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Samora Smallwood

Samora Smallwood, actress,

B: in St. John's, NL

Samora Gloria Smallwood may have been born in Newfoundland but her family moved to Windsor, Ontario when she was still a young girl. She received her B.A in Drama from the University of Windsor and now makes her home in Toronto.

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

Beneath Perception (2010, short)
On a Break (2011, short)
Club Utopia (2013)
Exigent (2013, short)
I Wish You Love (2014)
Berkshire County (2014)

TV Series – Guest appearances:
Karma’s a B*tch! (2013)
Murder in Paradise (2013)
Teenagers (2014)

Alysa King

Alysa King, actress,

Alysa King began appearing in front of the camera when she was just a child showing up in several nationwide commercials and magazines. When she had completed high school, she went on to post-secondary studies at Sheridan College, enrolling in the Theatre Arts program and graduating in 2005. She continued her education at Queen’s University in Kingston, graduating in 2009 with an honours degree in Dramatic Arts and English Literature and Language. She also went on to complete Teacher’s College in 2010.

Official website.

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

Consequences (2012)
The Misfortune of Madeline Moody (2014, Short)

Berkshire County (2014)
The Millennials (2015)
Holy Hell (2015)
Tale of Two Killers (2015, short)
Voyeur (2015)

TV Series – Guest appearanaces:
Motives & Murders: Cracking the Case (2012, 2014)

Web Series:
Asset: The Webseries (2014)

IMAX at Hot Docs

IMAX at Hot Docs, image,

IMAX at Hot Docs
by Ralph Lucas – Publisher

(April 9, 2018 – Toronto, ON) There are some people who you just know will follow in their father’s footsteps. It came as no surprise to anyone that the young Stephen Low would grow up to work in the film industry. His father was, after all, a renowned National Film Board animator, producer and director. During the 1960s, Colin Low helped develop revolutionary film formats and for Expo ’67 in Montréal, he co-directed In the Labyrinth, a film that used 35mm and 70mm film projected simultaneously on multiple screens, and which is considered the precursor of today’s IMAX and OMNIMAX formats. Over the course of his career he picked up over 100 international awards for his work. How could Stephen not be attracted to filmmaking.

Stephen Low has been highly successful in his own right. For example his 3D short The Last Buffalo was produced for the Suntory pavilion at Expo ’90 in Osaka, Japan and became one of the most popular attractions at the fair, drawing close to two million viewers over six months. The film was the second produced in the revolutionary 15/70 3D medium for IMAX 3D theatres.

His newest project, The Trolley, explores the power and potential of a once nearly forgotten piece of 19th century innovation and is the first IMAX film selected to screen at the Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Film Festival.

It struck me as an interesting bit of timing. Here is this marvellous piece of film technology focused on a topic that dates back to the mid-1880s, and it was made at a time when, despite the obvious The Trolley, movie, IMAX, poster,attraction of seeing a movie on a GIANT screen, the invention of the smartphone with their tiny screens, seems to be the way most people now consume moving images. This growth, thanks in part to Vimeo or YouTube and a concerted effort by broadcasters to push their streaming services, now includes several films shot entirely on cellphones. Last year, for example, the Sundance hit Tangerine was shot on three iPhone 5s.

I turned to Hot Docs programmer Shane Smith to answer a few questions and he pointed out a few facts that helped him make the decision to select The Trolley. In addition to the film being largely focused on Toronto’s iconic streetcars, he reminded me that this is the festival’s 25th anniversary and with Toronto being home to the very first IMAX screen in Canada, it was a great opportunity to thank the people of Toronto for their support over the years. Cinesphere at Ontario Place opened on May 22, 1971 and recently went through an extensive renovation including the installation of the latest OMAX projection technologies.

The Trolley, narrated by Maurice Dean Wint, runs about 45 minutes and visits a number of cities around the world where streetcars are still in use and growing in popularity. Tracing the history of the trolley from its very beginning, the main thrust of the film is to bluntly remind viewers, and governments, that as climate change threatens to become more extreme here is a clean, pollution-free way to move huge numbers of people quickly and efficiently through cities old and new.

But what about IMAX in the era of the smartphone? “There’s no substitute for the cinematic experience,” said Shane Smith and he’s right. His decision was based in part on the film having “a great story” and the conviction that there will always be a place for “big stories on the big screen.”

When I suggested the cost of producing an IMAX film might ultimately be problematic, especially when compared to the cost of shooting on a cellphone, Smith pointed out that IMAX films often have extremely long runs in many of the IMAX theatres around the world. I immediately remembered the Toni Myers film A Beautiful Planet, which is still playing at the Ontario Science Centre. It opened on April 29, 2016.

Hot Docs runs from April 26 to May 6. The Trolley has one free screening at the Cinesphere at Ontario Place on Saturday, May 5. Click here for more information.

Also see: IMAX at 50.

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.

Sebastian Pigott

Sebastian Pigott, actor, Canadian,
Photo by Indrek Mandmets.

B: February 14, 1983 in Toronto, Ontario

Sebastian Pigott attended the Etobicoke School of the Arts. In addition to acting, he enjoys writing music and screenplays.

Official website.

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

Two Days Till Tomorrow (2002)
The Poet (2007)
Roxy Hunter and the Mystery of the Moody Ghost (TV-2007)
Fire and Fury (2008, short)
The Morning Party (2008, short)
Deadliest Sea (TV-2009)

Saw 3D: The Final Chapter (2010)
Committed (TV-2011)
Family Man (2011)
Cinnamon Girl (TV-2013)
Poker Night (2013)
Victims (2013)
Pacific Rim (2013)
Killing Daddy (TV-2014)
Timber (2015, short)
Below Her Mouth (2016)
Mommy’s Little Boy (TV-2016)
Anon (2017)
Kodachrome (2017)
The New Romantic (2018)

TV Series – Cast:

Being Erica (2009-2011)

Bomb Girls (2012-2013)
Ascension (2014, mini-series)

TV Series – Guest appearances:
The Border (2008)
The Listener (2009)
Heartland (2009)

Cra$h & Burn (2010)
The Bridge (2010)
Haven (2010)
Murdoch Mysteries (2011)
Cracked (2013)
Darknet (2014)
Revenge (2015)
Rogue (2016)

Kodachrome, movie, poster,

The New Romantic, movie, poster,

Mark Raso

Mark Raso, director,

B: in Toronto, Ontario

Mark Raso attended the University of Toronto where he received a BA in English Literature and Cinema Studies. He went on to study directing and screenwriting at Columbia University where he received an MFA in film. While at Columbia, Raso wrote, directed, and produced a number of short films that culminated in winning the Gold Medal, the highest honour a student can receive, from the Student Academy Awards of the Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. His second feature, Kodachrome, enjoyed one of the biggest sales at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival. Shot entirely on film stock it costars Jason Sudeikis, Elizabeth Olsen and Ed Harris in a touching road movie that doubles as an elegy for analog in the digital age. It will be released as a Netflix Original on April 20th, 2018.

Also see: Mark Raso talks about The Making of Kodachrome.

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

The Engagement Party (2006, short)
Tomorrow (2009, short)

Brand New Day (2010, short)
Grey (2010, short)
In for a Surprise (2010, short)
Under (2011, short)
Copenhagen (2014)
Kodachrome (2017)

Credits as a Screenwriter:
The Engagement Party (2006, short)
Tomorrow (2009, short)
Whales/Man (2009, short)

Brand New Day (2010, short)
Grey (2010, short)
In for a Surprise (2010, short)
Under (2011, short)
Copenhagen (2014)
Kodachrome (2017)
Tsuki (2017, short)

Jonathan Shatzky

Jonathan Shatzky, actor,

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

Imitation (2007)
Broken Tulips (2008, short)
Who Is KK Downey? (2008)

Francine (2012)
Allure (2017)

TV Series – Guest appearances:
Flashpoint (2009)

XIII: The Series (2011)
Lost Girl (2013)
Private Eyes (2017)
Suits (2017)

Allure, movie, poster,

Allure

Allure, movie, image, Evan Rachel Wood,
Evan Rachel Wood in Allure, an Entertainment One release.

105 minutes – Drama, Romance, Thriller
Festival release date: September 10, 2017 (TIFF)
Release date: April 6, 2018 (Toronto)
Canadian distributor: eOne Films

A thirty-year-old woman, troubled by her past and struggling with a dysfunctional relationship with her father, seeks sexual and emotional fulfillment through a series of failed relationships. However, her life changes when she befriends and convinces an unhappy sixteen-year-old girl to run away to her house, under the guise of a confidante who wants to help. Although the arrangement initially works, it soon becomes clear that for the young girl to stay and continue satisfying her needs, the older woman will have to employ immoral tactics. Manipulation, denial and co-dependency fuel what ultimately becomes a fractured dynamic that can only sustain itself for so long.

A Canadian production, Allure was shot in Montréal, Québec.

Allure, movie, poster,
Crew:

Producer:

Luc Déry
Kim McCraw

Associate Producer:

Élaine Hébert

Line Producer:

Jasmyrh Lemoine

Director:

Carlos Sanchez
Jason Sanchez

Screenwriter:

Carlos Sanchez
Jason Sanchez

Cinematographer:

Sara Mishara

Editor:

Jesse Riviere
Elisabeth Olga Tremblay

Composer:

Olivier Alary

Production Designer:

Emmanuel Frechette

Art Director:

Patrick Binette

Costume Designer:

Valérie Bélègou

Cast:Roles:

Evan Rachel Wood
Julia Sarah Stone
Denis O’Hare
Maxim Roy
Joe Cobden
Jonathan Shatzky
Yardly Kavanagh
Teresa Picciano
Lara Binamé
Nick Baillie
Michael Dozier
Max Laferriere
Kenny Wong
Julia Dawi

Laura Drake
Eva
William
Nancy
Benjamin
Skinny man
Office clerk #1
Office clerk #2
Waitress
Nancy’s boyfriend
Detective
Stocky Man
Guy with Laura
Swimmer #3

Vail Loves Mary

Vail Loves Mary, image,
Photo of Aya Cash provided by the Vail Film Festival.

Vail Loves Mary
by Staff

(April 4, 2018 – Toronto, ON) Regular readers know that with our main focus being Canadian film and television, we rarely pay attention to events south of the border or elsewhere. That doesn’t mean we ignore those areas, just that there’s little news that fits within our rather strict parameters. That said, we couldn’t help but notice an item from Colorado’s Vail Film Festival.

Yesterday organizers announced that the festival will honour Aya Cash with its 2018 Excellence in Acting award for her incredible work in the Canadian film Mary Goes Round and for her varied and nuanced performances in both film and television.

In 2015, Cash, who was born in San Francisco, received a Critics’ Choice Television Award nomination for Best Mary Goes Round, poster, movie,Actress in a Comedy Series for her lead role in the FX/FXX series You’re the Worst. Other credits include Brotherhood, Law & Order, Mercy, and The Newsroom. Cash was also a series regular in the 2011 Fox comedy Traffic Light.

In Mary Goes Round, written and directed by Molly McGlynn, Aya plays Mary, a substance abuse counselor who gets arrested for a DUI. She returns to her hometown of Niagara Falls and learns that her estranged father is dying of cancer. He wants her to form a bond with her teenaged half-sister that she’s never met.

“We’re excited to screen the Colorado Premiere of Mary Goes Round and to honor Aya Cash,” said Festival Director, Corinne Hara , “Our programming team fell in love with her honest, raw and heartfelt performance. Aya’s ability to make you laugh and cry in the same breath is a testament to her talent and dedication to her craft.”

Mary Goes Round is scheduled to screen at the festival this Friday, April 6 at 8:30pm. The Excellence in Acting award will be presented and on-stage followed by an interview with Aya Cash on Saturday, April 7 at 7:45pm. For more information about the 15th annual Vail Film Festival, click here.

Yvonne Pelletier

Yvonne Pelletier, actress,
This image of Yvonne Pelletier was scanned from
an original 11x14 photo in the
Northernstars Collection.

B: December 2, 1915 in Port Haney, British Columbia
D: May, 1984 in Warren, Rhode Island

Yvonne Pelletier was a child actress in the 1920s who made her first film when she was 11-years-old. She was in a few films in the 1930s and she made her last of just nine movies in 1938 when she was 23. She is pictured in an exclusive portrait by photographer Hal Phyfe for the iconic 1931 film Riders of the Purple Sage, for the Fox Film Corporation. The Northernstars Collection acquired the photo in 2018.

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

Bride of the Storm (1926)
Children of Divorce (1927)
The Crystal Cup (1927)

Young Sinners (1931)
Riders of the Purple Sage (1931)
Cradle Song (1933)
Lightning Triggers (1935)
The Last Train from Madrid (1937)
The Buccaneer (1938)

TJFF Announces Films

TJFF Announces Films, image,

TJFF Announces Films
by Staff

Organizers of the 2018 Toronto Jewish Film Festival (TJFF) have announced their opening and closing night films. This year’s festival kicks off on May 3rd with a screening of the Eric Barbier drama Promise at Dawn. Ten days later, on May 13h, the festival will close with a portrait of iconic US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in a documentary by co-directors Betsy West and Julie Cohen simply titled RBG. Both films are Toronto premieres.

“We are thrilled to have these two films open and close the festival, both of which present true and inspiring stories that need to be shared with audiences on the big screen.” said Stuart Hands, Programme Director, Toronto Jewish Film Festival.


Promise at Dawn is an adaptation of the extraordinary life of French writer and military hero Romain Gary, based on Gary’s own memoir. Delivering multi-layered performances, Charlotte Gainsbourg (Melancholia) and Pierre Niney (Yves Saint Laurent) headline this story of a man driven to greatness while in search of maternal approval. The TJFF Announces Films, image,sweeping narrative moves from Gary’s impoverished childhood in Poland, to his adolescence in Nice to his years as a student in Paris and his tough training as a pilot during World War II. Gary was, by the way, one of the most famous French novelists and sole writer to have won the Goncourt Prize for French literature twice. The feature runs two hours and ten minutes and the large cast includes Didier Bourdon, Catherine McCormack and Finnegan Oldfield. The screening will be followed by a Skype Q&A with director Eric Barbier.
TJFF Announces Films, image,
The focus of the closing night film is Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who is both a legal legend and pop culture icon, affectionately referred to as “the Notorious RBG.” In the revelatory documentary, Betsy West and Julie Cohen trace her journey from law school to the Supreme Court, weaving home movies, archival footage and interviews with her friends, children, granddaughter and Ginsburg herself. The screening on May 13th will be followed by a Skype Q&A with co-director Julie Cohen.

The 2018 lineup, schedule and ticket pricing information will be available online at TJFF.com as of April 16. Early Bird Special passes are available now and will continue to be available until April 13. Single tickets go on sale on April 20. Box office information and tickets are available online or by phone at 416-324-9121.

A Writer’s Life & Award Shows

A Writer's Life & Award Shows

A Writer’s Life & Award Shows
by Jim Slotek

(April 2, 2018 – Toronto, ON) It is my dream to someday be a contestant on Jeopardy. Alas, that is unlikely, because I once had a gig writing jokes for Alex Trebek.

No, that isn’t some form of punishment by the production for being an enabler (as any Jeopardy fan knows, Alex is convinced, against all the video evidence, that he’s a funny guy). It’s simply a conflict of interest because I was a writer on the NHL Awards for three of its years in Toronto (it’s now produced in Las Vegas), and he was a host of one of those.

Though I continued to be a fulltime writer for the Toronto Sun at the time, I had what is these days called a “side hustle” as a writer of award shows. I did those three NHL Awards. I wrote a Gemini Awards (I was nominated for a writing Gemini while writing for the Geminis – Canadian showbiz can be quite a log-rolling exercise). I wrote the National Rock Awards (a national syndicated version of Toronto station Q-107’s Q Rock Awards). I did (and still do) write industry awards for Canadian Music Week.

That represents an awful lot of celebrity interaction, both Canadian and American. But it’s never been a prestige job. Canadian awards shows typically get roundly trashed in reviews. Perhaps no review has ever been as scathing as the Globe and Mail’s take, by TV critic John Doyle, on this year’s Canadian Screen Awards.

To wit: “smug, boring, long-winded and hopeless… unfunny, insipid, hopelessly earnest and amateurish…”


”Seriously, is it so hard to even find an outfit that fits the co-host of the big gala? (Murdoch Mysteries’) Jonny Harris spent the night in an ill-fitting, over-large white dinner jacket that looked like something he’d grabbed quickly at Value Village to wear to a cousin’s wedding at some banquet hall out on the highway.”


And all that’s only four paragraphs in.

The Junos, a few weeks later, received kinder reviews. There was warmth over the Barenaked Ladies’ reunion and the tribute to The Tragically Hip’s Gord Downie. Host Michael Bublé even announced on live TV that he and his wife were having a baby. Only the flintiest heart would rain on that parade.

But in the ‘90s on the Geminis, the predictability of bad reviews was such that we even had a pre-written bit within the show where we visited the press room and got slammed while the show was happening. We got good laughs.

Still, my experiences working on Canadian awards shows were priceless. On those Geminis, I got to sit down with Mike Myers and Eugene Levy and collaborate on what they’d say as presenters. Wayne’s World had just come out to a bazillion dollars of box office, so we had Levy pretend he didn’t know about it. (“So, I haven’t seen you in a while, Mike. Ya workin’?”)

My best memory of Alex Trebek as an NHL Awards host was a bit I wrote for him and “player co-host” Doug Gilmour, where Alex asks mid-show how he likes co-hosting. “It’s like playing,” sez The Killer. “You stay within yourself and go out and give 110%.” To which Alex shook his head and said, “That has always bugged me about athletes. It is impossible to give more than 100%.”

“What do you mean?” Gilmour said.

I had Alex put up one hand straight out. “Here’s 100%” He then offered his other hand. “Here’s you.” And in an upward motion, he kept slapping one hand against the other. “You could never go higher than 100%!” To which Gilmour responded. “You could never play for Pat Burns.”

The only reason I mention that lame bit is that Alex so loved it, that he spent the entire day practicing slapping his hands together.

The National Rock Awards were hosted by Weird Al Yankovic and the late Jeff Healey, as odd a pairing as there could be. Both great guys, though. Jeff encouraged me to write blind jokes for him – almost all of which were spiked by the producers, to his annoyance.

My most vivid memory of the event: having to help basically carry then-heavy-drinker David Carradine to his limo at the end of the night. Earlier, during his appearance onstage as a presenter, the star of the Canadian-produced Kung Fu: The Next Generation threw a flying kick at Weird Al that missed his nose by about a millimeter.

The late Leslie Nielsen gave me the single best demonstration of a pro in action as host of the Canadian Radio Music Awards at Canadian Music Week (basically a rookie-of-the-year awards luncheon for new bands, based on airplay).

Nielsen arrived from L.A. late the night before, and I wrote a last-minute monologue for him. This was about 2000, and the premise was that he’d left Canada in the early ‘80s, so his idea of up-and-coming Canadian bands stopped at Martha & The Muffins, Luba and Men Without Hats.

I wasn’t sure it would work, but I got there as he was eating his dessert. He put on his glasses, looked it over, said, “Yep,” and “Uh huh,” a few times as he flipped pages, and finally said, “I get it.” And that was the extent of our exchange.

He then got up onstage with those couple of pages I’d written for him and read them out with unbelievable comic timing, pauses and sublime deadpan, as if he really was oblivious. The audience was screaming. I was proud of having written the instrument he played so beautifully for a simple industry event.

It wasn’t the kind of awards show that ended up getting reviewed in the papers, but if it had and had been panned, I would have written an angry letter to the editor. Of course, that would have been a conflict of interest.

Northernstars logo imageJim Slotek is a longtime Toronto Sun columnist, movie critic, TV critic and comedy beat reporter who has interviewed thousands of celebrities. He’s been a scriptwriter for the NHL Awards, Gemini Awards and documentaries, and was nominated for a Gemini Award for comedy writing on a special. His writing also appears in Cineplex, Movie Entertainment magazines and in the blog Original-Cin.

Un 32 août sur terre

Un 32 août sur terre, movie, image,
This image was scanned from an original still set in the Northernstars Collection.

88 minutes – Drama
Festival release date: 1998 (Cannes)
Release date: February 11, 1999 (Québec)
Production Company: Max Films
Canadian Distributor: France Film/Red Sky

On August 32nd everything changes for 26-year-old Simone Prevost (Pascale Bussieres). After a frightening car accident, she is faced with her own mortality and solitude. With the realization that “No one is eternally eternal,” she quits her interna­tional modelling career, cancels a trip to Italy, and embarks full force on her new­found mission: to have a child. Despite his lifelong attraction to her, her best friend Philippe is taken aback by Simone’s request that he be the father. But, bound by a naive promise made earlier, he reluctantly agrees – on the absurd random condition that they conceive in a desert. Amused, but not to be deterred, Simone quickly arranges flights to the nearest desert: Salt Lake City. Alas, the salt desert, despite its awesome majesty, does not inspire their passions. Hipped off and abused further by a cabbie, Simone and Philippe are abandoned in the middle of a seemingly endless expanse of desert. As if that is not enough, they are further tested by an event that will contin­ue to haunt Simone. By the time they return to the airport they have missed their flight. The failed spontaneity of the moment weighs heavily on Philippe, and his about­face may prove catastrophic to their rela­tionship. Their journey has permanently altered their lives. They are stuck in the fuzzy territory between romantic love and profound friendship. On September 5th, they come crashing down to reality.

Un 32 août sur terre screened in the Un Certain Regard section at the 1998 Cannes Film Festival. Alexis Martin won the Prix Jutra for Best Actor and The film was selected as the Canadian entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 71st Academy Awards, but was not nominated. This film marks Denis Villeneuve’s feature directorial debut and in its writeup of the film in 1998, TIFF stated Un 32 août sur terre “establishes him as an impressive new talent.”

No Poster Available
Crew:

Producer:

Roger Frappier

Director:

Denis Villeneuve

Screenwriter:

Denis Villeneuve

Cinematographer:

André Turpin

Editor:

Sophie LeBlond

Composer:

Pierres Desrochers
Nathalie Boileau

Art Director:

Jean Babin

Costume Designer:

Suzanne Harel

Cast:Roles:

Pascale Bussieres
Alexis Martin
Richard S. Hamilton
Serge Theriault
Emmanuel Bilodeau
Paule Baillargeon
Frederic Desager
Evelyne Rompre
Ivan Smith
Estelle Esse
Joanne Cote
R. Craig Costin
Marc Jeanty
Venelina Ghiaourov
Lee C. Fobert

Simone
Philippe
Taxi Driver- Salt Lake City
Car Driver
Best Friend
Doctor at the hospital
Stephane
Juliette
Doctor
Tanning Salon Receptionist
Monica
Rental Agent- Salt Lake City
Janvier
Nurse
Car Driver- Salt Lake City

Un 32 août sur terre

Un 32 août sur terre, movie, image,
This image was scanned from an original still set in the Northernstars Collection.

88 minutes – Drama
Festival release date: 1998 (Cannes)
Release date:
Production Company: Max Films
Canadian Distributor: France Film/Red Sky

On August 32nd everything changes for 26-year-old Simone Prevost (Pascale Bussieres). After a frightening car accident, she is faced with her own mortality and solitude. With the realization that “No one is eternally eternal,” she quits her interna­tional modelling career, cancels a trip to Italy, and embarks full force on her new­found mission: to have a child. Despite his lifelong attraction to her, her best friend Philippe is taken aback by Simone’s request that he be the father. But, bound by a naive promise made earlier, he reluctantly agrees – on the absurd random condition that they conceive in a desert. Amused, but not to be deterred, Simone quickly arranges flights to the nearest desert: Salt Lake City. Alas, the salt desert, despite its awesome majesty, does not inspire their passions. Hipped off and abused further by a cabbie, Simone and Philippe are abandoned in the middle of a seemingly endless expanse of desert. As if that is not enough, they are further tested by an event that will contin­ue to haunt Simone. By the time they return to the airport they have missed their flight. The failed spontaneity of the moment weighs heavily on Philippe, and his about­face may prove catastrophic to their rela­tionship. Their journey has permanently altered their lives. They are stuck in the fuzzy territory between romantic love and profound friendship. On September 5th, they come crashing down to reality.

Un 32 août sur terre screened in the Un Certain Regard section at the 1998 Cannes Film Festival. Alexis Martin won the Prix Jutra for Best Actor and The film was selected as the Canadian entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 71st Academy Awards, but was not nominated. This film marks Denis Villeneuve’s feature directorial debut and in its writeup of the film in 1998, TIFF stated Un 32 août sur terre “establishes him as an impressive new talent.”

No Poster Available
Crew:

Producer:

Roger Frappier

Director:

Denis Villeneuve

Screenwriter:

Denis Villeneuve

Cinematographer:

André Turpin

Editor:

Sophie LeBlond

Composer:

Pierres Desrochers
Nathalie Boileau

Art Director:

Jean Babin

Costume Designer:

Suzanne Harel

Cast:Roles:

Pascale Bussieres
Alexis Martin
Richard S. Hamilton
Serge Theriault
Emmanuel Bilodeau
Paule Baillargeon
Frederic Desager
Evelyne Rompre
Ivan Smith
Estelle Esse
Joanne Cote
R. Craig Costin
Marc Jeanty
Venelina Ghiaourov
Lee C. Fobert

Simone
Philippe
Taxi Driver- Salt Lake City
Car Driver
Best Friend
Doctor at the hospital
Stephane
Juliette
Doctor
Tanning Salon Receptionist
Monica
Rental Agent- Salt Lake City
Janvier
Nurse
Car Driver- Salt Lake City

Cinéfranco’s Spécial Québec Returns

Cinéfranco's Spécial Québec Returns, image
Image from Le Trip à Trois courtesy of Les Films Séville.

Cinéfranco’s Spécial Québec Returns
by Staff

(March 28, 2018 – Toronto, ON) La Tournée du Cinema Québecois  in partnership with Cinéfranco returns to Toronto for the annual Toronto showcase of the best of recent Québecois cinema. This year’s Cinéfranco Spécial Québec will offer up 6 features and a program of shorts by Indigenous youth as well as special guests including esteemed director, playwright, novelist and essayist Bernard Émond and directors Pascal Plante and Mélissa Lefebvre. Cinéfranco Spécial Québec opens on Saturday, April 14 at 2pm with a raucous comedy by director Nicolas Monette. In Le Trip à Trois, Estelle who leads a stable and predictable life with her husband and daughter decides to shake things up by pursuing a threesome.

 
At 4:30pm, special guest director Pascal Plante will answer questions about his movie Les Faux Tatouages (Fake Tattoos),  a drama about Théo, a shy guy who is blindsided at his 18th birthday celebration by a punk-rock romance.
 

 
Saturday’s program wraps at 7pm with director Bernard Émond (La Neuvaine) who will introduce and participate in a Q+A after a screening of his newest film. A road trip, Pour Vivre Ici (A Place To Live) reunites Émond with actress Élise Guilbault.  Guilbault plays a sixty-something woman who after her husband’s death travels from his small town on the Côte-Nord to visit his children in Montreal and the places of his childhood in Northern Ontario.

 
Sunday’s program begins at 2pm with Guillaume Lambert’s Les Scènes Fortuites (My Intelligent Comedy).  Thirty-something filmmaker Damien finds himself in debt, working in a post-house to stay afloat and unable to complete his film in this biting satire of the Québec film business.

 
A program of three shorts by young Indigenous filmmakers at 4:15pm is followed by Bagages, a documentary-hybrid that gives a voice to newly arrived teenaged immigrants in Montreal.  Through drama, workshops and theatrical productions they speak of their experiences with remarkable wisdom, powerful emotion and disarming authenticity. Co-director Melissa Lefebvre will attend for a Q+A following the screening.

La Tournée du Cinéma Québecois runs Saturday, April 14 & Sunday, April 15, at the Carlton Cinemas in Toronto. More information and tickets are available online from Cinéfranco.

WOW’s Mainframe debuts New Productions

WOW’s Mainframe debuts New Productions
by Staff

(March 29, 2018, Vancouver, BC) Vancouver based WOW! Unlimited Media Inc. continues to make inroads in the competitive marketplace of kids and youth entertainment. Mainframe Studios, WOW’s animated and live-action television production studio, is about to debut projects created to reach a broad demographic. While it continues to offer traditionally accessible fare, the company is embracing the new digital options that showcase its innovation and production expertise.

Mainframe Studios’ highly anticipated hybrid live-action/CG animated series ReBoot: The Guardian Code, will premiere as a Netflix original series worldwide tomorrow, March 30th, followed by Canadian distribution on YTV in June. Created by Studio Head Michael Hefferon, the action comedy follows the adventures of four teenagers who discover on the first day of high school that they have been selected to become the next generation Guardians of Cyberspace with the help of Vera, an artificially intelligent bio-constructed teenage girl. ReBoot: The Guardian Code is the first television series to create visually stunning animation using the Unreal Game Engine with 4K resolution and features a mix of character driven stories, humor, and adrenaline pumping action to captivate and engage a wide audience of viewers. Mainframe Studios produced the first ever CG animated series ReBoot in 1994

ReBoot: The Guardian Code is distributed by Nelvana and produced by Mainframe Studios. Mainframe is currently developing The Anybodies, a 6-11 animated comedy/adventure series about a 12-year-old girl who discovers her powers as a shapeshifter when reunited with her real family after being switched at birth. The series is based on the successful book trilogy by author Julianna Baggott (aka N.E. Bode), as adapted by writers David H. Steinberg & Keetgi Kogan Steinberg (Yo Kai Watch), who will be executive producers. Emmy award-winning director Mark Risley is on board to direct the series.

Mainframe Studios will also continue its longstanding relationship with Mattel and Barbie. It is in production on a 26-episode TV series entitled Barbie Dreamhouse Adventures. The studio has produced 30+ animated Barbie movies with Mattel over the past 17 years.


WOW Unlimited Media Inc., formerly Rainmaker Entertainment Inc., is creating a leading next-generation kids and youth animation business by focusing on digital platforms and content. The company’s key assets include: the world’s #1 digital animation network, Frederator Networks, which consists of an animation production company Frederator Studios as well as VOD channels on digital platforms; the world’s first Hispanic animation network, Átomo Network, a joint venture with Ánima Estudios; and one of Canada’s largest, multi-faceted animation production studios, Rainmaker Entertainment, which consists of Mainframe Studios that produces CGI animated television series and Rainmaker Studios that produces long-form animated features. The company operates out of offices in Toronto, New York, Vancouver and Los Angeles,

Source: CNW

Bell Adds Pinewood Toronto

Bell Adds Pinewood Toronto

Bell Adds Pinewood Toronto
by Staff

(March 29, 2018 – Toronto, ON) Bell Media has announced that it has entered into an agreement for its Bell Media Studios division to acquire a majority stake in Pinewood Toronto Studios, in partnership with Comweb Studio Holdings, Castlepoint, and the City of Toronto.


“The addition of Pinewood Toronto Studios to our portfolio offers us an exciting new advantage in meeting the rising demand for original content across all media platforms,” said Bell Media Studio’s Nanci MacLean. “One of our first actions will be to add a further 170,000 square feet (51,793 square metres) of sound stages and support space, maintaining Pinewood Toronto Studios as a best-in-class film and TV studio.” MacLean, Vice-President and Head of Bell Media Studios, will oversee operations at Pinewood Toronto Studios.

Pinewood Toronto is one of the largest purpose-built production studios in Canada and the preferred choice for domestic and international producers of film and TV content in Toronto. As a part of the transaction, Bell Media Studios Inc. will acquire a majority stake in the 33.5 acre (13.5 hectares) facility in Toronto’s Port Lands. The complex includes 11 purpose-built stages, including one of the largest sound stages in North America at 46,000 square foot (4,274 square metres), as well as offices that can house multiple productions at a time, teaching facilities, and a variety of support services for a growing roster of domestic and international film and television clients.

“Our partnership to purchase Pinewood Toronto Studios reinforces Bell Media’s role as Canada’s leading content creation company,” said Randy Lennox, President, Bell Media. “We’re excited about the synergies that Pinewood Toronto can offer and the role it will play in generating new revenue streams in an open-shop basis.”

Recent productions filming at Pinewood Toronto Studios include Star Trek: Discovery, Molly’s Game, Room, Suicide Squad, Spotlight, IT, Downsizing, Crimson Peak, and The Expanse. It has previously been home to Bell Media original productions including Orphan Black, The Listener, and Killjoys.

“The investment that Bell Media is making in Pinewood Toronto Studios and its expansion is significant and is proof of Bell Media’s commitment to our city and of its role as a world-class content creator,” said Toronto Mayor John Tory. “Toronto is home to industry-leading talent in the television and film production industry and as a city we are committed to supporting the growth of that industry at all levels and aspects of that production.”

“Our Toronto studios are a film and television success story,” said Paul Bronfman, Chairman of Pinewood Toronto Studios. “We look forward to working with Randy and the Bell Media team to produce more high-calibre and innovative programming right here in Toronto and I’m sure that the ongoing sales and marketing support from Pinewood UK will continue to be a significant advantage for our business.”

Source: CNW

Stephen Low

Stephen Low, director,

B: in Ottawa, Ontario

Born in Ottawa, Stephen Low was raised in Montreal and southern Alberta. His father, Colin Low, was a distinguished documentary filmmaker and cinema pioneer whose career at the National Film Board of Canada spanned over 50 years and helped the institution win a truckload of awards, including nine Oscar® nominations. Stephen Low’s 3D short The Last Buffalo was produced for the Suntory pavilion at Expo ’90 in Osaka, Japan and became one of the most popular attractions at the fair, drawing over 1,940,000 viewers over six months. The film was the second produced in the revolutionary 15/70 3D medium for IMAX 3D theatres. His newest project, The Trolley, explores the power and potential of a once nearly forgotten piece of 19th century innovation. Following its existence from 19th century invention to near extinction in the 1960s, Low’s film focuses on Toronto as one of the only cities in North America to have retained an extensive streetcar network. The Trolley will have its World Premiere at the 2018 Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival.

Company website.

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

Challenger: An Industrial Romance (1980, short)
Challenger: An Industrial Romance (1980)
Skyward (1985, short)
Beavers (1988, short)

The Defender (1990)
The Last Buffalo (1990, short, 3D)
Titanica (1992)
Flight of the Aquanaut (1993)
Across the Sea of Time (1995)
Super Speedway (1997)
Mark Twain’s America in 3D (1998, 3D)

Volcanoes of the Deep Sea (2003, short)
Fighter Pilot: Operation Red Flag (2004, short)

The Ultimate Wave Tahiti (2010)
Legends of Flight (2010)
Rescue (2011)
Rocky Mountain Express (2011)
Aircraft Carrier: Guardian of the Seas (2016, short)
The Trolley (2018)

Credits as a Screenwriter:
Challenger: An Industrial Romance (1980, short)
Challenger: An Industrial Romance (1980)
Acting Class (1980, short)

The Defender (1990)
Mark Twain’s America in 3D (1998, 3D)
Gold Fever (1999, short)

Jane Goodall’s Wild Chimpanzees (2002)
Volcanoes of the Deep Sea (2003, short)
Fighter Pilot: Operation Red Flag (2004, short)
Mysteries of the Great Lakes (2008)

Legends of Flight (2010)
Rescue (2011)
Aircraft Carrier: Guardian of the Seas (2016, short)
The Trolley (2018)

TV Series:
Journey with Dylan Dreyer (2017, 1 episode)

Credits as a Producer:
Challenger: An Industrial Romance (1980, short)
Challenger: An Industrial Romance (1980)
Splitz (1985, Executive producer)
Beavers (1988, short)

Titanica (1992)
Flight of the Aquanaut (1993)
Across the Sea of Time (1995)
Super Speedway (1997)
Mark Twain’s America in 3D (1998, 3D)

Fighter Pilot: Operation Red Flag (2004, short)

Legends of Flight (2010)
Rescue (2011)
The Trolley (2018)

Corner Gas: Live & Animated

Corner Gas: Live & Animated, image,

Corner Gas: Live & Animated
by Staff

(March 22, 2018 – Toronto, ON) It was the tiny Saskatchewan community most viewers wished they could move to, even if they couldn’t spell Saskatchewan, or pronounce it. It was Dog River and you can’t find it on a map because it never existed. Yet, legion of fans dutifully showed up to watch the hit comedy show, Corner Gas, which was set in the fictional town. Adding some sense of reality to the non-existent, tiny town, Corner Gas was said to be the only gas station for some 60 kilometres in any direction. The series went on to run for six seasons, 107 episodes, winning six Gemini awards. It had reached into the hearts of all who Hot Docs Ted Rogers cinema, image,watched series star Brent Butt and the rest of the cast to such an extent that the Premier of Saskatchewan, Brad Wall, proclaimed April 13, 2009, the day the last episode was broadcast as “Corner Gas Day” in Saskatchewan.

As a measure of the show’s popularity, beginning from its very first broadcast in January of 2004, Corner Gas maintained an audience of more than a million viewers for all 107 episodes of the series. Naturally it went into syndication and there was a feature-length movie in 2014. Now, reaching some new plateau for a Canadian show, the cast returns to offer their voices to a new series, Corner Gas Animated, which will have its premiere on April 2 on The Comedy Network.

But before that, on Thursday, March 29 at 7:00 PM to be precise, Toronto fans are in for a very special treat when the Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema plays host to Brent Butt and the rest of the cast for a one-of-a-kind live event. Ticket holders will be able to watch the cast go through a live reading from one of the scripts. This will be followed by a world-exclusive sneak preview of the much anticipated series, and then a Q&A session with the actors.

It’s a great opportunity to show your love for the original series, the characters and the people who played the people of Dog River, Saskatchewan. Click here for tickets and more information.

Howie Mandel: Funny Money

Howie Mandel: Funny Money, image,
Photo of Howie Mandel at the 2017 Canadian Screen Awards © Ralph Lucas.

Howie Mandel: Funny Money
by Staff

(March 22, 2018 – Toronto, ON) When the founder of the Just For Laughs empire, Gilbert Rozon stepped away from his company last October following accusations of sexual misconduct and assault spanning three decades, there was little speculation who would end up owning the most successful comedy event in North America. Considered a “cultural treasure” in Québec, one of its largest shareholders, the all-powerful Québecor Group was thought to be the most obvious new owner. But a funny thing happened on the way to the bank.

There were seven groups interested in buying the Just For Laughs Group. As it turns out, based on a 2012 partnership deal with the comedy festival, Québecor maintained a Right of First Refusal. What that means is they could effectively block any potential bid simply by matching it or offering a little more. Québecor announced last week it would not exercise that right and yesterday in Montreal it was announced that the company had been sold to Canadian comedian Howie Mandel and ICM Partners, a Los Angeles-based talent and literary agency.

ICM assured everyone that the Just For Laughs offices and festival would remain in Montreal. In fact, Pierre-Marc Johnson, the chairman of Just For Laugh’s board of directors stated, “They gave their word that they intend to keep operations in Montreal.”

Mandel, who has performed at Just For Laughs many times in the past 10 years said, “I consider it to be a cultural treasure not only for the Montreal and Quebec communities, but also for Canada.”

It should be noted that Gilbert Rozon has denied the allegations against him and they have not been proven in court.

The 36th annual Just For Laughs Festival will run from July 14 to July 28 in Montreal.

The Detail

Detail Details, image,
The main cast of The Detail. Photo courtesy of CTV.

10×60 minutes – Crime, drama,
First broadcast: March 25, 2018
Originating Network: CTV

2018 – 10×60 minutes (March 25, 2018)

The Detail is a female-driven, police procedural chronicling three Homicide Detectives within the Metropolitan Police Service who work tirelessly to solve crimes while navigating the complicated demands of their personal lives. Detective Stevie Hall (Angela Griffin) is an experienced interrogator who can extricate information from suspects and witnesses alike, even while her thorny family life teeters on the edge of full-blown implosion. Her partner, Detective Jacqueline ‘Jack’ Cooper (Shenae Grimes-Beech) is a street-smart rookie with a messy personal life. The unit is overseen by larger-than-life Staff Inspector Fiona Currie (Wendy Crewson) – a formidable boss who works overtime to keep the weekly case board clear and the streets safe.

No Poster Available
Crew:

Producer:

Ilana Frank

Executive Producer:

Ilana Frank
Ley Lukins (Co-Showrunner)
Adam Pettle (Co-Showrunner)
Linda Pope
Nicola Shindler
Sally Wainwright
Jocelyn Hamilton (Entertainment One)

Co-Executive Producer:

Sonia Hosko
Gregory Smith

Consulting Producer:

Kathy Avrich Johnson

Director:

Jordan Canning
John Fawcett
James Genn
Grant Harvey
Sara St. Onge

Screenwriter:

Sandra Chwialkowska
Matt Doyle
Sarah Goodman
Naledi Jackson
Joe Pernice
Katrina Saville
Graeme Stewart

Cinematographer:

David Perrault

Editor:

Teresa Hannigan
Jean Coulombe

Composer:

Ian LeFeuvre
Benjamin Pinkerton

Production Designer:

Benno Tutter

Costume Designer:

Jenifur Jarvis

Cast:Roles:

Wendy Crewson
Shenae Grimes-Beech
Angela Griffin
David Cubitt
Matthew Edison
Al Mukadam
Matt Gordon
Claire Qute
Richie Lawrence
Dan Abramovici
Elizabeth Whitmere
Guest Stars:
Ben Bass
David Ferry
Rebecca Liddiard
Melanie Nicholls-King
Sheila McCarthy
Ella Ballentine
Emily Pope
Sergio Di Zio
Kevin Hanchard
Huse Madhavji
Jordan Todosey
Kari Matchett
Latoya Webb
Alex Carter
Mark Rendall
Ian D. Clark
Josh Beech

Staff Inspector Fiona Currie
Detective Jacqueline Cooper
Detective Stevie Hall
Detective Kyle Price
Jono Hall
Detective Aaron Finch
Detective Donnie Sullivan
Katie Hall
Nate Hall
Noah Griffin
Rita Moretti

Marc Savage
Harry Barker
Emma Write
Amelia
Helen Mailer
Annabelle
Ginny

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