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COVID – In Focus

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Filmmakers participating in the Greetings From Isolation Film Festival.

COVID 19 – In Focus
by Staff

(March 22, 2021 – Toronto, ON) Let’s hope this pandemic is a once in a lifetime event. Whether it is or isn’t doesn’t change the fact that it should be documented and that’s the thinking behind the Greetings From Isolation Film Festival, or GFI.

Created by Canadian veteran film programmer Stacey Donen in the hopes of finding inspiration and enlightenment from our shared human experience of isolation under COVID-19, GFI contains the work of 91 Canadian filmmakers spread across 13 different programs.

Filmmakers include Matthew Rankin, the director of the TIFF award-winning The Twentieth Century; Brett Story, director of the award-winning The Prison in Twelve Landscapes and recently The Hottest August; Alan Zweig, TIFF award-winning filmmaker and Best Documentary Canadian Screen Award for A Hard Name; Katerina Cizek, an Emmy and Peabody-winning director of the documentary Highrise; Daniel Cross, founder of EyeSteelFilm and the CSA winner for I am the Blues; Ann Marie Fleming’s first film You Take Care Now, is on the Essential Works in Canadian Cinema list as one of the top 10 Canadian short films of all time. Her most recent film is the animated Window Horses starring Sandra Oh; John Greyson’s feature Lilies was nominated for 14 CSA’s and won Best Motion Picture; Yuqi Kang, winner of best Canadian feature documentary At Hot Docs for A Little Wisdom; Ali Kazimi, a Governor General’s Award winner and director of the ground-breaking documentary Continuous Journey; Elizabeth Lazebnik has made over 10 short films, with 3 of them premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival and Festival du Cinema Nouveau; and Peter Lynch director of the CSA winning cult film Project Grizzly.

Stacey Donen programmed Canadian cinema for The Toronto International Film Festival from 1999 to 2006. Also, with the Festival Group he was the original programme co-ordinator of Canada’s Top Ten, and a programme consultant for Film Circuit where he programmed the Canadian Short Film Showcase and initiated special screenings in Halifax, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto and Vancouver. He was the Director of Programming at The Royal Theatre in Toronto for seven years, was the founding director of programming for the Voices Forward Festival, programmed a special Canadian sidebar at FebioFest in Prague and Les Rendez-vous du Cinéma Québécois, and from 2009 to 2011was the Artistic Director of the Whistler Film Festival.

The Greetings From Isolation Film Festival runs until April 5th. All programmes, panels and interviews are free of charge and can be found online at the Greetings From Isolation website.