Home Authors Posts by Editor



Vinessa Antoine

Vinessa Antoine, actress,

B: July 21, 1983 in Toronto, Ontario

Vinessa Lynn Antoine made Canadian TV history when the first episode of Diggstown aired in 2019. She became the first Black Canadian actress to star in a prime-time drama on legacy network television, according to the CBC. In Diggstown, Antoine will play Marcie Diggs, a top corporate lawyer who decides to dedicate herself to a legal aid office in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. Diggstown is scheduled to air in the 2018 fall and winter season. Vinessa Antoine costarred as Judith Winter in 40 episodes of the Canadian series Being Erica but is best known for her role as Jordan Ashford in more than 275 episodes of the US series General Hospital.

Also see: Vinessa Antoine – Biography

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

Annie O (TV-1995)
Taps (1996, short)
Picture This (1999)

A Day Late and a Dollar Short (TV-2014)
The Choir (2016, short)

TV Series – Cast:
Being Erica (2009-2011)
General Hospital (2014-2018)
Diggstown (2019, 2020, mini-series)

TV Series – Guest appearances:
Soul Food (2001, 2002)
The Unit (2007)
ReGenesis (2008)
Heartland (2008, 2013, 2014)

Haven (2011)
Talent: The Casting Call (2011)
Work in Progress (2014)
NCIS: Naval Criminal Investigative Service (2018)
The Resident (2019)
Hudson & Rex (2019)

Interrogation (2020)

Celebrating Black History Month: Vinessa Antoine

Vinessa Antoine, actress, Biography,

(February 3, 2020 – Toronto, ON) Vinessa Antoine made Canadian TV history when the first episode of Diggstown aired in 2019. She became the first Black Canadian actress to star in a prime-time drama on legacy network television, according to the CBC. But it all started when she was just four years old and began studying classical ballet at the Royal Academy of Dance in Toronto. She went on to spend three years in New York with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre and six months dancing hip hop while touring with Sean “P. Diddy” Combs. And then she shifted her focus from dance to acting.

Learn more about Vinessa Antoine.

Kevin Hanchard

Kevin Hanchard, actor,

B: July 4, 1974

Kevin Hanchard, despite his long list of film and television credits, is primarily known for his work on stage. In fact in a 2013 interview with Mississauga.com he said, “I’m primarily a theatre guy and for several years I had built up a resume in the theatre and done a lot of TV and film sporadically in between.” His performances at the Stratford Festival and the Shaw Festival, include productions of Fuenteovejuna, Macbeth, Julius Caesar, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Topdog/Underdog, The Millionairess and His Girl Friday. He was nominated for the Dora Mavor Moore Award in 2009 for Outstanding Performance by a Male in a Principal Role for Miss Julie: Freedom Summer, and again in 2011 for Topdog/Underdog. On television he is best known for his roles as Det. Arthur Bell in Orphan Black and Inspector Sematimba in The Expanse.

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

Hendrix (TV-2000)
Mom’s on Strike (TV-2002)
America’s Prince: The John F. Kennedy Jr. Story (TV-2003)
Jasper, Texas (TV-2003)
Four Brothers (2005)
Take The Lead (2006)
Savage Planet (TV-2007)
This Beautiful City (2007)

H.M.S.: White Coat (TV-2010)
Dream House (2011)
High Chicago (2011)
Apple Mortgage Cake (TV-2014)
Jihad Gigolo (2014, short)
Guidance (2014)
Born to be Blue (2015)
The Stepchild (TV-2016)
Suicide Squad (2016)
Share the Screen (VR-2016, short)
Fox Trouble (2016, short)
It’s Not My Fault and I Don’t Care Anyway (2017)
The Cast of Orphan Black Meets Their Clones (2017, short)
Wish Upon (2017)
Accidentals (2017, short)
Clara (2018)
The Holiday Calendar (2018)
A Majestic Christmas (TV-2018)
No Sleep ‘Til Christmas (TV-2018)
From the Vine (2019)
Rabid (2019)
Unlicenswed (2019, short)

TV Series – Cast:
The State Within (2006, mini-series)

Atomic Puppet (voice, 2016-2017)
Orphan Black (2013-2017)
Cardinal (2018)
Hudson & Rex (2019-2020)

TV Series – Guest appearances:
Due South (1998)
Takes from the Cryptkeeper (1999)

The Eleventh Hour (2005)
Metropia (2005)
1-800-Missing (2005, 2006)
At the Hotel (2006)
Naturally, Sadie (2006)
Runaway (2006)
Love You to Each (2007)
The Listener (2009)

Blue Mountain State (2010)
Degrassi: The Next Generation (2011)
The Firm (2012)
Republic of Doyle (2012)
Nikita (2013)
Creative Galaxy (2013)
Saving Hope (2013)
Suits (2013)
Lucky 7 (2013)
The Strain (2015)
Hemlock Grove (2015)
Rogue (2015, 2016, 2017)
Odd Squad (2016)
Conviction (2016)
The Expanse (2016, 2017)
The Girlfriend Experience (2016, 2017)
Annedroids (2017)
Wynonna Earp (2017)
21 Thunder (2017)
Tin Star (2017)
People of the Earth (2017)
Burden of Truth (2018)
The Detail (2018)
Impulse (2018)Save Me (2019)
Cavendish (2019)

Rabid, 2019 movie, poster,

John Reardon

Hudson & Rex, TV series,
John Reardon plays Charlie Hudson in the series Hudson & Rex.

B: July 30, 1975 in Halifax, Nova Scotia

Born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, John Henry Reardon studied theatre at the Lir Academy of Dramatic Arts in Dublin, Ireland. He played Blake Laviolette in 35 episodes of Arctic Air between 2012 and 2014. He plays Charlie Hudson (pictured above) in the series Hudson & Rex.

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

1st to Die (TV-2003)
The Thing Below (VR-2004)
White Chicks (2004)
Severed (2005)
Fallen (2005, short)
Scary Movie 4 (2006)
A Valentine Carol (TV-2007)
Blue Smoke (TV-2007)
7 Things to Do Before I’m 30 (TV-2008)
Make It Happen (2008)

Super Hybrid (2010)
TRON: Legacy (2010)
Bringing Ashley Home (TV-2011)
Deadly Hope (TV-2012)
The Philadelphia Experiment (TV-2012)
The Christmas Secret (TV-2014)
Love on the Sidelines (TV-2016)
I’ll Be Home for Christmas (TV-2016)

TV Series – Cast:
Son of the Dragon (2006, mini-series)
Merlin’s Apprentice (2006, mini-series)
Painkiller Jane (2007)

Arctic Air (2012-2014)
Hudson & Rex (2019-2020)

TV Series – Guest appearances:
The Chris Isaak Show (2001)
The Twilight Zone (2002)
Edgemont (2002, 2003, 2005)
Andromeda (2003)
Try Calling (2004)
The L Word (2006)

Eureka (2010)
Hellcats (2011)
Clue (2011)
Supernatural (2013)
When Calls the Heart (2014)
The Killing (2014)
Continuum (2012, 2013, 2014, 2015)
Messiah Complex (2017)
Van Helsing (2017, 2018)
Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce (2018)

Cypher (2020)

Hudson & Rex

Hudson & Rex, TV series,
John Reardon plays Charlie Hudson in the series Hudson & Rex.

60 minutes – TV series, Police procedural
Date of first broadcast: March 25, 2019
Originating network: CITY-TV

2019 – 13 Episodes
2020 – 13 Episodes

Hudson & Rex is a lighthearted police procedural starring John Reardon as Detective Charlie Hudson, a cunning Major Crimes detective for the St. John’s Police Department, who teams up with an unusual partner – Rex, a former-K9 German Shepherd, whose heightened senses keep Charlie hot on the trail of his suspects. Together, they investigate puzzling crimes, from a kidnapping which reveals a much larger conspiracy at play to an art theft murder which runs deep into the world of high society. With Charlie’s deft detective work and Rex’s keen canine senses, this crime-fighting pair is unstoppable.

We list the Main Cast only. Like most series there is a long list of actors who have appeared in only 1 episode. They can usually be found by using our search feature and entering the term Hudson & Rex.

Hudson & RexHudson & Rex
Producer:Julie Lacey
Ken Cuperus (Showrunner)
Executive Producer:

Scott Garvie
Friedemann Goez
Paul Pope
Nataline Rodrigues

Co-Executive Producer:

John Callaghan
Derek Schreyer
Jessie Gabe

Associate Producer:

Lisa Porter

Supervising Producer:

Laura Harbin


Felipe Rodriguez
Alison Reid
John Vatcher


John Callaghan
Ken Cuperus
Jessie Gabe
Paul Aitken
Laura Harbin
Avrum Jacobson
Simon McNabb
Celeste Parr


Mark Sanders
Julia Blua


Philip J Bennett
Gary Koftinoff

Production Designer:

Xavier Georges

Costume Designer:

Charlotte Reid


John Reardon
Mayko Nguyen
Kevin Hanchard
Justin Kelly
Diesel vom Burgimwald

Charlie Hudson
Sarah Truong
Superintendant Joe Donovan
Jesse Mills


110 minutes – Horror
Festival release date: August 26, 2019 (London FightFest Film Festival)
Release date: January 31, 2020
Production company: Back 40 Pictures
Canadian distributor: A71 Entertainment
UK distributor: 101 Films
US distributor: Shout! Studios

Rose (Laura Vandervoort) is a quiet, demure, unassuming woman in her looks and actions. But as a fashion designer, this makes it difficult for her to stand out in the world of flawlessly beautiful models including her own roommate. Relegated to the role of seamstress for a world-renowned designer, all Rose wants is to be noticed for her own designs. When she witnesses the closeness of her model roommate with Brad (Ben Hollingsworth), the photographer she has grown close to, Rose rushes from a party feeling angry and hurt. A resulting traffic accident leaves her with significant scars on her face and body. Based on the referral from her apologetic roommate, Rose undergoes a highly experimental healing procedure that uses stems cells to speed up and improve healing. She recovers to find herself looking as beautiful as the models she works with and her confidence and sexual appetite is also increased leading to several torrid sexual encounters. However, unbeknownst to her, Rose sets off a spiralling contagion, as within 24 hours her lovers become rabid, violent spreaders of death and disease. As the disease mutates, it spreads through society at an accelerated rate causing an ever-increasing number of people to rampage through the streets in a violent and bloody killing spree. The now out of control disease draws the attention of the CDC and the nefarious plastic surgeon out to find the cure. The spreading violence around them impedes them from discovering the truth. Rose is both the source of the disease and its cure…and time is running out.

This is a remake of the 1977 film Rabid, written and directed by David Cronenberg.
Also see: Canadian Film Remakes.

Producer:Paul Lalonde
John Vidette
Michael Walker
Executive Producer:

Charles Dorfman
David Gilbery
Larry Howard
Paul McGowan


Jaye Gazeley
Jen Soska
Sylvia Soska

Consulting Producer:

Laura Vandervoort


Jen Soska
Sylvia Soska


John Serge
Jen Soska
Sylvia Soska


Kim Derko


Claude Foisy

Production Designer:

Peter Mihaichuk

Art Director:

Andrew Hill (Set Decorator)

Costume Designer:

Morganne Newson


Laura Vandervoort
Benjamin Hollingsworth
Ted Atherton
Stephen McHattie
Edie Inksetter
Hanneke Talbot
Mackenzie Gray
C.M. Punk
A.J. Mendez
Greg Bryk
Jen Soska
Sylvia Soska
Stephen Huszar
Lynn Lowry
Allison Feliciano
Tara Yelland
Avaah Blackwell
Vanessa Jackson
Heidi von Palleske
Joel Labelle
Jesse Griffiths
Amanda Zhou
Lucas Meeuse
Hillary Daley
Ava Close
Kevin Hanchard

Brad Hart
Dr. William Burroughs
Dr. Keloid
Dr. Beverly
Chelsea, Rose’s best friend
Gunter, a fashion designer
Dr. Cynthia Burroughs
Gunter’s Model
Gunter’s Model
Dr. Eliot
Trent Taylor
Stylist with a Glue Gun
Gunters Model
Girl Eating a Bird
Dr. Riley

My Salinger Year to Open Berlinale

My Salinger Year, movie, image,
Margaret Qualley plays Joanna in the 2020 film My Salinger Year.

My Salinger Year to Open 2020 Berlinale

by Staff

(January 24th, 2020 – Montréal, QC) Canadian distributor Mongrel Media and Québec-based production company micro_scope have announced the selection of Philippe Falardeau’s My Salinger Year as the opening film of the 70th Berlin International Film Festival.  It is a prestigious selection for the film, Philippe Falardeau’s eighth feature. Falardeau will join other world-renowned names who opened the Berlinale in the past ten years including Lone Scherfig, Wes Anderson, Etienne Comar, the Coen brothers, Isabel Coixet, Wong Kar-Wai, Benoît Jacquot and Werner Herzog.
My Salinger Year is produced by Luc Déry and Kim McCraw of micro_scope in 
coproduction with Irish company Parallel Films. It stars Margaret Qualley (Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood) and two-time  Golden Globe winner and three-time Academy Award nominee Sigourney Weaver, as well as Douglas Booth (The Riot Club), Seána Kerslake (The Hole in the Ground), Brían F. O’Byrne (Million Dollar Baby), Colm Feore (Bon Cop, Bad Cop 1 and 2) and Canadian Screen Award-winner Théodore Pellerin (Genèse, Chien de garde) in the major roles.
Set in New York City in the late ‘90s, Joanna (Margaret Qualley, pictured above) is a young aspiring writer who lands a day job at J.D. Salinger’s literary agency.  While her eccentric, old-fashioned boss Margaret (Weaver) tasks her to process Salinger’s voluminous fan mail, Joanna struggles to find her own voice.
“I am thrilled (and also shocked) to learn that My Salinger Year will open the Berlinale,” said Philippe Falardeau. “We could not have hoped for a better World Premiere.  When one looks at the films that have opened the festival in the past, my team and I can only be honored to be part of that list.  I have very fond memories of Berlin where C’est pas moi, je le jure was presented 
and I am delighted to attend again with Margaret Qualley and Sigourney Weaver.” 

Presented at the Berlinale in 2009, Falardeau’s C’est pas moi, je le jure received the Crystal Bear and the Grand Prize from the International Jury, two awards attributed to the best film in the 
Generation Kplus program.
Producers Luc Déry and Kim McCraw said, “We are extremely happy to open the Berlinale, which is the best platform we could have hoped for Philippe’s film. This is one of the most important European festivals along with Cannes and Venice, and we hope that the professionals and the audience in Berlin will appreciate this film, carried by amazing actresses and actors.”Z

My Salinger Year is p
roduced with the financial participation of Téléfilm Canada, Sodec, Screen Ireland, in association with Crave and Super Ecran. Mongrel Media (Métropole Films in Quebec) is distributing the film in Canada and Memento Films is handling international sales.  My Salinger Year will be released in Canada in 2020.z

My Salinger Year

My Salinger Year, movie, image,
Margaret Qualley plays Joanna in the 2020 film My Salinger Year.

– minutes – Drama, Biography
Language: English
Festival release date: February 20, 2020 (Berlin International Film Festival)
Release date: 2020 (Canada)
Production companies: micro_scope, Parallel Films
Canadian distributor: Mongrel Media, Métropole Films (Quebec)

Based on the autobiographical 
book by Joanna Smith Rakoff and set in New York City in the late ‘90s, Joanna is played by Margaret Qualley (pictured above), a young aspiring writer who lands a day job at renowned author J.D. Salinger’s literary agency.  While her eccentric, old-fashioned boss Margaret tasks her to process Salinger’s voluminous fan mail, Joanna struggles to find her own voice.

This is writer-director Philippe Falardeau’s third feature in English.
Also see: My Salinger Year to Open 2020 Berlinale.

My Salinger YearMy Salinger Year
Producer:Luc Déry
Kim McCraw
Ruth Coady
Susan Mullen
Executive Producer:

Mary Jane Skalski


Philippe Falardeau


Philippe Falardeau


Sara Mishara


Mary Finlay


Martin Léon

Production Designer:

Elise de Blois

Art Director:

Claude Tremblay
Léa-Valérie Létourneau (Set Decoration)

Costume Designer:

Patricia McNeil


Margaret Qualley
Sigourney Weaver
Douglas Booth
Seána Kerslake
Jonathan Dubsky
Colm Feore
Leni Parker
Yanic Truesdale
Xiao Sun
Gavin Drea
Théodore Pellerin
Romane Denis
Matt Holland
Brían F. O’Byrne
Hamza Haq
Elana Dunkelman
Sylvia Stewart
Ellen David
Andres Romo Salido
Tim Post
Arthur Holden
Alexandre Dubois
Christine Lan
Carlo Mestroni
Samantha Hodhod
Jay Chevery
Gillian Doria
Ondra Dorian

Winston-Salem boy
High school girl
Roger Lathbury
Assistant #2
New Yorker Receptionist
Placement Agent
Mexican Worker
J.D. Salinger
New Yorker Guy 1
Vietnamese Girl
Assistant #1
Dating guy
Judy Blume

Emmanuel Schwartz

Emmanuel Schwartz, actor,

B: in Québec

Emmanuel Schwartz is an actor and producer. WE list his credits as an actor first. He starred in the role of the title character in the 2018 series Sylvain Le Magnifique.

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

Lonely Child (2005)
Sans elle (2006)
I’m Not There (2007)
Next Floor (2008, short)
Ça va (mine de rien) (2009, short)

Laurentia (2011)
Léo (2011, short)
Laurence Anyways (2012)
L’affaire Dumont (2012)
Mardi (2013, short)
La douce descente d’Harvey Binks (2013, short)
Julia Julep (2014, short)
Endorphine (2015)
Chasse-Galerie (2016)
Sigismond sans images (2016, short)
Nelly (2016)
Le Sommet (2016, short)
Hochelaga, Terre des âmes (2017)
Squat (2017)
Yes But No Thanks (2017, short)
Our Family (2017, short)
Sashinka (2017)
Klô Pelgag: Les Animaux (VR, 2017, short)
Le Clown (2017, short)
The Far Shore (2018)
On the Other Side of the Wall (2019)
Nous sommes Gold (2019)
The Twentieth Century (2019)

TV Series – Cast:
Amour Amour (2014, mini-series)
Blue Moon (2016)
Sylvain Le Magnifique (2018)

TV Series – Guest appearances:
Kif-KIf (2006)

19-2 (2015)
Les Jeunes Loups (2015)
Trop (2017)
Lâcher prise (2018)
L’écrivain public (2018)

Credits as a Producer:
Laurentia (Associate Producer, 2011)
Léo (Co-producer, 2011, short)

Emmanuel Schwartz is represented by:
Agence RBL
410 Saint-Nicolas, suite 118
Montreal, Québec
H2Y 2P5

Phone: 514-564-5644
Email: info(at)agencerbl.com

Nelly, movie, poster,
Poster for Nelly courtesy of Entertainment One.

Catherine Lepage

Catherine Lepage, animator, director,
Photo of Catherine Lepage by Kelly Jacob, courtesy of NFB.

B: in Québec City, Québec

Catherine Lepage was born in Québec City and studied design at the Cégep de Sainte-Foy. She completed her professional training in illustration at the École supérieure des arts décoratifs in Strasbourg. She worked as an art director for advertising agencies for several years before founding the design studio Ping Pong Ping with her partner, Simon Rivest. The duo have put their unique style and creativity into numerous projects for clients in the cultural sector. A confessed sufferer from anxiety, Lepage has skillfully explored mental-health issues in her illustrated books. She has also created numerous children’s books. Her books have been translated and published all over the world. In 2019, she directed Le mal du siècle (aka The Great Malaise), a short animated film produced by the National film board of Canada. In the 5-minute short, a young woman offers a self-description that presents her life in the most glowing terms—telling us what we want to hear. The visual narrative tells a different story, illustrating with heart-rending power the weight of anxiety carried by this driven overachiever as she strives for happiness. The Great Malaise portrays the thoughts and worries of a person who suffers from anxious unhappiness.

The Great Malaise will have its international premiere in competition at the 70th annual Berlin International Film Festival, which runs February 20 to March 1, 2020. Click here for a link to the Berlin International Film Festival and other February film festivals.

Also see: A trailer for The Great Malaise.

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

Kanaval (2014, animation, short)
Fines tranches d’angoisse (2014, animation, short)
Le tragique destin de Pépito (2016, animation, short)
thin slices of anxiety (2016, animation, short)
Un fou 1984 2017 (2017, animation, short)
Pierre_Francos (2017, animation, short)
Marivière (2018, animation, short)
Le mal du siècle (The Great Malaise, 2019, animation, short)

One Day in the Life of Noah Piugattuk

112 minutes – Drama, History, Indigenous
Language: Inuktitut / English
Festival release date: September 13, 2019 (Toronto International Film Festival)
Release date: January 30, 2020 (Winnipeg, MB)
Production companies: Kingulliit Productions, Isuma Productions Inc.
Canadian distributor: Isuma Distribution International Ltd.

In April 1961, John Kennedy is America’s new President, the Cold War heats up in Berlin and nuclear bombers are deployed from bases in arctic Canada. In Kapuivik, north Baffin Island, Noah Piugattuk’s nomadic Inuit band live and hunt by dog team as his ancestors did when he was born in 1900. When the white man known as Boss arrives at Piugattuk’s hunting camp, what appears as a chance meeting soon opens up the prospect of momentous change. Boss is an agent of the government, assigned to get Piugattuk to move his band to settlement housing and send his children to school so they can get jobs and make money. But Kapuivik is Piugattuk’s homeland. He takes no part in the Canadian experience; and cannot imagine what his children would do with money.

Also see: One Day in the Life of Noah Piugattuk at the Biennale de Venezia 2019

One Day in the Life of Noah PiugattukOne Day in the Life of Noah Piugattuk
Producer:Zacharias Kunuk
Jonathan Frantz
Executive Producer:

Zacharias Kunuk
Norman Cohn


Zacharias Kunuk


Zacharias Kunuk
Norman Cohn


Norman Cohn
Jonathan Frantz


Norman Cohn
Jonathan Frantz

Production Designer:

Susan Avingaq

Art Director:

Samueli Ammaq (Set Decorator)
Madeline Ivalu (Set Decorator)

Costume Designer:

Michelline Ammaq


Apayata Kotierk
Kim Bodnia
Benjamin Kunuk
Mark Taqqaugaq
Gamaili Ulayuk
Neeve Uttak
Jacky Qrunnut
Tessa Kunuk
Jenelle Attagutaluk
Gouchrard Uttak
Todd King Ammaq
Patrick John Attagutaluk
Joseph Uttak
Bailey Ammaq
Travis Kunnuk
Roger Robert Attagutaluk
Louisa Kipisgaq

Noah Piugattuk
Isumataq (Boss)
Evaluarjuk (Ningiuq)

Kiana Madeirz

Kiana Madeirz, actress,

B: in Toronto, Ontario

Kiana Madeirz was born in Toronto but grew up in Mississauga, Ontario, just west of Toronto. While the work is the same, most of Madeirz’s work was for the small screen until 2018 when she made her feature film debut in Level 16 and followed that up with a role in the highly popular Giant Little Ones. She plays the role of Moe Traux in the series Trinkets.

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

Harriet the Spy: Blog Wars (TV-2010)
Salem Falls (TV-2011)
The Junction (2013, short)
One Christmas Eve (TV-2014)
Bad Hair Day (TV-2015)
Bruno & Boots: Go Jump in the Pool (TV-2016)
The Swap (TV-2016)
The Night Before Halloween (TV-2016)
Bruno & Boots: This Can’t Be Happening at Macdonald Hall (TV-2017)
Bruno & Boots: The Wizzle War (TV-2017)
Neverknock (TV-2017)
Level 16 (2018)
Baby Blue (2018, short)
Giant Little Ones (2018)
She Never Died (2019)

Fear Street (2020)
Fear Street 2 (2020)

TV Series – Cast:
Really Me (2011-2013)
Sacred Lies (2018)
Trinkets (2019-)

TV Series – Guest appearances:
Little Mosque on the Prairie (2007)

My Babysitter’s a Vampire 2012)
The Other Kingdom (2016)
Conviction (2016)
Dark Matter (2017)
Batrbelle (2017)
Wynonna Earp (2017)
Taken (2018)
Yo Fam! (2018)
The Flash (2018)


Giant Little Ones, movie, poster,

Hot Docs Honours Raymonde Provencher

Hot Docs Honours Raymonde Provencher, image,

Hot Docs Honours Raymonde Provencher
by Staff

(January 21, 2020 – Toronto, ON) Hot Docs has announced that it will pay tribute to award-winning Canadian filmmaker Raymonde Provencher with this year’s Focus On retrospective, an annual program showcasing the work of a significant Canadian filmmaker. Hot Docs will screen a selection of Provencher’s films in the Focus On program during the 27th annual Festival, which will run from April 30 to May 10, 2020.
Shane Smith, Hot Docs, “Combining a journalist’s tenacity with deep humanism, Raymonde Provencher is a formidable filmmaker and storyteller, whose genuine care for, and interest in, her subjects arises from her profound commitment to women and human rights,” said Shane Smith, director of programming for Hot Docs (pictured). “We’re so thrilled to be able to spotlight her films with our Focus On program at this year’s Festival, a body of work that spans the globe and reflects some of its rarely covered stories with deep sincerity and compassion.”
With a passion for international affairs that has spanned her decades-long career, Provencher has been celebrated for her bold and honest approach to filmmaking. As a journalist and researcher, she helped launch Télé-Québec’s Nord-Sud in 1983, which opened a new chapter in international news programming in Quebec, and for which she produced over a hundred reports from across the globe. In 1995 she co-founded the private production company Macumba International, where she worked as a producer on the award-winning films 1973: The Last Stand of Salvador Allende (aka 11 de septembre de 1973. El último combate de Salvador Allende), Images of a Dictatorship and Black Wave: The Legacy of the Exxon Valdez.
Committed to uncovering stories about human rights and social injustice issues throughout the world, she began to devote most of her time to scriptwriting and directing in 2000. Provencher worked on the series Extremis, where she explored child labour in the Philippines with the film Lost Childhood (2000). Her 2002 film War Babies, about children born to victims of wartime rape, won four Gémeaux Awards and the Audience Award at the Hot Docs Festival. She followed that with the docs Une nouvelle vie pour Ramon Mercedes and Blue Helmets: Peace and Dishonour, and 2008’s A Senseless Death about the Iraq war. In 2009, she co-produced with the NFB Grace, Milly, Lucy…Child Soldiers, which tackled the painful tragedy of children forcibly recruited by rebel troops in Uganda. In 2012 and 2015, she directed and produced two films, Crime Without Honour and Café Désirs, and in 2017 presented Torn Apart, a powerful film about forced marriages, which still exist in Quebec.
The films in Focus On Raymonde Provencher will be announced in March. Hot Docs has also announced that Provencher will be in attendance at this year’s Festival.
Past Focus On honourees include Julia Ivanova (2019), John Walker (2018), Maya Gallus (2017), Rosie Dransfeld (2016), Carole Laganière (2015), John Zaritsky (2014), Peter Mettler (2013), John Kastner (2012), Alan Zweig (2011), Tahani Rached (2010), Ron Mann (2009), Jennifer Baichwal (2008), Kevin McMahon (2007), Serge Giguère (2006), Larry Weinstein (2005), Nettie Wild (2004), Shelley Saywell (2003) and Zacharias Kunuk (2002).
Industry registration for Hot Docs is now open online. Hot Docs also announced that the 2020 Festival will showcase recent works from Northern Ireland in its “Made In ” program. Film titles for that program will also be announced in March. The program is presented in partnership with Northern Ireland Screen.

Raymonde Provencher

Raymonde Provencher, producer,

B: in Québec

Raymonde Provencher, a graduate in political science, is known for her commitment to uncovering stories about human rights and social injustice issues throughout the world. She began to devote most of her time to scriptwriting and directing in 2000. She worked on the series Extremis, where she explored child labour in the Philippines with the film Lost Childhood (2000). Her 2002 film War Babies, about children born to victims of wartime rape, won four Gémeaux Awards and the Audience Award at the Hot Docs Festival. In 1983, she was part of a small group that set up the Nord-Sud program at Télé-Québec. In 1995, she co-founded Macumba International. This is a list of her credits as a Director of documentary films.

Also see: Hot Docs Honours Raymonde Provencher.

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

eXtremis : L’enfance assassinée (2000)
eXtremis: La planète ravagée (2001)
War Babies… nés de la haine (2002)
eXtremis: Partir ou mourir (2005)
Une nouvelle vie pour Ramon Mercedes (2007)
Le déshonneur des Casques bleus (aka, Blue Helmets: Peace and Dishonour, 2007)
Une mort insensée (aka, Senseless Death, 2008)
Grace, Milly, Lucy…des fillettes soldates (2009)

Ces crimes sans honneur (2012)
Café Désirs (2015)
Torn Apart (2017)


Après-ski, movie, image,

104 minutes – Light comedy
Language: French
Release date: March 31, 1971 (Montréal, Québec)
Production company:
Canadian distributor: International Film Distributors

Three ski instructors spend more time accumulating sex partners than giving lessons and spend more time in bed than on the slopes. Also released as Snowballin’, and Sex in the Snow. Aprés Ski was made during the era of so-called Maple Syrup Porn. Thanks to tax incentives to help the fledgling Canadian film industry, many soft-core films were made, mainly featuring some mild nudity and some adult situations more risqué than blatantly pornographic. Made for an estimated $800,000, it is thought to have made a significant profit for its investors.

The poster for Après Ski was scanned from an original in the Northernstars Collection.
Also see: Valérie, L’Initiation.

Producer:Harry Cohen
Jean Zaloum

Roger Cardinal


René Angelil
Pierre Labelle
Roger Cardinal
Pierre Brousseau


Roger Racine


Marc Hamilton


Daniel Pilon
Céline Lomez
Mariette Lévesque
Robert Arcand
Robert Demontigny
Janine Sutto
Angèle Coutu
Charlene Calandre
Francine Grimaldi
René Angélil
Jacques Desrosiers
Pierre Labelle
Raymond Lévesque
Pierre Ménard
Roger Michael
Carmen Champagne
Louise Tremblay
Diane Gauthier

Terry Lopez
The photographer
Older woman
The tourist
The singer


Percy, movie, title,
Temporary placeholder until an image from the film is available.

120 minutes – Drama, Biography
Language: English
Release date: May 8, 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.

Producer: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

Canadians & the Oscars® 2020

Oscar® Nominations

Canadians & the Oscars® 2020

by Ralph Lucas – Publisher

(January 13, 2020 – Toronto, ON) In less than a month the 92nd annual Academy Awards will play out in Hollywood, the tiny town that grew up to be the Movie Capital of the World. Canadians were part of the founding and growth of Hollywood and of the founding and growth of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS). Some years have been kinder to Canadians than others and we’ll have to wait until February 9th to find out how 2020 treats Canadian nominees. They are, in no particular order:
How to Train Your Dragon 3, movie, poster,
Animator Dean DeBlois has been nominated for his 3rd (and last?) film in the How To Train Your Dragon series. As the Academy described the film in their release, “Hiccup and Toothless have settled into their lives as leaders of a chaotic dragon utopia, but when the fearsome Night Fury dragon suddenly appears and their village is threatened, the two must journey into the unknown to save their world.” Nominated in the Best Animated feature category, it’s up against I Lost My Body, Klaus, Missing Link and Toy Story 4, which I thought was the weakest of the films in that series. DeBlois was also nominated for 2011’s How to Train Your Dragon and the 2015 sequel How to Train Your Dragon 2. Third time lucky? By now I think everyone knows Jay Baruchel provides the voice of Hiccup. Also of note, there is a Canadian link to Missing Link in the form of Vancouver’s Trevor Dalmer who served as art director on the film.

In the feature film categories, I haven’t seen 1917 yet. My grandfather was killed in the War to End All Wars and I want to see it. The Canadian connection to this film goes to previous Oscar® nominee and winner Dennis Gassner for best production design on the epic 120-minute war film. He won in 1992 for his work on Bugsy, and was nominated in 2018 for his work on Denis Villeneuve’s Blade Runner 2049. Other films up for this award include The Irishman, Jojo Rabbit, Once upon a Time…in Hollywood and Parasite. The Vancouver-born Gassner shares the nomination for 1917 with set decorator Lee Sandales.

Staying with feature films, British-born former Toronto resident Paul Massey has picked up his 9th nomination for Sound Mixing on the often very loud feature Ford v Ferrari. Part of a team, his co-nominees include Americans David Giammarco and Steven A. Morrow. Massey won the Oscar® last year for mixing Bohemian Rhapsody. Ford v Ferrari, which tells the story of American car designer Carroll Shelby (Matt Damon) and British driver Ken Miles (Christian Bale) is up against 1917, Ad Astra, Joker and Once upon a Time…in Hollywood.

Moving to short films, Canadian filmmaker Sami Khan has been nominated as co-director with Smriti Mundhra on St. Louis Superman. The documentary short profiles Bruce Franks, Jr. who went from activist to state lawmaker for Missouri. If you think shorts aren’t that important or that competitive, the film is now one of five finalists that were selected for consideration out of 96 eligible films. There should be an award for surviving the cut. I guess it’s called a Nomination.

Last but not least, Montreal-based, American-Tunisian filmmaker Meryam Joobeur has been nominated for her live action short Brotherhood, a Tunisia-Canada-Qatar-Sweden co-production, Brotherhood premiered at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival, where it won the award for Best Canadian Short Film. It tells the tale of a Tunisian shepherd who faces a dilemma when his estranged eldest son returns home from Syria with a mysterious young wife. Joobeur directed her first film, also a documentary short, Gods, Weeds and Revolutions in 2012. Brotherhood is just her fourth film. It should not be confused with the 2016 film of the same name.

Canada did not make the cut for the Best International Feature Film category. Nominees are Corpus Christi (Poland), Honeyland (Macedonia) Les Misérables (France), Pain and Glory (Spain) and Parasite (South Korea). Parasite has also been nominated for Best Motion Picture of the Year.

Also see: Awards season 2020.

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.

Catherine O’Hara Honoured by ACTRA

Catherine O'Hara Honoured by ACTRA, image,

Catherine O’Hara Honoured by ACTRA
by Staff

(January 13, 2020 – Toronto, ON) Canadian comedy icon Catherine O’Hara will be honoured by ACTRA when she is presented with the 2020 ACTRA National Award of Excellence on Saturday, April 18 at the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles. The award recognizes an ACTRA member’s career achievements, and contribution to their fellow performers and Canada’s entertainment industry.

“Canadian actors are thrilled to honour our colleague, the multi-talented Catherine O’Hara, for her outstanding contribution to Canada’s entertainment industry,” said ACTRA National President David Sparrow. “From our beloved Canadian comedy series SCTV, to Best in Show, to playing ‘Moira’ on Schitt’s Creek for six award-winning seasons, Catherine’s body of work is truly exceptional.”

“As anyone who knows me will attest, I am forever boasting about all things Canadian,” said Catherine O’Hara, “Thank you so much, fellow ACTRA members, if I wasn’t a good Canadian, I’d brag about this lovely honour too.”

For her work as the eccentric and hilarious Moira Rose on the hit CBC series Schitt’s Creek, O’Hara has won four consecutive Canadian Screen Awards for Best Lead Actress in a Comedy Series (she is pictured above at the 2017 Canadian Screen Awards), the 2016 ACTRA Toronto Award for Outstanding Performance, a 2019 Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series, and 2020 SAG Award nominations for both Outstanding Performance in a Comedy Series by an Ensemble and Female Actor.

Catherine O'Hara Honoured by ACTRA, image,
The cast of Schitt’s Creek at the 2019 Canadian Screen Awards. Photo by Ralph Lucas for Northernstars.ca.

Some of her other television credits include Six Feet Under, Curb Your Enthusiasm and HBO’s Temple Grandin for which she earned Emmy, Satellite and SAG Award nominations. Catherine O’Hara began her comedy career with Toronto’s Second City Theatre and, later with the Second City troupe, which included fellow Schitt’s Creek star and 2010 ACTRA Award of Excellence recipient Eugene Levy, co-created the iconic Canadian sketch comedy show SCTV. She earned four Emmy nominations and one win for her writing on SCTV. Her numerous film credits include Beetlejuice, Home Alone, Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, The Life Before This, Where the Wild Things Are and many more. O’Hara collaborated with Christopher Guest and co-writer Eugene Levy four times on the critically acclaimed mockumentary films Waiting for Guffman, Best in Show, A Mighty Wind and For Your Consideration.

Catherine O’Hara joins our list of past ACTRA National Award of Excellence winners including Jay Baruchel (2019), Molly Parker (2018), Kim Coates (2017), Neve Campbell (2016) and Jason Priestley (2015).

ACTRA (Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists) is the national union of professional performers working in English-language recorded media in Canada. ACTRA represents the interests of over 25,000 members across the country – the foundation of Canada’s highly acclaimed professional performing community.

Nicole Maroon

B: in Toronto, Ontario

Nicole Maroon and Vladimir Jon Cubrt are attached. She has a B.F.A. in Theatre from the University of Windsor and completed an MFA on full scholarship at USC in Los Angeles.

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

Memory’s Paradigm (2007, short)
Nara (2008)
Insuperable (2008, short)

The Cut (2010)
Victory Blvd (2012)
Unhappy Happy (2013)
I Had a Dream (2015, short)
Luba (2018)
Look Up (2018, short)

TV Series – Guest appearances:
Meet the Family (2014, 2015)
The Boys (2019)

Luba, movie, poster,

Caley Wilson

Caley Wilson, director,

Caley Wilson’s directorial debut, Negative, which he also produced and starred in, brought an award nomination at the New York Underground Short Film Fest for best actor. From 2000-2003 he lived in Los Angeles where he worked both behind and in front of the camera in multiple capacities. He returned to Toronto and shot the short The Gangster, which played at the San Francisco Children’s Film Festival as well as the San Diego Short Film Festival. We list his credits as a Director first.

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

Negative (2003, short)
The Gangster (2009, short)

Drained (VR-2011, short)
Luba (2018)

Credits as a Screenwriter:
Negative (2003, short)
The Gangster (2009, short)

Drained (VR-2011, short)

Credits as a Producer:
Negative (2003, short)
Leaving Town (2005)
The Gangster (2009, short)

Drained (VR-2011, short)
Grynd (2012, short)
Luba (2018)

Credits as an Actor:
Love and Betrayal: The Mia Farrow Story (TV-1995)

Cruel Intentions 2 (2000)
By Dawn’s Early Light (TV-2000)
Two Against Time (TV-2002)
Negative (2003, short)

TV Series – Guest appearances:
The Hidden Room (1993)
Ready or Not (1994)
Goosebumps (1996)
Flash Forward (1997)
Twice in a Lifetime (1999)

Earth: Final Conflict (2000)

Luba, movie, poster,