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Beachcombers Animated

Beachcombers Animated, image,
Robert Clothier, Bruno Gerussi & Pat John in a CBC promotional photo for The Beachcombers.

Beachcombers Animated
by Ralph Lucas – Publisher

(October 5, 2022 – Toronto, ON) You need to be of a certain age to remember the highly successful CBC series The Beachcombers. It went off the air in 1990. But it had been on the air since almost exactly 50 years ago, October 1, 1972. Back before there were more channels than anybody could use, the series regularly grabbed more than a million viewers each week. To say it was one of the most successful Canadian television series of all time is a bit of an understatement. The 30-minute show, shot on film, ran for 387 episodes. It was named one of Canada’s all-time best television series in a 2017 poll conducted by the Toronto International Film Festival. And now there just might be a reboot, but this time it will be animated.

Created by L.S. Strange and Marc Strange, the idea to launch an animated version comes from industry veterans Blair Peters and Nick Orchard.

“We are super excited to bring these iconic Canadian characters to a whole new audience”, said Peters, best known for his work on award-winning series such as Yvon of the Yukon, Being Ian and Kid vs Kat. He loved cartoons as a kid and attended Sheridan College in Oakville, known for its animation program. His first job at Crawley Films in Ottawa before moving to Vancouver to start up Studio B Productions with his colleague, Chris Bartleman. The studio went on to produce over 1000 half hours that sold to over 100 countries worldwide on networks such as Disney, Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network, Teletoon, YTV and the BBC. After 20 years in business that saw the Studio receive numerous awards, the pair sold the company to media giant DHX Media in 2007. Blair stayed with the company until 2011. He now consults for creators and develops series of his own.

Nick Orchard worked on the original series and brings over 30 years of experience to this new project, have inked a deal with the show’s original creators. The team is fleshing out designs and concepts in the coming months with a plan to pitch the series to Canadian, US and European broadcasters in Spring 2023. “The goal is to take all the best parts of the original series and build on them to tell stories with humour and heart, while tackling real issues the world faces today”, said Orchard, who has been in the film and television business for over half a century. He was a child actor on stage, radio and TV, and grew up to produce hits like The Beachcombers (CBC), Eastenders (BBC) and Brookside (Channel 4). For more than 30 years he has been the head of Soapbox Productions Inc., producing network series such as the popular teen drama Northwood as well as producing and directing award-winning documentaries and comedy series such as the iconic Double Exposure for CTV and the Comedy Network.

It is too early to predict who will get to be the voices of the various characters. Bruno Gerussi played Nick Adonis, Robert Clothier played Relic and Pat John played Jesse Jim. Rae Brown played Molly Carmody, who ran the local restaurant, Molly’s Reach.

Now, in the universe of 500+ channels, the chances of the animated Beachcombers being successful is very likely. The original series was broadcast in over 35 countries and adapted into numerous languages, which is lot easier to do with animation.

Northernstars logo imageRalph Lucas is the founder and publisher of Northernstars.ca. He began writing about film and reviewing movies while in radio in Montreal in the mid-1970s

October Film Festivals 2022

Empty Cinema Seats, image,
Empty cinema seats at the Ted Rogers Hot Docs Cinema. Photo by Ralph Lucas for Northernstars.ca

October Film Festivals 2022
by Ralph Lucas – Publisher

(October 3, 2022 – Toronto, ON) We are in the last quarter of the year and the next two months are two of the busiest when it comes to film festivals. There are a handful of festivals in December, but a larger event later that month seems to take precedence.

The Edmonton and Calgary film festivals wrapped over the weekend and were at the tail end of festivals that started in September. Not counting them, there are 17 Canadian festivals in October and those are just the ones we know about. Some of the largest and more important festivals happen this month, including the Vancouver International which continues until October 9 and the FNC (Festival du Nouveau Cinéma) which opens this week and continues until the 16th in Montréal. Our Québec Correspondent Maurie Alioff will report on the FNC this month.

October Film Festivals 2022, image,

The Reel World Film Festival opens in Toronto on October 12th with Golden Delicious. This year the festival will be both in-person and online. There are 34 Canadian films on the schedule, including documentaries, family dramas and innovative sci-fi stories. Directed by Canadian filmmakers who are Black, Indigenous, Asian, South Asian, and People of Colour, its an important focus and a festival that reflects the real world through its reel world. The short synopsis for the 120 minute feature Golden Delicious (pictured above) states “When basketball-obsessed Aleks moves in across the street, Asian-Canadian teen Jake finds himself trying out for the basketball team in an effort to get Aleks’ attention in this classic coming-of-age drama set in the digital age.”

Reel Pride opens in Winnipeg on the 13th with a Short Film Competition. Two features will screen each night on the 13th, 14th and 15th.

Planet in Focus Festival also opens on the 13th in Toronto. With the most clear signs of catastrophic climate change still impacting parts of our eastern Maritime provinces and much of Florida thanks to two separate hurricanes, this festival is timely to say the least. A Canadian doc from director Rita Leistner opens the festival. Titled Forest for the Trees, it explores “the physical and emotional aspects of a community of Canadian west coast tree planters. The synopsis goes on to state, “the planters describe for the camera how the work has helped them overcome a myriad of personal issues ranging from addiction and mental illness to self-doubt, heartbreak and grief. Finding common cause, self-knowledge and meaning in their formidable task, the tree planters restore themselves and each other in the process of restoring the environment.” This is the 22nd annual Planet in Focus festival.

I Like Movies, image,

Concerned about the impact of Hurricane Fiona, we contacted the St. John’s International Women’s Film Festival to ask if there were any changes to their schedule and learned the festival will go ahead as planned. The in-person and online festival kicks off on October 19 and runs until the 23rd. Founded in 1989, this year’s festival opens with Chandler Levak’s I Love Movies (pictured above).

This is what our film correspondent Thom Ernst said about the film when it screened at TIFF 2022: “Levak’s movie is much more than its title. There is little to no navel-gazing happening in I Love Movies. The film is a funny and kind story of an unlikeable outsider (who I happened to like) who forms an unexpected friendship with his older, more thoughtful, and emotional superior boss at a local video store. Levak resists romanticizing toxic behaviour while allowing her character—played wonderfully in what I hope is a break-out performance for Isaiah Lehtinen—to be awful and yet still able to win the audience’s favour. Insight is the friend of all good directors, and Levak has more than her share. Tickets and festival passes are now on sale.

Whetū Mārama - Bright Star, image,

While all festivals large or small have an important role to play in the promotion of the craft and art of filmmaking, some festivals are more important than others. One of those is the imangineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival. Known as the world’s largest presenter of Indigenous screen content, this year’s festival opens with a Welcome Gathering on the afternoon of the 18th and an Opening Night Party later in the evening. The festival gets underway on the 19th with a screening of Whetū Mārama – Bright Star The 90-minute doc is about how the canoe underpins Māori culture. The synopsis states, “We once built waka/canoes from giant trees and sailed the vast Pacific by the stars. These arts were lost to us for 600 years. Then the stars re-aligned and three men from far flung islands met by chance to revive our place as the greatest navigators on the planet, a Hawaiian, a Micronesian and Hek Busby, “The Chief” from Aotearoa/New Zealand. This screening is in-person only at the TIFF Bell Lightbox 3 at 6:00 p.m. Box office info is online now.

Smaller, more narrowly-focused festivals in October include the Toronto Motorcycle Film Festival, the Toronto Food Film Festival, the Toronto Art House Film Festival, the Devour! The Food Film Fest in Wolfville, Nova Scotia and the Banff Centre Mountain Film and Book Festival in Banff, Alberta.

Click here for links to these and other October Film Festivals.

Don’t see your festival listed? Send your details to news@northernstars.ca

Northernstars logo imageRalph Lucas is the founder and publisher of Northernstars.ca. He began writing about film and reviewing movies while in radio in Montreal in the mid-1970s.

Emma Donoghue

Photo of Emma Donoghue copyright © 2013 by Punch Photographic

B: October 19, 1969 in Dublin, Ireland

The youngest of eight children, Emma Donoghue was born in Ireland but moved to Canada in 1998. She writes fiction and history as well as drama for radio, the stage and screen. She is best know for her international bestselling novel Room, which was short-listed for the Man Booker and Orange prizes and was winner of the Commonwealth, Rogers Writers’ Trust and Hughes & Hughes Irish Novel of the Year awards. The film version of Room won the Grolsch People’s Choice Award at the Toronto International Film Festival in September 2015. Her 2022 film, The Wonder, co written with Sebastián Lelio and Alice Birch, is set in 1862, 13 years after the Great Famine. An English Nightingale Nurse Lib Wright (played by Florence Pugh) is called to the Irish Midlands by a devout community to conduct a 15-day examination over one of their own. Anna O’Donnell (Kíla Lord Cassidy) is an 11-year-old girl who claims not to have eaten for four months, surviving miraculously on “manna from heaven”. As Anna’s health rapidly deteriorates, Lib is determined to unearth the truth, challenging the faith of a community that would prefer to stay believing.

These are Emma Donoghue’s credits as a screenwriter. 

Official website

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

Pluck (2002, short)
Room (2015)
The Wonder (2022)

Poster for the 2015 film Room, courtesy of Elevation Pictures
Poster for the 2015 film Room, courtesy of Elevation Pictures

Jacob Tremblay

B: October 5, 2006 in Vancouver, British Columbia

Jacob Tremblay began acting in 2010 when he was featured in several national and international commercials. At five years old, he quickly transitioned to the big screen when he booked his first audition for film or television and was cast in Raja Gosnell’s Smurfs 2. In the film, Jacob plays the young son of Neil Patrick Harris and Jayma Mays. Following that he went on to supporting roles in the television shows like Motive for ABC and Mr. Young for Disney and a supporting lead role in the television movie My Mother’s Future Husband. Jacob Tremblay costars in two films released in August of 2019. The comedy Good Boys, (co-produced by Seth Rogen) and Xavier Dolan’s drama, The Death and Life of John F. Donovan. He provides the voice for the title character Luca in the Disney-Pixar 2021 animated feature.

Also see: Luca to Open ICFF 2021.

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

The Great Sambini & Booger the Magic Ferret (VR-2013, short)
The Smurfs 2 (2013)
Extraterrestrial (2014)
My Mother’s Future Husband (TV-2014)
Santa’s Little Ferrets (TV-2014, short)
Before I Wake (2015)
Room (2015)
Gord’s Brother (2015, short)
Donald Trump’s The Art of the Deal: The Movie (TV-2016)
Before I Wake (2016)
Burn Your Maps (2016)
Shut In (2016)
The Book of Henry (2016)
Wonder (2017)
The Death and Life of John F. Donovan (2018)
NKPC: New Kid Placement Committee (2018, short)
Pete the Cat: A Very Groovy Christmas (voice, TV-2018)
Good Boys (2019)
Doctor Sleep (2019)

Here We Are: Notes for Living on Planet Earth (2020,short)
Luca (voice, 2021)
Ciao Alberto (2021, short)
My Father’s Dragon (voice, 2023)
The Toxic Avenger (2023)
The Little Mermaid (voice, 2023)
Queen of Bones (2023)
Cold Copy (2013)
Wildwood (voice, 2023)

TV Series – Cast:
Pete the Cat (voice, 2017-2020)

TV Series – Guest appearances:
Motive (2013)
Mr. Young (2013)
The Last Man on Earth (2016)
American Dad! (2016, 2017)
Family Guy (2017)
Animals (voice, 2018)
The Twilight Zone (2019)
Harley Quinn (voice, 2019, 2020, 2022)

Death and Life of John F. Donovan, movie, poster,

Good Boys, movie, poster,

Luca, Jacob Tremblay, movie, poster,

Jessica Parker Kennedy

Jessica Parker Kennedy, photo, actress,

B: October 3, 1984 in Calgary, Alberta

Jessica Parker Kennedy’s career began when she was 22 playing Lucy the Elf in the made-for-TV movie Santa Baby. She played the role of Beatrice in 33 episodes of the series Valemont in 2009, but is better known recently for playing the characters Nora West-Allen and XS on the series The Flash.

Features & TV Movies:
VR indicates Direct-to-Video Release
Santa Baby (TV-2006)
Decoys 2: Alien Seduction (VR-2007)
Another Cinderella Story (VR-2008)
Amber Alert: Terror on the Highway (TV-2008)
Santa Baby 2: Christmas Maybe (TV-2009)

Karma Inc. (2010, short)
Behemoth (TV-2011)
Collision Earth (TV-2011)
50/50 (20110 In Time (2011)
Bad Meat (2011)
Nearlyweds (TV-2013)
The Perfect Guy (2015)
Gemini (2017)
House Mother (2017, short)
Another Kind of Wedding (2017)
Cam (2018)
Deep Murder (2019)
Business Ethics (2019)
Spirit Glitch (2019, short)

Split Second (2020, short)
Self Tape (2020, short)
See for Me (2021)
Good Bad Things (2023)

TV Series – Cast:
Kaya (2007)
Valemont (2009)

The Secret Circle (2011-2012)
Black Sails (2014-2017)
I Love Bekka & Lucy (2017)
The Flash (2018-2022)

TV Series – Guest appearances: 
Nashville (2008, 2009, 2010)
Fear Itself (2009)
Soul (2009)
The Troop (2009, 2010)
V (2010)
Undercovers (2010)
Lie to Me (2010)
Fairly Legal (2011)
Exes & Ohs (2011)
90210 (2012, 2013)
Lethal Weapon (2017)
Ransom (2017)
Colony (2017)
Tales (2017)
Supergirl (2017)
Acting for a Cause (2020)
The Old Man (2022)

See For Me, movie, poster,

Romane Denis

Romane Denis, actress,
Photo of Romane Denis at the 2019 Canadian Screen Awards by Ralph Lucas for Northernstars.ca

B: April 12, 1998 in Montréal, Québec

Romane Denis started her career in television in 2009 but it was her role as Mélanie Prud’homme in 32 episodes of the series Subito Texto between 2014 and 2016 that helped establish her career as a regular performer. For example, she played the role of Pâquerette Deschamps in 24 episodes of Les Pays D’en Haut from 2017 to 2021 and was in 20 episodes of the series Nomades in 2019 and 2020. She was nominated for a Prix Iris award for Best Discovery of the Year as well as picking up a Canadian Screen Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress in 2019 for her work in Slut in a Good Way, aka Charlotte a du fun.

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

Louis Cyr: The Strongest Man in the World (2013)
Slut in a Good Way (aka Charlotte a du fun, 2018)
Les Salopes or The Naturally Wanton Pleasure of Skin (2018)
My Salinger Year (2020)
Slaxx (2020)

TV Series – Cast:
Subito Texto (2014-2016)
For Sarah (2015)
Nouvelle Address (2015)
Feux (2016, mini-series)
Les Pays D’en Haut (2017-2021)
Nomades (2019-2020)
About Sex (2020)
La Faille (2021)
Le Monde De Gabrielle Roy (2021, mini-series)

TV Series – Guest appearances:
Sam Chicotte (2009)
TacTik (2013)
Mémoires vives (2015, 2017)
19-2 (2017)
District 31 (2017)
La Derape (2018, 2019)
La tour (2020)
The Sketch Artist (Portrait – Robot) (2021)
La confrérie (2022)
Le Bonheur (2022)

My Salinger Year, movie, poster,

Robert Cormier

Robert Cormier, actor,

B: June 14, 1989 in -
D: September 23, 2022 in Toronto, Ontario

Robert Cormier was an actor and athlete with a passion for helping others. It was reported that he died in hospital of injuries he sustained in a fall. He was 33 when he died in the former city of Etobicoke, now part of Toronto, Ontario. Known for playing Finn Cotter on the CBC series Heartland, his career in front of the cameras began in 2008 and by 2016 he had moved into writing, producing and directing. The majority of his work as an actor was in short films, which he also wrote and directed. There were two or three of his own productions that were unfinished at the time of his passing. We list his credits as an actor first.

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

Four 1 Liberation Front (2008)
We Run These Streets (2014)
In The Weeds (2015, short)
Santa Gets a Job (2015, short)
Guess Who’s Muslim (VR-2016, short)
The Duel 48HR (2016, short)
The Threesome 72 Hour (2016, short)
Dim The Flourescents (2017)
The HEI$T (2017, short)
Pyrenees (2018)
Day & Night (2018, short)
Firecrackers (2018)
Clean Ice (2018, short)

Fingers Crossed (2020, short)
Transmission: Vol. 1 (2022)
The Intersection (2022)
The Antagonist (2022, short)

TV Series:
Designated Survivor (2016)
Blood and Fury: America’s Civil War (2016)
Bizarre Murders (2018)
Ransom (2019)
Slasher (2019)
American Gods (2021)
Heartland (2021)

Credits as a Director:
The Duel 48HR (2016, short)
The Threesome 72 Hour (2016, short)

Credits as a Screenwriter:
The Duel 48HR (2016, short)
The Threesome 72 Hour (2016, short)
The HEI$T (2017, short)
Fingers Crossed (2020, short)
The Antagonist (2022, short)

Credits as a Producer:
The Duel 48HR (2016, short)
The Threesome 72 Hour (2016, short)
The HEI$T (2017, short)
Fingers Crossed (2020, short)
The Intersection (Associate Producer, 2022)
The Antagonist (2022, short)

Dim the Fluorescents, movie, poster,

Gary Farmer Honoured by imagineNATIVE

Gary Farmer Honoured by imagineNATIVE, image,
Image supplied by imagineNATIVE.

Gary Farmer Honoured by imagineNATIVE
by Staff Editors

(September 28, 2022 – Toronto, ON) The imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival has announced that actor and musician Gary Farmer will receive the 2022 August Schellenberg Award of Excellence, supported by ACTRA National, a generous donation from Joan Karasevich Schellenberg, and individual donors.

The August Schellenberg Award of Excellence (the “Augie”) is an annual prize that recognizes significant professional and personal achievement by an Indigenous actor, of any gender, from Turtle Island. Gary Farmer will receive his award at the imagineNATIVE Awards Presentation on Saturday, October 22, 2022 at the TIFF Bell Lightbox.

Gary Farmer was born in Ohsweken, Ontario, into the Cayuga Nation and the Wolf Clan of the Haudenosaunee/Iroquois Confederacy. His career has spanned more than four decades and is widely recognized as a pioneer in the development of First Nations media in Canada. He is the founding director of the urban, Indian radio network Aboriginal Voices Radio Network. He has been nominated for three Independent Spirit Awards for Best Supporting Male.

Recent credits include Resident Alien, as a series regular, for NBC Universal/Syfy Network, Reservation Dogs for FX/Hulu and the independent films Cowboys, Border House Reach, First Cow, Blood Quantum, and The Incredible 25th Year of Mitzi Bearclaw.

The August Schellenberg Award of Excellence was launched in partnership with Joan Karasevich Schellenberg to honour her late husband, actor August (Augie) Schellenberg, and the spirit of his work. This annual award is presented to gifted Indigenous actors based on the longevity and impact of their careers, as well as their professionalism and involvement in mentorship and community work. Past Augie recipients include Tantoo Cardinal in 2015, Tom Jackson in 2016, Tina Keeper in 2017, Michael Greyeyes in 2018, Michelle Thrush in 2019, Lorne Cardinal in 2020, and Dr. Shirley Cheechoo in 2021.

The imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival is the world’s largest Indigenous festival showcasing film, video, audio, and digital + interactive media made by Indigenous screen-content creators. The Festival presents compelling and distinctive works from Canada and around the globe, reflecting the diversity of Indigenous nations and illustrating the vitality and dynamism of Indigenous arts, perspectives, and cultures in contemporary media.

Also see: Gary Farmer’s filmography.

SOURCE: imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival

Pamela Anderson’s Garden of Eden

Pamela Anderson's Garden of Eden
Photo courtesy of HGTV Canada.

Pamela Anderson’s Garden of Eden
by Staff Editors

(September 28, 2022 – Toronto, ON) We first had an idea something was afoot a few years ago when we received an email from one of our far flung occasional contributors letting us know Hollywood actress Pamela Anderson had moved into his neighbourhood on Vancouver Island. We suggested, politely, that maybe he was living in her neighbourhood. The upshot of all this is the announcement from HGTV that indeed Pamela Anderson is living on Vancouver Island and her efforts to renovate a family home has become a limited series titled Pamela’s Garden of Eden.

The Corus Studios Original series follows Anderson as she takes a break from her Hollywood life and embarks on a massive restoration of her grandmother’s legacy property. A project this scale tests her patience and personal life as she tries to remain focused on her dream for the property: to embrace her family’s past and fulfill her vision for the future.

The star’s passion for design and gift for renovating spaces inspired her to redevelop the expansive six-acre waterfront property she purchased from her grandmother 25 years ago. The property encompasses three main areas: The Roadhouse, The Boathouse and The Cabin; and there are major plans for each. Her ambitious timeline drives her to finish the “crown jewel” of the property, The Boathouse on the shoreline, before the Christmas holidays and make it into an architectural masterpiece. She enlists a team of contractors, an architect, a designer, and input from her parents and son to execute her romantic and glamorous vision. Over the course of the season, they work alongside her through the stresses, struggles, budget and time constraints of this extraordinary renovation.

In the premiere episode, “I Love Laundry!”, Anderson and her dream team start with a small but essential project, transforming the unfinished Roadhouse basement into a charming laundry area, pantry and mudroom. As they prepare for demolition, Pamela takes a trip down memory lane, going through archival designer clothes and shoes from her Hollywood life that have been stored in her basement for years.

Pamela’s Garden of Eden debuts on HGTV Canada Thursday, November 3 at 10 p.m. ET/PT. The series is produced by Fireworks Media Group with Marni Goldman as Executive in Charge of Production for HGTV Canada. Pamela Anderson is represented by APA. The Corus Studios Original content team driving the slate of Lifestyle series is helmed by industry executives Colin Bohm, Executive Vice President of Content and Corporate Strategy, Lisa Godfrey as Senior Vice President of Original Content and Corus Studios, and Krista Look, Vice President of Lifestyle.

Also see: Pamela Anderson’s filmography.

SOURCE: Corus Entertainment Inc.

Rewind & Play to Open RIDM

Rewind & Play to Open RIDM, image,
Image courtesy of RIDM.

Rewind & Play to Open RIDM
by Staff Editors

(September 26, 2022 – Montréal, QC) The Montreal International Documentary Festival (RIDM) has announced the opening and closing films for its 25th edition, which will take place from November 17 to 27, 2022. With the intent to create a dialogue between eras and reflect on our relationship with the archives and writings of history, the programming team selected Rewind & Play by French filmmaker Alain Gomis to launch this anniversary edition.

While the present illuminates the past in the festival’s opening film, the exact opposite occurs in the closing film, Wochiigii lo: End of the Peace by Haida filmmaker Heather Hatch. Contemporary industrial projects are destroying the ancestral lands of many Indigenous Nations, territories which are supposed to be protected. They cast an ominous shadow over the future of these communities – an appalling situation that’s echoed around the world by many groups.

Opening film – REWIND & PLAY:
In 1969, jazz musician Thelonious Monk (pictured above) appeared on the French TV show Jazz Portrait. Composed mainly of unused archival footage from this recording, Rewind & Play is a troubling film that exposes the media’s failings and a colonial discourse created in post-production. Alain Gomis includes several studio performances, spotlighting this complex artist’s immense talent. A true display of the power of editing, the film exposes the white male gaze innate in a hegemonic cultural critic, embodied by an arrogant interviewer who can no longer limit Monk to a pre-established stereotypical narrative devoid of political weight.

Rewind & Play will have its Québec premiere on Thursday, November 17 at 7 p.m. at the Cinéma Impérial (by invitation only), and in collaboration with the Consulate General of France in Québec City.

A second screening of the film, which will be open to the public, is scheduled for Saturday, November 19 at 8 p.m. at the Cineplex Odeon Quartier Latin. Rewind & Play is produced by Sphere Films and Andolfi.

Wochiigii lo: End of the Peace, movie, image, RIDM,
Promotional still for Wochiigii lo: End of the Peace courtesy of RIDM.

In 2014, BC Hydro announced the construction of a third dam on the Peace River, in the territory of several First Nations who signed Treaty 8 in 1899. This colossal new build will flood miles of Peace Valley. The communities, who have already seen the damage caused by dams to their ancestral lands and the environment, oppose construction. Wochiigii lo: End of the Peace conveys the importance of these communities’ fierce battle by showing their way of life, rituals, and spirituality. More importantly, it expands focus by seriously questioning the value of treaties, which governments disrespect despite their commitments to Indigenous rights and the discourse on reconciliation.

Wochiigii lo: End of the Peace will have its Quebec premiere at the Cinéma Impérial when it closes the festival on Saturday, November 26 at 7 p.m., with director Heather Hatch in attendance. A second screening of the film will take place on Sunday, November 27 at 6 p.m. at the Cinémathèque québécoise.

Wochiigii lo: End of the Peace is produced and distributed by Della & Goliath Productions.

The full program for the 25th edition of the RIDM will be unveiled on Wednesday, October 26, 2022.

Also see: November 2022 film festvals.


Anna Lambe

Anna Lambe, actress, indigenous,

B: in Iqaluit, Nunavut

Anna Lambe is pictured at the 7th Canadian Screen Awards in 2019, where she was nominated in the category Best Supporting Actress for her work in the 2018 film The Grizzlies. She played the role of Sarah in the series Trickster.

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

The Grizzlies (2018)
Dusk and Dawn (2023)

TV Series – Cast:
Tricker (2020)

TV Series – Guest appearances:
True Detective (2014)
Diggstown (2021)
Three Pines (2022)

The Grizzlies, movie, poster,

OIAF Wraps with Awards

PIAF Wraps with Awards, image
Bird in the Peninsula image courtesy of OIAF

OIAF Wraps with Awards
by Staff Editors

(September 24, 2022 – Ottawa, ON) The Ottawa International Animation Festival (OIAF), the largest festival of its kind in North America, has announced the winners of its 46th edition at its first in-person festival since 2019.

The festival has awarded director Atsushi Wada’s Bird in the Peninsula (pictured above) the Grand Prize for Short Animation and Koji Yamamura’s Dozens of Norths the Grand Prize for Feature Animation. The Japanese animated short, lizuna Fair (dir. Sumito Sakakibara), was awarded Best Non-Narrative Short.

Film Festival Season 2022, image,This year’s Canadian Film Institute Award (CFI) for Best Canadian Animation winner, The Flying Sailor (dirs. Wendy Tilby and Amanda Forbis), lifted audiences’ spirits amidst its depiction of an explosive moment in Canadian history.

Decided by the Festival’s attendees, the Wacom Public Prize was awarded to Sierra (dir. Sander Joon), a tale of a father and son who work together in unexpected ways. Best Narrative Short, Letter of a Pig (dir. Tal Kantor), created moments for reflection and explored intergenerational trauma through a new lens.

The OIAF welcomed the expertise of Hugo Covarrubias (Chile), Marc Bertrand (Canada), Pilar Newton-Katz (United States), Terril Calder (Canada), Jonni Phillips (United States), and Marko Tadic (Croatia) as jurors for this year’s Official Competition. Covarrubias, Bertrand and Newton-Katz formed the Festival’s Features Jury, while the Shorts Jury was comprised of Calder, Phillips, and Tadic.

The Kids Jury included children from the Ottawa area between the ages of 8-12, who selected the Young Audiences 3+ and 7+ Competitions winners.

In keeping with tradition, the OIAF 2022 award statues were designed by Ottawa-based, scrap metal artist, Tick Tock Tom. The statues are working phénakisticopes featuring an animation by New York artist George Griffin,

Following is the Complete Competition Prize Winner List

Grand Prize for Short Animation:
Winner: Bird in the Peninsula (dir. Atsushi Wada)
Jury Comment: By challenging the medium through its cryptic universality, the following short film is glacially-paced with captivating movement. Expressive, comedic, complete, and concise.

Grand Prize for Animated Feature:
Winner: Dozens of Norths (dir. Koji Yamamura)
Jury Comment: This film engages the spectator to use their five senses. It breaks the boundaries and structures of storytelling. The imagery used is consistent with the creative process. The author successfully describes a world and an ecosystem of the senses. Everything is beautifully tied together: creativity the senses and visual poetry.

Wacom Public Prize:
Winner: Sierra (dir. Sander Joon)
First Runner Up: The Flying Sailor (dirs. Wendy Tilby and Amanda Forbis)
Second Runner Up: Dog Apartment (dir. Priit Tender)

Canadian Film Institute (CFI) Award for Best Canadian Animation:
Winner: The Flying Sailor (dirs. Wendy Tilby and Amanda Forbis)
Comment: For its striking, inventive combination of animation styles and its
thoughtful, poetic evocation of the dignity of humanity in times of
Special Mention: Animal Collective – We Go Back (dirs. Winston Hacking & Michael Enzbrunner)
Comment: For its witty, unpredictable, and imaginative journey through pop
culture history and personal memory

Animated Short Competition – Category Prizes

Best Non-Narrative:
Winner: lizuna Fair (dir. Sumito Sakakibara)
Jury Comment: For its immersive unearthing and exploratory polyrhythm which creates a kinetic experience within its medium.

Best Narrative:
Winner: Letters to a Pig (dir. Tal Kantor)
Jury Comment: By viscerally tearing down walls for internal conversation, the affecting narrative and structure at the core of the following film provide a challenging, hard-hitting story. Exploring multi-generational trauma through a fresh new lens.

Best Commissioned:
Winner: The Humane Society International – Save Ralph (dir. Spencer Susser)
Jury Comment: Whilst artfully playing with the viewer’s emotions, the following film breaks beyond the confines of traditional marketing. With an empathetic character at its core that resonants long past the film’s initial viewing.

Bento Box Award for Best Student Animation:
Winner: The Seine’s Tears (dirs. Alice Letailleur, Eliott Benard, Etienne Moulin, Hadrien Pinot, Lisa Vicente, Nicolas Mayeur, Philippine Singer & Yanis Belaid)
Jury Comment: Firmly standing on all levels of narrative, directing, visual design, sound, technique, and editing — the following film addresses a relevant historical event which echoes into our current political landscape.

Animation for Young Audiences 3+ Competition:
Winner: My Name is Fear (dir. Eliza Plocieniak-Alvarez)
Special Mention 1: Toddler Talks (dir. Diane Reichenbach)

Animation for Young Audiences 7+ Competition:
Winner: Luce and the Rock (dir. Britt Raes)
Special Mention: Lost Brain (dir. Isabelle Favez)

Animated Series Competition:
Winner: My Year of Dicks ‘The Sex Talk’ (dir. Sara Gunnarsdottir)
Comment: For its visually innovative mix of collage, rotoscope, archival footage and drawings that all enhance the clash between imagination and real life.
Special Mention: Safe Mode: Lana Among the Lillies (dir. Justin Tomchuk)
Comment: For its refreshingly bizarre and bold non-linear approach along with its striking designs.

Virtual Reality Competition:
Winner: Biolun (dir. Abel Kohen)
Comment: For its storytelling that guides and sparks curiosity, and use of light to reveal the darker parts of an underwater world…and maybe humanity.

Canadian Student Competition:
Winner: I Had a Dream of A House at Night (dir. Charlie Galea McClure)
Jury Comment: For its clever use of collage, cut-outs, engravings and assorted techniques to create an unstable, uncertain and mystifying environment.
Special Mention 1: Sculptor (dir. Andreas Fobes)
Special Mention 2: Mileage (dirs. Jennifer Wu, Kym Santiana, Ruyee Lu, Christopher Hsueh, Joy Zhou, Miranda Li, Nicole Taylor-Topacio, & Saul Benavides)

Animated Short Competition – Craft Awards

Best Script:
Winner: Drone (dir. Sean Buckelew)
Jury Comment: Introducing contemporary issues told through a romantic protagonist, the following satire provokes a sympathetic response with its timely narrative and proficiently-crafted screenplay.

Best Design:
Winner: Backflip (dir. Nikita Diakur)
Jury Comment: Experimenting with conceptual design which goes beyond the traditional expectations of animation, the following film questioned our perceptions on sentience. The film is a visual exploration, a scientific examination, a social experiment, and even a radical slapstick comedy.

Best Technique:
Winner: Hotel Kalura (dir. sophie koko gate)
Jury Comment: Imagine a parallel dimension where Andy Warhol teamed up with Nico from The Velvet Underground, and created a 1940’s noir. Working with a classical love story which implements a fresh rhythm with the delicious aesthetic.

Best Sound Design:
Winner: Zoon (dir. Jonatan Schwenk)
Jury Comment: Working in tandem with the other-worldly visuals with a soundscape which provides texture to the ambient environments, the following film exemplifies a symbiotic & complementary relationship between sound and image.

The Ottawa International Animation Festival (OIAF) is one of the world’s leading animation events providing screenings, exhibits, workshops and entertainment since 1976.

Also see: September film festivals.


Stellar, movie, image,
Promotional still for Stellar courtesy of imagineNATIVE.

87 minutes – Romantic, Drama
Language: English
Festival release date: September 11, 2022 – TIFF (World Premiere)
Release date TBA
Production companies: Nice Picture Inc., Devonshire Productions Inc., Baswewe Films, A Stellar Film Inc.
Canadian distributor: levelFILM

Stellar is set in Northern Ontario where a meteorite has crashed, triggering a chain of catastrophic events and natural disasters. Two lovers transcend the traumas calmly as they take shelter in a dive bar amid the winds, floods, and fires raging just outside the front window. The feature from producer-writer-director Darlene Naponse (Anishinaabe) explores human notions of connections between oneself, other people, and Mother Earth herself.

Stellar had its World Premiere at TIFF 2022 and was selected to open the 2022 imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival.

Stellar, movie, poster,



Darlene Naponse
Jennifer Weiss
Paula Devonshire

Associate Producer:

Christine Rochon
Jason Ryle

Line Producer:

Philip Spurvey


Darlene Naponse


Darlene Naponse


Mathieu Séguin


David Wharnsby
Jose Marianne Proulx

Production Designer:

Thea Hollatz

Art Director:

Peri Greig (Set Decoration)

Costume Designer:

Sage Paul

Cast: Roles:

Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers
Braeden Clarke
Rossif Sutherland
K.C. Collins
R.H. Thomson
Tina Keeper
Billy Merasty
Megan Dawson
Aurora Gatwenzi
Heli Kijanen
Hope McGregor
Kade Naponse
Thea Naponse
Avery Sutherland
Violet Sutherland

Auntie 2
Auntie 1
White Woman 2
White Woman 1
Young Indigenous Woman
Young Boy with Fox
Young Indigenous Woman
Young Indigenous Woman

A Stellar Opening for imagineNATIVE

Stellar, movie, image,
Promotional still for Stellar courtesy of imagineNATIVE.

A Stellar Opening for imagineNATIVE
by Ralph Lucas, Publisher

(September 21, 2022 – Toronto, ON) The 2022 edition of the world’s largest presenter of Indigenous screen content, the imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival, has announced its schedule and the opening is literally Stellar. Costarring Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers, Braeden Clarke & Rossif Sutherland, Stellar is set in Northern Ontario as a meteorite has catastrophically changed the planet. But inside a small bar, two lovers transcend the traumas of one world and find a path to a new one. The feature from writer-director Darlene Naponse (Anishinaabe) explores human notions of connections between oneself, other people, and Mother Earth herself. The Opening Night Gala is on Tuesday, October 18.

Rosie, movie, poster, When the festival wraps 5 days later on October 23, the Closing Gala feature is Rosie by Gail Maurice (Cree/Métis). The film is about family, love, and misfits, Rosie tells the story of a young, orphaned, Indigenous girl who is forced to live with her reluctant, street-smart Aunty Fred, on the fringes of 1980s Montréal.

With optimism regarding the seemingly weakening COVID pandemic, the festival will have in-person events during the full run of the festival October 18-23, followed by online festival selections becoming available October 24-30, 2022.

imagineNATIVE by the numbers: This year the festival will present over 147 works from 16 countries in over 55 Indigenous languages. Screenings include 19 feature films, 13 thematic shorts programs, nine Digital + Interactive Works, nine audio works, six exhibitions, five music videos, and an artist spotlight on Mohawk filmmaker and visual artist Shelley Niro.

There is more information online.
Also see: October Film Festivals.

Northernstars logo imageRalph Lucas is the founder and publisher of Northernstars.ca. He began writing about film and reviewing movies while in radio in Montreal in the mid-1970s.

Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers

Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers (Blackfoot/Sami) is a filmmaker, actor and writer. Her films have screened at numerous international festivals including Toronto’s imagineNATIVE and the Vancouver International Film Festival. In 2012, her short film A Red Girl’s Reasoning won the Best Canadian Short Drama at imagineNATIVE. In 2013, she was selected for the Indigenous Film Fellowship by the International Sámi Film Centre in Norway to develop her first feature-length screenplay. In February of 2016 it was announced that her film When The Dust Settles would receive a $10,000 production fund grant from the Hot Docs/R&M Lang Foundation CrossCurrents program. She co-wrote and co-directed the 2019 feature The Body Remembers When the World Broke Open with Kathleen Hepburn.

We list her credits as a director first.

Also see: A Stellar Opening.

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

Bloodland (2011, short)
A Red Girl’s Reasoning (2012, short)
Bihttos (documentary, 2014, short)
Rebel (documentary, 2014, short)
The Embargo Project (2015)
c’sna?m: The city before the city (2017, documentary) The Body Remembers When the World Broke Open (co-director, 2019)

Kímmapiiyipitssini: The Meaning of Empathy (2021, documentary)

Credits as a Screenwriter:
Bloodland (2011, short)
A Red Girl’s Reasoning (2012, short)
Bihttos (documentary, 2014, short)
Rebel (documentary, 2014, short)
The Body Remembers When the World Broke Open (co-writer, 2019)

Kímmapiiyipitssini: The Meaning of Empathy (2021, documentary)

TV Series:
Queen of the Oil Patch (2018)

Credits as an Actor:
Another Cinderella Story (VR-2008)
Howard & Betty (2009, short)

Bloodland (2011, short)
A Red Girl’s Reasoning (2012, short)
Rez Carz (voice, 2013, short)
Not Indian Enough (2014, short)
The Embargo Project (2015)
Love in Paradise (TV-2016)
On the Farm (TV-2016)
The Body Remembers When the World Broke Open (2019)
Blood Quantum (2019)

Night Raiders (2021)
Stellar (2022)

The Body Remembers When the World Broke Open, movie, poster,

Night Raiders, movie, poster,

Stellar, movie, poster,

WIFF Announces Prize Contenders

WIFF Announces Prize Contenders, image,

WIFF Announces Prize Contenders
by Staff Editors

(September 17, 2022 – Toronto, ON) – Vincent Georgie, Executive Director and Chief Programmer of the Windsor International Film Festival (WIFF) has announced the 10 films nominated for the WIFF Prize in Canadian Film. The award carries a cash value of $25,000 which goes to the director of the chosen film. Each film will also screen as part of WIFF which celebrates its 18th edition this Fall and runs from October 27-November 6 in Windsor, Ontario.

The nominees were announced today at the annual WIFF at TIFF event in Toronto and the prize will be handed out on Sunday, October 30th at an awards brunch during the festival. The winner is chosen by a jury of industry professionals. This year’s 10 Canadian films that are contenders for the WIFF Prize in Canadian Film are:

BROTHER by Clement Virgo

ETERNAL SPRING by Jason Loftus

FALCON LAKE by Charlotte Le Bon

TIFF 2022 - Day Four, image,
Poster courtesy of NFB.
I LIKE MOVIES by Chandler Levack

NORBOURG by Maxime Giroux

NORTH OF NORMAL by Carly Stone

RICEBOY SLEEPS by Anthony Shim


SWEARING JAR by Lindsay MacKay

TO KILL A TIGER by Nisha Pahuja

“This is an incredibly strong year for Canadian film and we are honoured and excited to be showcasing some of Canada’s best talent and the future of our national cinema,” said Georgie. “We introduced the WIFF Prize in 2019 as we know how vital it is to support our filmmakers. Our plan is to grow this prize every year as a sign of our commitment to the Canadian film industry.”

The WIFF Prize in Canadian Film in 2019 went to Kuessipian by Myriam Verreault. Celebrating its 18th year, WIFF is a cultural, not-for-profit organization that celebrates the art of cinema by showcasing Canadian and international film and filmmakers. Delivering exceptional experiences through film, WIFF strengthens and enriches community while promoting the creative economy.

Also see: October Film Festivals


NOTE: The poster for Brother was created by Northernstars only for use with this article.

TIFF22 Wraps With Awards

TIFF logo, 2022, image,

TIFF22 Wraps with Awards
by Thom Ernst -Film Correspondent

(September 18m 2022 – Toronto, ON) TIFF22 has signed off for another year but not before handing out awards to the best of the festival.
Here are the Canadian winners:

IMDBPro Short Cuts Award for Best Canadian Film: 
Director Aziz Soromba receives the IMDBPro Short Cuts Award for Best Canadian Film for SIMO. About the film, the Jury writes, “Featuring convincing, natural performances and tight direction, the film astutely plays off of narrative conventions to deliver an unexpectedly tender take on growing up in an all-male immigrant family.”

Honourable Mention goes to director Lloyd Lee Choi for Same Old.

TIFF 2022 - Day Four, image,
Poster courtesy of NFB.
Canada Goose Amplify Voices Awards:
Director Nisha Pahuja’s To Kill a Tiger wins the Amplify Voices Award for Best Canadian Feature Film. To Kill a Tiger is Pahuja’s first film to be screened at TIFF—So she has that in common with Steven Spielberg. The jury statement reads, “It’s not easy to film love. In Nisha Pahuja’s To Kill a Tiger, a father defends his daughter, and together they change a village, a country, and, maybe, the world.”

Special Mention for Best Canadian Feature Film is Stephane Lafleur’s Viking
Special Mention for Best Feature from an Emerging BIPOC Filmmaker is Madison Thomas for the film, Buffy-Sainte-Marie: Carry it On.

Shawn Mendes Foundation Changemaker Award:
Director Luis De Fillippis receives the Changemaker Award for Something You Said Last Night. The director released this statement, “It is an honour to have Something You Said Last Night be acknowledged by the next generation of filmmakers. Thank you to the Next Wave Committee for seeing this story. I am excited to watch you lead our industry in the coming years.”

Platform Prize:
Anthony Shim wins the Platform Prize for Riceboy Sleeps. In their statement, the Platform Prize jury remarks on Shim’s “deeply moving story and precisely-observed characters as they navigate racism, dislocation, family, and love…Plus, it’s very funny.”

Director Hubert Davis wins for his documentary Black Ice.
Director Babak Payami’s 752 is not a Number is second runner-up.

TIFF22 People’s Choice Awards:
Steven Spielberg’s won the TIFF 2022 People’s Choice Awards for his film The Fabelmans (his first film to be screened at TIFF—so now he has something in common with Nisha Pahuja). But our hearts are still with director Sarah Polley whose film Women Talking is the first runner-up.  

And a special shout-out to Brendan Fraser, star of The Whale, for winning the TIFF Tribute Award for Performance presented by IMDbPro. The Whale might be American, but Fraser is still a Canadian.

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.

Best of the Fest – TIFF 2022

Best of the Fest – TIFF 2022
by Thom Ernst – Film Correspondent

(September 17, 2022 – Toronto, ON) And so TIFF22 ends not with a whimper but a cough. Covid? That’s the rumour, but you didn’t hear it from me. I know a few colleagues had to tap out before the final reel. But I’m OK—thank you for asking—and hanging on until the end. They’ll have to roll me up with the red carpet to get rid of me.  

Best of the Fest, image,
Thom Ernst at TIFF 2022.
Rolling up the red carpet is pretty much the scene along King Street. From outside the Royal Alexander theatre, where the midnight madness crowd gathers and stretches the several blocks, it takes to reach Spadina, workers carry off sections of scaffolding. TIFF banners are removed like flags from an army that lost the battle. The barriers and road blockades gave a safe passage for stars to wave at fans and look beautiful to the camera without getting mussed up by the crowd. The (mostly) friendly faces I’ve come to recognize in lines and press screenings have left the building, save for a few stragglers (myself being one of them) who are starting to show signs of fatigue.

But was TIFF22— a festival reboot after having gone digital that past two years—a success? Yes, judging from the quality and diverse voices of the Canadian entries.

There were 31 Canadian films at TIFF22. Did I see them all? Hell no. Not in ten days. But if the Gods of Distribution are on the ball, there will be plenty of time to catch up before TIFF23 starts the process again.

If you’ve been following NorthernStars.ca from the beginning—and if you haven’t, why not?—you’re already ahead of the curve in knowing which Canadian films achieved festival prominence. But what would be a festival wrap without a recap of its Canadian highlights?

TIFF 2022 - image,

Women Talking has everyone talking. And though there will be those eager to point out that Women Talking is not officially Canadian—a lot of American talent and dollars went into the film—there are too many Canadian contributions to ignore. Director Sarah Polley reaches the pinnacle of festival accolades gaining a God-like status that would be recognized on any planet that worships film. Polley’s film is based on Miriam Toews’s novel about a sect of Mennonite women discussing taking a stand (or not) against the abuse and sexual attacks they, and now their children, have endured at the hands of the men in the community. I suspect Women Talking to get some recognition at tomorrow’s TIFF award announcements, and I doubt the accolades will end there. Women Talking screens tonight at 6 pm at TIFF Bell Lightbox.

Director Nisha Pahuja’s powerful NFB-produced documentary To Kill a Tiger stands out. The documentary follows an unassuming Indian rice farmer from a small Indian village who goes against his village’s archaic beliefs, traditions, and customs to stand with his 13-year-old daughter against the young men accused of raping her. The film is as exciting as a scripted thriller, but the danger to the film’s subject, his family, and the filmmakers is genuine. To Kill a Tiger screens today at 12:45 at TIFF Bell Lightbox.

Viking, movie, image,

Viking from director Stéphane Lafleur is a festival find that excels not on marquee names but on the reputation gathered through the festival. This is a strong story told with a dry wit and deadpan humour. People lined up for rush tickets when the film reached its final screening. I had an extra access for the final screening of Viking. I gave the ticket to a young man first in line for rush tickets (not to be confused with Rush tickets). The absolute look of joy on his face said a lot.

I confess to being apprehensive about The Colour of Ink and I Like Movies despite, or maybe because, both are written by and directed by colleagues.

The Colour of Ink, movie, image,
Photo of Jason S. Logan by Brian D. Johnson, courtesy of NFB.

I knew Brian D. Johnson’s film would be good but didn’t expect how beautiful it would look. But with Nicholas de Pencier as director of photography, how could it be anything else? The movie is filled with great people sharing their love of art, print, and—yes—colour and ink. The Colour of Ink screens at 6:30 pm tonight at Scotiabank Theatre Toronto.

And director Chandler Levak—who I don’t know but is a colleague nonetheless—delighted me and hundreds of festival goers with I Love Movies. The title and knowing that Levak is a film critic filled me with apprehensions. I was worried about a movie that was too inside baseball—one of those nostalgic looks at our love of film. But (like The Colour of Ink) Levak’s movie is much more than its title. There is little to no navel-gazing happening in I Love Movies. The film is a funny and kind story of an unlikeable outsider (who I happened to like) who forms an unexpected friendship with his older, more thoughtful, and emotional superior boss at a local video store. Levak resists romanticizing toxic behaviour while allowing her character—played wonderfully in what I hope is a break-out performance for Isaiah Lehtinen—to be awful and yet still able to win the audience’s favour. Insight is the friend of all good directors, and Levak has more than her share.

I am always thrilled to see a Sean Garrity film at the festival. The End of Sex, despite its horror movie title, is a playful comedy filled with comic surprises (and cameos) and gives up the chance to see two Canadian stars, Jonas Chernik and Emily Hampshire, get naughty.  

Although I did not see director Clement Virgo’s Brother at the festival, the buzz for his film was loud and prominent. Based on author David Chariandy’s novel, Virgo’s film is being called ‘powerful,’ and Brian Tallerico from RogerEbert.com lists Virgo as a director with a ‘confident and lyrical voice.’

Screening today:
Soft screens this afternoon at 4 pm at Scotiabank Theatre Toronto.
This Place screens tonight at Scotiabank Theatre Toronto.

Looking ahead to Sunday, September 18:
Ever Deadly screens at 1 pm at TIFF Bell Lightbox
Riceboy Sleeps screens at 1:30 pm at Scotiabank Theatre Toronto.

In case you missed it:
TIFF 2022 – Day One
Day Two
Day Three
Day Four
Day Five
Day Six
Day Seven
Day Eight
Day Nine

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.

TIFF 2022 – Day Nine

Women Talking, movie, image,

TIFF 2022 – Day Nine
by Thom Ernst – Film Correspondent

(September 16, 2022- Toronto, ON) It’s the last weekday of the festival and an excellent time to play festival catch-up. You have 3 more days if you’ve missed any of TIFF-22’s impressive line-up of Canadian features. Most every film that is to be screened has been screened. 
We’ll reserve tomorrow to discuss the best of the festival, leaving Sunday to post the awards announcement. 
Today, I’ll try to steer you towards some of Canada’s best entries still available to see. 
Topping the list is director Sarah Polley’s brilliant adaptation of Miriam Toews’ novel, Women Talking. The film is sure to appear on many people’s best-of-the-fest list. Women Talking screens at 8:30 pm at the Royal Alexander Theatre.
Viking, movie, image,

Tonight is your last chance to catch Viking, director Stéphane Lafleur’s surprisingly comic take on micro-communities, with perhaps a snippet of pandemic-like seclusion tossed in. The story is about five characters who share remarkable similarities with five astronauts orbiting Mars. The group is confined in a simulated spaceship, instructed to wear full space gear if going outside (the landscape looks to be a barren part of the Great Basin Desert), and told to identify by the name and the gender of their psychological and emotional doppelganger. The story is experienced through the eyes of David (Steve Laplante), a high school gym teacher who signs up for the experiment even though it means 2 ½ year away from his wife. But whatever conflict his spontaneous departure causes in his family life, it is nothing to the politics of surrendering your identity to fulfill someone else’s goals and expectations. Viking is on the ‘not to be missed list. Viking screens tonight at 6:45 pm at Scotiabank Theatre Toronto.
Others on the ‘if you haven’t seen it yet’ list are:

The Colour of Ink, movie, poster,The Colour of Ink is director Brian D. Johnson’s beautiful story behind the passion and love of ink. With voices from those who make ink (often as a hobby) to those who use it, Johnson’s film captures a magic that I bet few people have even considered. The Colour of Ink is surprisingly engaging (for a movie about ink) and often amusing. The Colour of Ink screens today on digital TIFF Bell Lightbox beginning at 10 am and in-person at 6:30 pm Sat., September 17 at Scotiabank Theatre Toronto. 
There is a solid buzz around director Clement Virgo’s Brother. Virgo’s film is adapted from David Chariandy’s award-winning novel. It’s the kind of film, like the novel, that inspires people to use the word ‘powerful’ when speaking of it. Brother screens at 6 pm at TIFF Bell Lightbox.
And film critic turned filmmaker Chandler Levak’s charming, funny, and all things good about the movies, I Like Movies gets its final screening tonight at 9:45 pm at TIFF Bell Lightbox. 
Also screening today is director Don Shebib’s police procedural, Nightalk at 6 pm at Scotiabank Theatre Toronto; This Place from director V.T. Nayani at 6:30 pm at TIFF Bell Lightbox and on Sat., September 17 at 7:35 pm at Scotiabank Theatre Toronto.

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.

Bones of Crows

Bones of Crows, movie, image,

127 minutes – Drama, Indigenous
Language: English, Cree, ʔayʔajuθəm, Italian
Festival release date: September 10, 2022 – TIFF (World Premiere)
Release date: TBA
Production companies: Ayasew Ooskana Pictures, Marie Clements Media, Screen Siren Pictures, Grana Productions
Canadian distributor: Elevation Pictures

Bones of Crows is told through the eyes of Cree Matriarch Aline Spears, played by different actors at different stages of her life, as the story unfolds over 100 years. as she survives a childhood in the Canadian residential school system to continue her family’s generational fight in the face of systemic starvation, racism, and sexual abuse. She uses her uncanny ability to understand and translate codes into working for a special division of the Canadian Air Force as a Cree code talker in World War II. Confronted by her traumatic past as she embarks on a classified mission during the war, she realizes the devastating secrets long buried in her are shared.

The feature fill gets expanded when a five-part series will debut on CBC and Radio-Canada in 2023-24.
Also see: Tiff 2022 – Day Eight.

No Poster Available, image,



Marie Clements
Trish Dolman
Christine Haebler

Executive Producer:

Marie Clements
Sam Grana
Aaron Gilbert
Steven Thibault
Noah Segal

Co-Executive Producer:

Kyle Irving
Lisa Meeches

Associate Producer:

Kerriann Cardinal
Leena Minifie

Line Producer:

Brad Van Arragon


Marie Clements


Marie Clements


Vince Arvidson


Maxime Lahaie


Jesse Zubot
Wayne Lavallee

Production Designer:

James Philpott

Art Director:

Vivien Nishi
Stephanie Ajmeria (Set Decoration)

Costume Designer:

Jessica Kalan
Carmen Thompson

Cast: Roles:

Grace Dove
Phillip Forest Lewitski
Rémy Girard
Karine Vanasse
Alyssa Wapanatâhk
Michelle Thrush
Glen Gould
Gail Maurice
Cara Gee
Jonathan Whitesell
Patrick Garrow
Summer Testawich
Sierra Rose McRae
Ethan Evans
Payne Merasty
Alanis Obomsawin
Joshua Odjick

Aline Spears
Adam Whallach
Father Jacobs
Sister Ruth
Perseverance Spears
January Spears
Matthew Spears
Older Taylor Whallach
Older Aline Spears
Percy Whallach
Thomas Miller
Archbishop Thomas Miller
Young Aline Spears
Young Perseverance Spears
Preteen Johnnie
Young Tye Spears
TRC Film Director
Jake Whallach