Wednesday, March 20, 2013

2013 Canadian Film Fest, Mar 20-23

Today, the Canadian Film Fest kicks off with some industry events during the day, followed by the evening gala presentation of Martin Doepner's Rouge sang (The Storm Within). The opening night party takes place at The Monarch Tavern at 12 Clinton Street, just south of College Street.

Other feature films being presented include Shandi Mitchell's The Disappeared, Josh Jensen's The Scene: An Exploration of Music in Toronto, and Please Kill Mr. Know It All by Sandra Feldman and Colin Carter. The Closing Night screening will be Alex Boothby's Mr. Viral.

The festival also presents a selection of short films, some of which screen ahead of feature films. The short film program on Saturday afternoon includes the film Four Paws, a little ditty I made with co-director Faisal Lutchmedial and starring Joslyn Rogers and me.


The festival kicks off with Toronto premiere of Martin Doepner’s The Storm Within

The executive director of the Canadian Film Fest (CFF), Bern Euler, is delighted to announce the complete lineup for the 7th edition, which includes the Toronto Premiere of The Storm Within (Rouge Sang) as the Opening Night Film. Boasting six feature films alongside nineteen short films, the Canadian Film Fest will take place at The Royal from March 20-23, 2013. For more information on the Canadian Film Fest visit

"Last year, Torontonians welcomed us back to the scene with open arms and it was a bonafide success,” said Euler, adding, "We are thrilled to present another exciting edition with a slate of solid films and panels to audiences eager to see and support our homegrown talent."

The Canadian Film Fest’s sole focus is to bring the best in Canadian cinema to Torontonians. In addition to the film screenings over the course of four days, the CFF will present various for industry and public alike, which will be announced at a later date.

The feature and short film lineup for the Canadian Film Fest is a mixture of drama, documentary and genre films ensuring something for all tastes.

Feature Film Lineup

Director: Martin Doepner
Cast: Isabelle Guérard, Lothaire Bluteau, Anthony Lemke
On New Year’s Eve 1799, Esperance with her three young children, anxiously await the return of her husband. With a snowstorm brewing, five British soldiers invade her home to take cover from the blizzard. As the night progresses, so does the tension in the small cabin in the woods. Horrific acts are committed and blood is spilled in the name of revenge. As the victim becomes the aggressor, one quickly understands that there is no place for mercy in hell.

THE DISAPPEARED – Toronto Premiere
Director: Shandi Mitchell
Cast: Billy Campbell, Shawn Doyle, Brian Downie, Ryan Doucette, Gary Levert, Neil Matheson
A fishing boat has sunk on the North Atlantic. The crew escapes in two dories with scant supplies. In their struggle to survive these six men come to understand it is not only the ocean they must triumph over but also themselves they must conquer.

MR. VIRAL – Toronto Premiere
Director: Alex Boothby
Cast: Jefferson Brown, Alex Appel, Christian Lloyd And Michael Ripley
Mr. Viral combines three stories of perversion, coercion and sin, set in the world of viral advertising. A brilliant but twisted ad man creates a secret viral marketing campaign to save his failing ad agency and take revenge on his smarmy replacements. He rebrands their kid’s toys as sex toys and adult diapers as kink-wear, inspiring an underground cult following. In the same office, a spastic, gay account girl recruits a group of crazed Quebec e-stalkers in a desperate attempt to catch her wife cheating. Meanwhile, an aging accountant falls into a dangerous trap while seeking love on the Internet. All three stories simmer and explode as they become linked by a mysterious digital pimp who calls himself Mr. V.

PLEASE KILL MR. KNOW IT ALL – Toronto Premiere
Directors: Sandra Feldman and Colin Carter
Cast: Lara Jean Chorostecki, Jefferson Brown, Kristina Pesic, Cliff Saunders, Al Sapienza, Colin Mochrie
Cynical Sally ghostwrites an advice column under the pseudonym “Mr. Know It All.” When a celebrity endorsement turns her column into an overnight success, Sally submits a sketch of Albert, a handsome stranger she spots in a movie theatre, as the face of Mr. Know It All. Unfortunately, Albert happens to be a contract killer and cannot walk down the street without being recognized. For the sake of his livelihood, he decides he must kill Mr. Know It All.

Director: Josh Jensen
Featuring: The Ruby Spirit, Committed To Rhyme, The Alter Kakers, Bif Naked, Anvil, Tokyo Police Club
The film follows trio of indie rock bands as they refine their sound, promote their shows, and record their music in the city of Toronto. With commentary from music legends, chart-toppers, band managers, talent agents, radio personalities, and industry experts, The Sceneexplores the realities of pursuing a career in Canada's music capital.

SKULL WORLD – World Premiere
Director: Justin McConnell
Cast: Greg Sommer/Skull Man, Jason Pluscec, Shane Patterson, Sean Chillcott, Merv Perez, Ross Koger, Hoss Siegel, Josh Spiegel, Stefano Manera, Sandra Sommer
Greg Sommer is an enigma, wrapped inside a mystery, encased in a Jean-Jacket Vest. An enterprising man in his early 30s, Greg, and his alter-ego SKULL MAN, are at war. Welcome to Greg’s world : a world of warriors, magic, and glory, where he is building the Canadianchapter of BOX WARS, an international underground movement of Cardboard-based combat. Skull World follows two years in the life of Greg, and sheds light on exactly what makes him, and his goals in life, so unique.

Short Film Lineup

Director: Justin Kelly
Cast: Scott McCord, Ariel McDonald, Daveed Louza, Glen McDonald, David Tompa
The comedy trio “Funny Stuff” encounter their Canadian TV star hero, Scott McCord, star of the hit TV hostage drama “Rookie Flash Bang”, while going door to door to raise funds for their comedy show, “Making Funny Stuff”. Impressed by their awe for him, Scott makes the unfortunate mistake of inviting the infantile and tragically untalented trio into his home to impart some of his comedy wisdom to them.

Director: Scott McCord
Cast: Priya Rao, Kristopher Turner, Kris Holden-Ried, Shannon Barnett
When thirty-something April falls for Matt, a charming British author, she believes she's found 'the one' and envisions a future together. Instantly smitten, she begins a flirtatious yet awkward communication via text message. When Matt first replies, April assumes the adoration is mutual. Except it's not.

Director: J.F. Martel
Cast: Lucie Krystiyan, Jim Roy
Cicada is the story of a boy on the run from what he cannot escape. Austere in its execution and married to the perspective of its young protagonist to the end, the film is a meditation on innocence, nature and the yearning for timelessness.

Director: Teresa Alfeld
Cast: Katherine Addington, Caitlin Dodd, David Mubanda, Katharine King, Kai Nagata, Benedict Marsh
Canadian former teen-pop superstar Charlie Gauvin is launching a career comeback after several years away from the spotlight. Having split from the producing machine that made her, Charlie is determined to do things her way this time around. She quickly finds that much has changed since she left the limelight, and recapturing her fame will be far more difficult than she imagined.

Director: Geordie Sabbagh
Cast: John Ralston, Natalie Brown, Michael Healey
The Edwards were happily married. When their marriage hit a rough patch, they sought advice. Now they hate each other. So, in a last-ditch effort to save their marriage, they kidnap their marriage counsellor.

Director: Rouzbeh Heydari
Cast: Raven Vern Black, Davin Black
With his son in jail, poor aging Dad has no one to help him garden anymore. Dug Up is a short film adaptation of an old urban legend. Illustrating an un-breakable bond between a father and his distanced son.

Director: Torin Langen
Cast: Raven Cousens, Youp Zondag, Emma McDonald, Rebecca McAulay, Mickey Condé
When a mysterious duo embarks on a journey to fulfill their Halloween tradition, things are not quite as innocent as they may seem. Childish festivities mask an operation more disturbing than meets the eye, and tampered treats will be the least of our worries. This Devil's Night, his minions walk among us.

Director: Alfredo Salvatore Arcilesi
Cast: Charles Lo Manto, Kelly-Marie Murtha
For Clearer Skies observes the mental and physical unraveling of a man who struggles to decide whether or not to pursue survival as his race nears extinction.

Director: David Eng, Faisal Lutchmedial
Cast: Joslyn Rogers, David Eng
Boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy decides he didn't want girl anyway.

Director: Michael Schmidt
Cast: Joshua Peace, Michael Copeman
When Jim happens upon a door by the side of the road, he approaches the presumed owner to ask if he can take it. But this simple request turns complicated when the owner informs Jim the “free door” is not for him. What results is an absurdist comedy about seizing the opportunities that are presented to us, and the regrets, and repercussions, of when we do not.

Director: Chris Remerowski
Cast: Marquis Bobesich, Meagan Fallenbock
Homeless companions Jerry and Harriet flee hostile streets to set up camp in an idyllic inner-city ravine. They find sanctuary and love at the river’s edge. Harriet is drawn to Jerry, even as her suspicions about him grow. They are pulled apart by a shocking revelation.

Director: Cody Campanale
Cast: Sandra DaCosta, Charles Lo Manto
Maxine and Dale make an agreement: While Maxine is away on business; Dale is free to pursue Maxine’s girlfriend as long as he stops his advances when she returns home. The Agreement asks us whether we truly control our own agency? Or, are decisions concerning us being made without our knowledge?

Director: Francesco Giannini
Cast: Tim Hines, Paul Ash, Kristina Sandev, Trudi Yearwood, Samuel Platel
It's the final show of the season, and everyone around the world is watching. Which couple's baby will be born first and win five million dollars? Join host Ken Gould, his four finalists and dozens of others on the reality show that proves that everything is for sale, and nothing is private.

Director: Matt Sadowski
Cast: Matt Watts, Kate Todd, Lauren Ash and Halle Nunes
Bird, a grumpy employee at the family fun centre, spends his days resetting the bowling
lanes, cleaning up toddler puke and pining for the pretty girl who works the snack bar. Will 6 the appearance of a precocious six-year-old and a children’s book, simply titled S, stand in his way or help him find his happiness?

Student Showcase

Director: Derek Branscombe (Concordia University)
Cast: Eun Kyung Cho, Jin Yong Lee, Minseo Cho, Sofia Kim
The surface impression of an ideal Korean family slowly unravels as director Branscombe’s jagged, non-linear narrative takes the viewer along a Korean mother’s disturbing descent into the darkest recesses of her soul.

Director: Alex P. Smith (Sheridan College)
Cast: Aiden : Jackson Martin, Claire Armstrong, Kane Mahon, Alex Tucci
Aiden's mother tells him that if he spends one minute with each fear using his grandfather’s stopwatch to time it, his nightmares will go away forever. The following day Aiden returns home from school to learn that his mother has been killed in a car accident. That night, Aiden starts on the incredible journey to overcome his fears one by one.

Director: Ariane Lorrain (Concordia University)
Cast: Kat, Ray, Alexandra, Logan, Rusty
Blue Bird is the portrait of a family of five who has chosen a nomadic lifestyle through their moving home, a school bus.

DEDICATION (York University)
Director: Brian Gregory
Cast: Cristhian Ramirez, Gabriel Ramirez, Ashton Martin.
A look into the life of a young photographer torn between his passion and survival.

ZEN (Concordia University)
Director: Arshad Khan (Concordia University)
Cast: Kunval Mudhar, Pal Mudhar and Zen Mudhar
Zen is a three-year-old boy with cerebral palsy whose parents put their entire lives on the line in order to get the much-needed therapies that are not covered by the Canadian health care system.

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