Tuesday, December 14, 2010

10th annual Canada's Top Ten - features and short films

The Toronto International Film Festival unveiled their selection for the top ten Canadian feature films and short films earlier today. Their top feature films were Les Amours imaginaires (Heartbeats), Barney’s Version, Curling, The High Cost of Living, Incendies, Last Train Home, MODRA, Splice, Trigger, and Trois temps après la mort d’Anna (Mourning for Anna). Last Train Home is the lone documentary in the list. 

Although Quebec accounts for 7 of the 10 features, the selection is nonetheless diverse and represents a broad spectrum of Canadian society. Three of the films are French-language (Les Amours imaginaires, Curling and Trois temps après la mort d’Anna) while Incendies, my favourite film of the year, is French and Arabic. Deborah Chow's The High Cost of Living captures the true multilingual flavour of Montreal with French, English and Chinese. On the other hand, Barney's Version is an English-Montreal story. The documentary Last Train Home by Montreal-based Lixin Fan was filmed entirely in China. MODRA is an English/Slovakian film shot mostly in the titular Slovakian town of Modra.

The ten feature and ten short films were selected by industry professionals including actress Liane Balaban, Toronto Star critic Linda Barnard, director Kari Skogland and director Bruce Sweeney.

The films will all screen at TIFF's Bell Lightbox from January 20 to February 1, 2011. Many of the filmmakers and cast will be in attendance for these screenings. They will also schedule additional panel discussions.



Toronto TIFF revealed the top 10 best features and top 10 best short films of 2010 this evening at the 10th annual Canada’s Top Ten industry event, hosted by Peter Keleghan and Leah Pinsent. Established in 2001, Canada’s Top Ten celebrates excellence in Canadian cinema and raises public awareness of Canadian achievements in film. A panel discussion and public screenings featuring introductions and Q&A sessions with filmmakers will run from January 20 to February 1, 2011 at TIFF Bell Lightbox. Select films will tour cities across Canada in early 2011, including Vancouver’s Pacific Cinematheque and Ottawa’s Canadian Film Institute.

“For the past decade, Canada's Top Ten has championed homegrown success,  offering filmmakers a platform for recognition and a stage for trailblazing future film trends," said Piers Handling, Director and CEO,TIFF. “We are proud to announce such a powerful and impressive list of features and short films.”

“The 2010 lineup showcases an eclectic mix of films that represents the wide range of cinematic productions in our country," said Steve Gravestock, Associate Director of Canadian Programming, TIFF. "This year’s Top Ten list includes both familiar faces and new filmmakers whose works are galvanizing the Canadian film scene.”

Canada’s Top Ten feature film selections for 2010 (in alphabetical order, including release dates where applicable):
Les Amours imaginaires Xavier Dolan (Alliance Films)
Barney’s Version Richard J. Lewis (Entertainment One) December 2010
Curling Denis Côté (Mongrel Media) March 2011
The High Cost of Living Deborah Chow (Filmoption) Spring 2011
Incendies Denis Villeneuve (Entertainment One) January 2011
Last Train Home Lixin Fan (Kinosmith)
MODRA Ingrid Veninger (Mongrel Media) February 2011
Splice Vincenzo Natali (Entertainment One)
Trigger Bruce McDonald (Entertainment One)
Trois temps après la mort d’Anna Catherine Martin (K Films)

Canada’s Top Ten short film selections for 2010 (in alphabetical order):
Above the Knee Greg Atkins
Les Fleurs de l'Age — Vincent Biron
I Was a Child of Holocaust Survivors — Ann Marie Fleming (NFB)
The Legend of Beaver Dam — Jerome Sable
The Little White Cloud That Cried — Guy Maddin
Lipsett Diaries — Theodore Ushev (NFB)
Marius Borodine — Emanuel Hoss-Desmarais (Travelling Distribution)
Mokhtar — Halima Ouardiri (EyesteelFilm)
On the Way to the Sea — Tao Gu
Vapor Kaveh Nabatian (Locomotion)

Screenings will include introductions and Q&As by filmmakers when available.
The great French director Louis Malle once said that casting was 80 percent of a director’s job. The panel discussion Cast This!: The ins and outs of casting a movie offers insight into the art of casting, featuring Canada’s Top Ten filmmakers Denis Côté (Curling); Deborah Chow (The High Cost of Living); Ingrid Veninger (MODRA); casting agents John Buchan and Jason Knight (Splice); and producers Leonard Farlinger and Jennifer Jonas (Trigger). The panelists will discuss the different approaches they took when casting and developing their films. The panel will be moderated by noted producer Damon D’Oliveira (Rude, Law of Enclosures, Proteus, Lie With Me, Poor Boy’s Game).

January 21, 2011 at 6:30pm

2010 Canada’s Top Ten Features Panel 
A national panel of 10 filmmakers, journalists, programmers and industry professionals selected the best in Canadian feature films:
Liane Balaban — actress and producer (New Waterford Girl, One Week)
Linda Barnard — editor and journalist, Toronto Star
Matt Bissonnette — writer, director and author (Who Loves the Sun, Passenger Side)
Fil Fraser — broadcast veteran, director, producer and author (Running Uphill – the Fast, Short Life of Harry Jerome)
Teri Hart — host, Movie Entertainment
Peter O'Brian — Canadian film producer (The Grey Fox, My American Cousin) and board chair of TVOntario
Kari Skogland — director (The Stone Angel, Fifty Dead Men Walking)
Agata Smoluch Del Sorbo — Canadian feature film programmer, TIFF
Bruce Sweeney — filmmaker (Live Bait, Last Wedding, Excited)
Kim Yutani — programmer, Sundance Film Festival; director of programming, Outfest

2010 Canada’s Top Ten Shorts Panel
A national panel of five filmmakers, journalists, programmers and industry professionals selected the best in Canadian short films.
Deborah Chow — director (The High Cost of Living, The Hill)
Philippe Gajan — film critic and programmer (24 Images, ICI, Festival du nouveau cinema)
John Greyson — video artist/filmmaker (Lilies ,Zero Patience, Fig Trees)
Allison Mack — actress (The Opposite Sex, Smallville)
Sudz Sutherland — writer and director (Love, Sex & Eating the Bones, Doomstown, Guns)

Tickets on sale December 15. Visit tiff.net or call 416-599-TIFF (8433) and 1-888-599-8433 for more information. TIFF Bell Lightbox is located at Reitman Square, 350 King Street West, Toronto, Ontario. Pricing as follows: nine feature films (evening) plus the panel discussion for $65; nine feature films (day) plus the panel discussion for $45; special price for the two short film programmes for $18; single tickets (film, shorts programme or panel) are $12. Doors open 30 minutes prior to the screening. Visa is the only credit card accepted by TIFF.

Canada’s Top Ten lists are chosen from features, shorts, documentaries, animation and experimental films. Each film must have premiered at a major film festival or obtained a commercial theatrical release in Canada in 2010. The filmmaker must be a Canadian citizen or resident and have a history of working in Canada or on Canadian-financed films.

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