earlier story we mentioned the first 13 films selected by Hot Docs for their Special Presentations program. One of the Canadian films not mentioned that time is The Death of My Two Fathers directed by Sol Guy. Described as a “a multi-generational contemplation on race, death, love and the importance of family,” the story’s foundation is a recording made by Guy’s dying father, a recording it took him 20 years to find the courage to again hear his father’s voice. It is a compelling piece of filmmaking that we’re sure will have distant echoes for many if not most families. The Death of My Two Fathers runs 84 minutes.

Nike’s Big Bet was mentioned in that earlier story. In detail, this 80-minute film from Paul Kemp documents the famous footwear manufacturer’s desire to develop some elite runners in the hope of reestablishing America’s top-of-the-podium position in international track and field. Called the Oregon Project, it started in 2001 and ended in 2019 when coaching legend Alberto Salazar was handed a four-year doping ban from all coaching activities. Kemp explores both supporters and detractors to tell the story of high finance in the world of sports competition.

We covered Yung Chang’s film Wuhan Wuhan in yesterday’s article, also screening in the Special Presentations program. This year Hot Docs offers up 219 films from 66 countries in 12 programs, with 50 per cent of the directors in the Festival program being women. In short, there is something for everyone and for the first time these films will be available across Canada to online subscribers. Ticket and subscription information, and more is available online.

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.

More CDN Films at Hot Docs 2021

More CDN Films at Hot Docs
Image from Wuhan Wuhan courtesy of Hot Docs.

More CDN Films at Hot Docs
by Ralph Lucas – Publisher

(April 15, 2021 – Toronto, ON) We previously looked at some of the documentaries screening online this year in the Canadian Spectrum program of the 2021 Hot Docs Canadian and International Film Festival. This time we look at Canadian films screening in other programs at Hot Docs. A reminder: all films can be screened online across Canada from April 29 to May 9.

In the last year and a few months we have all come to know about the existence of a city called Wuhan in China’s Hubei province. In February 2020, award-winning Canadian director Yung Chang was able to get access to frontline healthcare workers in Wuhan during the intense first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic as field hospitals and staff were pushed to their limits to prevent further infection and care for those already in quarantine. Because Hot Docs is online again this year, this USA-Canada documentary co-production, titled Wuhan Wuhan (pictured above), is available for viewing as of April 29 at 10:00AM.

More CDN Films at Hot Docs, image,
Image from Portrayal courtesy of Hot Docs.

Artscapes is another program at Hot Docs defined by them as “Creative minds, artistic pursuits and inventive filmmaking.” Billie Mintz wrote, directed and shot this 96-minute Canadian documentary cleverly titled Portrayal about Russian Roman Lapshin. He was just 12 years old when his artist grandfather, Vladimir Dvorkin, told him there was a treasure trove of his paintings, thousands of them, scattered around the world. Lapshin sets out to bring long overdue recognition to his artist grandfather and it turns out to be a globe-trotting event. The young man travels to three continents, often confronting family members who are content to let sleeping dogs lie. As often happens in the art world, a film about artists and their paintings turns into an international thriller and true-crime drama. In English and sub-titled Russian, like all films in the online festival, Portrayal becomes available on April 29 at 10:00AM.

You would think all the films in the Made in Columbia program would be Columbian films. There are only four documentaries in this program and three of them are co-productions. One of them is the Columbia-Canada-Brazil coproduction titled Rebel Love. Alejandro Bernal directs this love story about two people, Cristian and Yimarly, who happen to be FARC-EP combatants caught up in the rebel fight but filled with hope of being together in some new life, starting a family and all the so-called normal things people do. Now pregnant, the couple faces potential doom when the anti-rebel political climate takes an up-tick and former FARC-EP guerillas fear for their safety. Rebel Love runs 77 minutes in Spanish with English subtitles.

Canada is also represented in the World Showcase program, a selection of 33 films, one of which is the Poland-Canada co-pro Between Us. It’s a love story that asks the questions, Is there a recipe for a successful relationship? Can love withstand the test of time? Canadian-born director Dorota Proba turns her camera on three couples. They are a relationship that grew out of an affair; a secret tightly held between a new set of parents; and a young couple at a crossroads in their love and lives. Between Us had its World Premiere at the Krakow Film Festival, was named Best Polish Film at the Tofifest Film Festival and the Millennium Docs Against Gravity festival. It runs 53 minutes and is in Polish and Russian with English subtitles

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Image from Blue Box courtesy of Hot Docs.

The Canada-Israel co-production, Blue Box is another documentary in the World Showcase. Directed by Michal Weits, the film explores the removal and destruction of Palestinian communities as Israel created forests through its tree planting program known as Blue Box. The twist here is the director is the great-granddaughter of Joseph Weits, a seminal figure in the growth of the Blue Box organization. The film is in Hebrew with English subtitles and runs 79 minutes.

Dear Elnaz is a Canadian doc in Farzi and English. Directed by Mania Akbari, an Iranian filmmaker, artist, writer and actress, the film opens with the tragic January 2020 shooting down of a Ukranian Airlines passenger plane minutes after taking off from the airport in Tehran, Iran. It opens with the pilot’s distress call, and blossoms into an intimate story of love and loss, with Elnaz’ husband Javid left to find a way forward in his life. In 1990 they had moved to Edmonton to pursue their doctoral studies at the University of Alberta. Now he seeks justice and is overcome by a fully understandable anger. Dear Elnaz runs 86 minutes.

Other Canadian films in the World Showcase include the co-production Neighbouring the Moon and Only I Can Hear.

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Inage from Bangla Surfer Girls courtesy of Hot Docs.

Hot Docs’ Persister program puts the emphasis on sister and is defined as “Women speaking up and being heard.” One of the Canadian films in Persister, Bangla Surf Girls is from Elizabeth D. Costa, a Bangladeshi documentary filmmaker who has more than eight years of experience as a producer, director, assistant producer, editor, or cameraperson. This is a great surfer film with a difference. It isn’t set in California or Hawaii but in the town of Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh and features three young teenage girls who “fearlessly ride the tallest of waves with unimaginable skill and dexterity,” as stated in the Hot Docs synopsis.

ore CDN Films at Hot Docs, image,
Image from Fanny: Right to Rock courtesy of Hot Docs.

Bobby Jo Hart directs Fanny: The Right to Rock. The story begins in the 1960s when two Filipina-American sisters got together to play music and the garage rock band they started would evolve into the legendary Fanny, the first all-woman band to release an LP with a major record label. Now in their 60s, the bandmates are recording a new album. Fanny: The Right to Rock runs 92 minutes and includes interviews with music icons like Bonnie Raitt, Def Leppard’s Joe Elliott and the Go-Go’s Kathy Valentine.

Tomorrow we’ll look at more Canadian films screening at Hot Docs 2021. Meanwhile click here for everything you need to know about this year’s festival.

Also see: Ann Shin to Open Hot Docs.
Also see: Hot Docs Announces 13.

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.

Adam DiMarco

Adam DiMarco

B: April 14, 1994 in Vancouver, British Columbia

Adam DiMarco played Elliot Todd in 14 episodes of The Magicians and Randall Carpio in The Order. Some sources state he was born in 1990 and others state he was born in Oakville, Ontario. He began his career playing a mannequin in the 2010 short Fourth Date.

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

Fourth Date (2010, short)
Lotus Eaters (2011, short)
Do Something With Your Life (2011)
Radio Rebel (TV-2012)
Kiss at Pine Lake (TV-2012)
A Killer Among Us (TV_2012)
Kill for Me (VR-2013)
After All These Years (TV-2013)
Words and Pictures (2013)
Leap 4 Your Life (2013)
Date and Switch (2014)
Girlhouse (2014)
What an Idiot (2014)
My Life as a Dead Girl (TV-2015)
The Twisted Slipper (2015, short)
Christmas Truce (TV-2015)
Star Trek Beyond (2016)
My Mom Robs Banks (TV-2016)
Marrying the Family (2016)
Last Night in Suburbia (2017)
Secret Millionaire (TV-2018)
Day 34 (2018, short)
Father Neptune (2019, short)
Recess: Third Street (2019, short)

TV Series – Cast:
Arctic Air (2012-2013)
The Magicians (2016-2020)
When We Rise (2017, mini-series)
The Order (2019-2020)

TV Series – Guest appearances:
R.L. Stine’s the Haunting Hour (2011, 2012)
Supernatural (2013)
Signed, Sealed, Delivered (2014)
Rush (2014)
The Returned 2015)
Proof (2015)
Cedar Cove (2015)
Second Chance (2016)
Motive (2016)
Life Sentence (2018)
Oliver Forever (2018)
Charmed (2019)
Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (2019)

Martin Matte

Martin Matte, Canadian actor,

B: April 14, 1970 in Laval, Québec

Martin Matte is an actor and screenwriter. He created the series Les Beaux Malaises and wrote the first episode as well as starring in 75 episodes of the series between 2002 and 2006. We list his credits as an actor first.

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

Nitro (2007)
Une année Chick’n Swell (TV-2007)

Martin Matte – Condamné à l’excellence (2010)
Threesome 2017)

TV Series – Cast:
Caméra café (2002-2006)
C’est la crise (2013)
Les Beaux Malaises (2014-2017)

TV Series – Guest appearances:
KM/H (1998)
Juliette Pomerleau (1999)
Les Bougon: C’est aussi ça la vie (2004)
Les pêcheurs (2016)
Julien Lacroix (2018)

Credits as a Screenwriter:
Les Beaux Malaises (2014-2017)
Julien Lacroix (2018)
Martin Matte: La vie, la mort… eh la la..! (2019)

Nitro, movie, poster,

Janene Carleton

Janene Carleton, actress,

B: April 14, 1978 in Kelowna, British Columbia

Janene Carleton is an athlete and well-rounded stunt performer. She studied Biology and English in college in Victoria BC, later becoming a personal trainer, fitness model and began an interest in mixed martial arts. Her experience training animals and horses helped her transition into stunts as a career. Her first jobs in the industry included training movie horses, giving actors riding lessons, and eventually doubling actors for their horse work. Her first credit came in 2006 as a stunt double in the made-for-TV movie Double Cross. She has doubled many of Hollywood’s biggest action stars and has more than 125 credits as a stunt performer. We list her credits as an actor.

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

Driven to Kill (VR-2009)
12 Rounds 2: Reloaded (2013)
Killing Gunther (2017)

TV Series – Guest appearances:
Supernatural (2006)
Prison Break (2008)

True Justice (2011)
Continuum (2013)
The 100 (2014, 2020)

Batwoman (2021)

Jay Baruchel to Host Prime Hit

Jay Baruchel to Host Prime Hit, image,
Jay Baruchel at the 2019 Canadian Screen Awards. Photo by Ralph Lucas for Northernstars.ca

Jay Baruchel to Host Prime Hit
by Staff Editors

(April 13, 2021 – Toronto, ON) Prime Video has announced that actor and director Jay Baruchel (Goon, This Is the End, How To Train Your Dragon) has signed on to host the new Canadian Amazon Original series, LOL: Last One Laughing Canada. The series is the third Canadian Amazon Original announced following The Kids In The Hall and All or Nothing: Toronto Maple Leafs. The comedy-variety series, produced by Insight Productions, will be shot in Toronto and feature a diverse cast of popular Canadian comedic actors and stand-ups competing to make each other laugh first. The final comedian left standing will win the grand prize for the charity of their choice.

The six-part Amazon Original series will use dozens of cameras to catch all of the hilarious action during the unpredictable six hour competition, and follow the select group of established comedy stars and up-and-coming talent, who bring various styles to the table, including stand-up, character, improvisational and physical comedy, among others.

“I think we all know that as a contestant, I wouldn’t last very long, so I appreciate being able to host and not be the first eliminated,” said Jay Baruchel, pictured at the 2019 Canadian Screen Awards. “The roster of Canadian comedic talent runs deep and there will be no shortage of hilarious Canadians that will join the show as contestants or special guests.”

LOL: Last One Laughing Canada follows the format of the successful Amazon Original series from Japan, HITOSHI MATSUMOTO Presents Documental, produced by and starring comedian Hitoshi Matsumoto who leads ten comedians betting their own money in an anything goes “battle of laughter behind closed doors”. The fan favourite format includes multiple seasons in Japan and Mexico; recent seasons in Australia, Germany and Italy; and upcoming editions in France and Spain. Local celebrity hosts include Eugenio Derbez, Fedez, Michael Bully Herbig and Rebel Wilson.

“Personally, I loved watching Jay in films like This is the End, Knocked Up and Tropic Thunder. I’m so excited to have him hosting one of our biggest tentpole series,” said James Farrell, Head of Local Originals for Amazon Studios. “A line up of Canadian comedians reads like a list of the best in the comedy world and I can’t wait to bring this talent to LOL: Last One Laughing Canada.”

“With the irrepressible Jay hosting and showcasing the best in Canadian comedy, through this one-of-a-kind format, we’re absolutely delighted to be working with the Prime Video team on this exciting Canadian original series,” said Erin Brock, SVP, Insight Productions.

LOL: Last One Laughing Canada comes from Amazon Studios, produced in association with Insight Productions. Executive Producers are John Brunton, Erin Brock, and Shannon Farr. Since 2015, Amazon Studios has filmed 22 Amazon Original series and films in Canada, including The Man in the High Castle and Upload in Vancouver, The Boys and The Expanse in Toronto, Tales from the Loop in Winnipeg, as well as parts of Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan and The Voyeurs in Montreal.

LOL: Last One Laughing Canada will join the thousands of TV shows and movies from Hollywood and worldwide in the Prime Video catalog including award-winning and critically acclaimed Amazon Originals like Coming 2 America, Borat: Subsequent Moviefilm and Emmy and Golden Globe award winners Fleabag and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.

SOURCE: Amazon Canada

imagineNATIVE: 2021

imagineNATIVE: 2021, image,
Image supplied by imagineNATIVE.

imagineNATIVE: 2021
by Staff Editors

(April 13, 2021 – Toronto, ON) Organizers of the 22nd Annual imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival have announced the dates and some early details for the 2021 festival, along with a call for submissions. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, the festival will once again be an online event running October 19 – 24, 2021, six days of programming including the presentation of film, digital + interactive works, audio, exhibitions, special events, and more.
imagineNATIVE  logo, image,
“We, like everyone else, are eager to see a return to a physical and live event, but our main priority is and has always been the health and well being of the artists, festival goers, our staff and community,” said Naomi Johnson, Executive Director of imagineNATIVE. “We hope that those who have supported imagineNATIVE will return to this online presentation to engage and enjoy in Indigenous creative works with our digital offering at the Festival in October.”

The decision to mount a digital presentation resulted from a series of discussions that included imagineNATIVE leadership, the board of directors, and other stakeholders. The 2020 online festival allowed for a broader outreach with over 29,576 viewing across Canada, the US, Mexico, New Zealand, Australia and select European countries.

“2020 was a year of unprecedented firsts and we were touched by the vibrant and engaged community who supported us during the first digital Festival. We recognize that we are in a privileged position in having the opportunity to build off our online space – to create a place for us to gather and present these artistic works,” said Naomi Johnson. “We could not have come to this decision without the support of those mentioned, as well as our public funders, sponsors, partners, and individual donors.”

The Industry Days professional development series will also return October 20 – 23, 2021, with panels, workshops, networking and social activities specifically focused on advancing the careers, artistry, and networks of Indigenous screen content creators.

Programming and ticket details for the 22nd Annual imagineNATIVE will be announced in the coming months. Submissions for the Festival are now open until Monday May 31, 2021 and due by 11:59 PM ET. There is more information online.


Violah Beauvais

Beans, movie, image,
L-R: Violah Beauvais as Ruby and Kiawentiio as Beans in BEANS. Photo by Sebastien Raymond, courtesy of Mongrel Media.

Violah Beauvais is a young Indigenous Canadian actress. Her only credit, so far, is the award-winning 2020 feature Beans.

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

Beans (2020)

Beans, movie, poster,


Beans, movie, image,
L-R: Violah Beauvais as Ruby and Kiawentiio as Beans in BEANS. Photo by Sebastien Raymond, courtesy of Mongrel Media.

Kiawentiio has also been credited as Kiawentiio Tarbell.

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

Beans (2020)

TV Series – Guest appearances:
Anne with an E (2019)

Beans, movie, poster,

Jenny Cooper

Jenny Levine, Jenny Cooper, Canadian actress,

B: 1974 in Toronto, Ontario

Jenny Cooper, once known as Jenny Levine, made her professional debut in 1995 series Jake and the Kid playing the role of series regular Molly. She went on to star in the Showtime series Fast Track. Although born in Canada, she grew up in Miami, Florida.

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

Primal Rage (1988)

When Innocence Is Lost (TV-1997)

Feast of All Saints (TV-2001)
The Recruit (2003)
The One (TV-2003)
Godsend (2004)
Lovewrecked (2005)
The Obsession (2006)
Baby Blues (2007)

Unconditionally (2010)
I Think I Do (2013)
Bambina (2016, short)
Cross: Rise of the Villains (2019)

TV Series – Cast:
Fast Track (1997)

Foreign Objects (2000)

Open Heart (2015)
Exposed (2017)
Law & Order True Crime (2017, mini-series)
Virgin River (2019-2020)

TV series – Guest Appearances:
Saved by the Bell: The College Years (1993)
Jake and the Kid (1996)
PSI Factor: Chronicles of the Paranormal (1998)
Nash Bridges (1999)
The Outer Limits (1999)

Bliss (2002)
Monk (2002)
Odyssey 5 (2002)
Mutant X (2003)
Soul Food (2003)
1-800-Missing (2003)
Doc (2003, 2004)
Black Hole High (2004, 2005, 2006)
24 (2006)
Close to Home (2007)
Ghost Whisperer (2007)
Las Vegas (2007)

CSI: Miami (2011)
Scandal (2012)
Last Resort (2012)
NCIS: Naval Criminal Investigative Service (2012)
Bones (2015)
Grey’s Anatomy (2015)
CSI: Cyber (2015)
Rizzoli & Isles (2016)

MacGyver (2021)

Baby Blues, movie poster
Poster for the 2007 film, Baby Blues.

Coming Soon: CDN Film Day

Coming Soon: CDN Film Day, image,

Coming Soon: CDN Film Day
by Staff Editors

(April 7, 2021 – Toronto, ON) Everybody loves movies. And who doesn’t like free entertainment? This year, National Canadian Film Day (NCFD) — April 21st, 2021 — will offer an exciting world premiere, a wealth of free Canadian movies, nationwide watch parties and live discussions with Canadian filmmakers from across the country.

“Given the year we’ve all lived through, we are focusing on feel-good films, or films that offer inspiration for a better future, ” says Sharon Corder, Artistic Director of REEL CANADA. “We all certainly need it. I know I do.”

More than 40 film festivals throughout Canada are hosting national screenings and Q&As with filmmakers and stars. An additional 150+ community watch parties are being planned and more than 30 international events in countries around the world will be connected through this cultural event. Most of the nation’s major broadcast and streaming channels are running special programming on the day.

This year’s National Canadian Film Day programming highlights include:

As previously announced, this year’s centerpiece is the world premiere of Light(s) at the End of the Tunnel, a series of eleven original short films. 15 culturally and regionally diverse rising stars (collectively they’ve won more than 50 awards) give us their visions of hope for the future. Commissioned by REEL CANADA and Netflix, the films include animations, docs, and live action.

Meatballs, movie, poster,
This poster for Meatballs was scanned from an original in the Northernstars Collection,
A screening of the ultimate feel-good Canadian film, Meatballs, featuring a livestream Q&A with director Ivan Reitman & cast members Kate Lynch (Roxanne) and Jack Blum (Spaz). Presented by Oakville Festivals of Film & Art in partnership with REEL CANADA.

A tribute to Christopher Plummer and his legacy, co-presented by film festivals across the country. Selected titles include The Silent Partner, Remember and Christopher Plummer: A Memoir, as well as interviews with Atom Egoyan and The Silent Partner cast member Michael Kirby, reminiscing about the stage and screen legend.

Over a dozen screenings of Indigenous-made films, headlined by multiple screenings of Rustic Oracle (which earned a Canadian Screen Award Best Actress nomination for Carmen Moore) and multiple Q&As across the country with director Sonia Bonspille Boileau (Mohawk).

A screening for new Canadians of You Are Here: A Come From Away Story, in honour of the 20th anniversary of 9/11. This uplifting documentary showcases the town of Gander, NL and the generosity they showed to stranded airline passengers on that fateful day. Followed by a livestream Q&A with director Moze Mossanen.

Other special guests participating in festival screenings across the country include: Patricia Rozema, Philippe Falardeau, Don McKellar, Bruce McDonald, Anne Émond, Charles Officer, Kathleen Hepburn, Jason Eisner, Rob Cotterill, Matthew Rankin, Jason Ryle, Garvia Bailey, Tantoo Cardinal, Joyce Wong, and Karen Lam.

Finally, to ensure that great Canadian films are accessible to anyone with a TV, computer, or wireless device, more than a dozen major broadcast and streaming partners are running special Canadian film programming all day on April 21.

National Canadian Film Day is also a worldwide event, and we will be bringing Canadian film to over 30 countries, with special programming featuring recent releases as well as Canadian classics.

There is more information online.


Hot Docs Helps Indie Cinemas

Hot Docs, image,

Hot Docs Helps Indie Cinemas
by Staff

(April 6, 2021 – Toronto, ON) Hot Docs is pleased to announce the launch of Hot Docs Independent Cinemas Relief Fund in response to the extreme challenges of the past year, which forced the closure of independent cinemas across the country. Developed and administered in consultation with the Network of Independent Canadian Exhibitors (NICE), the Fund will provide urgent financial relief to Canadian independent cinemas to better prepare to them for their eventual reopening, and the continuation of their vital role in bringing communities together to experience the transformational power of documentaries and other forms of cinematic storytelling. Donations will be collected from March 23 until the close of this year’s Hot Docs Festival, May 9, on Hot Docs’ website and at the end of the online ticket checkout process. One hundred per cent of all funds received will be dispersed to Canadian independent cinemas in late spring and early summer of this year.

“The past year has been incredibly hard for independent cinemas across the country, and as the owners and operators of a cinema, we felt compelled to help,” says Alan Black, managing director of Hot Docs. “Independent cinemas offer unique and valuable cultural experiences for their communities, and they need this support now if they are to survive and eventually thrive.”

“Cinemas from coast to coast have been hit hard this past year, doing their part to reduce community transmission of COVID-19,” says Wendy Huot, co-chair of NICE and owner/operator of The Screening Room in Kingston, ON. “We applaud Hot Docs for their commitment to keeping these treasured institutions open for audiences across Canada. We’re certain that when the economy reopens, our neighbours will want to reconnect and head out to the movies!”

The Hot Docs Independent Cinemas Relief Fund will distribute 14 grants of $2,000 each. Cinemas can apply to receive resources collected from the Fund through the Hot Docs’ website, with an application deadline of May 9. Cinemas applying must: operate a physical space year-round where the primary purpose is film exhibition to public audiences; have no more than four locations and not be publicly traded; be located in Canada; and have exhibited at least three feature length documentaries in the 12 months prior to pandemic closures.

All donations are considered charitable and are eligible for a tax receipt. There is more information online.

SOURCE: Hot Docs

Michael Kirby

Michael Kirby, actor,
This autographed picture of Michael Kirby was scanned from the original in the Northernstars Collection.

B: February 20, 1925 in Sydney, Nova Scotia
D: May 25, 2002 in Orange County, California

Michael Kirby’s career began in 1945 when he was 20, playing Capt. John Darrison in the American feature Keep Your Power Dry. Shot on the MGM lot it starred Lana Turner, Susan Peters and Agnes Moorehead. There is a huge gap in his career from 1948 to 1973, which we think, but have no proof, is when he was performing on stage. Someone named Michael Kirby published a book titled “A Formalist Theatre” with the University of Pennsylvania Press in 1987. He began showing up in Canadian films in 1973 and made his last film in 2000.

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

Keep Your Powder Dry (1945)
Week-End at the Waldorf (1945)
They Were Expendable (1945)
A Letter to Evie (1946)
Three Wise Fools (1946)
Living in a Big Way (1947)
Dark Delusion (1947)
Green Dolphin Street (1947)
Summer Holiday (1948)
Homecoming (1948)
The Countess of Monte Cristo (1948)

Keep It in the Family (1973)
U-Turn (1973)
Between Friends (1973)
A Quiet Day in Belfast (1975)
My Pleasure Is My Business (1975)
The House by the Lake (aka, Death Weekend (1976)
Find the Lady (1976)
The Silent Partner (1978)
In Praise of Older Women (1978)
Meatballs (1979)
The Family Man (TV-1979)

Agency (1980)
The Kidnapping of the President (1980)
Mr. Patman (1980)
Dirty Tricks (1981)
Strong Medicine (1981)
Jen’s Place (1982)
Rolling Vengeance (1988)
A New Life (1988)
Another Woman (1988)
Breaking All the Rules (TV-1988)
Glory! Glory! (TV-1989)
Lady in the Corner (TV-1989)

Where the Heart Is (1990)
The Kissing Place (TV-1990)
The Golden Boat (1990)
The Cabinet of Dr. Ramirez (1991)
The Return of Eliot Ness (TV-1991)
Shadows and Fog (1991)
The Madness of the Day (1991, short)
Swoon (1992)
Geoffrey Beene 30 (1993, short)
The Keeper (1995)

The Atrocity Exhibition (2000)

TV Series – Cast:
Star Wars: Droids (voice, 1985)
The King Chronicle (1988, mini-series)

TV Series – Guest appearances:
The Starlost (1973)
King of Kensington (1976)

The Littlest Hobo (1982)
Hangin’ In (1982, 1985)
Night Heat (1985)
The Edison Twins (1985)
AirWaves (1986)
Danger Bay (1986)
Hot Shots (1986)
Katts and Dog (1988)
Diamonds (1988, 1989)
My Secret Identity (1988, 1989)
Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1989)

The Dice (1990)
Top Cops (1991)
Sweating Bullets (1991)
Scales of Justice (1992)
Counterstrike (1993)
The Mighty Jungle (1994)

Mythic Warriors: Guardians of the Legend (voice, 2000)

The Silent Partner, movie, poster,
Scanned from an original in the Northernstars Collection.
In Praise of Older Women, movie, poster,
This poster for In Praise of Older Women was scanned from an original in the Northernstars Collection.

Laurene Landon

Laurene Landon, Canadian actress,

B: March 17, 1957 in Toronto, Ontario

Laurene Landon Coughlin’s family moved to the United States when she was four and it’s best to think of her being Canadian only because she was born in Toronto. Often remembered for playing the daffy stewardess in Airplane II: The Sequel (1982), which was directed by Ken Finkleman. She was impressive in two action/adventure features for director Matt Cimber playing the titular rugged warrior woman in Hundra (1983) and spitfire in Yellow Hair and the Fortress of Gold (1984), which is sometimes titled Yellow Hair and the Pecos Kid. Landon is especially well known for her role as the courageous policewoman Teresa Mallory in Maniac Cop (1988) and Maniac Cop 2 (1990).

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

Scoring (21970)
Roller Boogie (1979)
Bitter Heritage (1979)

…All the Marbles (1981)
Full Moon High (1981)
I, the Jury (1982)
Airplane II: The Sequel (1982)
Hundra (1983)
Yellow Hair and the Fortress of Gold (1984)
America 3000 (1986)
Armed Response (1986)
Maniac Cop (1988)
Wicked Stepmother (1989)
A Hollywood Story (1989)

The Ambulance (1990)
Maniac Cop 2 (1990)

Stand Up (2007)

Drive (2011)
1313: Hercules Unbound (VR-2012)
Knife to a Gunfight (2013)
Days Out of Days (2015)
Sky (2015)
Hunter (2015)
Samurai Cop 2: Deadly Vengeance (2015)
Terror Tales (2016)
Night Terrors (2016, short)
A Husband for Christmas (TV-2016)
Death Game (2017)
Syndicate Smasher (2017)
Nation’s Fire (2019)

Sorrow’s Way (2020)
Together (2021)
Future Pinks (2021)
Staycation (2021)
Clown Motel 2 (2022)

TV Series – Guest appearances:
Days of Our Lives (1991)
Masters of Horror (2006)

Airplane II: The Sequel, movie, poster,

Greg Anderson

Greg Anderson, Canadian actor,

B: April 5, 1961 in Miramichi, New Brunswick

Greg Anderson was born in Miramichi, once known as Newcastle, grew up in Chatham, and now lives in Woodstock, New Brunswick. A stage, film and television actor, he studied at the Lee Strasberg school for Actors in London, England. He is best known for his roles in series such as stargate SG-1, Stargate: The Ark of Truth, The 4400, Tru Calling, and The X-Files. In 2006, he played Günter Guillaume in the Canadian premiere of Michael Frayn’s stage play Democracy.

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

Commander’s Log (TV-2004)
A Curious Shower (2005, short)
Meltdown: Days of Destruction (TV-2006)
ate: The Ark of Truth (VR-2008)

TV Series – Cast:
Traffic (2004, mini-series)

TV Series – Guest appearances:
Super Force (1990)
Cobra (1993)
The X-Files (1995)
Strange Luck (1996)
Dead Man’s Gun (1997-1998)
Millennium (1998)
Sleepwalkers (1998)
The Net (1998)
The New Addams Family (1999)

The Outer Limits (2000)
Cold Squad (2000)
Seven Days (2000)
Broken Saints (2001, 2003)
Stargate SG-1 (2001, 2005, 2007)
Peacemakers (2003)
The Dead Zone (2004)
Romeo! (2004)
Tru Calling (2005)
Men in Trees (2006)
The 4400 (2007)

House of Lies (2012)

Emmalyn Estrada

Emmalyn Estrada, Canadian, actress,

B: April 5, 1992 in Surrey, British Columbia

Emmalyn Estrada began acting when she was 20.

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

The Wishing Tree (TV-2012)
Forever 16 (TV-2013)

TV Series – Guest appearances:
Bates Motel

SAG Awards Look North

Sag Awards Look North, image,

SAG Awards Look North
by Staff

(April 5, 2021 – Toronto, ON) The 27th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards honoured the best of the best last night for work defined by their unique mouthless trophy. It holds the traditional masks of the theatre, one smiling, one not, representing comedy and tragedy. The actors and programs nominated for their work included well known names and their work has in many cases been honoured before.

This year, the Canadian created and produced series Schitt’s Creek continued to shine winning awards in two categories. Dan Levy and dad Eugene were nominated in the Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series category but lost to Jason Sudeikis, and Annie Murphy and Catherine O’Hara were competing against each other in the Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series category, with O’Hara getting the nod from the 160,000 members of the guild. And Schitt’s Creek won in the highly competitive Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series category.

Following is a full list of winners:

Television Awards
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Mini-series
Bill Camp, “The Queen’s Gambit”
Daveed Diggs, “Hamilton”
Hugh Grant, “The Undoing”
Ethan Hawke, “The Good Lord Bird”
Mark Ruffalo, “I Know This Much Is True” *WINNER

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Mini-series
Cate Blanchett, “Mrs. America”
Michaela Coel, “I May Destroy You”
Nicole Kidman, “The Undoing”
Anya Taylor-Joy, “The Queen’s Gambit” *WINNER
Kerry Washington, “Little Fires Everywhere”

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series
Jason Bateman, “Ozark” *WINNER
Sterling K. Brown, “This Is Us”
Josh O’Connor, “The Crown”
Bob Odenkirk, “Better Call Saul”
Regé-Jean Page, “Bridgerton”

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series
Gillian Anderson, “The Crown” *WINNER
Olivia Colman, “The Crown”
Emma Corrin, “The Crown”
Julia Garner, “Ozark”
Laura Linney, “Ozark”

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series
Nicholas Hoult, “The Great”
Daniel Levy, “Schitt’s Creek”
Eugene Levy, “Schitt’s Creek”
Jason Sudeikis, “Ted Lasso” *WINNER
Ramy Youssef, “Ramy”

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series
Christina Applegate, “Dead to Me”
Linda Cardellini, “Dead to Me”
Kaley Cuoco, “The Flight Attendant”
Annie Murphy, “Schitt’s Creek”
Catherine O’Hara, “Schitt’s Creek” *WINNER

Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series
“Better Call Saul”
“The Crown” *WINNER
“Lovecraft Country”

Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series
“Dead to Me”
“The Flight Attendant”
“The Great”
Schitt’s Creek*WINNER
“Ted Lasso”

Outstanding Action Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Comedy or Drama Series
“The Boys”
“Cobra Kai”
“Lovecraft Country”
“The Mandalorian” *WINNER

Motion Picture Awards
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role
Riz Ahmed, “Sound of Metal”
Chadwick Boseman, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” *WINNER
Anthony Hopkins, “The Father”
Gary Oldman, “Mank”
Steven Yeun, “Minari”

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role
Amy Adams, “Hillbilly Elegy”
Viola Davis, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” *WINNER
Vanessa Kirby, “Pieces of a Woman”
Frances McDormand, “Nomadland”
Carey Mulligan, “Promising Young Woman”

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role
Sacha Baron Cohen, “The Trial of the Chicago 7”
Chadwick Boseman, “Da 5 Bloods”
Daniel Kaluuya, “Judas and the Black Messiah” *WINNER
Jared Leto, “The Little Things”
Leslie Odom Jr., “One Night in Miami”

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role
Maria Bakalova, “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm”
Glenn Close, “Hillbilly Elegy”
Olivia Colman, “The Father”
Yuh-Jung Youn, “Minari” *WINNER
Helena Zengel, “News of the World”

Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
“Da 5 Bloods”
“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”
“One Night in Miami”
“The Trial of the Chicago 7” *WINNER

Outstanding Action Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Motion Picture
“Da 5 Bloods”
“News of the World”
“The Trial of the Chicago 7”
“Wonder Woman 1984” *WINNER

Je M’appelle Humain

78 minutes – Documentary
Language: French, Innu, English subtitles
Festival release date: September 18, 2020 (Quebec City Film Festival FCVQ)
Release date: TBA
Production company: Terre Innue
Canadian distributor: Maison 4:3

Je M’appelle Humain (Call Me Human) focuses on translator, researcher and poet, Josephine Bacon, who has long been a keeper of Innu knowledge and traditions, a role that has grown ever more crucial with the loss of elders and other changes for communities like the one where she was born in 1947. Blending stories of Bacon’s history with a new journey on the trail of Papakassik, the master of the caribou, the documentary is a celebration of a woman who has devoted her life to keeping the past alive for the benefit of her generation and all those that follow.

At the Quebec City Film festival, Je M’appelle Humain was co-winner of the Prix Jury collégial with Alexandre Rockwell’s Sweet Thing. At Sudbury Ontario’s Cinefest, it won the Audience Choice Award for documentaries. It was named Best Canadian Documentary at both the 2020 Calgary International and Vancouver International film festivals.

Je M'appelle Humain, movie, poster,



Andrée-Anne Frenette


Kim O’Bomsawin


Kim O’Bomsawin


Hugo Gendron
Michel Valiquette


Alexandre Lachance


Alain Auger

Cast: Roles:

Josephine Bacon


Kim O’Bomsawin

Kim O'Bomsawin, film director,

Kim O’Bomsawin is an Abenaki writer, director and activist. She had completed a Master’s degree in sociology before embarking on her filmmaking career. Her 2018 documentary, Prince Rupert, aired as one of the episodes in the Skindigenous TV series. Her 2020 documentary, Je M’appelle Humain, won festival prizes throughout Canada. We list her credits as a Director first.

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

La ligne rouge (aka The Red Line, 2014, documentary)
Du teweikan à l’électro: voyage aux sources de la musique autochtone (TV-2018)
Ce silence qui tue (aka Quiet Killing, 2018, documentary)
Prince Rupert (TV-2018, documentary)

Minokin: Réparer Notre Justice (TV-2020, documentary)
Je M’appelle Humain (2020, documentary)

Credits as a Screenwriter:
La ligne rouge (aka The Red Line, 2014, documentary)

Ce silence qui tue (aka Quiet Killing, 2018, documentary)
Prince Rupert (TV-2018, documentary)

Minokin: Réparer Notre Justice (TV-2020, documentary)
Je M’appelle Humain (2020, documentary)

Je M'appelle Humain, movie, poster,

Sugar Daddy

101 minutes – Drama
Language: English

Festival release date: December 1, 2020 – (Whistler Film Festival. World Premiere)
Release date: April 6, 2021 – VOD

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,



Lauren Grant
Lori Lozinski
Kelly McCormack

Executive Producer:

Lisa Gutberlet
James Huntsman
Andreas Olavarria


Wendy Morgan


Kelly McCormack


Kristin Fieldhouse


Christine Armstrong


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

Chef Dan