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Daniel Roher

Once Were Brothers on Crave, image,
Daniel Roher, Robbie Robertson, Brian Grazer, Ron Howard at TIFF 2019. Photo © 2019 by Maurie Alioff.

B: in Toronto, Ontario

Daniel Roher’s 2019 documentary Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band was selected as the Opening Gala Film at the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival. We list his credits as a Director first.

Also see: TIFF Picks – Take 2.
Also see: Once Were Brothers on Crave.

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

Never Far from Home (2011, short, documentary)
Kids of the Rocket Siren (2013, short, documentary)
Resolute (2014, Documentary)
Bashir’s Vision (2014, short, documentary)
Conversations with a Dead Prime Minister (2015, short, documentary)
Sourtoe: The Story of the Sorry Cannibal (2016, Short)
Ghosts of our Forest (2017, Documentary)
Brand Canada (2017, Documentary)
Dilveen (2018, short, documentary)
Finding Fukue (2018, short, documentary)
Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band (2019)

Credits as a Screenwriter:
Kids of the Rocket Siren (2013, short, documentary)
Resolute (2014, Documentary)
Bashir’s Vision (2014, short, documentary)

Credits as a Producer:
Kids of the Rocket Siren (2013, short, documentary)
Resolute (2014, Documentary)
Bashir’s Vision (2014, short, documentary)
Sourtoe: The Story of the Sorry Cannibal (2016, Short)
Ghosts of our Forest (2017, Documentary)
Sexual Being (Co-producer, 2017, short, documentary)
Dilveen (2018, short, documentary)


Once Were Brothers, movie, poster,

Hot Docs Reveals 2020 Lineup

Hot Docs Cinema, image,

Hot Docs Reveals 2020 Lineup
by Staff

(April 14, 2020 – Toronto, ON) It’s sort of a half announcement, but welcome news that organizers behind the 2020 Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival have announced this year’s full lineup of films. Originally scheduled to be revealed on March 24, the announcement was delayed when this year’s Festival, slated for April 30-May 10, was postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

We say it’s a half announcement because while we know what the films will be, there is still no firm dates as to when we’ll be able to see them. Hot Docs is continuing to investigate ways to bring the entire 2020 Festival lineup to Toronto audiences and will announce those plans when they are in place. The official selection is being announced at this time to honour and celebrate the hard work of the filmmakers and to support them as they seek opportunities in these difficult times.
Shane Smith, Hot Docs,
“Documentaries are vitally important to helping us understand the world we live in, particularly at this challenging moment in time,” said Shane Smith, director of programming for Hot Docs. “This year’s Hot Docs program features the best of global documentary storytelling from 63 countries, all of which will connect us to each other in ways that inspire, inform and illuminate.”

This year’s program was chosen from 3068 film submissions and features 226 films and 12 interdisciplinary projects from 63 countries in 18 programs,. It should be noted that 51 per cent of the directors are women.

As always, the selections fall into a number of different programs within the festival and the lineup is, as always, robust. Please note that all premiere statuses are accurate as of today, but might change at the time of the eventual screenings. Since this is a lot of information, we have decided not to insert photos.

This year’s Special Presentations program, sponsored by Crave, features world and international premieres, award-winners from the recent international festival circuit, works by master filmmakers and those featuring star subjects. Highlights include: the world premiere of Hong Kong Moments, which captures pro-democracy activists and armed police battling in the city’s streets; the international premiere of The Sit-In: Harry Belafonte Hosts the Tonight Show, which showcases a revolutionary moment in television history when the Jamaican pop star took over for Johnny Carson, inviting a host of Black artists to perform on network TV for the first time; and the world premiere of Meat the Future takes audiences inside the innovative Berkeley start-up Memphis Meats as it prepares to go mainstream with its lab-grown “cultured meat” products, made without killing animals.

The Special Presentations program also includes: the international premieres of Larry Flynt for President, a gripping look at the Hustler mogul’s polarizing 1990s presidential run; A Thousand Cuts, about internationally acclaimed press-freedom fighter Maria Ressa who navigates fake news punditry and arrest warrants to chronicle Philippine President Duterte’s extrajudicial war on drugs; and the world premiere of Power Trip, which follows Property Brother Jonathan Scott across America as he advocates for renewable solar energy solutions and exposes the politics protecting fossil fuels.

In the competitive Canadian Spectrum program, notable films include the world premieres of: There’s No Place Like This Place, Anyplace, a look at Toronto’s gentrification told through immigrant stories affected by the closure of discount store Honest Ed’s; The Walrus and the Whistleblower, which tells a stranger-than-fiction tale of a MarineLand animal trainer turned whistleblower who sparks an online movement to end marine mammal captivity; Under the Same Sun, a skillfully balanced exploration of humanity and hatred in the South Caucasus, a region plagued by aggressive nationalist movements; and The Dawnsayer, a tragic yet uplifting story about an eccentric old man whose plans to save humanity from nuclear disaster rest in a bunker of buried school buses. The Canadian Spectrum program is sponsored by TVO.

In the Competitive International Spectrum program, notable films include the world premieres of: Women of the Sun: A Chronology of Seeing, a moving profile of six housewives in an Iranian desert who film their fight for gender equality, higher incomes and personal freedom; Fadma: Even Ants Have Wings, which follows a progressive woman who instigates a village-wide cooking strike in a small Berber community in Morocco’s mountains; and The Wall of Shadows, the heartfelt story of a Nepalese Sherpa family that breaks a taboo to desperately earn money for their son’s education. International premieres in the program include: I Want You If You Dare, an unsentimental and refreshing look at a young woman with cerebral palsy who longs for independence and her first sexual experience; A Colombian Family, which follows an estranged mother and daughter seeking reconciliation against the backdrop of the country’s fraught peace treaty; and All That I Am, a sensitive and patient examination of sexual abuse’s aftermath as told through one survivor’s story. The International Spectrum program is supported by the Donner Canadian Foundation.

In the World Showcase program, notable films include the world premieres of: Mein Vietnam, about a family whose virtual connection to their old lives in Vietnam has prevented them from assimilating into the German community where they’ve lived for 30 years; and A Loss of Something Ever Felt, which follows a woman desperately seeking for her drug-addicted brother in the streets of Bogotá. International premieres in the program include: Eyes and Arms, about an Iranian couple with disabilities who literally complete each other; Landfall, a sharp analysis of disaster capitalism that looks at the reinvention of Puerto Rico after economic and natural disasters; Father Soldier Son, which tells the story of a single father, wounded in Afghanistan, who struggles to raise his sons in rural America; and Two Gods, about a Muslim casket maker who mentors two boys facing turbulent times at home and on the streets.

The Made In Northern Ireland program includes the world premieres of: Lost Boys: Belfast’s Missing Children, a chilling doc about a criminologist who reopens a 50 year-old case about the disappearance of two boys in Belfast; Our Lyra, a beautiful portrait that illuminates the life and work of reporter Lyra McKee, who was murdered during the riots in Derry; and REFRAMING Andrew Sadek, about a murder in a quiet North Dakota town that unravels a secret plot by law enforcement to wage a war on drugs. Rounding out the program is the North American premiere of Lost Lives, which enlists some of Ireland’s best-known actors to narrate passages from the famed book Lost Lives, offering a requiem for those who died during the Northern Irish Troubles. The Made In Northern Ireland program is sponsored by Northern Ireland Screen.

The Artscape program, which showcases creative minds, artistic pursuits and inventive filmmaking, includes the world premieres of: Love and Fury, which follows award-winning filmmaker Sterlin Harjo across America as he visits with fellow Indigenous artists; From producer-Director Barry Avrich, Made You Look: A True Story About Fake Art, a fascinating true-crime doc about a disgraced New York City art gallery accused of selling fraudulent works; The Last Archer, an intimate portrait of Alberto Manrique, one of the Canary Islands’ most innovative artists; and You Are the Days to Come, which follows director Ronja Yu to Beijing as she seeks out the rebellious artists who inspired her in the lead up to the Tiananmen Square protests. Co-produced by actor Issa Rae, the international premiere of Dark City Beneath the Beat is an energetic journey through Baltimore’s legendary creative landscape with director TT The Artist; and the international premiere of Sanmao. The Desert Bride will disclose the life of the Chinese writer who inspired generations of young women through her fearless independence and commitment to her art.

The Nightvision program, which features future cult classics, includes: the world premiere of Once Upon a Time in Uganda, about an indie-action-flick studio in Uganda that attempts to bring its movies to the world; the international premiere of Glitch in the Matrix, a mind-bending argument about simulation theory that will have you questioning if what you see is real; Feels Good Man, which won Sundance’s U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award for Emerging Filmmaker this year, reveals how the innocently created meme Pepe the Frog became a symbol of the alt-right; the stylized I Love You I Miss You I Hope I See You Before I Die, a sensory overload of symbols that shows the selflessness of motherhood through the life of a poor single mom in Colorado; and LEAP OF FAITH: William Friedkin On The Exorcist, which delves into the mind of the Oscar-winning director as he explains the genesis of the horror masterpiece.

The Persister program, which features female-directed films about women speaking up and being heard, includes the world premieres of: Her Mothers, about a lesbian couple trying to adopt who contend with homophobia in an increasingly radicalized Hungary; The 8th, which follows Ireland’s pro-choice movement as it appeals to people’s compassion to overturn the country’s 35-year abortion ban; Bangla Surf Girls, a touching coming-of-age story of resistance in which three teenage girls in Bangladesh join their local surf club; Lady Buds, a fascinating look at a group of women who try to break into California’s legal weed scene; and The School of Housewives, a warm-hearted feminist love letter to women’s work that takes audiences into The Reykjavík School of Housewives. The Persister program is presented in partnership with Oxfam Canada.

The Revisionaries program, which focuses a new lens on the past in order to re-imagine the future, includes the world premieres of: AKA Jane Roe, a recounting of the deathbed confession of Norma McCorvey, the real life “Jane Roe” from the landmark US abortion rights case; Socialism: An American Story, an examination of the stigmatized ideology’s history in America and its relevance today; and Love and Stuff, in which filmmaker Judith Helfand mourns the loss of her mother as she prepares to become a “new old” mom at 50. The program also features the international premiere of Zlota Street, about the Jewish landlord of an old Warsaw tenement that’s now home to a community of immigrants; and the North American premiere of Finding Sally, the remarkable story of the director’s aunt, who disappeared after joining the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Party.

The To Conserve and Protect program, which showcases stories of people fighting for, or collaborating with, the planet, includes the world premieres of: First We Eat, an endearing film about a mother who challenges her family to eat only locally sourced food at their remote home 300 kilometres from the Arctic Circle; Cane Fire, which reveals how Hollywood’s cultural appropriation has negatively impacted Indigenous and working class Hawaiians; and Borealis, which takes a holistic look at Canada’s wondrous boreal forest and people’s various relationships with it. The international premiere of Akicita: The Battle of Standing Rock tells the story of the standoff at the Dakota Access Pipeline from the perspective of Native youth who fight for their rights and their land; and My Octopus Teacher, a breathtaking cinematic experience that captures a free diver’s relationship with an octopus off the tip of Africa.

The Deep Dive program features three long-form documentaries told in four-part episodes. The program includes the international premieres of: Love Fraud, the story of a group of women who hire a bounty hunter to capture the serial fraudster who robbed them of their money and dignity; and City So Real, in which Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Steve James presents a fascinating and complex portrait of contemporary Chicago, set against the backdrop of its history-making 2019 mayoral election. The North American premiere of Green Blood takes us inside a consortium of international journalists who have vowed to continue the work of their colleagues, who have been killed or threatened with violence after exposing the crimes committed by mining behemoths.

The Markers program features experimental films that take bold liberties with the documentary form. Named in tribute to revolutionary filmmaker Chris Marker, the program includes the North American premieres of: Bile, a fascinating essay that offers a philosophical reflection on humankind’s view of illnesses; Judy Versus Capitalism, a deeply personal and visually experimental biography of second-wave feminist, radical activist and journalist Judy Rebick; Panquiaco, a doc-fiction hybrid that follows an Indigenous man struggling to identify with his roots after returning to his home in Panama; and If It Were Love, which blurs the lines between real life and theatre as it follows 15 young dancers touring the world with a piece about the ‘90s rave scene.

The Changing Face of Europe program includes: the world premiere of Dead Souls’ Vacation, about the struggles and dreams of a once popular Georgian bassist who now lives with his mother in a small studio apartment; and the international premieres of Reunited, which shows us the emotional reunion of a Syrian family that was separated after fleeing the war-torn country; Two Roads, which goes on tour with The Tap Tap, a popular Czech orchestra made up of people with physical disabilities who party like rock stars; and Res Creata – Humans and Other Animals, an award-winning visual essay that showcases the rituals and places where natural and human commonality still exists. The program also features the North American premieres of Lessons of Love, which tells the story of a free-spirited Polish woman who rediscovers friendship and love after escaping an abusive marriage; and Immortal, an impressionistic essay that observes life in a small Russian industrial city while uncovering the subtle mechanisms of indoctrination. The Changing Face of Europe program is presented in partnership with European Film Promotion (EFP).

This year’s DocX program, an interdisciplinary section of the Festival celebrating documentary work that lives outside of the traditional format, features virtual reality projects, including: the international premiere of ecosphere, a series of episodic encounters that transport people to awe-inspiring ecosystems across the world; the Canadian premiere of Rebuilding Notre Dame, which takes viewers inside the famed cathedral before and after the devastating 2019 fire; the North American premiere of the Fragments of Jerusalem, which immerses you in the vibrant streets and markets of the Holy City; and the Canadian premiere of Daughters of Chibok, which follows the story of a mother whose daughter was among the 276 girls kidnapped by Boko Haram fin Nigeria.

This year’s Redux program, a retrospective showcase of documentaries that deserve another outing on the big screen, features films surrounding themes of revolution, including the 1969 film You Are on Indian Land, 2010’s An African Election, and 2011’s The Boxing Girls of Kabul, an award-winning film by Ariel Nasr, whose film The Forbidden Reel is part of this year’s Artscapes program; and filmmaker Jocelyne Saab’s three short films Beirut, My City; Beirut, Never Again; and Children of War.

The Festival’s Focus On program, supported by K.M. Hunter Charitable Foundation, features the work of Canadian filmmaker Raymonde Provencher, and Hot Docs Outstanding Achievement Award Retrospective honours the timeless work of American documentary filmmaker Stanley Nelson.

Obvious there is more information to come and Northernstars looks forward to once again covering the Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival.

Also see: Hot Docs website.

Fake Art on CBC

Fake Art on CBC, image,

Fake Art on CBC
by Ralph Lucas, Publisher

(April 13, 2020 – Toronto, ON) There have been a number of films centred in the world of art in the past few years and a new film, Made You Look: A True Story About Fake Art from producer-director Barry Avrich will launch the Hot Docs At Home “festival” on CBC this Thursday, April 16th.

The impact impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on film festivals and cinemas has been dramatic. As we reported in mid-March, organizers of the Hot Docs Festival, responding to a call to suspend all events involving more than 250 people, decided to postpone this year’s festival, which was scheduled to run April 30 to May 10 in Toronto.
Made You Look, movie, poster,
Working with CBC and both the CBC Gem streaming service and the CBC documentary channel (why they don’t capitalize the D is beyond me) Hot Docs Festival programmers are selecting a series of films that would have been part of their schedule and the first is Made You Look: A True Story About Fake Art.

In 2017 Avrich released Blurred Lines: Inside The Art World, which screened at Hot Docs, and last year there were two screenings of There Are No Fakes from director Jamie Kastner.

Made You Look is an 89-minute crime documentary about the largest art fraud in American history set in the super rich, super obsessed and superfast art world of New York. The story begins in the Fall of 2000 when an art fraudster named Glafira Rosales (pictured below) walked into M. Knoedler & Co., one of the most important and most powerful art galleries in the United States, to hire them to sell a collection that featured one of the great troves of unknown Abstract Expressionist masterpieces including Pollocks, de Koonings, and Rothkos. In fact, the paintings were part of a horde of fakes executed by a Chinese immigrant artist, Pei Shen Qian, at his home in Queens.

Fake Art on CBC, image,

This is one of those “ripped from the headines” stories that deserves to be told and is told so very well by a skilled storyteller and filmmaker. Made You Look airs April 16 on CBC and CBC Gem at 8 p.m. (8:30 NT) and documentary Channel at 9 p.m. ET/10 p.m. PT.

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.

Stefanie Sherk

Stefanie Sherk, actress,

B: January 9, 1982 in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario

D: April 20, 2019 in Los Angeles, California

Stefanie Sherk was a model and actress, married to Mexico-born actor Demian Bichir. According to the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner, Sherk died from from anoxic encephalopathy, a condition caused by lack of oxygen to brain tissue, after she was found at the bottom of her family’s swimming pool. Her death was ruled a suicide. She was 43.

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

Easy (2003)
Crash Landing (2005)
The Wish (2007, short)
The Sister (2009, short)

Valentine’s Day (2010)
Big Date (2011)
Cyber Vice (TV-2014)
Un Cuento de Circo & A Love Song (2016)
Loco Love 2017)
Star Power (2018)
The Grudge (2019)

TV Series – Guest appearances:
Gutter Ball Alley (Co-host) 2001)
The Bridge (2014)
#Hashtag: The Series (2015)
Telenovela (2016)
CSI: Cyber (2016)
Grand Hotel (2019)


Barry Avrich

Barry Avrich, director,
Barry Avrich at the 2015 Canadian Screen Awards. Photo by Ralph Lucas for Northernstars.ca

B: May 9, 1963 in Montréal, Québec

Barry Avrich is an advertising veteran responsible for thousands of high profile ad campaigns for films and concert tours. His is also an acclaimed documentary filmmaker responsible, usually focusing on both controversial and popular icons in modern history. He has also produced and directed successful screen adaptations of Shakespeare theatrical productions in partnership with Ontario’s renowned Stratford Festival. We list his credits as a Director first.

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

Madness of Method (TV-1996, short)
Unforgettable: 100 Years Remembered (TV-1999,documentary)

City Lights (TV-2002,short)
Glitter Palace (TV-2002, documentary)
Guilty Pleasure: The Dominick Dunne Story (TV-2002, documentary)
Madness of King Richard (TV-2003, documentary)
The Last Mogul (TV-2005, documentary)
Maurice Richard: The Legend, the Story, the Movie (TV-2006)
One x One Gala (TV-2007)
The Citizen Cohl: Untold Story (2008, short)
Jackie Mason: The Ultimate Jew (VR-2008, documentary)
Amerika Idol (2009, documentary)

An Unlikely Obsession (2011, documentary)
Unauthorized: The Harvey Weinstein Project (2011, documentary)
Twelfth Night (2012)
Show Stopper: The Theatrical Life of Garth Drabinsky (20012, documentary)
In Studio: Genie Awards (TV-2012)
Quality Balls: The David Steinberg Story (2013, documentary)
In Studio 2 (TV-2013, documentary)
Filthy Gorgeous: The Bob Guccione Story (2013, documentary)
In Studio: Up Close and Personal (TV-2013)
Red Alert (2014, documentary, short)
Women Who Act (2015, documentary)
King John (2015)
Antony and Cleopatra (205)
The Taming of the Shrew (2016)
The Great Canadian Screen Test (TV-2016)
The Adventures of Pericles (2016)
The Man Who Shot Hollywood (2016, documentary, short)
Blurred Lines: Inside the Art World (2017, documentary)
Love’s Labour’s Lost (2017)
Beyond Famous (TV-2017, documentary)
Romeo and Juliet (2018)
Timon of Athens (2018)
The Reckoning: Hollywood’s Worst Kept Secret (2018, documentary)
Prosecuting Evil (2018, documentary)
The Tempest (2019)
Coriolanus (2019)
David Foster: Off the Record (2019, documentary)

Radical Obsession (2020, documentary)
Reversal of Fortune: The Unraveling of Turkey’s Democracy (2020, documentary)
The Merry Wives of Windsor (2020)
Othello (2020)
Made You Look: A True Story About Fake Art (2020, documentary)
Howie Mandel: But, Enough About Me (2020, documentary)
Henry VIII (2020)

TV Series – at least 1 episode of:
Life and Times (2005, 2006)

Credits as a Screenwriter:
Scorned (1993)
Madness of Method (TV-1996, short)
Unforgettable: 100 Years Remembered (TV-1999,documentary)

City Lights (TV-2002,short)
Glitter Palace (TV-2002, documentary)
Guilty Pleasure: The Dominick Dunne Story (TV-2002, documentary)
Madness of King Richard (TV-2003, documentary)
The Last Mogul (TV-2005, documentary)
Maurice Richard: The Legend, the Story, the Movie (TV-2006)
One x One Gala (TV-2007)
The Citizen Cohl: Untold Story (2008, short)
Amerika Idol (2009, documentary)

An Unlikely Obsession (2011, documentary)
Unauthorized: The Harvey Weinstein Project (2011, documentary)
Show Stopper: The Theatrical Life of Garth Drabinsky (20012, documentary)
In Studio: Genie Awards (TV-2012)
In Studio 2 (TV-2013, documentary)
Filthy Gorgeous: The Bob Guccione Story (2013, documentary)
In Studio: Up Close and Personal (TV-2013)
Red Alert (2014, documentary, short)
Women Who Act (2015, documentary)
The Man Who Shot Hollywood (2016, documentary, short)
The Reckoning: Hollywood’s Worst Kept Secret (2018, documentary)

Radical Obsession (2020, documentary)
Made You Look: A True Story About Fake Art (2020, documentary)
Howie Mandel: But, Enough About Me (2020, documentary)

TV Series – at least 1 episode of:
Life and Times (2005, 2006)

Credits as a Producer and/or Executive Producer:
Madness of Method (TV-1996, short)

City Lights (TV-2002,short)
The Last Mogul (TV-2005, documentary)
Bonfire (TV-2007)
One x One Gala (TV-2007)
The Citizen Cohl: Untold Story (208, short)
Jackie Mason: The Ultimate Jew (VR-2008, documentary)
Caesar and Cleopatra (2009)
Amerika Idol (2009, documentary)

One Angry Man (2010)
An Unlikely Obsession (2011, documentary)
Unauthorized: The Harvey Weinstein Project (2011, documentary)
Twelfth Night (2012)
Show Stopper: The Theatrical Life of Garth Drabinsky (2012, documentary)
In Studio: Genie Awards (TV-2012)
Quality Balls: The David Steinberg Story (2013, documentary)
In Studio 2 (TV-2013, documentary)
Filthy Gorgeous: The Bob Guccione Story (2013, documentary)
In Studio: Up Close and Personal (TV-2013)
Red Alert (2014, documentary, short)
Women Who Act (2015, documentary)
King John (2015)
Antony and Cleopatra (2015)
The Taming of the Shrew (2016)
The Great Canadian Screen Test (TV-2016)
2016 Canadian Screen Awards (2016)
Hamlet (2016)
The Adventures of Pericles (2016)
The Man Who Shot Hollywood (2016, documentary, short)
2016 Scotiabank Giller Prize (TV-2016)
2017 Canadian Screen Awards (2017)
Macbeth (2017)
Blurred Lines: Inside the Art World (2017, documentary)
Love’s Labour’s Lost (2017)
On My Way Out: The Secret Life of Nani and Popi (2017, documentary, short)
2017 Scotiabank Giller Prize (TV-2017)
Beyond Famous (TV-2017, documentary)
Romeo and Juliet (2018)
Timon of Athens (2018)
The Reckoning: Hollywood’s Worst Kept Secret (2018, documentary)
Prosecuting Evil (2018, documentary)
2018 Scotiabank Giller Prize (TV-2018)
With Me (2018, short)
The Tempest (2019)
Coriolanus (2019)
David Foster: Off the Record (2019, documentary)

Radical Obsession (2020, documentary)
Reversal of Fortune: The Unraveling of Turkey’s Democracy (2020, documentary)
The Merry Wives of Windsor (2020)
Made You Look: A True Story About Fake Art (2020, documentary)
Howie Mandel: But, Enough About Me (2020, documentary)
Henry VIII (2020)

TV Series – at least 1 episode of:
Life and Times (2005, 2006)


Mary Young Leckie

Mary Young Leckie, producer,

Mary Young Leckie is a producer and screenwriter. We list her credits as a Producer first.

Also see: Keith Ross Leckie

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

Where the Spirit Lives (1989)

Children of My Heart (Executive Producer, TV-2000)
By Jeeves (TV-2001)
Tagged: The Jonathan Wamback Story (Executive Producer, TV-2002)
Prom Fight: The Marc Hall Story (Executive Producer, 2002, documentary)
Burn: The Robert Wraight Story (Executive Producer, TV-2003)
Prom Queen: The Marc Hall Story (Executive Producer, TV-2004)
Spirit Bear: The Simon Jackson Story (Executive Producer, TV-2005)
Shades of Black: The Conrad Black Story (TV-2006)
The Climb (Executive Producer, TV-2007, documentary)

Committed (Executive Producer, TV-2011)
Secrets of Eden (Executive Producer, TV-2012)
An Officer and a Murderer (Executive Producer, TV-2012)
Maudie (2016)

Adventures of a Mathematician (Executive Producer, 2020)

TV Series – at least 1 episode of:
Spirit Bay (Associate Producer, 1984, 1985)
Shattered City: The Halifax Explosion (Executive Producer, 2003)
Everest (Executive Producer, 2007, mini-series)
M.V.P. (2008)

Tati’s Hotel (Executive Producer, 2011)


Maudie, movie, poster,
Poster for Maudie courtesy of Mongrel Media.

National Film Day Moves Off Screen

Canadian flag, image,

National Film Day Moves Off Screen
by Staff

(April 8, 2020 – Toronto, ON/CNW) The seventh annual National Canadian Film Day scheduled for April 22nd will go on and will celebrate our cinematic culture by moving screenings and events online.

The centrepiece this year will be “CanFilmDay Live”: an interactive livestream broadcast from 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM EST on YouTube and at canfilmday.ca. It will feature engaging, interactive activities, conversations with filmmakers and other industry professionals, short videos submitted by Canadians, “Happy NCFD” messages from around the world, and more.

Confirmed uests include Atom Egoyan, Colm Feore, Mina Shum, Philippe Falardeau, Vinay Virmani, Patricia Rozema, Emily Hampshire, Peter Keleghan, Mary Young Leckie and Don McKellar, with more to be confirmed as Film Day approaches.

“While there is a huge selection of pop-up home entertainment happening, we believe that Canadians are hungry for an opportunity to be part of something larger, and especially something Canadian. It’s a chance to come together and give each other a big virtual hug,” said Jack Blum, Executive Director of Reel Canada. “And we’ve been thrilled by the warm response our plans have received from filmmakers and community partners alike.”

There will be Canadian films on CBC, CBC Gem, Encore+, Netflix, Hollywood Suite, Crave, the NFB and the many others. Special programming will be made available to more than 150 retirement residences and long term care facilities, including video introductions from the filmmakers. Organizers hope these offerings will bring some comfort and much-needed cheer to Canada’s most vulnerable citizens, who are in isolation and away from their families and loved ones during the COVID-19 crisis.

There is more information online.

SOURCE: CNW/Reel Canada.

Remembering Shirley Douglas

Remembering Shirley Douglas, image,

Remembering Shirley Douglas
by Staff

(April 5, 2020 – Toronto, ON) Canadian activist and veteran actress Shirley Douglas has died. Always remembered as the daughter of Canada medicare founder Tommy Douglas, she was also mother to actor Kiefer Sutherland, who announced his mother’s death on Twitter, saying she succumbed to complications surrounding pneumonia. He said it was not related COVID-19. She had turned 86 just three days ago.

“My mother was an extraordinary woman who led an extraordinary life,” said Sutherland. “Sadly she had been battling for her health for quite some time and we, as a family, knew this day was coming.”

Born on April 2, 1934 in Weyburn, Saskatchewan, Douglas worked tirelessly in support of a variety of causes throughout her life, including the civil rights movement, the Black Panthers and the fight to save Canada’s public health care, pioneered by her politician father. In 1965, Douglas married Donald Sutherland, with whom she had two children before they divorced — twins Rachel, a production manager, and Kiefer. Douglas had another son, Thomas, from a previous marriage.

A graduate of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in England, Douglas began her stage and television career in England and performed in the U.K., Canada and the U.S. playing such iconic roles as Martha in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, Oenone in Phaedra, and Hagar Shipley in the stage version of The Stone Angel. She is best known for playing May Bailey on the television series, Wind at My Back, which brought her a Gemini nomination. She won a Gemini for Shadow Lake and was also nominated for Passage of the Heart. She held honorary doctorates from Ryerson University, Brandon University, University of Windsor, and University of Regina. In 2003, she was made an Officer of the Order of Canada and is pictured above when she was honoured with Women in Film and Television’s Crystal Award in 2009. A previous recipient of ACTRA’s Bernard Cowan Award, it was announced in November of 2012 that she would receive ACTRA Toronto’s Award of Excellence in early 2013. She was also an Officer of the Order of Canada, one of the country’s highest honours.

Shirley Douglas died in Toronto.
Also see: Kiefer Sutherland.
Also see: Donald Sutherland.

Once Were Brothers TV Debut

Once Were Brothers, image,
Publicity Still for Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band courtesy of TIFF

Once Were Brothers TV Debut

(April 3, 2020 – Toronto, ON – CNW) Following screenings at multiple festivals, a North American theatrical run and a Canadian Screen Award nomination, Bell Media’s Crave has confirmed it has moved up the streaming debut of the critically acclaimed, Crave Original feature documentary Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson And The Band to tonight, Friday, April 3, only on Crave. The 100-minute documentary will receive its world television premiere on Crave’s TV channel, Friday, April 10 at 7 p.m. ET.

Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson And The Band celebrated its World Premiere last September when it was selected as the Opening Night Film at the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival, and will join Crave’s acclaimed Best of TIFF Collection when it launches tonight.

“We’re thrilled to finally debut this incredible documentary film on the streaming service where it began,” said Randy Lennox, President, Bell Media. “With so many Canadians currently at home, it’s the perfect time to take a break and go on a journey revisiting the story of one of Canada’s larger-than-life cultural icons.”

From White Pictures, Bell Media Studios, Polygram Entertainment, and Imagine Documentaries, and directed by Daniel Roher, Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson And The Band is a confessional, cautionary, and occasionally humorous tale of Robertson’s young life and the creation of one of the most enduring groups in the history of popular music. Inspired by Robertson’s bestselling memoir, Testimony (Penguin/Random House, 2017), the film blends rare archival footage and interviews with many of Robbie Robertson’s friends and collaborators, including Bruce Springsteen, Eric Clapton, Van Morrison, Martin Scorsese, Taj Mahal, Peter Gabriel, David Geffen and Ronnie Hawkins, among others.

Source: Crave

Tammy’s Always Dying on May 1

Tammy’s Always Dying on May 1
by Staff

(April 2, 2020 – Toronto, ON) As the closure of cinemas across Canada continues during the COVID-19 pandemic, more and more movies are finding ways to reach a paying audience. Acute Media, the company behind Amy Jo Johnson’s Tammy’s Always Dying joins others in opting for a Pay-per-View model. Beginning May 1st the feature, which stars Felicity Huffman, will be available for rental and purchase through On Demand and various Digital sources including these Canadian platforms: Rogers, Bell, Telus, Shaw, Sasktel, Cogeco, iTunes, Sony Playstation, MTS, Microsoft Video and Google Sony.

Tammy’s Always Dying, which premiered at the 2019 Toronto Film Festival, is a dark comedy based on a script by Joanne Sarazen. Huffman portrays Tammy, a charismatic, yet self-destructive mother to 35-year-old Catherine, played by Anastasia Phillips, whose role as a caregiver changes when Tammy is diagnosed with terminal cancer. Catherine eventually recruits a talk show agent to help profit from her mother’s miserable life story. But as Tammy’s death becomes her daughter’s only way out, one problem stands in her way: Tammy just won’t die.

Costars include Clark Johnson, Lauren Holly, Aaron Ashmore and Kristian Bruun. Tammy’s Always Dying was produced by Jessica Adams and Harry Cherniak, who previously teamed up on Astronaut starring Richard Dreyfus.

Learn more about Tammy’s Always Dying.

Cineplex Extends Closures

No Show at Cineplex, image,
Source: Shutterstock.

Cineplex Extends Closures
by Staff

(April 2, 2020 – Toronto, ON) The image we’re using is from Shutterstock. That’s why there are people in it. It’s a stock shot taken during normal times. These are not normal times and Cineplex, a leading entertainment and media company that usually plays host to some 70 million people a year, has decided to extend the temporary closure of all of its facilities across Canada.

The media release stated, in part, “On March 16, 2020, Cineplex announced that it would be temporarily closing its network of theatres and location-based entertainment venues across Canada until April 2, 2020. In response to applicable government directives and the latest guidance from Canadian public health authorities pertaining to COVID-19, Cineplex confirms that the closure of its network of theatres and location-based entertainment venues across Canada will remain in effect beyond April 2, 2020. The re-opening of locations will be reassessed as further guidance is provided by Canadian public health authorities and applicable government authorities.”

Source: Cineplex

CMF Invests $353M

CMF Invests $353M, image,

CMF Invests $353M
by Staff

(April 1, 2020 – Toronto, ON) The Canada Media Fund (CMF) announced today it will invest $353M in Canada’s television and digital media production. It also published Program Guidelines for the 2020-2021 fiscal year.

“Among all the challenges our industry has overcome, none has been as destabilizing as the one we currently face,” said Valerie Creighton, President and CEO, CMF. “The COVID-19 pandemic has brought to a standstill most sectors of the economy, including ours. We understand these are challenging times for all—both from a business and personal perspective. The CMF will continue to be a reliable partner to our clients and stakeholders. We remain fully operational as does our Program Administrator Team at Telefilm Canada.”
Valerie Creighton, photo,
“Given the numerous program changes we introduced last year and the current situation in the industry, we will be making limited updates to our program budget, guidelines and policies for the 2020-2021 fiscal year. Our investment will be comparable to previous years. We hope this will provide our clients and their businesses with much-needed stability and predictability. However, as the effects of the COVID-19 virus unfold, further flexibility to the Guidelines may be required.”

“The CMF has evolved its programs over the past 10 years thanks to ongoing and valuable feedback from our clients and stakeholders, many of whom share their views through our various outreach and consultation initiatives. Thanks to all who participate in this process and thanks to our public and private funders for their invaluable support. We’re especially grateful to the Minister of Canadian Heritage, the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, for delivering on the government’s commitments to support Canada’s screen-based sector, especially during these uncertain times. We are in regular communication with the government to look at added flexibility for our programs and funding, as well as what critical relief measures may be necessary.”

Creighton concluded her remarks with, “Our collective responses to the changes that lie ahead will determine how quickly Canada’s screen-based sector recovers from the crisis.”

Source: Supplied by CMF.

10x10xVeninger

10x10xVeninger, image,

10x10xVeninger
by Ralph Lucas – Publisher

(March 31, 2020 – Toronto, ON) Renowned for her singular vision of how films can be made, Ingrid Veninger, founder of pUNK Films, could have just as easily named her company HandMade Films, if that name wasn’t already taken. Her innovation and drive to get things done no matter the odds or circumstances has earned her the respect of everyone who has come to know her or know her work.

It should come as no surprise that when the world is in lockdown thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, it was Veninger who came up with “Exquisite Cadaver Project: An International Collaboration.” Subtitled 10 Filmmakers x 10 minute films in 2020, Veninger said, “In these uncertain times, we embrace uncertainty, and we create. Everything is changing day by day. Through our isolation, we’ve decided to make something together. We recognize that being able to collaborate is a privilege and we do not take it for granted. During the month of April, ten female filmmakers, from around the world, will each make a ten-minute film. The films will be inexorably linked by theme. Our framework is the Exquisite Cadaver. The goal is to make a film, greater than the sum of its parts. The process will be fast and intense. We’re diving in with all our hearts and guts. We are in this together.

The 10 filmmakers include: Jennifer Podemski (Canada), Lydia Zimmermann (Spain), Violeta Ayala (Bolivia), Slater Jewell-Kemker (Canada), Carmen Sangion (South Africa), Isa Benn (Canada), Shengze Zhu (China), Mina Shum (Canada), Dorothee Wenner (Germany), Ingrid Veninger (Canada).
10x10xVeninger, image,
Jennifer Podemski is an award-winning, Gemini nominated actress and producer born and raised in Toronto, Canada. Since beginning her professional career at the age of 14, Jennifer has achieved great success as an actor in film, television and theatre. In more recent years, she has spent time working behind the camera as a producer, writer and director with her company Redcloud Studios, an independent production company.

Lydia Zimmermann is a filmmaker and film teacher, born in Barcelona, from Swiss parents. Lydia has written, edited and directed shorts, feature films, tv movies and documentaries. She has made video-installations in art galleries and museums.

Violeta Ayala is a Quechua film director, producer, writer and artist with Bolivian and Australian nationality. She is best known for directing the award-winning documentaries: Cocaine Prison (TIFF, 2017), The Fight (2017), The Bolivian Case (2015), and Stolen (2009). Her films have won 45 awards.

Slater Jewell-Kemker has been making films since she was six. An award winning filmmaker and climate activist, Slater has been featured by Forbes twice: once for her 12 year documentary feature on the rise of the global youth climate movement YOUTH UNSTOPPABLE, and another for her CFC short film STILL which explores domestic violence and infatuation. STILL premiered at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival and was chosen as part of Canada’s Top Ten.

Carmen Sangion was born in the working class township of Coranationville, west of Johannesburg, South Africa. “From the time I watched my first film at the cinema, which was Spielberg’s ET, I was captivated and fell forever in love with the magic and beauty of cinema. I will never forget telling my mother that I was going to be the Steven Spielberg of Africa.”

Isa Benn is an award-winning filmmaker, screenwriter, playwright, multimedia artist and creator. She has several highly visual sensory “handicaps”, including synesthesia, Asperger’s and ideasthesia. She draws upon her experience as a North and West African, Caribbean, Jewish, Queer, Latinx woman to create stylistically introspective works that shed a harsh light on the racism, lack of decolonization, colorism, ableism and attacks on queer bodies that are rampant in North American society.

Shengze Zhu is a producer and documentary filmmaker. She co-founded the production company Burn The Film with director and visual artist Yang Zhengfan, and has served as producer for Yang’s films, including Distant (2013) and Where Are You Going (2016). Her directorial debut, Out Of Focus (2014), premiered in France, and her films have been screened internationally ever since.

Mina Shum has written and directed five award-winning feature films that have successfully touched international and domestic audiences. Her films have premiered at Sundance and Toronto and Berlin film festivals. The New York Times calls her work “wry and winning.”

Dorothee Wenner is based in Berlin, where she works as a freelance filmmaker and writer/curator. Her documentaries often transgress borders of traditional genres, as she uses elements of feature filmmaking when working with protagonists.

Ingrid Veninger holds an MFA from York University and has been a full-time faculty member of AMPD (School of the Arts, Media, Performance and Design) since 2019. Born in Bratislava and raised in Canada, Ingrid has been celebrated as “the DIY queen of Canadian filmmaking” (Liam Lacey, Globe and Mail). Since 2008, she has produced ten feature films with premieres at TIFF, Rotterdam, Locarno, Slamdance, Whistler, Rome, Hot Docs, Karlovy Vary and MoMA in New York.

As the media release states: In this time of COVID-19, “10 female filmmakers, inked through isolation, make a mighty filmmaking chain.”

This promises to be something very special for the very special time we are living through. Here at Northernstars we can’t wait to see this project completed.

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.

Remembering Giles Walker

Remembering Giles Walker, image,

Remembering Giles Walker
by Staff

(March 31, 2020) Northernstars has learned via a media release from the National Film Board (NFB) that filmmaker Giles Walker has died. Walker passed away in Toronto on March 23 following a 10-year fight with cancer.

Filmmaker Paul Cowan, a close friend and former NFB colleague, offered his personal remembrances on Facebook on March 26, which included: “I had the privilege of seeing a lot of Giles during nine of the last ten years. He was very sick. Through it all he fought hard and endured much. But he never changed. Sometimes we’d sit and hold hands for an hour saying nothing (I can’t pretend to know what he was thinking, but his grip never faltered). When I said goodbye to him as the ambulance waited to transport him to his new Toronto home last year, his embrace was as strong as ever. As his gurney was loaded, I’m sure I saw the excitement on his face that always signaled he was starting a new production. Good on you Giles. Have a fine shoot my friend.”

Born in Scotland in 1946, Walker began his career in 1974 as a documentary filmmaker with the NFB. He soon made the switch to drama, with his NFB film Bravery in the Field which was recognized with an Oscar nomination for Best Live Action Short Film in 1979.

He was a key figure in the NFB’s development of alternative dramas—films that combined dramatic storytelling with non-professional actors and documentary techniques—with a trilogy on male-female relationships, including the award-winning 1985 NFB theatrical release 90 Days.

His final collaboration with the NFB came in 1990, with the acclaimed NFB/Cinepix co-produced dramatic feature Princes in Exile, about young people with cancer.

Giles Walker distinguished himself in an extensive career in independent film and television, with multiple Genie and Gemini awards. His wide-ranging body of work included the feature drama Ordinary Magic, starring Ryan Reynolds in his first film role; the television series Emily of New Moon; the mini-series Il duce canadese and René Lévesque; and lastly, his 2011 documentary, The Way of Tai Chi.

Also see: Giles Walker’s filmography.

Target Number One

minutes – Biography, Crime, Thriller, Drugs
Language: English
Release date: April 24, 2020
Production companies: Caramel Film, Goldrush Entertainment
Canadian distributor: Entertainment One / Les Films Séville

Inspired by real events that took place in 1989, Target Number One follows three interconnected stories: an ex heroin junkie named Daniel Léger (Antoine-Olivier Pilon), who gets trapped by a criminal organization to set up a drug deal in Thailand and is thrown into a Thai prison and slapped with a 100-year sentence; an undercover cop who’s humiliated and decides to take a short cut to enhance the performance of his team; and Globe and Mail journalist Victor Malarek, who decides to go after the shady undercover cops responsible for wrongly accusing Daniel but is forced to re-evaluate his core convictions and maverick methods after the birth of his first child.

Based on the exploits of Canadian investigative reporter Victor Malarek, whose autobiography was made into the 1988 film Malarek.



Target Number OneTarget Number One
Crew:
Producer: Valérie d’Auteuil
André Rouleau
Executive Producer:

Daniel Roby
Yvann Thibaudeau
Marc Côté
Patrick Roy
Anne-Claire Villeneuve
Eric Gozlan
Richard Iott
Arianne Fraser
Delphine Perrier
Henry Winterstern

Co-Executive Producer:

Ryan Winterstern

Associate Producer:

Bruno Rosato
Marie-Claire Lalonde
Sinan Saber

Director:

Daniel Roby

Screenwriter:

Daniel Roby

Cinematographer:

Ronald Plante, CSC

Editor:

Yvann Thibaudeau

Composer:

Éloi Painchaud

Production Designer:

David Pelletier

Art Director:

Scott Moulton

Costume Designer:

Véronique Marchessault

Cast:Roles:

Antoine-Olivier Pilon
Josh Hartnett
Jim Gaffigan
Stephen McHattie
Rose-Marie Perreault
J.C. MacKenzie
Don McKellar
Mark Camacho
Frank Schorpion
Domenic Di Rosa
Lanisa Dawn
Raphael Grosz-Harvey
Sahajak Boonthanakit
Sebastien Beaulac
Robert Crooks
Frédéric Millaire-Zouvi
Alex Gravenstein
Marcello Bezina
Kenneth Won
Dawn Lambing
Fred Nguyen
Luigi Buffone
Michel Gregory Dagenais
Cory Lipman
Gillian Doria
Bianca Bellange
Léon Gosselin Leclerc

Daniel Léger
Victor Malarek
Picker
Frank Cooper
Mary
Arthur
Norm
Moore
Raiven
Johnny
Party Girl
James Boulder
General Suchart
Delivery man
Denis Fountain
Michael
McDonald’s Assistant
Berto
Ensu
Louise
Autopsy Doctor
Gas attendant
Vancouver Airport Security Officer
Al Cooper
Nancy Cooper
CBC Assistant
Man on bike

Daniel Roby

Daniel Roby, director,

B: 1970 in Québec

Daniel Roby began his career with degrees in filmmaking from Montréal’s Concordia University and the University of Southern California. He first worked as a director of photography on films like Hommes en 40taine, La vie rêvée de Mario and Jean François en série. Following his hit film La peau blanche, he directed Funkytown and then Louis Cyr, which were critical successes that also broke box-office records. In France, Roby first shot for the TV series Versailles, and then on the France-Canada co-production Dans la brume, which was selected to open the 2018 Fantasia Film Festival in Montréal.

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

Quelques instants de la vie d’une fraise (2003, short)
La peau blanche (2004)

Funkytown (2011)
Louis Cyr (2013)
Dans la brume (2018)
Gut Instinct (2019)

Target Number One (2020)

TV Series – At least 1 episode of:
Versailles (2015)

Credits as a Screenwriter:
Quelques instants de la vie d’une fraise (2003, short)
La peau blanche (2004)

Gut Instinct (2019)

Target Number One (2020)

Credits as a Producer:
Lila (2000, short, co-producer)
Nos bras meurtris vous tendent le flambeau (2001, short)
Quelques instants de la vie d’une fraise (2003, short)
A Tall Tale (2003, short)
La cérémonie (2003, short)
La peau blanche (2004)
Still Life (2007, short, Executive Producer)
Gut Instinct (2019)
Target Number One (2020, Executive Producer)


Target Number One, movie, poster,

TIFF + Crave = Stay-at-Home Cinema

TIFF + Carve = Stay-at-Home Cinema, image,

TIFF + Crave = Stay-at-Home Cinema
by Staff

(March 27, 2020 – Toronto, ON – CNW) To help Canadians share the experience of film from the comfort of their own homes, TIFF and Bell Media’s Crave have announced that today, Friday, March 27 at 7pm EDT audiences across Canada can join TIFF Artistic Director and Co-Head Cameron Bailey in the first of a series of virtual Q&As and screenings. Audiences can tune in to watch Cameron and award-winning actor and star Mandy Patinkin (Crave’s Homeland) for a chat via Instagram Live @tiff_net before being invited to screen TIFF’s 1987 People’s Choice Award winner, The Princess Bride, on Crave.
he Princess Bride, movie, poster,
What makes The Princess Bride special? The screenplay was written by the author of the original novel, renowned Hollywood screenwriter William Goldman. In addition to Patinkin the cast includes Cary Elwes, Robin Wright, Wallace Shawn, Billy Crystal, Christopher Guest, Carol Kane, Peter Falk, Peter Cook and Andre the Giant.

“TIFF has a longstanding partnership with Bell Media and Crave, so it was a natural progression to work together during this global health crisis,” said Joana Vicente, TIFF Executive Director and Co-Head. “Both organizations value their audiences and want to bring the best of our programming to as many people as we can. We are all looking to connect with each other, and what better way to do this than through through cinema.”

“During these challenging times, we continue to look for ways to keep people connected, comforted, and entertained, and the power of film and TV accomplishes just that. It was important for us to work with TIFF on bringing these meaningful films to life,” said Randy Lennox, President, Bell Media. “We’re thrilled to work with our partners at TIFF to enhance the experience of revisiting these cinematic classics, by hearing from the beloved stars and inspiring creators behind these films, as well as media personalities who will consider their enduring impact. Stay tuned for more.”

TIFF’s Stay-at-Home Cinema experience with Rob Reiner’s timeless classic The Princess Bride is the first in a series TIFF and Crave will be rolling out over the next few weeks. Additional movie titles — all available on Crave — along with special guests will be announced each week.

Source: Crave

CMF Needs Your Help

CMF Needs Your Help, image,

CMF Needs Your Help
by Staff

(March 26, 2020n – Toronto, ON) The Canada Media Fund (CMF) is doing its best to understand and measure the impact of the COVID-19 crisis, which has had an unprecedented impact on the Canadian screen-based sector and is causing significant and ongoing financial disruptions for the industry. They are asking people working in interactive digital media production, and people in television or film production companies to complete an online survey.
CMF Logo
Representatives of Canada’s audiovisual industry have formed a taskforce. This group has partnered with Nordicity research group to develop a national survey that will help quantify the scope of the financial impact of the ongoing crisis.

The survey was developed to capture the impact at an organizational level. The CMF will share the results with government officials as they develop response packages for these industries. BUt they stress the need of your participation for this effort to succeed.

If you’re a television or film production company, click here.

If you’re an interactive digital media production company, click here.

Only one survey should be completed per organization, regardless of size. However, if your company produces both linear and interactive digital media content, please complete both surveys. The survey should be completed by someone with a clear sense of the overall financial and operational picture of your business.

The CMF asks that you complete the survey as soon as it’s convenient and submit it by March 31.

COVID-19 and Canadian Publishing and News

Canadian flag, image,

COVID-19 and Canadian Publishing and News

(March 25, 2020 – Gatineau, QC) CNW – In unprecedented times, Canadians turn to the web, newspapers as well as conventional television and radio stations to get well-sourced and factual information relevant to their community. The media is an indispensable communications link between different levels of government and the public.

“I strongly believe the media plays an essential role in informing Canadians, especially in times of crisis,” said The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Canadian Heritage. “Media organizations play a key role in sharing important information. We must support them, which is why our government will help to ensure that our publishing and information sectors are supported and that our economy remains strong.”

The Government of Canada is taking action to support publishing and news sectors during the COVID-19 pandemic. These efforts will help ensure Canadians can continue to get reliable news and information related to COVID-19, so they can make the right decisions to stay healthy and safe.

New Independent Advisory Board on Eligibility for Journalism Tax Measures

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) confirmed that the Independent Advisory Board on Eligibility for Journalism Tax Measures is now in place. The role of the board is to make recommendations to the CRA on whether a journalism organization meets certain criteria to receive the Qualified Canadian Journalism Organization (QCJO) designation. The QCJO designation is one of the prerequisites organizations must meet to take advantage of the new tax measures. The tax measures were introduced in Budget 2019.

Canada Book Fund and Canada Periodical Fund: A Simplified Process
Canadian Heritage is working to establish a simplified process for submitting and processing 2020-21 funding requests for the Canada Book Fund and Canada Periodical Fund. The process will significantly reduce the time it takes to process files. Eligible beneficiaries will be able to access financial assistance much more quickly than usual. The beneficiaries of these programs will be contacted in the coming days to better explain the simplified approach for 2020-21.



Source: Canadian Heritage

Todor Kobakov

Todor Kobakov, composer,

B: 1978 in Sofia, Bulgaria

Todor Kobakov is pictured at the 2019 Canadian Screen Awards holding his award for his work on the CTV hit series Cardinal, which should not be confused with the 2017 feature film titled Cardinals, for which he also write the music.

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

Sympathy (2007)
Moment (2007, short)
Young People Fucking (2007)
The Cello (2008, short)
Mega Heist (TV-2008, documentary)
Pinkville (2009)

Monster Brawl 2011)
Hit List (2011)
The Samaritan (2012)
Cold Blooded (2012)
Follow (2012, short)
Danielle (2013, short)
Solo (2013)
We Wanted More (2013, short)
The Husband (2013)
Secrets in the Bones: The Hunt for the Black Death Killer (2014, documentary)
Life After death from Above 1979 (2014, documentary)
Given Your History (2014, short)
Hellions (2015)
Closet Monster (2015)
Born to Be Blue (2015)
The Steps (2015)
Sugar Sisters (2016, documentary)
The Missing Tourist (2017, documentary)
Cardinals (2017)
My Enemy, My Brother (2017, documentary)
Backstabbing for Beginners (2018)
The Guardians (2018, documentary)
Sweetness in the Belly (2019)

TV Series:
Bitten (2014-2016, 21 episodes)
Cyberwar (2016, 1 episode)
Madiba (2017, 6 episodes)
The Indian Detective (2017, mini-series, 4 episodes)
Cardinal (2017-2020, 24 episodes)
Ransom (2018-2019, 16 episodes)

The Trickster (2020, mini-series, 6 episodes)
Most Dangerous Game (2020, 12 episodes)


Cardinals, movie, poster,

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