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Canadian Movie News –

Brent Butt Wants You
By Staff

;Corner Gas: The Movie logo;
(May 20, 2014 – Toronto, Ontario) One of the longest running situation comedies in Canadian TV history, Corner Gas is coming to the big screen and the program`s creator wants you to be onboard before the cameras roll. Corner Gas: The Movie will begin production June 23 in Rouleau, Saskatchewan with crews from Ontario and Saskatchewan. Fans are invited to participate in the movie-making experience and receive rewards through a Kickstarter campaign that is launching online today.

Just as it did when it began 10 years ago, the smash hit Canadian television franchise Corner Gas continues to blaze new trails. Bell Media, Telefilm Canada and Executive Producers Brent Butt, Virginia Thompson and David Storey announced today Corner Gas: The Movie, a 90-minute feature film to be distributed on multiple screens across Canada this holiday season. The landmark film opens with an exclusive Cineplex Front Row Centre Events theatrical debut, followed by premieres on The Movie Network, CTV, and The Comedy Network, while also complemented by a;Brent Butt; special collector’s edition DVD to be available for purchase before the holidays.

“I’m excited. The entire gang is back. The movie picks up five years after we last checked in and it has everything you loved about the show – snappy dialogue, colourful yet relatable characters, ill-fitting denim trousers, you name it!,” said Creator/Star/Writer and Executive Producer Brent Butt. “The movie is a gift to Canadians from the producers and stars of Corner Gas,” added Executive Producer Virginia Thompson. “It’s our thank you to fans for their loyalty and affection over the past decade.”

Corner Gas: The Movie stars the entire original ensemble cast including Gabrielle Miller, Eric Peterson, Fred Ewanuick, Janet Wright, Lorne Cardinal, Tara Spencer-Nairn, and Nancy Robertson. Written by Brent Butt, Andrew Carr, and Andrew Wreggitt, the movie will be directed by David Storey, who served as key director on the series. It’s been a few years, and there’s still not a lot going on 40 kilometers from nowhere. But that’s all about to change as the fine folks of Dog River, Saskatchewan face their biggest crisis ever. Brent and the gang discover that the town’s been badly mismanaged, leaving residents with little choice but to pack up and leave. As residents make one last rally to save Dog River as they know it, they discover a devious plan by a corporate chain that would change life for Dog Riverites forever.

Corner Gas: The Movie pilots a new, ground-breaking model for fans of Canada’s most cherished brand to experience the film on multiple platforms,” said Phil King, President – CTV, Sports, an‎d Entertainment Programming. “This innovative feature film concept promises to be one of the most-anticipated events of the holiday season.”

“We’re excited to be part of this forward-thinking project with Bell Media, Cineplex, the Canada Media Fund and Tourism Saskatchewan,” said Carolle Brabant, Executive Director, Telefilm Canada. “Innovation, in terms of accessibility and engaging consumers in all regions is key to having Canadian content connect with Canadian audiences today. The launch is also a good example of how it’s vital for our industry to partner together to successfully promote homegrown talent.”

Launching today, cornergasthemovie.com is the one-stop destination for all things Corner Gas: The Movie. Among the many highlights is the launch of a fan-engaging Kickstarter campaign, meant to invite viewers into the filmmaking process and raise $100,000 in 30 days. As contributions increase, so do the rewards – from exclusive merchandise, autographed scripts, and rare collectibles, to opportunities to spend a day on set and meet the cast, and more! With financing already in place for Corner Gas: The Movie, funds amassed through the campaign will be used to provide fans with unique Corner Gas behind-the-scenes experiences as well as enhance the film and its promotion.

Contributing fans can also receive entry into the Corner Gas Backers’ Club, an exclusive online all-access backstage pass to the latest behind-the-scenes updates, photos and footage – from the cast reunion to red carpet premieres, including video messages from the cast and crew, and interviews with fans that visit the set.

Over its long run, the Corner Gas series received over 80 nominations for various awards, including an International Emmy nomination. It won seven Gemini Awards including Best Comedy and Best Comedy Ensemble, as well as nine Canadian Comedy Awards, four Writers Guild of Canada Awards, three Directors Guild of Canada Awards and 12 Leos.

Corner Gas aired in over two dozen countries worldwide and became a Canadian cultural phenomenon, spawning two chart-topping books, sold-out comedy tours, a successful line of clothing and merchandise, a top-selling series of DVDs, a Christmas special and song, dozens of notable guest stars, including two Prime Ministers and a thriving tourist industry in Rouleau, Saskatchewan, where CORNER GAS was filmed on location.

Forbidden Love Remastered & Re-released

Forbidden Love Remastered & Re-released, image,

Forbidden Love Remastered & Re-released
by Staff Editors

(May 13, 2014 – Toronto, Ontario) Produced in 1992 by Studio D, the women’s studio of the National Film Board, Forbidden Love, a landmark work of lesbian cinema co-directed by Canadian documentary filmmakers Aerlyn Weissman and Lynne Fernie is being re-released in a new, remastered HD version.

Fully titled as Forbidden Love: The Unashamed Stories of Lesbian Lives this award-winning feature documentary will be available for digital purchase or rent, or ordered on DVD, from the Board’s website, NFB.ca. The remastered version also features a new French subtitles option.

Following its online launch on May 20, the remastered film will debut on the big screen on May 25 at TIFF Bell Lightbox in Toronto, as part of the Inside Out Toronto LGBT Film;Forbidden Love, movie poster; Festival. Co-director Lynne Fernie will be in conversation with NOW Magazine’s Susan G. Cole after the screening, which is a co-presentation of Inside Out, the Sixteenth Berkshire Conference on the History of Women, the NFB, and Women in View.

Compelling, often hilarious and always rebellious, the women interviewed in Forbidden Love recount stories about their first loves and their search for the places where openly gay women gathered in the mid-20th century. Against a soundtrack of pop hits and a backdrop of pulp novel covers, archival footage, and tabloid headlines, these women’s coming-of-age experiences in the 1950s and ’60s are explored with grace, humour, and irreverence. With the candour of survivors of struggle, the women offer an affecting portrait of a community once consigned to silence and exile.

Produced in 1992 by Studio D, the women’s studio of the NFB, Forbidden Love won the Genie Award for best feature documentary, the GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Film (Documentary) as well as the Public Award for Best Feature-Length Documentary at the Festival international de films de Femmes in Créteil, France.

Canadian Movie News –

A Thing of Beauty
By Maurie Alioff, Québec Contributing Editor

;Denys Arcand and lead cast © 2014 Maurie Alioff;
Photo of Denys Arcand and lead cast © 2014 Maurie Alioff

(May 8, 2014 – Montréal, Québec) Denys Arcand’s Le regne de la beauté (An Eye for Beauty), the writer-director’s first film since 2007, opens wide in Quebec on May 15. Winner of a Best Foreign-language film Oscar for his Les invasions barbares (2003), Arcand’s new picture premiered in Montreal in Place des arts before its scheduled launch in 80 plus theatres.

Originally called Deux nuits, the movie’s new title mirrors its preoccupation with visual splendour, Arcand explained at a press conference following the premiere. In Le regne de la beauté, the principal characters live in beautifully designed houses located in stunning landscapes. On top of that, its thirtysomething professionals look good, dress impeccably, prepare lovely meals, and so on.
;Le regne de la beauté, movie poster;
When asked to pinpoint the essence of beauty, Arcand said that philosophers have been trying to do that since ancient times, but it is impossible to come up with a strict definition. In his new movie, the people, the home interiors, and the spectacular Charlevoix region radiate a sleek magazine shimmer, whatever the emotions at play in the storyline.

The movie’s protagonist Luc (Éric Bruneau) is a talented, in-demand architect who designs elegant country homes and seems happily married to pretty Stephanie (Mélanie Thierry) and content with their lives dining with close friends, playing tennis, and generally enjoying the blessings of the Charlevoix. For sure, the region’s tourist bureau will love this film.

The plot turns when Luc travels to Toronto for architectural jury duty and hooks up with Lindsay (Melanie Merkosky), a woman more sophisticated than Stephanie in looks and behaviour. This may or not be what leads him to respond to the married woman’s frank invitation to her bedroom. As the mainly long-distance affair heats up, Luc and Stephanie’s lives get rattled by madness and disease although the mise-en-scène never stops being eye-catching.

At the press conference, Arcand also fielded questions about his vaunted cynicism (a word he finds meaningless), his cinematic treatment of illness (he dislikes pictures that get clinical about the subject), and inevitably, the new film’s copious English-language dialogue (the Canadian reality, he said).

As for why he thought Luc should be an architect, Arcand said that he realized “architects were really close to filmmakers.” Both professions involve “working with a team and dealing with all sorts of difficulties” from weather to clients, which moviemakers call producers and distributors. Both jobs are “artistic, and also practical.”

Working with a team, Arcand concluded, is the aspect of filmmaking that gives him “great happiness.” He collaborates exclusively with friends or people who “I would have dinner with” and become friends.

Canadian Movie News –

Hot Docs Has Banner Year
By Staff

;Hot Docs has Banner Year;
(May 5, 2014 – Toronto, Ontario) Hot Docs has wrapped its 21st edition with record-breaking audience numbers reaching an estimated 192,000. The 11-day event featured 452 public screenings of 197 films on 16 screens across Toronto, an internationally renowned conference and market for documentary professionals, and Docs For Schools, a phenomenally popular education program for youth. The Festival welcomed 176 guest filmmakers and 60 guest subjects from across Canada and around the world to present their films and take part in special post-screening Q&A sessions with audiences. Official film selections were chosen from a total of 2435 films submitted to the Festival.

At the Festival, Hot Docs presented the second edition of the Scotiabank Big Ideas series, featuring screenings and live onstage discussions with prominent documentary subjects, including pop culture icon George Takei, master puppeteer Caroll Spinney, the brave plaintiffs from THE CASE AGAINST 8, oceanographer Sylvia Earle, and Cory Doctorow and guests from THE INTERNET’S OWN BOY: THE STORY OF AARON SWARTZ.

This year also saw the return of the Hot Docs Live! program, which featured the Canadian premiere of SUPER DUPER ALICE COOPER and a live post-screening Q&A with the rock icon that was simulcast from the Festival to over 50 Cineplex cinemas across Canada.
;Bruce Hendrie © 2013 R.A.Lucas;
“It`s a testament to the creative vitality of Canadian docs that one has captured the Audience Award and so many others have landed in the audience top twenty,” says Brett Hendrie, Hot Docs executive director. “Congratulations to all the filmmakers, and big thanks to the dedicated audiences who helped us welcome so many international guests—we love showing off this wonderful city and its insatiable appetite for docs.”

After the final screening yesterday, audience votes were tallied for the Audience Award, presented by JUST-EAT.ca. The winner is the Canadian film, THE BACKWARD CLASS directed by Madeleine Grant. The doc tells the story of the Dalit students of Shanti Bhavan school in India preparing to make history by becoming the first from their “untouchable” caste to take high-school graduation exams.

Second in the audience poll is MEET THE PATELS (D: Geeta V. Patel, Ravi V. Patel; USA), in which a first-generation Indian-American decides to find love the old-fashioned way by letting his parents find him a wife; and third in the audience poll is THE CASE AGAINST 8 (D: Ben Cotner, Ryan White; USA), which looks at the emboldened movement to strike down California’s Prop 8 as unconstitutional.

There were eight Canadian films in the list of top twenty audience favourites as determined by audience vote:

THE BACKWARD CLASS (D: Madeleine Grant, Canada)
MEET THE PATELS (D: Geeta V. Patel, Ravi V. Patel; USA)
THE CASE AGAINST 8 (D: Ben Cotner, Ryan White; USA)
KEEP ON KEEPIN’ ON (D: Alan Hicks, USA)
VIRUNGA (D: Orlando von Einsiedel, UK)
MARINONI (D: Tony Girardin, Canada)
AN HONEST LIAR (D: Justin Weinstein, Tyler Measom; USA)
THE SECRET TRIAL 5 (D: Amar Wala, Canada)
I AM BIG BIRD: THE CAROLL SPINNEY STORY (D: Chad Walker, Dave LaMattina; USA)
THE LIFE AND MIND OF MARK DEFRIEST (D: Gabriel London, USA)
DAVID & ME (D: Ray Klonsky, Marc Lamy; Canada)
MISSION BLUE (D: Robert Nixon, Fisher Stevens; USA)
BEFORE THE LAST CURTAIN FALLS (D: Thomas Wallner; Germany, Belgium, Canada)
JUST EAT IT: A FOOD WASTE STORY (D: Grant Baldwin, Canada)
OUT OF MIND, OUT OF SIGHT (D: John Kastner, Canada)
WATCHERS OF THE SKY (D: Edet Belzberg, USA)
THE SHEIK (D: Igal Hecht, Canada)
ALFRED AND JAKOBINE (D: Tom Roberts, Jonathan Howells; UK, Canada)
RED LINES (D: Andrea Kalin, Oliver Lukacs; USA)
VESSEL (D: Diana Whitten, USA)

Also during this year’s Hot Docs Festival, attending filmmakers with official selections in the Festival were invited to vote for their favourite film. The winner of this year’s Filmmaker-To-Filmmaker Award is NE ME QUITTE PAS (D: Niels van Koevorden, Sabine Lubbe Bakker; Netherlands, Belgium), an unforgettable tragicomic portrait of codependence in alcoholism and friendship.

Coming in a close second place for the Filmmaker-To-Filmmaker Award is BEYOND CLUELESS (D: Charlie Lyne; UK, Canada), a surprising and comprehensive visual essay on the modern teen movie genre.

A full week of industry programming was attended by 2389 delegates from around the world. Hot Docs mounted a roster of three workshops, nine conference sessions, 23 networking events and parties, three Kickstart panels for emerging filmmakers, 11 micro meetings, 16 Close Up With… sessions with broadcasters, three Rent-an-Expert sessions, the Doc Summit, International Co-Production Day panels, and the Hot Docs Awards Presentation. Hot Docs also hosted seven official delegations from China, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Nordic Region, South Africa and the USA.

The Hot Docs Forum, Hot Docs’ key international co-financing market event, Hot Docs Deal Maker, Hot Docs’ one-on-one curated pitch event, and Distribution Rendezvous, Hot Docs’ tailored meeting service for completed films seeking distribution, saw brisk pitching, networking and deal-making. In total, 20 projects representing 13 countries were presented to a panel of over 180 key commissioning editors and funders at the Hot Docs Forum. A total of 50 projects were pitched at approximately 540 meetings during Hot Docs Deal Maker, and Distribution Rendezvous facilitated approximately 329 meetings.

Last, but not least, Docs For Schools, Hot Docs’ education program that runs during the Festival and offers free in-theatre and in-school screenings of select Festival films, reached a record number of students in 2014. Close to 85,000 students participated in the program, including schools in Toronto and throughout Ontario.

Northernstars.ca congratulates Hot Docs on another stellar year.

Canadian Movie News –

Muse to Explore Tut
By Staff

;Muse to Explore Tut in new mini-series;
(May 5, 2014 – Montréal, Québec) It`s a bit of a cliché to say that the story of the boy king, Tutankhamun is as old as the pyramids, but in truth the fascination has endured for decades since his lavish tomb was discovered in 1922. Now, Montreal-based MUSE Entertainment will tackle the astounding saga of one of history’s most extraordinary rulers and bring the tale to television in a new landmark six-hour scripted event series.

The production, which will get underway later this year, is the result of the US channel Spike TV “greenlighting” the Canadian production. Since its founding in 1998, Muse has produced, co-produced or provided production services on more than 170 TV movies and mini-series, television series and feature films and has won over 100 awards and garnered over 300 award nominations. Their 8-hr. historical drama The Kennedys earned 10 Emmy Award nominations, winning four, as well winning the DGA award for best director.

Tut promises to be an astounding saga of one of history’s most extraordinary rulers. The six part series will reveal for the first time on television, the story of the Egyptian Pharaoh, one of the most renowned leaders in human history from his rise to power, his struggle to lead Egypt to glory, all while his closest advisors, friends and lovers schemed and plotted for their own nefarious interests.

Tut will open a fascinating window into a world filled with heart-breaking romance, epic battles, political backstabbing, conspiracy, jealousy, and even murder — proving his world was not far removed from our own — and that his reign as the youngest Egyptian king played out as a real-life drama for the ages.

This will be Spike TV’s first scripted event series in eight years and is another step in the network’s move to reaching a more gender-balanced audience. “We are thrilled to join forces with MUSE Entertainment and this incredible writing team to bring the amazing real story of one of history’s legendary leaders to life,” said Sharon Levy, Executive Vice President, Original Series, Spike TV. “Tut is the perfect addition to our slate of distinctive originals that appeal to a broad audience.”

The mini-series will be shot on location in Morocco and Canada this fall and will debut on the network in 2015. World distribution will be handled by Muse Distribution International and the series will be produced for Spike TV by MUSE Entertainment with Joel S. Rice and Michael Prupas executive producing from Muse.

Other names attched to the project include Executive producers Greg Gugliotta (“The Fosters”), Michael Vickerman (“Impact”), Elice Island Entertainment’s Jeremy Elice, and Angela Mancuso (“Spartacus,” “Helen of Troy”). The mini-series is written by Michael Vickerman along with Peter Paige & Bradley Bredeweg (“The Fosters”). Sharon Levy, Executive Vice President, Original Series, Spike TV will also serve as an Executive Producer. Irene Litinsky (“Being Human”) serves as a producer.

Canadian Movie News –

Out of Mind, Out of Sight named Best Canadian
Feature at Hot Docs
By Staff

;Out of Mind, Our of Sight named Best Canadian Feature at Hot Docs;
(May 3, 2014 – Toronto, Ontario ) John Kastner’s latest documentary Out of Mind, Out of Sight, co-produced with the National Film Board of Canada (NFB), has won the Best Canadian Feature Documentary Award at the Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival. It was one of thirteen awards and $66,000 in cash and prizes that were presented to Canadian and international filmmakers, including awards for Festival films in competition and those recognizing emerging and established filmmakers.

John Kastner’s Out of Mind, Out of Sight is the follow-up to the Toronto filmmaker’s acclaimed 2013 NFB-co-produced documentary NCR: Not Criminally Responsible. In his new film, Kastner intermingles the powerful stories of four patients declared not criminally responsible (or “NCR”) for violent crimes due to mental illness, following an unprecedented 18 months of filming inside the Brockville Mental Health Centre. The award is sponsored by the Documentary Organization of Canada and includes a $10,000 cash prize courtesy of Hot Docs. Out of Mind, Out of Sight screens again tomorrow, Sunday, May 4, at 1:00 pm at the TIFF Bell Lightbox.

Following is the complete list of other awards handed out last night at a reception hosted by CBC Radio`s Jian Ghomeshi at the Windsor Arms Hotel in Toronto:

Special Jury Prize – Canadian Feature Documentary BEFORE THE LAST CURTAIN FALLS (D: Thomas Wallner; P: Kerstin Meyer-Beetz; Belgium, Canada, Germany) Sponsored by the Directors Guild of Canada and DGC Ontario, the award includes a $5000 cash prize courtesy of Hot Docs.

Emerging Canadian Filmmaker Award Grant Baldwin, JUST EAT IT: A FOOD WASTE STORY

Emerging Canadian Filmmaker Award – Honourable Mention Amar Wala, THE SECRET TRIAL 5

Best International Feature Documentary Award WAITING FOR AUGUST (D: Teodora Ana Mihai; P: Hanne Phlypo, Antoine Vermeesch; Belgium) Sponsored by A&E, the award includes a $10,000 cash prize courtesy of Hot Docs.

Special Jury Prize – International Feature Documentary WALKING UNDER WATER (D: Eliza Kubarska; P: Monika Braid, Stefan Kloos, Maciej Ostoja-Chy

Canadian Movie News –

Léolo Returns to Cannes
By Staff

Lélolo, production still;
(May 1, 2014 – Montréal, Québec) It is considered a classic of Québec cinema and will always be linked to the tragic story of its highly talented director, yet like many if not most Canadian films, Léolo is largely unknown beyond its provincial borders. Twenty-two years ago it screened in competition for the Palme d’Or at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival. This year it has been invited back to screen as part of the Cannes Classics programme.

Told from Léolo`s point of view, this film, set in Montréal, explores the title character`s attempt to deal with a family seemingly gone mad. It is as if he is the only sane person on the screen. His brother, for example, responds to being beaten up by becoming almost addicted to growth hormone in an attempt to gain some muscle and his grand dad brings in half-naked girls to bite off his toenails. He also, in a brutal rage, nearly kills Léolo. It is natural in life, as in this movie, that people in these situations retreat into themselves and Léolo builds a fantasy world he can escape into. But, even here there is a surreal mayhem captured and created by director and screenwriter, Jean Claude Lauzon. The film won a Genie Award for Best Original Screenplay.

Often considered the enfant terrible of Québec cinema, Lauzon`s career was cut short when he died in a plane crash in 1997. He was just 46.

Considered one as Canadian cinema’s seminal films, Léolo has been digitized and restored by Éléphant, a major philanthropic initiative by Québecor that restores and archives Quebec movies and makes them accessible to the public via illico and iTunes. The project, when complete, will be the largest existing online database and information source on Québec cinema. Since its launch in 2008, more than 200 fiction films have been added.

Léolo joins films by David Cronenberg, Xavier Dolan and Atom Egoyan at Cannes this year.

Michael McNamara to receive Don Haig Award

Michael McNamara to receive Don Haig Award, image,

Michael McNamara to receive Don Haig Award
by Staff

(April 28, 2014 – Toronto, Ontario) 100 Films & A Funeral and Acquainted with the Night, as well as worked on series such as Driven by Vision and Fanboy.

The film that is screening at Hot Docs this year is titled David & Me, which was co-produced by Aaron Hancox and Michael McNamara. Directed by Ray Klonsky and Marc Lamy, the film tells the story of David McCallum. When he was just 16-years-old, was arrested for the kidnapping, robbery and murder of Nathan Blenner. David and his friend Willie Stuckey were convicted and sentenced to 25-years-to-life for those crimes. Their conviction in 1985 lacked physical evidence and was based on coerced testimonies and a questionable police investigation. David & Me is an emotional story about friendship, perseverance and an unwavering belief in justice.

McNamara’s talents in both documentary and scripted films have resulted in excellence and awards for Markham Street Films and he has increasingly used these talents to work with young filmmakers, such as Klonsky and Lamy. Also look for Daniel Perlmutter’s feature comedy Big News from Grand Rock that will hit the festival circuit this fall.

Northernstars.ca joins with others in congratulating Michael McNamara on this award. Past winners of the Don Haig Award include filmmakers Merit Jensen Carr (2013), Mia Donovan (2012), Rama Rau (2011), Philip Lyall and Nimisha Mukerji (2010), Brett Gaylor (2009), Yung Chang (2008), Hubert Davis (2007), and Guylaine Dionne (2006).

NFB Animation Jutra selected for Cannes

Jutra, animated short, image,

NFB Animated short Jutra selected for Directors’ Fortnight
By Staff

(April 26, 2014 – Toronto, Ontario) The Cannes International Film Festival has announced that Jutra, a short film directed and produced by Marie-Josée Saint-Pierre (MJSTP Films) in co-production with the NFB, will feature on the lineup of the 46th Directors’ Fortnight. An international showcase organized by the Film Directors’ Guild (Société des Réalisateurs de Films, SRF), the Directors’ Fortnight will take place from May 15–25, 2014.

Based on skillfully assembled archival footage and animated sequences, Jutra is an ingenious portrait of the great Quebec filmmaker Claude Jutra, director of Mon oncle Antoine, Kamouraska, Surfacing and many others. Pursuing the process she began in 2006 with McLaren’s Negatives, Saint-Pierre has created a new animated documentary in which she encapsulates the career of a filmmaking legend with finesse and originality.

Using the arts of editing and animation, the renowned Québec director is seen in dialogue with himself at various stages of his career. In effect, and in fact, the narrator of his own biography. Excerpts from Jutra family films, interviews, clips from some of his own films are cut together in seamless fashion giving those who have a chance to see this short film a fuller understanding of the genius of a man whose life was devoted to creativity and who died far too young.

Saint-Pierre graduated from Montreal’s Concordia University and founded MJSTP Films, an independent production company, in 2004. Over the years, she developed a cohesive body of work that sits at the crossroads of animation and documentary. Many of her films, notably Post-Partum, Passages, McLaren’s Negatives and Le projet Sapporo, have won awards. Jutra marks her first co-production with the NFB.

Canadian filmmakers have often been invited to screen at the highly prestigious Directors’ Fortnight. Just a few of the names that come to mind include Clay Borris, Manon Briand, Jeremy Podeswa, Robert Lepage, Atom Egoyan, Allan King and Guylaine Dionne.

With its roots in a protest movement in 1968 that included such luminaries as Jean-Luc Godard and Francois Truffaut, a group of directors thought the Cannes festival should suspend operations as a sign of support for the student demonstrations that had rocked France that year. One year later, the movement became formalized as a sideline to the main Cannes festival but with an emphasis on being a festival “by filmmakers for filmmakers.”

Canadian Movie News –

Mongrel Media Grabs Grace of Monaco
By Staff

;Nicole Kidman as Grace Kelly;
(April 26, 2014 – Toronto, Ontario) Toronto-based film distribution company Mongrel Media, celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, has announced the acquisition of all Canadian rights to Olivier Dahan’s Grace of Monaco, which has been selected as the opening night film at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. Screening out of competition, Grace of Monaco stars Nicole Kidman as Grace Kelly and Tim Roth as Prince Rainier III. The film also features Frank Langella, Parker Posey, Jeanne Balibar, Derek Jacobi and Paz Vega, who plays singer Maria Callas.

In 1956, American actress Grace Kelly became Princess Grace of Monaco when she married Prince Rainier III, in what was dubbed “the wedding of the century.” An Oscar winning actress, Kelly was a huge film star, having worked with some of the greatest directors of that era, including John Ford, Alfred Hitchcock and Fred Zinnemann. She was a great beauty, frequently on the covers of the top magazines and acclaimed the world over.

Grace of Monaco covers a period of her life, beginning in 1962. Amid occasional difficulties in fulfilling her new role, she was invited back to Hollywood by Hitchcock to star in his new film Marnie. At the time, France was threatening to tax and even annex the tiny Principality of Monaco. Grace faced a deep personal crisis. Was she still an actress? Or was she really Princess of Monaco?

Directed by France’s Olivier Dahan, whose La Vie en Rose earned Marion Cotillard the 2008 Oscar for Best Actress, Grace of Monaco is produced by Pierre-Ange Le Pogam, Uday Chopra and screenwriter Arash Amel under the Stone Angels and YRF Entertainment banners.

Mongrel Media acquired the film from Stone Angels. Although no firm release date has been set, Grace of Monaco will be in theatres in 2014.

A huge supporter of Canadian films, look for the Mongrel release of Ingrid Veninger`s The Animal Project on June 6th if Toronto and Vancouver. Other international releases this year include Jim Jarmusch’s Only Lovers Left Alive (Tilda Swinton, Tom Hiddleston, Mia Wasikowska), John Turturro’s Fading Gigolo (Turturro, Woody Allen, Sharon Stone, Sofia Vergara, Vanessa Paradis, Liev Schreiber), John Curran’s Tracks (Mia Wasikowska, Adam Driver) and Woody Allen’s Magic in the Moonlight (Emma Stone, Colin Firth, Marcia Gay Harden).

Canadian Movie News –

Egoyan Returns to Cannes with The Captive
By Staff

;The Captive to sceen at Cannes;
(April 17, 2014 – Toronto, Ontario) Atom Egoyan`s latest film, The Captive, has landed a spot at the Cannes Film Festival, as have films by David Cronenberg and Xavier Dolan. The Captive will have its world premiere in Official Competition at the 67th Festival de Cannes (May 14 to 25, 2014). The Captive is Egoyan’s sixth feature to be shown in competition, and eighth as an Official Selection. This year marks the 25th anniversary of his first film in Cannes (Speaking Parts, 1989) and the 20th anniversary since Exotica (1994) screened in Competition.

Starring Ryan Reynolds, Scott Speedman, Rosario Dawson, Mireille Enos, Kevin Durand, Alexia Fast and Bruce Greenwood, The Captive is a psychological thriller that examines how the kidnapping of a man’s young daughter destroys the relationships among those involved. As the film teases out the complex threads weaving together the victim, her family, the predators and the investigators, the mystery is revealed as to what happened to the child during the eight years she was missing. Produced by Egoyan and by Simone Urdl, Jennifer Weiss and Stephen Traynor of The Film Farm, Entertainment One will handle international sales and release in Canada.

“It is always an honour to be in Competition in Cannes. I am especially proud to be working with such an amazing team of actors, as well as my family of creative partners who helped bring the vision for The Captive to life,” said Egoyan. “What fascinates me is the study of three intimate relationships – between the parents, between the detectives, between the captor and the captive. In fact, everyone in this film is captive to some aspect of their past colliding with the present.”
“We are thrilled to be returning to Cannes for the second time with Atom Egoyan in Competition,” read a statement from The Film Farm. “It`s a privilege to be working with a filmmaker at this level, and to be celebrating such a milestone year for him.”

Egoyan is the Canadian director with the most films ever screened in Competition in Cannes and winner of the 1997 Grand Prix (The Sweet Hereafter), as well as the 1997 and 1994 International Critics Prize for FIPRESCI (The Sweet Hereafter and Exotica, respectively). He has also twice received the Ecumenical Jury Prize for The Sweet Hereafter and Adoration (2008). His films that screened in Competition at the Festival de Cannes include Adoration (2008), which was also produced by The Film Farm, Where the Truth Lies (2005), Felicia`s Journey (1999), The Sweet Hereafter (1997), and Exotica (1994).

Other Egoyan films that screen out of competition include Chacun son Cinéma (2007) and Ararat (2002). He was also a member of the Main Jury in 1996, and President of the Cinéfondation Jury in 2010. Along with his award-winning work in film, Egoyan’s prolific, edgy and multi-disciplinary career in the visual arts, theatre and music continues to evolve. He has created art installations that have been presented at the Venice Biennale and Artangel in London. His critically acclaimed production of Eh Joe by Samuel Beckett was presented in Dublin and in the London’s West End. He has staged several operas, including Wagner’s Die Walküre, Strauss’ Salome, and Mozart’s Così fan tutte for the Canadian Opera Company, as well as projects for English National Opera and The Lincoln Center in New York.

Telefilm Canada also announced two other Canadian films that will vie for the Palme d’Or, the highest prize awarded at the Cannes Film Festival. David Cronenberg’s Maps to the Stars and Xavier Dolan’s Mommy. This is the first time this many Canadian films that have screened in competition in the same year.

“This year’s Cannes festival is truly a monumental occasion for Canadian filmmakers,” said Carolle Brabant, Executive Director of Telefilm Canada. “This is the strongest presence we’ve ever had, and a true testament to the exceptional vision and tremendous artistry of our country’s filmmakers. Canadians should feel very proud.”

Canadian Movie News –

Michael Cera Heads to Broadway
By Staff

;Michael Cera Heads to Broadway;
(April 11, 2014 – Toronto, Ontario) It has happened often enough to almost be called a trafition for Canadian actors. The trek to Broadway, that is. Back in the days before film, many Canadian actors found fame on New York`s Great White Way. The names Mae Irwin, Marie Dressler and Maude Eburne come to mind. Now, one of Canadas newest stars, Michael Cera, returns to the stage, but for the first time finds that stage on Broadway.

The play itself has a bit of a tradition. This is Our Youth began as an off-broadway play 18 years ago and found room for a string of American actors in previous incarnations. Mark Ruffalo, Matt Damon and Jake Gyllenhaal have all appeared in the play. Cera himself and his Broadway costar Kieran Culkin have appeared in an Australian production of the play two years ago. But after all that, Kenneth Lonergan`s tiny masterpiece will finally have its first run on Broadway this summer in a production by the Steppenwolf theatre company.

Co-starring with Michael Cera and Culkin, both of whom make their Broadway debut in this production, will be Tavi Gevinson, the founder of Rookie, a website for teenage girls, who recently appeared in the James Gandolfini film Enough Said.

This is Our Youth is set in a New York apartment in 1982 and follows three friends as they use a pot of stolen cash to finance a drug deal. The play has had mixed reviews over the past almost two decades since it first opened. This revival will be directed by Anna D Shapiro. It will premiere at Steppenwolf in Chicago in June before moving to Broadway for previews starting in August. It is scheduled to open September 11 at the Cort Theatre in New York.

Canadian Movie News –

Jutra, animated short, image,

NFB Screens Seven Films at Hot Docs
By Staff

;NFB Screens Seven Films at Hot Docs;
(April 11, 2014 – Toronto, Ontario) Seven National Film Board of Canada (NFB) documentaries will be featured at the Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival in Toronto, taking place from April 24 to May 4, 2014. This year’s selection includes two world premieres in the Canadian Spectrum program: Sundance award-winning filmmaker Julia Kwan makes her feature documentary debut at Hot Docs with Everything Will Be, while four-time Emmy winner and Hot Docs favourite John Kastner is back with a new NFB co-production, Out of Mind, Out of Sight.

Two documentaries are making their North American premieres: Guidelines (La marche à suivre), directed by Jean-François Caissy, and Where I’m From (D’où je viens), directed by Claude Demers, along with three films making their Ontario debuts at Hot Docs: Jutra, directed by Marie-Josée Saint-Pierre; Absences, directed by two-time Hot Docs award winner Carole Laganière; and Self (less) Portrait (Autoportrait sans moi), directed by Danic Champoux.

Following is more information on these films:

Everything Will Be – As dawn breaks, the long-time merchants of Vancouver’s Chinatown are hard at work preparing for what they hope will be a busy day. But this once-thriving neighbourhood is in flux as new condo developments and non-Chinese businesses gradually move into the declining hub of the Chinese community. Everything Will Be captures this transformation through the intimate perspectives of the neighbourhood’s residents, merchants and new entrepreneurs, who offer their poignant reflections on change, memory and legacy.The film is written and directed by Vancouver director Julia Kwan, whose 2005 feature Eve & the Fire Horse won the Special Jury Prize for World Cinema at the Sundance Film Festival and the Claude Jutra Award for best first feature film. Everything Will Be was produced and executive produced for the NFB by David Christensen.

Out of Mind, Out of Sight – What happens to people who suffer from mental illnesses and commit violent crimes? Out of Mind, Out of Sight is the second of two NFB co-productions by John Kastner shot at the Brockville Mental Health Centre, where he was granted unprecedented access for 18 months as 46 patients and 75 staff shared their experiences with stunning frankness. His previous film, NCR: Not Criminally Responsible, premiered at Hot Docs last year. Now, in Out of Mind, Out of Sight, Kastner takes audiences back to Brockville to follow treatment processes normally hidden ;NFB Screens Seven Films at Hot Docs;from the public, profiling four patients—two men and two women—as they struggle to gain control over their lives, so they can return to a society that often fears and demonizes them. Out of Mind, Out of Sight is produced, directed and written by John Kastner. The film’s producers are Deborah Parks, with Silva Basmajian as producer and executive producer for the NFB. The film is produced by J.S. Kastner Productions and the NFB, in association with TVO.

Guidelines (La marche à suivre)Guidelines explores the world of adolescence through a series of tableaux that illustrate the occasionally trying existence of young people at a rural secondary school. During closed-door meetings, the teens interact with various authority figures whose job it is to “set them straight.” Outside classroom hours, though, they regain control of their world, the natural surroundings becoming a playground where they can test the limits of their temporary freedom. A work of patient observation relying mostly on uninterrupted long takes, Guidelines gradually reveals the interior drama of adolescence, with its shifts from fragility to reckless abandon. Guidelines was written and directed by Jean-François Caissy and produced for the NFB by Johanne Bergeron. It screens in the festival’s Canadian Spectrum program.

Where I’m From (D’où je viens) – It all starts in darkness, with a child who does not know where he comes from. In a quest that is both personal and universal, director Claude Demers revisits the locales of his childhood and probes the mysteries of his origins and his formative years, which were marked by trauma and abandonment. The film is an intimate chronicle that unfolds in the working-class Montreal neighbourhood of Verdun, seen through the eyes of the narrator’s two alter egos, Bastien and Cédric: two young boys who are just discovering the world around them. The town and the magical banks of the Saint Lawrence River serve as a backdrop for this coming-of-age story that is also a profound inner journey. Between past and present, birth and death, Where I’m From traces the course of one man’s redemption. Written, directed and narrated by Demers, Where I’m From is produced by Colette Loumède for the NFB, and screens in the World Showcase program.

Jutra – Based on an assembly of archival footage and animated sequences, Jutra is a skillful and ingenious portrait of the great Quebec filmmaker Claude Jutra, director of the NFB classic Mon ;NFB Screens Seven Films at Hot Docs;oncle Antoine. In this film, Jutra is seen in dialogue with himself at various stages of his life, becoming the spirited narrator of his own biography. Continuing the undertaking she began in 2006 with McLaren’s Negatives, devoted to Norman McLaren, Marie-Josée Saint-Pierre refines her pursuit of a unique animated documentary form, encapsulating the life and career of another cinema giant. Excerpts from home movies, interviews and well-known works by the filmmaker artfully blend and overlap to tell the story of a life devoted to creation. Jutra is at once a tribute, a love song to filmmaking, and the retelling of the tragedy of a brilliant artist who died much too young. Jutra is produced by Marie-Josée Saint-Pierre (MJSTP Films) in co-production with the NFB (Marc Bertrand), and screens in the Canadian Spectrum program.

AbsencesAbsences presents four protagonists, each of whom is dealing with a form of absence in which feelings of loss and resilience coexist. Ines is an immigrant who has returned to Croatia to look for her mother, who abandoned her in 1993 during the war in former Yugoslavia. Deni is a Canadian-American author who sets out in search of his Quebec roots to reconstruct his family story and fill the void in his uncertain, fragile identity. Nathalie is desperately searching for her sister Marilyn, who disappeared suddenly more than five years ago. And lastly, there is the personal drama that director Carole Laganière herself is living through as watches her mother, who has Alzheimer’s disease, slowly slip away. Out of this chain of lives built on loss, a work emerges in which multiple voices express the endless subtlety of human emotions, both intimate and universal. Produced by Colette Loumède, Carole Laganière’s Absences was developed through NFB French Program’s Filmmaker-in-Residence program. It screens in the World Showcase program.

Self(less) Portrait (Autoportrait sans moi) In an age of social media, 50 people forego their need for privacy and discuss a multitude of personal subjects on camera, ranging from the funny to the heartbreaking. From their stories, a human mosaic emerges one with which we can all identify, that celebrates the diversity of life. An atypical, free-form ensemble film, Self(less) Portrait breathes new life into the documentary genre as it serves as a fascinating compendium of raw emotions. Self(less) Portrait was written and directed by Danic Champoux at the NFB, and was also developed through NFB French Program’s Filmmaker-in-Residence program. Produced by Colette Loumède, Self(less) Portrait screens in the Canadian Spectrum program.

Canadian Movie News –

Academy Launches Free Colour Predictor App
By Staff

;Academy Launches Free Colour Predictor App;
(April 8, 2014 – Beverly Hills, California) Work in the film biz? Or want to? Or make indie films? Or shoot corporate video? Have an iPad? Since all images, not matter what they are being captured on, must go through a lens, and since light has a direct effect on colour — or color as our friends south of the border misspell it — the issue of getting the colour right has been a problem since movies more or less stopped being black and white. But even black and white movies have colour issues. Thanks to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) the job of getting colour right just got a whole lot easier and best of all, it`s free.

It`s called the Academy Color Predictor and it is the first app created for the general public by the Academy`s renowned Sci-Tech Council, more specifically the council’s Solid State Lighting Project Committee.

Available now on iTunes, the free app is designed to work on the iPad iOS 7. It will be one of the highlights of this ;Academy Color Predictor App;week`s 2014 NAB Show in Las Vegas. Basically, and wonderfully, the app helps filmmakers predict the interaction of the key ingredients in cinematography: the lights, camera, filters and the photographed objects themselves. Users can change key source light, image sensor and filter parameters to instantly visualize color rendering differences and compare different combinations of elements.

“This app emerged from our conversations with cinematographers, production designers, costume designers and set decorators who were struggling to predict color reproduction when switching from traditional incandescent light sources to solid state lighting,” said Andy Maltz, Managing Director of the Academy’s Science and Technology Council. “After a successful beta test, we’re now offering this app free, for general consumption, so that all types of content creators, researchers and students can benefit from our research.”

“We’re delighted to once again make available the Academy’s research to the film community and the general public,” said Academy CEO Dawn Hudson. “This app helps address a specific production need for filmmakers and underlines our commitment to driving technological advances that benefit both the motion picture industry and aspiring filmmakers everywhere.”

Click here to find the free app on the Apple iTunes store.

NFB Wins 5th Peabody

NFB Wins 5th Peabody, image,

NFB Wins 5th Peabody
by Staff Editors

(April 4, 2014 – Toronto, Ontario) Started in 1941, the Peabody Awards were meant to celebrate excellence in electronic media. At the time that meant radio. They have grown to become the most prestigious media awards in the communications industry. As their website states, “the Peabody Awards spotlight instances of how electronic media can teach, expand our horizons, defend the public interest, or encourage empathy with others. Such excellent stories exist across genres and media types, and across regions and borders.” It is a difficult award to win and the National Film Board of Canada has just received its 5th Peabody for A Short History of the Highrise.

Created by Katerina Cizek and produced for the NFB by Gerry Flahive, A Short History of the Highrise is an interactive documentary co-produced by the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) and The New York Times with executive producers being Silva Basmajian for the NFB and Jason Spingarn-Koff for The New York Times. A Short History of the Highrise is, in fact, just the latest installment in the NFB’s multi-year, multimedia documentary project titled simply, Highrise.

Highrise offers audiences an innovative look at life inside residential highrises around the world. The centrepiece of A Short History of the Highrise is four short films: The first three “Mud, Concrete and Glass” draw on The New York Times’ extraordinary visual archives. Each film is intended to evoke a chapter in a storybook, with rhyming narration and photographs brought to life with intricate animation.

Home, the fourth chapter, is comprised of images submitted by the public. The interactive experience incorporates the films and, like a visual accordion, allows viewers to dig deeper into the project`s themes with additional archival materials, text and microgames.

On tablets, viewers can navigate the story`s extras and special features from within the films using touch commands like swipe, pinch, pull and tap. On desktop and laptop computers, users can mouse over features and click to navigate.

This Peabody Award joins their 2011 award for the Rezolution Pictures/NFB co-produced documentary Reel Injun. Previously the NFB won Peabodys in 1994 for Jeff McKay’s documentary Fat Chance; in 1995 for director John N. Smith’s NFB co-produced mini-series The Boys of St. Vincent and in 2002 for Karen Shopsowitz’s My Father’s Camera.

This 5th Peabody is the latest honour for A Short History of the Highrise, which recently won first prize at the 2014 World Press Photo Multimedia Contest in Amsterdam. The Highrise project has to date garnered some of the interactive world’s top awards, including the inaugural IDFA DocLab Award for Digital Storytelling, an International Digital Emmy Award, and the first-ever award for Best Original Program for Digital Media, Non-Fiction, at the Canadian Screen Awards.

The executive producers of A Short History of the Highrise are Silva Basmajian (NFB) and Jason Spingarn-Koff (The New York Times).

Canadian Movie News –

Raven Banner Nabs Turbo Kid
By Staff

;Raven Banner nabs Turbo Kid;
(April 2, 2014 – Toronto, Ontario) Shooting had just started on Turbo Kid, a new Canada-New Zealand co-pro when Toronto-based Raven Banner Entertainment announced it had scooped up distribution rights for Canada, minus Québec. The film brings together a wealth of talent including the Montreal film collection RKSS, producers Anne-Marie Gélinas, Benoît Beaulieu of EMAfilms, and Ant Timpson and Tim Riley of T&A Films. Topping off the list is the annoucement that producer-writer-director Jason Eisener (Hobo with a Shotgun, ABCs of Death) has signed on and adds his genre-busting experience in the role of Executive Producer.

Written and directed by RKSS, a Montreal Collective that includes Anouk Whissell, François Simard and Yoann-Karl Whissell, Turbo Kid tells the story of a post-apocalyptic parallel future of 1997 where an orphaned teenager called The Kid scavenges the wasteland searching for relics from a better time… the 80s. During one of his expeditions he meets Apple, a mysterious girl with a rather large secret. As their relationship deepens they accidentally run afoul of Zeus, the self-proclaimed leader of Wasteland. Zeus, a sadistically droll maniac who murdered The Kid’s parents and now controls the lands most precious commodity, fresh water. When Apple is kidnapped by Zeus’ gang, The Kid joins forces with Frederick, the laconic leader of the legendary Arm-Wrestling clan. Armed with little more than blind faith and an ancient turbo-charged weapon he discovers, The Kid must fulfill his ultimate destiny; destroy Zeus, avenge his parents death and get the girl of his dreams.

“RKSS are visionary filmmakers who have the unique ability to take token genre conventions and turn them completely inside out,” stated Raven Banner’s Michael Paszt. “Getting involved was an absolute no brainer for the Raven Banner brand.”

Fuelled by offbeat humour with lashings of action and gore, Turbo Kid stars the iconic Michael Ironside (Starship Troopers, Scanners) as Zeus, Munro Chambers (Degrassi – The Next Generation, Cracked) as The Kid, Laurence ;Michael Ironside;Leboeuf (19-2, Trauma) as Apple, Aaron Jeffery (X-Men Origins) as Frederic, Edwin Wright (Top of the Lake) as Skeletron and Romano Orzari (Omertà) as Bagu. The film is a hyper-aware slice of hybrid pop-entertainment. One that draws inspiration from Italian post-apocalyptic epics, Peter Jackson splatter comedies, the Mad Max trilogy and 80s fad movies like Thrashin’ yet manages to transform from mere homage to become something completely unique and genuine to the world of genre film.

Téléfilm Canada and the New Zealand Film Commission are funding partners. Canadian producers Anne-Marie Gélinas & Benoit Beaulieu (EMAfilms) have released several features. Their most recent production is Mars & Avril, Martin Villeneuve`s futuristic sci-fi love-story. The film garnered international acclaim and was also honoured with many nominations in Québec and Canada. Anne-Marie Gélinas was the Line Producer of Rebelle (War Witch) that went on to be nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the Oscars®. T&A Films was born from the partnership between two New Zealanders, arts & entertainment lawyer Tim Riley and renowned producer and distributor Ant Timpson.

While Raven Banner has most of Canada, Filmoption International has secured rights for Québec. The United States will be covered by Epic Pictures (V/H/S, Zombeavers), which also serves as the film`s international Sales Agent.

Raven Banner Entertainment is a sales, distribution and production company specializing in genre films for the worldwide market. Whiles its expertise is in strategic project management and campaigns, the company can also be involved in any and all aspects of production, from acquisition, representation, negotiation, marketing management and plans, and sales.

With shooting just starting on Turbo Kid it makes sense that no release date has been announced.

Canadian Movie News –

Talking Dance with Atom Egoyan
By Staff

;Talking Dance with Atom Egoyan;
Photo: supplied

(April 1, 2014 – Toronto, Ontario) Known for his wide body of work, some of it including some of the best films ever made in Canada, Atom Egoyan has over the years tested his creative boundaries, most recently with another foray into opera and his unique retelling of Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte. This time, in fact this week, it`s dance. No, he won’t be doing the dancing, but his take on a new production is bound to be worth the price of admission.

For one night only, this Friday April 4th, Egoyan and the Artistic Director of the Toronto-based Dancemakers, Michael Trent, will participate in Talking Dancing, a public discussion about Dancemakers 40th Anniversary production of Around.

Created by Trent and the Dancemakers company, Around continues Trent’s exploration of boundary-pushing performance through contemporary aesthetics, cross-disciplinary dialogues and collaborative engagement, which are the hallmarks that inform the creative process at Dancemakers. Around delves into the disconnect between ;Atom Egoyan;symmetry, perfection, uncertainty and ambiguity. Presented in the round, a floor to ceiling veil will encircle both the audience and performers providing an intimate space for exchange.

Following the performance, audience members can join the discussion on what they just witnessed and hear first-hand the opinions, thoughts, feelings of the work as seen through the eyes of one of Canada`s most successful directors.

Egoyan is a ground-breaking stage and film director, internationally-acclaimed, and proudly Canadian. Exotica, his massively award-winning breakthrough film catapulted his career which includes the films The Sweet Hereafter, Chloe and Devil’s Knot; the stage production of Tender and Cruel; and the operas Feng Yi Ting, Cosi Fan Tutte, which closed in late February of this year, and next season’s Die Walkure.

With a career spanning over 25 years, Toronto-based dance artist Michael Trent was appointed Artistic Director and Resident Choreographer of Dancemakers and the Centre for Creation in August 2006. Trent has garnered national recognition as a choreographer of over 30 works. He is the co-recipient of the 2004 K.M. Hunter Award in dance. This production of Around continues only until April 6.

For more information and tickets, visit Dancemakers online.

Canadian Movie News –

The Doomsayers Got It Right
By Staff

;Paul Watson, Eco-Pirate at Vancity, Vancouver;
(April 1, 2014 – Vancouver, British Columbia) In the event no one paid any attention to the news yesterday, THE WORLD IS GOING TO END AND IT ISN’T GOING TO BE PRETTY. To quote from the opening paragraph of a United Nations report, “The effects of climate change are already occurring in all continents and across the oceans, and the world, for the most part, is ill-prepared for their risks.” If this comes as a surprise to you, you just might be part of the problem. But there is hope, faint though it is.

You don’t have to be a genius to figure out we’re in trouble. Did anyone think it was normal that while searching for a missing jumbo passenger jet ships and planes kept coming across likely pieces of the doomed airliner only to discover that here in the middle of nowhere, literally, thousands of miles from land they kept spotting garbage floating on the ocean`s surface.

As the report points out, “Observed impacts of climate change have already affected agriculture, human health, ecosystems on land and in the oceans, water supplies, and some people’s livelihoods. The striking feature of observed impacts is that they are occurring from the tropics to the poles, from small islands to large continents, and from the wealthiest countries to the poorest.”

For years, far-seers, modern day shaman if you will, have been telling us, warning us, that there is a price for unbridled progress. One of the first was Captain Paul Watson who has been on a crusade to save the oceans for 40 years and he isn’t about to stop now. We, however, the soon-to-be hapless citizens of an increasingly uninhabitable planet must start. Not next month. Not next Year. Now.

Next Monday, Vancouver`s Vancity Theatre will screen Eco-Pirate: The Story of Paul Watson. If you haven’t quite bought into his faith, now might be the time.

The film, a winner of the Riff Environmental Award at the Reykjavik International Film Festival, will be introduced by its director, Trish Dolman who will appear via Skype. Dolman crafts an epic tale of the birth of the modern environmental movement, and the founding of Greenpeace and the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.

Part high-octane adventure, the film follows Watson and his crew as they hunt down a Japanese whaling fleet in the vast expanse and stunning beauty of Antarctica’s Southern Ocean, and seamlessly segues in and out of a wealth of archival footage from decades of confrontational activism around the world. In-depth interviews with Watson, Bob Hunter, Patrick Moore and Farley Mowat, among others, capture the heroics, the ego, the disputed tactics and the urgency of Watson’s mission.

Established in 1977, Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (SSCS) is an international non-profit, marine wildlife conservation organization. Their mission is to end the destruction of habitat and slaughter of wildlife in the world’s oceans in order to conserve and protect ecosystems and species.

Filmmakers Trish Dolman and Kevin Eastwood along with Sea Shepherd cofounder Ron Precious and Paul Watson will participate in a Q&A via skype.

This is one of those films Northernstars considers to be mandatory viewing. Click here for more information and ticketing.

Canadian Movie News –

Yorkton Announces Category Contenders
By Staff

;Film Festival Season Begins;
(March 28, 2014 – Yorkton, Saskatchewan) The Yorkton Film Festival has announced the results of their first round jury process for the 2014 festival year. This round gathers up the various category nominees in contention for this year`s Golden Sheaf Awards. Craft award nominees, including Director – Fiction, Director – Non-Fiction, and Research, will be announced in mid-April. Northernstars.ca has the list of category nominees.

Animation:

Inspector Street: Producer(s) Julie Roy ; Director(s) Emmanuelle Loslier ; Production Company National Film Board of Canada
Gloria Victoria: Producer(s) Marc Bertrand ; Director(s) Theodore Ushev ; Production Company National Film Board of Canada
Impromptu: Producer(s) Michael Fukushima , Annette Clarke , Tina Ouellette ; Director(s) Bruce Alcock ; Production Company National Film Board of Canada Global Mechanic Media
The End of Pinky: Producer(s) Michael Fukushima ; Director(s) Claire Blanchet ; Production Company National Film Board of Canada
Subconscious Password: Producer(s) Marcy Page , Mark Smith ; Director(s) Chris Landreth ; Production Company National Film Board of Canada with the participation of Copperheart Entertainment

Children

Canadian Movie News –

Film Festival Season Begins
By Ralph Lucas – Publisher

;Film Festival Season Begins;
(March 27, 2014 – Toronto, Ontario) It`s a combination of the holidays and the weather that causes a slow start to the Canadian film festival season. But once the weather warms up… let me rephrase that, regardless of the weather, come March and April, film festivals start sprouting like spring flowers are suppose to, in normal years that is. There are less than 5 film festivals in Canada in January. February brings more including one in Whitehorse where this year it was probably warmer than it was in Toronto. But with March and April the season is well underway including one of the the two biggest festivals in the country, Hot Docs.

As March draws to a close, things in Toronto and in the immediate area around Canada`s largest city, get positively hot. In a city that boasts some 80 or more film festivals a year, 10 take place between the end of February and the end of March. With just a few days left in the month, the Breast Film Festival starts tomorrow and runs until the 30th. If you’re of a certain bent then I feel compelled to point out that the Breast Fest is subtitled “a rethink breast cancer event.”

Also opening tomorrow and running until April 6 is Cinéfranco. Toronto is often called a city of neighbourhoods, but it is also a city of many different cultural influences with a significant French speaking population. This festival, now in its 17th year, features films from France, Morocco, Belgium, Switzerland and of course Canada. Often there are ;Cinefranco program;coproductions with two or three of this countries involved. Twenty-four distributors have pulled out all the stops to provide the best in French cinema and some of it is spectacular.

On Monday, March 31st, look for Catherine Deneuve to grace the screen in Elle s’en ya. This is the film`s English Canada premiere but it screened in Berlin last year as well as at the BFI London Film Festival. Deneuve plays Bettie, an attractive, sexy 60-something, who sees her life spinning out of control with her failing restaurant and love relationship. One Sunday in the middle of a busy lunch shift, she steps out for a short break, gets in her car and drives away

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