Tuesday, July 27, 2010
opening night gala film Score: A Hockey Musical. More films will be unveiled in the coming weeks, including the Midnight Madness titles on August 3, Canadian titles on August 10, and the full lineup of almost 300 films on August 24.
Festival CEO and Director Piers Handling (pictured, right) and Co-director Cameron Bailey took turns speaking. The announced films included some highly anticipated titles such as Miral (Julian Schnabel), Biutiful (Alejandro González Iñárritu), Black Swan (Darren Aronofsky), The Conspirator (Robert Redford), Barney's Version (Richard J. Lewis), Little White Lies (Guillaume Canet), Casino Jack (George Hickenlooper), and Rabbit Hole (John Cameron Mitchell). Full list and details below.
Handling and Bailey deflected attempts from the press to get more information on other potential titles from certain regions or by certain stars such as Jodie Foster's The Beaver (starring the embattled Mel Gibson). Handling stated that their policy is to not comment on films that have not been announced. He did state that they "spread a very wide net," and that they are still screening films (although they have stopped accepting submissions).
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Creative Women Workshops Association is a British Columbia-based organization that has since 1997 run a well-regarded program known as The Women In the Director's Chair Workshop (WIDC). Presented in partnership with Telefilm, the Banff Centre and the Alliance of Canadian Cinema Television and Radio Artists (ACTRA), WIDC is a professional development program for Canadian women directors. Their next program deadline is August 31, 2010.
WIDC is aimed particularly at mid-career directors. They select eight women each year to participate in two modules. The first is a Story Incubation Module (SIM) and is "a specially designed 4-day intensive story development workshop that offers a psychological approach to the development of character, dialogue and story structure." This takes place November 27-30, 2010. Then after some follow-up in December, the participants take the Prep, Production and Post Production Module (PPPM), a three-week period from January 13 to 30, 2011 where they'll receive instruction and mentorship from seasoned professionals on all aspects of film production. T
free movie screenings every Wednesday at 9pm in Metro Square all summer from June 30 continuing until September 1st. On July 21, the screenings will be a series of Canadian short films, featuring those made through the Bravo!FACT program. This was the grant program which supported me on on my latest project Notes from the Kuerti Keyboard. Bravo!FACT celebrates its 15th anniversary this year.
The program tonight consists of The Translator, Unlocked, Vive La Rose, Big Girl, and from Bravo!FACT the films are Cattle Call, Pointless Film, Aruba, The Stone of Folly, The Canadian Shield, Record, I Met The Walrus. Many of these are award-winning films, while I Met The Walrus went so far as to receive an Academy Award nomination for Best Animated Short Film. It is a very funny Monty Pythonesque animation of an interview with John Lennon made when he came to Toronto in 1969.
Monday, July 19, 2010
The party begins at 9pm and will go until the bars close. Many other stores in Mirvish Village will be having Scott Pilgrim-related contests and events. For example, you can hear indie bands at The Central, enter a costume contest at the former David Mirvish Books, or play 8-bit video games at The Butler's Pantry, hosted by the Toronto Hand-Eye Society starting at 8pm.
Sunday, July 18, 2010
Writer/director: Christopher Nolan
Producer: Emma Thomas, Christopher Nolan
Cast : Leonardo DiCaprio, Ellen Page, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Cillian Murphy, Marion Cotillard, Ken Watanabe, Michael Caine, Tom Hardy, Dileep Rao, Tom Berenger, Pete Postlethwaite, Lukas Haas
Sci-fi action-thriller, PG-13
2 hours 28 minutes
It was all a dream.
For decades, this has been the lamest way to end a story. What may have been original ages past became had become a silly cliché. But with one brilliant stroke, writer/director Christopher Nolan has found a way with his latest film Inception to take the tired subject of dreams and create a work of breathtaking originality.
Friday, July 16, 2010
BITE ME! Toronto International Body Image Film & Arts Festival launches its inaugural season this weekend. It begins with an invite-only launch on Friday night at the XEXE Gallery, 624 Richmond St W. Then on Saturday and Sunday, films, discussions and workshops take place at the National Film Board (NFB) Mediatheque and theatre, 150 John Street.
A free Saturday workshop, the BITE ME! YouthZone, is free for girls from 12-18. To register, contact firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line: BITE ME! YouthZone. A one-day pass is $15 but both days are only $20.
Films being screened include hits from Hot Docs such as 65_REDROSES which examines Eva Markvoort's struggle with Cystic Fibrosis, and The Story of Furious Pete, the story of an anorexic male who becomes a competitive eater. Color of Beauty is an examination by model Renee Thompson of how the world of fashion so often defines beauty as "white." Many screenings will have filmmakers in attendance.
Toronto Singapore Film Festival launches its 5th edition this weekend. It's one of Toronto's more modest festivals but interesting nonetheless. Singaporean filmmakers have been steadily gaining in international stature and have recently begun competing at festivals such as Cannes.
Friday night's opening gala takes place at the Revue Cinema at 400 Roncesvalles Avenue. They will screen the North American premiere of Royston Tan's musical hit 881, co-presented with the Reel Asian Film Festival. "881" is how Cantonese speakers often text farewell greetings to each other, since 8 in Cantonese is "ba" and 1 is "yi." Thus 881 = "ba-ba-yi" = "bye-bye."
On Saturday, the screenings move to Innis Town Hall, 2 Sussex Avenue, a block south of Bloor & St. George. At 4pm, the Worldwide Short Film Festival co-hosts a screening of 5 short films. One of the directors Vicknesh Varan will be in attendance. Then at 7pm, the closing film will be Kelvin Tong's horror/thriller Rule #1.
All films have English subtitles.
Thursday, July 15, 2010
NSI Features First program.
Features First is a training program for Canadian filmmaking teams who are prepared to develop and then make their first or second film. To apply, you need a writer, director and producer to submit a script. The writer can be director or producer as well, but the director and producer cannot be the same person. Team members are not required to be from the same province, but you should be able to manage any geographical concerns if you are accepted into the program.
Deadline for submissions is September 22, 2010.
The media gathering took place at the Globe Restaurant on St-Laurent, and an second press gathering on behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) was to take place an hour later in Montreal's Old Port. But at the last minute, the city denied PETA their permit, claiming the ad was sexist (see letter below). As a result, the unveiling of her new ad for PETA took place simultaneously at the Globe Restaurant. When she pulled out the French-language version of the poster, one wag commented (en anglais, with a French accent) "Ah, now we understand it...."
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
The program last year was a six-month program in the first half of the year. This time around, it is expanded to run a full year starting in November 2010, interspersed in multiple modules. They encourage development for feature-length, mid-length as well as interactive documentaries. The program is for directors only unfortunately, and not producers.
The deadline for applications is October 15, 2010
Michael McGowan. McGowan's previous films Saint Ralph and One Week also played at TIFF to great success.
Both Handling and Bailey wore white hockey jerseys with the festival logo "tiff." They introduced director McGowan who spoke and then introduced some of his cast, including the newcomer Noah Reid who is the film's lead actor. Then a clip from the movie was played for the assembled guests and media.
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
The award is named for the noted but controversial philanthropist who was president and CEO of General Motors in the early- to mid-20th century. Applicants need not reside in the U.S. but the project must be in the English language. The postmark deadline for applications is September 24, 2010.
2011 Sundance/Alfred P. Sloan Commissioning Grant
Saturday, July 10, 2010
Twenty writers, directors, producers and actors will be selected and given the opportunity to undergo some training sessions in advance of TIFF. Then during TIFF, there is a cocktail reception and two days of one-on-one meetings, brunch and panel discussions. I have participated in this event before and is an invaluable experience for a very reasonable cost of $50.
The ReelWorld Film Festival's supports diverse filmmakers but you don't have to be a minority yourself if you submit with a project idea that demonstrates your support of diverse talent. Here is ReelWorld's call for submissions:
Friday, July 9, 2010
Ballet High, The Experimental Eskimos, Genius Within: The Inner Life of Glenn Gould and Love Letters.
The ceremony will take place on Saturday, September 25, 2010 at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel in Toronto and will be hosted by comedian Dave Foley.
complete list of 2010 DGC Awards Nominations
Thursday, July 8, 2010
The Toronto International Film Festival has announced a major free exhibition to launch the opening of the new TIFF Bell Lightbox that will be the festival's home when it officially opens on September 12, 2010. Included in the design of the new facility will be gallery space. The exhibition also takes place in other galleries in Toronto.
It will feature artworks from the films that were selected as the Essential 100 films to watch. There will be other additional installations and events at Lightbox. Here are all the details.
MAJOR FREE EXHIBITION TO OPEN TIFF BELL LIGHTBOX ON SEPTEMBER 12, 2010
The Essential Cinema exhibition features iconic objects and photographs from the history of cinema as well as film-based artworks from major international artists and filmmakers, including new commissions and many Toronto premieres
panels and conferences, as well as industry events and parties.
Tonight's opening night gala is Jon Turteltaub's The Sorcerer's Apprentice, starring Nicolas Cage and local Montreal actor Jay Baruchel. It's a live-action story loosely based on a Johann Wolfgang von Goethe poem and the famous sequence starring Mickey Mouse from - appropriately - Disney's Fantasia. The closing night gala on July 28 is the Sundance Festival horror-comedy hit Tucker & Dale vs. Evil. Other screenings include the Canadian premiere of Edgar Wright's Scott Pilgrim vs the World, over 50 Asian films, and the recently restored Metropolis, which adds over 25-minutes of newly discovered material.
For more information, go to http://www.fantasiafestival.com/2010/en/
Sunday, July 4, 2010
ticket packages for the festival are being made available first to Visa credit card holders. Visa is the only credit card accepted by TIFF, and is one of their official sponsors. Ticket packages will be made available to everyone else starting on Monday July 12. Single tickets will not go on sale until September 3. The festival dates are September 9-19.
If you know you intend to see a number of films during the festival, buying a ticket package is the most cost-effective approach. Starting last year, larger ticket packages were no longer eligible to be shared, with the only exception being the 10-ticket package. But this year, there are more options available. There are a wide variety of groupings and price ranges to suit everyone's needs. You have to move quickly, though. Some of them will sell out very quickly. The most popular ones will be gone in the next few weeks, and most of the rest will disappear sometime in August.
For more information, go to http://tiff.net/thefestival/ticketsandpasses
What's New in 2010?
It would be easy to find many titles of existing movies that describe them (e.g. Intolerance, Dumb and Dumber, Inglourious Basterds) but it's more fun to modify popular titles to create a tailor-made tribute. Try it yourself, and feel free to add your own titles in the comments section. I'm no good with photoshop but if anyone wants to make these into posters, that's cool with me. I'd appreciate the attribution and link.
So happy July 4, everyone! Enjoy.
Tea Party Movies
The Unbearable Whiteness of Teapartying
Blowhards with a Vengeance
Saturday, July 3, 2010
The Hart House Film Board is the University of Toronto's film club. Membership is available to UofT students and alumni. Courses are open to anyone, but students and members get a discount.
Filmmaking Classes at Hart House: http://www.uofttix.ca/view.php?id=662
Trinity Square Video is a not-for-profit artist-run centre that provides artists and community organizations with video production/post-production support and services at accessible rates.
Trinity Square Video Summer Courses: http://www.trinitysquarevideo.com/workshop_events.php
The Liaison of Independent Filmmakers of Toronto (LIFT) focuses primarily on film and is a member-driven non-profit organization that provides affordable access to equipment, education and space for those with a passion for, and commitment to, the practice of filmmaking on celluloid.
Summer 2010 Film and Digital Workshops: http://www.lift.on.ca/mt/workshops.html
Friday, July 2, 2010
recently backtracked and modified that statement to, "Let me just say that no video gamer now living will survive long enough to experience the medium as an art form." After a flurry of over 4,500 mostly angry comments from gamers, he's backtracked further and conceded, "I should not have written that entry without being more familiar with the actual experience of video games."
He need not have bothered apologizing. Even though he overstated his original case, he is still essentially correct that video games as they are right now are not art. Maybe sometime, but not yet. There's no shame in that. Operas were invented in the 16th century, but didn't become an undisputed art form until the 18th century. Most forms go through an exploratory phase before some geniuses are able to create exceptional masterpieces with that form.
But Ebert's argument was theoretical and pointed out that games have a competitive or skill-testing component that art doesn't. It seems to me a sensible observation that games and art don't even share the same intent and purpose. He rightly pointed out that no other game is an art form, and that "Bobby Fischer, Michael Jordan and Dick Butkus never said they thought their games were an art form." So what would make video games so much more special than other games?
Thursday, July 1, 2010
Recently, the Guardian posted an article about the controversy of casting a black actor Idris Elba as a god in the upcoming film of Thor. I responded with a piece defending that decision as a long time coming, and a small bone to throw to minorities in a still primarily white-dominated world of film. Someone posted a response that was itself vaguely racist, and claimed that "it's not that we are racists, but to us white people the white people are more atractive [sic]." Not true, by the way, as recent studies have shown (Mixed-Race People Perceived as 'More Attractive,' UK Study Finds). But the post left a useful suggestion that I came to on my own anyhow - that it's time we simply call for a mass boycott of racist films.