Home Authors Posts by Staff



Canadian Movie News –

The Seven Digital Deadly Sins:
An Interactive Documentary
By Staff

;Seven Digital Deadly Sins;
(June 9, 2014 – Toronto, Ontario) Pride, lust, greed, gluttony, envy, wrath and sloth: human behaviour has been seen in the context of the seven deadly sins for many hundreds of years. Today’s digital world brings with it a whole new set of moral dilemmas. Many users still struggle with these new challenges: Is it OK to download that movie for free? Do we come across as a little too pleased with ourselves on Facebook? Is our addiction to property websites fuelling powerful feelings of envy

Canadian Movie News –

CBC`s New Season: Hit or Miss
By Staff

;CBC`s New Season;
(May 30, 2014 – Toronto, Ontario) So the question is, with rumours of death rattles echoing down the halls of every CBC building in the country thanks to the threat of further budget cuts, will the new season unveiled yesterday, save or sink Canada`s public broadcaster? It has already suffered from a $115-million budget cut and yet another round of job cuts announced last month. Can an exciting new season revive the venerable network`s fortunes?

Let`s begin with the bad news. Republic of Doyle will be back for another season, but the 6th will also be it`s last. It`s a shame to see such a regionally set show get the chop. Around here we believe one of the strengths of the CBC has been its ability to produce good and occasionally brilliant TV from one coast to the other. Remember The ;Republic of Doyle;Beachcombers? If they’re looking for ideas for the 2017 season, think about getting the TV rights to A Grand Seduction and turning that into a series.

There is some good news for fans of some existing shows. The Dragon`s Den returns with two new Dragons joining its panel of multi-millionaire investors: restaurant magnate Vikram Vij, and the reigning rock star of Canadian finance, Michael Wekerle. School’s back in session for the fourth season of MR. D, starring Gerry Dee. The beloved period drama Murdoch Mysteries is also back for an all-new eighth season while Heartland also starts its eighth season, and marks its 125th episode making it the longest-running Canadian one-hour dramatic series in history.

What`s new? There`s a lot to look forward to across the entire schedule, from sports to drama, comedy and reality TV. A small sampling includes shows like Strange Empire. From the fertile mind of Durham County creator Laurie Finstad comes a story set on 1869 Alberta-Montana border. It`s a Western whose heroes are women. With most of the men gone, and those who remain battling for control, the women struggle to survive, to find their independence, and to build a life in which to thrive and raise families.

Then there`s the World War II spy series, Camp X, from the creators of Flashpoint; This series is an emotionally driven character drama, set in the thrilling and dangerous world of WWII espionage and covert operations. It follows the stories of five highly skilled young recruits – Canadian, American and British – torn from their ordinary lives to ;Pirate`s Passage;train as agents in an ultra-secret training facility on the shores of Lake Ontario. Inspired by remarkable true stories, Camp X is about a team catapulted into the field and forced to face the grim realities of war and its impact on their lives.

Airing this winter, Pirate`s Passage isn’t a series but an animated, made-for-television film based on William Gilkerson’s critically acclaimed novel. Set in 1952 Grey Rocks, Nova Scotia — a centuries old town that was famous 250 years ago as a favoured port of pirates — Pirate`s Passage follows the friendship of 12-year-old Jim and Captain Johnson. While helping the lad with his school essay on pirates, the Captain shares lessons in self-reliance and determination, changing the course of Jim and his mother’s lives. Produced and co-written by Canadian screen icon Donald Sutherland along with co-writer Brad Peyton, Sutherland provides the voice of the lead character, Captain Johnson.

As previously announced on Northernstars, The Book of Negroes is an international co-production based on the Giller Award-winning novel by Lawrence Hill. It`s a six-part miniseries that follows the harrowing journey of Aminata Diallo;Book of Negroes; and her return home after being forced into slavery as a child. Premiering in winter 2015, The Book of Negroes follows Aminata’s journey from her childhood home in West Africa to a South Carolina indigo plantation to Canvas Town, an early Black settlement in lower Manhattan. Aminata draws upon her intelligence and strength of character to help find a way home and reunite with her long-lost daughter. The Book of Negroes stars Aunjanue Ellis, Shailyn Pierre-Dixon, Lyriq Bent and Allan Hawco, and features performances by Cuba Gooding Jr., Jane Alexander, Cara Ricketts, Sandra Caldwell, Ben Chaplin and Lou Gossett Jr.

On the lighter side look for Fool Canada. In the tradition of Candid Camera, Fool Canada is a new hidden-camera comedy show featuring Canada’s best improv artists travelling across the nation in disguise and ready to prank an unsuspecting public. The series, launching in winter 2015, irreverently pokes fun at what it means to be Canadian and stretches our famous sense of humour to new limits, from our propensity for politeness to our acceptance of a multitude of taxes.

Also not to be missed is Schitt`s Creek. When filthy-rich video store magnate Johnny Rose (Eugene Levy), his soap star wife Moira (Catherine O’Hara), and their two kids – über-hipster son David (Dan Levy) and socialite daughter Alexis (Annie Murphy) – suddenly find themselves broke, they are forced to live in Schitt`s Creek, a small, depressing town they once bought as a joke. With their pampered lives now abandoned, they must confront their new-found poverty and discover what it means to be a family, all within the rural city limits of their new home.

Of course there`s more and as the season approaches we’ll do our best to cover the launch of all the new shows, but we need to address the issue of the CBC and the fact that it is an issue is worrying.

When it comes to public funding, in a survey of countries that provide some form of public broadcasting, CBC ranks a rather shameful 22nd on a list of 26 OECD nations. While the unstated policy of the current government seems to be death by a thousand cuts, there remains for us a question of misdirected time, effort and money at the beloved Mother Corp. In just one example, and as we have asked before, how much money was spent launching the CBC online music service? Who needed it? Who wanted it? What does it cost to maintain? But basically, when times are tough and everyone knew more cuts were coming, how did and how does CBC management justify redirecting limited financial resources away from its core mission?

Before we as a nation get dragged into a complicated funding issue, CBC management desperately needs to address is spending issues.

Canadian Movie News –

Sheri Elwood wins 1st Nell Shipman Award
By Staff

;Sheri Elwood wins 1st Nell Shipman Award;
Photo © 2014 by R.A.Lucas

(May 27, 2014 – Toronto, Ontario) The Toronto ACTRA Women’s Committee has given its inaugural Nell Shipman Award to Canadian Writer, Director, Producer, Sheri Elwood at a gala held last night at The Spoke Club. Ms. Elwood is the creator and showrunner of the cable TV series, Call Me Fitz.

The comedy, which is produced for HBO Canada and DirecTV in the United States won the Director`s Guild of Canada Best Comedy Award its first three seasons and has been nominated for a total of 27 Canadian Screen Awards in the same period. To judge whether the series is a hit or not, you just have to look at the fact it is broadcast in 84 countries.

Sheri Elwood, pictured above on the right with Jason Priestley and Tracy Dawson at the 2014 Canadian Screen Awards, began in the industry as a writer and story editor on Ready or Not, Flash Forward, I Was a Sixth Grade Alien! and The Jane Show. She directed on Strange Days at Blake Holsey High and added Producer to her skill set on Defying Gravity. She is the Writer/Director of the feature film, Deeply.

The Award is presented by TAWC, a committee of ACTRA Toronto, which tackles key issues faced by female performers. Their video, Get Women Working, is in demand at women’s events globally and makes the clear point that women “can’t be what we can’t see.” TAWC’s Toolkit sessions provide female performers with the tools to write, produce, and direct their own stories.

“We are delighted to honour Sheri with TAWC’s inaugural Nell Shipman Award. She is an unapologetic trailblazer,” said Nicole St. Martin, Co-Chair of TAWC. TAWC’s first Nell Shipman Award honours a female filmmaker for the excellence of her creative work and for her ongoing efforts to create and nourish an inclusive screened entertainment industry. It is named after Nell Shipman, a Canadian actor, born in 1892, who moved into writing, directing and producing her own work in the 1920s.

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

Canadian Movie News –

NFB`s Minotaur Set for World Premiere
By Staff

;NFB`s Minotaur Set for World Premiere;
(May 27, 2014 – Toronto, Ontario) Minotaur, the latest 3D short by Genie Award-winning National Film Board of Canada (NFB) animator Munro Ferguson, will have its world premiere in Toronto over three nights, June 7–9, when it kicks off performances by Kid Koala at TIFF Bell Lightbox as part of this city`s Luminato Festival.

Kid Koala, who provided original music for Minotaur, will be performing at TIFF Bell Lightbox from 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. On June 8, audience members can also join Kid Koala and Munro Ferguson for a talk following the concert. Admission for each show is $35.

Winner of a Genie for Best Animated Short for the 2003 NFB stereoscopic film Falling in Love Again, Ferguson is a world leader in developing new creative applications for the Sandde 3D drawing system developed by IMAX Corporation. Minotaur is Ferguson’s latest creation to explore the artistic potential of this revolutionary made-in-Canada animation technology.
;Minotaur © 2014 NFB;
“I wanted to see if I could tell a narrative purely with abstract images and sound,” said the filmmaker. “The story had to be something everyone could understand. I was inspired by my old professor, Northrop Frye, and his interpretation of the hero’s quest. My job is weird. I sit in a dark room, wearing 3D glasses in front of a four-metre screen. I wave a wand around in a magnetic field to draw in space. Out of this comes an animated film.” Ferguson was clear in giving credit where credit is due, “I think the NFB is the only place in the world where this would be considered a normal day at work.”

In Minotaur, Ferguson sweeps viewers through a series of powerful sensations as the mythic hero experiences the seven stages of the classic archetypal path. The seven-minute film is scored by Kid Koala and produced for the NFB’s Animation Studio by Marcy Page. Minotaur draws its inspiration from a previous NFB breakthrough: the immersive experience In the Labyrinth, created for Expo ’67 in Montreal

Canadian Movie News –

Kennedy Saga on CBC
By Staff

(May 27, 2014 – Toronto, Ontario) The fascination with the Kennedy clan goes on and on and on. From the seemingly endless assassination conspiracy theorists to the life and times of the beautiful Jackie O., to the latest news of Caroline Kennedy being named US Ambassador to Japan, Americans, Canadians, and much of the world, eagerly await every tidbit of news that has the name Kennedy attached to it.

Now comes a new film from veteran French filmmaker Patrick Jeudy. Using often breathtaking colour home movies he weaves a unique and almost loving memoir… but with an edge. The Kennedy Saga is told from the point of view of the nannies who cared for the privileged Kennedy children. Burdened with their parents’ legacy and the expectations that came with bearing the Kennedy name, the children also witnessed the assassination of both President John F. Kennedy, and just a few years later, his brother Bobby.

As the years passed, they came to know all the intoxication of the rich-kid lifestyle, but they also learned of the infidelities of their elders, of all the President`s secret love affairs, and of the threats that hung over their family.

Patrick Jeudy, whose previous credits include Marilyn: The Last Sessions and Grace Kelly: Destiny of a Princess, is known for going behind the facades of giants to portray intimate and private troubles. The voice in The Kennedy Saga, carefully scripted by Jeudy collaborator Gerard Miller, is a composite-nanny-character based on domestic staff who recalled the family in their memoirs. The film looks into every corner of the Kennedys’ privileged childhoods and shattered destinies and, through both official footage and intimate home movies, reveals the complex personalities of the Kennedy clan. The Kennedy Saga is a family portrait which may be nostalgic – but pulls no punches.

The Kennedy Sagawill air on CBC News Network this Sunday, June 1st at 10PM Eastern.

Canadian Movie News –

Canada Takes Two at Cannes
By Staff

;Canada wins two at Cannes;
(May 25, 2014 – Cannes, France) It was a bit like watching bookends. Two filmmakers, one still at the very early stages of a tremendously promising career, and one gently approaching the end of another both sharing a prize at the most prestigious film festival in the world. Xavier Dolan and Jean-Luc Godard were honoured with a third place Jury Prize as the Cannes Film Festival wrapped with it awards announcements last night.

While not quite the Palme d’Or many were hoping for, Xavier Dolan — just 25, seemed more than happy with his award for the film Mommy, his mother-son drama starring Anne Dorval as the single mother of a young, violent ADHD son (Antoine-Olivier Pilon). Their relationship becomes more complicated when a mysterious neighbour (Suzanne Clément) offers help.

Dolan shared his third-place Jury Prize with French film legend Jean-Luc Godard, 83, who quite amazingly, given his reputation and career, won his very prize the main Cannes competition for his film, Goodbye to Language.

Canada`s second win came for David Cronenberg`s film Maps to the Stars when the film`s lead player, Julianne Moore, was given a Best Actress win. In thanking the Cannes jury she called the director “a visionary.”

This is the first time that two Canadian films have won prizes in the same year in the Palme competition. This is also the first time that the festival had selected three Canadian films amongst the 18 going for the golden palm. The third, Atom Egoyan`s The Captive, finished out of competition and suffered some unkind reviews after its screening.

This year`s nine person jury was headed by Jane Campion.

The Palme went to Winter Sleep by Turkey`s Nuri Bilge Ceylan, an overly long story that seems to taker forever (three and a half hours) to tell. The big story might actually be in the second-place winner, the Italian film. The Wonders. A slight coming-of-age story directed by Alice Rohrwacher. She was not only a first-time Palme competitor but one of only two female directors in the 18-film competition.

As promised earlier, Xavier Dolan, who spoke in both official languages, stated this win was for his generation. It was clear his hopes were that in recognizing him, then all young, Canadian filmmakers would gain more respect, more time in the limelight as their careers begin to flourish. Mommy is Dolan`s fifth film and fourth to premiere at Cannes. It was the first time one of his films was selected for competition and so the win was special.

There are no firm release dates for any of the three Canadian films.

Canadian Movie News –

Hot Docs West Announces Lineup
By Staff

(May 23, 2014 – Vancouver, BC) If you live anywhere near Vancouver and couldn’t make it to Toronto for this year`s Hot Docs film fest, no need to worry. The Vancouver International Film Festival and Hot Docs have announced the return of the Best of Hot Docs, a selection of documentary screenings that will take place from June 20-26 at Vancouver`s Vancity Theatre. The Best of Hot Docs will celebrate the Vancouver premieres of nine outstanding films from this year`s Hot Docs lineup.

Following is a list of screening times and descriptions for the Best of Hot Docs selections. In some cases, filmmakers or subjects may be in attendance for post-screening discussions.

Friday, June 20 at 6:30 PM I AM BIG BIRD: THE CAROLL SPINNEY STORY (repeats Thursday, June 26 at 6:30 PM) D: Chad Walker, Dave LaMattina | USA | 85 min”A joy to watch.” – The Globe and Mail. With an incredible archive of home videos, the story of Caroll Spinney reveals how a big heart and unstoppable talent created two of the world`s most beloved Sesame Street Muppets, Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch.

Friday, June 20 at 8:45 PM 112 WEDDINGS D: Doug Block | USA | 92 min “Moving and joyous.” – The Mind Reels. Is there real love after marriage? Years after shooting their wedding videos, filmmaker Doug Block tracks down several of his customers to find out if they lived happily ever after. His before and after footage provides insight on what keeps couples together.

Saturday, June 21 at 4:00 PM DIVIDE IN CONCORD D: Kris Kaczor | USA | 92 min “The stuff great films are made of.” – Huffington Post. A fiery octogenarian spends her golden years cold-calling constituents and attending city council meetings in her hometown of Concord, Massachusetts. Can one little old lady make history by banning single-serve plastic water bottles?

Saturday, June 21 at 6:30 PM AN HONEST LIAR (repeats Thursday, June 26 at 8:45 PM) D: Justin Weinstein, Tyler Measom | USA | 91 min “Excellent.” – Dork Shelf. Famed magician James “The Amazing” Randi, enraged at seeing self-proclaimed psychics and faith healers using his cherished illusions dishonestly, commits his life to exposing lying profiteers, but ultimately has to confront a secret of his own.

Saturday, June 21 at 8:45 PM THE INTERNET’S OWN BOY: THE STORY OF AARON SWARTZ D: Brian Knappenberger | USA | 105 min “As engrossing as it is important.” – NOW Magazine. This inspiring and emotional portrait of Internet visionary and activist Aaron Swartz explores how one of the most promising minds of a generation found himself staring down a government prosecuting him under the very laws he was fighting against.

Sunday, June 22 at 6:30 PM SLUMS: CITIES OF TOMORROW D: Jean-Nicolas Orhon | Canada | 81 min 3/4 stars – The Globe and Mail. Challenging conventional thinking, first-person stories from slum dwellers on four continents and brilliant analysis by such critics as Robert Neuwirth make the case that slums—home to a billion people worldwide—are the solution and not the problem.

Sunday, June 22 at 8:45 PM WHITEY: UNITED STATES OF AMERICA V. JAMES J. BULGER D: Joe Berlinger | USA | 107 min “Vivid.” – POV Magazine. Oscar-nominated director Joe Berlinger strips away the myths surrounding infamous Boston gangster and FBI informant James “Whitey” Bulger, exposing the truth behind his criminal empire and revealing shocking new allegations of government corruption and complicity.

Wednesday, June 25 at 6:30 PM HAPPINESS D: Thomas Balmès | Finland, France | 80 min “Outstanding.” – POV Magazine. In 1999, TV and the Internet come to Bhutan in an attempt to improve the country’s “gross national happiness.” We see the imminent arrival of these new technologies into the last remaining unconnected village through the eyes of an eight-year-old monk.

Wednesday, June 25 at 8:45 PM THE STARFISH THROWERSD: Jesse Roesler | USA | 82 min”Inspiring.” – The Arts Guild. When a five-star chef, a retired teacher and a sixth-grade girl make a simple gesture to feed the poor, they unexpectedly ignite a movement in the fight against hunger, and prove that individuals can make an enormous difference.

A 5-Pack ticket package is only $52 ($50 for Vancity Theatre Members). Single tickets are $12 each. Tickets and ticket packages can be purchased at the Vancity Theatre box office and there is more information online.

;112 Weddings at Bloor Hot Docs Cinema;

Speaking of 112 Weddings, the film, distributed by Toronto`s Kinosmith, opens today at the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema in Toronto and runs until May 30th. The director, Doug Block will participate in Q&A sessions via Skype at the two screenings today as well as on May 25th at 4:00PM. Speaking about his film, Bloick said, “I would never claim 112 Weddings is the definitive film on marriage. I’m a documentary filmmaker, not a social scientist. My intention was to simply interweave 10 real-life love stories and see if it reveals a bigger picture view of love and long-term relationships.” There is more information online at the Hot Docs website.

Canadian Movie News –

Corner Gas Hits Kickstarter Target in 1 Day
By Staff

(May 23, 2014 – Toronto, Ontario) The Corner Gas: The Movie Kickstarter campaign reached 100% of its initial goal in just one day, according to a media release from Prairie Pants. Launched on May 20th, the 30-day campaign to promote fan engagement and raise funds for once-in-a-lifetime fan rewards and experiences surpassed its initial goal at 9:26 a.m. ET with 723 fans world-wide pledging $100,000 to be part of movie-making history, possibly making history themselves for such a quick and successful response.

Support came from around the world – dozens of countries in all, including Canada, the US, UK, Europe, Australia and as far afield as Oman, India, China, and Kyrgyzstan.

“The way people have responded to this show has been blowing me away since that first episode. I thought nothing the fans could do would surprise me anymore. But to reach a month long target in one day is beyond incredible. Corner Gas fans blow my mind yet again,” said Creator/Star/Writer and Executive Producer Brent Butt.
;Corner Gas: The Movie;
“This campaign has put us directly in touch with fans across Canada and around the world. We are so thankful for their support and are looking forward to engaging with them during production and all the way to the release of the movie coming to theatres, then TV, then DVD this holiday season,” said Virginia Thompson, Executive Producer.

The first backer was a Canadian – Maaike de Lint from Toronto. Jack Wheat from Kentucky provided the lucky pledge that pushed the campaign past $100,000. Some of the rewards purchased include:

For $6000, one backer purchased a brief speaking role in the movie
For $2500, 10 backers purchased the opportunity to play a background role in the movie
For $1500, six backers purchased a VIP set visit and opportunity to meet the cast
For $750, three backers purchased the opportunity to provide the first and last name of a character in the movie
For $750, one backer purchased a personalized voice message from Brent Butt

These rewards packages also include a host of additional items including exclusive ‘backers-only’ t-shirts, hats, DVDs, movie tickets, membership to the Corner Gas Backers’ Club and much more.

Continuing through to June 18, the campaign’s next goal is to raise additional funds to enhance special and visual effects in the production, fly the cast to Cineplex premieres across Canada, create a behind-the-scenes documentary for the DVD, and maintain the Corner Gas set in Rouleau, Saskatchewan, as a tourist destination for one year.

Fans can access the campaign at cornergasthemovie.com.

Canadian Movie News –

Niagara Film Fest nabs Features at Cannes
By Staff

;Niagara Film Fest nabs Features at Cannes;
(May 20, 2014 – Toronto, Ontario) It was only a week or so ago that we recieved news of a new film festival in southern Ontario. With incredible speed and enviable moxie, that festival`s veteran programmer, Tony Watts, has gilded the upcoming first Niagara Integrated Film Festival with two high-profile features straight from the Cannes Film Festival.

The Niagara Integrated Film Festival (NIFF) aims to shine a cinematic spotlight on the Niagara Region`s extraordinary beauty while showcasing top shelf independent films from across the world. NIFF is run by an expert team of film festival managers and led by Bill Marshall who was Founder and Chair Emeritus of the Toronto International Film ;Cold in July, movie poster;Festival (TIFF).

Tony Watts is known as the programmer’s programmer. He`s been a player in international film and television since the ‘70s, and his credentials speak for themselves. He was the Director of Programmes for the inaugural Festival of Festivals, which grew to become TIFF. He has held executive positions with Premiere (the UK’s first satellite Pay TV channel), and with its successor Sky, Hong Kong-based Star movies and Sundance Channel International (where he reported directly to Sundance founder Robert Redford). In recent years, he’s been CEO of RTL Asia (the pay-TV arm of Europe’s largest broadcaster), and is CEO/Founder of The Festivals Channel – a subscription app movie service. Watts is considered one of the world’s leading experts on international film.

So, it should comes as no great surprise that while attending Cannes he would make news. The two films he has scooped for the inaugural NIFF are Four Corners, which was the official South African selection for Best Foreign Language Film at the 86th Academy Awards, and Cold In July, a 2014 American crime drama based on the cult novel of the same name by author Joe R. Lansdale.

A breakthrough film for director/co-writer Jim Mickle, Cold In July was picked up for US theatrical distribution by IFC. The star of the hit TV series Dexter, Michael C. Hall joins Sam Shepard, Don Johnson and Nick Damici in this tale of a man targeted for a revenge murder after he accidentally kills an unarmed intruder. But connecting the dots of his intended assassination leads him to a larger, murkier world of police corruption.

The Niagara Integrated Film Festival kicks off June 19.

Atom Egoyan’s The Captive at Cannes

The Captive, movie, image,

Atom Egoyan’s The Captive Gets US Distribution at Cannes
By Staff Editors

(May 20, 2014 – Toronto, Ontario) Movies often get made in mysterious ways. Sometimes distributors are onboard before a foot of film or a gigabyte of 4K video gets shot. Sometimes movies spend a year or more on the festival circuit before they go into general distribution. Sometimes festival screenings produce not much more than polite applause and sometimes they produce distribution deals. That last often hoped-for outcome was announced just moments after Atom Egoyan’s The Captive screened at Cannes.

A24, in partnership with DirecTV, acquired U.S. rights to the new thriller, which is competing for the Palme d’Or. Starring Canadian actors Ryan Reynolds, Scott Speedman and Kevin Durand along with Rosario Dawson, Mireille Enos and others, The Captive centres on the kidnapping of a young girl and the ensuing investigation.

“We are huge fans of Atom and are excited to be working with him on this incredible achievement,” said a release from A24. “The narrative is gripping and the cast is superb. We are looking forward to working with eOne and are excited for audiences to have the chance to discover this film.”

The joint venture between A24 and DirecTV, which is in the midst of being acquired by use telecommunications giant AT&T, is part of an overall deal announced in last September by the two companies. Dennis Villeneuve’s thriller Enemy, starring Jake Gyllenhaal, was the first film covered in the alliance.

No firm release date has been announced for Canada and it is expected The Captive will screen at the Toronto International Film Festival in September. A24 says they will release the film in the US this fall.

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)
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)
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)
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).