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Toronto Film Critics Announce 2014 Picks

;Toronto Film Critics Announce 2014 Awards;
Boyhood photo courtesy of Mongrel Media

(December 16, 2014 – Toronto, ON) The Toronto Film Critics Association (TFCA) has announced its picks for the 2014 film year and Richard Linklater`s Boyhood has come out on top. The film, which he wrote and directed and began shooting in 2002, tracks the life of a little boy from age 6 to 18. Already the recipient of awards and accolades, the TFCA also recognized the work of Linklater with its directing prize and costar Patricia Arquette was named best supporting actress. Boyhood has won awards from the New York Film Critics Circle and the Los Angeles Film Critics Association. It also picked up five nominations for the Golden Globes and is likely to be a serious Oscar® contender for best picture.

Members of the TFCA met on the afternoon of December 14 to vote on their choices. In addition to Boyhood, the membership also named its three finalists for the highly coveted Rogers Best Canadian Film Award. They include Enemy, directed by Denis Villeneuve; The F Word, directed by Michael Dowse; and Mommy, directed by Xavier Dolan. The;Mommy, 2014 movie poster; winner of that award will be announced at the association`s annual gala dinner on January 6. It carries with it not just the honour of being named Best Canadian Film, but a cash award of $100,000, which is the richest film award in the country. The runners-up will each receive $5,000.

“In an exceptional year for Canadian cinema, we’ve chosen three boldly directed films that are so dissimilar it’s almost hard to believe they’re set in the same country,” said TFCA President Brian D. Johnson. “Enemy’s austere psychodrama portrays Toronto as a smog-lined tomb of condos and concrete, while The F Word makes the city a bright, airy playground for an agile romantic comedy. And in Mommy a drama of mental illness and parental anguish rips through a household in working-class Montreal.”

Other awards that were announced include The 2014 Joe Fresh Allan King Documentary Award, which was given to The Overnighters. The doc`s director Jesse Moss will receive a $5,000 cash prize. The prize is named after the late, renowned director Allan King.

Albert Shin, director of the South Korean domestic drama In Her Place, was named the winner of the Scotiabank Jay Scott Prize for an emerging artist. He will be presented with a $5,000 cheque at the gala. Finally, the TFCA will also announce the winner of the Manulife Student Film Award, which also carries a $5,000 cash prize. It is presented to a short film that the critics select from student entries submitted by film programs at Humber College, Ryerson University, Sheridan College and York University.

Under the TFCA’s guidelines, contenders eligible for the awards include films released in Canada in 2014 plus films that qualify for the 2014 Oscars and have Canadian distribution scheduled by the end of February 2015. Other awards that were announced include:

Tom Hardy won the Best Actor prize for playing a Welsh builder in crisis in Locke.

Marion Cotillard was named Best Actress for her performance as a Polish woman navigating 1920s America in The Immigrant

J.K. Simmons was named Best Supporting Actor for his role as a tyrannical conductor in Whiplash.

Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel won for Best Screenplay

Isao Takahata’s delicate fable The Tale of the Princess Kaguya won Best Animated Feature.

Ritesh Batra’s The Lunchbox was named Best First Feature’

Ruben Östlund’s Force Majeure was named Best Foreign-Language Film.

It had been previously announced that the 2014 recipient of the Technicolor Clyde Gilmour Award is Piers Handling of the Toronto International Film Festival, who will present a filmmaker of his choice with $50,000 worth of services from Technicolor. The TFCA Awards gala will take place in the art-deco Round Room of Toronto`s historic The Carlu.

Stratford Festival HD Coming in February

;Colm Feore as King Lear at Stratford Festival;
Photograph by David Hou.

(December 10, 2014 – Toronto, ON) Yes that`s Colm Feore, in costume as King Lear in a photo from the Stratford Festival production, which was one of the hottest tickets in the festival`s calendar last year. If you missed it on stage, you’ll be able to see it on the big screen this coming February when the play, the first of three festival productions will screen in new HD productions across Canada and the United States.

Tickets for King Lear, Antony and Cleopatra, and King John go on sale this Friday. These three events kick off a massive initiative by the Stratford Festival, North America’s leading classical theatre company, to capture all of Shakespeare’s plays over the next 10 years, beginning with the production of King Lear, screening on Thursday, February 19. As the Toronto Star wrote, King Lear “unquestionably catapults Colm Feore into the ranks of the world’s greatest living actors.” And that`s just the beginning.

In Canada, tickets to all three HD productions will be available through Cineplex Entertainment’s Front Row Centre Events, which specializes in bringing world-class events and performances to the big screen. These screenings will be followed by a broadcast window on CBC-TV, and then digital and on-demand release will follow.

Charles Isherwood, writing in The New York Times said this of King Lear: “The play’s final scenes are as harrowing as any I’ve seen.” The play is all about a kingdom divided, a family destroyed, the faithful banished and the hateful left to wreak inhuman havoc in the realm. Four hundred years after it was written, King Lear resonates as never before. This magnificent Stratford Festival production of Shakespeare’s great masterpiece, filmed in spectacular HD, will screen across Canada on Thursday, February 19 and in the U.S. on February 25. International distribution will follow. This production by North America’s leading classical theatre company stars the incomparable Colm Feore in the role of a lifetime, directed by the Stratford Festival’s acclaimed Artistic Director Antoni Cimolino.

Tom McCamus and Seana McKenna star in King John, which will screen in Canada on April 9 and in the US on April 8. Robert Cushman, writing in the National Post said, “Tom McCamus plays King John, rivetingly, as a neurotic narcissist. It’s a daring performance.” Chris Jones of the Chicago Tribune wrote, “This sublime King John has a remarkable intimacy, crystallized by the formidable actor Graham Abbey, whose relationship with the audience becomes one of the closest I’ve ever seen in a Shakespearean drama.”

And then Geraint Wyn Davies and Yanna McIntosh star in Antony and Cleopatra on May 21st. “Geraint Wyn Davies offers us an Antony of boundless charm and eternal optimism,” wrote Richard Ouzounian in the Toronto Star

All of the HD performances were produced by Melbar Entertainment Group and Barry Avrich in association with the Stratford Festival, Artistic Director Antoni Cimolino, and Executive Producers Barry Avrich, Anita Gaffney and Michael Levine. King Lear was directed for film by Joan Tosoni. The HD taping of Antony and Cleopatra, and King John were directed by Barry Avrich.

For more information, dates and a trailer visit the Stratford Festival HD online.

Andrea Martin to Host 2015 Canadian Screen Awards

;DOC Toronto Honours Two;
(December 9, 2014 – Toronto, ON) Helga Stephenson, CEO, Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television has announced that Andrea Martin will host the 2015 Canadian Screen Awards, which will be broadcast live on CBC on Sunday March 1, 2015. “Andrea Martin is the perfect host as we move into the gorgeous Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts,” said Stephenson. Stage and screen star Andrea Martin (My Big Fat Greek Wedding) previously hosted the Academy’s former Gemini Awards on CBC in 1986 and 1987 to rave reviews. “I’m thrilled to be hosting the CSAs,” said Martin, “especially since the film and television awards have converged on one special night. It gives Canadians everywhere, more time to figure out what’s happening on Orphan Black,” she wisecracked. “Andrea Martin is an unrivalled comedian,” said Jennifer Dettman, CBC Executive Director of Studio and Unscripted Content. “We are honoured to welcome her back to the CBC to host the live 2 hour 2015 Canadian Screen Awards,” she added.

The US-born Andrea Martin first appeared in children`s theatre. Later as a teenager, she made her professional debut as a singer at Portland`s annual Armenian Dance and Picnic. After earning her degree from Maine`s Emerson College, she moved to New York City and then later came to Toronto. Her early films in Canada include Cannibal Girls in 1973 and Black Christmas in 1974.

Her work – both on stage and screen – was celebrated once again when she won the Tony, Drama Desk, Drama League, Outer Critics, and Eliot Norton award for Best Featured actress in a musical, for her show-stopping performance as Berthe, in the 2013 revival of“Pippin. Martin followed this by receiving the Outer Critics Outstanding Featured Actress Award in the James Lapine adaptation of Moss Hart’s Act One.
;My Big Fat Greek Wedding, 2002 movie poster;
Previous theatre work includes both Drama Desk and Outer Critics Award nominations for her role as Juliette, opposite Geoffrey Rush and Susan Sarandon, in the Broadway production of Exit the King. Other Broadway credits include, Frau Blucher in Mel Brooks Young Frankenstein, which brought (Tony and Drama Desk nominations. She also picked up Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics nominations for her performance as Aunt Eller in Oklahoma, and the Old Lady in Candide, as well as My Favorite Year at the Lincoln Center for which she won her first Tony Drama Desk and Theatre World Awards.

Andrea Martin received two Emmy awards for writing and an Emmy nomination for Best Supporting Actress in a variety series for her work on the legendary sketch comedy show, SCTV. Martin received a special Emmy for her contributions on Sesame Street as well. Martin’s Television work includes: Nurse Jackie, 30 Rock; and her own special for ShowTime, the hilareously titled Andrea Martin: Together Again. Martin tours North America with her one-person show entitled, Final Days! Everything Must Go!! and starred in the NBC/Shaw series Working the Engels.

Andrea Martin’s film appearances include Club Paradise, Wag the Dog, The Producers, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, All Over the Guy, and My Big Fat Greek Wedding (SAG award nomination, best ensemble and People’s Choice award). Martin will be seen this Christmas opposite Ben Stiller, in the movie Night at the Museum 3.

DOC Toronto Honours Two

;DOC Toronto Honours Two;
(December 9, 2014 – Toronto, ON) The DOC Institute, an initiative of DOC Toronto, is pleased to announce the winners of its inaugural awards. The DOC Star Award will be given to Elizabeth Klinck, and the New Visions Award, presented by Urban Post Production, to Brett Story. “We couldn’t be more pleased with the nominations submitted by DOC members nationwide, and with the selection of winners for our first year,” said Adam Shamoon, Director of the DOC Institute. “The jury had a difficult task, but the winners embody the spirit of the DOC Institute and its awards.”

The DOC Star Award is presented to a person working in documentaries who not only excels in their position, but is also actively involved in supporting Canada’s robust non-fiction community. Winner Elizabeth Klinck has been recognized for her work as a producer, researcher and clearance specialist on Canadian and international documentaries, including Watermark, Stories We Tell, Our Man in Tehran, and Reel Injun. She had been nominated for an Emmy in the Craft of Research and Best Researcher at the UK FOCAL Awards. She has won a Canadian Screen Award and Gemini for Best Visual Research; a Yorkton Golden Sheaf; and the FOCAL International Lifetime Achievement Award.

“One of our greatest documentarians and my mentor, Wolf Koenig, said the best way to repay him was to help other young filmmakers by sharing my knowledge,” said Klinck, pictured on the left above. “I am both honoured and humbled to have been chosen for the first DOC Star Award which celebrates this spirit of giving to the filmmaking community.”

The New Visions Award is given to an emerging professional filmmaker who demonstrates a keen artistic sensibility and potential to lead the next generation of doc-makers. Brett Story has caught the eye of the independent doc community since her debut award-winning feature film, Land of Destiny (2010), which played at international festivals and has been broadcast in Canada and the U.S. Since 2012, she has been part of the production team for the critically acclaimed ;DOC Toronto logo;National Film Board’s Highrise web-doc project. She is currently working on a non-fiction film about the effects of the prison system on public space, tentatively titled The Prison in Twelve Landscapes. Through this award, Story will receive $8,000 in cash and services.

“It`s a total surprise and delight to receive this award,” said Story, pictured on the right above. “The support and encouragement of the DOC community is more important than ever, as together we navigate what often feels like turbulent waters for independent non-fiction cinema.”

Lalita Krishna, Co-chair of DOC Toronto, which created the Institute, added, “As doc-makers, we are constantly considering how to adapt and thrive in an evolving mediascape. Initiatives like the DOC Institute are crucial in facilitating this, be it with programming, professional development or celebrating the achievements of our community with these Awards.”

The Awards will be presented at a ceremony on December 11, 2014 in Toronto at The Gladstone Hotel.

Exiting the Republic of Doyleby Ralph Lucas, Publisher

Exiting the Republic of Doyle
by Ralph Lucas, Publisher

;Exiting the Republic of Doyle;
(December 8, 2014 – Toronto, ON) Earlier this year I had a chance to do some photography in and around St. John`s. I took those obligatory shots of the paint box houses, went whale watching, visited Telegraph Hill, The Rooms museum and had some of the best food I have ever had in a small bistro restaurant on one of the steep streets that help define Canada`s most eastern capital city. But one of the top highlights was coming across the crew of Republic of Doyle, setting up a shot for one of the last episodes in the last season. The very last episode airs this Wednesday night and it`s a two-hour doozy.

The action-packed drama debuted on CBC in 2010 and quickly became a staple in the prime-time line-up, attracting a robust and engaged audience each week. The original Canadian production went on to be distributed in more than 98 countries but it all comes to an end after its sixth successful season on CBC.

Republic of Doyle single-handedly helped to stimulate the province’s television production industry and it is the largest original TV or film production ever mounted in Newfoundland and Labrador The popular program has become an overwhelming success, hosting top-tier talent with guest stars including Gordon Pinsent, Shannon Tweed, Paul Gross, Academy Award® winner Russell Crowe, Alan Doyle, Cathy Jones, Shaun Majumder and many more.

The final episode unfolds over two hours, which are essentially back-to-back episodes. In the first, titled “Judgement Day”, the red thread connecting the story of Jake’s murder charge forms the main story, while Leslie faces her own life-changing events with her job on the line. Des, typically, finds himself in the wrong place at the wrong time and;Allan Hawco, Republic of Doyle; Tinny is caught between her family and her job. If all that isn’t enough to hold your attention, the Doyles have just 48 hours to solve a complicated case before their world changes forever. Thus, part two.

Titled “Last Call”, the battle for the Republic is on. Jake and Leslie fight for their lives as powerful enemies close ranks. The Doyles pull out every trick to protect their own and get help from an unexpected ally. Everything comes down to the wire as they hunt for the evidence they need to clear Jake’s murder charge and secure freedom in the City of Legends.

There are fan efforts all across the country to give the show a grand send off with the highest audience it`s ever had. If that happens it will be a testament to the cast and crew of a show that became “must viewing” on its very first episode.

The show`s star and creator, Allan Hawco first had the idea for the series when he was 19. In an interview with the Huffington Post, he said, “It`s just been a dream come true to be able to share this experience with an audience. It`s so impossible to get an audience in this market. I’m so grateful for that. Just the sheer fact that it happened. It`s a miracle. I’m eternally grateful.” So, what`s next for Hawco?

He`s moving on, but not very far. He`s announced that he will produce and star in Caught, a new CBC series that will launch next year. Based on Canadian author Lisa Moore’s bestselling novel, Hawco’s production company Take the Shot Productions is teaming up with eOne to produce the series. He will play David Slaney, a convicted drug runner who escapes from a Nova Scotia prison after five years of incarceration. Set in 1978, the series will follow his cross-country journey to reconnect with his former partner in crime and pull off one more job that would set them up for life. While the series is based on the book, the book was based in part by real events. It was shortlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize in 2013. As they say in TV, stayed tuned for more.

Crowdfunding Milestone in Canada

;Indiegogo Crowdfunding Milestone in Canada;
(December 7, 2014 – Toronto, ON) The crowdfunding platform Indiegogo is marking a record-breaking year in Canada. It has, over the past 12 months and across all kinds of industries, further established itself as the leading destination for those looking to the community to fund their projects. From the Core wireless speaker, which became the most funded campaign of all time in Canada, to the 1,144 individuals who came together to help a three-year-old check off another item from their bucket list, to an admirable list of films that helped Canadian filmmakers launch their dreams, millions of dollars changed hands in support of Canadian projects via Indiegogo.

“2014 has been a whirlwind year for Indiegogo in Canada, with dozens of highlights to celebrate,” said Slava Rubin, CEO, Indiegogo. “We feel incredibly lucky to work with so many inspiring, talented individuals. It’s a thrill to watch communities come together in support of each other’s projects, effectively driving change via Indiegogo.”

While we join with others in applauding Indiegogo for all of the projects they have, thanks to the generous wallets of thousands of Canadians, our focus is on Canadian film, and it`s safe to say Indiegogo has played a major role in helping get a lot of films started or finished.

Some examples: It was announced at Toronto’s Hot Docs festival in earlier this year that Indiegogo’s partnership with the Documentary Organization of Canada (DOC), almost $50,000 was raised in support of Driving with Selvi, a documentary about a former child bride who becomes South India’s first female taxi driver.

Filmmaker Attiya Khan and Executive Producer Sarah Polley surpassed their campaign goal of $75,000 for the film A Better Man, a documentary with a call to action to end violence against women.

At the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) this year, Indiegogo announced a partnership with Canadian Film ;Sex After Kids, movieposter;Centre (CFC), further adding to the long list of filmmakers choosing the crowdfunding platform. Ann Marie Fleming and Sandra Oh selected the platform to raise funds for Window Horses, an animated film about a young girl of Chinese and Persian decent who learns to embrace her cultural identity through the art of poetry.

The original Pink Power Ranger Amy Jo Johnson busked in her pink bodysuit at Yonge and Dundas square as a perk for surpassing her campaign goal and raising $133,990 for her first feature film, The Space Between.

Having received seven Canadian comedy award nominations for their first crowdfunded film, Sex After Kids, Jeremy Lalonde and his Toronto team returned to Indiegogo this year to raise $122,975 for their film How to Plan An Orgy In A Small Town.

The scope of Indiegogo is unlimited, or more accurately, is only limited by the dreams, desires, imaginations and drive to succeed by the people who turn to the online resource to get the word out about what matters to them. A quick look at their constantly changing home page as this article was being prepared saw fund-raising initiatives for a film, two different new technological developments and a solar power cooperative in Saskatchewan. This really is living up to the old expression, “if you can think it, you can do it.”

Congrats to Indiegogo and to all of the people around the world that have helped dreams come true.

Torill Kove on Oscar® Short List

Torill Kove, animator,
;Torill Kove © AMPAS;
(November 6, 2014 – Los Angeles, CA) The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced that 10 animated short films will advance in the voting process for the 87th Academy Awards® and one of them is the National Film Board/Mikrofilm co-production Me and My Moulton directed by Torill Kove who previously won an Oscar® for Best Animated Short (pictured above) in 2007 with The Danish Poet, which was narrated by Liv Ullmann.

Fifty-eight pictures had originally qualified in the category and the 10 films still in the running are listed below in alphabetical order by title, with their production companies:

“The Bigger Picture,” Daisy Jacobs, director, and Christopher Hees, producer (National Film and Television School)
“Coda,” Alan Holly, director (And Maps And Plans)
“The Dam Keeper,” Robert Kondo and Dice Tsutsumi, directors (Tonko House)
“Duet,” Glen Keane, director (Glen Keane Productions & ATAP)
“Feast,” Patrick Osborne, director, and Kristina Reed, producer (Walt Disney Animation Studios)
“Footprints,” Bill Plympton, director (Bill Plympton Studio)
“Me and My Moulton,” Torill Kove, director (Mikrofilm in co-production with the National Film Board of Canada)
“The Numberlys,” William Joyce and Brandon Oldenburg, directors (Moonbot Studios)
“A Single Life,” Joris Oprins, director (Job, Joris & Marieke)
“Symphony No. 42,” Réka Bucsi, director (Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design Budapest)

The Academy’s Short Films and Feature Animation Branch Reviewing Committee viewed all the eligible entries for the preliminary round of voting at screenings held in New York and Los Angeles.

Short Films and Feature Animation Branch members will now select three to five nominees from among the 10 titles on the shortlist. Branch screenings will be held in Los Angeles, London, New York and San Francisco in December. The 87th Academy Awards nominations will be announced live on Thursday, January 15, 2015, at 5:30 a.m. PT in the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater. The Oscars® will be held on Sunday, February 22, 2015, at the Dolby Theatre® at Hollywood & Highland Center® in Hollywood, and will be televised live in more than 225 countries and territories worldwide.

Canadian Films at Sundance

Canadian Films at Sundance, image,

Canadian Films at Sundance
by Staff

(December 4, 2014 – Toronto, ON) One of the most anticipated film events of the new year is the Sundance Film Festival in Park City Utah. This year`s festival kicks off on January 22, 2015 and the organizers have released the list of US and international films that have made it through the screening process. For the 2015 Festival, 118 feature-length films were selected, representing 29 countries and 45 first-time filmmakers, including 19 in competition. These films were selected from 12,166 submissions, including 4,105 feature-length films and 8,061 short films. Of the feature film submissions, 2,016 were from the U.S. and 2,089 were international. In all 103 feature films at the Festival will have their World Premieres. Of interest to us are the three Canadian films that are included in this first list of films.

Screening in the World Cinema Dramatic Competition is Director and screenwriter François Delisle’s Chorus, starring such well known Canadian actors as Sébastien Ricard, Fanny Mallette, Pierre Curzi and Genevieve Bujold. The film centres on a separated couple who meet again after 10 years when the body of their missing son is found. Amid the guilt of losing a loved one, they hesitantly move toward affirmation of life, acceptance of death, and even the possibility of reconciliation. This will be a World Premiere screening for Chorus.
;The Amina Profile, production still;

Screening in the World Cinema Documentary Competition is the The NFB and Esperamos (Groupe Fair-Play) coproduction The Amina Profile from Sophie Deraspe. This is the writer-director`s fourth feature-length production. During the Arab revolution, a love story between two women — a Canadian and a Syrian American — turns into an international sociopolitical thriller spotlighting media excesses and the thin line between truth and falsehood on the Internet.

Also screening in the World Cinema Documentary Competition is the UK-Canada co-production, How to Change the World. Directed by Jerry Rothwell, this doc begins in 1971 when a group of friends sails into a nuclear test zone, and their protest captures the world’s imagination. Using rare, archival footage that brings their extraordinary world to life, How to Change the World is the story of the pioneers who founded Greenpeace and defined the modern green movement. This too will be a World Premiere.

There is a chance that other Canadian films might be on the agenda. In addition to those announced yesterday, the Festival also presents feature-length films in a number of different categories including the Spotlight, Park City at Midnight, New Frontier, Sundance Kids, Premieres and Documentary Premieres sections. Those announcements, as well as selections for the Short Film section, and a new Special Events section plus offscreen programming, will be announced in the near future.

Female Eye Remembers Montreal Massacre

Female Eye Remembers Montreal Massacre
by Staff Editors

(December 2, 2014 – Toronto, ON) Organizers behind the Female Eye Film Festival, which will celebrate its 14th year next year, will again remember the Montreal Massacre on its anniversary this Saturday. For 45 minutes on December 6, 1989, 25-year-old Marc Lepine roamed the corridors of Montreal`s École Polytechnique and killed 14 women. He purposely separated the men from the women and before opening fire on the classroom of female engineering students screamed, “I hate feminists.” Almost immediately, the Montreal Massacre became a galvanizing moment in which mourning turned into outrage about all violence against women. Yet 25 years later it persists.

This will be the third fund-raising event by the Female Eye for Violence Against Women. Doing what they do best, the event will present two programs of films made by female directors. In addition there will be a sale of photography, refreshments and a discussion session with all proceeds from the art sale being donated.

The first program will begin at 6PM and run until 7:15 and feature these films:

Forward, by Suneet Pabla. An autobiography of fragmented memories explored through the state of dreaming. (2 min., Toronto, ON)

Weight of Memory (performed by Peggy Baker), by Liz Marshall. In memory of the fourteen women slain during the Montreal Massacre. Featuring Dancer/Choreographer Peggy Baker with music “14 Remembered”, Pour Annie Turcotte, composed by Ahmed Hassan. (Documentary, 5 min., Canada)

After The Montreal Massacre by Gerry Rogers. December 6, 1989, Sylvie Gagnon was attending her last day of classes at the University of Montreal`s École Polytechnique when Marc Lépine entered the building separating the women from the men. Yet Sylvie survived while fourteen other women were murdered. After The Massacre makes the connection between the massacre and violence against women, setting the stage for an exploration of misogyny and sexism. (Documentary, 29 min., Canada)

Gently Whispering the Circle Back, by Beth Wishart McKenzie. Gently Whispering the Circle Back explores the journey of healing people wounded by the Canadian Residential School system. We become part of the “healing circle” as survivors and the children of survivors share their stories with us and speak of their recovery of tradition, language ceremony and personal dignity. It is a celebration of Indigenous spirituality and practise and its power to transform the lives of individuals and communities. (Documentary, 49 min., Canada)

There will be a discussion during the intermission followed by the second program of films:

Room 710, by Ann Marie Fleming. A very stressed woman is trying to sleep, but the neighbors next door are fighting. Based on the directors true story. (Animated, 8 min., Canada)

One Day I Stood Still by Valerie Buhagiar. One Day I Stood Still is an eleven-minute non-linear drama that uses sound and images to explore the theme of time. A Woman takes a pause in her routinely driven life. In this woman’s “pause” we dive into her thoughts, which are enveloped with a whirlwind of anxiety filled emotions. These “thoughts” are about the beauties and the horrors of life wrapped up in the obsession of time. (Non-linear drama, 11 min., Canada)

Assassins, May I Help You? by Raquel Polo . A cynical look at domestic violence and its oppressors. (Drama, 15 min., Spain).

The Greatest Silence: Rape In The Congo by Lisa F. Jackson. Through her vivid portrayal of the problems related to use of sexual violence as a weapon of war in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Jackson has galvanized the human rights community and brought this crisis to the attention of politicians and policymakers nationally and internationally. Winner of the Sundance 2008 Special Jury Prize for Documentary, The Greatest Silence was shot in the war zones of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and shatters the silence that surrounds the use of sexual violence as a weapon in that country’s intractable war. It inspired U.N. Security Council Resolution 1820, opened the first-ever U.S. Senate hearing on rape and war, and has moved audiences to outrage and action. (Documentary, 76 min., USA) Film provided courtesy of Women Make Movies (New York)

It all takes place at Artscape Youngplace, Flex Silver Studio, 180 Shaw Street in Toronto.

Also see: Polytechnique.

Tantoo Cardinal to be Honoured by ACTRA

;Tantoo Cardinal to be Honoured by ACTRA;
The image above was supplied. The poster below was scanned from an original in the Northernstars Collection.

(November 25, 2014 – Toronto, ON) Native Canadian actor Tantoo Cardinal has been selected by ACTRA Toronto to be honoured with their prestigious Award of Excellence at the organization`s awards gala in February of next year. Born in Fort McMurray, Alberta, Cardinal has worked steadily in film and television on both sides of the border for over 40 years, appearing in over 100 film and television projects. Around here she is fondly remembered for her strong, independent performance as Black Shawl against Graham Greene`s character in the hit move Dances With Wolves.

But she is known for so many more roles. Blackstone; Black Robe; Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman; North of 60; Legends of the Fall and Loyalties all come to mind. This special honour will join a number of awards Cardinal has won for her work. These include a Gemini for North of 60, a First Americans in the Arts Award for The Education of Little Tree, an American Indian Film Festival Best Actress Award for Where the Rivers Flow North, a Women in Film Award;The Education of Little Tree, a Northernstars Collection movie poster; (Vancouver International Film Festival) for Mothers & Daughters, a Leo Award for Blackstone, and she shares a Best Ensemble Cast Award (Philadelphia FirstGlance Film Festival) for Shouting Secrets. She was also nominated for a Genie Award for Loyalties.

Ms. Cardinal holds an Eagle Spirit Award from San Francisco’s American Indian Film Festival, the first Rudy Martin Award for Outstanding Achievement by a Native American in Film, an Outstanding Achievement Award from Women in Film and Television (Toronto), Harvard’s Sun Hill Award for Excellence in Native American Filmmaking, the Peter Ustinov Award from the Banff Film Festival, and a National Aboriginal Achievement Award. She was honoured by ACTRA National’s Women’s Committee on the 100th Anniversary of International Women’s Day.

She won a Sterling Award for her stage work in All My Relations and is a co-contributor to the book Our Story: Aboriginal Voices on Canada’s Past. She is the recipient of four honourary degrees and was inducted as a Member of the Order of Canada in 2009. Her passionate activism on behalf of Aboriginal people and culture is felt in her performances. She has been quoted as saying that she has had to argue for a more realistic portrayal of the characters she has played. In 2011, she was arrested with other actors protesting the proposed extension of the Keystone Pipeline which would pass through native land.

Dave Sparrow, President of ACTRA Toronto, said this about Ms. Cardinal, “Tantoo’s generosity with her time and wisdom has made her an inspiration to Aboriginal people and her fellow performers alike. Her work celebrates Canada, entertains the world and challenges us all to raise our standards for respect and inclusion.”

The annual ACTRA Awards in Toronto recognize outstanding performances by ACTRA Toronto members and celebrate accomplishment and excellence in our industry. Three juried awards will be presented in addition to the Award of Excellence: the ACTRA Awards for Outstanding Performance: Female, Male, and Voice.

ACTRA Toronto is the largest organization within ACTRA, representing over 15,000 of Canada’s 22,000 professional performers working in the English-language recorded media in Canada. As an advocate for Canadian culture since 1943, ACTRA is a member-driven union that continues to secure rights and respect for the work of professional performers.

Mohawk Girls isn’t Sex in the City

;See The Air Farce Live;
(November 21, 2014 – Toronto, ON) Anyone who pays attention to Canadian news will be familiar with the word Kahnawake. No matter what side of Canadian justice you come down on, chances are good you wouldn’t associate the name of the Mohawk Territory on the south shore of the St. Lawrenbce River near Montreal with comedy. Yet, that`s exactly what Mohawk Girls is. Created and directed by award-winning Tracey Deer, Mohawk Girls is the first TV comedy series ever made in Kahnawake.

Mohawk Girls: The Series is similar to Sex in the City in a small way. It`s also a dramatic comedy about four women trying to find their place in the world and, of course, trying to find love. But instead of being set in New York, it’s filmed in Kahnawake and the four woman are all Mohawk. The geography is important too, because size has a lot to do with it. Kahnawake is not New York City. As Deer (pictured below) explained, “when you’re related to half the people there and the other half has dated your sister, and your cousin, and your aunt — you’re really left with not a lot of choices.”

Torn between family pressure, tradition, obligation and the intoxicating freedom of the “outside world,” the fabulous foursome is on a mission to find happiness – and to find themselves.

Produced by Christina Fon, Catherine Bainbridge and Linda Ludwick, Fon thinks the series shopuld have universal appeal. “APTN thinks Mohawk Girls will change the way Canadian audiences see native people,” said Fon.
;Tracey Deer;
Tracey Deer grew up as a member of a large family in Kahnawake. After attending local schools, she attended Dartmouth College, in New Hampshire, graduating with a degree in film studies.

The idea for the series came from something in Tracey Deer`s background. She grew up as a member of a large family in Kahnawake. After attending local schools, she attended Dartmouth College, in New Hampshire, graduating with a degree in film studies. She used to teach drama at a summer camp in Kahnawake and wrote the series with some of those campers in mind, including the lead actresses pictured above Heather White (second from the right) and Brittany LeBorgne (on the right).

Heather White is a dancer, musician, playwright and a graduate of The Centre for Indigenous Theatre. She holds a B.F.A. in acting from Montreal`s Concordia University and plays the role of Caitlin in the series.

Brittany LeBorgne costars as Zoe. She studied acting at John Abbott College’s Theatre Workshop program and takes part in Kahnawake’s Turtle Island Theatre Company.

Maika Harper (second from the left) is an Inuit actress who stars as Anna. She studied classical acting at the University of Windsor`s BFA Program and continues to study acting under Brian Rotenberg at the Professional Actor’s Lab in Toronto.

Jenny Pudavick (on the left) is Métis from Winnipeg. She studied at the University of Winnipeg’s theatre program and has over 18 years of on-camera experience. Her most recent credits include 20th Century Fox’s feature Wrong Turn 4, The Last Christmas, as well as appearances on the series Cashing In and Less Than Kind.

Mohawk Girls: The Series‘ first 13-episode season will air across Canada starting tomorrow, November 23 on OMNI 1 and on Tuesday, November 25 on APTN, the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network. There`s also international interest from US distributor GRB.

See The Air Farce Live

;See The Air Farce Live;
(November 19, 2014 – Toronto, ON) It`s that time of the year again. For the past few weeks all the signs have been pointing to this one, terrific, annual event. Snow has fallen somewhere if not everywhere in the country, the Santa Claus Parade in Toronto has happened, you can’t get near a shopping mall parking lot and it seems as if every street in every city is festooned in cool holiday stuff. But more important than all that… it`s the run-up to the annual Royal Canadian Air Farce New Year`s Eve Show. And you might get to see it live.

You can’t tape a live show without a live audience. Well, you can, but a canned laughtrack just isn’t Air Farce style. This crew of funny people thrive off of real laughter and put almost a whole year`s planning and work into their annual, must-see New Year`s Eve show. For the past many years the audience has been drawn from a ticket lottery. Because of the popularity of the show, an Air Farce New Year`s Eve special is a hot ticket and there are only 125 pairs of tickets per taping and there are only two tapings.

From now until Sunday, November 30, 2014, you have to go online to the Air Farce website and complete and submit a lottery form on the “Get Tickets” page to enter. Winners will be drawn at random on Monday, December 1, 2014 and contacted by e-mail within 72 hours. The ground crew will also post all the winners’ names online. And don’t forget, while you’re online, you should nominate your F-Bomb Target of the Year too.

Each winner receives 2 free tickets to attend the show costarring Don ferguson, Luba Goy, Craig Lauzon, Alan Park and Penelope Corrin. As stated there are only 125 pairs of tickets per taping and there are only two tapings. Those tapings will take place at the CBC in downtown Toronto on Thursday December 11 and Friday December 12. PLease keep in mind that the Air Farce cannot provide travel to Toronto, and in true showbiz tradition, the show must go on regardless of weather conditions. Only enter the draw if you will be in the Toronto area on one of those two taping dates.

Good luck. And don’t forget to watch Air Farce New Year`s Eve on Wednesday, December 31, 2014 at 8:00 PM on CBC Television.

The Secret Life of Pigeons

;The Secret Life of Pigeons on CBC`s The Nature of Things;
(November 18, 2014 – Toronto, ON) Chances are your opinion of pigeons was formed by a quip in the 1980 Woody Allen film, Stardust Memories. Allen`s character, Sandy, in response to something another character says about a pigeon (“Hey, that`s so pretty”), says, “Geez…no, it`s not pretty at all. They’re…they’re…they’re rats with wings.” That`s been the prevailing attitude toward pigeons ever since. But now, writer and director Scott Harper and CBC`s The Nature of Things hopes to change your mind with a new documentary titled, The Secret Life of Pigeons.

Despite their incredible gifts and impressive contribution to human history, the pigeons that live in the city today don‘t get a lot of love. For the most part, we look right through them. When they do get noticed, it’s often for being dim witted, dirty nuisances. But as the first animal to be domesticated on earth, and one with a remarkable ability to adapt to urban life, pigeons have a compelling story to tell. And it`s a drama filled, steeped-in-history, amazing story.

Pigeons you see in parks and on ledges all over town, are the descendants of domestic birds that were once bred for food, as messengers, to race or simply for show. Today, their gritty urban lives are spent simply trying to evade peril; speeding cars, hungry hawks, and pest control companies bent on their extermination. Because they rely on scraps, they’re always just one step ahead of starvation. With the odds stacked against them, and to survive where they’re not wanted, pigeons rely on a combination of charity from a few and their own incredible smarts to hang on.

The Secret Life of Pigeons delves further into their behaviour through the scientists that know them best. At the University of Quebec, Luc-Alain Giraldeau shows us how pigeons cleverly distribute themselves over a given space to optimize their food resources, effectively dividing it up so that each bird gets the same amount.

The Nature of Things will also show pigeons in a way you’ve never seen; in the air, on the street and in the nest. By placing the first ever HD camera onboard a pigeon, you’ll get an incredible, genuine bird’s eye view. We look in on the fascinating subculture of pigeon racing – a favorite pastime for royals, celebrities and working people all over the world. The documentary also enters the realm of the pigeon fancier, the breeders that create exotic and bizarre new strands in a tradition with roots in Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution.

The Secret Life of Pigeons is directed, written and produced by Scott Harper and his company Sunday Night Entertainment and Executive Produced by Bob Culbert. The Secret Life of Pigeons was produced in association with CBC, with assistance from Canada Media Fund.

It`s World Broadcast Premiere on CBC Television’s The Nature of Things Thursday, happens this Thursday, November 20, 2014 at 8:00 p.m. (8:30 NT)

NFB returns to IDFA with premiere ofUyghurs: Prisoners of the Absurd

NFB returns to IDFA with premiere of
Uyghurs: Prisoners of the Absurd

;NFB returns to IDFA with premiere of Uyghurs: Prisoners of the Absurd;
(November 10, 2014 – Toronto, ON) The National Film Board of Canada (NFB) will return to the prestigious International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) with four major new projects in the official selection. The festival, which runs from November 19 to 30, will see the international premiere of acclaimed Chilean-born filmmaker Patricio Henríquez`s Uyghurs: Prisoners of the Absurd. Screening in the feature-length competition at IDFA, the film exposes the human drama of a group of men from China’s persecuted Uyghur minority of Turkic-speaking Muslims, sold to the United States, then detained in Guantánamo as terrorists.

Produced by Macumba Media (Patricio Henríquez and Michelle Shephard), in co-production with the NFB (Colette Loumède, Uyghurs: Prisoners of the Absurd is a 99-minute journey that has been described as an incredible odyssey. The film exposes the cold logic of post-September 11 geopolitics. Part human drama, part political thriller, and equally thought-provoking and moving, Uyghurs: Prisoners of the Absurd had its world premiere in Montreal on October 10, at the Festival du nouveau cinéma. Its director, Patricio Henríquez is a past winner of a Special Jury Award at IDFA, for his 2010 film You Don’t Like the Truth: 4 Days Inside Guantanamo, co-directed with Luc Côté.

IDFA DocLab Competition for Digital Documentary Storytelling hosts the launch of In Limbo. A coproduction between the NFB, ARTE and Providences, this philosophical and poetic essay questions what becomes of our individual and collective memory in the digital era, from the point-of-view of the data that will outlive us all. Launching online in January 2015, In Limbo immerses participants in a world without forgetting, fed by all the machines, data centres and connected individuals that gather all our memories.

In Limbo features insights from such key figures as pioneering computer engineer Gordon Bell, and author, computer scientist, futurist and Google director of engineering Ray Kurzweil, along with a wide range of everyday users, who together explore the limbo that is this gigantic pyramid of memory. In Limbo was directed by Antoine Viviani and produced by Marianne Levy-Leblond and Alexander Knetig (ARTE); Antoine Viviani and Emilie Arlet (Providences); and Hugues Sweeney and Louis-Richard Tremblay (NFB).

Also featured in the DocLab Competition is the hit interactive documentary Seven Digital Deadly Sins (NFB/The Guardian), which invites users to take a momentary break from the endless stream of tweets, shares, views and comments to examine who we are as moral creatures in the 21st century. Seven Digital Deadly Sins launched online in June of this year and quickly became the NFB’s most popular interactive work of 2014—and one of the NFB’s top webdocs of all time.

Seven Digital Deadly Sins explores the shifting grey area of morality in the digital age through a series of seven candid short films featuring well-known artists and media figures, as well as 21 first-person stories from a wide range of contributors, including a secret Twitter star, a hacker and a couple whose wedding invite went viral. Users also have the chance to absolve and condemn the behaviour of others. It features artists Bill Bailey, Billy Bragg, Ophira Eisenberg, Josie Long, Gary Shteyngart, Jon Ronson and Mary Walsh. It was produced by Alicia Smith (NFB). Executive producers are Loc Dao (NFB), Francesca Panetta and Lindsay Poulton (The Guardian). The co-creators are Jeremy Mendes (NFB), with Pablo Vio (Jam3) as creative director.

The fourth project is titled Primal. Beginning in our childhood, we express some of our most powerful emotions through screaming. This primal form of expression transcends language, expressing joy, anger, fear or astonishment. We scream with passion and hatred, to let off steam, to call for help. Screaming is a raw, primitive means of venting our most intense feelings, allowing us to channel our energy in extraordinary ways.

This is an NFB/Encuentro coproduction and the collaborative web experience looks at how we express our strongest feelings. It challenges participants to let go by screaming, channelling their most intense emotions to create a participatory work of art: a collective online scream.

Primal launched on the web on October 29 and is the first collaboration between the NFB’s Digital Studio and Encuentro, the Ministry of Education of Argentina’s television channel.

For a link to the International Documentary Festival Amsterdam, click here for our November 2014 film festival listings.

Die Hard Tops List of 100 Best Action Films

Die Hard Tops List of 100
Best Action Films

;Die Hard Tops List of 100 Best Action Films;
(November 4, 2014 – New York, NY) A poll created by Time Out New York in an effort to determine the 100 best action movies of all time has revealed that the 1988 film Die Hard from director John McTiernan and starring Bruce Willis is the best action film ever. Time Out New York surveyed over 50 experts to determine the definitive list of the 100 best action movies of all time. It should come as no surprise to fans of Canadian director James Cameron, that he has 3 films in the Top 20 of the Top 100 list.

The list, featuring films ranging from the 1890s to present day, reflects a remarkable diversity, with supercharged Hollywood classics like Raiders of the Lost Ark and The Wild Bunch sitting alongside a global bounty of martial-arts masterpieces, including Bruce Lee`s Enter the Dragon and Jackie Chan`s Drunken Master II. While action cinema is beloved by millions worldwide and enormously successful, the experts also praised lesser-known titles that have gained cult traction, such as Richard C. Sarafian`s 1971 road movie Vanishing Point and William Friedkin`s Sorcerer, which made the cut along with his Oscar-winning The French Connection. The oldest film is the groundbreaking silent short Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat made in 1896, which ranked an impressive No. 51.

“Returning to these action classics was incredibly fun,” said Joshua Rothkopf, Film editor of Time Out New York. “Those boldface names—Stallone, Schwarzenegger, Willis, Eastwood, McQueen—are permanent ones. But doing this project also gave us a tour of the world, particularly the Far East: Hong Kong`s exhilarating gun fu, the dazzling stunt work of Thailand and Indonesia, and Japan`s classic samurai tradition. Our intent was to create the most authoritative ranking of action movies worldwide, and our participants, many of them prime movers in the field, all but guaranteed that.”

As mentioned, within the Top 20, James Cameron holds three positions with his films Terminator 2: Judgment Day at number 3, Aliens at number 10 and The Terminator at number 18. Following is the complete list of the 100 best action movies of all time:

1. Die Hard (1988)
2. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
3. Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
4. Hard Boiled (1992)
5. The Road Warrior (1981)
6. Enter the Dragon (1973)
7. Police Story (1985)
8. The Wild Bunch (1969)
9.Seven Samurai (1954)
10. Aliens (1986)
11. The Matrix (1999)
12. RoboCop (1987)
13. First Blood (1982)
14. Once Upon a Time in China II (1992)
15. The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)
16. Predator (1987)
17.Ong-bak (2003)
18. The Terminator (1984)
19. Face/Off (1997)
20. Kill Bill (2003/2004)
21. The General (1926)
22. The Raid: Redemption (2011)
23. Bullitt (1968)
24. The Killer (1989)
25. Lethal Weapon (1987)
26. Project A (1983)
27. Drunken Master II (1994)
28. Heat (1995)
29. The 36th Chamber of Shaolin (1978)
30. Once Upon a Time in the West (1968)
31. Point Break (1991)
32. A Better Tomorrow (1986)
33. Rambo: First Blood Part II (1985)
34. Oldboy (2003)
35. Dragons Forever (1988)
36. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)
37. Commando (1985)
38. The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938)
39. Eight Diagram Pole Fighter (1984)
40. The French Connection (1971)
41. The Bourne Identity (2002)
42.Leon: The Professional (1994)
43.The Blade (1995)
44. True Lies (1994)
45. Ben-Hur (1959)
46. Kill Zone—S.P.L. (2005)
47. The Professionals (1966)
48. Ip Man (2008)
49. Mission: Impossible (1996)
50. Kung Fu Hustle (2004)
51. Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat (1896)
52. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966)
53. Wheels on Meals (1984)
54. Spartacus (1960)
55. Rambo (2008)
56. Eastern Condors (1987)
57. The Prodigal Son (1981)
58. 300 (2006)
59. Flash Point (2007)
60. The Wages of Fear (1953)
61. Police Story 2 (1988)
62. The Dirty Dozen (1967)
63. North by Northwest (1959)
64. Runaway Train (1985)
65. Zatoichi (2003)
66. Pedicab Driver (1989)
67. Star Wars (1977)
68. Unleashed (a.k.a. Danny the Dog) (2005)
69. From Russia with Love (1963)
70. Vanishing Point (1971)
71. Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984)
72. Ronin (1998)
73. Thunderball (1965)
74. The Rock (1996)
75. Police Story 3: Supercop (1992)
76. The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)
77. Hero (2002)
78. Dirty Harry (1971)
79. Raging Bull (1980)
80. The Dark Knight (2008)
81. Armour of God (1986)
82. The Long Kiss Goodnight (1996)
83. The Avengers (2012)
84. The Legend (1993)
85. Machete (2010)
86. The Mission (1999)
87. Scarface (1983)
88. The Magnificent Seven (1960)
89. Full Contact (1992)
90. Breakdown (1997)
91. Sorcerer (1977)
92. Duel to the Death (1983)
93. Bullet in the Head (1990)
94. 13 Assassins (2010)
95. Miami Vice (2006)
96. Shiri (1999)
97. Romancing the Stone (1984)
98. Lone Wolf & Cub 2: Baby Cart at the River Styx (1972)
99. War (2007)
100. Gladiator (2000)

To compile the results, Time Out New York polled over 50 industry leaders to rank the top ten action films of all time. From those submissions, Time Out editors tabulated rankings and released the list of the top 100 picks. The panel of action experts surveyed included: John McTiernan, director of Die Hard, Predator and The Hunt for Red October. Zoë Bell, stuntwoman who doubled for Uma Thurman in Kill Bill. Luc Besson, the French action master behind La Femme Nikita and this summer`s Lucy. Danny Trejo, star of Machete and Machete Kills. Martin Campbell, director of 2006`s Casino Royale, which lent new life to the Bond franchise. Neil Marshall, prolific director of The Descent, Doomsday and action-packed episodes of Game of Thrones. Colin Geddes, longtime programmer of the Midnight Madness section of the Toronto International Film Festival. Grady Hendrix, writer and cofounder of the New York Asian Film Festival. Leading critics, including Time Out`s own Dave Calhoun, Cath Clarke, Tom Huddleston and Joshua Rothkopf and more than 40 other directors, writers and industry experts worldwide

Founded in 1968 in London by Tony Elliott, Time Out now spans 67 cities across 37 countries with a monthly combined audience of over 33 million.The company added Time Out Las Vegas, Time Out Washington DC, Time Out Boston and Time Out Miami in March 2014, Time Out San Francisco in October 2014 and Time Out Madrid and Time Out Kuala Lumpur in May and June 2014.

Cameras Roll for Orgy

;How To Plan An Orgy In A Small Town begins production;
(November 3, 2014 – Toronto, ON) The comedy, How To Plan An Orgy In A Small Town begins production today in this city. Helming the feature is two-time Canadian Comedy Award winning writer-director Jeremy LaLonde. The ensemble comedy also announced new additions to the cast including Natalie Brown (The Strain), Kristian Bruun (Orphan Black), Rosemary Dunsmore (The Baby Formula), James McGowan (Bitten), and Mark O’Brien (Republic of Doyle).

Previously announced cast members include lead Jewel Staite (The Killing), and principals Jonas Chernick (My Awkward Sexual Adventure), Ennis Esmer (The Listener), Lauren Holly (Motive) Katharine Isabelle (Torment) and Lauren Lee Smith (If I Stay).
;How to Plan an Orgy in a Small Town, poster;
How To Plan An Orgy In A Small Town is a comedy about a group of friends who live in the picturesque town of Beaver’s Ridge whose orderly lives get interrupted with the homecoming of big city sex columnist Cassie Cranston, played by Jewel Staite. In her youth Cassie suffered a public humiliation that got her labeled as the town slut, and now that her former friends are looking to spice up their sex lives it`s her chance for revenge… and to make some money in the form of a book she owes to her publisher.

How To Plan An Orgy In A Small Town is a Neophyte Productions Inc. production. Founded by CEO Jordan Walker, Neophyte Productions is an audience-driven content creator focused on enlightening and entertaining film, television and new media for the domestic and international marketplaces. Neophyte`s slate includes Official TIFF ’14 short film selection Entangled, and the feature film The Privileged. Jordan Walker and Chris Bennett are producing, with LaLonde (Sex After Kids), Avi Federgreen (One Week) and Ryan Goldhar (I Put a Hit on You) serving as executive producers. LaLonde is also editing the film.

How To Plan An Orgy In A Small Town is being funding with the financial participation of Telefilm Canada’s Canada Feature Film Fund and private funding raised in part through a successful indiegogo campaign.

The production will shoot through November in and around Toronto, Ontario.

Watermark in Early Oscar® Race

;Xiaolangdi Dam #1, Yellow River, Henan Province, China 2011. ©Edward Burtynsky, courtesy Nicholas Metivier Gallery, Toronto / Howard Greenberg & Bryce Wolkowitz, New York;
Xiaolangdi Dam #1, Yellow River, Henan Province, China 2011. ©Edward Burtynsky, courtesy Nicholas Metivier Gallery, Toronto / Howard Greenberg & Bryce Wolkowitz, New York

(November 2, 2014 – Toronto, ON) You can tell the year is slipping away by the way the leaves have changed in most of the country, how there was snow in the forecast on Halloween in parts of the country and how the film biz begins to cast its eyes on the coming year. WE have already posted stories about deadlines for entering the 2015 Canadian Screen Awards or the 2015 Hot Docs festival. And from Hollywood, the first trickle of news about next year`s Academy Awards® brings word that the Canadian documentary, Watermark, has made it to the first preliminary, very long list of potential nominees.

In fact, one hundred thirty-four features have been submitted for consideration in the Documentary Feature category for the 87th Academy Awards®. Although not a Canadian film, Canadian-born James Cameron is the subject of the documentary titled James Cameron’s Deepsea Challenge, co-directed by John Bruno, Ray Quint and Andrew Wright. Cameron was a co-producer of the film.

Watermark is a Mongrel Media release that was co-directed by Jennifer Baichwal and renowned large format photographer Edward Burtynsky. It was named Best Canadian Film of 2013 by Toronto Film Critics Association.

Several of the films on this list have not yet had their required Los Angeles and New York qualifying releases. Submitted features must fulfill the theatrical release requirements and comply with all of the category’s other qualifying rules in order to advance in the voting process. Films submitted in the Documentary Feature category also may qualify for Academy Awards in other categories, including Best Picture, provided they meet the requirements for those categories.

Following, in alphabetical order, is the full list of 134 documentary features:

“Afternoon of a Faun: Tanaquil Le Clercq”
“Ai Weiwei: The Fake Case”
“Alive Inside”
“All You Need Is Love”
“America: Imagine the World without Her”
“American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs”
“Antarctica: A Year on Ice”
“Art and Craft”
“Awake: The Life of Yogananda” “
The Barefoot Artist”
“The Battered Bastards of Baseball”
“Before You Know It”
“Bitter Honey”
“Born to Fly: Elizabeth Streb vs. Gravity”
“Botso The Teacher from Tbilisi”
“Captivated The Trials of Pamela Smart”
“The Case against 8”
“Cesar’s Last Fast”
“Citizen Koch”
“Code Black”
“Concerning Violence”
“The Culture High”
“Dancing in Jaffa”
“Death Metal Angola”
“The Decent One”
“Dinosaur 13”
“Do You Know What My Name Is?”
“The Dog”
“Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me”
“Evolution of a Criminal”
“Fed Up”
“Finding Fela”
“Finding Vivian Maier”
“Food Chains”
“The Galapagos Affair: Satan Came to Eden”
“Getting to the Nutcracker”
“Glen Campbell…I’ll Be Me”
“Gore Vidal: The United States of Amnesia”
“The Great Flood”
“The Great Invisible”
“The Green Prince”
“The Hacker Wars”
“The Hadza: Last of the First”
“Hanna Ranch”
“Happy Valley”
“The Hornet’s Nest”
“I Am Ali”
“If You Build It”
“The Immortalists”
“The Internet’s Own Boy”
“Ivory Tower”
“James Cameron’s Deepsea Challenge”
“Jodorowsky’s Dune”
“Journey of a Female Comic”
“Keep On Keepin’ On”
“Kids for Cash”
“The Kill Team”
“La Bare”
“Last Days in Vietnam”
“Last Hijack”
“The Last Patrol”
“Levitated Mass”
“Life Itself”
“Little White Lie”
“Llyn Foulkes One Man Band”
“Magician: The Astonishing Life and Work of Orson Welles”
“Merchants of Doubt”
“Mission Blue”
“Mistaken for Strangers”
“Monk with a Camera”
“Nas: Time Is Illmatic”
“National Gallery”
“Next Goal Wins”
“Next Year Jerusalem”
“Night Will Fall”
“No Cameras Allowed”
“Now: In the Wings on a World Stage”
“Occupy the Farm”
“The Only Real Game”
“The Overnighters”
“Particle Fever”
“Pay 2 Play: Democracy’s High Stakes”
“Pelican Dreams”
“The Pleasures of Being Out of Step”
“Plot for Peace”
“Point and Shoot”
“Poverty Inc.”
“Print the Legend”
“Private Violence”
“Rabindranath Tagore – The Poet of Eternity”
“Red Army”
“Remote Area Medical”
“Rich Hill”
“The Rule”
“The Salt of the Earth”
“Shadows from My Past”
“She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry”
“A Small Section of the World”
“Smiling through the Apocalypse – Esquire in the 60s”
“Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon”
“The Supreme Price”
“Tales of the Grim Sleeper”
“Tanzania: A Journey Within”
“This Is Not a Ball”
“Thomas Keating: A Rising Tide of Silence”
“Through a Lens Darkly: Black Photographers and the Emergence of a People”
“True Son”
“20,000 Days on Earth”
“Under the Electric Sky”
“Underwater Dreams”
“Waiting for August”
“Walking the Camino: Six Ways to Santiago”
“Warsaw Uprising”
“Watchers of the Sky”
“We Are the Giant”
“We Could Be King”
“Whitey: United States of America v. James J. Bulger”
“A World Not Ours”

A shortlist of 15 films will be announced in December. The 87th Academy Awards nominations will be announced live on Thursday, January 15, 2015, at 5:30 a.m. PT in the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater. The Oscars® will be held on Sunday, February 22, 2015, at the Dolby Theatre® at Hollywood & Highland Center® in Hollywood, and will be broadcast love to more than 225 countries and territories worldwide.

Rogers and VICE Join Forces to Create Major Production Studio

Rogers and VICE Join Forces
to Create Major Production Studio

;Guy Laurence, President and Chief Executive Officer, Rogers and Shane Smith, Founder, VICE Media;
Image supplied: Guy Laurence, President and Chief Executive Officer, Rogers and Shane Smith, Founder, VICE Media

(October 30, 2014 – Toronto, ON) After 20 years of traversing the globe to create the gold standard in print, photojournalism and video, VICE Media will return home to Canada to team up with Rogers to establish a state-of-the-art multimedia production studio. The new Toronto studio, which will operate under VICE`s creative direction, will be dedicated to producing the very best Canadian content for mobiles, tablets, computers and TV screens and will be exported around the world. The VICE Canada Studio will address the dramatic shift in Canada`s media landscape, as young people increasingly consume news and entertainment from their mobile and digital devices.

It`s a sad fact for those of us on the other side of young but discrimination does exist in the digital world and we are becoming The Ignored, which will actually make some of us happy. That said, the stats say nearly 70 per cent of 18 to 24-year-olds receive news and entertainment from their mobiles, tablets or a computer, compared to only 30 per cent for people 40-year-olds and over. If you were in business, which audience would you want? The older, well off group with good jobs and homes, or the younger group which has just moved back home for the third time?

According to Guy Laurence, President and Chief Executive Officer, Rogers, “We wanted to build a powerhouse for Canadian digital content focused on 18 to 34-year-olds.” Laurence went on to say, “VICE was the obvious choice to partner with. They started in Canada but then moved to New York to prove they could build a global media company, which they’ve done. However, they’ve never forgotten their Canadian roots and have always wanted to open a Canadian production studio. I’d worked with Shane`s team on small projects before but this time we sat across the table and said let`s do this and let`s make it big. We’re going to shake up Canada with exciting, provocative content and we’ll export it around the world.”

The founder of VICE Media, Shane Smith said: “It was 20 years ago, deep down in the port of Old Montreal that we set out to try and make a magazine that didn’t suck. This year we return to the homeland, all our hard lessons learned, to build from scratch a completely horizontally and vertically integrated ultra-modern media entity. Essentially we are building a content creation hub that will generate premium video for a cutting edge media company that will program – simultaneously – the holy trinity of convergence; mobile, online, and TV.”

“Our partner on this ambitious project will be Rogers. We’ll build something truly special, deeply innovative and dedicated to the youth of this country. Rogers and VICE will program the content created out of our studio on its mobile platforms, its online outlets and its television properties. This revolutionary idea puts us not only at the forefront of tech/media space in Canada but we believe our bold experiment will be followed by media and tech companies around the world. Why? Because this is the future of media. We are excited as hell to be doing this with them and excited as hell to build our most ambitious project to date in Canada,” Smith added.

VICE Canada properties will form part of a $100 million joint venture between the two companies. The VICE Canada Studio will produce Canadian-focused content including news, drama, documentaries and programming covering food, sports, fashion, tech, and more, for all screens. It will also partner and collaborate with Canada`s best young directors, producers, journalists, editors and filmmakers, giving them the tools and guidance to create the next wave of great content. Plans also include an incubator that will feature programming and workshops intended to develop and foster students and burgeoning journalists across Canada

Award-winning filmmaker Ann Marie Fleming and actress Sandra Oh launch film campaign

Award-winning filmmaker Ann Marie Fleming
and actress Sandra Oh launch film campaign

;Award-winning filmmaker Ann Marie Fleming and actress Sandra Oh launch film campaign;
(October 30, 2014 – Toronto, ON) Award-winning Canadian filmmaker Ann Marie Fleming (The French Guy, The Magical Life of Long Tack Sam) has announced her first collaboration with actress Sandra Oh (Grey’s Anatomy, Sideways) for her latest film, an animated feature called Window Horses. The duo is launching a campaign via crowdfunding platform Indiegogo to raise funds to make the coming-of-age story.

The film centres on Rosie Ming, a young Canadian poet of Chinese-Persian heritage who travels to Iran to perform at a poetry festival. On her trip, Rosie begins an unexpected journey of forgiveness, reconciliation, and above all understanding, as she is forced to confront her past and the Iranian father she assumed abandoned her. Ann Marie’s animated character, Stickgirl, who has been appearing in her work for over 25 years, plays Rosie Ming and is voiced by Sandra Oh. Hollywood icon Nancy Kwan (The World of Suzie Wong, Flower Drum Song) will voice Rosie’s grandmother.

“This story was born of my interest in cross-cultural and cross-generational fears, assumptions and misunderstandings that often accompany any kind of diaspora, but at its core, it’s about a daughter’s search for her father while finding her own voice,” said Fleming. “Crowdfunding on Indiegogo will help us to tell a story that we’ve been working on for some time, and is very close to our hearts.”

“Ann Marie and I share a common belief that art, music and poetry can inspire transformation in one’s self and the world,” added Sandra Oh. “Indiegogo allows us to reach out directly to those who share that same belief and are interested in seeing themselves, their stories on the screen.”

The animation and sound play a huge role in telling the story of the diaspora, with visual and poetic references dating back to the 9th century. When Rosie travels to Iran and her world starts to blossom, so does the way it is represented: the palette becomes richer and the scenes become fuller. Fleming has been collecting music and poetry for years, and French, Chinese, North American, Iranian and German influences are represented in the film.

“Indiegogo is extremely proud to be supporting Canadian filmmakers such as Ann Marie Fleming and Sandra Oh in telling their stories, helping to build an audience and raising funds along the way,” said Ayah Norris, Indiegogo’s Toronto-based Canadian film lead. “With campaigns such as Window Horses, crowdfunding on Indiegogo works to promote diversity in art, making sure these important narratives get told.”

As a Canadian Film Centre (CFC) alum, Fleming’s Window Horses campaign falls under Indiegogo’s partnership with the CFC to offer campaigners access to one-on-one support and discounted platform fees.

The campaign aims to raise $130,000, with $92,000 allocated to funding the animation. Contributors will be awarded unique perks that range from a DVD of the finished film, to a character in their likeness appearing in the film, and even an associate producer credit. For $5,000, a contributor can submit a poem that will be animated and included in the DVD extras, as well as an invitation to the film’s premiere and party.

Click here if you would like to contribute to Window Horses or for more information about the film and the campaign.