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Peter Aykroyd

B: November 19, 1955 in Ottawa, Ontario
D: November 6, 2021 in Spokane, Washington

Peter Jonathan Aykroyd was the younger brother of Dan Aykroyd. They worked together a number of times. For example, they were together in the Toronto Second City comedy troupe and on Saturday Night Live. They wrote the movie Nothing but Trouble together. He was one of the co-creators the sci-fi show Psi Factor. Peter Aykroyd was 65 when he died in Spokane, Washington due to undiagnosed septicemia. We list his credits as an Actor first.

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

Java Junkie (1979, short)

Gas (1981)
The Funny Farm (1983)
Doctor Detroit (1983)
Nothing Lasts Forever (1984)
From Here to Maternity (TV-1985)
Dragnet (1987)

Nothing But Trouble (1991)
C.C.P.D. (TV-1992)
Coneheads (1993)
Kids of the Round Table (1995)
Justice (TV-1999)

TV Series – Cast:
Saturday Night Live (1979-1980)
The Blues Brothers Animated Series (voice, 1997)

TV Series – Guest appearances:
The New Avengers (1977)
SCTV (1978)

Leo & Liz in Beverly Hills (1986)
Hot Shots (1986)

Credits as a Screenwriter:
Nothing But Trouble (1991)

TV Series:
Saturday Night Live (1979-1980)
PSI Factor: Chronicles of the Paranormal (1996-2000)

Credits as a Producer:
PSI Factor: Chronicles of the Paranormal (1996-2000)

TV Series:
Dan Aykroyd’s Out There (Executive Producer, 2002)

Coneheads, movie, poster,

Jacques Brouillet

Jacques Brouillet, actor,

B: 1937 in l’Assomption, Québec
D: March 10, 2021 in Montréal, Québec

Jacques Brouillet landed his first role in 1965 and made his 10th and last appearance in 2000. Seven of his 10 credits were for work on episodes of television series. In addition to acting he also taught theatre at the Conservatoire LaSalle à Montréal. He was 84 when he died in Montréal on March 10, 2021, eight years after a devastating stroke in 2013.

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

Le Confessionnal (1995)
La présence des ombres (1995)
Emporte-moi (1999)

TV Series – Guest appearances:
Septième nord (1965)
Sol et Gobelet (1969)

Les forges de Saint-Maurice (1973)
La petite patrie (1975)
Passe-Partout (voice, 1977)

Blanche (1993)

Chartrand et Simonne (2000)

Keith Dinicol

Keith Dinicol, actor,

B: August 12, 1952 in Kamloops, British Columbia
D: November 18, 2021 in Victoria, British Columbia

Keith Dinicol spent some 50 years performing on stages all across Canada, with the majority of his career spent at the Stratford Festival in Ontario. He also worked in film and television and many of his early credits are filmed versions of plays he was in at Stratford. He played the role of Biondello in the 1982 version of The Taming of the Shrew, and then played Grumio when The Taming of the Shrew was filmed again in 1988. More recently he appeared in 6 episodes of the series Chesapeake Shores. He was a long-time member of the NDP and ran as a federal candidate in 2006.

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

The Taming of the Shrew (TV-1982)
As You Like It (TV-1983)
Twelfth Night (TV-1986)
The Taming of the Shrew (TV-1988)
The Comedy of Errors (TV-1989)

The Broken Cord (TV-1992)
Oh, What a Night (1992)
A Town Torn Apart (TV-1992)
Gross Misconduct: The Life of Brian Spencer (TV-1993)
Ordinary Magic (1993)

Elizabeth Rex (TV-2004)

Jesus Henry Christ (2011)
Wild Life (voice, 2011, short)

TV Series – Guest appearances:
E.N.G. (1992)
Street Legal (1992)
Kung Fu: The Legend Continues (1993)
Due South (1994)
Ready or Not (1994)

Anne of Green Gables: The Animated Series (voice, 2001, 2002)
Train 48 (2004)

Lost Girl (2010)
InSecurity (2011)
Murdoch Mysteries (2014)
Reign (2016)
Schitt’s Creek (2017)
Designated Survivor (2018)

Chesapeake Shores (2021)
Breathe (2022)

Our Top CDN Films of 2021

Our Top CDN Films of 2021, image,

Our Top CDN Films of 2021
by Thom Ernst, Film Correspondent

(December 31, 2021 – Toronto, ON) It might seem a fruitless exercise to compile a best-of Canadian film list, knowing that such a list will never again include a film by Jean-Marc Vallée. But a best-of-list can serve as a significant reminder of Vallée’s contribution to Canadian cinema, a list that effectively represents the lasting influence of Vallée’s craft, and as an example of what Canadian filmmakers can achieve.

And though I cannot confirm whether Vallée would agree or take exception to my list of top Canadian Films of 2021, I nonetheless dedicate this list to the memory of Jean-Marc Vallée.

Drunken Birds is Canada’s official entry for this year’s Foreign Film Oscar category. Whether it succeeds in its run for an Oscar is yet to be seen, but it’s a winner on all other playing fields. This is a story about a man dedicated to finding the woman he loves even as fate tosses incredible hurdles in his path, the least of which is that the woman is the wife of a Mexican drug lord. But despite its Robert Rodriguez set-up, this is an immigrant story worthy of John Steinbeck with the cinematic impact of a younger Denis Villeneuve. Director Ivan Grbovic keeps the film skirting on the hems of a mystery, exquisitely told with a patience that is not to be confused with being slow. Nominations for the 94th Academy Awards will be announced on Tuesday, February 8, 2022.

All My Puny Sorrows, image,
Sarah Gadon & Alison Pill in a publicity still for All My Puny Sorrows.

All My Puny Sorrows is still to be released. This ranks as one of Michael McGowan’s best films to date. And he’s made a few good ones. Based on the Miriam Toews novel of the same name, All My Puny Sorrows deals with the relationship between two siblings: a successful concert pianist (Sarah Gadon) and a struggling author (Alison Pill). One of the sisters is suicidal. It may not be a happy story, yet McGowan finds plenty of room for an apt display of affection, heart, and unexpected humour.

Maria Chapdelaine Director Sebastion Piorotee has never failed to impress me with his ability to find the depth of human kindness and stoic strength. Maria Chapdelaine, his first historical biographical film, delivers. With a stunning performance from Sara Montpetit in the title role and beautifully shot by Michel La Veaux, Maria Chapdelaine becomes an unforgettable film that is truly one of this year’s best.

Psycho Goreman is a genre fan’s dream come true. But only if your dreams are weird, outrageous, violent, and hilarious. The movie is filled with cheezy effects that shouldn’t work but do, a plot that shouldn’t make sense but does, and over-acting that should be thumbs down but isn’t. The film is all the better for an insanely over-the-top performance from Nita-Josee Hanna as Mimi, a little girl capable of making a psychotic being from another planet, do her bidding. If you don’t find Psycho Goreman entertaining, gross, irreverent, and hilarious, then you are watching the wrong movie.

Night Raiders, movie image,

Night Raiders by director Danis Goulet is a feature debut that challenges how a feature debut film should look. Goulet repositions one of the worst marks in Canadian history as a science-fiction thriller. Night Raiders is a story about the past told in the future. Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers stars as a Cree mother who believes she is helping her daughter by delivering her into the hands of a state-imposed education camp. Similes between the past and the future and conventional science-fiction tropes—the collapse of society, a military state, dystopia, and unidentified flying orbs—create a film rich in social relevance and equally entertaining.

Charlotte is an animated feature about artist Charlotte Salomon who rose to limited fame during Hitler’s fascist regime. Confined, sometimes, within my cinema universe, I didn’t know Charlotte Salomon as an artist, much less her story of resilience in the face of extreme adversity, living as a German-Jew in 1940s Berlin. Nor is her life held captive by the demands of a seemingly unloving grandfather who controls her every move. But perhaps my ignorance is not so unusual, as history seems to have worked hard to keep Charlotte’s life a secret. Thankfully directors Eric Warin and Tahir Rana have reached back and delivered her story not so much as a historical biography, but an engaging and surprisingly in-depth.

Wildhood, movie, image,
Wildhood promotional still by Riley Smith. Used with Permission.

Wildhood. When first encountering director Bretten Hannam’s Wildhood, I wrote: Wildhood is a coming-of-age story told through the conventions of a road movie; either that or it’s a road story told through the conventions of a coming-of-age film. Either way, every bit of director Bretten Hannam’s film works. What’s remarkable, among many things including a break-out performance from Philip Lewitsky and another stand-out performance from Joel Thomas Hynes, is that Hannam finds purpose in each of his characters, whether they guide us through the entire story or pop up briefly at a roadside convenience store. It’s a moving and excellent debut.

Carmen, movie, image,
Natascha McElhone plays the title role in the 2021 film, Carmen.

Carmen is a film you likely haven’t seen unless you were lucky enough to catch it at a festival screening. Look for its release; this is a wonderfully touching and magical story from director Valerie Buhagiar. Buhagiar lines up the narrative of a woman suddenly left without a life. That is, her brother, the local priest to who she has spent her life serving and attending, has died. She now has nowhere to live and no knowledge on how to live. There is a slight tilt towards being Capra-esque in the movie’s depiction of Carmen granting unadulterated advice while secretly hearing the confessions of the broken residents in a seaside Malta village circa 1980. Imagine Chauncy Gardner making his way along the stone steps and cobble streets of Malta. The film is greatly served by the exquisite photography of Diego Guijarro and performances by Steven Love and Natascha McElhone as Carmen.

Also see: Shock and Awe: Québec Films in 2021.

Northernstars logo imageThom Ernst is a Toronto based film critic and writer and an active member of the (TFCA) Toronto Film Critics’ Association. His work has appeared in various publications including Playback Magazine, The Toronto Star, and The National Post. He is known to CBC Radio listeners for his lively contributions to Fresh Air, Metro Morning, and CBC Syndication as well as appearing on-air for CTV News Channel and The Agenda with Steve Paikin. He was host, interviewer and producer of televisions’ longest running movie program Saturday Night at the Movies. Currently he can be heard interviewing Canadian filmmakers on the Kingston Canadian Film Festival podcast, Rewind, Fast-Forward.

CBC & Hot Docs

Hell of Clean Water, image, movie, documentary,

CBC & Hot Docs
by Staff Editors

(December 31, 2021 – Toronto, ON) CBC and Hot Docs, North America’s largest documentary festival, are once again partnering to bring top film festival selections to home screens across Canada in the new year.

The Hot Docs on CBC series presents first-run original Canadian feature documentaries, every Sunday in January 2022 at 8 p.m. (8:30 NT) on CBC TV and the free CBC Gem streaming service, and it begins in two days.

“We are excited to partner once again with Hot Docs to bring these captivating and insightful festival selections to viewers at home in January,” said Sally Catto, General Manager, Entertainment, Factual & Sports, CBC. “As Canada’s home for must-see documentaries, we are proud to shine a national spotlight on documentary storytelling with Hot Docs on CBC, and celebrate the distinct perspectives of these filmmakers widely with audiences across the country.”

“We’re thrilled to be partnering with CBC to bring these five outstanding films, all of which screened at our 2021 Festival, to wider audiences across Canada,” said Heather Conway, Hot Docs Co-President and Executive Director. “As North America’s largest documentary festival, we’re fortunate to have partners such as CBC who are as passionate as we are about these important Canadian stories.”

The 2022 Hot Docs on CBC selections investigate financial and art scams, search for community and belonging, and fight for the environment and fair work conditions. Previous Hot Docs Festival selections are also available for on-demand streaming in CBC Gem’s Hot Docs Collection.

Dead Man’s Switch: a crypto mystery
Sunday, Jan. 2 on CBC and CBC Gem at 8 p.m. (8:30 NT)
Gerald Cotten, the 30-year-old CEO of Canada’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, dies suddenly in India. Over $200 million disappears leaving investors empty-handed, kicking off a major scandal and fuelling speculation that his exit was only one of many scams. Directed by Sheona McDonald, 2021.

Portrayal
Sunday, Jan. 9 on CBC and CBC Gem at 8 p.m. (8:30 NT)
Roman Lapshin has been tormented by a secret from the past involving the discovery of thousands of his dead grandfather’s missing paintings. Compelled to bring recognition to his grandfather’s legacy as an artist, Lapshin travels across three continents in a high-stakes, suspenseful search for the truth. Directed by Billie Mintz, 2021.

Hell or Clean Water (Pictured above)
Sunday, Jan. 16 on CBC and CBC Gem at 8 p.m. (8:30 NT)
The inspiring story of Newfoundlander diver Shawn Bath’s obsessive quest to clean up the coastal ocean floor one rotting tire at a time. He’s already removed thousands of pounds of garbage on his own and is now seeking ways to scale up his operation and bring attention to a worldwide environmental crisis. Directed by Cody Westman, 2021.

One of Ours
Sunday, Jan. 23 on CBC and CBC Gem at 8 p.m. (8:30 NT)
Josiah Wilson was adopted as a baby in Haiti and raised in an Indigenous family in Alberta. His story made the news when he was refused the right to play in an Indigenous basketball tournament. Unable to participate in a sport he deeply loves, Josiah finds unwavering support from his family and the Heiltsuk Nation community. Directed by Yasmine Mathurin, 2021.

The Gig Is Up: A Very Human Tech Story
Sunday, Jan. 30 on CBC and CBC Gem at 8 p.m. (8:30 NT)
Armed with only a smartphone or laptop, an entire workforce has been lured into the gig economy with the promise of flexible hours and the advantages of being their own boss. But what many workers have found is work conditions that are dangerous, pay that often changes without notice, and the constant threat of being fired. Uncover the real costs of the platform economy as companies like Uber, Amazon and Deliveroo evade labour laws and policymakers. Directed by Shannon Walsh, 2021.

Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival, North America’s largest documentary festival, conference and market, welcomes audiences of over 228,000 and more than 2,600 industry delegates to Toronto each year. Year-round, Hot Docs supports the Canadian and international industry with professional development programs and a multi-million-dollar production fund portfolio, and fosters education through documentaries with its popular free program, Docs For Schools. Hot Docs owns and programs Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema, a century-old landmark located in Toronto’s Annex neighbourhood and the world’s first and largest documentary cinema.

Carmen

Carmen, movie, image,
Natascha McElhone plays the title role in the 2021 film, Carmen.

88 minutes – Drama
Languages: English, Maltese
Festival release date: December 4, 2021 (World Premiere, Whistler Film Festival)
Release date: TBA
Production companies: Aiken Heart Films, Falkun Films
Canadian distributor: Storyboard Media

Carmen stars Natascha McElhone as a 50-year-old woman finding a new start in life through romance. In Malta, it is tradition for the younger sister to devote her life to the church when an older brother enters the priesthood. Inspired in part by the real experiences of writer-director Valarie Buhagiar’s own aunt Rita, Carmen lives a life of servitude from the age of 16 until 50, when her brother dies. Realizing her own mortality, it’s time to leave the church and make up for lost time. Through a set of odd circumstances, she finds herself hearing confessions in her late brother’s local church, to the delight of many parishioners.

Carmen was given the Borsos Award for Best Cinematography at the 2021 Whistler Film Festival. It is named for the late filmmaker Phillip Borsos.

No poster available, image,

Crew:

Producer:

Pierre Ellul
Coral Aiken
Anika Psaila Savona

Executive Producer:

Daniel Bekerman
Dorothy Coetzee
José Luis Escolar
Mark Gingras

Associate Producer:

Liam Nelson

Line Producer:

Simon Sansone

Director:

Valerie Buhagiar

Screenwriter:

Valerie Buhagiar

Cinematographer:

Diego Guijarro

Editor:

Matt Lyon
Peter Strauss

Composer:

Richard Feren

Production Designer:

Sandra Smirle

Art Director:

Jon Banthorpe

Cast: Roles:

Natascha McElhone
Steven Love
Richard Clarkin
Mikhail Basmadjian
Maxime Durand
Michaela Farrugia
Henry Zammit Cordina
Peter Galea

Carmen
Paulo
Carmen’s older brother
Joe
Jesus

Jacques Drouin

Jacques Drouin, film director, animator,
Photo of Jacques Drouin courtesy of the National Film Board.

B: May 28, 1943 in Mont Joli, Québec
D: August 28, 2021

Legendary animator Jacques Drouin held a unique place in the world of animation. Using a rare tool called a pinscreen, which was created by husband-and-wife team Alexandre Alexeieff and Claire Parker, he worked with a board that had 240,000 holes, each of which housing a retractable pin that goes through it. By lighting the board at an angle, the pins project shadows in tones from black to white, depending on how deep into the board the pin is placed. By making minute changes to the pins a sense of motion can be created. Drouin championed this technique. He made his first professional film in 1973 using the pinscreen to create Trois exercices sur l’écran d’épingles d’Alexeieff, aka Three Exercises on Alexeieff’s Pinscreen. He followed that with Mindscape in 1976, which garnered 17 awards and earned praise from NFB legend Norman McLaren and Alexeieff himself. “Jacques Drouin was a major figure at the NFB, with an extraordinary career path: for three decades, he was the only animator in the world using the pinscreen technique,” said Claude Joli-Coeur, Government Film Commissioner and NFB Chairperson. “An outstanding filmmaker, he was also unfailingly generous, forever ready to share his knowledge with young filmmakers and his colleagues. Not only did he create unforgettable works, but he also ensured that work could continue to be created using the pinscreen – another of his generous legacies.” In 2009, the NFB released the DVD box set Jacques Drouin – Complete Pinscreen Works. In addition to his own work, he also contributed animated sections to other NFB film productions. We list his credits as a Director/Animator first.

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

Trois exercices sur l’écran d’épingles d’Alexeieff (1973, short)
Mindscape (1976, short)

Nightangel (1987, short)
Ex-Child (1994, short)

A Hunting Lesson (2001, short)
Imprints (2004, short)

Credits as a Screenwriter:
Mindscape (1976, short)
Ex-Child (1994, short)
A Hunting Lesson (2001, short)

Liste noire

Liste noire, movie, image,

86 minutes – Drama
Language: French
Release date: September 6, 1995
Production company: GPA Films
Canadian distributor: Astral

Gabrielle, une prostituée remet au nouveau juge Jacques Savard (Michel Côté) une liste de noms de magistrats qui ont retenu ses services. Malgré les pressions de ses collègues incriminés, et le meurtre de l’avocat de Gabrielle, Savard hésite à la rendre publique.

Following the trial of a judge who was found with prostitute Gabrielle Angers (Geneviève Brouillette), Gabrielle gives a list of her clients to a new judge, Jacques Savard (Michel Côté), which contains the names of some very influential judges and politicians. Dead bodies and death threats follow. Jacques’ own life seems to be in danger.

Jean-Marc Vallée made his feature debut with Liste Noire (Black List), and also edited the film. Described as a “strikingly stylish erotic thriller,” it was a first for its genre in Québec cinema, and became the highest-grossing film in the province in 1995. It was honoured with nine nominations, include Best Film, at the 16th Genie Awards.

Liste Noire, movie, poster,

Crew:

Producer:

Marcel Giroux

Director:

Jean-Marc Vallée

Screenwriter:

Sylvain Guy

Cinematographer:

Pierre Gill

Editor:

Jean-Marc Vallée

Composer:

Serge Arcuri
Luc Aubry

Production Designer:

Sylvain Gingras

Art Director:

Daniel Breton

Costume Designer:

Francine Desrosiers

Cast: Roles:

Michel Côté
Geneviève Brouillette
Sylvie Bourque
Yves Allaire
Claudia Besso
Gaston Caron
André Champagne
Raymond Cloutier
Marie-Josée D’Amours
Paul Dion
Cassandre Fournier
Jacques Galipeau
Marie-Josée Gauthier
Jacques Girard
Louis-Georges Girard
Robert Gravel
Serge Houde
Eric Hoziel
Marie-Claude Langlois
Lucie Laurier
Pierre LeBlanc
Yves Lever
Bernadette Li
Ghislain Massicotte
Denis Mercier
Pascal Montpetit
Widemir Normil
Pierre Pageau
Aubert Pallascio
Marie-Renée Patry
Janique Pierre-Antoine
David Rigby
Richard Robitaille
Jean-Louis Roux
Yvette Thuot
Étienne de Passillé

Jacques Savard
Gabrielle Angers
Francine Savard
Avocat d’Emilie Tardif
Secrétaire
Concierge
Michel Gauthier
Claude Laberge
Femme journaliste
Gérard Castonguay
Gardienne de prison
Juge, Procés Gabrielle
Femme journaliste
Homme journaliste
Roger Gendson
Juge Émile Tandif
Minister Paul Rhéaume
Agresseur principal
Procureure de la Coutonne
Valérie Savard
Procureur
Prétre
Greffière
Garde de sécutité
Jean-Pierre Lahaie
Greffier
Médécin légiste
Pete le policier
Harvey Dansereau
Carole Gosselin
Servuse au bar
Agresseur
Enquéteur adjoint
Juge Armand Gagné
Épouse du juge Gagné

Remembering Jean-Marc Vallée

Remembering Jean-Marc Vallée, image,

Remembering Jean-Marc Vallée
by Ralph Lucas – Publisher

(December 27, 2021 – Toronto, ON) Québec-born award-winning film director Jean-Marc Vallée has died. Yesterday, his representative said Vallée died suddenly in his cabin outside Québec City over the weekend. He was 58.

In January 2020, Northernstars’ Québec correspondent Maurie Alioff, writing in his article A Decade Inside Québec, said this of the highly successful director: “Following the release of his last mainly French-language film, Café de Flore (2011), Vallée drew admiring attention with his Oscar-winning Dallas Buyers Club (2013), Wild (2014), and Demolition (2015), which was selected as the opening Gala film at the 40th Toronto International Film Festival in 2015.

Wild was produced by and starred Reese Witherspoon, with whom Vallée launched a working relationship on the hit series Big Little Lies (2017). “I feel safe with Jean-Marc,” Witherspoon told Variety, “more safe than I’ve ever felt with anybody, because he’s my brother, he’s my partner – We don’t have any artifice between us.” Working with a different team, Vallée directed the hit Sharp Objects (2018), another series that delves into shadowy areas. Vallée says he loves filmed stories that allow him to narrate ‘as if they are fables.’”

Café de Flore, posterVallée got his start making music videos and short subjects. Music often played a key element in his work, especially in 2011’s Café de Flore. He made his ground-breaking feature debut with Liste Noire (Black List) in 1995. The strikingly stylish erotic thriller was a first for its genre in Québec cinema, and was honored with nine Genie Award nominations. Ten years later, he returned to French-language features with the internationally acclaimed hit, C.R.A.Z.Y. Blending a beguiling coming-of-age tale with a magical ode to outsiders of all ages, the powerful yet poignant film`s intensely personal story embraced universal themes and went on to become a phenomenon. It was distributed in over fifty countries and won some twenty international festival awards, 11 Genie Awards, 15 Jutra Awards, and the Golden Reel Award as Canada’s top-performer at the domestic box office.

Dallas Buyers Club, movie, poster, Vallée flirted with Hollywood when he made Strangers in 1996, and Los Locos in 1997, as well as completing the first two installments of his short film trilogy, Les Fleurs magiques (1995) and Les Mots magiques (1998). Both shorts were awarded numerous festival prizes at home, and abroad. His 2013 film, Dallas Buyers Club had its World Premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival. It went on to garner 6 Academy Award nominations including Best Picture, but Vallée was overlooked for a Best Director award. It won Oscars® for Best Actor (Matthew McConaughey) and Best Supporting Actor (Jared Leto) and Best Makeup. He worked with Matthew McConaughey, Nicole Kidman, Laura Dern, Meryl Streep, and Amy Adams on multiple award-winning shows.

Update (December 28, 2021) It has been widely reported that Vallée died of a heart attack at his cabin outside Québec City. It is likely he died December 25 and was found the following morning.

Also see: Jean-Marc Vallée’s filmography.

Zoriah Wong

Zoriah Wong, actress,
Photo of Zoriah Wong courtesy of CBC

B: in Vancouver, British Columbia

Zoriah Wong started her career when she ws just 5 years old. She studied with acclaimed acting coach Iris Quinn and began working in commercials which eventually led to her acting career. When not acting or in school she likes to spend her spare time dancing, doing gymnastics and camping. She plays the role of Khia Pham in the 2022 CBC series Run the Burbs.

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

Good Boys (2019)
Christmas Under the Stars (TV-2019)

Upside-Down Magic (2020
Wedding Cake Dreams (2021)

TV Series – Cast:
Run the Burbs (2022-)

TV Series – Guest appearances:
The Baby-Sitters Club (2020)
Nancy Drew (2020, 2021)
Lost in Space (2021)

Rakhee Morzaria

Rakhee Morzaria, actress,
Photo of Rakhee Morzaria courtesy of CBC

Rakhee Morzaria is a graduate of Factory Theatre’s artistic training program, Second City’s Conservatory and the Second City Bob Curry Fellowship Program. In addition to acting, she wrote, produced (and starred in) the series Note to Self, which picked up nominations from the Canadian Screen Awards and Canadian Comedy Awards. She has performed at the Toronto Fringe Festival, Toronto Sketchfest, SheDot Festival, Hart House Theatre and Bad Dog Theatre. Her comedy has been featured at the WIFT-T showcase, Atlantic Film Festival, and the National Screen Institute’s Film Festival. She costars and plays the role of Camille Pham on the CBC series Run the Burbs.

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

Charlie and Yoni (TV-2014)
Hum (2015, short)
Be Right Back (2016, short)
Miss You (2017, short)
Camera Test (2019, short)

My Spy (2020)
Joey (2020, short)
Red Balloon (2020, short)
Pigs (2020,short)
Wedding Season (2022)
Fugly (2022, short)

TV Series – Cast:
The Beaverton Digital (2017)
Note to Self (2017-2018)
#Interns (2018)
Super Care (2019, mini-series)
Pete Samcras (2019, mini-series)

Run the Burbs (2022)

TV Series – Guest appearances:
The Beaverton (2018)
Taken (2018)
Soul Decisions (2018)
How to Buy a Baby (2019)
Running with Violet (2019, 2020)

What We Do in the Shadows (2020)
Christian & Nat (2020)
Tallboyz (2021)
The Parker Andersons (2021)
Private Eyes (2021)
Hudson & Rex (2021)

Credits as a Screenwriter:
Be Right Back (2016, short)
Note to Self (2017-2018, TV Series)

Credits as a Producer:
Be Right Back (2016, short)
Note to Self (2017-2018, TV Series)

Roman Pesino

Roman Pesino, actor,
Photo of Roman Pesino courtesy of CBC

B: in Toronto, Ontario

Roman Pesino is known for his viral dance videos and he has also appeared in dozens of national tv commercials. He is an award-winning dancer and national gymnast who has competed all over Canada and the United States. He began his training when he was just 5. He plays the part of Leo Pham in the 2022 CBC series Run the Burbs.

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

Work It (2020)
Ivy & Bean (2022)

TV Series – Cast:
Run the Burbs (2022-)

TV Series – Guest appearances:
Bajillionaires (2018)
Odd Squad (2020)
The Move (2020)
Endlings (2021)
Xavier Riddle and the Secret Museum (2021)
Pikwik Pack (voice, 2020, 2021)
Mayor of Kingstown (2021)
The Expanse (2021)
Elinor Wonders Why (2021, 2022)

NFB in for Three

NFB in for Three, image,
Image from Flowing Home courtesy of the National Film Board

NFB in for Three
by Staff Editors

(December 22, 2021 – Toronto, ON) The National Film Board (NFB) has won more awards for its productions than any other organization in Canada. And this year they have three chances at an Oscar® for three co-productions in the Short Animation category. Those short films are Affairs of the Art by Joanna Quinn and Les Mills (Beryl Productions International Ltd./NFB), Mauvaises herbes (Bad Seeds) by Claude Cloutier (L’Unité centrale/NFB) and pictured above, Comme un fleuve (Flowing Home) by Sandra Desmazières (Les Films de l’Arlequin/NFB). They are up against 12 other short animation productions shortlisted by The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

NFB, image,
Image courtesy of the National Film Board.

With Affairs of the Art, director Joanna Quinn and producer/screenwriter Les Mills continue the series of beloved, hilarious and award-winning animated UK films starring Beryl, a 59-year-old factory worker who’s obsessed with drawing and determined to become a hyper-futurist artiste. We also meet her grown son, Colin, a techno geek, her husband, Ifor, now Beryl’s model and muse, and her sister, Beverly, a fanatical narcissist living in LA. Affairs of the Art provides glimpses into Beryl’s, Beverly’s and Colin’s peculiar childhoods, and we see that obsession is in this family’s DNA. This 16-minute animation has already won more than 20 awards and is the first co-production between Beryl Productions International and the National Film Board of Canada. It features Quinn’s signature hand-drawn animation with attitude and Mills’ raucously humorous scenarios, in an endearing romp through one family’s eccentric addictions.

NFB
Image courtesy of the National Film Board

In Bad Seeds, Claude Cloutier takes us to a bizarre world populated by carnivorous plants that can change shapes the way a chameleon changes colours. The veteran director of Carface deftly connects growth with rivalry, evolution with competition, crafting an increasingly shocking duel that’s peppered with allusions to the western, the Cold War, board games, and much more. The result is a modern-day fable, an animated short that could well have been directed by the mischievous artistic heir to Jean de La Fontaine. Putting his trademark penchant for surreal humour to good use, Cloutier concocts a sardonic allegory in which an obsession with progress becomes a race to the abyss. Bad Seeds, which runs 6 minutes and 22 seconds, reminds us, with a sly grin, that we are all part of an interconnected whole—and that we all rely on each other for our survival.

Flowing Home, which was made by Sandra Desmazieres in the traditional animation on paper method, is a 15-minute film about two sisters who grow up in Vietnam and are separated by the war between North and South. After the fall of Saigon in 1975, Thao, in her teens, must leave the country with her uncle. Her sister Saoi Maï, only a little older, remains with their parents, hoping they will soon be reunited. But their separation will last nearly 20 years, and the letters they exchange are their only way to connect and relieve their loneliness. Thao and Sao Maï write about their everyday lives, their memories, the war, and its ghosts. The characters and scenery were animated and shaded with grease pencils. The paper grain, pencil lines, and pencil shading give all the images a slightly different rendering, which produces a vibration effect. Some of the film was animated using the TVPaint application, with brushes that recreate pencil lines and the texture of pencil shading to produce a sensation of motion. “I had wanted to tell a story about Vietnam for quite a while,” said Desmazieres “My mother is Vietnamese and my father is French. They met in Vietnam, during the war, in the early 1970s. For a long time I set that heritage aside, not really taking any interest in it. Over time, I felt a growing desire to learn more about Vietnam. And then many stories from people close to me gave me the urge to make a film about those stories, about families that were separated because of the Vietnam War.”

The National Film Board has won 12 Oscars® over the years for animated and live action productions. The first, Churchill’s Island by Stuart Legg came in 1941. It was part of the NFB’s Canada Carries On series and was the first documentary to win an Oscar®.

The final list of 2022 nominations will be announced on February 8, 2022. The 94th Oscars are set to be held on March 27, 2022.

Julia Sarah Stone

Julia Sarah Stone, actress, actor,

B: November 24, 1997 in ”Vancouver,

Julia Stone appeared in a number of student films and small indie productions before posting her public audition tape on Facebook, which led to her first role in a feature, that of Elizabeth Gray in The Year Dolly Parton was My Mom. She was named one of four TIFF “Rising Stars” in 2014. The film Wet Bum also screened at the festival. She played the role of Berlice Beaman in 8 of the 10 streaming episodes of When the Street Lights Go On in 2020.

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

A Brush of Red (2009, short)

The Year Dolly Parton Was My Mom (2011)
Sunday’s Child (2011, short)
She’s a Soul Man (2011, short)
The Pastor’s Wife (TV-2011)
Zombie Jesus (2011, short)
Ellipse (2011, short)
Vampire Dog (2012)
Crushed (2012, short)
Tasmanian Devils (TV-2013)
Calling Out Fire (2013, short)
Heart of Dance (2013)
Wet Bum (2014)
Rattlesnake (2014, short)
How and Why (TV-2014)
Unearthing (2015)
Every Thing Will Be Fine (2015)
The Unseen (2016)
The Space Between (2016)
Weirdos (2016)
Your Mother and I (2016, short)
The Space Between (2017)
Allure (2017)
Honey Bee (2018)
Three Across (2019, short)

The Marijuana Conspiracy (2020)
Come True (2020)
Under the Weather (2020)
Marlene (2020)
An Introvert’s Guide to High School (2020)
The Quieting (2020, short)
Unicorn Code (2021)
Before the World Set on Fire (2022)

TV Series – Cast:
The Killing (2013)
Aftermath (2016)

TV Series – Guest appearances:
Emily Owens M.D. (2012)
R.L. Stine’s The Haunting Hour (2011, 2013)
Falling Skies (2015)

When the Street Lights Go On (2020)

Allure, movie, poster,

Come True, movie, poster,

Dylan Neal

B: October 8, 1969 in Richmond Hill, Ontario

Like Raymond Massey before him, Dylan Neal attended Appleby College after his family had moved from Richmond Hill to Oakville, Ontario. While attending Blakelock High School, he enrolled in the drama program and at the urging of the drama teacher, Dylan Neal signed with a talent agent in Toronto and began to go to auditions. It didn’t take long for him to decide this was the direction he wanted to go in. In 1992, he moved to Los Angeles, where his career quickly took off. He left LA in 2006 when he and his family moved to Vancouver so he could take the role of Mike Celluci on the Lifetime television series Blood Ties. In 2011, Dylan and family moved back to Los Angeles. He played the role of Jack Griffith on the series Cedar Cove. He plays Bob Adams in the Fifty Shades series of films.

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

Captain Power: The Beginning (TV-1989)

Prom Night III: The Last Kiss (VR-1990)
Golden Will: The Silken Laumann Story (TV-1996)

The President’s Man (TV-2000)
XCU: Extreme Close Up (2001)
Babylon 5: The Legend of the Rangers: To Live and Die in Starlight (TV-2002)
40 Days and 40 Nights (2002)
Landspeed (2002)
Chupacabra Terror (VR-2005)
Locusts (TV-2005)
Extreme Dating (2005)
Mute (2005, short)
Vampire Bats (TV-2005)
Cradle of Lies (TV-2006)
Lethal Obsession (TV-2007)
Matters of Life & Dating (TV-2007)
Storm Seekers (TV-2009)

Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief (2010)
The Traveler (2010)
My Family’s Secret
(2010)
He Loves Me (TV-2011)
Another Man’s Wife (TV-2011)
Ice Road Terror (TV-2011)
Obsession (TV-2011)
Dangerous Intuition (TV-2013)
A Wife’s Nightmare (TV-2014)
Fifty Shades of Grey (2015)
The Gourmet Detective (TV-2015)
The Gourmet Detective: A Healthy Place to Die (TV-2015)
Death Al Dente: A Gourmet Detective Mystery (TV-2016)
Fifty Shades Darker (2017)
Fifty Shades Freed (2018)
Truly, Madly, Sweetly (TV-2018)
Boulevard (2018, short)

Christmas She Wrote (TV-2020)

TV Series – Cast:
Summer Storm (1988, mini-series)

The Bold and the Beautiful (1994-1996)
Hyperion Bay (1998-1999)
Dawson’s Creek (1998-2003)

Sabrina, the Teenage Witch (2003)
Blood Ties (2007-2008)

Arrow (2013-2014)
Cedar Cove (2013-2015)

TV Series – Guest appearances:
Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future (1988)
Learning the Ropes (1988)
War of the Worlds (1989)
My Secret Identity (1989)

E.N.G. (1990)
Manic Mansion (1990)
Top Cops (1991)
Catwalk (1992)
Sweating Bullets (1993)
Class of ’96 (1993)
Kung Fu: The Legend Continues (1993)
Moloney (1997)
Life with Roger (1997)
Pacific Palisades (1997)
Profiler (1998)
Honey, I Shrunk the Kids: The TV Show (1998)
Working (1998)
You Wish (1998)
JAG (1999)
It’s Like, You Know… (1999)

Thieves (2001)
Relic Hunter (2002)
She Spies (2002)
I’m With Her (2003)
LAX (2004)
Kevin Hill (2004)
CSI: Miami (2005)
The War at Home (2006)
The Jake Effect (2006)
Psych (2008)
Stargate: Atlantis (2008)
The L Word (2009)
Wild Roses (2009)
Murdoch Mysteries (2009, 2017)
Smallville (2009, 2010)

Human Target (2010)
Life Unexpected (2010)
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (2011)
Rizzoli & Isles (2011)
Haven (2011)
Flashpoint (2011)
90210 (2012)
Ringer (2012)
Bones (2012)
Motive (2013)
Arrow (2013, 2014)
The Gourmet Detective (2015, 2016, 2017)
Dead of Summer (2016)

Fifty Shades of Grey, 2015 movie poster
Fifty Shades of Grey, 2015 movie poster

Isabel

Isabel, movie, image,
Image scanned from an original still set in the Northernstars Collection

108 minutes – Drama
Language: English
Release date: July 23, 1968
Distributor: Paramount Pictures

Learning of her mother’s serious illness, Isabel (Geneviève Bujold) returns to her family’s farm on the Gaspé Peninsula but her mother dies before she can get there. Days after the funeral she is left in a dark, lifeless home with her aged and ailing uncle Matthew (Gerard Parkes) and images of the family’s history, which includes domestic violence and incest as well as the mysterious deaths of her grandfather, who died in a freak accident, and her father and brother, who both drowned at sea. The house itself is full of eerie sights and sounds. Her relationship with a local (Marc Strange) helps her to escape her dark past. The film`s cinematography perfectly mirrors the young woman’s feelings with its dark, foggy landscapes. One of Bujold’s early English-speaking roles, Isabel won four Canadian Film Awards for Actor (Parkes), Actress (Bujold), Cinematography and Editing.

Isabel is the first of Paul Almond’s trilogy of films made with his then wife, Bujold. It was one of the first Canadian features to be picked-up for distribution by a major Hollywood studio, Paramount Pictures.

The image of Geneviève Bujold was scanned from a promotional still set in the Northernstars Collection.

Isabel, movie, poster,

Crew:

Producer:

Paul Almond

Director:

Paul Almond

Screenwriter:

Paul Almond

Cinematographer:

Georges Dufaux

Editor:

George Appleby

Composer:

Harry Freedman

Cast: Roles:

Geneviève Bujold
Gerard Parkes
Marc Strange
Thérèse Cadorette
Elton Hayes
Edie Kerr
Al Waxman
Ratch Wallace
Lynden Bechervaise
Eric Clavering
Rob Hayes
J. Donald Dow

Isabel
Uncle Matthew
Jason
Sister Estelle
Eb
Viola
Herb
Herb`s friend
Herb`s friend
Postmaster
Fisherman
Storekeeper

Jeff Roop

Jeff Roop, actor,

B: August 21, 1973 in Montréal, Québec

Jeff Roop was born Jeffery Robert Roop and grew up in Montreal. He began taking acting classes while working toward a finance degree at McGill University. He appeared in both college and local theatre in Montreal then moved on to the theater school at the Moscow Art Theatre, in Russia, and at Carnegie Mellon University, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. His first professional theatre role was an off-Broadway production of A.A Milne’s Mr. Pim Passes By. He returned to Canada landing his first feature film role in Free Money, starring Marlon Brando. He also founded the critically acclaimed Arbat Theatre Company. He played Drew on the series Vampire High.

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

Free Money (1998)

Xchange (2001)
Critical Assembly (TV-2002)
Deception (VR-2004)
Widow on the Hill (TV-2005)
Awake (2005)
Sombre Zombie (TV-2005, short)
Code Breakers (TV-2005)
Canada Russia ’72 (2006)
Jekyll + Hyde (VR-2006)
14 Days in Paradise (2007)
Before You Say ‘I Do’ (TV-2009)

In the Dominican (2010, short)
Reel Love (TV-2011)
Hollywoo (2011)
Prairie Dogs (2013, short)
The Secret Sex Life of a Single Mom (TV-2014)
Backcountry (2014)
A Dog’s Journey (2019)

A KIller in My Home (2020)

TV Series – Cast:
Vampire High (2001-2002)
11 Cameras (2006)

TV Series – Guest appearances:
The Mystery Files of Shelby Woo (1998)
Big Wolf on Campus (1999)
Twice in a Lifetime (1999)
Misguided Angels (1999)

Mutant X (2004)
ReGenesis (2007, 2008)
Heartland (2008, 2009)
Without a Trace (2009)

Numb3rs (2010)
CSI:NY (2010)
Saving Hope (2012)
Good Witch (2016)
Ransom (2017)
Frankie Drake Mysteries (2017)
Suits (2018)
Titans (2018)

Backcountry, movie, poster
Poster for the 2014 movie, Backcountry

Mylène MacKay

Mylène MacKay, actress, actor,
Photo of Mylène MacKay at TIFF 2016 © 2016 Ralph Lucas. Used with permission.

B: July 7, 1987 in Saint-Didace, Québec

Born in Saint-Didace Québec, Mylène Mackay is based in Montréal where she graduated from that city’s prestigious L’École nationale de théâtre du Canada in 2011. Mylène Mackay played the title role of Nelly based on the life and work or author Nelly Arcan in a film by Anne Émond selected to screen at the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival.

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

Pour le meilleur et pour Shakespeare (2012, short)
Nous irons ensemble (2013, short)
Ludivines (2013, short)
Acrobat (2013, short)
C’est plus facile de liker que dire je t’aime (2014)
Obamas: A story of Love, Faces and Birth Certificate (2015)
Endorphine (2015)
Embrasse-moi comme tu m’aimes (2016)
Nelly (2016)
Le trip à trois (2017)
Charlotte Cardin: The Kids (VR-2017, short)
La Bolduc (2018)
Wolfe (2018)
La beauté du monde (2018)
Genèse (2018)
Pauvre Georges! (2019)
Laurence Nerbonne: Back Off (VR-2019, short)
Mafia Inc. (2019)

Brain Freeze (2021)
The Seacrets (2022)

TV Series – Cast:
Faits divers (2017, mini-series)
L’Âge adulte (2017-2018)
Victor Lessard (2017-2019)
Lee 422 (2019-2020)
Amours d’occasion (2020, mini-series)
Les honorables (2020, mini-series)

TV Series – Guest appearances:
Les rescapés (2012)
Les beaux malaises (2014, 2017)
Unité 9 (2014, 2019)
Faits Divers (2017)
Mensonges (2018)

Mafia Inc., movie, poster,

Kate Corbett

Kate Corbett, actress,

B: July 5, 1986 in Holyrood, Newfoundland

Kate Corbett began acting in repertoire summer theatre at a very young age. Once graduating high school, she moved to Toronto to study theatre at Ryerson University. She continued her training years later at the Canadian Film Centre’s Acting Conservatory. Corbett’s feature film credits include two Toronto International Film Festival film selections, Empire of Dirt (2013) and The Animal Project (2013); as well as Barn Wedding in 2014. Recent theatre credits include; a Canadian stage English premiere production of Yukonstyle by Sarah Berthiaume and directed by Ted Witzel. As well as, a Toronto and Newfoundland “Tarragon Theatre/RCA” production of Rocking the Cradle by Des Walsh and directed by Richard Rose.

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

How Eunice Got Her Baby (2009, short)

Final View (2012, short)
Empire of Dirt (2013)
The Animal Project (2013)
The Tunnel (The Big Dirty Ol’ Hole, 2013, short)
Dennis (2014, short)
Barn Wedding (2014)
The Steps (2015)
For Love & Honor (TV-2016)
Once There Was a Winter (2017)
Dead Serious (2017, short)
An Audience of Chairs (2018)
Goalie (2019)
The Silence (2019)
Samanthology (2019)
It Chapter Two (2019)
Black Conflux (2019)

Rule of 3 (TV-2020)
The Righteous (2021)

TV Series – Cast:
Family Biz (2008)
Good Witch (2015-2019)

TV Series – Guest appearances:
InSecurity (2011)
The L.A. Complex (2012)
Call me Fitz (2013)
Satisfaction (2013)
Republic of Doyle (2013)

Lost Girl (2014, 2015)
Fargo (2015)
Murdoch Mysteries (2016, 2019)

The Steps, 2016 movie poster

An Audience of Chairs, movie, poster,

Black Conflux, movie, poster,

Trevor Mack

Trevor Mack, director, screenwriter,

B: June 28, 1992 in Tsilhqot'in Nation, British Columbia

Trevor Mack is an award-winning Tsilhqot’in nation filmmaker. He started his film career at 17 when he helped create a freelance video editing and motion graphics group called ‘Viral Design’. He was 21 when he completed his first short, The Blanketing, which screened across North America and in New Zealand at festivals such as the Vancouver Indigenous Media Arts Festival, Toronto Independent Film Festival, and imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival among others. His second short film, Clouds of Autumn, debuted at the prestigious Toronto International Film Festival in 2015 and went on to screen at other film festivals such as the Vancouver International Film Festival, Ottawa International Film Festival, Whistler Film Festival, American Indian Film Festival, imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival, Tacoma Film Festival, and the Maoriland Film among others. Clouds of Autumn received the Best Canadian Short Drama award at the imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival in Toronto. He directed 7 of the 13 episodes in the third season (2016) of the APTN series The Other Side.

Also see: imagineNATIVE Announces 2021 Fest

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

The Blanketing (2013, short)
Clouds of Autumn (2015, short)
Sech’el (2016, short)
Grandmother (2017, short)
In The Valley of Wild Horses (Co-director, 2018, short, documentary)

Portraits From a Fire (2021)

TV Series – at least 1 episode of:
The Other Side (2016)

Credits as a Screenwriter:
The Blanketing (2013, short)
Clouds of Autumn (2015, short)
Grandmother (Co-writer, 2017, short)

Portraits From a Fire (2021)

Credits as a Producer:
The Blanketing (2013, short)
Clouds of Autumn (2015, short)
Grandmother (Co-writer, 2017, short)
In The Valley of Wild Horses (2018, short, documentary)

Portraits From a Fire (2021)

Portraits From a Fire, movie, poster,

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