Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Toronto International Film Festival announces 2013 Documentary lineup

TIFF Docs world premieres include works by Penn & Teller, artist Chris Jordan, Jehane Noujaim, Alanis Obomsawin and Leanne Pooley; North American premieres by renowned directors Errol Morris, Frederick Wiseman, Marcel Ophüls and Claude Lanzmann

TORONTO – The Toronto International Film Festival® today announced its 2013 programme of documentaries. The TIFF Docs lineup offers a world of discovery through a mix of veteran filmmakers and newcomers, including two first-time feature documentary directors — Chris Jordan and Teller — who achieved notoriety in areas outside of film, as well as a quartet of Canadian entries.

"This year's documentaries are rich with obsessive and impassioned characters — in pursuit of art, democracy and insatiable appetites — both on screen and behind the camera," said TIFF documentary programmer Thom Powers. "They inspire a range of emotions from awe-stricken to angry and sometimes laugh-out-loud funny."

Toronto International Film Festival announces 2013 Vanguard and TIFF Cinematheque selection


TORONTO — The Toronto International Film Festival® Vanguard programme takes audiences on a sensory rollercoaster ride with boundary-pushing international works that are bold and bodacious. Curated by international programmer Colin Geddes, this lineup brings the best in genre and arthouse together for a cinematic odyssey that eludes conventional definition.

“From revenge and ruin to sex, drugs and taxation, this programme challenges audiences to go places that no audience has gone before,” said Geddes. “Where Midnight Madness opens up audiences to a world of fear and fantasy, Vanguard plunges them into a confrontational and unnerving one that sometimes comes a bit too close to reality for comfort.”

Toronto International Film Festival announces 2013 City to City lineup


TORONTO — The 2013 Toronto International Film Festival® shines its spotlight on 10 daring feature films from the city of Athens, Greece for the fifth edition of the City to City programme. The lineup showcases adventurous new works by contemporary directors living and working in this ancient metropolis, and will expose audiences to the fearless cinema emerging from the region.

This year’s lineup was programmed by Cameron Bailey, Artistic Director of the Toronto International Film Festival, and Dimitri Eipides, International Programmer for the Festival. The City to City series focuses on the films and filmmakers from a selected international hot spot breaking new ground in cinema, regardless of where the films are set.

Toronto International Film Festival announces 2013 Midnight Madness lineup


TORONTO — The Toronto International Film Festival® celebrates 25 years of Midnight Madness with a murderers’ row of wild cinematic thrills. Programmed by Colin Geddes, the international lineup aims right for the jugular with everything froman extraterrestrial gore-thriller and sinister sex-comedy, to an Asian exotic horror film and a visually-stunning reinvention of the Italian cannibal genre.

“Since its 1988 launch, the Midnight Madness programme emerged as a touchstone of cinematic shock, satiating the adventurous palate of bloodthirsty cinephiles from all over the world,” said Geddes, International Programmer for the Festival. “When the witching hour strikes and the human brain starts slipping into dream mode, the Ryerson Theatre will once again serve up a feast of phantasmagorical characters and jaw-dropping scenes, playing host to bizarre biological monstrosities, ruthless dominatrix gangs, paranormal mirrors, and the hijinks of supernatural cheerleaders.”

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

2013 Toronto International Film Festival announces first 75 films

The Toronto International Film Festival announced the first 75 titles for this year's festival this morning. The opening night film will be the world premiere of 12 Years a Slave by Steve McQueen and stars Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Dano and Paul Giamatti, with Brad Pitt playing a Canadian.

The closing night film will be the world premiere of Life of Crime by Daniel Schechter, based on the novel The Switch, by Elmore Leonard. The film stars John Hawkes, yasiin bey (Mos Def), Jennifer Aniston, Tim Robbins, Isla Fisher, Will Forte, and Mark Boone Jr.

The 38th annual Toronto International Film Festival takes place from September 5-15, 2013 in various locations in downtown Toronto.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Fantasia International Film Festival 2013, July 18-Aug 7

The 17th edition of the Fantasia Festival International de Films kicks off tonight in Montreal with a screening of Takashi Miike's Wara no Tate (Shield of Straw) at the Cinéma Impérial. The film which played at Cannes in Competition is about a police unit that has to bring a young girl's murder suspect to Tokyo after the girl's wealthy grandfather offers a billion yen for the head of the suspect.

The second opening night film is The Conjuring by James Wan. The horror film stars Vera Farmiga, Joey King and Patrick Wilson, and is supposedly based on a true story of a couple who are asked to investigate the paranormal events at a farmhouse in Harrisville.

In addition to 120 feature films, Fantasia also presents (in collaboration with Société des arts technologiques, Le Quartier des spectacles and 24Heures) the free screening series Fantasia Under the Stars on July 10-11 and 13-14. The free outdoor screenings take place at the Place the la Paix, on Boul. Saint-Laurent near the Monument-National and the S.A.T. (1201, Saint-Laurent). In case of rain, the screenings will be cancelled. From 7-9pm, there will be DJs and guest chefs, followed by the screening at 9pm.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

M60 Montreal 60-Second Film Festival sign-up party and screening tonight

This year's M60 Montreal 60-Second Film Festival hosts its sign-up party tonight. It starts at 8:30pm and takes place at Société des Arts Technologiques (SAT) at 1201 boulevard Saint-Laurent rather than at Casa del Popolo as in year's past.

Every year, they have a free party for filmmakers to sign up to make a one-minute film on a given topic. The topic is usually bilingual so that filmmakers can adapt to it in both French and English. Last year's given topic was "faux pas." You will then have a month to make your film however you wish. All completed films will be screened over several nights at Cinéma Excentris in September.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

2013 Directors Guild of Canada Awards – nominees announced

The DGC congratulates the 2013 DGC Awards nominees announced today in Toronto. Selected from close to 200 submissions, the nominees in 19 categories represent a cross section of the industry's outstanding talent working in the screen-based industry.

The Awards will be presented at the annual Gala on Saturday, October 26, 2013 at the prestigious Royal York Hotel. Hosted by multi-talented comedian, actor and musician Seán Cullen, 2013 marks the 12th edition of the DGC Awards. The evening will feature special surprise guests and a Nominees' reception prior to the Gala.

"I am proud of the nominees and what their collective body of work brings to this country's industry as well as to the Guild as a whole," stated Sturla Gunnarsson, President, DGC. "It is an honour to be a part of this organization and to lead the celebration of the best work created by DGC Members last year."

Monday, July 8, 2013

The Festival International de Jazz de Montréal wraps up its 34th edition

After all the dark clouds that have converged on Montreal recently, it was time for our city to hoist high its colours and reclaim its legendary joie de vivre! And without a sliver of doubt, that’s exactly what happened over the past 10 days and nights, thanks to the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal presented by TD in collaboration with Rio Tinto Alcan. Montreal once again showcased all of its characteristic splendour for the entire world, revealing its elemental nature: a welcoming, friendly city with an original, lively persona, where all live and share in harmony. Yes, Montreal once again had Planet Jazz talking about its finest, noblest qualities: its unique party spirit, its warmth and humanity, cultural curiosity and open mind, heart and soul.

As a result, our city once again laid claim to its enviable position as the capital of peaceful, celebratory large-scale public gatherings, established 34 years ago by its renowned Jazz Festival, this massive, refreshing international breeding ground of musical genres and artists ranking among the most talented in the world. We witnessed a dazzling variety of concerts, from jazz to hip-hop, blues to country, intimate to wide-screen, performed by new discoveries and legends alike, all under the umbrella of a common denominator: quality. Let us offer a particular tip of the hat to the outdoor program: it was virtually impossible to stroll the site without happening upon some utterly surprising concert, leading us to forget our original destination in the face of so much talent at every stop! In short, we experienced a magical and enchanting 34th edition, which injected a healthy dose of optimism back into Montreal!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Review: Oliver Jones sparkles in an intimate solo concert

Montreal's own jazz superstar Oliver Jones played the first of two sold-out shows last night and was quite brilliant as usual. However, this time he played the entire night unaccompanied and unamplified, a lovely and all-too-rare presentation. The entire experience was delightful and even thrilling, earning him fully-deserved standing ovations.

He opened the show with "It Could Happen to You" and took us through a whirlwind of standards such as "Georgia On My Mind" and "All the Things You Are," his own "Something for Chuck," and compositions by his friend and mentor Oscar Peterson "Place St. Henri," "When Summer Comes" and "Hymn to Freedom." Interestingly, he included three medleys by audience favourites Nat King Cole, George Gershwin and Duke Ellington. Each was very warmly received and had some in the audience humming along discreetly.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

TIFF in the Park 2013: A Summer of Romance, July 3-Aug 28

Tonight, the series of free screenings TIFF in the Park begins its 2013 season with a presentation of the 1942 film Casablanca by Michael Curtiz. Every Wednesday at sunset beginning in July, TIFF and the Toronto Entertainment District BIA present free outdoor screenings of romantic classics at David Pecaut Square, directly west of Roy Thomson Hall.

The series continues in following weeks with a mix of classic films such as Charlie Chaplin's City Lights and William Wyler's Roman Holiday, along with some more contemporary films such as Norman Jewison's Moonstruck and Nick Cassavetes' The Notebook, which concludes the season on August 28.