Monday, May 25, 2015

Steam Whistle raises a glass to 15 years of brewing

Anyone Torontonian who's attended a film festival or arts event over the past decade has likely seen the green Steam Whistle logo. The reason is that Steam Whistle has sponsored countless such events. This past weekend, Steam Whistle celebrated its own event, namely its15th anniversary, at its brewery nestled in the historic Roundhouse behind the SkyDome.

ICFF warms up with Midnight Sun

Story & photo by Allan Tong 

The Italian Contemporary Film Festival runs June 11-19, but it's already screening to students and teaching film literacy.

On May 22, the ICFF presented the Canadian premiere of Midnight Sun (Il Mio Amico Nanuk), starring Toronto’s own Dakota Goyo who plays a boy living in icy northern Canada and befriends a young polar bear.

Monday, May 18, 2015

2015 Billboard Music Awards – winners

The Billboard Music Awards held their ceremony Sunday night at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

25 year old singer-songwriter Taylor Alison Swift was the evening's biggest winner, taking a total of eight awards. After premiering her “Bad Blood” music video at the top of the show, she went on to win for Top Artist, Top Female artist, Billboard Chart Achievement Award, Top Billboard 200 Album, Top Billboard 200 Artist, Top 100 Hot Artist, Top Digital Songs Artist and Top Streaming Song (Video). Going into the night, she had been nominated for a total of 14 awards.

In accepting her award for Top Female Artist, she thanked “all the girls I talk to on the Internet and we talk about your feelings and you teach me your teen slang.” When she later received the Top Streaming Song (Video) Award, she added, “Honestly, the fans -- I’m obsessed with you. You guys are the reason this year has happened the way that it's happened.”

Sam Smith, Iggy Azalea and Pharrell trailed well behind with three awards. One Direction, Hozier, Jason Aldean, Enrique Iglesias and John Legend each picked up a pair of prizes.

Monday, May 11, 2015

40th Toronto International Film Festival announces its programmers

Piers Handling, Director and CEO of TIFF, and Cameron Bailey, Artistic Director of the Toronto International Film Festival, reveal the team of 22 programmers who will make the selections for the 40th Toronto International Film Festival, which runs Thursday, September 10 through Sunday, September 20, 2015.

Piers Handling
Europe, City to City: London, Special Presentations, Gala Presentations
Handling is the Director and Chief Executive Officer of TIFF. He has held this position since 1994, and is responsible for leading both the operational and artistic growth of the organization. Under Handling’s direction, TIFF has grown to become an internationally renowned cultural institution. He has curated numerous film retrospectives, presented programmes of Canadian cinema, sat on festival juries all around the world, and has published extensively on Canadian cinema. In 2013, Handling co-curated a multi-platform celebration of iconic Canadian director David Cronenberg, the exhibition component of which is currently touring to cultural institutions worldwide. In 2014, Handling was invested into the Order of Ontario, the province’s highest official honour.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Hot Docs wraps its 22nd edition with record-breaking audience numbers reaching an estimated 200,500


Hot Docs has wrapped its 22nd edition with record-breaking audience numbers reaching an estimated 200,500. The 11-day event featured 452 public screenings of 210 films on 17 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 more than 300 guest filmmakers and 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 2724 films submitted to the Festival.

At the Festival, Hot Docs presented the third edition of the Scotiabank Big Ideas series, featuring screenings and live onstage discussions with prominent documentary subjects, including Grammy-nominated comedian Tig Notaro, charismatic former Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador Danny Williams, journalist Andy Greenberg, the parents of DEEP WEB subject Ross Ulbricht, Ex-Fugee Pras Michel, Olympic Gold Medal–winning hockey player Charline Labonté, former Major League Baseball player Billy Bean, and American college football player Conner Mertens. This year also saw the launch of the DOCX program, which featured a virtual reality installation of four short films and an interactive live performance launching the final chapter of the NFB’s acclaimed HIGHRISE digital documentary series.

Friday, May 1, 2015

2015 Hot Docs Awards – winners


Hot Docs is pleased to announce this year’s award-winning Festival films and filmmakers. The Hot Docs Awards Presentation, hosted by Garvia Bailey, host of Good Morning Toronto! on Jazz.FM91, took place on Friday, May 1, at the Shangri-La Hotel, Toronto. Twelve awards and $61,000 in cash and prizes were presented to Canadian and international filmmakers, including awards for Festival films in competition and those recognizing emerging and established filmmakers.

The Best Canadian Feature Documentary Award was presented to HAIDA GWAII: ON THE EDGE OF THE WORLD (D: Charles Wilkinson; P: Charles Wilkinson, Tina Schliessler; Canada), the story of Aboriginal rights activists, newcomer ecologists and quirky islanders uniting to create a sustainable healing community in the beautiful Haida Gwaii. Sponsored by the Documentary Organization of Canada, the award includes a $10,000 cash prize courtesy of Hot Docs. Jury statement: “We were impressed by the stunning cinematography, the depth of the characters and the beautiful presentation that spoke not just to this gripping story but also to the universal message of how we as a society treat and exploit indigenous people.” HAIDA GWAII: ON THE EDGE OF THE WORLD screens again on Saturday, May 2, at 8:15 p.m. at the TIFF Bell Lightbox, and Sunday, May 3, at 7:00 p.m. at the Hart House Theatre.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Keep On Keepin' On - An Evening in Honour of Clark Terry, with Performance by Justin Kauflin


Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival and The Royal Conservatory of Music are honouring the legacy of the late jazz trumpeter Clark Terry with a magnificent evening filled with music and film. The night kicks off with a screening of Hot Docs 2014 Top Ten Audience Favourite, KEEP ON KEEPIN' ON (D: Alan Hicks, USA, 2014, 84 min, PG), followed by a performance and Q&A, on Monday, May 11, at the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema (506 Bloor Street West).

Legendary jazz trumpeter Clark Terry played alongside Charlie Barnet, Count Basie and Duke Ellington, and mentored a young Miles Davis and Quincy Jones. At 93 he continued to leave his indelible mark, working with the next generation of young and emerging musicians. KEEP ON KEEPIN' ON is a powerful story about Terry and his mentorship of Justin Kauflin, a 23-year-old blind piano prodigy, which celebrates the wonder of music, perseverance and friendship.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

2015 WGC Screenwriting Awards - winners

The WGC Screenwriting Awards, hosted by Ryan Belleville, took place Monday night at Koerner Hall in Toronto. It was an evening of celebrating the work of WGC members (and a great party).

In the Movies & Miniseries category, the winner was Nicolas Billon for his script for the film Elephant Song which was directed by Charles Binamé and stars Bruce Greenwood, Colm Feore, Xavier Dolan, Catherine Keener, Carrie-Anne Moss and Guy Nadon.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

TIFF announces 4th edition of All-Time Top Ten List of Canadian Films

TIFF today announces the results of its fourth Canada’s All-Time Top Ten List, an international poll of industry and academics‎ on the most memorable Canadian films. This is the fourth edition of TIFF’s All-Time Top Ten List; previous lists were released in 1984, 1993 and 2004.

“In our 40th year we are celebrating our national cinema by revisiting the list of top Canadian films, with help from our esteemed colleagues in the industry and academia,” said Piers Handling, Director and CEO, TIFF. “It is encouraging to see new filmmakers and films establishing themselves on the list alongside the classics.”

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Call for submissions: 13th Annual Regent Park Film Festival

The deadline for submissions for this years Regent Park Film Festival is fast approaching! Be sure to submit your film before Friday, June 12th 2015 for it to be considered. We would greatly appreciate if you could share this information with your networks via newsletters, listervs and/or social media. Please see below for details.

The 13th Annual Regent Park Film Festival – Call For Submissions is Now Open!

Regent Park Film Festival is Toronto’s only free-of-charge, multi-cultural, film festival dedicated to showcasing the best local and international film and video works. The stories we celebrate resonate with the inner city, community-driven, trans-national, transient context of Regent Park, as well as with other similar communities all over the world.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

The Jury of the 68th Festival de Cannes

Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, directors, screenwriters and producers, will be the two Presidents of the Jury of the 68th Festival de Cannes.

This year they will be joined by seven key figures in world cinema from Canada, Spain, the United States, France, Mali, Mexico and the United Kingdom.

The Jury will thus be made up of nine distinctive voices – four women and five men – each with the same voting rights.

Their task will be to decide among the films in Competition and select the prize winners, culminating in the Palme d’or, which will be announced on stage during the Festival Closing Ceremony on Sunday 24th May.

2015 Quinzaine des réalisateurs announces complete lineup

La Société des réalisateurs de films (French Directors Guild) has announced the full selection for the 47th edition of the Quinzaine des réalisateurs (Directors' Fortnight). It is one of the two sidebars at the Festival de Cannes along with the Semaine de la critique announced yesterday.

Previously, they had announced In the Shadow of Women by Philippe Garrel to be the opening night film. The film is about Pierre and Manon, low-budget documentary filmmakers, and the ensuing complication when Pierre meets a young trainee Elisabeth whom he then takes as his mistress.

Monday, April 20, 2015

2015 Montréal International Animation Film Festival (Le MIAFF) – awards


4 days of animation feature films, shorts workshops, panel discussions, interactive performances and parties at The Montréal International Animation Film Festival, in association with Teletoon, and MTL Digital Spring (Printemps Numerique) has just wrapped up with its closing gala and award ceremony.

Festival director Laurie Gordon said, "with such a great line-up it was tough to pick out any winners. Every screening was a highlight and any number of films could have won their respective categories. Congratulations to all of our winners. The preparations for Le MIAFF 2016 are already underway – see you next year!"

The 54th Semaine de la Critique announces lineup

On the poster of the 54th edition of La Semaine de la Critique, the actress Lou de Laâge embraces the open horizon in front of her. This wonderful energy and the amazing life force it carries embody the strong desire leading us to discover the new breath of fresh air in cinema worldwide.
Key figures

We received 1750 short films and 1100 feature films. Among the 11 feature films in the selection, 9 are first films and 2 are second films.

The 10 short films in competition

Thursday, April 16, 2015

2015 Festival de Cannes announces Official Selection [UPDATED]

The Press Conference for the 68th Festival de Cannes, at which the 2015 Official Selection was announced, was held on Thursday 16th April at 11:00 am in Paris.

On Monday morning, the festival announced their opening film to be La Tête Haute (Standing Tall) by Emmanuelle Bercot. However, they strangely erred in claiming that she was to be the first female director to open the Festival de Cannes in history. Many observers pointed out that Diane Kurys opened the Festival de Cannes in 1987 with Un homme amoureux (A Man in Love). The festival later issued a necessary correction to their initial statement.