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Michael Del Monte

Michael Del Monte, director,

B: in Guelph, Ontario

Michael Del Monte’s documentary Transformer premiered at the 2017 Austin Film Festival. In Canada it won the Rogers Audience Award for Best Canadian Documentary. It also won the Emerging Canadian Filmmaker Award at the Toronto Hot Docs film festival. For his 2021 film, My Name is Ray, Del Monte was director, producer, cinematographer, and editor.

Also see: Hot Docs 2018 – It Was a Very Good Year

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

Defined (2015, short)
Transcend (2014, documentary)
Defined (2015, short)
Transformer (2017, documentary)
Village of the Missing (TV-2019)

Credits as a Screenwriter:
Transformer (2017, documentary)

My Name is Ray (2021, documentary)

Credits as a Producer:
Defined (2015, short)
Transformer (2017, documentary)

My Name is Ray (2021, documentary)

Transformer, poster, Michael del Monte,

Haley Guiel

Haley Guiel, actress,

Haley Guiel, pictured in the poster, was credited in the movie Mount Pleasant as Haley Adriana Guiel.

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

Mount Pleasant (2006)
To Have and To Hold (TV-2006)
My Neighbour’s Keeper (TV-2007)
Watchmen (2009)

TV Series – Guest appearances:
Battlestar Galactica (2006)
Alice, I Think2006)
Masters of Horror (2006)

Mount Pleasant, movie, poster

Genevieve Buechner

Genevieve Buechner, actress,

B: November 10, 1991 in Edmonton, Alberta

Genevieve Buechner began to express her interest in being an actor when she was still very you. Very young as in she had yet to start kindergarden. She began her film and TV career with a role in a single episode of Jeremiah when she was 11-years-old. She is best know for her role as Madison in 35 episodes of UnREAL between 2015 and 1018.

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

Saint Monica (2002)
Princess Castle (2003, short)
Devil Winds (TV-2003)
The Final Cut (2004)
Family Sins (TV-2004)
The Love Crimes of Gillian Guess (TV-2004)
Bob the Butler (2005)
Mount Pleasant (2006)
Vipers (TV-2008)
Amber Alert: Terror on the Highway (TV-2009)
Come Dance at My Wedding (TV-2009)
Jennifer’s Body (2009)
Courage (2009)

Elopement (TV-2010)
Bond of Silence (TV-2010)
Daydream Nation (2010)
Timo Descamps: Like It Rough (2010, short)
Judas Kiss (2011)
Girl Fight (TV_2011)
Finding a Family (TV-2011)
Good Morning, Killer (TV-2011)
Heavenly (TV-2011)
One Foot in Hell (TV_2013)
If I Had Wings (2012)
The Dark Place (2014)
If I Stay (2014)
Mimi & Me (2014, short)
My Life as a Dead Girl (TV-2015)
G.U.M. (2015, short)
Jim Henson’s Turkey Hollow (TV-2015)
PLAN b (VR-2016, short)
Counter Act (2016, short)
The Hollow Child (2017)
The Dating List (TV-2019)

Speech & Debate (2020, short)
Speech & Debate: Legacy (2021, short)

TV Series – Cast:
Eve of Destruction (2013, mini-series)
The 100 (2014-2016)
The UnREAL (2015-2018)

TV Series – Guest appearances:
Jeremiah (2002)
The Dead Zone 2003)
The 4400 (2004, 2005)
Masters of Horror (2005)
Supernatural (2005, 2018)
Saved (2006)
Caprica (2009, 2010)
Fringe (2010)
The Killing (2011)
R.L. Stine’s the Haunting Hour (2011)
Emily Owens M.D. (2012)
Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce (2014)
iZombie (2016)
THe X Files (2018)

Mount Pleasant, movie, poster

Harrison Houde

Harrison Houde, actor,

B: March 26, 1996 in Vancouver, British Columbia

Harrison Houde is a composer and actor. We list his credits as an actor first.

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

Diary of a Wimpy Kid (2010)
A Fairly Odd Movie: Grow Up, Timmy Turner! (TV-2011)
Noah 2: Go Forth and Multiply (2014, short)
Pants on Fire (TV-2014)
I Dare You (2016, short)
The Samaritan (2017, short)
Summer of 84 (2018)
Vinny’s Girl (2018, short)
Buttonwillow (2019, short)

Guiltless (2021)

TV Series – Cast:
Finding Stuff Out (2012-2014)
Some Assembly Required (2014-2016)
The Bowie Showie (2016, mini-series)

TV Series – Guest appearances:
Untold Stories of the ER (2010)
Spooksville (2013, 2014)
Rogue (2017)
iZombie (2018)
The Hollow (2018)
Dumpcake Comedy (2018)
Bazerk! (2019)

Credits as a Composer:
I Dare You (2016, short)
Excelsior (2018, short)
Vinny’s Girl (2018, short)

TV Series:
Finding Stuff Out (2012-2014)

Summer of 84, movie, poster,

Ishan Davé

Ishan Davé, actor,

B: November 7, 1989 in Thornhill, Ontario

Ishan Davé’s family is from Gujarat, a western state in India. Born in Ontario, he is a graduate of Montréal’s National Theatre School. He began acting when he was 13 landing his first role, that of Sandi Bhutella in the series Renegadepress.com and going to appear in 52 episodes between 2004 and 2008. He was nominated in 2006 and again in 2007 for a Canadian Screen Award in the category Best Performance in a Children’s or Youth Program or Series for his work on Renegadepress.com. He played the role of Detective Pujit Singh in the series Slasher and he was Raj Mehta, a recurring character in 8 episodes of Kim’s Convenience between 2017 and 2020.

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

Charlie Bartlett (2007)

Made of Things My Eyes Could See (2016, short)
Mouthpiece (2018)
Argos (2018, short)

Succor (2020, short)
Sugar Daddy (2020)
Peregrine (2020, short)
Pleasure Garden (2021, short)
A Man and a Woman (2021)

TV Series – Cast:
Renegadepress.com (2004-2008)

TV Series – Guest appearances:
Degrassi: The Next Generation (2005, 2006)

Young Drunk Punk (2015)
Kim’s Convenience (2017, 2018, 2019, 2020)
Slasher (2019)
Hudson & Rex (2019)

Band Ladies (2020)

Mouthpiece, movie, poster,

Alex Woods

Alex Woods, actor,

B: February 8, 1983 in Montréal, Québec

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

The Last Casino (TV-2004)
Dirty Laundry (2006, short)
Citizen Duane (2006)
Prom Wars (2008)
Burning Mussolini (2009)

Project Ithaca (2019)
Queen of the Morning Calm (2019)

SKIN (2020)

TV Series – Guest appearances:
11 Somerset (2004)
The Business (2006)
The Dead Zone (2007)
Degrassi: The Next Generation (2009)
Retail (2009)

Rookie Blue (2012)
Nikita (2013)
Covert Affairs (2013)
The Expanse (2017)
Private Eyes (2019)

Frankie Drake Mysteries (2021)

Project Ithaca, movie, poster,

Kímmapiiyipitssini: The Meaning of Empathy

Kímmapiiyipitssini: The Meaning of Empathy, image, documentary,
Still image from Kímmapiiyipitssini: The Meaning of Empathy courtesy of NFB and Hot Docs.

125 minutes – Documentary
Language: English, Blackfoot, some subtitles
Festival release date: April 29, 2021 (Hot Docs, Toronto, Virtual)
Release date: TBA
Production companies: Seen Through Woman Productions, National Film Board of Canada
Canadian distributor: National Film Board of Canada

Elle–Máijá Tailfeathers’ film, Kímmapiiyipitssini: The Meaning of Empathy, witnesses radical and profound change in her community. It is an intimate portrait of survival, love and the collective work of healing in the Kainai First Nation in Southern Alberta, a Blackfoot community facing the impacts of substance use and a drug-poisoning epidemic. Community members active in addiction and recovery, first responders and medical professionals implement harm reduction to save lives. This work is contextualized within the historical and contemporary impacts of settler colonialism; Kimmapiyiipitssini: The Meaning of Empathy draws a line between the effects of colonial violence on Blackfoot land and people and the ongoing substance-use crisis. Held in love and hope for the future, Kimmapiyiipitssini: The Meaning of Empathy asks the audience to be a part of this remarkable change with the community.

No poster available, image,



David Christensen
Lori Lozinski
Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers

Executive Producer:

David Christensen


Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers


Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers


Patrick McLaughlin


Hans Olson


Chandra Melting Tallow

Cast: Roles:

To be updated.

Hell or Clean Water

Hell of Clean Water, image, movie, documentary,

88 minutes – Documentary
Language: English
Festival release date: April 29, 2021 (Hot Docs, Toronto, Virtual, World Premiere)
Release date: TBA
Production company: Little Heat Films
North American distributor: IndieCan Entertainment

Shawn Bath is an unlikely environmentalist. Just 10 years ago he was throwing garbage out his truck window. But as a commercial diver in Newfoundland, Shawn has seen “everything that mankind doesn’t want”. The harbours in the province are full of tires, bottles, boat parts and fishing equipment, a world wide problem that is “out of sight, out of mind”. After meeting his girlfriend Staunene, Shawn has a change of heart and is now hell bent on cleaning up the trash that’s littering the bottom of the Atlantic. He quits his job and devotes all his time and energy into his new cause Clean Harbours Initiative, relying solely on donations while he tries to secure government funding. The problem? He only has $9 in his bank account, creditors are calling daily and the funds aren’t coming in fast enough. Shawn is also a former seal hunter and one of the first groups to step up and help with his cause is the International Fund For Animal Welfare, an animal rights group that is against the commercial seal hunt, and therefore hated in Newfoundland. But Shawn will take help from anyone willing to assist him in cleaning up the mammoth issue of trash in his beloved ocean. In this David and Goliath story, Shawn risks everything to keep his waters clean. But with so much to care about in the world today, will the help ever arrive?

No poster available, image,



Jennifer Hawley

Executive Producer:

Lynne Wilson
Jill Knox-Gosse


Cody Westman


Cody Westman


Troy Maher


Justin Simms

Cast: Roles:

Shawn Bath
Staunene Whelan
Athur Pond
Bob Legge
Holly Hogan


Ann Shin to Open Hot Docs 2021

Ann Shin to Open Hot Docs 2021, image,
Image from A.rtificial I.mmortality courtesy of Hot Docs.

Ann Shin to Open Hot Docs 2021
by Staff

(March 23, 2021 – Toronto, ON) – Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival has announced their full lineup of films for the 2021 Festival, which will run online from April 29 to May 9 at hotdocs.ca. For the first time festival screenings will be available across Canada. From 2,300 film submissions, this year’s slate will present 219 films from 66 countries in 12 programs, with 50 per cent of the directors in the Festival program being women.
“Documentaries are vitally important to helping us understand the world we live in, and to build bridges of understanding across cultural, social and political divides, particularly at this unprecedented moment in time,” said Shane Smith, director of programming for Hot Docs. “This year’s Hot Docs program features the best in outspoken, outstanding documentary storytelling from 66 countries, all of which will connect us to each other in ways that inspire, inform and illuminate.”
Ann Shin, director,
The opening night film is from Hot Docs regular, Ann Shin. By regular we mean this will be her third film at Hot Docs and it’s a World Premiere for A.rtificial I.mmortality, which reveals how our memories can be digitized and uploaded into digital clones. Examinging the latest advancements in AI, robotics and biotech. A.rtificial I.mmortality features Nick Bostrom, author of Superintelligence; Japanese roboticist, Hiroshi Ishiguro; Douglas Rushkoff, author of Team Human; Ben Goertzel, founder of Singularity.net; and Deepak Chopra, who is creating his own A.I. mind twin. A.rtificial I.mmortality also screens with the Canadian Spectrum program, which we pay a lot of attention to since Canadian is our main focus.

Image from Kímmapiiyipitssini: The Meaning of Empathy courtesy of Hot Docs.

Some other films in the Canadian Spectrum program include Dropstones, an emotional film about a mother who returns to Newfoundland’s stunning Fogo Island to raise her two sons after fleeing an abusive relationship years ago; Spirit to Soar, a follow up to journalist Tanya Talaga’s award-winning book, which sees her return to Thunder Bay after the inquest into the deaths of seven First Nations high school students; Hell or Clean Water from director Cody Westman tells the fascinating story of Newfoundland diver Shawn Bath who dedicates himself to cleaning up the province’s polluted shores by himself. He’s already removed 15,000 pounds of garbage single-handedly; and Grey Roads, a thoughtful journey that follows Toronto filmmaker Jesse McCracken, who grew up in rural Ontario, as he travels back to his hometown to document its dissolution while trying to reconnect with his father and grandfather, his only family left there; and Kímmapiiyipitssini: The Meaning of Empathy from award-winning filmmaker and actor Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers, who turns the camera on her own community of the Kainai First Nation in Alberta to document their fight against the opioid crisis. It is one of four films from the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) at Hot Docs this year. There are more films, including a program of shorts in The Canadian Spectrum program, which is sponsored by TVO.

There is more information online for all of the programs at Hot Docs 2021 including the Big Ideas series, Hot Docs’ newly commissioned Citizen Minutes project, the new theme program Systems Down, Special Presentations program, which we have previously reported on, the competitive International Spectrum program, the World Showcase program, the Artscapes program, the Nightvision program, which features what programmers believe will become future cult classics, the Persister program, the Systems Down program, the Deep Dive program, which features two long-form documentaries told over multiple episodes, the Markers program, which features experimental films that take bold liberties with the documentary form, the Changing Face of Europe program and the Made In Colombia program. Phew… Click here to learn more about the 2021 Hot Docs Festival.

Another Win for Denis Côté

Another Win for Denis Côté, image,
Still photo from Hygiène Sociale courtesy of Inspiratrice & Commandan.

Another Win for Denis Côté
by Maurie Alioff – Quebec Correspondent

(March 23, 2021 – Montréal, Québec) An award-winning presence on the international film festival scene for years, Denis Côté was named Best Director in the Encounters section of this year’s Berlinale. Côté’s latest, Social Hygiene, which premiered at the Berlin Fest, is in the line of his minimalist, quietly provocative films telling off-centre stories about marginalized people who often live in marginalized places. I doubt that Côté would ever shoot a scene in a sleek Montreal restaurant, or gawk over pristinely beautiful Quebec locales. When Côté, a diehard city dweller, goes country, he depicts a world of motels, bars and junkyards set in an austere, lonesome hinterland.

Movies like Les États nordiques (2005), Nos vies privée (2007) Curling (2010), and Vic + Flo ont vu un ours (Vic + Flo Saw A Bear, 2013) have earned audience respect and jury hardware at festivals from Atlantic Canada to Locarno, Switzerland. Accentuating his cred as an indie challenger of audience expectations, his docs Carcasses (2009) and Bestiaire (2012) delight the kind of arthouse audiences drawn to Locarno’s outdoor, late summer screenings in the Plaza Grande.

Bestiaire consists almost entirely of long takes of animals in a Quebec zoo. No words, no music. You stare at the beasts, and they stare back at you. Côté doesn’t avoid the fact that he was on the edge of exploitation with Carcasses. A no-bullshit, anarchistic spirit, he even wisecracks about some of the festivals that venerate him. “It’s the art that matters,” he once told me, “You sometimes feel that you could film a toilet bowel, and they would take it.”
Social Hygiene, movie, poster,
Côté’s latest Berlin prize-winner, Social Hygiene, features Maxim Gaudette, (the mass-murderer in Denis Villeneuve’s Polytechnique) as a young intellectual snagged in volatile relationships with his wife and two other women. They push him to settle down and plant his feet on the ground. He’d rather sleep in cars and stick up tourists.

Because of the picture’s title and scenes in which characters yell at each other from what seems like social distance, viewers surmised that Social Hygiene was intended to be some kind of wry comment on the Plague Year. But in fact, Côté developed the idea and wrote the script well before the virus. “I admit that it’s very pandemic-approved,” Côté joked to The Hollywood Reporter.

A mentor to writer-director Matthew Rankin (The Twentieth Century) and friend of Denis Villeneuve and Xavier Dolan, Côté is more than aware of opportunities beyond the bubble he lives and works in. But apart from a medical condition, Côté’s impulses guide him away from Hollywood, not toward it. “I see films like [Villeneuve’s] Arrival,” he told a reporter, “and I am not jealous. I am just completely outside that. I guess that I am just this cinephile guy who wants to experiment, and Hollywood is not my playground.”

Watch the trailer and learn more about the cast & crew of Social Hygiene.

Northernstars logo image Maurie Alioff is a film journalist, critic, screenwriter and media columnist. He has written for radio and television and taught screenwriting at Montreal’s Vanier College. A former editor for Cinema Canada and Take One, as well as other magazines, he is affiliated with the Quebec media industry publication, CTVM.Info. His articles have appeared in various publications, including Canadian Cinematographer, POV Magazine, and The New York Times. He is the Québec Correspondent for Northernstars.ca.

COVID – In Focus

COVID 19 - In Focus, image,
Filmmakers participating in the Greetings From Isolation Film Festival.

COVID 19 – In Focus
by Staff

(March 22, 2021 – Toronto, ON) Let’s hope this pandemic is a once in a lifetime event. Whether it is or isn’t doesn’t change the fact that it should be documented and that’s the thinking behind the Greetings From Isolation Film Festival, or GFI.

Created by Canadian veteran film programmer Stacey Donen in the hopes of finding inspiration and enlightenment from our shared human experience of isolation under COVID-19, GFI contains the work of 91 Canadian filmmakers spread across 13 different programs.

Filmmakers include Matthew Rankin, the director of the TIFF award-winning The Twentieth Century; Brett Story, director of the award-winning The Prison in Twelve Landscapes and recently The Hottest August; Alan Zweig, TIFF award-winning filmmaker and Best Documentary Canadian Screen Award for A Hard Name; Katerina Cizek, an Emmy and Peabody-winning director of the documentary Highrise; Daniel Cross, founder of EyeSteelFilm and the CSA winner for I am the Blues; Ann Marie Fleming’s first film You Take Care Now, is on the Essential Works in Canadian Cinema list as one of the top 10 Canadian short films of all time. Her most recent film is the animated Window Horses starring Sandra Oh; John Greyson’s feature Lilies was nominated for 14 CSA’s and won Best Motion Picture; Yuqi Kang, winner of best Canadian feature documentary At Hot Docs for A Little Wisdom; Ali Kazimi, a Governor General’s Award winner and director of the ground-breaking documentary Continuous Journey; Elizabeth Lazebnik has made over 10 short films, with 3 of them premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival and Festival du Cinema Nouveau; and Peter Lynch director of the CSA winning cult film Project Grizzly.

Stacey Donen programmed Canadian cinema for The Toronto International Film Festival from 1999 to 2006. Also, with the Festival Group he was the original programme co-ordinator of Canada’s Top Ten, and a programme consultant for Film Circuit where he programmed the Canadian Short Film Showcase and initiated special screenings in Halifax, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto and Vancouver. He was the Director of Programming at The Royal Theatre in Toronto for seven years, was the founding director of programming for the Voices Forward Festival, programmed a special Canadian sidebar at FebioFest in Prague and Les Rendez-vous du Cinéma Québécois, and from 2009 to 2011was the Artistic Director of the Whistler Film Festival.

The Greetings From Isolation Film Festival runs until April 5th. All programmes, panels and interviews are free of charge and can be found online at the Greetings From Isolation website.

Kathleen Fortin

Kathleen Fortin, actress,

Kathleen Fortin graduated from the National Theatre School in 1997 and has had success in film, television and on stage. Some of her stage work includes La mouette (Théâtre Nouveau Monde, TMN), Une truite pour Ernestine Shuswap (Espace GO), Rêvez, montagnes!(Espacelibre), Opium_37 (Quat’sous), YEL (héâtre Prospéro), Le Roi se meurt (TNM), Les voisins (héâtre Rougemont) and Tout ce qui n’est pas sec (Théâtre de Quat’sous). She is also a prominent figure in Québec musical theatre. She was a cast member of the highly acclaimed Belles-Sœurs show which was hugely successful in Paris and across Québec. In 2019, she was in the show Chansons pour filles et boys perdus at the Théâtre d’Aujourd’hui, Le Meilleur des Mondes at the Denise-Pelletier Theater and on tour with André Gagnon’s Les 4 Saisons. She was nominated for a 2018 Prix Gémeaux in the Best Supporting Actress category for her performance in Olivier.

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

Les fantômes des Trois Madeleine (2000)
Dans une galaxie près de chez vous – Le film (2004)
Maman est chez le coiffeur (2008)
Cruising Bar 2 (2008)

Les mercredis de Rose (2010, short)
Mars et Avril (2012)
L’affaire Dumont (2012)
Je ne suis pas un grand acteur (2013, short)
Jaune automne (2014, short)
Avant les rues (voice, 2016)
Cité Mémoire (VR-2016, short)

Hygiène Sociale (2021)

TV Series – Cast:
Les invincibles (2007-2009)

Mon meilleur ami (2013, mini-series)
Le berceau des anges (2015, mini-series)
Au secours de Béatrice (2015-2016)
Fatale-Station (2016-2017)
Col Bleu (2017, mini-series)
Unité 9 (2018)

Épidémie (2020)

TV Series – Guest appearances:
François en série (2006, 2007)

19-2 (2015)
Madame Lebrun (2015, 2019)
Ça décolle! (2016)
Olivier (2017)
L’Âge adulte (2018)

Mon fils (2020)

Social Hygiene, movie, poster,

Éléonore Loiselle

Éléonore Loiselle, actress,

Éléonore Loiselle is a young actor at the beginning of her career. She plays the role of Aurore in the 2021 feature Hygiène Sociale, which brought Denis Côté a Best Director Award at the 2021 Belin International Film Festival.

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

Dérive (aka The Far Shore, 2018)

La déesse des mouches à feu (2020
Hygiène Sociale (2021)

TV Series – Cast:
Meilleur avant (2020, mini-series)

TV Series – Guest appearances:

Social Hygiene, movie, poster,

Evelyne Rompré

Evelyne Rompré, actress, actrice,

B: March 4, 1975 in Québec City, Québec

Evelyne Rompré plays the role in the 2021 feature Hygiène Sociale, which brought its director Denis Coté a Best Director award at the 2021 Berlin International Film Festival.

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

L’Hypothèse rivale (1997, short)
Un 32 août sur terre (1998)
iane Dufresne: L’enfant de la lumière (VR-1999, short)

Inséparables (2000, short)
Une jeune fille à la fenêtre (2001)
Histoire de famille (2006)
C’est pas moi, je le jure! (2008)

2 fois une femme (2010)
Cinéma des aveugles (2010, short)
La fête (2015, short)
Aimé (2019, short)

Le Rire (2020)
Hygiène Social (2021)

TV Series – Cast:
Temps dur (2004)
René Lévesque (2006, mini-series)
Karl & Max (2015)

TV Series – Guest appearances:
Cauchemar D’amour (2001)
Au nom de la loi (2005)
La Job (2006)
Stan et ses stars (2008)

Olivier (2017)
Les Invisibles (2019)
Cerebrum (2019)

Social Hygiene, movie, poster,

Larissa Corriveau

Larissa Corriveau, actress,
Photo by Lawrence Fafard.

B: in Québec

Larissa Corriveau played the role of Adèle in Ghost Town Anthology and Solveig in Hygiène sociale, both films written and directed by Denis Côté

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

Le banquet (2008)
La queue du train (2008, short)
Polytechnique (2009)

Ville-Marie (2015)
Nelly (2016)
Une visite (2016, short)
Une vie à vivre (2017, short)
The Pharmacist (2018, short)
Une jeune fille et la mer (2018, short)
Ghost Town Anthology (2019)

Hygiène Sociale
Les grandes claques (2021, short)

TV Series – Cast:
Meilleur avant (2020, mini-series)

TV Series – Guest appearances:
Les hauts et les bas de Sophie Paquin (2009)
Trauma (2011)
Léo (2018)

Larissa Corriveau is represented by:
Agence M
C.P. 477 Montréal Place d’Armes
Montréal, Québec, Canada
H2Y 3H3

Phone: 514.273.6806
Email: info(at)agencem.com

Social Hygiene, movie, poster,

OIAF Wants Your Work

OIAF, image

OIAF Wants Your Work
by Staff

(March 17, 2021 – Ottawa, ON) The Ottawa International Animation Festival (OIAF) is now accepting film entries for the 2021 festival competition. Animated films completed after May 29, 2020 are eligible for entry and the deadline to submit is May 31, 2021. Entry or registration is free.

From September 22 to 26, North America’s leading animation festival will turn Ottawa into the centre of the animation universe, bringing together artists, students, guests, and talent to create a premier event that will innovate and inspire everyone who attends. OIAF invites animators from all around the world to showcase their recent work in the following major categories:

Animated feature
Independent animated short
Student animation
Commissioned animation
Short animation for young audiences (0-5)
Short animation for young audiences (6-12)
Virtual reality animation
Animated series

Submissions must be entered through the OIAF’s new entry form powered by Eventival (no other method will be accepted) and may only be submitted to one competition category. Films must be available as a streamable online screener link which must remain accessible until the end of July; anything submitted as a file, download, or dead link will automatically be disqualified for entry.

“Well it’s that time again,” says Chris Robinson, OIAF Artistic Director, “and despite the Pandemic, we’ve seen no sign of animators slowly down, either in the industry or on the independent side. It’s been quite remarkable to see how animators have adapted and continued to flourish. We expect to see the same level of quality from this year’s submissions …though we’re fully expecting a lot more films about living in a Pandemic!”

Each year the OIAF receives more than 2000 entries that are each reviewed by the festival’s programming team. Approximately 150 films will be chosen for Official Competition and Out-of-Competition Showcase screenings. In addition to category prizes, submissions will also be considered for a variety of craft awards.

For more information, including festival rules and more details about submission, please visit the OIAF website.

SOURCE: Ottawa International Animation Festival

Hot Docs Announces 13

Hot Docs, image,

Hot Docs Announces 13
by Staff

(Matrch 16, 2021 – Toronto, ON) Hot Docs, North America’s largest documentary festival, conference and market, has announced 13 documentary features that will screen in this year’s Special Presentations program. Special Presentations features a high-profile collection of world and international premieres, award winners from the recent international festival circuit and works by master filmmakers or featuring star subjects. The 2021 Hot Docs Festival will be available for audiences across Canada to stream on the Hot Docs at Home VOD platform, available at hotdocs.ca, from April 29 – May 9.

Notable subjects featured as part of the Special Presentations program sponsored by Crave, include comedians Margaret Cho, Fortune Feimster, Marina Franklin, Nikki Glaser, Jessica Kirson, Sherri Shepherd, Iliza Shlesinger, and more, in a film about female comics taking the male-dominated world of stand-up by storm directed by Andrea Nevins (Hysterical); Canadian designer, innovator, and educator Bruce Mau (Mau); and American writer Stewart Brand, a tech visionary known for publishing American counterculture magazine The Whole Earth Catalogue and founding of THE WELL, a virtual community that was a precursor to the internet (We Are As Gods).

This year’s Special Presentations will include the international premieres of Homeroom, in which Emmy Award-winning director and cinematographer Peter Nicks captures the anxieties and stress of a senior high school class navigating the unprecedented challenges of the 2020 school year; Sundance Grand Jury Prize winner In the Same Breath, an investigation into COVID-19’s origins and the leadership that misled the world about the global health crisis; Rebel Hearts, the story of a group of nuns in the 1960s who stood up to the patriarchy of the Catholic Church; Street Gang: How We Got to Sesame Street, an inspiring look inside the minds and hearts of the creators, artists, writers, and educators of Sesame Street; and WeWork: Or the Making and Breaking of a $47 Billion Unicorn, which explores the rise and fall of one of the biggest corporate flameouts and venture capitalist bubbles in recent years, WeWork, and its hippie-messianic leader Adam Neumann.

Special Presentation titles appear below, ordered alphabetically:

D: Daniel Andreas Sager | P: Marc Bauder | Germany | 2021 | 90 mins | North American Premiere
For the first time, cameras embed with the German investigative unit that broke the explosive Panama Papers story, following the journalists’ pursuit of the truth behind the political assassination of a Maltese reporter and yet another history-making financial scandal.

D: Stanley Nelson | P: Stanley Nelson, Cameo George, Naimah Jabali-Nash, Keith Brown, Nicole London | EP: Marcia Smith | USA | 2020 | 90 mins | Special Screening
A cheap, powerful drug emerges during a recession, igniting a moral panic fueled by racism. Acclaimed filmmaker Stanley Nelson explores the complex history of crack in the 1980s. Includes exclusive Q&A with Hot Docs Outstanding Achievement Award recipient Stanley Nelson.

D: Peter Nicks | P: Sean Havey | USA | 2020 | 90 mins | International Premiere
The resilience and optimism of Oakland High School’s 2020 senior class is captured in verité footage and social media videos as they confront anxieties over test scores, growing demands for social justice and the unprecedented uncertainty of a rapidly spreading pandemic.

D: Andrea Nevins | P: Rebecca Evans, Carolina Groppa, Ross M. Dinerstein | USA | 2021 | 88 mins | International Premiere
Hysterical is a backstage pass into the lives of the hilarious, boundary-breaking women shattering stand-up comedy’s glass ceiling. Featuring Margaret Cho, Fortune Feimster, Marina Franklin, Nikki Glaser, Jessica Kirson, Sherri Shepherd, Iliza Shlesinger, and more. Premiering on FX Canada this summer.

D: Nanfu Wang | P: Nanfu Wang, Jialing Zhang, Julie Goldman, Christopher Clements, Carolyn Hepburn | USA | 2021 | 95 mins | International Premiere
Nanfu Wang’s (director of One Child Nation, winner of Sundance’s Grand Jury Prize) searing investigation into COVID-19’s origins and spread exposes not only a global crisis of misinformation, but the leadership that misled the world about a still-unfolding emergency.

D: Benji Bergmann, Jono Bergmann | P: Karol Martesko-Fenster | Austria, USA | 2021 | 76 mins | International Premiere
Revolutionary Canadian designer Bruce Mau reveals truths that have shaped his long and expansive career, from designing sustainable platforms to social movements. His way of seeing could be just what’s needed in this critical time in history.

D: Paul Kemp | P: Corey Russell, Paul Kemp | Canada | 2021 | 80 mins | North American Premiere
Alberto Salazar was a coaching legend until his recent doping ban shocked the running world. Did his “Just Do It” attitude and questionable practices push the limits of human performance and technology too far?

D: Pedro Kos | P: Shawnee Isaac-Smith, Kira Carstensen, Judy Korin | USA | 2021 | 103 mins | International Premiere
A group of pioneering nuns in 1960s Los Angeles stood up to the patriarchy in such revolutionary ways, demanding pay cheques, marching on Selma and making political pop art, they would change Catholicism and the face of faith forever.

D: Marilyn Agrelo | P: Trevor Crafts, Ellen Scherer Crafts, Lisa Diamond | USA | 2021 | 107 mins | International Premiere
Featuring exclusive behind-the-scenes footage, this inspiring journey takes us inside the minds and hearts of Sesame Street creators, artists, writers and educators, who together established one of the most influential and enduring children’s programs in television history.

D: Loira Limbal | P: Loira Limbal, Jameka Autry | USA | 2020 | 72 mins | Ontario Premiere
Working multiple jobs, desperate to make ends meet for their families, two New York mothers drop off their children at a 24-hour daycare centre run by a woman that binds the neighbourhood together.

D: Sagi Bornstein, Udi Nir | P: Christian Beetz, Sagi Bornstein, Udi Nir | Germany, Israel | 2021 | 75 mins | World Premiere
Seven young people from across the world were innocently uploading shiny bright 2020 plans when “virus” started trending. Over a year’s worth of real-time posts and massive reality checks chart their innocent optimism and surprising resilience to a global change no one saw coming.

D: David Alvarado, Jason Sussberg | P: David Alvarado, Kate McLean, Jamie Meltzer, Jason Sussberg | USA | 2021 | 95 mins | Canadian Premiere
Environmental iconoclast Stewart Brand believes re-engineering woolly mammoth DNA and “de-extinction science” could reverse climate change. Is he an oracle envisioning a brave new world or will his controversial views cement him as eco-pariah?

D: Jed Rothstein | P: Ross Dinerstein | USA | 2020 | 101 mins | International Premiere
Utilizing interviews with journalists, experts, high-ranking former employees and former members Wework: Or the Making and Breaking of a $47 Billion Unicorn explores the rise and fall of one of the biggest corporate flameouts and venture capitalist bubbles in recent years—the story of WeWork, and its hippie-messianic leader Adam Neumann.

The full Festival lineup, including the opening night film, will be announced March 23. At that time, Festival ticket package holders, including Doc Soup subscribers, can redeem their ticket packages, and Hot Docs Members can purchase single tickets. Ticket packages and passes are now on sale online. Single ticket sales open to the public on March 30.

SOURCE: Hot Docs

Ben Proudfoot

B: October 29, 1990 in Halifax, Nova Scotia

Ben Proudfoot is an Emmy-winning filmmaker. His short film A Concerto is a Conversation was executive produced by Oscar-nominated and Emmy-winning filmmaker Ava DuVernay. It tells the story of virtuoso jazz pianist and film composer Kris Bowers as he tracks his family’s lineage through his 91-year-old grandfather from Jim Crow Florida to the Walt Disney Concert Hall. A Concerto is a Conversation had its festival debut at the all-virtual 2021 Sundance Film Festival and in mid-March 2021 was nominated for Best Documentary Short Subject at the 93rd Academy Awards®. He was quoted in an August 2020 interview by Karina Michel Feld, Executive Producer of Tallulah Films and published on the website Thrive Global saying, “I am hyper focused on creating an economy around short documentary — which I think is the most efficient way not only to tell important stories at scale but also create an on-ramp for storytellers who wouldn’t otherwise be invited into the film industry.

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

Dinner with Fred (2011, short)
ink&paper (2012, short, documentary)
A Day in the Life of Ramon Miramontes (TV-2012, documentary)
The Ox (2015, short, documentary)
Stone (2015, short, documentary)
Turns (2015, short, documentary)
Made with Unity: Thomas (VR-2015, short)
Made with Unity: The Northways (2015, short)
Made with Unity: Friend & Foe (2015, short)
Rust (2015, short, documentary)
Mother Earth (2015, short, documentary)
Ladybug (2015, short, documentary)
Fibre & Wood (2015, short, documentary)
Lovers Conquered All (TV-2015, Haven: Origins Series)
Why This Road: Dan Portelance (2016, short)
Rwanda & Juliet (2016, documentary)
Flying High: Keith Roudebush (2017, short, documentary)
Why Not Now: John Henry (2017, short, documentary)
Why Not Now: Susan Kurtik (2017, short, documentary)
Lost at Sea (2017, short)
Kunstglaser (2017, short)
A Love Letter to Lisbon (2017, short)
Still Here (2018, short)
The Catalyte Story (2018, short)
George (2018, short)
H. Salt (2019, short, documentary)
Beautifully Savage (2019, short)
That’s My Jazz (2019, short, documentary)
Kim I Am (TV-2019, Almost Famous Series)
The Other Fab Four (TV-2019, Almost Famous Series)
The Lost Astronaut (TV-2019, Almost Famous Series)

A Concerto Is a Conversation (2020, short, documentary)

TV Series:
Inside Haven (2013)
Haven: Darkside Seekers (2013, mini-series)

Credits as a Screenwriter:
Dinner with Fred (2011, short)
Rwanda & Juliet (2016, documentary)
A Concerto Is a Conversation (2020, short, documentary)

TV Series:
Haven: Darkside Seekers (2013, mini-series)

A Concerto is a Conversation, movie, poster,

Otherly Starts Today

Otherly Starts Today, image,

Otherly Starts Today
by Staff

(March 15, 2021 – Toronto, ON) Otherly is a series of seven creative documentaries about finding one’s place in the 21st century. It’s also the first-ever collaboration between the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) and POV Spark. Using universal themes like love, inclusion and loss as entry points, the seven creators have crafted works that are at once timeless and yet by definition of their form, ephemeral. Otherly amplifies perspectives from a group of underexposed creators, namely women, non-binary and genderqueer identifying folx.

“The NFB continues to explore creative non-fiction storytelling and to amplify new, diverse voices on new platforms,” said NFB executive producer Anita Lee. “We are thrilled to have worked with our likeminded partner POV Spark to create these thoughtful, original works that redefine and play with form, and reach audiences on Instagram Stories.”

“We’re excited to bring these deeply personal stories of belonging and identity to the Instagram platform, challenging the confines of where and how films can be distributed and interacted with,” said POV Spark executive producer Opeyemi Olukemi. “The entire process of producing Otherly has been a stimulating exercise in striking a balance for meaningful content in the ephemeral age of social media. As we release them to the public, we’re looking forward to the different ways audiences will respond.”

Otherly features the following creators and stories:

Otherly Starts Today, image,

A generation of Tamil youth find freedom and community in Parked: Seeking Refuge in Our Cars by Toronto writer and researcher Mirusha Yogarajah. (5 min 52 s, Canada) Premieres March 15, 2021 – 11 a.m. PST / 2 p.m. EST.

An artist and filmmaker from North Carolina, Shanghai and Hong Kong whose work explores the intersections of race, sexuality and modern media, Em Yue looks at coming out and the unconditional love between siblings in Elaine Is Almost. (13 min 3 s, US) Premieres March 17, 2021 – 11 a.m. PST / 2 p.m. EST.

Love Is the First Sacred Lesson is a first-person documentary that follows Montreal artist Jess Murwin’s journey to connect and reconcile the different parts of their identity: queer, trans, Mi’kmaw. (6 min 50 s, Canada) Premieres March 19, 2021 – 11 a.m. PST / 2 p.m. EST.

NYC-based Tristan Angieri’s Integrate.Me explores the use of an experimental therapy to treat Tristan’s PTSD, as they learn to navigate being queer and trans. (9 min 31 s, US) Premieres March 22, 2021 – 11 a.m. PST / 2 p.m. EST.

Otherly Starts Today, image,

In Toronto-based character-maker and multidisciplinary artist Grace An’s Papier Accordéon, two friends in different cities spend their time together from a distance. (7 min 10 s, Canada) Screening in segments throughout the day of March 24, 2021; start time TBC.

​In A Portrait of Tracy, Hong Kong-born, Vancouver creator and producer Joanne Lam explores the echoes of childhood memory from an immigrant’s perspective: what is lost to time and distance, and what remains. (5 min 50 s, Canada) Premieres March 26, 2021 – 11 a.m. PST / 2 p.m. EST.

FaceTime by Emmy-nominated Los Angeles-based director and sound designer Jackie! Zhou follows Andy and Farrah Su as they navigate their individual identities, chosen family and relationship as bi-coastal siblings. (US) A five-part series of 6-to-10-minute episodes premiering daily from March 29 to April 2, 2021 – 11 a.m. PST / 2 p.m. EST.

Using techniques ranging from experimental to live action to animation, these films have been produced specifically for Instagram Stories. The transient quality of Stories is a direct juxtaposition to the lasting impression these stories will leave, a fact not lost on the filmmakers as they create the perfect blend of the medium and its message.

Otherly is the result of a call for submissions in the spring of 2019 for proposals for boundary-pushing Instagram Stories on the theme of “belonging” by visionary women, non-binary and genderqueer storytellers from Canada and the United States. A total of 169 submissions were received. Click here for Otherly on Instagram.

Otherly is a co-production of the NFB and POV Spark. The NFB’s production team includes Kate Vollum (associate producer), David Oppenheim (producer) and Anita Lee (executive producer). The POV Spark production team features Aja Evans (associate producer), Akmyrat Tuyliyev (producer) and Opeyemi Olukemi (executive producer).


Little Orphans

80 minutes – Drama
Language: English
Festival release date: October 14, 2020 (St.John’s International Women’s Film Festival)
Release date: March 23, 2021 – on VOD and all Canadian digital platforms.
Production company: Imagine That Productions
Canadian distributor: Game Theory Films

The wedding of their youngest sister, Janet, brings Gwen and Kay home to St. John’s, Newfoundland. While Janet struggles to hide her family’s dysfunction, Kay can’t help but create chaos wherever she goes and Gwen finds herself paralyzed by a past secret. The complicated web of relationships between the sisters, their Aunt Maureen, their absent mother, and Kay’s young daughter Billie, is only illuminated by the wedding. Gwen’s attempts to get Kay to take responsibility for her daughter highlights her own abandonment of her ex, Tom, leading them all to a not-so-perfect storm of a reception.

Little Orphans was selected to open the St.John’s International Women’s Film Festival in October 2020 and will be part of the Female Eye Film Festival at 8pm on Encore+, March 21, 2021.

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

Cast: Roles:

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