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Celebrating Black History Month – Gloria Reuben

Gloria Reuben, actress,

(February 10, 2023 – Toronto, ON) Gloria Reuben is a Toronto-born singer and actress best known for her role as Jeanie Boulet in the American primetime series ER. Her mother, an accomplished gospel singer, encouraged Gloria to pursue her creative talents. She began learning piano as a child and later studied music technique and theory, ballet and jazz at Toronto’s Royal Conservatory of Music. As timed passed she got into modeling and was one of the hosts on TVOntario’s long-running children’s series Polka Dot Door in 1985.

In 2012 Reuben portrayed Elizabeth Keckley (a freed slave who was Mary Todd’s personal dressmaker and confidant) in Stephen Spielberg’s Oscar-winning Lincoln, receiving critical praise. Her portrayal of Condoleezza Rice in David Hare’s play Stuff Happens (at New York City’s Public Theater) bought a Lucille Lortel Best Actress Award.

Read more about Gloria Reuben.

Sarah Desjardins

Sarah Desjardins, actress,

B: July 15, 1994 in Vancouver, British Columbia

Sarah Desjardins knew what she wanted to be when most children her age were still perfecting their bike riding. So convinced of her future, her parents found her an agent when she was just six, but the expense of launching a career at that age became prohibitive and those early hopes and pans were put on hold. By time she reached high school however, she set out once more to find an agent. Desjardins landed her first role in 2011’s made-for-TV movie Magic Beyond Words: The J.K. Rowling Story. Recent credits include playing Donna Sweett on the series Riverdale, and the role of Callie in the series Yellowjackets. Her latest project, the Netflix series The Night Agent is based on the novel by Matthew Quirk, and is a sophisticated, character-based, action-thriller centred on a low level FBI Agent (Gabriel Basso) who works in the basement of the White House, manning a phone that never rings — until the night that it does, propelling him into a fast moving and dangerous conspiracy that ultimately leads all the way to the Oval Office. Sarah Desjardins plays the role of Maddie Redfield, the teenage daughter of the Vice President who is looking to escape his shadow. Canadian actress Eve Harlow also costars in the series.

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

Magic Beyond Words: The J.K. Rowling Story (TV-2011)
Kiss at Pine Lake (2012)
Romeo Killer: The Chris Porco Story (2013)
Floodplain (2013, short)
Clue: A Movie Mystery Adventure (TV-2014)
Into the Grizzly Maze (2015)
Truth and Lies (2015)
Unleashing Mr. Darcy (2016)
I Didn’t Kill My Sister (TV-2016)
A.R.C.H.I.E. (2016)
Cold Zone (2017)
Drink Slay Love (TV-2017)
Woman of the House (TV-2017)

Float (2023)
The Night Agent (TV-2023, Netflix)

TV Series – Cast:
Project Mc² (2016-2017)
Riverdale (2019-2021)
Under the Banner of Heaven (20200, mini-series)
Yellowjackets (2021-)
The Night Agent (2023)

TV Series – Guest appearances:
Clue (2011)
Supernatural (2013)
Wasted Time (2014)
Wayward Pines (2015)
Van Helsing (2016)
Imaginary Mary (2017)
Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (2020)
Debris (2021)

Web Series:
Impulse (2018-2019)

Cold Zone, movie, poster,

Celebrating Black History Month – Benz Antoine

Benz Antoine, actor,

(February 9, 2023 – Toronto, ON) Each day during the month of February we’re highlighting the career of a different Black Canadian actor, actress or director. Benz Antoine was born in Montreal, the oldest of three siblings. At 21 he started a rap career, which he did succesfully for two years. That’s when he landed his first role. He is probably best known for his work on the TV series, 19-2, which is a phenomenon in Québec. Benz Antoine played the sympathetic patrolman Tyler.

Read more about Benz Antoine.

Celebrating Black History Month – Vanity

Vanity, singer, actress,

(February 8, 2023 – Toronto, ON) Born in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Vanity started out in life as Denise Katrina Matthews. Her mother was German while her father part Native and part African-American. She grew up in the Falls and came from what she called “a dysfunctional family.” Her parents divorced when she was young, and her mother suffered from alcohol abuse and depression. Matthews began entering local beauty pageants before moving to Toronto, where she modelled. She won the Miss Niagara Hospitality title in 1977, and went on to compete for Miss Canada in 1978.

At age 19, she moved to New York City to further her career. At five-foot-six, her modelling was limited to commercials and print. In 1980, Matthews made a brief appearance in the feature film and cult favourite Terror Train.

Read more about Vanity.

Samantha Bee to Host 2023 CSAs

Samantha Bee to Host 2023 CSAs, image

Samantha Bee to host 2023 CSAs
by Staff Editors

(February 7, 2023 – Toronto, ON) The Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television (the Canadian Academy) has announced the 2023 The Canadian Screen Awards gala broadcast airing on Sunday, April 16 will be hosted by comedian, writer, producer, political commentator, actress and media critic, Samantha Bee. The broadcast show marks the final day of Canadian Screen Week 2023 which includes seven genre-based award shows taking place in-person in Toronto — for the first time in four years — from Tuesday, April 11, 2023 through to Friday, April 14, 2023.

Born and raised in Toronto, Canada, Samantha Bee quickly established herself as having one of the most unique and sharp comedic voices on television following her 12-year stint as a correspondent on The Daily Show. In 2016, she launched her very own Emmy-Winning weekly late-night comedy series, Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, which ran for seven seasons on TBS. Bee is also the author of the essay collection “I Know I Am, But What Are You?,” has been featured in TIME 100: The Most Influential People, is the host of the ‘Full Release,’ podcast and co-created the half-hour comedy series, The Detour, which ran for four seasons on TBS. In 2018, Bee announced her new production company, Swimsuit Competition, co-founded with “Full Frontal” producer Kristen Everman. Swimsuit Competition creates inclusive, narrative and documentary television.

CSAs awardThe Canadian Screen Awards with Samantha Bee will be an hour-long star-studded broadcast special featuring celebrity interviews, highlights from the Awards presentations throughout Canadian Screen Week 2023, and exclusive access to this year’s illustrious slate of Special Award recipients, including: the Humanitarian Award, presented by Paramount+, honouree Ryan Reynolds; Academy Icon Award recipient Catherine O’Hara; and the recipient of the Radius Award, presented by MADE | NOUS, Simu Liu. Produced by creative powerhouses Katie Lafferty and Roma Ahi of Makers, the show will be a comprehensive survey of the previous year, diving into some of the best moments in Canadian television and film from 2022.

The Canadian Academy is also thrilled to announce a return to in-person events throughout Canadian Screen Week 2023, taking place live at Meridian Hall in Toronto from Tuesday, April 11, 2023 through to Friday, April 14, 2023. Attendees can look forward to four days of celebrating the achievements of Canadian talent with a series of awards shows, intimate cocktail receptions, and exclusive industry programming at the 2023 Members Lounge, presented by the Canadian Media Producers Association (CMPA), where guests will have the opportunity to gather with their peers and toast to the previous year in person.

Building on the successful format of the Academy’s 2022 Canadian Screen Awards (which saw virtual shows with added live elements), the entirety of the 2023 Canadian Screen Awards in film, television, and digital media will be handed out over seven shows scheduled throughout Canadian Screen Week 2023. This format also sees an exciting return to in-person acceptance speeches and red carpets (with media in attendance for select events), as winners will once again be able to accept their award and thank their peers in the room.

“‘Excited’ does not even begin to describe how we feel about returning to an in-person Canadian Screen Week this April,” said Tammy Frick, CEO, the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television. “With the amount of quality entertainment that has been created by Canadians over the past few years — films and television shows that have made us laugh, cry, and feel deeply — we are very much looking forward to gathering again in person to celebrate the amazing work from our country’s finest creative minds.”

“I am thrilled to be hosting this very glamorous event, and excited to subtly drop my resume to all of the Best and the Brightest in Canadian TV and film,” said Samantha Bee, Comedian and host of The Canadian Screen Awards with Samantha Bee.

Each of the awards presentations from Tuesday, April 11, 2023 to Friday, April 14, 2023 will include intimate cocktail receptions for attendees, taking place before and after the shows. The full schedule for the 2023 Canadian Screen Awards is as follows:

Tuesday, April 11
12:00 PM ET – The Sports Programming Awards
6:00 PM ET – The News, Documentary & Factual Awards

Wednesday, April 12
12:00 PM ET – The Children’s & Animation Awards, presented by Shaw Rocket Fund
6:00 PM ET – The Lifestyle & Reality Awards

Thursday, April 13
12:00 PM ET – The Digital & Immersive Awards
6:00 PM ET – The Cinematic Arts Awards, presented by Telefilm Canada and supported by Cineplex

Friday, April 14
4:00 PM ET – The Comedic & Dramatic Arts Awards

Sunday, April 16
8:00 PM (9:00 PM AT, 9:30 PM NT) – The Canadian Screen Awards with Samantha Bee on CBC and CBC Gem

The nominees for the 2023 Canadian Screen Awards will be announced on Wednesday, February 22, 2023 at 7:00 AM ET.

SOURCE: The Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television

First to Stand: Irwin Cotler’s Fight for Human Rights

First to Stand: Irwin Cotler's Fight for Human Rights, image,
Shaparak Shajarizadeh and Irwin Cotler on the right. Photo by Maurie Alioff.

First to Stand: Irwin Cotler’s Fight for Human Rights
by Maurie Alioff – Québec Correspondent

(February 7, 2023 – Montréal, QC) Filmmakers Irene Angelico and Abbey Neidik’s new documentary, First to Stand: The Cases and Causes of Irwin Cotler launched at Montreal’s Cinéma du Musée in two packed screenings, followed by emotional Q and As. In an unusual move, the theatre decided to follow the December premiere with an extended run. After confronting many obstacles, including the COVID pandemic, and meeting other challenges, the couple was delighted by standing ovation responses to their film. It looks like it has a bright future.

First to Stand had its Toronto screening on February 5 at the Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema. Angelico and Neidik introduced the doc, which played to a large, enthusiastic audience.

In her heartfelt address, Angelico underlined a point Cotler makes at the end of First to Stand. “The film is about human rights heroes who find the courage to stand up to repressive regimes, who often pay the price with imprisonment or exile. And the film is dedicated to my brother, Mike, another kind of hero, who stood up to mental illness with enormous courage every day over half a lifetime. He passed away last week. I will miss him. It is practical to compartmentalize things into human rights or mental illness or other struggles, but what it is all about at heart, is every king of courage and every act of kindness, every day.”

The documentary is a captivating movie with themes that couldn’t be more relevant in a troubling 21st century world riddled by rising authoritarianism and the persecution of people who rise up against it. First to Stand depicts former Justice Minister and Attorney General Irwin Cotler’s battles in defence of those who have been victimized and risk their lives in Iran, Russia and other autocracies.

Angelico and Neidik, who co-produced and co-directed for their company DLI Productions, collaborating with TVO, structured the film in what Cotler calls “causes and cases.” Each Cotler intervention tracked by the doc represents a cause, each individual case stands for millions of people.

During an interview with the husband and wife team, Neidik told me, “There’s always a few people who say ‘This is bullshit; I don’t believe in this.’ And they stand up. And if one person stands up, other people get the courage to do the same.” First to Stand doesn’t beat around the bush. It makes the point explicitly. In the film, Cotler says that everyone can feed into anti-authoritarian energy. As Neidik puts it, “even if it’s just taking one little action. Not everyone is a Mandela.”

Ensaf Haidar, photo,
Photo of Ensaf Haidar in Montréal by Maurie Alioff
The subjects in the doc include Shaparak Shajarizadeh, an Iranian woman tortured and sentenced for protests that helped to trigger the current movement for women’s rights, and Ensaf Haidar the wife and voice of Saudi blogger Raif Badawi who was sentenced to ten years in prison and 1000 lashes for advocating freedom of speech. With Cotler’s help, both women are now living in Canada. Raif Badawi has been released from prison, but as the movie’s epilogue points out, he can’t leave the country and join his family.

Both Shaparak and Ensaf have been moving audiences in Q&As which have featured Cotler himself. According to Angelico, Cotler has been fighting for “justice causes” since he was inspired by his parents and poet Irving Layton, his impassioned teacher at Montreal’s Herzliah High School. At this point, Cotler became close friends with Layton’s protégé, Leonard Cohen.

Angelico says that for Cotler’s parents, you had to “feel the pain of injustice” to be an advocate. Early in his career, Cotler was poisoned in Russia and found himself being rushed out of the country by the Canadian embassy. Working on behalf of Nelson Mandela in Apartheid South Africa, he got locked up. Angelico recalls that Cotler’s first job out of McGill University was to work for Middle East peace in Cairo. “And his first case was representing a Palestinian detainee.”

Angelico and Neidik met Cotler when they were launching their first film, Dark Lullabies (1985), which daringly depicts the Jewish children of Holocaust survivors meeting with the children of Nazis. Angelico, whose parents miraculously survived death camps, co-directed and is the film’s protagonist, sometimes coming face-to-face with unrepentant Hitler defenders. Angelico’s father Henry wrote a memoir of his nightmare and ecstatic liberation. Published as Aftermath, its intimacy and frankness makes it one of the best accounts of the Holocaust ever written.

Angelico remembers that when she and Neidik met Cotler, We “became friendly. He loved Dark Lullabies, and we were very taken by his commitment over the years to human rights. As a human being, “he is very kind, tireless, and committed – and fun to be with. Even now in his early 80s, he’s hard to keep up with. Irwin is a real deal person.”

By following Cotler doing his work, and offering fascinating insight into how he maneuvers, First to Stand profiles the man while probing some of the most fundamental issues of our time. Since Dark Lullabies, Neidik and Angelico’s DLI Productions has released a wide range of one-off films and series, including Shekinah (2013), Shekinah Rising (2018), Unbreakable Minds (2004), Vendetta Song (2005), and The Cola Conquest (1998). Vision TV has the broadcast rights for the abbreviated TV version of Reaching for Zion, featuring Bob Marley’s granddaughter Donisha Prendergast and includes it in a package of films with a black focus.

I asked Angelico and Neidik about their lengthy collaboration. Do they have a system? “No system whatsoever,” Angelico laughed. “Chaos. Sometimes we co-direct and co-write. We co-produce pretty much.” While Neidik is an excellent cinematographer, “I never do the camera.”

Neidik, adds. “Often on location, there isn’t chaos, there’s a flow. Irene is incredibly organized, and I’m a lot more overview To capture the story, you have to be open to emotion, someone’s inner story. To get to the mind, you have to go to the heart first.” The couple’s son Toben joins the flow with his ideas and sound skills. But once they get into the editing room, and start debating choices, Angelico jokes, “It’s war.”

TV Ontario airs First to Stand on February 28, and in March, it will screen at the National Arts Centre during the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. The Jerusalem Cinematheque plays it on February 28.

Also see: Read more about Irene Angelico.
Also see: Waiting for Raif about Saudi dissident Raif Badawi screens at the Victoria Film Festival.

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

Celebrating Black History Month – Clé Bennett

Clé Bennett, actor,

(February 5, 2023 – Toronto, Ontario) Today Northernstars highlights the career of Toronto-born Clé Bennett. Born to Jamaican parents and raised in Ajax, Ontario, Clé Bennett is a busy singer, musician, voice and character actor who broke into the business in 1998 with an appearance in the made-for-television movie Mr. Music. His many other television credits include 15 episodes of CTV’s award-winning series Flashpoint, plus Soul Food, Odyssey 5, Instant Star, Soul, 15 episodes of The Line, five episodes of Lost Girl, 13 of Shattered, The Listener and Republic of Doyle. And so much more.

Read more about Clé Bennett.

Alice, Darling

90 minutes – Thriller
Language: English
Festival release date: September 11, 2022 – Toronto International Film Festival
Release date: February 3, 2023
Production companies: Babe Nation Films, Elevation Pictures
Canadian distributor: Elevation Pictures

Alice, Darling is a taut thriller about a woman pushed to the breaking point by her psychologically abusive boyfriend, Simon. While on vacation with two close girlfriends, Alice (Anna Kendrick) rediscovers the essence of herself and gains some much-needed perspective. Slowly, she starts to fray the cords of codependency that bind her. But Simon’s vengeance is as inevitable as it is shattering – and, once unleashed, it tests Alice’s strength, her courage, and the bonds of her deeprooted friendships.

Alice, Darling, movie poster,



Katie Bird Nolan
Lindsay Tapscott
Christina Piovesan
Noah Segal

Executive Producer:

Anna Kendrick
Sam Tipper-Hale
Laurie May
Adrian Love

Associate Producer:

Alanna Francis

Line Producer:

Coral Aiken


Mary Nighy


Alanna Francis

Story Editor:

Mark Van de Ven


Mike McLaughlin
Jeremy Doiron (1st Assistant Director)
Caoimhe Clancy (2nd Assistant Director)


Gareth C. Scales


Owen Pallett

Production Designer:

Jennifer Morden

Art Director:

Claudia Dall’Orso
Carlos Lopez (Graphic Designer)
Lucy Larkin (Set Decorator)

Costume Designer:

Marissa Schwartz
Kassana Garraway (Assistant Costume Designer)

Cast: Roles:

Anna Kendrick
Kaniehtiio Horn
Charlie Carrick
Wunmi Mosaku
Mark Winnick
Daniel Stolfi
Carolyn Fe
Gordon Harper
Viviana Zarrillo
Mairi Babb
Susan Applewhaite
Ethan Mitchell
James Jenkinson
Lindsay Leese
Toni Ellwand
Deborah Grover
Sara Bradeen
Farah Merani
Lindsay Owen Pierre
Maddy Foley
Megan Fahlenbock
Rob Greenway

Fawning Sycophant
Store Owner
Volunteer #1
Volunteer #2
Hot Waiter
Bar Patron
Store Clerk
Customer #2
Volunteer #3
Volunteer #4
Loop Group

Erin’s Guide to Kissing Girls

90 minutes – Comedy, Family, Romance, LGBTG+
Language: English
Release date: February 3, 2023
Production company: Switch Hitter Films, Clique Pictures
Canadian distributor: Quiver Distribution

As middle school is ending, Erin (Elliot Stocking), the only out person in her grade, and Liz (Jesyca Gu), a fellow comic nerd and track star, find their friendship tested when Liz is accepted to a private school and Erin falls hard for new girl and ex child-star, Sydni. Erin believes the only way to save herself from certain doom is to ask Sydni to the big dance, but the plan goes awry when she starts to lose Liz along the way. This feature is based on the short of the same name, which screened at more than 40 film festivals.

NOTE: There will be two special Q&A screenings with the director and leads following screenings at the Carlton Cinema in Toronto on February 3rd and 4th.

Erin's Guide to Kissing Girls, movie, poster,



Claire Allore
Julianna Notten
Brendan Whelton

Executive Producer:

Lauren Grant
Berry Meyerowitz
Jeff Sackman

Associate Producer:

Alexa Hawkes-Sackman

Line Producer:

Brendan Whelton


Julianna Notten


Julianna Notten


Hayley Wong


Rick Bartram

Production Designer:

Olivia Weatherall

Art Director:

Sydonnae Simon

Costume Designer:

Alexandria Jones

Cast: Roles:

Elliot Stocking
Jesyca Gu
Rosali Annikie
Dabria Peta-Dragos
Alissa Gokhstein
Alyssa Marie Nanos
Nathaniel Keith
Gabriel Tesa
Nyla Jardenico
Alicia Adriana Khan
Meryn Jackson
Anthony Oliveira
Tamra de la Cruz
Siyana Vinkova
Elina Miyake Jackson
Ampora McLean
Kayla Meyer
Nicole Williams
Léah Brady
Nick Biskupek
Julianna Notten
Colton Fox
Leah Brady

Ms. Harris
Crystal Green
Susan Wexler
Mr. Johnson
Riverside Coach

Celebrating Black History Month – Karen LeBlanc

Karen LeBlanc, actress,

(February 2, 2023 – Toronto, ON) Karen LeBlanc is a multi-talented performer whose credits span film, television and stage. She could also be described as a mover and a shaker. A mover because her career has taken her from one end of the country to the other and back again. A shaker because part of her career was spent as a singer. She sung backup in touring rock bands like the Glass Tiger, soloed with orchestras, and starred in a Tina Turner tribute show. If you know anything about Tina Turner, that’s where the shaking comes in. As for moving, LeBlanc transferred to Vancouver from Toronto in late 2008 when she was cast in the first season of Defying Gravity, a sci-fi series launched by CTV, ABC, the BBC, and Germany’s ProSieben network.

Read more about Karen LeBlanc.

Celebrating Black History Month – Phil Akin

Phil Akin, actor, director,
Click to enlarge.

(February 3, 2023 – Toronto, ON) In 1953, a few years after Philip Akin was born in Jamaica, his parents moved to Oshawa, Ontario. Philip and his brothers followed the next year. Very little is known of his early years, but shortly after attending high school, Akin enrolled at the Ryerson Institute of Technology (now Toronto Metropolitan University) in Toronto. In 1975, he became the school’s first acting graduate, landing a role just a few days later in a Shaw Festival production of Bernard Shaw’s Caesar and Cleopatra. His film and television career began three years later.

Today Philip Akin is a busy character and voice actor and theatre director who remains active in Canadian theatre, film and television.

Learn more about Philip Akin.

Celebrating Black History Month – Clement Virgo

Clement Virgo, film, director,

(February 1, 2023 – Toronto, ON) Clement Virgo arrived with his family from Jamaica in 1977. He attended West Preparatory Public School in north Toronto before the family moved to Regent Park, the city’s largest public-housing estate, known for its troubles with drugs and crime. He completed high school at Danforth Technical School, where his interest in men’s fashion landed him a job as a window dresser. Always very strongly visually oriented, film directing was a life-long dream for him. He applied for and was accepted into the inaugural 1991 Summer Lab program at Norman Jewison’s Canadian Film Centre. His 2022 feature, Brother, opens in March.

Read more about director Clement Virgo.

Kylie Bunbury

Kylie Bunbury, actress,
Kylie Bunbury as Suhad, the peasant girl in the the mini-series, Tut. Image courtesy of Muse Entertainment.

B: January 30, 1989 in Hamilton, Ontario

Kylie Bunbury is best known for her portrayal of Lacey Porter in the ABC Family series, Twisted, as well as her co-starring role opposite Jonah Hill in The Sitter for FOX. From the mini-series Tut, she is pictured in the role of Suhad. In January 2018 it was announced that some 44 years after Get Christie Love! premiered on ABC, the network has officially greenlit a new drama pilot Get Christie Love, with Kylie Bunbury as the lead. It was released as a made-for-TV movie in 2018. She has played the role of Cassie Dewell in the series Big Sky since 2020.

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

Prom (2011)
The Sitter (2011)
No Kid-ding! (VR-2014, short)
Game Night (2018)
Get Christie Love (TV-2019)

Eat Wheaties (2020)
Warning (2021)

TV Series – Cast:
Twisted (2013-2014)
Tut (2015, mini-series)
Under the Dome (2015)
Pitch (2016)
When They See Us (2019, mini-series)
Brave NewWorld (2020)
Big Sky (2020-)

TV Series – Guest appearances:
Days of Our Lives (2010)
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (2018)
Robot Chicken (voice, 2018)

Prom, movie poster

Infinity Pool – A Deep Dive

Infinity Pool, photo, image,
Promotional still for Infinity Pool courtesy of NEONTopic.

Infinity Pool – A Deep Dive
by Thom Ernst – Film Correspondent

(January 26, 2023 – Toronto, ON) Brandon Cronenberg’s films are distinct. Distinct, even more so than the reputation the name implies. It’s worth noting because comparisons, even when favourable, are only valued if the comparison isn’t looming over the compared. But it would take a conscious effort to ignore the similarities between Brandon’s work and that of his iconic father, David Cronenberg.

Infinity Pool, Brandon’s latest in science-fiction horror, has a sensibility, not unlike the older Cronenberg. But there is enough of Brandon in Infinity Pool to separate father and son.

Brandon sets the story in a vacation resort on La Tolqa, a fictional island along a warm undetermined coast.

Infinity Pool, Alexander Skarsgard, image,
Photo courtesy of NEONTopic.

Alexander Skarsgard plays James, an author in search of inspiration. His first book was a flop, and there is speculation that it was only published because he married Em (Cleopatra Coleman), the daughter of the publisher. If so, the publisher/father-in-law does not seem inclined to repeat the favour. The couple, who have been together for at least six years, appears to be fighting the urge to drift apart. Although the search for inspiration is named as the reason for the vacation, there’s a possibility that it might also rekindle a tattered romance.

James meets Gabi (Mia Goth) while witnessing a local terrorizing guest of the resort by tearing up the beach with an ATV. Gabi and James start a conversation claiming to be a fan of James’ book. Kudos to Brandon for resisting the urge to have James say, “So, you’re the one.”

Infinity Pool, Mia Goth, image,
Photo courtesy of NEONTopic.

Gabi introduces James to Thresh (Thomas Kretschmann), and James introduces Gabi to Em. An awkward friendship forms until an accident throws them into a perilous journey more odyssey than adventure.

Infinity Pool, movie, poster, Infinity Pool is arthouse horror leaning towards a vacation horror sub-genre. The hook here is the film’s graphic scenes of violence, nudity, and sex. It’s not the story, but it is the hook. At times the film seems to exist to shock, to push expectations beyond the edge. But the film remains grounded despite efforts to send things hurling beyond redemption. There are reins in Brandon’s no-limits approach. That Brandon is the only one who knows when those reins are pulled carries us from one wtf moment to the next.

Infinity Pool is well served by its leads, Skarsgard, Coleman, Kretschmann, and Goth commit fully to their performances. Skarsgard, not traditionally known to wear wounded so easily, carries James with the weight of a man dragged down by self-pity. And Goth, an actor who (since we’re open to comparisons) retrieves some of the wide-eyed madness of a young Sissy Spacek.

With an unintentional anti-White Lotus charm, Infinity Pool is not easily forgotten and is an effortless film to return to should such a thing happen. It opens wide, from Victoria to Halifax, tomorrow January 27, 2023. Watch the trailer and learn more about the cast and crew.

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

Infinity Pool

117 minutes – Sci-Fi, Horror
Language: English
Festival release date: January 2023 – Sundance Film Festival (World Premiere)
Release date: January 27, 2023
Production companies: Film Forge, Elevation Pictures, Hero Squared, 4film, Celluloid Dreams
Canadian distributor: Elevation Pictures

Infinity Pool is the story of a young, wealthy couple named James Foster (Alexander Skarsgård) and Em Foster (Cleopatra Coleman). Booked for a lavish get-away vacation at La Tolqa, an all-inclusive island resort, they literally push the boundaries when they become attracted by the possibility of something much more dangerous and seductive beyond the hotel gates, beyond the edge of paradise.

Shot in Croatia and Hungary, production began in September 2021 and is based on an original screenplay by the director.

Also see: A review of Infinity Pool.

Infinity Pool, movie, poster,



Karen Harnisch
Andrew Cividino
Rob Cotterill
Christina Piovesan
Noah Segal

Executive Producer:

Michael Bloom
Jeff Deutchman
Ryan Heller
Emily Kulasa
Charlotte Mickie
Hengameh Panahi
Alexander Skarsgård
Emily Thomas
Maria Zuckerman


Jonathan Halperyn
Anita Juka
Daniel Kresmery

Associate Producer:

Karim Hussain
Laura Sinovcic
Yona Strauss


Brandon Cronenberg


Brandon Cronenberg


Karim Hussain


James Vandewater


Tim Hecker

Production Designer:

Zosia Mackenzie

Art Director:

John O’Regan Rita Hetényi (Set Decoration)

Costume Designer:

Mária Fatér

Cast: Roles:

Alexander Skarsgård
Cleopatra Coleman
Thomas Kretschmann
Mia Goth
Amanda Brugel
Caroline Boulton
John Ralston
Jeff Ricketts
Jalil Lespert
Roderick Hill
Amar Bukvic
Adam Boncz
Alexandra Tóth
Anita Major
Alan Katic

James Foster
Em Foster
Dr. Modan
Angry Guest
Armed resort security guard
Woman in blue dress
State Police Officer

Canada & the 2023 Oscars®

Memories of Oscar, image,

Canada & the 2023 Oscars®
by Staff Editors

(January 24, 2023) Canada faired quite nicely when the nominations for the 95th annual Academy Awards were announced this morning. Our first nomination came early for Sarah Polley for Best Adapted screenplay for her 2022 feature, now in wide release, Women Talking. In the very last category to be announced, Best Picture, Women Talking was one of the ten films selected for consideration this year. James Cameron’s Avatar: The Way of Water, which has topped the box office for the last six weeks was nominated in several technical categories and is also on the list of films nominated for Best Picture.

Canada’s submission for Best International Feature film did not make the cut, but the NFB’s Flying Sailor was nominated for Best Short Animated movie. Finally Brendan Fraser has been nominated in the category Best Performance by an Actor for his work in the 2022 feature Whale.

We will update this page if we have missed other Canadian nominations for the 2023 Academy Awards. Following, in alphabetical order, is the list of all 10 films competing for Best Picture:

All Quiet on the Western Front
Avatar: The Way of Water
The Banshees of Inisherin
Everything Everywhere All at Once
The Fabelmans
Top Gun: Maverick
Triangle of Sadness
Women Talking

The 95th Academy Awards will be broadcast on the March 12.

Also see: NFB gets Oscar® nod.

Vancouver Film Critics Announce Nominees

Vancouver Film Critics Announce Nominees, image,

Vancouver Film Critics Announce 2023 Nominees
by Staff Editors

(January 23, 2023 – Vancouver, BC) Over the weekend the Vancouver Film Critics Circle (VFCC) announced their International and Canadian Nominees for the VFCC Awards 2023. On the International list of films up for consideration are The Banshees of Inisherin and Everything Everywhere All at Once are up against each other in multiple categories. Each film scored seven nominations and will be competing for Best Picture, Director, Screenplay, Supporting Male Actor (two nominations for Banshees), and Supporting Female Actor (two nominations for Everything).

TAR, movie, poster, Tár received four noms: Best Picture, Director, Screenplay, and Female Actor (Cate Blanchett). Aftermath will be competing in two acting categories: Best Actor (Paul Mescal) and Best Supporting Female Actor (Frankie Corio). No other film scored more than one nomination.

This year the Best Supporting Female Actor is more crowded than ever. For the first time in the history of the VFCC, seven nominees will be competing for the award: Jessie Buckley, Kerry Condon, Corio, Jamie Lee Curtis, Dolly De Leon, Stephanie Hsu, and Michelle Williams.

On the list of Canadian films, Anthony Shim’s sophomore effort Riceboy Sleeps received nine nominations and will be competing in almost every category including Best Picture, Director, Screenplay, Female Actor, Supporting Male Actor, BC Film, BC Director, and One to Watch (twice).

The coming-of-age drama will be facing another BC film, Until Branches Bend, nominated in six categories, and Clement Virgo’s Brother, nominated in five. Canadian festivals’ favorite, I Like Movies, scored four noms: Picture, Screenplay, Male Actor, and Supporting Male Actor. Eternal Spring, Canada’s candidate to the Academy Awards for Best Foreign Picture scored three noms. Sarah Polley has been nominated for Best Director for Women Talking.

Other notable names competing are Adam Beach, nominated in the Best Actor category for Exile, and Wednesday’s Percy Hynes White, competing in the Best Supporting Male Actor category for I Like Movies.

Following is the complete list of nominees, beginning with the International section:

Best Picture
The Banshees of Inisherin
Everything Everywhere All at Once

Best Director
The Daniels, Everything Everywhere All at Once
Todd Field, Tár
Martin McDonagh, The Banshees of Inisherin

Best Screenplay
Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, Everything Everywhere All at Once
Todd Field, Tár
Martin McDonagh, The Banshees of Inisherin

Best Male Actor
Austin Butler, Elvis
Colin Farrell, The Banshees of Inisherin
Paul Mescal, Aftersun

Best Female Actor
Cate Blanchett, Tár
Michelle Yeoh, Everything Everywhere All at Once
Janelle Monáe, Glass Onion

Best Supporting Male Actor
Brendan Gleeson, The Banshees of Inisherin
Barry Keoghan, The Banshees of Inisherin
Ke Huy Quan, Everything Everywhere All at Once

Best Supporting Female Actor
Jessie Buckley, Women Talking
Kerry Condon, The Banshees of Inisherin
Frankie Corio, Aftersun
Jamie Lee Curtis, Everything Everywhere All at Once
Dolly De Leon, Triangle of Sadness
Stephanie Hsu, Everything Everywhere All at Once
Michelle Williams, The Fabelmans

Best Documentary
All the Beauty and the Bloodshed
Fire of Love
Moonage Daydream

Best Foreign Language Film
All Quiet on the Western Front
Holy Spider

Canadian film nominees are:

Best Picture
Eternal Spring
I Like Movies
Riceboy Sleeps

Best Director
Jason Loftus, Eternal Spring
Anthony Shim, Riceboy Sleeps
Sarah Polley, Women Talking
Clement Virgo, Brother

Best Screenplay
Chandler Levack, I Like Movies
Anthony Shim, Riceboy Sleeps
Clement Virgo, Brother

Best Male Actor
Adam Beach, Exile
Lamar Johnson, Brother
Isaiah Lehtinen, I Like Movies

Best Female Actor
Grace Glowicki, Until Branches Bend
Hayley Law, Door Mouse
Choi Seung-yoon, Riceboy Sleeps

Best Supporting Male Actor
Aaron Pierre, Brother
Percy Hynes White, I Like Movies
Dohyun Noel Hwang, Riceboy Sleeps

Best Supporting Female Actor
Alexandra Roberts, Until Branches Bend
Marsha Stephanie Blake, Brother
Judith Ivey, Women Talking
Camille Sullivan, Exile

Best Canadian Documentary
Black Ice
Dear Audrey
Eternal Spring

One to Watch
Anthony Shim, Riceboy Sleeps
Grace Glowicki, Until Branches Bend
Dohyun Noel Hwang, Riceboy Sleeps
Sophie Jarvis, Until Branches Bend

Best BC Film
Riceboy Sleeps
Until Branches Bend
Doug and the Slugs and Me

Best BC Director
Teresa Alfeld, Doug and the Slugs and Me
Sophie Jarvis, Until Branches Bend
Anthony Shim, Riceboy Sleeps

The winners of the VFCC Awards will be announced at a ceremony to take place at the VIFF Centre in Vancouver on February 13.


Benjamin Ayres

Benjamin Ayres, actor,

B: January 19, 1977 in Kamloops, British Columbia

After two seasons as a series regular on the CTV hit series Dan For Mayor, Benjamin Ayres landed the role of Dr. Zachary Miller in the highly acclaimed CTV/NBC original series Saving Hope. During his early twenties, he studied at The Lyric School of Acting under the direct mentorship of studio head Michele Lonsdale Smith. He later collaborated with her as a performer in a wide range of theatrical productions; including multiple mountings of Eric Bogosian’s one man play Sex, Drugs, Rock & Roll, Judith Thompson’s Lion in the Streets and August Strindberg’s Miss Julie. Possibly still best known for his role as Cancer Cowboy, the chain-smoking sex addict with a morbid death obsession, in the critically acclaimed cult hit CBC series jPod, based on the Douglas Coupland novel of the same name, the role brought a Leo nomination in 2008.

Official website.

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

Love By Chance (TV-2016)
A Sunday Kind of Love (2016)
Unless (2016)
Site Unseen: An Emma Fielding Mystery (TV-2017)
Birdland (2017)
Yellow (TV-2017)
Lie Exposed (2019)
Canadian Strain (2019)
Best Intentions (TV-2019)

Cranberry Christmas (TV-2020)

TV Series – Cast:
jPod (2008)
Impact (2008, mini-series)
Diamonds (2008, mini-series)
Dan for Mayor (2009-2011)

Saving Hope (2012-2017)
Emma Fielding Mysteries (2017, mini-series)
Burden of Truth (2018-2020)
Chronicle Mysteries (2019)
Detention Adventure (2019-2022)

Family Law (2021)

TV Series – Guest appearances:
Psych (2008)
Mistresses (2009)
The Vampire Diaries (2009)
Less Than Kind (2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013)

Combat Hospital (2011)
Flashpoint (2011)
Bitten (2014)
Frankie Drake Mysteries (2018)
Suits (2018, 2019)
Baroness Von Sketch Show (2019)
Detenton Adventure (2019, 2020)

Private Eyes (2020)
The Good Dioctor (2021)
The Kids in the Hall (2022)

Benjamin Ayres is represented by:
Rich Caplan
Noble Caplan Abrams
1260 Yonge Street, 2nd Floor
Toronto, ON. M4T 1W6
Tel: 416.920.5385
Fax: 416.920.6343
Email: rcaplan(at)canadafilm.com

Lie Exposed, Leslie Hope, movie, poster,

Canadian Strain, movie, poster,

Academy Names Nine

The Academy Honours Nine, news, image,
Photo of Peter MacNeill supplied. Photos of Catherine O'Hara and Simu Liu at the Canadian Screen Awards by Ralph Lucas for Northernstars™

Academy Names Nine
by Staff Editors

(January 18, 2023 – Toronto, ON) The Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television (the Canadian Academy) unveiled today the complete list of recipients for the 2023 Special Awards, a series of achievement awards bestowed upon those in Canada’s screen-based industry who have made outstanding contributions to the industry and society as a whole. These nine illustrious recipients will be recognized for their formidable accomplishments during Canadian Screen Week, taking place in Toronto from Tuesday, April 11, 2023 through to Sunday, April 16, 2023.

“On behalf of the Canadian Academy’s Board of Directors, I offer a hearty congratulations to the nine remarkably talented recipients of this years’ Special Awards,” said John Young, Chair, Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television. “Each one of these honourees is a testament to how hardworking, dedicated, and talented our homegrown creative community is, and we look forward to celebrating them at Canadian Screen Week 2023.”

“It is truly inspiring to see such a powerful, diverse group of Special Award honourees who are a true representation of the amazing work that is being done by Canadians in film and television,” said Tammy Frick, CEO, Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television. “From powerhouse performers to household names you trust and welcome into your homes each day, their impact stretches far beyond just our country’s borders and we are so proud they call Canada home.”

The Canadian Academy’s 2023 Special Award honourees are:

Jennifer Podemski., actress, producer,
A still from a Northernstars interview with Jennifer Podemski © 2013 Northernstars.ca

The Academy Board of Directors’ Tribute, honouring a Canadian individual for their extraordinary impact on the growth of the Canadian media industry, is presented to Jennifer Podemski, an Anishinaabe/Ashkenazi actor, writer, director, and producer whose impressive career in television spans over 30 years, with on-screen credits including Reservation Dogs, Dance Me Outside, The Rez, Degrassi TNG, Blackstone, Empire of Dirt, and Departure.

The Academy Board of Directors’ Tribute is also being given posthumously to Paul Pope, a giant in the Canadian media production community and an advocate for the industry in Newfoundland. Through his tireless promotion of the province, and the work of his company, Pope Productions, Pope was instrumental in bringing hundreds of film and TV projects to Newfoundland, with credits such as Hudson & Rex, Rare Birds, and Extraordinary Visitor.

The Academy Icon Award, presented to a Canadian individual or institution for their exceptional, ongoing contribution to the media industry at home or abroad, is awarded to Catherine O’Hara, (pictured above) a prolific, multi-award-winning actress, writer, and comedian whose film credits include lead and supporting roles in Schitt’s Creek, Beetlejuice, Home Alone, Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, After Hours, Heartburn, The Life Before This, Penelope, Away We Go, Where the Wild Things Are, A.C.O.D., The Right Kind of Wrong, Nightmare Before Christmas, and many more.

The Changemaker Award, which recognises and honours those in the media community in Canada who are using their voice or platform to call out systemic racism and discrimination, supporting and amplifying the voices of those who are actively engaged in anti-racist work, and seeking structural transformations in media, film, and television in Canada that promote values of equity and inclusion, is presented to the award-winning host of Cityline, Tracy Moore. Moore has shown an admirable commitment to diversity and inclusion on Cityline in front of and behind the camera, most notably through her work as the host of the Cityline Real on Race YouTube series and podcast and as co-producer and co-host of Citytv’s RTNDA award-winning race special Ending Racism: What Will it Take? Moore has also made a commitment to supporting young women and children with Cityline’s very first scholarship for BIPOC women, and was recently named a Trust 15 ambassador.

The Earle Grey Award, presented by eOne, recognizing a Canadian performer for their exceptional body of acting work in Canadian television and film, is presented to Peter MacNeill (pictured above), an award-winning actor and veteran in the film and television industry. With no shortage of credits in both film and television, including Thom Fitzgerald’s The Hanging Garden, for which he won the 1997 Genie Award for Best Supporting Actor, HBO Canada series Call Me Fitz alongside Jason Priestley (for which he was nominated for a Canadian Screen Award for Best Supporting Actor, Comedy), and his current role as Ken Finley-Cullen in eOne/CBC series Moonshine created by Sheri Elwood, MacNeill’s successful career has rightfully cemented him as a Canadian icon.

The Gordon Sinclair Award for Broadcast Journalism, recognizing a Canadian broadcast journalist for their exceptional body of work in broadcast journalism, is presented to Lisa LaFlamme, a journalist who has been at the forefront of the profession for over 30 years, tackling some of the biggest issues of our time and traveling the globe to deliver breaking news to Canadians.

Ryan Reynolds, actor,The Humanitarian Award, in recognition of an extraordinary humanitarian contribution or act of compassion by a professional working in the Canadian media industry in the prior year, is presented to Ryan Reynolds, an actor, producer, screenwriter, and entrepreneur. Beyond Reynold’s undeniable ability to entertain and captivate audiences, he has shown a dedication to philanthropy throughout his career with several generous donations to various charities, such as Canada’s Water First Education and Training Inc. and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in an effort to support displaced families from Ukraine, as well as his annual “aesthetically challenged” sweater holiday campaign that helps raise money for The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids). Ryan has also made major contributions to the industry outside of his performances, as the co-founder of two different organizations aiming to offer underrepresented communities more access to creative careers: the Group Effort Initiative (GEI) and Creative Ladder.

The Lifetime Achievement Award, honouring a Canadian individual for an exceptional lifetime of work that has had a profound impact on the media industry at home or abroad, is presented to Pierre Bruneau. Over the course of his career, Bruneau anchored TVA’s election night coverage for close to 40 municipal, provincial, and federal elections and hosted close to a dozen leaders’ debates. Highly regarded by the public, Bruneau is no stranger to awards; he has won the Artis Award for Best News Anchor 23 times and has received a long list of honours for his outstanding contributions to the community, including the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal in 2002.

Simu Liu in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, image,
Marvel Studios’ Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings stars Simu Liu.

The Radius Award, presented by MADE | NOUS, recognizing a Canadian whose work is making waves globally, is presented to Simu Liu, who made history as the star of the first Asian-fronted movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe in Destin Daniel Cretton’s Shang-Chi and The Legend of The Ten Rings. Liu also starred in CBC comedy series, Kim’s Convenience, for five seasons, which went on to win the award for Best Comedy Series at the 2018 Canadian Screen Awards.

Nominations for the 2023 Canadian Screen Awards will be announced on Wednesday, February 22, 2023. Additional details about the 2023 Canadian Screen Awards and Canadian Screen Week 2023 will be announced in the coming weeks.

SOURCE: The Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television


by Staff Editors

(January 17, 2023 – Victoria, BC) The National Film Board of Canada (NFB) will have four films at the 2023 Victoria Film Festival, three features and one short. The feature documentaries have already garnered praise and recognition and the short will screen for the first time on Vancouver Island.

The first of the features, in alphabetical order, is The Colour of Ink.

NFB at VFF, image,
Jason Logan forages in the Mojave Desert. Photo by Brian D. Johnson courtesy of NFB.

Jason Logan (pictured above) is an internationally recognized designer, creative director, author and artist. His illustrations appear regularly in the New York Times, and his fine art has been exhibited in New York City, Los Angeles, Toronto and the Yukon. His work has been recognized by the American Institute of Graphic Arts, the Society of Publication Designers, the Centre for Social Innovation and the Canada Council for the Arts. His most recent book, Make Ink: A Forager’s Guide to Natural Inkmaking, was included in The Guardian’s list of best books of 2018. His next book, How to Be a Color Wizard, will be published by MIT’s new children’s division.

Directed by Brian D. Johnson and produced by Ron Mann, with the support of the National Film Board of Canada, The Colour of Ink follows Logan as he works with ingredients foraged in the wild including weeds, berries, bark, flowers, rocks, and rust to make ink. He sends these custom-made inks to an eclectic range of artists around the world, from a New Yorker cartoonist to a Japanese calligrapher.

The 105 minute documentary will screen on February on 4 and 7 at the Capitol 6 Theatre.

From To Kill a Tiger: Ranjit, his wife Jaganti and lawyer Lakhan Lal. Photo courtesy of NFB

Directed by Nisha Pahuja, To Kill a Tiger is a 125 minute documentary that focuses on Ranjit, a farmer in Jharkhand, India, who takes on the fight of his life when he demands justice for his 13-year-old daughter. On the night of a family wedding, she was dragged into the woods and gang raped by three men. In a nation where a rape is reported every 20 minutes and conviction rates are less than 30 percent, Ranjit’s decision to see the accused be brought to justice, is virtually unheard of, and his journey unprecedented. With tremendous access to all facets of the story, To Kill a Tiger charts the emotional journey of an ordinary man thrown into extraordinary circumstances—a father whose love for his daughter forces a social reckoning that will reverberate for years to come. To Kill a Tiger was named Best Documentary Award at the Palm Springs International Film Festival; the Amplify Voices Award for Best Canadian Feature Film at the Toronto International Film Festival and the Inspiring Voices and Perspectives Feature Film Award at Cinéfest Sudbury. A Notice Pictures and National Film Board of Canada Co-Production, To Kill a Tiger screens only once during VFF on February 9 and 6:15PM at the Blue Bridge Theatre.

NFB at VFF, image,
A vigil in support of Raif Badawi at city hall in Sherbrooke, Quebec. Courtesy of NFB

Waiting for Raif is the tragic tale of a family torn apart by the intransigence of an absolute monarchy. Shot over an eight-year period, the film tells the inside story of Ensaf Haidar’s inspiring fight to free her husband, the famous Saudi dissident Raif Badawi. Accused by the regime of insulting Islam, in 2012 he is sentenced to 10 years in prison and a thousand lashes—a barbaric punishment that provokes international outrage. Throughout his imprisonment, Ensaf, who arrived in Quebec as a refugee in 2013, leads a remarkable campaign for his freedom, with courage and determination. Year after year, she watches her children grow, far from their father, without knowing when the family might be reunited. The film offers a privileged and moving look at the personal and political implications of the Badawi affair, lays bare the West’s contradictions with respect to Saudi Arabia, and follows the challenges faced by a young woman both in her adopted land and on the global stage.

Directed by Luc Côté and Patricio Henriquez and running 150 minutes, En attendant Raif/Waiting for Raif is in Arabic, French and English and is a Macumba Média Inc. and National Film Board of Canada co-production. It screens only once on February 6 at 1:00PM at the Capitol 6 Theatre.

NFB at VFF, image,
Promotional still for A Motorcycle Saved My Life courtesy of NFB.

Last, but far from least is A Motorcycle Saved My Life, from award-winning Vancouver-based filmmaker and the President of Violator Films, lori lozinski. In this 12-minute short, the open road presents a point of departure allowing lozinski to process deep-seated grief. Revisiting the formative experiences that drove her ambition, she examines the influence of her parents in the present light of day. It is in unpacking these recollections at full throttle that the ordering of memory becomes justified. Her motorcycle’s intractable hum disrupts the solitude of Northern Alberta’s vast farmland–a place where childhood was rife with paternal expectations. Connecting to her mother’s youthful spirit, an opportunity emerges to see herself anew. A delicate and personal ode to the complexities of how we sit with our history after loved ones have passed.

A Motorcycle Saved My Life is bundled with 6 more short films from Canada, Spain, Australia and the United States in a shorts program that screens February 11 at 7:3PM at the Prince of Wales.

In addition to these four NFB productions there are 23 other Canadian films at VFF 2023 including Brother, The End of Sex, Viking, Riceboy Sleeps and Bones of Crows. There are 32 international features on the schedule as well. VFF runs from February 3 to 12 and there is more information online.