Sunday, September 30, 2012

2012 Environmental Media Association (EMA) Awards – winners

The Environmental Media Association held their 22nd Annual EMA Awards on Saturday night at Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank. The ceremony was hosted by Malin Akerman, who performed with her band. She also announced that she is expecting her first child with her husband Roberto Zincone.

The winner in the Feature Film category was The Lorax, edging out 21 Jump Street and Big Miracle. The Documentary Award winner was Jeff Orlowski's Chasing Ice which had been up against Chimpanzee and Last Call at the Oasis.

The television winners included Dallas, Superfish and Handy Manny.

Special guests at the EMA Awards ceremony included Danny DeVito, Adam Scott, Amy Smart and Lance Bass.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Toronto's Nuit Blanche 2012, Sept 29

Toronto hosts its seventh annual Nuit Blanche tonight in and around the city's downtown core. From 7pm to sunrise, there will be over 150 free art events and exhibitions for the public to enjoy.

The centrepiece of the night will be a special exhibition of 14 projects in and below Toronto City Hall and Nathan Phillips Square. The selection is entitled Museum for the End of the World and was curated by Janine Marchessault and Michael Prokopow.

Other highlights include Christian Marclay's The Clock at the Power Plant; Kelly Mark’s film Scenes from a Film I’ll Never Make, With Alternate Scores at the Eaton Centre; and several events at TIFF Bell Lightbox including the interactive Movie Studio Playhouse, a looped visual installation compilation of 101 zombie death scenes Cent une tueries de zombies, and STRANGE LOVE/STRANGE LIVES: Silent Films with Live Piano Accompaniment.

2012 Toronto Palestine Film Festival, Sept 29-Oct 7

The fifth annual Toronto Palestine Film Festival begins tonight with the Canadian premiere of The War Around Us by Abdallah Omeish. The documentary tells the story of two Western journalists in Gaza as the ceasefire in 2008 is broken. The director Abdallah Omeish will be in attendance. The film will be preceded by Samouni Street by Mostafa Alghoul and Tilde Dawandel.

The closing night film will be Habibi by Susan Youssef. The film is a modern retelling of the Arabic folktale of Layla and Qays, the Arabic Romeo and Juliet. Lead actor Maisa Abd Alhadi will be in attendance at the screening.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Toronto After Dark Film Festival announces 2012 programming

The Toronto After Dark Film Festival released the second of two programming announcements today. Together with their announcement of August 30, they have revealed their entire program for their 7th annual festival which will take place October 18 to 26.


September 28, 2012: Toronto After Dark Film Festival is thrilled to officially unveil its final wave of eleven exciting film announcements for 2012! Included in the lineup are some of the most eagerly anticipated new genre films from the international film festival circuit. In total 20 new horror, sci-fi, action and cult feature films and 29 short films will screen either their Canadian or Toronto Theatrical Premieres exclusively at the festival’s 7th Annual Edition this October 18-26, 2012 at the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema. Fans can now conveniently preview trailers to all 20 feature films at the 2012 Festival Youtube Playlist.

2012 Culture Days, Sept 28-30

The third annual Culture Days weekend takes place September 28 to 30 across Canada. It will feature "thousands of free, hands-on, interactive activities that invite the public to participate 'behind-the-scenes,' to discover the world of artists, creators, historians, architects, curators, designers and other creative people in their communities." In Québec, it's the 16th year for their annual Journées de la culture, which in turn inspired the nation-wide movement.

Film-related events in Montreal include the opening screening of the 2012 YoungCuts Film Festival; the Festival International du Film sur l'Art screening two award-winning films Aux limites de la danse and Frédérick Back: Grandeur nature at Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal; Les Rendez-vous du cinéma québécois showcases Québécois short films; and Rencontres internationales du documentaire de Montréal (RIDM) hosts an interactive screen-printing booth.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

2012 Filipino Academy of Movie Arts and Sciences (FAMAS) Awards – winners

The Filipino Academy of Movie Arts and Sciences (FAMAS) Awards have held their 60th annual FAMAS Awards at the Fiesta Pavilion of Manila Hotel.

The crime drama Manila Kingpin: The Asiong Salonga Story by Tikoy Aguiluz swept the awards with eight wins. Its haul included Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor (Gov. Jeorge Estregan) and Best Supporting Actor (Baron Geisler). The black-and-white film tells the story of gang leader Nicasio "Asiong" Salonga. Controversially, director Tikoy Aguiluz asked to have his name removed from the credits when it was re-edited and parts were re-shot without his involvement.

The action fantasy film Ang Panday 2 (The Blacksmith 2) was the only other multiple-winner, taking two trophies – Best Child Actor (Buboy Villar) and Best Story.

2012 Filmi Festival, Sept 27-30

The 2012 edition of Filmi, Toronto's South Asian Film Festival takes place this weekend. The opening night film is Rajan Khosa's Gattu. It will be preceded by the short films Raju by Max Zahle and Affection by Ash Varma.

The closing night film will be Runaway (Udhao) by Amit Ashraf, preceded by the short film Arranged by Ash Varma.

The festival will also host industry events, a party and a masterclass/retrospective with Vipin Sharma. The short film screening on Saturday includes Mr. Crab by director Faisal Lutchmedial which I helped to produce. The cast will be on hand to participate in the Q&A.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

imagineNATIVE Festival announces complete 2012 programming

13th Annual imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival
October 17-21, 2012

Five days of Indigenous film, video, radio, new media, entertainment, and more

The imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival, the world’s largest Indigenous media arts festival, celebrates its 13th year October 17-21, 2012 at the TIFF Bell Lightbox (Reitman Square, 350 King St. W) and various other venues in downtown Toronto. This year imagineNATIVE celebrates 117 new works by Indigenous people at the forefront of innovation in film, video, radio and new media.

The Festival officially kicks off at 2:00pm on Wednesday, October 17 with a Welcome Gathering at the Native Canadian Centre of Toronto (16 Spadina Rd.). This reception is FREE and open to the public, and features traditional Indigenous performances, craft vendors, food, and a welcome address from imagineNATIVE in a casual, family-friendly atmosphere.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Festival du nouveau cinéma announces 2012 programming

The 41st edition of the Festival du nouveau cinéma will run from October 10 to 21 in Montreal. After its incredibly successful 40th anniversary was awarded the Conseil des arts de Montréal Grand Prize, this edition looks set to be just as memorable.

True to form, Canada’s oldest international film festival is back with a stunning lineup featuring something for all audiences! 288 films from 52 countries – among them 41 world premieres, 4 international premieres, 66 North-American premieres and 39 Canadian premieres, the cream of local and international cinema, have been selected. Get ready for 11 days of festivities with feature films, shorts, documentaries, animated films, tributes and retrospectives, professional gatherings, interactive installations and events. This is the place to get to know the influential filmmakers of today and tomorrow.

Grierson 2012 British Documentary Awards – nominations

The Grierson Trust has announced the final 40 documentary films that are competing for the 40th anniversary edition of the Grierson British Documentary Awards.

The nominees for the Best Cinema Documentary Award are Bobby Fischer Against the World by Liz Garbus; Dreams of a Life by Carol Morley; Knuckle by Ian Palmer; and Project Nim by James Marsh.

Nominations are selected by judging panels made up of a mix of industry experts, film-makers, channel commissioners, genre experts and well known faces from across cinema and television. The 60 members of the Award panels include presenters Julia Bradbury, Louis Theroux, Claudia Winkleman, Ross Kemp, Tim Marlow and Reggie Yates; film-makers, Asif Kapadia, Nick Kent and Jesie Versluys; as well as former Grierson winners and nominees Bruce Goodison, Tony Palmer, and David Clews.

2012 Polaris Prize goes to Metals by Feist

2011 Polaris Prize winners Jeremy Gara and Tim Kingsbury of Arcade Fire made the announcement at the conclusion of this evening’s Gala, that METALS by FEIST was the winner of the 2012 Polaris Music Prize.Held at the Concert Hall Studios at Bell Media’s Masonic Temple in downtown Toronto, Feist will take home $30,000.00. The other nine short list nominees were awarded $2000.00 by Slaight Music.

“Polaris is asking me for a quote.... I haven't had a second to consider how to talk about this yet, but what I want to say is thank you to the people who really listened to my record,” said Feist. “I'm genuinely grateful from one solitary listener to another. Honestly, thanks.”

Pictured are Feist (centre) with hosts Lauren Toyota, Grant Lawrence and Tim Kingsbury and Jeremy Gara of Arcade Fire.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

2012 ALMA Awards – winners

The National Council of La Raza (NCLR) held their 6th annual American Latino Media Arts Awards (or ALMA Awards) at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium, at a gala hosted by Eva Longoria and George Lopez. The ALMA Awards are held to recognize Latino entertainers and those who promote positive portrayals of Latinos in entertainment.

Patricia Riggen's Girl in Progress led the winners with three awards. It won for Favorite Movie, Favorite Movie Actress – Supporting Role (Cierra Ramirez), and a Special Achievement Award for director Patricia Riggen.

Dean Wright's For Greater Glory had led the field with five nominations. However, it came away empty-handed.

Call for submissions: Images Festival – On Screen

26th IMAGES FESTIVAL >> 11 - 20 April 2013

Established in 1987 and dedicated to the moving image in all its forms, the Images Festival is the longest running and most influential integrated media arts festival in Canada. Our ON SCREEN program is an annual survey of contemporary artist's film and video presented in a cinema context.


Friday, September 21, 2012

Call for submissions: 2013 Fringe lottery

The 2013 Fringe lottery applications are now open

Friends, Fringers, Countrypersons, and Internationalists, we're so excited for the 25th annual Fringe and hope you are too. The celebration will be wonderful and wide-spread. This year's dates are July 3-14, 2013.

Our mandate continues to be simple: we enable access to creative opportunities for anyone who wants to tell a story and anyone who wants to hear one. The Fringe isn't just a talent market or a stepping stone, it's a place to express and challenge yourself and challenge those around you, and most importantly to take risks.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Festival du nouveau cinéma announces 2012 Quebec/Canada lineup


The Festival du nouveau cinéma is pleased to announce the films for the Focus lineup (Quebec/Canada), including the opening film Mars et Avril by Martin Villeneuve to be screened on October 11 at the Cinéma Impérial. This year, the section highlighting the wide-ranging Quebec and Canadian film industry will feature 10 films in competition and six out of competition.

Martin Villeneuve’s sci-fi-tinged fable Mars et Avril will open the Focus section. A revealing adaption of a photo-roman, the film takes place in a futuristic Montreal when mankind is about to set foot on Mars. It stars Jacques Languirand, Caroline Dhavernas, Robert Lepage and Paul Ahmarani.

Call for submissions: imagineNATIVE micro meetings

Apply Now!
2012 imagineNATIVE Film + Medai Arts Festival
One-on-One Meetings for Funding and Film Distribution!

Festival Delegate Passholders coming to imagineNATIVE with a roster of films needing distribution and/or a project in development, you don’t want to miss the opportunity to take part in our annual MICRO MEETINGS, an application-based meeting service where you apply to discuss your current and past films for distribution or discuss your new projects for funding to one of our friendly and welcoming Buyers, Funders and Distributors!

When you complete your application, our imagineNATIVE staff will match your meeting requests as best possible with the Buyer that would have the best chance to start a new business partnership with you. We then schedule you to meet your scheduled Buyer for a 10-minute, one-on-one meeting, scheduled on Friday, October 19, between 1:30 - 3:30pm.

Cinédanse Montréal, Sept 20-23

The inaugural Cinédanse Montréal launches tonight at the Cinéma Impérial. The opening night gala screening will be The Co(te)lette Film by Mike Figgis, with the director in attendance. The film is based on the work of feminist Belgian choreographer Ann Van den Broek.

The film is a lively and faithful cinematic reproduction of the sexually daring, provocative work by Van den Broek. Grand prizewinner for best film at the Los Angeles Dance Camera West, Figgis' movie is acclaimed by the Los Angeles Times, depicted as a "rare piece, an iconoclast portrait of the modern woman... Co(te)lette is a kind of postmodern Showgirls meets Fight Club punctuated with a dance marathon vibe."

Other films being screened include Dancing for Mr. B: Six Balanchine Ballerinas; Rêves de Babel; Édouard, Louise, Marc et Amelia; Aux limites de la scène, and Life in Movement. The closing film will be Fabrice Herrault's Claude Bessy: Lignes d'Une Vie (Traces of a Life).

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

2012 POP Montreal Festival, Film Pop, Sept 19-23

The 11th edition of the POP Montreal International Music Festival kicks off tonight. Acts performing over the next few days include Gotye, K'naan, Stars, The Sadies, David Byrne, Austra, Rich Aucoin, Patrick Wolf and Purity Ring.

The festival hosts a number of other arts events including a parallel film festival called Film Pop. The opening film tonight is the documentary Searching for Sugar Man by Malik Bendjelloul. Other films include She Said Boom: The Story of the Fifth Column, The Auroratone Project, and Nightclubbing: New York Punk and New Wave 1975-1980. The film festival closes with The Source by Jodi Wille and Maria Demopoulos.

imagineNATIVE announces Opening and Closing Night gala presentations

The 13th annual imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival is just around the corner and the Festival is excited to announce the films for its Opening and Closing Night Gala Presentations.

The Festival opens with the World Premiere of The People of the Kattawapiskak River, the latest documentary from legendary Canadian filmmaker, Alanis Obomsawin. A moving and powerful feature that takes the viewer north to the Attiwapiskat First Nation in Ontario where a housing crisis and poverty levels made international headlines in the winter of 2011. With her unflinchingly honest, yet gentle lens, Obomsawin brings us into the homes of Attiwapiskat residents who share their frustrations and their hopes for a better future. The People of the Kattawapiskak River opens the Festival on Wednesday, October 17, 2012 at 7:00 p.m. at the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema (506 Bloor Street West).

Having recently celebrated her 80th birthday, Obomsawin remains a cinematic force. The People of the Kattawapiskak River will be preceded by her first film, Christmas at Moose Factory (1971).

Rail City Roadshow Pilot Tour, Sept 19-21

The Rail City Roadshow Pilot Tour launches tonight at Théâtre Ste-Catherine. The The Rail City Road Show was conceived as an independent alternative to the average film festival and to support the art of independent film making. The concept of the festival is to play its program in a series of cities, like many rock festivals.

One of the films playing tonight will be Mr. Crab, a short film by Faisal Lutchmedial which I was proud to have helped co-produce. The screening opens with the international entry Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared, and includes Cry Baby by Gabi Kislat, and festival founder Adam Reider's own Where The Heart Is.

2012 Montreal International Black Film Festival, Sept 19-30

The 8th Montreal International Black Film Festival (MIBFF) begins tonight with a gala presentation of Winnie by by Darrell Roodt. The film is a South African and Canadian co-production, produced by Quebec producer Michael Mosca from Equinoxe Films. Winnie stars Jennifer Hudson (Winnie Mandela) and Terrence Howard (Nelson Mandela), and is based on the Anne Marie du Preez Bezdrob biography “Winnie Mandela : A Life”.

The closing night presentation will be The Central Park Five by Ken Burns. This eye-opening documentary played at Cannes and the Toronto International Film Festival, and shows how police and public outrage at the rape and beating of a jogger in Central Park led to a rush to judgment and wrongful conviction of five Harlem teenagers.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Festival du nouveau cinéma announces opening, closing films

The Festival du nouveau cinéma is pleased to announce it will be opening its 41st edition on October 10 with the world premiere of La mise à l’aveugle (Small Blind) by Quebec director Simon Galiero. Camille Rewinds by French actress/director Noémie Lvovsky will close the Festival on Saturday, October 20.

La mise à l’aveugle, second feature by Simon Galiero (Nuages sur la ville), will mark the official start of the 41st edition. Opening night takes place on Wednesday, October 10, at the Théâtre Maisonneuve at Place des Arts, with the director in attendance along with actors Micheline Bernard (C’est pas moi, je le jure ! (It’s Not Me, I Swear!)), Louis Sincenne (La capture, Toi), Pierre-Luc Brillant (Borderline), Christine Beaulieu (Jaloux) and Julien Poulin (Camion). In 2009, Simon Galiero won the FNC’s Focus Grand Prize for best Quebec / Canadian feature film for Nuages sur la ville.

Planet in Focus announces opening film, industry programming


Industry Series presents a diverse and exciting programming lineup including panels and pitch sessions with insiders and trendsetters

TORONTO, September 18, 2012 — The 13th Annual Planet in Focus Environmental Film Festival -- the largest and longest running environmental film festival in the country -- will open with the world premiere Gala Presentation of Caroline Bâcle’s Lost Riversan adventurous and revelatory look into the disappearance and recent uncovering of historic waterways.  Planet in Focus takes place from October 10 to 14, 2012 at TIFF Bell Lightbox. The Festival’s complete programming will be announced at a press event on September 24, 2012. Industry Series and Early Bird Festival passes are now on sale. For information visit

Call for submissions: Darryl's Hard Liquor and Porn Film Festival

Attention Filmmakers: Send us your funny, dirty, sexy short films.

Deadline Oct 21, 2012

Darryl's Hard Liquor and Porn Film Festival is a comedy short film festival about sex. It's not a porn festival (well, mostly not). After a two year break The Festival is back for it's 11th year. Started in 2000 by Darryl Gold, a Toronto filmmaker. The festival has grown from a party in his apartment to festivals in Toronto, Montreal, London England and Sydney Australia.

The next Festival is November 17, 2012 in Toronto. Screenings in other cities may be announced later.

Call for submissions: 2013 Paprika Festival

The Paprika Festival for emerging theatre artists has put out a call for submissions for their 2013 festival.

Who Are We?
We are the home of the emerging artist: Toronto’s only theatre festival celebrating the work of young and emerging artists, primarily those who are 21 and under. We provide application-based opportunities to learn more about theatre creation from the best in the business. We are an exciting and essential part of the artistic community and we are proud of what we do.

We develop and produce new plays of various lengths. You should apply with a group of collaborators who will work with you throughout the year to develop the project and perform it during the Festival. These plays can be about anything, and can take any form. However, you should only apply if you have a full sense of what this production might look like on stage.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Sunday, September 16, 2012

TIFF announces 2012 award winners

The 37th Toronto International Film Festival announced its award recipients today at a reception at the Intercontinental Hotel Toronto.

The winner of the Award for Best Canadian Short Film goes to Deco Dawson for Keep a Modest Head. The jury, comprised of journalist and author Matthew Hays, journalist Katrina Onstad and filmmaker Reginald Harkema, remarked: “For the winner of this year’s best short, we chose a film that expands the boundaries of documentary, one that perfectly reflects its surreal subject. The award offers a $10,000 cash prize. The honourable mention goes to Mike Clattenburg’s Crackin’ Down Hard for its unpredictable zaniness.”

The Canadian awards below were selected by a jury comprised of producer and filmmaker Jody Shapiro, CPH PIX Festival Director Jacob Neiiendam, actor and filmmaker Valerie Buhagiar and director, writer and producer Patricia Rozema.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

2012 Derana Lux Film Awards for Sri Lankan cinema – winners

The inaugural edition of the Derana Lux Film Awards for Sri Lankan film took place on Friday at Musaeus College Auditorium.

Sweeping the awards was Gamani by Rear Admiral Dr Sarath Weerasekara. The film tells the story of the Gongala Massacre in 1999 in Ampara District, Sri Lanka. It took a whopping seventeen awards, eighteen if you include both winners in the tie for Best Supporting Actor. Its wins included the main categories of Best Picture, Best Director, Best Screenplay, and Best Actress (Dilhani Ashokamala Ekanayake).

Best Actor, however, went to Pibidhu Chathuranga for his role in Challenges.

2012 Vlaamse Filmprijzen (Flemish Film Awards) – winners

The Festival van Oostende (Ostende Film Festival) came to an end this weekend with a presentation of the 3rd annual Vlaamse Filmprijzen (Flemish Film Awards) newly dubbed the Ensor Awards. They replaced the defunct Joseph Plateau Awards as the Dutch-language equivalent of Belgium's Magritte Awards for French-language films.

Unlike last year when Rundskop (Bullhead) dominated, the awards this year were spread out fairly evenly. However, Tot Altijd (Time Of My Life) came out on top, beating Hasta La Vista! (Come As You Are) and The Invader for Best Film. Its Star Geert Van Rampelberg also took Best Actor and it also won Best Editing.

The Invader managed a slightly bigger haul with Nicolas Provost winning Best Director. It also won Best Cinematography, Music, Costume Design and the Industry Award.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Hollywood Post Alliance (HPA) Awards – nominations

The Hollywood Post Alliance has announced the nominees for the 2012 HPA Awards. The Awards honor excellence in post production and bring recognition to the achievements of individuals and companies who are engaged in significant and revolutionary work in post production.

The film categories were led by Joss Whedon's Marvel's The Avengers which received a nomination for Outstanding Editing and two for Outstanding Compositing. The only other film with multiple nominations was Ridley Scott's Prometheus which picked up two.

For television, the shows which picked up two nominations were Hatfields & McCoys Miniseries, Castle, Boardwalk Empire and Homeland. All other shows received a single mention.

2012 Cartoon d'Or Award – winner

The 2012 Cartoon d'Or for the best European animation short film was presented last night at the Théâtre National de Toulouse, France during the 23rd Cartoon Forum. The award comes with a €10,000 (US$13,500) prize.

It was won by Emma De Swaef and Marc James Roels for their stop-motion film Oh Willy... which used puppets and sets made of wool, felt and other fabrics. It was co-produced by Beast Animation (Belgium), Polaris Film & Finance, Vivement Lundi! (France) and Il Luster Productions (Netherlands).

Cartoon d’Or 2012 jury was composed by directors Alain Gagnol (France), Esben Toft Jacobsen (Denmark) and Giuseppe Lagana (Italy) and the award was presented by French director Michel Ocelot (Kirikou).

Thursday, September 13, 2012

M60 Montréal 60 Second Film Festival 2012, Sept 13-15

The M60 Montréal 60 Second Film Festival gets underway tonight at Cinéma Excentris. The festival features over 80 films of exactly one minute in running time. All 80+ films will play each night at the festival.

Each year in July, M60 has a launch party for the festival where a theme is announced for interested filmmakers. This year's theme was "faux pas." Filmmakers are then given a month to conceive and create a one minute film.

I participated in this year again and made a little ditty Four Paws with co-director Faisal Lutchmedial. I also acted in the film alongside Joslyn Rogers, who also participated in the M60 film I made last year. The title is of course a loose pun on the theme "faux pas" and refers to a dog named Wally that is featured in the film.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Call for submissions: Fringe 2013 New Play Contest

Applications are open! If you would like to apply for the fringe 2013 new play contest (our 25th anniversary festival) please complete the following steps:

1. APPLICATION FORM: Fill out this online application form.

2. SCRIPT: Email your script to Claire Wynveen at as a Word Document ONLY. (Please no PDF.)

**Make sure that your name does not appear anywhere in your script, as the plays are selected via a blind jury process. Email a second 1-page document with playwright name, play title, contact email address and contact phone number. This contact sheet will only be used for administrative purposes. 

First films announced for RIDM 2012

The Rencontres internationales du documentaire de Montréal (RIDM) or Montreal International Documentary Festival is pleased to pre-announce several films on this year’s program, giving a sneak peek at what promises to be an exciting anniversary edition. One hundred domestic and foreign films will be screened during the 15th RIDM, from November 7 to 18 at the Cinémathèque québécoise, Cinéma Excentris, the Grande Bibliothèque and Concordia University.

A number of not-to-be-missed films at this year’s RIDM are being seen this week at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). They include Mekong Hotel, the latest from Thai master filmmaker Apichatpong Weerasethakul, a dreamlike documentary that explores the creative process behind a film. The Argentinian documentary The Girl From the South, by director José Luis Garcia, follows the filmmaker’s search for an intriguing peace activist he met in North Korea over 20 years ago. Far From Afghanistan, a film co-directed by a collective of five American filmmakers, looks into the war in Afghanistan ten years on by juxtaposing different types of images. And Far Out Isn’t Far Enough: The Tomi Ungerer Story, by Brad Bernstein, is a rich portrait of the celebrated subversive artist Tomi Ungerer, featuring spellbinding animations based on Ungerer’s drawings.

European Film Awards (EFA) 2012 – selection list

The European Film Academy has released the titles of the 47 films from 31 European countries that have been recommended for consideration for the upcoming 25th European Film Awards (EFA) 2012.

Eligible films include Michael Haneke's Amour (Love), Ken Loach's The Angels' Share, Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Bir Zamanlar Anadolu'da (Once Upon a Time in Anatolia), Roman Polanski's Carnage, Jacques Audiard's De rouille et d'os (Rust and Bone), Alexander Sokurov's Faust, Canadian co-production In Darkness by Agnieszka Holland, Steve McQueen's Shame and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy by Tomas Alfredson.

In the 20 countries with the most EFA Members, these members have voted one national film directly into the selection list. To complete the list, a Selection Committee consisting of EFA Board Members and invited experts Pierre-Henri Deleau (France), Marit Kapla (Sweden), Stefan Kitanov (Bulgaria), Paz Lázaro (Spain), Derek Malcolm (UK), and Elma Tataragic (Bosnia & Herzegovina) has included further films.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Call for submissions: Hot Docs, Shaw Media-Hot Docs Funds

The Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival is now accepting submissions for the 2013 Festival. The early-bird deadline is December 7, 2012, and the final submission deadline is January 11, 2013.

They will also be accepting applications for the second round of the Shaw Media-Hot Docs Funds starting September 19. These funds offer filmmakers the opportunity to draw a $3-million completion fund to help filmmakers finish projects that have already gone forward, and a $1-million development fund to help get projects off the ground. The deadline to submit is October 17.

Submissions for the Hot Docs Forum will open in November.

Call for submissions: Cuban Hat Pitch Competition at Doc Circuit


Montreal, September 11, 2012 — As a proud supporter of documentary production, Doc Circuit Montreal is working with the Cuban Hat Project for a second year. The Cuban Hat Pitch will be part of Doc Circuit’s activities from November 12 to 14, 2012.

Call for candidates
This pitch competition is open to all Canadian citizens. It gives creative the opportunity to win prizes in the form of services and participatory funding for producing their documentary project. The initiative will also allow them to build an interest-based community around their project. We are seeking bold treatments with singular visions that question our perceptions of reality and reach new audiences. Documentaries of every length (short, medium, feature) are eligible, as are experimental films, series, and interactive and transmedia projects. Linear films should still have a transmedia strategy in place including at least a secondary distribution platform in mind. The initiative’s objective is to provide collective support to promising documentary projects while bringing creative closer to the documentary industry and their potential audiences.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Venice International Film Festival 2012 – award winners

The 69th Mostra Internazionale d'Arte Cinematografica della Biennale di Venezia (Venice International Film Festival) draws to a close with a controversial concluding awards selection.

The jury headed by Michael Mann had been prepared to present four awards to Paul Thomas Anderson's The Master. They had intended to give the film the Golden Lion for Best Picture, the Sliver Lion for Best Director and the Volpi Cup for Best Actor to both Joaquin Phoenix and Philip Seymour Hoffman. However, they were informed that new festival rules prohibit more than two major awards going to one film.

The jury had to reconvene and after a heated discussion, they chose to give the Golden Lion to Kim-Ki Duk's Pieta while Ulrich Seidl took the Silver Lion for Paradise: Faith. The Master was given a Special Jury Award in addition to the shared Volpi Cup. It also picked up a FIPRESCI Award (Competition) from the critics' group.

Friday, September 7, 2012

TIFF 2012 – Day 1

The 37th annual Toronto International Film Festival got underway yesterday with a whole slew of events. The official opening night gala film was Rian Johnson's Looper starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Bruce Willis, Emily Blunt, Jeff Daniels, Piper Perabo and Paul Dano.

But there were many other happenings on an unusually busy opening day. It began with a free noon-time screening of the late Chris Marker's Sans Soleil, followed by later free screenings of Roman Polanski's Tess (restored in 4K) and a restored 3-D print of Alfred Hitchcock's Dial M for Murder.

Director Jason Reitman led a live reading of the Alan Ball screenplay for Sam Mendes' Oscar-winner American Beauty. It featured Bryan Cranston (Lester), Christina Hendricks (Carolyn), Mae Whitman (Jane), Adam Driver (Ricky Fitts), Sarah Gadon (Angela), Paul Scheer (Colonel Frank Fitts), Nick Kroll (Buddy Kane), George Stromboulopolis (Jim).

2012 MTV Video Music Awards – winners

The 29th annual MTV Video Music Awards took place last night at The Staples Center in Los Angeles. The host was comedian Kevin Hart and performers included Rihanna, Green Day, Alicia Keys, Nicki Minaj, Frank Ocean, Lil Wayne, One Direction, Pink, Taylor Swift and 2 Chainz.

Rihanna and Drake each led with five nominations and Rihanna took the top award for "We Found Love". Drake won for Best Hip-Hop Video for "HYFR".

But the night's biggest haul went to the boy band One Direction which won all three of the categories in which they were nominated. Their video for "What Makes You Beautiful" won for Best New Artist, Best Pop Video and Most Share-Worthy Video.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

2012 Toronto Urban Film Festival, Sept 7-17

The Toronto Urban Film Festival, North America’s largest commuter film festival, is ready to roll out its sixth annual edition. For 11 days, from September 7 - 17, 2012, Toronto’s subway system will become a standing-room-only cinema showcasing the world’s best one-minute, silent films to over one million viewers.

TUFF will screen 73 amazing films from 18 countries on Toronto Transit System (TTC) platform screens, and feature a new “Too TUFF for the TTC” program of films. “Too TUFF for the TTC” are one-minute films that are well-conceived and executed but too risqué to screen in a public transit setting.

Films play every 10 minutes on Pattison Onestop’s 300 subway platform screens in stations across the city. Pattison Onestop will also provide designated “Film Zone” screens for commuters to watch TUFF uninterrupted on the north and south platforms of the Bloor subway station, as well as at Dundas and St. Andrew subway stations.

Honourary Oscars go to Jeffrey Katzenberg, Hal Needham, D.A. Pennebaker, George Stevens Jr.

Jeffrey Katzenberg, Hal Needham, D.A. Pennebaker and George Stevens, Jr. to Receive Academy's Governors Awards

The Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences voted tonight to present Honorary Awards to stunt performer Hal Needham, documentarian D. A. Pennebaker and arts advocate George Stevens, Jr., and the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award to philanthropist Jeffrey Katzenberg. All four awards will be presented at the Academy's 4th Annual Governors Awards dinner on Saturday, December 1, at The Ray Dolby Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland Center®.

TIFF 2012 starts September 6 to 16

The Toronto International Film Festival starts tomorrow, but a few events got off the ground in the leadup to the festival.

The winners were announced for the 2012 RBC Emerging Filmmakers Competition. They were National Winner Jordan Canning for Seconds, Honourable Mention Johnny Ma for Dec 32 and Fan Favourite Nimisha Mukerji's The Arrival Hour.

The festival also held a few other industry events while the industry centre was busy with the early birds checking in and picking up their packages. The evening saw the Lightbox host the Jet Lag Party to welcome guests from abroad. The Canadian Filmmakers Party took place at the Spoke Club. The Shangri-La Hotel hosted the Producers Ball.

Pictured on the top right just outside the TIFF Bell Lightbox are producers Simone Urdl, Cher Hawrysh and Ingrid Veninger. Ms. Urdl is with Film Farm Productions (Atom Egoyan's films) and the latter two are participants in the new TIFF Studio program.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Nordic Council Film Prize 2012 – nominees

Five outstanding Nordic films are nominated for the coveted Nordic Council Film Prize 2012.

Five exceptional and very different Nordic films are candidates for the prestigious NORDIC COUNCIL FILM PRIZE 2012. Among the nominated directors are Nikolaj Arcel, Jukka Kärkkäinen, J-P Passi, Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurdsson, Arild Andresen and Ruben Östlund. They are all in tough competition with excellent films, one from each of the Nordic countries, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden.

The five nominees in 2012 are:

CaribbeanTales 2012 Toronto Film Showcase, Sept 4-15

The CaribbeanTales 2012 Toronto Film Showcase began yesterday with the start of the Market Incubator program for emerging filmmakers. But the event officially launches tonight with the opening Gala Reception at the Lakeshore Terrace at Harbourfront. The evening includes the music video Sort out Yuh Life Jamaica directed by Kush Asher with the band No Maddz, and the short film In Stereo: Joyce and Herman by Keston Neunie, followed by feature The Story of Lover’s Rock by Menelik Shabazz.

Also playing at the festival will be a short film I helped co-produce by Trinidadian-Montrealer Faisal Lutchmedial called Mr. Crab. It plays as part of a short film program on Friday September 14 at 9:15pm, which will then be followed by the feature I'm Santana The Movie by Roger Alexis.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

ACCT launches new Canadian Screen Awards

Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television (ACCT) is pleased to announce its new CANADIAN SCREEN AWARDS that recognize excellence in film, television and digital media productions.

“The CANADIAN SCREEN AWARDS are a true reflection of the multi-platform universe of today,” says Academy Chair Martin Katz. “News, sports and entertainment now come to us on screens of many sizes, with more to come. Through the CANADIAN SCREEN AWARDS, the Academy will celebrate our talent and our productions with our industry and the Canadian public in one major national CBC broadcast,” adds Katz.

Academy CEO Helga Stephenson says the new CANADIAN SCREEN AWARDS are a direct result of industry demand. “The industry has been asking for this change for some time. We opened up the conversation with our Members and other participating groups, consulted a report on the Academy prepared by the Schulich School of Business at York University and spoke with our broadcast and funding partners. As a result, the Board of Directors made the decision to merge the shows and a new chapter in the Academy’s history began,” says Stephenson.

Monday, September 3, 2012

2012 Festival des Films du Monde (Montreal World Film Festival) Awards – winners

President : GRETA SCACCHI, actress (United Kingdom)
VERA BLEMONT, producer/director (France)
MICHEL CÔTÉ, actor (Canada)
KIM DONG HO, (South Korea)
ANDREI PLAKHOV, film critic and writer (Russia)
GOYA TOLEDO, actress (Spain)
WANG XUEQI, actor (China)


Grand prix des Americas:

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Jason Reitman presents live reading of American Beauty at TIFF [UPDATED]

September 6 at 6 pm at Ryerson Theatre

Toronto — The Toronto International Film Festival® today announced a unique audience experience as Jason Reitman and an all-star cast join together for a live table read of Alan Ball’s screenplay for American Beauty. This unique experience is part of Reitman’s “Live Read” series, in which classic movie scripts are read by contemporary actors. With no rehearsal, the actors will come together for a one-take read-through and will revisit this Academy Award®-winning script, with Reitman narrating stage direction. The cast for Thursday’s reading will be announced by Reitman on Twitter in the days leading up to the event. The Festival has a close connection with American Beauty — the film launched here many Septembers ago on its ride to the Oscars.