Thursday, June 30, 2011

Free Screenings on Canada Day at TIFF Bell Lightbox

On July 1, TIFF Bell Lightbox offers a full day of free programming that explores Canada’s rich cinematic heritage.

The films screened are C.R.A.Z.Y (2005, dir. Jean- Marc Vallèe), Voulez-vous coucher avec God? (1972, dir. Jack Christie and Michael Hirsh), Black Christmas (1974, dir. Bob Clark), and the documentary Mary Pickford, The Muse of the Movies (2008). This is the Canadian premiere of the film with director Nicholas Eliopoulos in attendance.

In addition, there will be a screening of Classic Canadian Shorts. The animated gems being shown are Blinkity Blank — dir. Norman McLaren (1955); Romance of Transportation in Canada — dir. Colin Low (1952); Walking - dir. Ryan Larkin — (1968); Log Driver’s Waltz — dir. John Weldon (1979); The Sweater — dir. Sheldon Cohen (1980); Crac! — dir. Frederic Back (1981); The Big Snit — dir. Richard Condie (1985); and The Cat Came Back — dir. Cordell Barker (1988).

12th Annual Golden Trailer Awards - winners

Last night at the Music Box Theater in Los Angeles, the ceremony for the 12th Annual Golden Trailer Awards took place with host comedian Natasha Leggero.

The Social Network
exacted some revenge for its defeat at the hands of rival The King's Speech at the 83rd Academy Awards to come out ahead with four awards. In addition to the top prize Best In Show, it won for Best Drama, Best Music and Most Original. The only other film to win four awards was The Matrix in 1999, the Golden Trailer Awards' inaugural year.

The King's Speech picked up two awards for Best Foreign Drama Trailer and Best Foreign TV Spot.

Other big winners were Inception for Best Action, Rango for Best Animation/Family, The Other Guys for Best Comedy, The Tillman Story for Best Documentary, The Last Exorcism for Best Horror, Tree of Life for Best Independent, Blue Valentine for Best Romance, and Black Swan for Best Thriller.

Fellini: Spectacular Obsessions, June 30–Sept 18

TIFF Bell Lightbox follows its sensational Tim Burton exhibit with another presentation that pays loving tribute to a master director. Fellini: Spectacular Obsessions runs for the next three months at the Toronto International Film Festival home.

Additionally, they will be screening two related series. Fellini Dream Double Bills is a film series of Fellini films paired with a related film that shows his influence or inspiration. Each film pairing was specially selected by a film luminary or TIFF programmer. The Double Bill programmers were Atom Egoyan, James Schamus, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Isabella Rossellini, Jesse Wente, Piers Handling, Miranda July, Frédéric Boyer, Molly Haskell, Deepa Mehta, Radley Metzger and Lightbox Artistic Director Noah Cowan.

The other series that accompanies the exhibition is  Days of Glory: Masterworks of Italian Neorealism. It screens many of the great films from this vital cinematic movement and offers work by such masters of Italian cinema as Roberto Rossellini, Vittorio De Sica, Luchino Visconti and Pier Paolo Pasolini.

2011 Teen Choice Awards - nominations

The nominations have been announced for the 13th annual Teen Choice Awards. There are 66 categories in the fields of film, television, music, sports and fashion. Leading the way yet again with 12 nominations is The Twilight Saga: Eclipse. It's nominations include Choice Movie (Sci-Fi/Fantasy) and acting nominations for its leads Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner, Kristen Stewart and Bryce Dallas Howard. Unusually, the movie already was nominated and won awards at last year's Teen Choice Awards.

It will be competing head-to-head in a number of categories against another popular franchise film Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1, which received five nominations. All of its nominations are shared by The Twilight Saga: Eclipse. Both of the franchises will be wrapping up with their next chapter.

Several R-rated films are included in competition. The Hangover Part II received six nominations, Bridesmaids took four, and Bad Teacher managed three.

The Vampire Diaries and Glee led the television field with nine nominations each.
The Vampire Diaries picked up nods for Choice TV Show (Sci-Fi/Fantasy) and acting nominations for Nina Dobrev, Paul Wesley, Ian Somerhalder, Kat Graham, Michael Trevino and Joseph Morgan. The nominations for Glee included Choice TV Show (Comedy) as well as Scene Stealer and Fashion Icon mentions for actor Chris Colfer.

Call for Submissions: 6th Reel Asian So You Think You Can Pitch? competition

So You Think You Can Pitch? Competition 2011

Bring forth your best film ideas at the 6th Annual Toronto Reel Asian and Charles Street Video pitch competition - So You Think You Can Pitch? ! The 2011 Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival is looking for submissions of short films ideas.

Once again this year, two winning filmmaking teams will walk away with amazing prize packages that will help them kick-start and/or finish their short film. The two prize packages include $1500 in cash, of over $10,000* for the Emerging Category and $18,000* for the Established Category in production and post services, and a one-year membership at Charles Street Video (CSV), and a distribution option through Ouat Media.

Selected finalists teams will participate in an intensive boot camp at the Reel Asian Pitch Clinic, where finalists gain in-depth professional advice on pitching like a pro in front of a live audience. Finalists will compete at a live Pitch Competition Finale during the 2011 Reel Asian Festival this November 8-13th. Finalists will also be awarded with a 2011 Festival Pass, with access to festival screenings and Industry Series sessions, where you can gain insightful knowledge from industry professionals and access the many networking opportunities throughout the festival.

26th Annual Imagen Awards - nominees

Nominees for 26th Annual Imagen Awards Announced

Actress Maria Canals-Barrera (“Wizards of Waverly Place,” “Larry Crowne”) to Host Black-Tie Gala Event

Latino Advocacy Organization Promotes More Opportunities for Latinos in Entertainment; Awards Event Scheduled for Friday Evening, August 12th, at The Beverly Hilton Hotel International Ballroom

The Imagen Foundation has announced the nominees for the 26th Annual Imagen (Spanish for “image”) Awards, honoring positive portrayals of Latinos and Latino cultures in entertainment.  The awards will be presented at a gala black-tie dinner on Friday evening, August 12th, at the Beverly Hilton Hotel International Ballroom. 

On hand for the announcement at the Foundation’s headquarters in Pasadena was actress Maria Canals-Barrera, star of Disney Channel’s Emmy award-winning “Wizards of Waverly Place,” who has been chosen to host the annual awards gala.  The actress, who plays Selena Gomez’s mother in the series, won an Imagen Award last year in the category of “Best Supporting Actress – Television” for her work in “Wizards of Waverly Place: The Movie.”  Her latest role, which has her working alongside Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts, is in Universal Pictures’ upcoming feature “Larry Crowne,” opening this Friday, July 1st.  “We are thrilled to have Maria Canals-Barrera serve as host of this year’s Imagen Awards.  She is an extremely talented actress who is truly representative of our mission of promoting more positive Latino roles in front of the camera, as well as more opportunities for Latinos as a whole throughout all aspects of the entertainment industry,” said Helen Hernandez, president and founder of The Imagen Foundation.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Call for Submissions: the 33rd Rhubarb Festival

Call for Submissions: 33rd Rhubarb Festival, Buddies In Bad Times Theatre

Toronto’s Annual Convergence of Contemporary Performance
Feb, 8-19th, 2012 Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, Toronto
Festival Director Laura Nanni

DEADLINE: 5PM, Friday September 2nd 2011

Produced by Buddies in Bad Times Theatre for over 30 years, the Rhubarb Festival has offered artists a critic-free environment to experiment with new explorations in performance. Rhubarb continuously reconsiders the possibilities for performance – how we create it, how we present it and how we experience it. It is an invitation for artists to take risks, investigate new directions and challenge conventions. It is an opportunity for adventurous audiences to journey off predictable paths. Rhubarb provides artists with a rare opportunity to present work to a large and enthusiastic audience. Many Rhubarb shows have gone on to be further developed and presented in Toronto, across Canada and internationally.

Monday, June 27, 2011

32nd Annual Dora Mavor Moore Awards - winners

This was a roller-coaster day for those in the Toronto theatre community. The day began with the SummerWorks Theatre Festival receiving word that the Federal Government was pulling the plug on their Department of Canadian Heritage funding, almost certainly for partisan ideological reasons.

As the community rallied behind the festival, they gathered in the evening for the 32nd Annual Dora Mavor Moore Awards at the Bluma Appel Theatre at the St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts. The ceremony was hosted by Craig Lauzon and Michaela Washburn.

Leading the way with five awards was Buddies in Bad Times' production of Blasted, which won in the General Division for Best Production, Direction (Brendan Healy), Set Design, Lighting Design and Sound.

A number of productions were double-winners: Priscilla Queen of the Desert, The Musical; Billy Elliot, The Musical; Orfeo ed Euridice; The Situationists; paper SERIES; and Through the Leaves. The wins for paper SERIES brought rousing ovations for Best Direction winner Nina Lee Aquino and Best Sound Design/Composition winner Richard Lee, who are a husband-and-wife team.

Call for submissions: 2011 Deluxe Producer Internship

Women in Film & Television – Toronto (WIFT - T) has put out a call for submissions for emerging producers to participate in the 2011 Deluxe Producer Internship.

The Deluxe Producer Internship is an opportunity for a female Canadian producer to receive three weeks of production and post-production training as an intern at Deluxe. The internship also comes with a WIFT-T programming pass and a $1,000 honourarium.

Any Canadian woman producer with between two and five years experience is eligible.

Deadline for applications is Monday, July 25 at 5pm. The mentorship begins November 2011.

2011 BET Awards - winners

The 2011 BET (Black Entertainment Television) Awards were handed out last night at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. For Colored Girls won the award for Best Movie, beating out Death at a Funeral, For Colored Girls, Takers, The Book of Eli and Tyler Perry's Why Did I Get Married, Too?. The acting awards went to Taraji P. Henson and Idris Elba, who also won last year.

Chris Brown dominated the music categories with four wins. He had led with six nominations, and came away with wins for Best Male R&B Artist, Viewer’s Choice, Best Collaboration and FANdemonium. His win for Viewer's Choice made for a bizarre moment as his name was announced before changing it and announcing Rihanna as the winner (Brown's ex-girlfriend whom he was convicted of assaulting). Then another host announced the winner as Drake, who came onstage to accept the award on Rihanna's behalf. At the show's conclusion, the host Kevin Hart brought Brown back out to tell him he was the correct winner as the audience was filing out. During last year's show, Chris Brown performed a tribute to Michael Jackson and wept excessively and theatrically.

Mary J. Blige, Jadakiss and DJ Khaled opened the show. Other performers included After Seven with the Five Heartbeats, Alicia Keys with Bruno Mars, Big Sean with Chris Brown, Cherelle, Kelly Rowland with Trey Songz and closing act Beyoncé performing live from Glastonbury.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

37th Annual Saturn Awards - winners

The 37th Annual Saturn Awards, the annual awards for genre films, television shows and theatre, took place Friday night in Burbank, California. Inception was the Saturns' big winner. It had led with nine nominations and came away with five wins. It won Best Science Fiction Film, Director, Writer, Music and Special Effects.

The winner for Best Fantasy Film was Alice in Wonderland. Let Me In won in the Thriller/Horror category, while Salt won for Action/Adventure. Alice in Wonderland and Let Me In were double prize-winners as were Black Swan and Tron Legacy.

In the International category, the prize went to Gareth Edwards' Monsters. The Animated Film award was given to Toy Story 3.

12th International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) Awards - winners

On Saturday night, Toronto was host to the 12th International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) Awards, the culmination three days of festivities celebrating Indian culture and cinema. The sold-out event with a crowd of 22,000 took place at the Rogers Centre was hosted by Riteish Deshmukh and Boman Iran. Unfortunately, the ceremony began 90 minutes late.

Dabangg (Fearless) was the big winner of the night taking ten awards. Its wins included Best Film, Performance in a Negative Role (Sonu Sood), Screenplay, Music, Playback Singer (both Male and Female) and Choreography.

Band Baaja Baaraat was next with six awards including Best Actress (Anushka Sharma) and Male Debutant (Ranveer Singh). Sharma and Singh together were named the Best On-Screen Couple. My Name Is Khan followed closely with five wins including Best Direction (Karan Johar) and Lead Actor (Shah Rukh Khan).  Khan plays a man with Asperger syndrome.

Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai had led 12 nominations but its only win of the evening was for Prachi Desai in the Supporting Actress category.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

65th Nastro d'Argento (Silver Ribbon) Awards for Italian film - winners

The Sindacato Nazionale dei Giornalisti Cinematografici Italiani (Association of Italian Film Critics) held their awards ceremony today at the Teatro antico di Taormina, Sicily for their 65th Nastro d'Argento (Silver Ribbon) Awards.

Emerging with the most wins was Nanni Moretti's Cannes competition film Habemus Papam (We have a Pope). It won for Best Director, Producer, Story, Cinematography, Art Direction and Costume Design. It had led with seven nominations and only missed out on Editing.

Vallanzasca - Gli angeli del male (Angels of Evil) was next with three wins. In addition to Best Actor (Kim Rossi Stuart), it won for Best Editing and Soundtrack.

In the foreign categories, Oscar-winner The Kings Speech won Best European Film while Clint Eastwood's Hereafter won Best Non-European Film.

32nd Festival International de Jazz de Montréal, June 25-July 4

Although Prince got things off to an early start with a show last night, today is the official start of the 32nd edition of the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal. 

Over the course of the festival's ten days, the festival will present more than a thousand concerts and activities, of which 750 are free outdoor shows. The free stages are all centralized around the downtown core, which in spite of some construction is still convenient and accessible.

They will have their usual huge free outdoor bashes which take place this year at the TD stage in the Place des Festivals including tonight's opener Ben l’Oncle Soul. At the Festival’s mid-point on Tuesday, June 28, the Special Electro-Jazz Event takes place with Misteur Valaire. Then wrapping things up on Monday, July 4 for the TD Grand Closing Event in collaboration with XM Canada will be the legendary party band The B‑52s.

Other highlights from this year's jazz festival include Tony Bennett, Joshua Redman, Diana Krall, Paco de Lucia, Don Mclean and America, Sade, Caged Funk, Return to Forever IV, Madeleine Peyroux, Marianne Faithfull, kd lang and the Siss Boom Bang, Robert Plant, Montrealer Nikki Yanofsky, and Blue Rodeo.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Franco-Fête: Festival de la francophonie internationale de Toronto, June 24-26

Franco-Fête announces outstanding line-up for 29th annual festival of Francophone arts and culture

Franco-Fête, Toronto’s International Francophone Festival is proud to announce an exciting line-up for the 29th annual festival of Francophone arts and culture. From June 24 to 26, Franco-Fête is once again teaming up with Harbourfront Centre to feature the best Canadian francophonie has to offer. As the biggest event of its kind in all Toronto and Southwestern Ontario, Franco-Fête will offer FREE activities in French for all ages from kids' events and family-friendly shows to top-billed artists from Canada and around the world.

A great and rare experience, Franco-Fête aims to bring together people of all languages and backgrounds from across the GTA to celebrate Canada’s rich and diverse francophone heritage.

This year, Franco-Fête is venturing into global hot spots and will feature a Spotlight on France, featuring from Tours, French nu-soul singer Benjamin Duterde a.k.a. Ben L’Oncle Soul; from Strasbourg, the French pop, Latin group LéOparleurs; from Marseilles, folk pop rock duo Alcaz and the Parisian reggae sensation, Kyssi Wète. Franco-Fête also welcomes to Toronto Franco-New Zealanders The Mamaku Project with their Pacifica, dub-reggae and jazz stylings.

25th Toronto Jazz Festival, June 24-July 3

The 25th edition of the TD Toronto Jazz Festival kicks off tonight with a 25th Anniversary Street Party. At 8:30pm, the legendary Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin, will perform a FREE concert at the newly renamed David Pecaut Square (formerly Metro Square) at King and John.

For Mainstage admittance there is limited capacity and wristbands will be distributed at 4pm. There will also be two 12 x 8 ft LED screens to be set up outside the tent so that everyone can enjoy the show. King St. will be closed between John and Simcoe from 8pm-1am.

Also performing tonight at the Festival Mainstage are opening act Jordon John & The Blues Angels, and closing group Tyler Yarema & His Rhythm. Meanwhile, Dave Brubeck will be performing at Koerner Hall.

Over the next 10 days, the 2011 TD Toronto Jazz Festival will present 350 concerts with 1,500 musicians at 40 locations to 500,000 people.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

9th annual Festival Montréal Baroque, June 23-26


(Old Montreal, June 23rd – 26th)

The concert menu for the 9th edition of the Montreal baroque Festival is being brewed in a caldron spiced with deadly sin! Sinful composers, criminals, libertines and drunkards, as well as compositions pertaining to deadly sin will be featured in this year’s tasty stew! Take Count Carlo Gesualdo; infamous for the murder of his wife, her lover and his son or Handel and W.F. Bach both two-bottle a meal men. Then there are the libertines, J.B. Lully and J. Rosenmuller! 

Known for original programming, the Montreal Baroque Festival will open on Thursday June 23rd with “SEVEN DEADLY SINS”. A grand Montreal premiere, J-B Lully’s comedie-ballet on the theme of the seven deadly sins, the “Le ballet royal de l’impatience”, starred Louis Quatorze, in the first (and only) performance in 1661. Starring in this, the second performance, will be Montreal’s new ballet company “Les Jardins Chorégraphiques” and the Bande Montreal Baroque. 

Pride will be pushed to its limits on Friday June 24th with the world premiere of J.S. Bach’s “Brandenburg” concertos 7-12! Yes we know Brandenburgs 1-6, but Susie Napper has constructed six new concerti for the Bande Montreal Baroque, having stolen great movements from Bach’s cantatas for this concert entitled “PRIDE AND PREDUDICE”! The late-night concert on June 24th will feature the Ensemble Gesualdo (Amsterdam) in “MADRIGALS OF A MURDERER”, featuring the fabulously and excruciatingly dissonant music of Gesualdo, the serial murderer.

TAIS Animation Showcase 2011 and BunnyJAM!

See great animated shorts ON THE BIG SCREEN in Toronto On.! Thursday, JUNE 23

There'll be:

EXCITEMENT! See fabulous films from local Canadian animators and amazing animations from around the globe! This year is an especially good year with a great selection of short animated films from independent animators.

ADVENTURE! See many styles of short films, both hilarious and thought provoking.. in a the uh..wilds of downtown Toronto.

THRILLS! and SPILLS! ..largely at the after party where you can hob nob with animators and animation enthusiasts, enjoy a beverage or two and a bite!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

13th Annual Parkdale Film + Video Showcase, June 22-26

13th Annual Parkdale Film + Video Showcase

JUNE 22-26, 2011 The Parkdale Film + Video Showcase is an annual summer celebration of the artists and audiences who live and work in the eclectic Parkdale neighbourhood of Toronto. Now in its 13th year, this compact local festival offers engaging and unexpected entry points into media arts production by Parkdale-based artists, including REvisit, a film and video shorts program at the Revue Cinema; a Screening Under the Stars shorts program outdoors in the Fuller Avenue Parkette; REside media installations in the storefronts of Capital Espresso and Common Sort on Queen Street West; as well as video making workshops with members of Parkdale Project Read followed by a screening of their work in our program REread: Parkdale Stories, at the Toronto Public Library’s Parkdale Branch. New this year include our programs REnarrate, a curated program of video, installation and performance throughout the neighbourhood by artists not necessarily living in Parkdale but whose practices explore Parkdale-relevant notions of migration, boundaries, and retelling narratives; REact: Solidarity Sunday, featuring works of artistic protest to commemorate the G20 standoff in Parkdale one year ago today, along with videos featured at past Showcase screenings that offer sensitivity and solidarity with resistance movements nationally and internationally; and YOUTHtube, a presentation of videos at the Toronto Public Library’s Parkdale Branch of video created by participants of the Parkdale Youth Space at St. Christopher House.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Roger Ebert vs. the World on Ryan Dunn's death [UPDATED]

The internet mob mentality can be an ugly thing.

We saw this in the response to the Vancouver hockey riots last week. After a real-life mob let loose on the city, ironically a virtual mob formed to shame, harass and threaten the individuals who were photographed participating in the riots. Roger Ebert expressed astonishment at the vitriol and was then himself attacked as a defender of the rioters like Nathan Kotylak. Yesterday, he clarified himself on Twitter:
O Canada! I wasn't defending Nathan. I was recoiling from some of the venomous remarks on the Facebook page.
While that was exchange was winding down yesterday, he became embroiled in an even bigger online spat. Ryan Dunn of the Jackass movies was killed overnight in a fiery car crash. Many people posted information on this on Twitter in the morning including Ebert who tweeted,
"Jackass" star Ryan Dunn, RIP. His Porsche flew through 40 yards of trees.

Call for submissions: 13e Cours écrire ton court (13th Sprint for your Script)

La Société de développement des entreprises culturelles (SODEC) in collaboration with a number of other arts organizations has put out a call for submissions for their 13th edition of Cours écrire ton court (Sprint for your Script). It is a writing competition for young screenwriters who have a screenplay for a short fiction or animated film of 12 minutes or less.

To be eligible, you must be between the ages of 18 and 35 years old (at the time of the deadline), be pursuing a professional writing career, be a resident of Québec for at least two years, be available between September 13 and October 25, 2010, and never have been selected as a finalist in a previous edition of the contest. Submitted scripts can be in English or French.

Seven finalists will be selected for workshopping and mentorship. A number of prizes are awarded at the end of the mentorship based on the final versions of the scripts, including an $8000 Grand Prix.

Call for submissions: Exhibit P: Photography and Media Art from the Prairies


Exhibit P: Photography and Media Art from the Prairies

The western interior is not simply W.O. Mitchell’s “basic requirements of land and sky,” the kettle lakes and bluffs of Gabrielle Roy’s water-hen country, or the remote forests and mountains of Ralph Connor’s Mounted Police – it is all three and more. – Gerald Friesen

Prefix Institute of Contemporary Art is seeking submissions from photo, film, video and digital artists at all stages of their careers for feature coverage in an upcoming issue of Prefix Photo magazine. To be considered for inclusion, an artist must be a current resident of Manitoba, Saskatchewan or Alberta, or a native of the Canadian Prairies residing elsewhere. Consideration will also be given to any artist whose work explicitly addresses the subject of the Prairies.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Toronto International Film Festival ticket packages now on sale

The Toronto International Film Festival has begun the roll-out for selling its ticket packages for festival screenings. Starting today, packages go on sale for TIFF Members and with Visa only. Starting on July 4, they become available to any Visa cardholder at 10 a.m. ET. Visa is one of the major official sponsors of the festival and is the only credit card they accept. The following week on July 11, all tickets packages are available for purchase by anyone.

Single tickets will go on sale beginning on September 3 (August 25-29 for Members according to giving level).

Telefilm awards 2010 Guichet d’Or to director and writer of Piché: entre ciel et terre

Telefilm Canada awards its 2010 Guichet d’Or to the Canadian director and writer of the feature Piché: entre ciel et terre

Sylvain Archambault and Ian Lauzon take top honours

Montreal, June 20, 2011
– Telefilm Canada this morning awarded its Guichet d’Or prize to the director of Piché: entre ciel et terre, Sylvain Archambault, as well as to the film’s writer, Ian Lauzon. The prize comes with a cash award of $20,000 for each of the winners. The Guichet d’Or has been awarded annually for the past four years to the Canadian writer and director of the French-language feature film with the highest-grossing domestic box-office sales during the previous year. In 2010, Piché: entre ciel et terre was a major success, taking in $3.7 million at the Canadian box office.

“Normally, prizes that reward box-office performance are given to a film’s distributor or producer,” said Carolle Brabant, Executive Director of Telefilm Canada. “At Telefilm, we believe it’s crucial to also congratulate the artists behind the camera, those who bring movies to life. This prize, awarded for a fourth year running, enhances the visibility of our industry’s success stories, which underlines our goal of stimulating demand for Canadian content.”

7th annual ReelHeART International Film Festival, June 20-25

The 7th annual ReelHeART International Film Festival (RHIFF) starts today in Toronto. ReelHeART screens 92 films over the next 6 days and nights. They've trimmed the number of films this year in order to include more multiple screenings of anticipated audience favorites.

The opening day film is Land Gold Women from Mumbai, India and directed by Avantika Hari. It tells the story of Nazir Ali Khan, a family man and professor whose greatest love is his 17-year old-daughter Saira but a heartbreaking discovery leads to betrayal and gut-wrenching tragedy.

The closing night film is Joe Leonard's How I Got Lost, a bittersweet drama that explores the relationship between two buddies in the midst of turmoil and trying to find happiness and meaning in their lives.

Screenings take place at Innis Town Hall located at 2 Sussex Ave., one block south of St. George and Bloor St. West.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

2011 MuchMusic Video Awards (MMVAs) - winners

Tonight, the 2011 MuchMusic Video Awards were handed out in downtown Toronto with a show co-hosted by Selena Gomez along with MuchMusic VJs. Lady Gaga opened the show with a performance of "The Edge of Glory." Other performers on the night included Fefe Dobson, Bruno Mars, The Black Keys, Avril Lavigne, Simple Plan and host Selena Gomez herself.

The prizes were spread evenly amongst the various nominees. While a number of performers received several nominations, Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga were the only multiple winners on the night.

Bieber won UR FAVE Artist and tied with Drake for International Video Of The Year By A Canadian. When he and Drake went up to accept that award, he jokingly asked Gomez out on a date as if everybody didn't already know they were an item. Lady Gaga won for UR FAVE International Artist and International Video Of The Year (Artist) for Judas.

Other winners included Shawn Desman taking Video Of The Year with Electric/Night Like This. Pop Video Of The Year went to Down With Webster for Whoa Is Me while Rock Video Of The Year went to Abandon All Ships for Geeving.

Call for submissions: 1st Annual imagineNATIVE Radio Art Commission

1st Annual imagineNATIVE Radio Art Commission

1st Annual imagineNATIVE Radio Art Commission
Application Deadline: Friday, June 24th by 5pm

imagineNATIVE is seeking proposals from Canadian Indigenous artists for its inaugural Radio Art Commission. The selected artist will produce a short radio/sound art piece to premiere at the 12th annual imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival (October 19-23, 2011) in Toronto.

“Radio has been a facet of imagineNATIVE’s programming since its inception,” said Jason Ryle, Executive Director. “With this project we want to revitalise the role of radio in the Festival and encourage Indigenous artists to view radio as a vital and dynamic medium for their creative expression. We want to push the boundaries of what’s possible to create ‘art you can hear’.”

Saturday, June 18, 2011

178 people invited to join the Academy

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) has invited 178 film industry professionals to join their ranks in the Academy. They generally keep the numbers under 6000. Oscar nominees who aren't already members receive automatic consideration but do not necessarily receive an automatic invitation.

“These individuals are among the best filmmakers working in the industry today,” said Academy President Tom Sherak.  “Their talent and creativity have entertained moviegoers around the world, and I welcome each of them to our ranks.”

Or so he'd like us to believe. There are many distinguished names on the list such as Lesley Manville, Terence Blanchard, Therese DePrez, David Seidler, Aaron Sorkin and Charles Ferguson. But there are also many head-scratchers. The invited actors for example has a few nominees such as Ellen Page and John Hawkes. But the majority are non-nominees and most are not likely to ever become a nominee. Russell Brand? Bradley Cooper? David Duchovny? John Corbett?

This brings us to another point: the list is still populated overwhelmingly by old white men. They are obviously trying to correct that but it seems they're putting more emphasis on age than gender and almost none on ethnic or international representation.

3rd annual 2011 Toronto Youth Shorts Film Festival

The 2011 Toronto Youth Shorts Film Festival takes place today at Innis Town Hall, 2 Sussex Ave., one block south of St. George and Bloor St. West.


Ticket prices are:
Regular Admission - Advanced: $8 Door: $10
Festival Screening Pass: $20 (advance only - while quantities last)

Friday, June 17, 2011

6th Polaris Music Prize - long list

The Polaris Music Prize announced the long list of 40 contenders for the annual Canadian music award. The Polaris Prize is determined by a jury of industry professionals and critics, and comes with a $30,000 cash award.

This year's candidates include 19 out of the 40 receiving recognition for the first time. There are also many recognizable names such as Arcade Fire, Stars, Sloan, Neil Young and Ron Sexsmith.

The first winner of the Polaris Prize in 2006 was Final Fantasy. Subsequent winners have been Patrick Watson, Caribou, Fucked Up and Karkwa.

The short list of 10 will be revealed on July 6, and the winner will be named at a gala on September 19 in Toronto.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Rule changes for Oscar include flexible number of Best Picture nominees

You've got to give the Academy credit for trying.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) regularly tinkers with their Academy Awards procedures to make them as fair and equitable as possible, as well as trying to make them entertaining. It doesn't always work, but at least they try.

To some degree, it's a doomed exercise because no matter what they do, people will always complain. People within the industry don't always agree with each other, let alone with critics or audiences.

The main change that they've made is that the number of Best Picture nominees will now vary between 5 to 10. The exact number will be revealed when the nominees are announced. By introducing a requirement that a must have at least 5% of first place votes on the preferential nomination ballot to be a nominee for Best Picture, they found that the number of nominees in the nine years before expansion would have been anywhere from 5 to 9.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Call for submissions: Infinithéâtre’s "Write-On-Q" playwriting contest

Infinitheatre’s Write-on-Q!
Call for Submissions

Infinithéâtre is looking for innovative, challenging and exciting new works by Québec playwrights. Submissions are accepted in the summer for original, unproduced English or bilingual scripts. The winning play will be selected by a jury of noted Montréal writers and theatre artists and will be awarded The Pam Dunn Prize: $1,000 plus a public reading in The Pipeline reading series. This year playwright, translator and dramaturge Maureen Labonté (head jurist for the prestigious Siminovitch Prize three years running), joins Infinithéâtre’s panel of judges for the first time.

The winning script, as well as two additional plays selected by the jury, will comprise the line-up of the 2011 reading series, The Pipeline, an annual weekend of free public play readings. Infinithéâtre takes its cue from the audience at talkbacks following each event, an open forum with the playwright and actors that provides valuable feedback for future programming and script rewrites.

Go the Fuck to Sleep - read by Samuel L. Jackson

15th Annual Webby Awards - five-word speeches

Five-Word Speeches Mark 15th Annual Webby Awards at Hammerstein Ballroom

Dan Savage: Tracy Morgan Can Suck My…
Anna Wintour: Sometimes Geek Can Be Chic
Will Ferrell Ignores Five-Word Mandate in Favor of Haiku

New York, NY (June 14, 2010) - Highlighting a star-studded evening of Webby friendly five-word speeches, Dan Savage struck back at Tracy Morgan's recent controversial remarks in his acceptance speech of a Special Recognition Award at the 15th Annual Webbys tonight at The Hammerstein Ballroom. Savage, accepting his award for founding the groundbreaking It Gets Better Project, used his short speech to deliver a pointed message to the outspoken comic.

"Tracy Morgan can suck my…," said Savage in his scathing critique of the star of NBC's 30 Rock.
In another notable five-word speech, Vogue Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour delivered remarks clearly aimed at her audience: "Sometimes geek can be chic," the legendary editor said.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Call for submissions: ReelWorld's Indie Film Lounge 2011, Emerging 20

The ReelWorld Film Festival in Toronto has put out a call for the next class of the Emerging 20 to take part in their Indie Film Lounge.

The ReelWorld Film Festival is Toronto's multicultural film festival. Each fall during the during the Toronto International Film Festival, they host a special event called the Indie Film Lounge. It is an excellent opportunity that provides emerging diverse filmmakers with contact with and mentoring from established industry professionals.

The deadline for submissions is 6pm on July 30, 2011.

17th North by Northeast (NXNE) festival - music, film, interactive; June 13-19

The 17th North by Northeast (NXNE) festival starts tonight in Toronto. Primarily a week-long music festival, it also features a companion film festival and an interactive component.

The music portion will see 650 Bands on 50 Stages. Acts include Devo, Descendents, Stars, The Pharcyde, Men Without Hats, Digable Planets, Twin Shadow, OFF!, Art Brut, Shad, Land of Talk, Chad VanGaalen, and Cults. As well, they will be joined by the likes of The Dodos, Deerhoof, Hot Water Music, The Bouncing Souls, and Anti-Flag (previously announced), plus Dum Dum Girls, Evan Dando & Juliana Hatfield, Braids, Ty Segall, Suuns, PS I Love You, Crocodiles, Wild Nothing, The Pack A.D., Metz, Dirty Beaches, Forest City Lovers, The Luyas, Lower Dens, Gentlemen Husbands, Rusty, Royal Bangs, Julianna Barwick, No Joy, Prince Rama, Doldrums, Secret Cities, Evening Hymns, Snowblink, Parlovr, Talk Normal, PUJOL, Woodsman, Gauntlet Hair, Joey Cape, Tape Deck Mountain, AIDS Wolf, Houses, CJ Ramone, and Kevin Seconds. A number of free public concerts will take place at Yonge-Dundas Square.

The film festival takes place primarily at the National Film Board (150 John Street), the Hyatt Regency Toronto (370 King W) and at the Toronto Underground Cinema (186 Spadina Ave). A short film that I co-directed with Katarina Soukup called Notes from the Kuerti Keyboard with renowned pianist Anton Kuerti will play at 12:30pm Saturday, June 18 at the NFB theatre. I hope to see you there.

In the Beginning: A Jewish Playwrights Festival, June 13-16

The 2nd annual In the Beginning: A Jewish Playwrights Festival takes place over the next four days at the JCC Miles Nadal in Toronto.

Each night brings a different play by a different Jewish Canadian playwright and a Jewish Canadian director. Tonight's offering is The Peace Maker by Natasha Greenblatt and directed by Aviva Armour-Ostroff. This will be followed by Therefore Choose Life by Kathy Kacer and Jake Epstein directed by Jen Schuber; Haunted by Daniel Karasik directed by Richard Rose; and Tough Jews by Michael Ross Albert directed by Jack Grinhaus.

The Miles Nadal JCC is located at 750 Spadina Avenue at Bloor St. W. All shows begin at 7:00pm and are free.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

65th Annual Tony Awards - winners

The American Theatre Wing presented their 65th Tony Awards tonight at the Beacon Theatre in New York City. The event was hosted by Neil Patrick Harris.

"War Horse" by Nick Stafford was named Best Play, beating out "Good People," "Jerusalem" and "The Motherfucker With the Hat". It also took four other awards including Best Direction for Marianne Elliott and Tom Morris.

"The Book of Mormon" was the big winner in the musical section. It won a total of nine awards including Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical, Best Original Score, Best Actress in a Musical (Nikki M. James), and Best Direction (Casey Nicholaw and Trey Parker). Parker thanked the fans of South Park, saying "Without you we wouldn't be here." 

"The Normal Heart" won Best Revival of a Play. Its stars John Benjamin Hickey and Ellen Barkin won Best Actor and Actress respectively for their performances.

38th Annual Student Academy Awards - medalists

After announcing the winners for the 38th Annual Student Academy Awards, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) held a ceremony at the Academy's Samuel Goldwyn Theater to present them with their awards and to reveal their placement as winners of Gold, Silver or Bronze medals.

The Gold Medal in the Narrative category was Julian Higgins' Thief. It tells the story of a boy who befriends a young Saddam Hussein, and who meets him again forty years later. Higgins attended the American Film Institute in California.

The Foreign Student Film category was won by Norway's Tuba Atlantic by Hallvar Witzo. For Animation, their was a tie. Zach Hyer's Correspondence and Dragonboy by Bernardo Warman and Shaofu Zhang were co-winners of the Gold Medal. Wonjung Bae's Vera Klement: Blunt Edge was the Gold medalist for Documentary. The additional Alternative category only had one finalist, The Vermeers, which of course took a Gold Medal.

The presenters were Jennifer Garner, producer Edward Zwick and animator John Musker, who joined Academy president Tom Sherak.

2011 Leo Awards, part two - complete winners

After presenting their first group awards earlier this week, the Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Foundation of British Columbia held their gala ceremony at Fairmont Hotel Vancouver for the remaining winners for the 13th annual Leo Awards yesterday. The Leo Awards are an annual celebration of excellence and achievement for the the British Columbia film and television industry.

The film Gunless starring Paul Gross came out on top with four awards including Best Feature Length Drama, Best Cinematography (Greg Middleton) and Best Production Design (Matthew Budgeon). Transparency claimed Best Direction (Raul Inglis) and Best Editing (Richard Martin). Fathers&Sons was also a multiple winner for Musical Score (Schaun Tozer) and Supporting Actor (Jay Brazeau). Altitude had previously been announced as winner in two sound categories.

Charles Officer's Mighty Jerome completed its sweep of the feature documentary section by winning  Best Feature Length Documentary Program. This goes with its three previously announced awards.

The television side was led by the comedy Hiccups, which won five awards including Best Music, Comedy, or Variety Program or Series. It also won for Direction (James Dunnison), Screenwriting (David Moses), Editing (Lisa Binkley) and Performance in a Music, Comedy, or Variety Program or Series (Nancy Robertson).

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Inaugural Toronto International Stereoscopic 3D Conference, June 11-14

Today is the launch of the first ever Toronto International Stereoscopic 3D Conference. Organized by York University and 3D FLIC, the event promises to be a "one of a kind international gathering of experts in the stereoscopic 3D art and entertainment arena."

The conference kicks off with a bang with renowned German director Wim Wenders presenting a Keynote/Masterclass. His latest award-winning film is PINA, a 3D feature documentary about the legendary dancer and choreographer Pina Bausch.

Other highlights include a screening and post-production case study on Resident Evil: Afterlife with producer Don Carmody and the post-production team, and other Keynote/Masterclasses by Peter Anderson, ASC – On Stereography and by Catherine Owens - On Directing 3D.

This is sure to be an interesting event, especially since 3D has undergone a decline after the huge excitement created by Avatar. After overcharging for bad conversions, recent controversies about low light levels in 3D projection at theatres, ongoing campaigns against 3D by Roger Ebert and others against 3D, and criticism within the industry as 3D ticket sales collapse, 3D is an important filmmaking tool and technique that is in danger of becoming extinct.

Friday, June 10, 2011

5th Luminato, Toronto Festival of Arts and Creativity, June 10-19

Today is the start of the 5th Luminato, Toronto Festival of Arts and Creativity. It's a multidisciplinary festival that includes film, music (both classical and contemporary), theatre, dance, literature, visual arts, fashion, food and design.

This year, the newly renamed David Pecaut Square at the southeast corner of King St. W. and John St. will be the Luminato Festival Hub. The square was renamed after the late co-founder of Luminato and will be where free events will take place every night, including concerts by Grammy-award winners Kronos Quartet, The Joel Plaskett Emergency, They Might Be Giants, and k.d. lang.

After receiving the prestigious Avery Fisher Prize Wednesday night at Lincoln Center in New York, the renowned Kronos Quarter begins a residency at the Luminato Festival in Toronto that includes four concerts reflecting their musical diversity. There will also be free screenings of films featuring their performances on the soundtrack, including Darren Aronofsky's excellent Requiem for a Dream.

Les FrancoFolies de Montréal, June 9-18

The 23rd edition of Les FrancoFolies de Montréal takes place over the next 10 days. FrancoFolies is the annual music festival of francophone performers or those from francophone countries.

The program features over 150 free outdoor shows and 60 indoor concerts. There will also be a free nightly event in the Place des Festivals.

The festival opens with Marjo et ses hommes. Featured performers include Éric Lapointe, Béatrice Bonifassi, Étienne Daho, Jeanne Moreau, Grand Corps Malade, CharlÉlie Couture, Nicola Ciccone, Marie-Mai, Alfa Rococo, Paul Piché, Habib Koité & Bamada, Cali, Bernard Adamus and Damien Robitaille, and a tribute to Gerry Boulet.

The festival continues at various venues until June 18.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

2011 Leo Awards, part one - winners

The Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Foundation of British Columbia announced part one of the winners for the 2011 Leo Awards yesterday. The Leo Awards are an annual celebration of excellence and achievement for the the British Columbia film and television industry.

Most of the awards given were for technical categories or smaller projects. In feature film, Altitude
received awards in Overall Sound and Sound Editing.

The excellent documentary Mighty Jerome by Charles Officer received three awards in the categories of Picture Editing, Overall Sound and Musical Score.

The remaining awards will be given out at a gala ceremony on Saturday, June 11 in Vancouver.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

12th Annual Canadian Comedy Awards - nominations

The Canadian Comedy Foundation for Excellence has announced the nominations for the 12th Annual Canadian Comedy Awards, also known as "The Beavers." The Beavers are given in recognition of comedic excellence in the categories of Live Shows, Film, Television, Radio and Internet categories.

The nominees in film are led by Seth W. Owen's Peepers with 5 nominations. It's nominations were for Best Film, Director, Actor (Jacob Medjuck), Actress (Janine Theriault) and Writer (Seth W. Owen, Mark Slutsky, Daniel Perlmutter).

It was followed by four nominations each for Jacob Tierney's Good Neighbours and Jacob Medjuck's Summerhood including Best Film. The other Best Film nominees were Gravy Train and Don't Walk Out That Door.

The television section was led by Call Me Fitz and Less Than Kind, with each receiving three nominations. CBC’s The Debaters received two nominations for television and another two for radio.

Poster for David Fincher's The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

This is the new raunchy poster for David Fincher's remake of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. This comes on the heels of a "pirated" trailer for the film which was on Youtube for a while before being taken down.

Click to enlarge.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

32nd Annual Dora Mavor Moore Awards - nominations

The nominations for the 32nd Annual Dora Mavor Moore Awards or "Doras" have been announced.

Leading the way with eight nominations was A Year With Frog and Toad, including mentions for Best Musical Production and Director (Allen MacInnis). It was followed by seven nominations each for Brothel #9, Blasted and paper Series. Nominations for Brothel #9 included Best Production, Actress (Anusree Roy), Actor (Ash Knight) and Director (Nigel Shawn Williams). Blasted received those same mentions for Best Production, Actor (David Ferry), Actress (Michelle Monteith) and Director (Brendan Healy). In the Independent Production Division, paper Series' seven nominations included Best Production, Director (Nina Lee Aquino) and Performance (The Ensemble).

Soulpepper Theatre Company led the companies with 10 nominations overall for seven different shows. Cahoots Theatre Company managed nine nominations between paper Series and A Taste of Empire. The Canadian Opera Company dominated the Opera Division with eight nominations for five of its shows. Mirvish leads in the musical theatre division with five nominations for its productions Billy Elliot The Musical and Priscilla Queen of the Desert The Musical.    

Also announced were three honourary awards. The Leonard McHardy and John Harvey Award for administrators in theatre, dance and opera goes to Ghislain Caron, managing director of Theatre francais de Toronto; the George Luscombe Award for mentorship in theatre will go to playwright, director and former Native Earth artistic director Yvette Nolan; and the Barbara Hamilton Memorial Award for excellence and advocacy in the arts goes to actor/director/dramaturge/teacher David Ferry, also a Best Performance nominee for his role in Blasted.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Inaugural Toronto Theatre Critics' Awards - winners

The lead theatre critics for Toronto's daily newspapers have joined together to create the first-ever Toronto Theatre Critics' Awards.

Andrew Kushnir’s The Middle Place for both Theatre Passe Muraille and Canadian Stage was the winner for Best Production. In the Musical category, Dancap's South Pacific was singled out. The Best Canadian Play was Stephen Massicotte's The Clockmaker.

The Best Director recognition went to the late Gina Wilkinson for Wide Awake Hearts. Wilkinson tragically passed away from cervical cancer in December at the age of 50.

A Special Citation was named for the Factory  Theatre’s artistic director Ken Gass. The critics wrote "Ken Gass would have earned the gratitude of the Toronto Theatre Critics if he had just founded Factory Theatre and made it the thriving home for Canadian playwrights that it became. But later in both his and the organization’s life, when it was about to close its doors, Gass returned and devoted his considerable energies to putting it on track again. It continues to be the place where some of the best Canadian playwrights debut, develop and grow."

THR’s Comedy Showrunners Roundtable Video

Last week, The Hollywood Reporter released their roundtable interview with seven Drama Showrunners. Today, they have followed up with their Comedy Showrunners Roundtable.

The gathered participants are Steve Levitan (Modern Family), Jenny Bicks (The Big C), Bill Prady (The Big Bang Theory), Liz Brizius (Nurse Jackie), Mike Schur (Parks and Recreation) and Dan Harmon (Community).

Unlike the previous roundtable with drama writers, it is refreshing to see that they've included two women in the mix. There is still no ethnic diversity, but at least they're making some progress.

The topics discussed include working personal story lines into their shows, getting crazy notes (feedback) on their scripts, reacting to criticism received through social media such as Twitter, and their take on the whole Charlie Sheen fiasco.

5th annual Guys Choice Awards - winners

Spike TV held their 5th annual Guys Choice Awards at Sony Studios this weekend. Mark Wahlberg was declared Guy of the Year, while his movie The Fighter took the prize for Guy Movie of the Year. The real-life Micky Ward and Dicky Eklund joined director David O. Russell and Wahlberg to accept the award for The Fighter.

Keith Richards was also a double winner, with awards for Brass Balls presented by Robert De Niro, and for Outstanding Literary Achievement for his memoir "Life."

Robert De Niro also presented the Guy Movie Hall of Fame Award to Fast Times at Ridgemont High and its stars Sean Penn, Judge Reinhold, Forest Whitaker, Robert Romanus, Brian Backer and director Amy Heckerling.

Canadian Comedian Jim Carrey was named Funniest M.F. (i.e. motherfucker), while the actress Jennifer Aniston received the Decade Of Hotness Award.

20th annual MTV Movie Awards - winners

The 20th annual MTV Movie Awards again crowned the Twilight series to be the night's biggest winner. It had led the nominations and took a total of five Golden Popcorn trophies including Best Movie, Best Male Performance (Robert Pattinson) and Best Female Performance (Kristen Stewart). Rumoured real-life couple Pattinson and Stewart also won for Best Kiss and they again teased their fans with a near-kiss before Pattinson went and kissed Taylor Lautner.

At last year's MTV Awards
, The Twilight Saga: New Moon also won five awards.

The MTV Generation Award was presented to Reese Witherspoon. She accepted after a very awkward introduction by Pattinson who flubbed a joke about playing her son (Vanity Fair) and later her lover (Like Water for Elephants) onscreen. She did his joke much better, telling him he should have declared himself "best motherfucker in Hollywood." Of course, it was bleeped for broadcast.