Home Authors Posts by Staff



Seven Films Receive Shaw Media – Hot Docs Funding

Seven Films Receive Shaw Media – Hot Docs Funding
By Staff

;Hot Docs and Shaw Media Announce Funding;
(August 22, 2014 – Toronto, Ontario) Hot Docs and Shaw Media have announced that seven projects have been chosen to receive a total of $180,000 in grants and no-interest loans from the Shaw Media-Hot Docs Funds in its thirteenth round of disbursements. With these seven projects, a total of 127 projects have received funding via the Shaw Media-Hot Docs Funds to date, with funding totalling $2,909,000 in completion grants and no-interest loans.

Eligible projects were considered by the Shaw Media-Hot Docs Completion Fund Selection Committee, which included: Sarah Jane Flynn, Senior Director, Original Factual Content – Shaw Media; Elizabeth Radshaw, Director of Industry Programs, Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival; and Steven Silver, Blue Ice Group.

Two completion grants totalling $120,000 were awarded to the following projects:

AMINA – A GAY GIRL IN DAMASCUS Production Company: Esperamos (E2F FILM 1 INC) Director: Sophie Deraspe Producers: Isabelle Couture, Jean-Philippe Massicotte Executive Producers: Michel St-Cyr, Hugo Latulippe, Guy Villeneuve A love story between a Canadian and a Syrian-American during the Arab revolution turns into a socio-political thriller that examines media excesses and the thin line between truth and falsehood on the Internet.

BEAUTY AND RUIN Production Company: Subject Chaser Films Inc. Director: Marc de Guerre Producers: Jeannette Loakman, Marc de Guerre Creditors are eyeing the Detroit Institute of Art’s collection as a solution to the city’s debt, but is the cost of losing access to masterpieces worth it?

Round 13: Shaw Media-Hot Docs Development Fund Eligible projects were considered by the Shaw Media-Hot Docs Development Fund Selection Committee, which included: Nick Crowe, Director, Original Factual Content – Shaw Media; Elizabeth Radshaw, Director of Industry Programs, Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival; and Amit Breuer, Founder and President, Amythos Media Inc. Five no-interest loans totalling $60,000 were awarded to the following projects:

FORGOTTEN: THE FREEDOM PROJECT Production Company: Sienna Films Director: Michelle Latimer Producers: Jennifer Kawaja, Julia Sereny Canada’s only female dangerous offender fights to reconcile the loss of her daughter while struggling to retain her humanity within the solitary confinement of prison.

SUMMERS IN THE BELT Production Company: Moir Movies Entertainment Incorporated Director: Andrew Moir Producer: Diana Warmé SUMMERS IN THE BELT is a coming of age story about a teenage boy who must decide if he will inherit his father’s tobacco farm or leave the farming life behind.

TEMPEST STORM Production Company: Shot Glass Productions Director: Nimisha Mukerji Producers: Kaitlyn Regehr, Nimisha Mukerji Executive Producers: Chuck Braverman, Danielle Colby Girlfriend to Elvis, mistress to JFK, friend to Bettie Page, TEMPEST STORM follows the controversial story of America’s greatest living sex icon as she continues her search for unconditional love.

BLOOD & HONEY Production Company: Zapruder Films Inc. Director: Jared Raab Producers: Matthew Miller, Victoria Lean BLOOD & HONEY follows the whiskey-soaked journey of Canadian band July Talk, from relative obscurity to the edge of stardom. Relationships reach a boiling point in this potent mix of fame, ego and attraction.

THE CANADIANS Production Company: Reed Media Directors: Patrick Reed, Michelle Shephard Producers: Michelle Shephard, Patrick Reed Russian spies who were deported from Canada in the 1990s struggle to return to Canada and reconcile their past with their present.

The image used above is from the documentary Out of Mind, Out of Sight, which was made thanks in part to the Shaw Media-Hot Docs Fund.

OIAF Selects 17 from NFB

By Staff

;NFB at TIFF 2014;
(August 20, 2014 – Ottawa, Ontario) Organizers and programmers for this year`s Ottawa International Animation Festival (OIAF), the largest event of its kind in North America, have selected 17 films from the NFB. The selection contains two World Premieres. The festival will also present special screenings of two films created to mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of legendary film innovator Norman McLaren, founder of the NFB’s Oscar-winning Animation Studio: Donald McWilliams’ 27-minute documentary Norman McLaren: Animated Musician, as well as Flocons, an independently produced short by Marie-Josée Saint-Pierre, creator of the Jutra Award-winning McLaren’s Negatives.

Premiering in the Official Competition – Animated Feature section is the animation-documentary hybrid Seth’s Dominion, which is Luc Chamberland’s film about the life of acclaimed Ontario-born cartoonist Seth. Also making its world premiere is Monsieur Pug, a new short by Academy Award nominee Janet Perlman (The Tender Tale of Cinderella Penguin), screening in the Canadian Showcase.

Soif by Michèle Cournoyer is in Official Competition in the Experimental/Abstract Animation category, while the NFB has three titles in Official Competition in the Narrative Short Animation slot: Me and My Moulton by Torill Kove, ;OIAF 2014 poster;whose film The Danish Poet won an Academy Award in 2006, along with Rainy Days by Vladimir Leschiov and Pilots on the Way Home by Olga and Priit Pärn.

In addition to Perlman’s Monsieur Pug, which runs 10 minutes, three one-minute NFB shorts will be featured in the out-of-competition Canadian Showcase: Dominic Etienne Simard’s Éloïse’s Fir Tree, as well as two shorts from the NFB’s Hothouse program for emerging animators, Su-An Ng’s Itch and Brendan Matkin’s Observer.

Six more NFB animated shorts have been selected for special screening programs: Patrick Doyon’s Sunday, Dominic Etienne Simard’s Paula (10 minutes), Claire Blanchet’s The End of Pinky (8 minutes) and Philip Eddolls’ Git Gob (1 minute) will be featured as part of “Hot Freaks: The New Generation of Canadian Animation,” while Koji Yamamura’s 13 minute film, Muybridge’s Strings will be shown in the “Wibbly Wobbly Timey Wimey: Time and Animation” program, with Brandon Blommaert’s Batmilk (1 minute) screening in a program entitled “New Ghosts in the Ol’ Haunt: Regrets, Residues and Crossing Over.”

The NFB will also be offering iPad animation workshops for children using its acclaimed McLaren’s Workshop and NFB StopMo Studio apps, at the National Arts Centre, as part of Animation Celebration.

The Ottawa International Animation festival runs from from September 17 to 21. The festival received a total of 2033 entries from 70 different countries. Of those, 101 short films and 5 feature films were chosen for competition. In addition, 71 showcase films were chosen to represent the efforts of the Canadian, International, and Student communities. Click here for a link to OIAF and other September 2014 film festivals.

Montreal World Film Festival Opens August 21st

Montreal World Film FestivalOpens August 21st
By Staff

(August 13, 2014 – Montréal, Québec) Once again this year the financial health of one of the best film festivals in the country is crowding out headlines about the festival itself. Taking a cue from festival founder Serge Losique, who would like the media to concentrate on the films, we’ve decided to do just that. So, when the festival launches its 38th season in just over a week, the opening film will be Salaud, on t’aime (I Love You, You Bastard) by renowned French filmmaker Claude Lelouch. The film stars the venerable Johnny Halliday playing the role of Jacques, an aging photographer and womanizer. The Montreal World Film Festival (MWFF) will close with Aimer, boire, chanter (Life of Riley) which will be presented as a posthumous tribute to another great French filmmaker, Alain Resnais.

In all the MWFF will screen a total of 350 movies. Slightly more than half, 160, are feature films selected from entries from 74 countries. The rest, 190 films, are shorts. As with most, if not all large festivals, the movies will screen in the various sections including: World Competition, First Films Competition, Out of Competition, Focus on World Cinema, Documentaries of the World, Tributes, and the Student Film Festival.
;Montreal World Film Festival, 2014 poster;
The Student Film Festival expands this year and offers entrants and festival goers films from two categories: Canadian and International.

In the major categories, 19 feature films have been selected to screen in the World Competition. They include:
The Last Wish directed by Namik Ajazi (Albania-Italy)
The Last Dance by Houchang Allahyari (Austria)
Lucky Stiff by Christopher Ashley (U.S.A.)
Un ragazzo d’oro by Pupi Avati (Italy)
Melody by Bernard Bellefroid (Belgium-France-Luxembourg)
The Summer House by Curtis Burz (Germany)
Guard Dog by Bacha Caravedo and Chinon Higashionna (Peru)
Un homme d’état by Pierre Courrège (France)
Maintenant ou jamais by Serge Frydman (France)
The Chambermaid Lynn by Ingo Haeb (Germany)
Lost in Karastan by Ben Hopkins (U.K.- Georgia)
Travelator by Susan Milic (Serbia-Montenegro-U.S.A.)
Cape Nostalgia by Izuro Narushima (Japan), and
The Light Shines Only There by Mipo O (Japan)

Other titles in competition are Zhang Wei’s Factory Boss (China); Luiz Urquiza Mondragon’s Perfect Obedience (Mexico) and from Canada, Dan Zukovic’s Scammerhead.

One of the positive bits of news out of the festival is the confirmation that Hollywood star Sharon Stone, who appears in the film Un Ragazzo d’Oro, in which she plays an alluring publisher interested in the life story of an ad copywriter’s deceased father, will be in attendance at this year`s festival.

The MWFF runs from August 21 to September 1 at the Imperial Theatre (1430 de Bleury St.) and Cinema Quartier Latin (350 Emery St.) Click here for a link to the Montreal World Film Festival and other August film festivals.

Cameras Roll on Hunter’s Moon

By Staff

;Matt Campagna;
(August 12, 2014 – Toronto, Ontario) Production is set to begin tomorrow, August 13 on a new film from writer-director Matt Campagna, pictured above. Hunter’s Moon is about an eccentric billionaire who spirals out of control when during an extravagant launch party for his new werewolf mobile game, a body turns up. Turns out it`s just the first body. And so begins a heart-pounding race for survival of the fittest.

Matt Campagna, best known as an indie filmmaker who after a few films made his mark in 2008 with the micro-budget feature, Six Reasons Why, starring Colm Feore. Campagna has written and directed films for eOne, the SyFy Network and Sony Home Video. Hunter’s Moon costars Holly Deveaux (Spun Out, Hemlock Grove), Steven Morana ;Six Reasons Why, movie poster;(Gemini Award Winner), Katie Boland (Reign), Art Hindle (Invasion of the Body Snatchers) and Ari Millen (Orphan Black).

Rounding out the creative team is Director of Photography David Stuart (Centuries of Torment) and Producer Nic Izzi (Gallop Meets The Earth). On the technical side, Hunter’s Moon will be the first production in Canada to be shot on the new Sony A7S Camera.

The production company behind the feature is Men of Characters, which was established when Steven Morana and Nic Izzi combined their experience, talents and resources to produce top talent, high quality films. In an effort to bring new productions to the city of Toronto, Men of Characters produces highly creative films, without high risk. Hunter`s Moon will be the company`s first feature and is slated for release in the fall of this year.

TIFF Announces Canadian Content

By Staff

;Tiff Bell Lightbox;
(August 7, 2014 – Toronto, Ontario) Organizers of the 2014 Toronto Internatinal Film Festival (TIFF) announced their lineup of Canadian films yesterday. Something old, something new, something bold, more or less wraps up a quick take of this year`s offerings. The old are films that have been previously released in Québec but have yet to screen in TROC (The Rest of Canada) including the long anticipated Denys Arcand film An Eye for Beauty, which received tepid reviews when it opened in Québec in general release. In addition to Arcand the lineup of talent is impressive and includes new works by such acclaimed Canadian filmmakers as Xavier Dolan, Sturla Gunnarsson, Ruba Nadda and Jacob Tierney as well as an impressive number of first-time feature filmmakers. Jam-packed with compelling works ranging from thrillers and comedies to romances and musicals, this year’s Canadian offerings will, hopefully, entertain, inspire and move audiences.

“These are filmmakers at the top of their craft, bringing fresh perspectives to traditional genres like comedies and less traditionally Canadian genres, such as musicals,” said Steve Gravestock, Senior Programmer, TIFF. “This year’s slate truly showcases the diversity of talent in our country, featuring films from coast to coast.”

“We are inspired by the number of exceptional debut features from Canadian directors, reflecting the depth of talent in this country,” said Agata Smoluch Del Sorbo, Canadian Features Programmer, TIFF. “Extremely exciting is also the fact that female-driven narratives play a significant part in this year’s programming, highlighting the strong, rich tapestry of our storytelling.”


An Eye for Beauty (Le r

Avan Jogia Becomes Tut

By Staff

;Avan Jogia;
(August 6, 2014 – Montréal, Québec) Muse Entertainment has announced the signing of Canadian actor Avan Jogia to play the title role in its new 6-hour event series, Tut, which will begin production this fall.

“Vancouver born actor Avan Jogia will be an outstanding addition to the cast of Tut,” said Michael Prupas, CEO of Muse Entertainment. “Jogia is a hot young talent with a loyal following who has already made a name for himself in film and television.” Jogia is probably best known for his work as Danny Desai on the ABC Family’s hit series Twisted.

“We are thrilled to work with such an incredibly gifted young actor who is perfectly suited to take on the immensely complex character of King Tutankhamun,” said Sharon Levy, Executive Vice President, Original Series, Spike TV.

Avan Jogia, one of Hollywood’s emerging young actors, will next be seen in Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini’s Ten Thousand Saints with Hailee Steinfeld, Emile Hirsch, Asa Butterfield, Ethan Hawke, and Emily Mortimer. Also coming;King Tut; soon will be Eddie O’Keefe’s Shangri-La Suite with Emily Browning, Ashley Greene, and Luke Grimes. He is currently shooting one of the leads of Outskirts opposite Ashley Rickards, Eden Sher, and Victoria Justice. Jogia continues to be represented by ICM Partners and LINK.

Last month, Muse Entertainment announced that legendary actor Ben Kingsley will star in Tut in the key role of Ay, the Grand Vizier to King Tutankhamun who wields tremendous power and influence as the top advisor to the young Egyptian ruler.

Tut will be shot entirely on location in Morocco and Canada this fall and will debut on Spike TV in 2015. 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. Muse Distribution International is selling the 6-hour television event globally.

Known for its work on series and mini-series like The Kennedys, Being Human, The Pillars of the Earth and Bomb Girls, Tut will see Joel S. Rice and Michael Prupas as Executive Producers from Muse. The project is also executive produced by Greg Gugliotta, Michael Vickerman, Elice Island Entertainment’s Jeremy Elice, Angela Mancuso and Director/Executive Producer David Von Ancken. The series is written by Michael Vickerman, Peter Paige & Bradley Bredeweg. Sharon Levy, Executive Vice President, Original Series, Spike TV will also serve as an Executive Producer. Producers are Irene Litinsky, Guy Louthan and Gilles Perreault and Vlad Wolynetz is Co-Executive Producer.

Since its founding in 1998, Muse Entertainment has won over 100 awards and garnered over 300 award nominations including 10 Emmy Award nominations, winning four, plus a DGA award for best director for the mini-series The Kennedys. The Pillars of the Earth also won an Emmy and many other awards. Muse Entertainment President is Executive Producer Michael Prupas. Muse U.S.A. President is Executive Producer Joel S. Rice. Spike TV is available in 98.7 million homes and is a division of Viacom Media Networks.

Jewel Staite to Star in How To Plan An Orgy In A Small Town

Jewel Staite

Jewel Staite to Star in
How To Plan An Orgy In A Small Town
By Staff

(August 5, 2014 – Toronto, Ontario) Writer-director Jeremy LaLonde has announced that Jewel Staite (Firefly, The Killing, Stargate: Atlantis) will star as the lead in his comedy feature film How To Plan An Orgy In A Small Town about a sex columnist who returns to her hometown and gets a chance at revenge on her former friends.

Also joining the cast are principals Lauren Lee Smith (If I Stay, The Listener), Katharine Isabelle (Torment, Being Human), Ennis Esmer (The Listener, Sex After Kids), Tommie-Amber Pirie (What If/The F Word, The Trotsky), and Jonas Chernick (My Awkward Sexual Adventure, The Best Laid Plans).

“Jewel is a powerhouse, which is exactly what you want in a leading lady. The character of Cassie is jaded and sarcastic, but beneath it all there`s a deep hurt and a real vulnerability; Jewel is the perfect actor to bring that out in;How to Plan an Orgy, movie poster; a way that`s honest, real, heart-breaking, and funny,” said LaLonde. He added, “Our cast involves a nice ensemble of incredibly talented actors I’ve worked with before and others I’ve long admired, so I’m really excited to throw this group together and make something unique with them.”

Jewel Staite’s is currently costarring in the 4th season of the taut, edgy police drama The Killing, with all of the commercial-free episodes available on Netflix. Other recent credits include State of Syn, L.A. Complex, and Serenity and the upcoming She Who Must Burn.

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 – the epitome of wholesomeness and strong family values – whose orderly lives get interrupted with the homecoming of big city sex writer Cassie Cranston. 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 she gets 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 goes to camera this October, and is a Neophyte Productions Inc. production. The project is being produced by Jordan Walker (The Privileged) and Chris Bennett (Solo), while Avi Federgreen (One Week) and Ryan Goldhar (I Put a Hit on You) are executive producing.

The film is financed in part through the participation of Telefilm Canada’s Canada Feature Film Fund, but to top up financing, LaLonde and the producers launched a crowd funding initiative yesterday to raise $70K through an Indiegogo campaign, which has already raised more than 25% of its goal. LaLonde has a proven track record with crowd-sourced funding having successfully raised $61K toward the budget of his edgy sophomore comedy Sex After Kids.

Canadian Movie News –

Five Features at this Year’s Ottawa
International Animation Festival

by Editorial Staff

(July 7, 2014 – Ottawa, Ontario) The Ottawa International Animation Festival (OIAF) has announced the selection of films competing in the Feature Film Category at this year’s Festival which kicks off on September 17 and runs until the 21st. “This year’s feature film competitors,” said OIAF Artistic Director, Chris Robinson, “are among the most diverse we’ve ever had in competition. Using an array of animation techniques (drawn, paint, puppet), the films address sensitive and mature topics (political oppression, wrongful prosecution, environment, love and loneliness) in highly original, engaging and sometimes hilarious and absurd ways.”

Films included in the feature competition:

Lisa Limone ja Maroc Orange: tormakas armulugu (Lisa Limone and Maroc Orange: a Rapid Love Story) by Mait Laas, Estonia, 2013, 72:00

Até que a Sbórnia nos separe (Until Sbornia do us part) by Otto Guerra & Ennio Torresan Jr., Brazil, 2013, 85:00

Truth Has Fallen by Sheila Sofian, USA, 2013, 60:00

Tante Hilda (Aunt Hilda) by Jacques-Remy Girerd & Benoît Chieux, France, 2013, 89:00

Seth’s Dominion by Luc Chamberlain, Canada, 2014, 42:09

Two of those films are animated documentaries: Seth’s Dominion (Luc Chamberlain, Canada) and Truth Has Fallen (Sheila Sofian, USA). NFB produced Seth’s Dominion (pictured above) is a nostalgic and inspiring look at the life of Canadian cartoonist and graphic novelist Gregory Gallant, who uses the pen name Seth. His work regularly appears in publications like The New Yorker, The Washington Post, The New York Times and elsewhere. He has exhibited throughout the world in a variety of group and solo shows and was the subject of a solo exhibition at the Art Gallery of Ontario, which showcased the first public display of his model city Dominion, which is the focus of this film.

The other animated documentary is titlled Truth has Fallen and it uses both live action and animation to tell the story of three people wrongly accused of murder.

Tante Hilda (Aunt Hilda) is a complex, challenging, yet fun film geared to both adults and kids. For those who like surreal, dark musicals animated with fruit, Lisa Limone ja Maroc Orange: tormakas armulugu (Lisa Limone and Maroc Orange: a Rapid Love Story). Rounding out the selections is Até que a Sbórnia nos separe (Until Sbornia do us part). Based on the long running musical Tangos & Tragedies, the film examines corporate dominance and environmental issues through the story of Sbornia, an eccentric and poetic country which is introduced to the modern world when a wall collapses.

The Ottawa International Animation Festival (OIAF) is one of the world’s leading animation events providing screenings, exhibits, workshops and entertainment since 1976. The annual five-day event brings art and industry together in a vibrant hub, with a total attendance of 28,000 artists, producers, students and animation fans from around the world.

Canadian Movie News –

Air Canada`s enRoute Film Festival
Announces Details
By Staff

;Air Canada`s enRoute Film Festival Announces Details;
(July 7, 2014 – Toronto, Ontario) The poet Don Marquis once wrote that “writing a book of poetry is like dropping a rose petal down the Grand Canyon and waiting for the echo.” The same could be said for the producers, directors and writers of short movies. There are many reasons why people make movies, but somewhere near the top is the desire that what they have made will eventually be seen and there just isn’t a huge market for short films. Enter Air Canada and their enRoute Film Festival.

There`s nothing like having a captive audience for your movie so the thought of having it seen by millions of Air Canada passengers is a huge incentive for filmmakers. Sixteen films will be selected to screen during Air Canada’s enRoute Film Festival on flights around the world from August 1 to December 31, 2014. But what entrants want to know is which 16 films. The lucky 16 finalists will be announced at a free public screening and after-party at Vancity Theatre (1181 Seymour St.) in downtown Vancouver on Tuesday, July 29 at 7:30 p.m. Pacific Time and hosted by eTalk anchor Tanya Kim.

In addition to having their films seen, the 16 finalists will compete to win prizes for Best Short Film, Achievement in Direction, Achievement in Cinematography, Achievement in Animation, and, new this year, Achievement in Documentary. Air Canada passengers and movie lovers alike will have the chance to vote for their favourite film to win the People’s Choice Award. Voting will start in August on enRoutefilm.com.

The films will compete to win prizes for Best Short Film, Achievement in Direction, Achievement in Cinematography, Achievement in Animation, and, new this year, Achievement in Documentary.

Not flying Air Canada this year? You can still catch the films at free public screenings that will be held in Montreal at Centre Phi (407 Rue Saint Pierre) on November 3, 2014 and in Toronto on Wednesday, November 5 at the Scotiabank Theatre (259 Richmond Street West).

Once again this year, a star-studded jury will select the winners, who will each receive an all-inclusive trip for two to the Berlin International Film Festival in Berlin, Germany, courtesy of Air Canada. The winner of Best Short Film will also receive $5,000 courtesy of presenting sponsor Cineplex. This year, for the first time, the jury will have a head juror with actor-writer-director Don McKellar taking the role.

In addition to McKellar, this year’s jurors include (alphabetical order): Louise Archambault (director) Jennifer Baichwal (director) Luc Déry (producer) Michael Fukushima (executive producer and director, animation) Guy Maddin (director) Andrew Moir (director and winner of Best Short Film at the 2013 Air Canada enRoute Film Festival) Gia Milani (director) Jennifer Podemski (actor and producer) and Laura Vandervoort (actor.

Canadian Movie News –

Lunenburg Doc Fest Launches in September
By Staff

;Lunenburg Doc Fest Launches in September;
(June 26, 2014 – Lunenburg, Nova Scotia) Most Canadians will probably remember Lunenburg as the home to the Bluenose II, a wonderful replica of the original fishing boat that found fame as a racing schooner and graces the backs of our dimes. With its narrow streets and unique architecture, Old Town Lunenburg has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Now into this remarkable picturesque town down the road apiece from Halifax comes word of a new film festival dedicated to documentaries.

The Lunenburg Doc Fest, as it will be known, was co-founded by Deb Beers and Pamela Segger. Beers is originally from Connecticut and made her way east after spending time in Ohio and Toronto. She landed in Lunenburg after a 30-year career in theatre, film and television. That`s where she discovered that documentaries and docu-dramas are her first love.
;Lunenburg Doc Fest logo;
Pamela Segger was born in the spectacular Annapolis Valley but also took a circuitous route to Nova Scotia`s South Shore. She grew up in Edmonton and then headed south. She is a UCLA Feature Film Writing graduate, a theatre, dance and acrobatic instructor, playwright, actor and a co-founder of the It`s Alive Theatre Company.

The submission deadline for this year has come and gone, but the festival itself is only a couple of months away. Operating as a not-for-profit organization, The Lunenburg Doc Fest is dedicated to showcasing documentary films that entertain, educate, inspire and enrich the lives of Lunenburg citizens and visitors. The festival also includes a youth program and promotes international filmmakers. It kicks off on September 13 with a two-day Youth Documentary Workshop. The festival gets underway a few days later with the opening movie on September 19 and wraps three days later on September 21st.

Click here to learn more about The Lunenburg Doc Fest.

Canadian Movie News –

Cas & Dylan Go to Europe
By Staff

;Cas & Dylan goes to Europe;
(June 24, 2014 – Toronto, Ontario) Toronto based Breakthrough Entertainment has licensed its acclaimed feature film Cas & Dylan costarring Oscar-winning actor Richard Dreyfuss and award-winning Canadian actor Tatiana Maslany, to HBO Europe. Just one of a slate of new deals across Eastern Europe as the company’s diverse catalog continues to resonate globally.

The HBO Europe deal augments Breakthrough’s latest foray into the region with its expansive factual and kids’ library. Recent sales include Travel HD (Russia) for Boundless and Telewizja Puls (Poland) for Crime Stories.

;Cas & Dylan, movie poster; NCN-Media (Russia and CIS) will also be taking on Breakthrough’s hugely popular kids’ property, My Big Big Friend, along with My Really Cool Legs and The Motherload.

“We’re committed to the relationships we’ve built with our clients in Eastern Europe and look forward to continued successful associations as we introduce new films and programming from our ever-growing list of titles,” said Kate Blank, Director, International Distribution for Breakthrough Entertainment.

Cas & Dylan costar Tatiana Maslany, star of sci-fi TV hit Orphan Black, picked up her second consecutive trophy for best actress in a drama at the Critics’ Choice Television Awards in Beverly Hills, California last Thursday night.

Breakthrough Entertainment Inc. (BEI) is a world class studio, and a leading global producer and distributor of acclaimed primetime comedy and drama series, as well as factual entertainment, documentaries, television movies, feature films, family entertainment and children’s animation. As one of Canada’s largest television production and distribution companies, BEI has licensed programs to major broadcasters in over 200 territories. With a catalogue of over 3000 half-hours of programming, the company handles distribution as well as worldwide pre-sales, co-productions and third-party acquisitions. In addition to its dedicated program development, production and distribution divisions, Breakthrough’s digital media division ranks among one of the industry’s most respected producers of high quality digital entertainment including ebooks, webisodes and online and mobile games.

Canadian Movie News –

NFB an ARTE Join Forces for Interactive Haiku
By Staff

;NFB and ARTE issue a call for submissions;
(June 23, 2014 – Toronto, Ontario) The National Film Board of Canada (NFB) and ARTE are issuing an international call for submissions for short online interactive experiences, in a new collaboration called Interactive Haiku.

Memes, Vines and Buzzfeed are all formatted for the digital age, where users tend to consume things quickly. Yet brief experiences aren’t synonymous with an absence of quality or depth: the short format of haiku poetry offers a perfect example.

Interactive Haiku aims to bring the brevity and richness of the haiku to the online realm, through projects that explore the possibilities of the short interactive format. To help guide applicants, organizers have offered these 10 rules:

1. The experience should be 60 seconds long.
2. It should inspire us to see the world we live in differently.
3. Only one interactive concept should be used.
4. It should employ a full browser design with common “NFB/ARTE” header.
5. No navigation menu should be used.
6. Project must include sound.
7. It should be understandable and accessible to an international audience.
8. Project creators must own or have released all rights.
9. Must be computer, tablet and mobile friendly (iOS, Android and Windows).
10.And because there’s always an exception to the rule: break one of the creative rules 1 through 7 and explain why.

Twelve proposals will be selected. Applicants can register online and the call for projects is open until August 19, 2014, at noon (Eastern Standard Time). Winners will be announced this fall.Proposals will be selected by an international jury consisting of Caspar Sonnen, founder and curator, IDFA DocLab; Héctor Ayuso, founder and programmer, OFFF Festival; David Carzon, bi-media editor-in-chief, Telerama; Ciel Hunter, creative director, the Creators Project; Jonathan Harris, artist and computer scientist; Marie-Pier Gauthier, head of production at the NFB’s Digital Studio; and Alexander Knetig, web commissioning editor at ARTE. William Uricchio, professor of Comparative Media Studies and Principal Investigator of the MIT Open Documentary Lab and the MIT Game Lab, will serve as jury president.

Canadian Movie News –

Canadian Film Centre presents The Northern Dancer Pavilion
By Staff

;Northern Dancer Pavilion. Photo by Tom Sandler;
Photos by Tom Sandler & Trevor Haldenby

(June 23, 2014 – Toronto, Ontario) It`s quite possible you need to be of a certain age to remember the wonder horse, Northern Dancer. Bred by the Canadian business mogul E. P. Taylor, its name now graces a new student pavilion in a landmark building that sits on E.P. Taylor’s historic Windfields Estate, the home of the Canadian Film Centre for the past few decades.

Designed by architect Ken Fukushima, the Northern Dancer Pavilion is a new addition to CFC’s campus that will house its multi-discipline programs. The structure highlights the generosity of like-minded philanthropists who wished to enshrine the greatest Canadian racehorse of the 20th century, as well as pay homage to the heritage of E.P. Taylor’s Windfields Estate.

The unveiling of the Northern Dancer Pavilion was timed to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Northern Dancer’s 1964 wins at the Kentucky Derby, Preakness, and the Queen’s Plate. “Generous contributions from the Government of Canada, the Province of Ontario , the City of Toronto , the Ontario Trillium Foundation, and benevolent philanthropists enabled us to build the Northern Dancer Pavilion and complete the final stage of The Windfields Campus Improvement Project,” said Slawko Klymkiw, CEO, CFC. “The pavilion will enhance CFC’s ability to deliver multi-discipline programs, and grow our contributions to the screen-based entertainment, acting, music, and digital media industries.”

Highlights of the event, which took place on June 17, included a scheduled appearance by equine superstar, Ada Storm – a direct descendant of Northern Dancer, as well as a special performance by Canadian actor Michael Therriault of the song “The Ride” from the new musical “Dancer”, produced by John McKellar and Ginger Cat Productions.

In a letter read by Klymkiw, Prime Minister Stephen Harper also extended his greetings, “Since its launch more than 25 years ago, CFC has earned a well-deserved reputation as a leading centre for developing Canadian cinematic talent,” said Prime Minister Stephen Harper. “It has continued to grow over the years and now offers 16 innovative programs in film, television, and digital media to its more than 100 residents. The Pavilion will significantly increase studio and rehearsal space and will serve as a premier event venue, thus enabling CFC to continue to be a centre of excellence for many years to come.”

The continued growth of CFC, as represented by the Northern Dancer Pavilion, will enhance the organization’s ability to support industries that drive production spending and stimulate economic activity both within and across related sectors, building capacity and demand for Canadian film, television, onscreen acting, music, and digital media content. Inspired by Windfields Estate’s ;Drummond Hassan, Record Architect, Northern Dancer Pavilion, with Donald Ross, Lead Individual Donor, Northern Dancer Pavilion, and Ken Fukushima, Design Architect, Northern dancer Pavilion. Photo by Trevor Haldenby;original architecture and landscape, architect Ken Fukushima designed a welcoming pavilion that is nestled at the foot of the formal gardens, complementing the existing heritage buildings and landscape. The Northern Dancer Pavilion is constructed of steel, with the north and south exteriors clad in Western red cedar and Credit Valley limestone, while the transparent east and west glass walls offer a view through the structure to the orchard beyond. The significant west-side sliding glass wall, when opened, integrates the courtyard and trellis creating a generous gathering space.

“The Northern Dancer Pavilion is intended to be a place to embrace, encourage and enable the creativity of the people and programs at CFC,” said Ken Fukushima, Design Architect of the Northern Dancer Pavilion. “It’s designed to respectfully integrate into CFC’s magnificent campus and hopefully, like its namesake, the pavilion will be part of programs that produce unprecedented generations of talent.”

The heritage aesthetic and design captured by Fukushima was translated into architectural plans by Drummond Hassan and the IBI Group Inc. The completion and unveiling of the Northern Dancer Pavilion marked the full restoration of the CFC heritage campus and the preservation of the estate as a cultural landmark and Ontario Heritage Site.

The $12 million Windfields Campus Improvement Project was generously funded by the Government of Canada ($3.25 million), the Government of Ontario ($3.25 million), the City of Toronto ($1.5 million), the Ontario Trillium Foundation ($500,000), along with private sector companies and individuals ($3.5 million).

Canadian Movie News –

Four Corners Wins Best Feature at Inaugural NIFF
By Staff

;Four Corners wins at first Niagara Film Fest;
(June 23, 2014 – Niagara, Ontario) The first annual Niagara Integrated Film Festival has come and gone and the verdict is… it was a resounding success. Which should come as no surprise to anyone who knows anything about its founder and Executive Director, Bill Marshall. A number of screenings at White Oaks Ampitheatre and Landmark Cinema were sold out, most of the Filmalicious programs were sold out and the Film Feast programs were met with high acclaim. Bobby Roth (Prison Break, Lost, Revenge, Criminal Minds) taught the first NIFF Master Class to a full room of engaged participants.

“I can’t say enough about the people who took this idea and helped turn it into the stunning success that this first year was,” says NIFF Founder and Executive Director Bill Marshall, pictured below. “We all know there are more than 5,000 film festivals in the world, and all the filmmakers we talked to told us we’re easily already in the top 50. Give us a couple of years, and we’ll move right up there.”
;Bill Marshall;
Overall ticket sales were beyond anyone`s original box office predictions better than expected with lots of same day sales. Being the festival`s first year, it has been wonderful to see such enthusiasm from film-goers – locals and out-of-towners alike. Audiences came from as far as Sudbury, Buffalo and Toronto. It can only go up from here next year and the coming years to follow

“This Festival wouldn’t have reached the magnitude it did without the outstanding professionalism of our winery partners, Dorian Anderson and Associates, and the support and enthusiasm from the filmmakers who attended our Festival from around the world,” said Managing Director Roberta Marie Munroe, “and of course, our small yet extraordinary staff and over 100 amazing volunteers, who worked tirelessly, to bring this beautiful region a spectacular event.”

NIFF 2014 Festival attendees were praising the programs and the overall stellar line-up of films. Guests are eagerly asking if bookings are being accepted now for next year. The Niagara region has been so warm and welcoming to our festival. The winery and vineyard hosts and tour guides have been beyond knowledgeable, friendly, and attentive. ;Restrung, movie poster;“We are so grateful to all our sponsors and partners,” said NIFF Founder and President Sari Ruda, “who took a leap of faith to get behind us and allow us to bring this Festival to Niagara.”

Following is the list of the very first NIFF awards:

Best Feature – “Four Corners” – Director Ian Gabriel. Four Corners is a 2013 South African coming of age crime drama film about family lost and family regained. It was selected as the official South African Submission for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 86th Academy Awards but it was not nominated.
Best Director – Dan Hartley – “Lad: A Yorkshire Story” (first feature film)
Best Documentary – “Go Far: The Christopher Rush Story” – Director Zach Arnold
Best Male Actor – Geoffrey Rush “The Best Offer”
Best Female Actress – Hannah Marshall “The Infinite Man”
Best Family Film – “Ribbit” – Director Chuck Powers
Best Script – “100-year Old Man Who Jumped Out the Window & Disappeared”
Best Niagara Rises Feature – “A Kind of Wonderful Thing” – Director Jason Lupish
RBC Emerging Artist Award ($2,500) – “Restrung” – Director Mike Enns
Best Niagara Rises Short – “Sidewalk Surfing” – Director Dillon Erwin
World Smallest Film Festival ($1,000)– “Jean Reno” – director Tom Hunter
World Smallest Film Festival (Samsung Tablet) – “The Drips” – director Darryl Shaw
World Smallest Film Festival (honourable mention) – “The Price of Black Gold” – Shaun Fernando

Click here for more June film festivals

Canadian Movie News –

Feature Animation at Niagara Film Fest
By Staff

;Ribbit, production still;
(June 18, 2014 – Niagara, Ontario) The World Premiere of a new animated feature is set for this Saturday at Ontario`s Niagara Integrated Film Festival. Ribbit, as it is titled, is a bit of a children`s story but this colourful tale of an Amazonian frog who somehow doesn’t feel at home in the rain forest carries a message for all ages.

Ribbit features the voices of some of the best and most well-known actors in the world. You may not recognize him but that`s Lord Of The Rings’ Sean Astin as the rain forest frog Ribbit in the picture above. Standing next to him is Deepak, a vampire bat voiced by Canada’s most famous comedian, Russell Peters. Then there`s a toucan named Terrence voiced by British actor Tim Curry.

Ribbit is the ultimate misfit – a frog who hates water, and who has absorbed notions of the human world that suggests he was meant for something bigger than catching flies. Through a comical mishap, Ribbit is hypnotized into thinking he’s a human prince trapped in an amphibian body. Thus begins his perilous pilgrimage, accompanied by his best friend, a squirrel named Sandy (Cherami Leigh), and marked by encounters with Terrence and the deceptively-smooth-talking vampire-bat-with-an-agenda.

Awash in the colours of the South American rain forest, Ribbit is the feature film debut of writer/director Chuck Powers, a veteran American voice actor who stepped behind the camera in Asia to become a creative force behind many iconic anime franchises, including Yu-Gi-Oh!, Digimon and One Piece.

“Ribbit’s story is universal,” said Powers. ” He has an identity crisis and a quest to find a meaning in life. And the Amazon provides an incredible backdrop for this amazing adventure. The audience has a front-row seat to Ribbit’s incredible world.” Chuck Powers will be in attendance for the World Premiere screening at the Landmark Cinema in St Catharines.

Produced by Malaysia’s Kru Studios and Crest Animation Studios, Ribbit was written and directed by Chuck Powers, vice president of animation for the Kru Group. A founding partner of Creative Fuzion Entertainment, Powers was instrumental in the creation, writing, directing and development of numerous shows that have been seen on Disney, Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network, and Discovery among others.

Click here for a link to the Niagara Intergrated Film Festival (NIFF) and other June film festivals.

Canadian Movie News –

The Return of Hector Dimwittie
By Staff

;Peter Sellers;
The image below of Ted Kotcheff is © 2014 by Maurie Alioff. Used with permission.

(June 16, 2014 – Niagara, Ontario) Long before he was Inspector Clouseau – or even Dr. Strangelove – Peter Sellers debuted his acting chops in a series of pre-feature film shorts, co-written by Lewis Greiffer (Dr. Who, Danger Man) and future Canlit legend Mordecai Richler. Now, 50 years later, these films – known collectively as Hector Dimwittie Trilogy – will be making their Canadian debut on Friday June 20 at the inaugural Niagara Integrated Film Festival.

The three half-hour films include Dearth Of A Salesman, Insomnia Is Good For You, and Cold Comfort, and follow the misadventures of one Hector Dimwittie, a lovable loser on a quest to become Britain’s most successful salesman – pitching everything from tape recorders to toilet paper.
;Ted Kotcheff © Maurie Alioff;
The quirky black-and-white films take an anti-authoritarian stance, characteristic of post-war Britain, and they showcase Sellers’ amazing character comedy. Sellers would break out the following year in three features, including The Mouse That Roared.

“There was great interest among film festivals worldwide to get their hands on this treasure trove of film history,” says NIFF Founder Bill Marshall, “so a real coup for us and the inaugural edition of this festival. And my friend Ted Kotcheff (pictured) promises to tell the best showbiz stories about Peter Sellers you’ve never heard.”

The Hector Dimwittie Trilogy was initially planned as a series of 10 shorts, but the project fell by the wayside. The Peter Sellers-Mordecai Richler collaboration – including negatives, titles, show prints, outtakes and master print – sat on a private shelf for years after the 1996 bankruptcy of London’s Park Lane films. Robert Farrow, who rescued them, offered them to Britain’s Southend Film Festival, where they debuted in May of last year.

The Niagara Integrated Film Festival, on Friday June 20, at Ravine Vineyards, in a special Filmalicious Event. Click here for a link to the NIFF and to other June film festivals.

Canadian Movie News –

Dance Me Outside gets Rare 20th Anniversary Screening
By Staff

;Dance Me Outside at Barrie Film Festival;
The poster for Dance Me Outside was scanned from an original in the Northernstars Collection.

(June 12, 2014 – Barrie, Ontario) The Barrie Film Festival and Redcloud Studios Inc. have announced a special series of events in celebration of National Aboriginal Day including a screening of the rarely seen Bruce McDonald film, Dance Me Outside. Made in 1994 and released a year later, this screening marks the film`s 20th anniversary, which was an important film in the lives of several native Canadian actors.

On June 21st, National Aboriginal Day, there will be a full day of events designed for everyone! Between 2 – 5 pm, families can enjoy a free event at Barrie`s Mady Centre for Performing Arts. Featuring drumming, dancing, performance, arts and crafts and storytelling, which makes this a great event for kids!

The Barrie Film Festival will be screening two films at the Barrie Uptown Theatre, focused on Aboriginal Culture in Canadian Film. The first screening is, Arctic Defenders, which will screen on Friday, June 20, at 7pm. This documentary written and directed by John Walker is the story of visionary Inuit with a dream – the creation of ;Dance Me Outside, a Northernstars Collection movie poster;Nunavut. There will be a Q&A with guest Elizabeth Klinck after the film. She has worked as a Visual Researcher for the BBC, HBO, PBS, National Film Board of Canada, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Discovery, History Television, CTV, ZDF and numerous international broadcasters and independent production companies in Canada, US and the UK.

The following day, June 21st, at 7pm, Bruce McDonald’s iconic and award-winning film Dance Me Outside will screen as a celebration of its 20th Anniversary. Adam Beach (Arctic Air, Flags Of Our Fathers, Hell On Wheels), Jennifer Podemski (Degrassi, Blackstone, Take This Waltz, Empire of Dirt) and Ryan Rajendra Black will be in attendance for a Q&A following the film. Following the screening, the audience will be invited to join the cast for a celebration at the Mady Centre for Performing Arts with performances by the Juno award-winning group Digging Roots and award-winning Hip Hop artist Plex.

“Being in Dance Me Outside changed the trajectory of my professional life,” said Jennifer Podemski, President, Redcloud Studios Inc. “I became a Producer because I saw, firsthand, the value, and need, for telling stories from the Indigenous community and perspective. I am thrilled to be celebrating 20 years since this remarkable, life changing experience!”

“It will be a fun-filled day that will bring our community together for this cultural exchange and celebration,” said Claudine Benoit, Director, Barrie Film Festival. Additional Information for the Aboriginal Day events, including ticket and pricing information is available online.