Thursday, February 26, 2015
by Allan Tong
Jonathan Robbins is dad in Out With Dad, the most successful Canadian web series today with over 24 million viewers across all platforms, averaging more than 300,000 views per month online, and attracting over 35,000 Subscribers on YouTube. The numbers are all the more impressive when you considered that the show is almost entirely audience-funded. The drama is about about teenager Rose coming of age and coming out of the closet with the support of her single father. At this Sunday's week's Canadian Screen Awards, Out With Dad is up for Best Original Program or Series produced for Digital Media – Fiction. Jonathan is also the creator of Clutch, a crime/thriller web series.
Chino Kino chatted with Jonathan at the start of CSA week in Toronto:
Wednesday, February 25, 2015
"The Academy is honoured tonight to be able to recognize the creators and artists of Canada's favorite drama, comedy, and kids' television programming, that entertain and inspire us," says Academy Chair, Martin Katz.
"You - the producers, artists and craftspeople of the Canadian screen industry are critical to this country," says Helga Stephenson, Academy CEO. "The arts - and more specifically, our moving image arts- define us and connect us," she adds.
The complete Special Presentations program and the full selection of films to screen at Hot Docs 2015 will be announced on March 17, including the 2015 opening night film. Ticket packages and passes are now on sale online. Single tickets and package redemption will be available beginning Tuesday, March 17, 2015.
Tuesday, February 24, 2015
2015 Canadian Screen Awards – Winners in News & Sports, Documentary, Lifestyle, Reality and Digital Media
The first round of Canadian Screen Awards were handed out last night at a gala dinner, celebrating 46 categories in news, factual television and some digital media. The event was hosted by comedian Darrin Rose at the Sheraton Centre Toronto. Highlights include:
Our Man in Tehran which captured Best Direction in a Documentary Program by Drew Taylor and Larry Weinstein as well as best documentary program and Best Picture Editing in a Documentary Program or Series for Steve Weslak and Best Sound in that category. It won all five categories for which it was nominated.
HGTV's Income Property winning Best Lifestyle or Talk Program or Series and Best Direction in a Lifestyle/Practical Information Program or Series.
CBC News: Toronto capturing Best Local Newscast, including co-anchor Anne-Marie Mediwake (pictured here).
Monday, February 23, 2015
This year more than 150 scripts were nominated for awards in seven categories, with 29 scripts chosen as finalists. In total, 53 screenwriters are up for awards. Several special awards, including the WGC Showrunner Award, the Jim Burt Screenwriting Prize, and the Sondra Kelly Award, will also be presented.
Sunday, February 22, 2015
The surprising big winner of the night was Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) by Alejandro G. Iñárritu. It won the top prizes of Best Picture, Best Director and Best Original Screenplay, each of which included Iñárritu as winner. It also picked up a second win in a row for cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki who won for last year's Gravity. However, the film's star Michael Keaton did not win in his narrow race with Eddie Redmayne for Best Actor.
Also picking up four awards was Wes Anderson's The Grand Budapest Hotel. It won for Makeup and Hairstyling, Costume Design, Production Design and for Original Score – the first win in this category for the prolific Alexandre Desplat.
Saturday, February 21, 2015
Over the past 30 years, the Film Independent Spirit Awards has made a name for itself as the premiere awards show for the independent film community. Artists who have received industry recognition first at the Spirit Awards include Joel and Ethan Coen, Spike Lee, Oliver Stone, Ashley Judd, Robert Rodriguez, David O. Russell, Edward Burns, Aaron Eckhart, Neil LaBute, Darren Aronofsky, Spike Jonze, Charlie Kaufman, Hilary Swank, Marc Forster, Todd Field, Christopher Nolan, Zach Braff, Amy Adams, Lena Dunham and many more.
Producer: Denny Tedesco, Suzie Tedesco, Jon Leonoudakis, Mitchell Linden, Claire Scanlon
Cast: Herb Alpert, Brian Wilson, Don Randi, Cher, Micky Dolenz, Nancy Sinatra, Jimmy Webb, Lou Adler, Carol Kaye, Hal Blaine, Roger McGuinn, Earl Palmer, Al Casey, Don Randi, Tommy Tedesco
1 hour, 35 minutes
They were the unsungs heroes behind so many hits from L.A. in the sixties: “Be My Baby,” The Byrds' “Mr. Tambourine Man,” “You've Lost That Loving Feeling,” “California Dreaming,” “River Deep Mountain High,” the early Monkees, and all of The Beach Boys' legendary Pet Sounds.
This loose collection of studio session players were never credited on album sleeves, but were revered by other musicians for their sheer ability to play Latin, jazz, rock, blues and country effortlessly and reliably.
"The performers honoured tonight make us proud to be Canadian," said David Sparrow, President of ACTRA Toronto. "They show off Canada to Canada and to the rest of the world in all its marvelous diversity. And they do it with unique and outstanding talent."
The annual ACTRA Awards in Toronto were presented at The Carlu on February 20, 2015. The gala evening was hosted by Arisa Cox with live music by God Made Me Funky.
ACTRA Toronto is the largest organization within ACTRA, representing more than 15,000 of Canada's 22,000 professional performers working in the English-language recorded media in Canada. As an advocate for Canadian culture since 1943, ACTRA is a member-driven union that continues to secure rights and respect for the work of professional performers.
In his opening remarks Steven Poster, ASC., president of the International Cinematographers Guild, in noting the theme of this year’s luncheon, said, “We live in the age of social media and there’s no turning back. That’s why we appreciate social media today and celebrate the talented publicists who are making it work for the dynamic entertainment industry we’re proud to be part of. We have a lot of very impressive people here today, all thanks to our talented publicists.”
Friday, February 20, 2015
Producer: Taika Waititi, Chelsea Winstanley, Emanuel Michael
Cast: Taika Waititi, Jemaine Clement, Rhys Darby, Jonathan Brugh, Cori Gonzalez-Macuer, Stu Rutherford
Mockumentary Comedy Horror film
1 hour, 25 minutes
What's it really like to be a vampire? This insanely funny mockumentary from New Zealand answers that question by hanging out with Viago, Vladislav, Deacon, and Petyr, four bloodsuckers who share a house in Wellington.
After sunset, they rise and three of them prowl the clubs for fresh blood. (The fourth one, Petyr, looks his age which is 8,000 years old so he stays locked inside his closet. The arrogant one, Deacon, has a human servant named Jackie to run errands for him, like wash his blood-soaked garments and invite unwitting old school classmates to the vampires' home for "dinner." The vampires accept another mortal as a friend, a quiet I.T. guy named Stu, who teaches them how to use modern technology. The vampires live in a sort of frat house and, apart from sucking blood out of people, are good lads.
Wednesday, February 18, 2015
Executive Director of the Canadian Film Fest (CFF), Bern Euler, has announced the lineup for 2015 CFF, which will open and close with the Toronto premieres of two Toronto-shot films – Murray Foster’s THE COCKSURE LADS MOVIE and Matt Sadowski’s PRETEND WE’RE KISSING. This year’s festival will present eight feature films and 16 short films over its four-day run.
“The CFF has expanded from three to four days, and this year’s lineup is a testament to the wealth of diversity present in the Canadian film industry,” said Bern Euler, Executive Director, Canadian Film Fest. “We’re very proud to celebrate the talent that is present and emerging in our own backyard.”
TIFF and Human Rights Watch co-present the 12th annual Human Rights Watch Film Festival in Toronto, with a powerful lineup of eight films that recount extraordinary stories of struggle, survival and hope. Showcasing cinema at the forefront of the human rights movement, the festival aims to draw attention to human rights violations worldwide through brave films from countries including Canada, Indonesia, Sudan, the United Kingdom, Brazil, Palestine, Guatemala, the United States and Hungary.
Running from March 24 to April 2 at TIFF Bell Lightbox, the festival kicks off with an opening night fundraising reception followed by the Canadian premiere of The One That Got Away, a documentary chronicling the strength and endurance of the human spirit, and closes with Lady Valor: The Kristin Beck Story, the inspiring story of an ex-Navy SEAL’s lifelong struggle to find her true identity. Additional highlights include the Toronto premiere of the Academy Award-nominated The Salt of the Earth, a stunning visual odyssey of the world as seen through the eyes of one of the greatest image-makers of the last century, and The Look of Silence, a morally complex, exquisitely crafted work that promises to provoke far-reaching ripples of dialogue. Complete film lineup listed below. All screenings are accompanied by introductions or discussions by filmmakers, Human Rights Watch researchers or film subject experts. Visit tiff.net/humanrightswatch for additional guest information leading up to the festival.
Milena Canonero's creations for the The Grand Budapest Hotel won the Excellence in Period Film prize while Colleen Atwood was presented with the Excellence in Fantasy Film award for her costumes in the fairytale adventure Into The Woods, starring Meryl Streep and James Corden.
Both films have also been nominated in the Academy Awards costume category.
Albert Wolsky took home the Excellence in Contemporary Film prize for his costumes in the Michael Keaton-fronted drama Birdman, which was presented by Beau Bridges, with True Detective and Game of Thrones taking home the Outstanding Contemporary Television Series and Outstanding Period/Fantasy Television Series respectively.
Monday, February 16, 2015
Giovanni Ribisi presented the ASC Award for best feature to Lubezki, who also won the organization’s top prize last year for Gravity. This marks the first time that a cinematographer has won consecutive ASC Awards in the theatrical category. Lubezki previously won in 2012 for The Tree of Life and in 2007 for Children of Men, and earned a nomination in 2000 for Sleepy Hollow.
The MPSE spread their awards around in all of the categories, choosing a different winner for each. For the main film prizes, American Sniper and Unbroken won the Feature English Language slots for Effects/Foley and Dialogue/ADR respectively. Birdman won for Feature Music, while Get On Up won for Feature Musical.
Sunday, February 15, 2015
The top CAS Award for Outstanding Sound Mixing Motion Picture - Live Action was presented to the sound mixing team for Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance). The prize for Motion Picture - Animation went to sound mixing team for Big Hero 6.
Among other highlights, the Oscar nominated director of Boyhood Richard Linklater, received the CAS Filmmaker Award in a presentation that included remarks by Christopher Nolan, John Pritchett, CAS and Tricia Linklater. Linklater joins an impressive list of previous CAS Filmmakers Honorees including: Quentin Tarantino, Gil Cates, Bill Condon, Paul Mazursky, Henry Selick, Taylor Hackford, Rob Marshall, Jonathan Demme and Edward Zwick.
Golden Globe®-winner Ron Perlman (Sons of Anarchy)presented the Distinguished Artisan Award to his longtime friend and collaborator Guillermo Del Toro (Crimson Peak). Acclaimed director John Landis presented the Make-Up Artist Lifetime Achievement Award to Oscar®-winning make-up legend Rick Baker. Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) President Cheryl Boone Isaacs presented the Hair Stylist Lifetime Achievement Award to Emmy® Award-winning hair stylist Kathryn Blondell.
Saturday, February 14, 2015
Emmy-winning Friends actress and The Comeback star/Co-Creator Lisa Kudrow hosted the West Coast WGA ceremony, which was executive produced by Hugh Fink. Presenters who appeared at the WGAW's L.A. awards ceremony included: Golden Globe-winning actor Steve Carell (The Office), an Oscar nominee this year for Best Actor in Foxcatcher, Golden Globe-winning and Oscar-nominated actress Patricia Arquette (Boyhood), Parks and Recreation co-star Adam Scott, Suburgatory co-star Cheryl Hines, actor Sir Patrick Stewart (X-Men: Days of Future Past), actor James Corden (Into the Woods), set to host CBS' The Late, Late Show in March, Brooklyn Nine-Nine co-stars Chelsea Peretti and Terry Crews, Playing House co-stars Jessica St. Clair and Lennon Parham, actress Abigail Spencer (Rectify), actor Zachary Levi (Chuck), About a Boy co-star Benjamin Stockham, and comedian Bob Saget (Full House).
The night's top prize, the Golden Bear for Best Film, went to Taxi by Jafar Panahi. Because Panahi has been unable to leave Iran after his 2010 conviction on charges of "making propaganda," the award was accepted on his behalf by his young niece Hanna Saeidi. The International Jury consisted of Darren Aronofsky (President), Daniel Brühl, Bong Joon-ho, Martha De Laurentiis, Claudia Llosa, Audrey Tautou and Matthew Weiner.
The Best Director Silver Bear was shared by Radu Jude for Aferim! and Małgorzata Szumowska for Body. Both acting Silver Bears went to Andrew Haigh's 45 Years stars Charlotte Rampling and Tom Courtenay. Patricio Guzmán won the Best Script prize for his film El botón de nácar (The Pearl Button)
Thursday, February 12, 2015
March 11 to June 24 at TIFF Bell Lightbox
Back for its fourth season, TIFF’s popular subscription series Food on Film brings together chefs, food experts and film lovers to enjoy the best of culinary cinema and conversation. Each month, series host Matt Galloway (CBC’s Metro Morning) welcomes celebrated guests from the culinary world to discuss topical and timely food themes, and to explore the intersections of cinema, culture and gastronomy. Launching March 11, the series presents six events that each feature a screening followed by a fascinating and lively discussion.
Food on Film screenings will take place Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m. The first 150 subscribers receive a $50 gift card to Momofuku Toronto and a one year print subscription to Toronto Life magazine.
Tuesday, February 10, 2015
The Prism Prize is thrilled to announce the Top Ten Best Canadian Music Videos of 2014, as voted by a jury of more than 120 industry professionals from the worlds of music, film, broadcast and web media. After viewing hundreds of music videos released in 2014, jurors selected the Prism Prize Top Ten based on originality, creativity, style, innovation and effective execution. The jury will vote once more to determine the Prism Prize winner, who will receive a $5,000 Grand Prize at the Awards Presentation on March 29, 2015 at TIFF Bell Lightbox. For the first time ever the Prism Prize Awards Presentation will be open to the public. Tickets are available at www.prismprize.com/tickets
Monday, February 9, 2015
The festival accepts films from Canada and anywhere around the world, both short films and features. This is their second year accepting international short films. To submit a film, you must register via Withoutabox.com.
TIFF prefers that all short and feature films presented are, at minimum, North American premieres. They will accept submissions that have already premiered in North America, but the film’s premiere status will be taken into consideration when final programming decisions are made.
Sam Smith was the night's biggest winner, taking three of the four big awards. He won for Record of the Year, Song of the Year and Best New Artist, as well as Best Pop Vocal Album.
The other major award Album of the Year went to the surprise winner Beck for Morning Phase. Kanye only half-jokingly went up on stage with him to pull a Kanye (as he did with Taylor Swift in 2009), however he turned around and returned to his seat. Beck also won for Best Rock Album and Best Engineered Album – Non-Classical.
Sunday, February 8, 2015
At tonight’s EE British Academy Film Awards Boyhood was named Best Film with Richard Linklater winning Director and Patricia Arquette receiving the award for Supporting Actress. The Awards were hosted for a tenth year by Stephen Fry and held at London’s Royal Opera House.
The Grand Budapest Hotel won five awards: Costume Design, Production Design, Make Up & Hair and Original Music, with Wes Anderson winning his first BAFTA for Original Screenplay.
Actor Jane Lynch hosted the ceremony before an audience of more than 1,600 guests. Presenters included (in alphabetical order): DGA President Paris Barclay; Chadwick Boseman; Pierce Brosnan; Glen Charles; Les Charles; Bradley Cooper; Alfonso Cuarón; Julie Delpy; Jodie Foster; Taraji P. Henson; January Jones; Michael Mann; Lea Michele; Don Mischer; Bill Murray; Katey Sagal; Steven Spielberg; Barbra Streisand; and DGA First Vice President Betty Thomas.
Thursday, February 5, 2015
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes Tops the Feature Film Category
Game of Thrones and SSE Lead in Broadcast and Commercial Wins
Zoe Saldana, Jason Clarke, Djimon Hounsou, Clark Gregg and Patton Oswalt Join Overflow Crowd of VFX Artists, Innovators and Industry VIPs
Today, the Visual Effects Society (VES), the industry’s global professional honorary society, held the 13th Annual VES Awards, the prestigious yearly celebration that recognizes outstanding visual effects artistry and innovation in film, animation, television, commercials, video games and special venues. Comedian Patton Oswalt served as host to the more than 1000 guests gathered at the Beverly Hilton to celebrate VFX talent in 23 awards categories. Big Hero 6 was the big winner of the evening garnering five awards. The teams from Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (feature film), Game of Thrones (broadcast) and SSE (commercial) led the wins in their respective categories, taking home three awards each.
Tuesday, February 3, 2015
“From Alfred Hitchcock to Steve McQueen, England has a remarkable tradition of filmmaking and the city of London is one of the premiere film centres in the world,” said Handling. “We’re looking forward to shining the Festival spotlight on this city and to bringing the cinema of London to Toronto audiences.”
“Our annual screening trip to London is always both breathtaking and heartbreaking. We’ve been awed by the talent in this global city and disappointed that we can’t invite all the films we’d like to,” said Bailey. “This year’s spotlight on London filmmaking will be a rare opportunity to revel in the riches London has to offer. It’s also a chance to celebrate the city where I was born.”
Sunday, February 1, 2015
Christopher Nolan received the Guild’s prestigious Cinematic Imagery Award presented by Anne Hathaway, star of Interstellar, currently nominated for five Academy Awards including Best Production Design. George Clooney presented Production Designer Jim Bissell with the Lifetime Achievement Award. Senior Illustrator Camille Abbott, Senior Set Designer John P. Bruce and Scenic Artist Will Ferrell also were recipients of this year’s Lifetime Achievement Awards, the first year that the Guild has presented this award to all four crafts that comprise Local 800. Hall of Fame inductees were awarded to legendary Production Designers John Gabriel Beckman, Charles Lisanby and Walter H. Tyler. Production Designer Co-Chairs Dave Blass and James Pearse Connelly produced the 19th Annual ADG Excellence in Production Design Awards.
Moore based his adaptation on “Alan Turing: The Enigma,” a 1983 biography by Hodges of the brilliant British World War II code-breaker and computer pioneer who was later persecuted for his homosexuality. Rodman accepted the award on behalf of Hodges, who teaches mathematics at Oxford University’s Wadham College.
“Alan Turing never got to stand on a stage and hear people applaud his name,” Moore said in his acceptance speech. “And I do right now, and that is a profound injustice. All that I can do is spend the rest of my life endeavoring to repair it.”