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CDN Updates at Sundance

CDN Updates at Sundance, image,
Image courtesy of Travelling.

CDN Updates at Sundance
by Staff Editors

(December 14, 2022 – Toronto, ON) When we first posted about a few Canadian offerings at Sundance 2023, we knew there would be more. Turns out, there is a lot more. Let’s start with the above image. It’s from the Québec short, Pro Pool, from Travelling, a short film distribution company.

Pro Pool runs just 8 minutes and was written and directed by Alec Pronovost. It’s in French with English subtitles and centres on a character named Charles-Olivier. Having just graduated with a bachelor’s degree in history and civilization, he struggles to find a job in his field and is working as a clerk in a pool shop. Feeling down, he navigates his gig, and his life, as best he can. Pronovost crams lots into 8 minutes with a cast that includes Louis Carrière, Alexis Martin, Sylvie de Morais, Sébastien Rajotte, Oussama Fares, Louis Girard-Bock, Zeneb Blanchet, François Ruel-Côté, Maxime Genois and Craig Weiss. Cinematography is by Natan B. Foisy. Art Direction: Sarah Warren, Editing: Louis Chevalier-Dagenais and original music by Alex Lefaire.

The Flying Sailor, image, Sundance,
Image courtesy of The National Film Board.

The National Film Board has announced Calgary-based animators Wendy Tilby and Amanda Forbis’s short The Flying Sailor will screen at Sundance. Its past performance on the festival circuit has produced 9 awards so far. The story from Oscar-nominated and Palme d’Or-winning Tilby and Forbis was inspired by the incredible true-life story of a man blown two kilometres through the air by the 1917 Halifax Explosion—the largest accidental non-nuclear explosion in history—in an exhilarating meditation on the wonder and fragility of being. Produced and executive produced by David Christensen for the NFB’s North West Studio in Edmonton, Alberta, The Flying Sailor runs 7 minutes and 45 seconds.

Also screening is Baba from co-directors Anya Chirkova and Meran Ismailsoy. This multiple award winning short film is about a middle-aged Iranian man who makes a desperate bid to keep his apartment, as his relationship with his son unravels. And Toronto filmmaker Nicole Bazuin will have her short, Thriving: A Dissociated Reverie, screen at Sundance. It is a surrealist exploration of dissociative identity disorder (DID) based on the lived experience of a Black, nonbinary, disabled artist and former sex worker. Cast includes Kitoko Mai, Dustin Hickey, Myfanwy Charlesworth, Morgan Bargent, Grace McDonald, Andrea Werhun.

Nancy Grant, Xavier Dolan
Photo of Nancy Grant & Xavier Dolan at the 2015 Canadian Screen Awards © 2015 by Ralph Lucas

Xavier Dolan’s TV drama The Night Logan Woke Up has also been selected by the programmers at Sundance. It’s a psychological thriller about a family haunted by a dark secret decades after a traumatic event occurs in a small Quebec town. Adapted from a 2019 stage production from Québec playwright Michel Marc Bouchard, the multi-talented Dolan also stars in the series, which includes Julie Le Breton, Magalie Lépine-Blondeau, and Éric Bruneau. All three appeared in the original play.

As previously reported, Brandon Cronenberg’s Infinity Pool and the documentary Twice Colonized are two Canadian films in the Sundance 2023 lineup. The festival runs January 19 to 29.