Monday, December 21, 2015

10 contenders remain in Visual Effects Oscar race

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences today announced that 10 films remain in the running in the Visual Effects category for the 88th Academy Awards®.

The Academy’s Visual Effects Branch Executive Committee determined the shortlist. All members of the Visual Effects Branch will now be invited to view 10-minute excerpts from each of the shortlisted films on Saturday, January 9, 2016. Following the screenings, the members will vote to nominate five films for final Oscar consideration.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

9 Foreign Language Films Advance in Oscar Race

Nine features will advance to the next round of voting in the Foreign Language Film category for the 88th Academy Awards®. Eighty films had originally been considered in the category.

Foreign Language Film nominations for 2015 are being determined in two phases.

The Phase I committee, consisting of several hundred Los Angeles-based Academy members, screened the original submissions in the category between mid-October and December 14. The group’s top six choices, augmented by three additional selections voted by the Academy’s Foreign Language Film Award Executive Committee, constitute the shortlist.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

112 Original Scores in 2015 Oscar Race

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences today announced that 112 scores from eligible feature-length motion pictures released in 2015 are in contention for nominations in the Original Score category for the 88th Academy Awards®.

A Reminder List of works submitted in the Original Score category will be made available with a nominations ballot to all members of the Music Branch, who shall vote in the order of their preference for not more than five achievements. The five achievements receiving the highest number of votes will become the nominations for final voting for the award.

The American Film Institute announces winners for the AFI Awards 2015

It’s once again time for AFI AWARDS, an annual celebration of outstanding achievements in the moving image arts that recognizes the year’s most culturally and artistically significant works of both film and television. And what a stellar year its been.

AFI AWARDS aren’t like other accolades about the art form — they acknowledge the importance of the collaborative nature of film and TV production.

As chosen by the jury, the 10 most outstanding movies and 10 most outstanding television programs of 2015 are:

Library of Congress announces 25 additions to the National Film Registry for 2015

2015 National Film Registry: Ghostbusters Gets the Call
Top Gun, L.A. Confidential and Edison’s Sneeze Among Film Additions

Acting Librarian of Congress David Mao announced today the annual selection of 25 motion pictures to be named to the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress. These films, which epitomize the diversity and richness of the nation’s cinematic heritage, have been identified as motion pictures that deserve to be preserved because of their cultural, historic or aesthetic importance.

"Selecting a film for the National Film Registry recognizes its importance to cinema and America’s cultural and artistic history," said Mao. "The registry is an invaluable way to advance public awareness of the richness, creativity and variety of our nation’s film heritage."

Under the terms of the National Film Preservation Act, each year the Librarian of Congress names to the National Film Registry 25 motion pictures that are "culturally, historically or aesthetically" significant. The films must be at least 10 years old. The Librarian makes the annual registry selections after conferring with the distinguished members of the National Film Preservation Board (NFPB) and Library film staff, as well as considering thousands of public nominations. The public is urged to nominate titles for next year’s registry at the NFPB’s website.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

7 features advance in race for makeup and hairstyling Oscar

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences today announced that seven films remain in competition in the Makeup and Hairstyling category for the 88th Academy Awards®.

On Saturday, January 9, 2016, all members of the Academy's Makeup Artists and Hairstylists Branch will be invited to view 10-minute excerpts from each of the seven shortlisted films. Following the screenings, members will vote to nominate three films for final Oscar consideration.

Monday, December 14, 2015

2015 Black List scripts announced [UPDATED]

The Black List was compiled from the suggestions of over 250 film executives, each of whom contributed the names of up to ten of his or her favorite scripts that were written in, or are somehow uniquely associated with, 2015 and will not have begun principal photography during this calendar year.

This year, scripts had to receive at least six mentions to be included on the Black List. All reasonable effort has been made to confirm the information contained herein. The Black List apologizes for all misspellings, misattributions, incorrect representation identification, and questionable 2015 affiliations.

305 feature films in contention for 2015 Best Picture Oscar

Three hundred five feature films are eligible for the 2015 Academy Awards®, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced today.

To be eligible for 88th Academy Awards consideration, feature films must open in a commercial motion picture theater in Los Angeles County by midnight, December 31, and begin a minimum run of seven consecutive days.

Under Academy rules, a feature-length motion picture must have a running time of more than 40 minutes and must have been exhibited theatrically on 35mm or 70mm film, or in a qualifying digital format.

Toronto Film Critics Association announces 2015 award winners

Todd Haynes’s Carol takes Best Picture, Best Director
The Forbidden Room, My Internship in Canada and Sleeping Giant compete for Rogers $100,000 Best Canadian Film Award

Carol, the swooning tale of a life-changing love affair, won two top prizes at the 2015 awards of the Toronto Film Critics Association.

Todd Haynes’ 1950s melodrama was named Best Picture, and Haynes named Best Director. The film’s stars, Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara, were runners-up for this year’s Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress prizes, respectively.

The TFCA named Tom Hardy Best Actor for the second consecutive year for his dual role as homicidal twin crime lords Reggie and Ronnie Kray in Brian Helgeland’s Legend; he’d won the 2014 award for holding the screen all by his lonesome in Steven Knight’s solo drama Locke.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

The 28th European Film Awards 2015 – winners

The European Film Academy held their 29th European Film Awards ceremony tonight at the Haus der Berliner Festspiele in Berlin.

The top prizewinner of the evening was Paolo Sorrentino's Youth (La giovinezza). It took the biggest prize for European Film, as well as the awards for European Director and European Actor (Michael Caine). Additionally, it's star Michael Caine was also presented with an Honourary Award. Another Sorrentino film The Great Beauty (La grande bellezza) won those same three categories two years ago, and then went on to win Best Foreign Language Film at the Oscars.

The European Actress award went to Charlotte Rampling for her role in Andrew Haigh's 45 Years. She too was presented with an additional honour, the European Film Academy Lifetime Achievement Award.

Friday, December 11, 2015

74 Original Songs vie for 2015 Oscar

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences today announced that 74 songs from eligible feature-length motion pictures released in 2015 are in contention for nominations in the Original Song category for the 88th Academy Awards.

During the nominations process, all voting members of the Music Branch will receive a Reminder List of works submitted in the category and a DVD copy of the song clips. Members will be asked to watch the clips and then vote in the order of their preference for not more than five achievements in the category. The five achievements receiving the highest number of votes will become the nominations for final voting for the award. A maximum of two songs may be nominated from any one film.

To be eligible, a song must consist of words and music, both of which are original and written specifically for the film. A clearly audible, intelligible, substantive rendition of both lyric and melody must be used in the body of the film or as the first music cue in the end credits.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Nominations announced for the 73rd Golden Globe Awards

Carol, The Revenant, Steve Jobs and The Big Short led the the nominations for the 73rd Golden Globe Awards, announced early in the morning today, December 10. Among the TV nominees the highlights were American Crime, Fargo, Mr. RobotOutlander, Transparent and Wolf Hall, with three nominations each.

The nominations were introduced by HFPA president Lorenzo Soria and announced by America Ferrera, Angela Bassett, Chloe Grace Moretz and Dennis Quaid.

For both films and TV this year’s nominations made it clear that this would be a wide open race, with no clear favorites. With five nominations – best motion picture, drama; best performance by an actress, drama for both Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara; best director, Todd Haynes; and best original score, Carter Burwell – Carol leaps to the forefront but The Big Short, The Revenant and Steve Jobs are right behind, with four nominations each. The Revenant and The Big Short have an important advantage, though – both were included in the best motion picture categories, for drama and musical or comedy, respectively.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Nominations announced for the 22nd Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards

Nominees for the 22nd Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards for outstanding individual, cast and ensemble performances in film and television of 2015, as well as the nominees for outstanding action performances by film and television stunt ensembles were announced this morning at the Pacific Design Center’s SilverScreen Theater in West Hollywood.

SAG-AFTRA Executive Vice President Gabrielle Carteris introduced Anna Faris (Mom, The House Bunny) and Anthony Mackie (Captain America: The Winter Soldier, The Hurt Locker), who announced the nominees for this year’s Actors® live on TNT, TBS, truTV, and Prior to that, SAG Awards Committee Chair JoBeth Williams and Committee Member Jason George announced the stunt ensemble nominees during a live webcast on A replay of both announcements is available for viewing on

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

TIFF announces Canada’s Top Ten for 2015

Canada’s Top Ten Film Festival expands with three-city simulcast and coast-to-coast screenings
Celebrated lineup includes works by Patricia Rozema, Guy Maddin, Philippe Falardeau, Alan Zweig, plus an onstage conversation with Kiefer Sutherland

TIFF salutes the country’s cinematic superstars tonight, revealing the Canada’s Top Ten Film Festival lineup of the top 10 features, shorts and student shorts for 2015. Established in 2001, the festival celebrates and promotes contemporary Canadian cinema and raises awareness of Canadian achievements in film. Running January 8 to 17, 2016 at TIFF Bell Lightbox in Toronto, the 10-day event presents public screenings of the selected films accompanied by introductions and Q&A sessions with filmmakers, as well as special events, industry panels and free engagements. On January 16, Golden Globe–, Emmy- and Screen Actors Guild Award– winning Canadian actor Kiefer Sutherland will take the stage for an intimate discussion about his fascinating career. The 1985 landmark film My American Cousin rounds out the lineup as the festival’s Canadian Open Vault selection.

Monday, December 7, 2015

20 Contenders Advance in the Visual Effects Oscar Race

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences today announced that 20 films are in the running in the Visual Effects category for the 88th Academy Awards®.

The Academy’s Visual Effects Branch Executive Committee determined the preliminary shortlist. This year, in the Visual Effects category, the number of eligible films initially shortlisted for further consideration was increased to a maximum of 20 titles. The number of films that will be shortlisted for nominations voting remains at 10, which will be announced later this month.

Friday, December 4, 2015

IIDEX Canada 2015 award winners and designs

Baker Brothers' truly wooden coffee table
IIDEX just wrapped up two intense days showcasing interior design, furniture and architecture in Toronto. Lectures, workshops, guest speakers, breakfasts, receptions, awards and dozens of exhibit booths attracted the best of Canada's design and architcture industries.

Some images that caught our eye:

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Third edition of The Shortest Day: a treat for families, kids and movie-lovers of all ages

The Shortest Day returns for a third year across the country from December 18 to 21, 2015, with an outstanding program of new, classic and award-winning shorts by some of Canada’s most talented filmmakers. This year’s free event—a fun way for families and movie-lovers to celebrate the lead-up to the winter solstice on December 21, the shortest day of the year, and usher in the holiday season—features 28 shorts organized into four thematic programs: Kids (under 8, 61 minutes), Family (56 minutes), Musical (16+, 74 minutes) and Dramas and Comedies (16+, 91 minutes).

Among the shorts from Ontario-based filmmakers this year is Bacon & God’s Wrath (Dramas and Comedies program) from director Sol FriedmanBacon & God’s Wrath screened in the Short Cuts Programme at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival. Friedman’s short, an endearing mixed-media docu-collage, tells the story of a 90-year-old Jewish woman who reflects on her life’s experiences as she prepares to try bacon for the first time.

New York Film Critics Circle Awards announces winners for 2015

The New York Film Critics Circle held its voting for their NYFCC Awards this morning and have announced its award winners for the year 2015. The big winner was the Todd Haynes lesbian-themed drama Carol. It won for Best Picture, Best Director (Haynes), Best Screenplay (Phyllis Nagy), and Best Cinematographer (Edward Lachman).

While Spotlight was the top prizewinner at this weekend's Gotham Independent Film Awards, its only win from the NYFCC was Best Actor for Michael Keaton. Neither film featured prominently in yesterday's awards selection by the National Board of Review. Spotlight received a mention as one of the top ten films of the year, while Carol was omitted entirely.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

15 Documentary Features Advance in 2015 Oscar Race

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences today announced that 15 films in the Documentary Feature category will advance in the voting process for the 88th Academy Awards. One hundred twenty-four films were originally submitted in the category.

The Academy’s Documentary Branch determined the shortlist in a preliminary round of voting. Documentary Branch members will now select the five nominees from among the 15 titles.

The 88th Academy Awards nominations will be announced live on Thursday, January 14, 2016, at 5:30 a.m. PT at the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills.

National Board of Review Announces 2015 Award Winners

2015 Gala to be held on Tuesday, January 5, 2016 hosted by Willie Geist

The National Board of Review has named Mad Max: Fury Road the 2015 Best Film of the Year.

NBR President Annie Schulhof said, “2015 has been a banner year for popular cinema. We are thrilled to be awarding George Miller and Ridley Scott, two iconic filmmakers at the top of their game, while also celebrating the next generation of talent.”

The 2015 William K Everson Film History Award recipient is Cecilia De Mille Presley, the granddaughter of legendary director, Cecil B. DeMille. As Vice Chair of the National Film Preservation Foundation, she has devoted her life to film preservation. In honor of her grandfather’s legacy she has co-authored the book CECIL B. DEMILLE: THE ART OF THE HOLLYWOOD EPIC.

25th Annual IFP Gotham Independent Film Award Winners Announced

The Independent Filmmaker Project (IFP) tonight announced the winners of the 25h Annual Gotham Independent Film Awards at its awards ceremony held at Cipriani Wall Street in New York City.

Winning the Best Feature, Best Screenplay, and a Special Jury Award for Ensemble Performance was Spotlight, director Tom McCarthy’s dramatic retelling of the Boston Globe’s investigative unit’s coverage in 2002 of the Archdiocese of Boston sex abuse scandal. McCarthy also shared Spotlight’s Best Screenplay win with co-writer Josh Singer.

The award for Best Documentary went to The Look of Silence, Joshua Oppenheimer’s film that follows an optician as he confronts the men who killed the brother he never knew during the 1965-66 Indonesian genocide. The harrowing and moving documentary serves as a companion piece to Oppenheimer’s The Act of Killing, for which he previously won the 2013 Gotham Award for Best Documentary.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Toronto Film Critics Association names Deepa Mehta winner of the 2015 Technicolor Clyde Gilmour Award

Mehta to endow the filmmaker of her choosing with $50,000 in services from Technicolor Creative Services

The Toronto Film Critics Association is pleased to announce director Deepa Mehta is the recipient of this year’s Technicolor Clyde Gilmour Award.

The TFCA thanks Technicolor Creative Services for enabling the Technicolor Clyde Gilmour Award recipient to give $50,000 in services to a filmmaker of their choosing. Mehta will announce her designate in the days to come.

“Being chosen by the Toronto Film Critics for the Technicolor Clyde Gilmour Award is gratifying, unexpected, and genuinely touching. It’s a great feeling.

The relationship between artists and critics can certainly be fractious, but in a strange way we are inextricably connected – we all have a passion for movies (well not all movies) and value it when they make a contribution to increasing our understanding of each other and reveal the foibles of human existence. I admit that I am sometimes strongly opposed to the views expressed by some critics and perhaps am too vocal at times about my disagreements. This makes this award even more precious to me.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

The 10th anniversary of La Fête des vins du Québec, Nov 27-29

The 10th anniversary of the Fête des Vins du Québec launched yesterday at the Marché Bonsecours in Old Montreal. The day began with an awards presentation to Quebec's winemakers and sommeliers. The list of lauréats is provided below.

The event presents thirty vineyards arranged in five wine regions: Eastern Townships, Lanaudière, Est-du-Québec, Basses-Laurentides and Montérégie. There is a section devoted to regional, artisanal cheese. You can meet vintners and learn all about the wines and cheeses of Québec, from the production process through appellations and origins and wine-and-cheese pairing. Aficionados can enjoy making new discoveries through workshops, talks and tasting sessions.

There is also a room with a range of other food products such as charcuterie, jams, spreads, balsamic vinegar, and chocolates. The quality of the food offered is excellent. Products may be purchased on site.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Call for submissions: NFB’s Hothouse 11 program

Apply by December 11 for the chance to be part of the NFB’s Hothouse program for emerging Canadian animators
NFB studios across Canada to take part in Hothouse’s 11th season

The National Film Board of Canada (NFB) is seeking submissions for its Hothouse apprenticeship program for emerging Canadian animators, now in its 11th season.

Canadian filmmakers and artists can apply at by December 11 for the chance to be one of six participants in a 12-week paid apprenticeship program with NFB animation professionals—a one-of-a-kind experience working with the NFB’s Oscar-winning Animation Studio.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

31st Film Independent Spirit Awards Nominations Announced


Film Independent, the nonprofit arts organization that produces the Film Independent Spirit Awards, the LA Film Festival and Film Independent at LACMA, announced nominations for the 2016 Spirit Awards this morning. Film Independent President Josh Welsh presided over the press conference held at W Hollywood, with actors John Boyega and Elizabeth Olsen presenting the nominations. Nominees for Best Feature included Anomalisa, Beasts of No Nation, Carol, Spotlight and Tangerine.

“This year’s nominees are a testament to the strength, vitality and diversity of independent, artist-driven filmmaking,” said Film Independent President Josh Welsh. “It’s an astonishingly strong group of films and performances this year and we look forward to celebrating them all at the Spirit Awards.”

Monday, November 23, 2015

The Producers Guild of America announces PGA Awards 2015 documentary feature nominees

The Producers Guild of America (PGA) announced today its Documentary Theatrical Motion Pictures nominees that will advance in the voting process for the 27th Annual Producers Guild Awards. All other nominations and names of eligible producers for the Award for Outstanding Producer of Documentary Theatrical Motion Pictures will be announced on January 5, 2016. All 2016 Producers Guild Award winners will be presented on Saturday, January 23, 2016 at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza in Los Angeles.

During the awards show, the Producers Guild will also present special honors to Jim Gianopulos, David Heyman and Shonda Rhimes, among others. The 2016 Producers Guild Awards Co-Chairs are Michael DeLuca (SOCIAL NETWORK, CAPTAIN PHILLIPS) and Jennifer Todd (ALICE IN WONDERLAND, CELESTE AND JESSE FOREVER).

2015 American Music Awards

The 43rd Annual American Music Awards took place at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles last night. It was hosted by Jennifer Lopez, who led off the evening by dancing to a medley of more than a dozen of this year's hits.

Taylor Swift was the big winner of the night with three awards. She won Song of the Year for “Blank Space,” Favorite Album (Pop/Rock) for “1989” and Favorite Artist (Adult Contemporary). One Direction claimed the Artist of the Year prize for the second year in a row. They also took Favorite Duo or Group (Pop/Rock).

Other double prizewinners were Florida Georgia Line for Favorite Duo or Group (Country) and Favorite Album (Country) with “Anything Goes”; Nicki Minaj for Favorite Artist (Rap/Hip-Hop) and Favorite Album (Rap/Hip-Hop) with “The Pinkprint”; and The Weeknd for Favorite Male Artist (Soul/R&B) and Favorite Album (Soul/R&B) with “Beauty Behind The Madness.”

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Award winners of the 18th Rencontres internationales du documentaire de Montréal (RIDM)

The Rencontres internationales du documentaire de Montréal (Montreal International Documentary Festival or RIDM) will close tomorrow, Sunday November 22, after presenting 143 films and numerous parallel activities and events. The award winners for the 18th annual RIDM were announced this evening during the closing ceremony at Concordia University’s Alumni Auditorium (H110).


Presented by TV5, the Grand Prize for Best Canadian Feature is awarded to Jean-François Lesage’s Un amour d’été, the jury particularly appreciated this “ode to coexistence and joie de vivre that freezes time. A subtly political declaration celebrating the happiness that comes from being together; a nocturnal interlude whose deep appeal to the senses is underscored by remarkable imagery.”

Friday, November 20, 2015

the 28th image+nation Montreal International LGBT Film Festival, Nov 26 – Dec 6

image+nation, Canada’s longest-running LGBT film festival, is all set to return for another 10 days of the finest LGBT cinema from across the globe.

From 26 November - 6 December, image+nation 28 will bring to Montréal the cream of world LGBT cinema for an incredible 28th year in a row. With a line-up of unflinching, powerful documentaries, beautifully shot art-house creations, hilarious comedies and more, image+nation 28 has something for all tastes.

This year, for the very first time, The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts will host image+nation in the cultural heart of Montreal. As well as opening and closing events, the museum will be a primary venue for the duration of the Festival. As part of the image+nation @ MBAM series, where monthly image+nation screenings have been taking place throughout the year, the festival includes Welcome to This House: A Film on Elizabeth Bishop / Where Are The Dolls on Nov 28. image+nation @ MBAM is an intimate series of films and interviews that introduce a new voice and vision exploring the interweaving of identities and cultural expression.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

10 live action shorts advance in 2015 Oscar race

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences today announced that 10 live action short films will advance in the voting process for the 88th Academy Awards. One hundred forty-four pictures had originally qualified in the category.

Members of the Short Films and Feature Animation Branch viewed all the eligible entries for the preliminary round of voting.

Short Films and Feature Animation Branch members will now select five nominees from among the 10 titles on the shortlist. Branch screenings will be held in Los Angeles, London, New York and San Francisco in December.

10 animated shorts advance in 2015 Oscar race

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences today announced that 10 animated short films will advance in the voting process for the 88th Academy Awards.  Sixty pictures had originally qualified in the category.

Among the films shortlisted are two works produced by the National Film Board of Canada. They are Carface (Autos Portraits) by Claude Cloutier and If I Was God… by Cordell Barker.

Members of the Short Films and Feature Animation Branch viewed all the eligible entries for the preliminary round of voting.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Abbas Kiarostami: Doors Without Keys

Story & photos by Allan Tong

Iranian filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami is opening a sublime photo exhibition of 50 life-sized doors on Nov. 21 at Toronto's Aga Khan Museum.

Yes, doors. Ancient doors. Wooden doors. Steel doors. Pelling doors. Padlocked doors. All locked, in fact. None with people opening or closing them. None identifying their locations. Doors Without Keys is as nameless and enigmatic as the renown photographer-filmmaker-poet intended.

I would add haunting and beautiful. Evocatively lighting their fading greens and reds, the doors demand a closer look. Notably, the detail on these images is amazing. You can see the grain of the wood behind the peeling paint. Others lie in mysterious shadow. For others, their chains and locks glisten in the sunlight.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Cinema Eye announces nominees for 9th annual Nonfiction Film Awards

Thirty-eight feature films and five shorts will vie for this year’s Cinema Eye Honors awards for Nonfiction Filmmaking as nominees were announced this evening at a reception at CPH:DOX in Copenhagen, Denmark. Winners will be announced at the 9th Annual Honors Ceremony on January 13, 2016 at the Museum of the Moving Image in New York City.

Cartel Land, Matthew Heineman’s gripping account of violence and vigilantes on both sides of the US-Mexico border, led all films with five nominations, including Outstanding Nonfiction Feature. It is joined in the top category by Asif Kapadia’s Amy, Camilla Neilsson’s Democrats, Stevan Riley’s Listen to Me Marlon, Crystal Moselle’s The Wolfpack and Joshua Oppenheimer’s The Look of Silence. The latter, which received four nominations, and Cartel Land were the only films nominated for Outstanding Feature, Direction, Production and Cinematography.

The 5th edition of La Grande Dégustation de Montréal

The curtain came down Saturday evening on the fifth edition of La Grande Dégustation de Montréal, which took place November 5, 6 and 7 at Place Bonaventure, Montreal. This year’s event marks an important milestone in what has become Quebec’s premier wine event. Presented by the Association québécoise des agences de vins, bières et spiritueux and the Société des alcools du Québec, La Grande Dégustation de Montréal welcomed more than 13,000 visitors over three days. This represents an increase of almost 11% compared to last year. This year’s edition of La Grande Dégustation de Montréal brought togethernearly 200 producers who showcased some 1,200 products.

“We are thrilled with the public’s growing interest in La Grande Dégustation de Montréal. We can see the emergence of a growing crowd of well-informed youth who are very curious about wine,”states Daniel Richard, President of La Grande Dégustation de Montréal. “With such a wide selection, private imports and events enjoyed by beer, wine and spirits enthusiasts, we welcome this success as a driving force for editions to come.”

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television announces Special Award Winners

The Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television is pleased to announce six Academy Special Award winners for the 2016 CANADIAN SCREEN AWARDS: Ivan Fecan, This Hour Has 22 Minutes, Ana Serrano, Mark Starowicz, Karen Walton and the Performing Arts Lodges (PAL Canada).

"Each of these outstanding Academy Special Award winners has made innovative and stellar contributions to our Canadian screen-based industries," says Academy Chair Martin Katz. "We are extremely proud to celebrate them and their ongoing achievements at the 2016 Canadian Screen Awards."

These Academy Special Awards - as well as additional ones to be announced in the coming weeks - will be presented during 2016 Canadian Screen Week (March 7 - March 13, 2016).

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Mark Anthony wine tasting

by Allan Tong

Atop the TIFF Bell Lightbox on an unusually mild November evening this past Wednesday, Mark Anthony Fine Wines held its third annual portfolio tasting, showcasing nearly 40 brands.  Here are my picks (all prices as listed at the LCBO):

A fine suite of reds. Tenuta Sant'Antonio's Telos il Rosso Valpolicella Superiore (2nd from left, $24.95) was dryer than the Scaia Corvina (3rd, $14.95) which was noticeably sweeter and exceptionally smooth. Tenuta Sant'Antonio's lone white wine (on the far right), Bianco, was aromatic and strong, but not overpowering. Also under their Scaia label, it was savoury and spicy with a fine finish and, at $13.25, a value wine.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

16 Animated Feature Films Submitted for 2015 Oscar Race

Sixteen features have been submitted for consideration in the Animated Feature Film category for the 88th Academy Awards.

Several of the films have not yet had their required Los Angeles qualifying run. Submitted features must fulfill the theatrical release requirements and comply with all of the category’s other qualifying rules before they can advance in the voting process. At least eight eligible animated features must be theatrically released in Los Angeles County within the calendar year for this category to be activated. In any year in which 16 or more animated feature films are eligible, a maximum of five motion pictures may be nominated.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Andy Warhol: Stars of the Silver Screen

review & photos by Allan Tong

TIFF's winter exhibition, Andy Warhol: Stars of the Silver Screen may well have been called Andy Warhol: Starfucker. Though it boasts some rare photographs, intriguing films and a miniature replica of Warhol's Factory of the mid-sixties (below) where the pop artist held court, the overall exhibition is disappointing.

Warhol fans, such as myself, won't be surprised by the exhibition's theme: the artist's adoration for movie stars, such as Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor. Display cases jammed with books, photographs and other Hollywood memorabilia, plus dozens of movie posters spanning the decades until Warhol's1987 death, hammer home the one-note idea that a shy, sensitive and gay man growing up in industrial Pittsburgh escaped into the movies. Well, so what? Don't we all watch movies to escape? Don't we hang photos of movie stars because we want to be like them or be with them?

Monday, October 26, 2015

AMPAS announces 10 Documentary Shorts on 2015 Oscar shortlist

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences today announced that the field of Documentary Short Subject contenders for the 88th Academy Awards® has been narrowed to 10 films, of which five will earn Oscar® nominations.

Voters from the Academy’s Documentary Branch viewed this year’s 74 eligible entries and submitted their ballots to PricewaterhouseCoopers for tabulation.

The 88th Academy Awards nominations will be announced live on Thursday, January 14, 2016, at 5:30 a.m. PT at the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

The Directors Guild of Canada presents the 14th Annual DGC Awards

The Directors Guild of Canada handed out 19 awards tonight honouring the best work created by Members this past year in a star-studded, elegant event. Three special career acknowledgments were also handed out during the evening, including the 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award to filmmaker David Cronenberg.

Arisa Cox and Sean Cullen co-hosted the Awards Gala which was held at The Carlu in Toronto. Presenters included this country’s hardest working filmmakers and actors; Jerry Ciccoritti, Jason Priestley, Catherine O’Hara, Helen Shaver, Dan Levy to name just a few.

The Directors Guild of Canada (DGC) is a national labour organization that represents over 3,000 key creative and logistical personnel in the screen-based industry covering all areas of direction, design, production and editing. The DGC negotiates and administers collective agreements and lobbies extensively on issues of concern for members including Canadian content conditions, CRTC regulations and ensuring that funding is maintained for Canadian screen-based programming.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Toronto's European Union Film Festival announces full 2015 lineup

EUFF screenings are FREE
A number of paid advance reservations are available online
November 14 - 28, 2015
The Royal – 608 College St.

The European Union Film Festival (EUFF) is very proud to announce the 28 extraordinary features being showcased at the 2015 edition of the Festival, one from each of the EU member countries.

Making their North American debut at the eleventh EUFF are: Robert Thalheim’s PARENTS (Germany), a modern, honest and humorous portrait of the contemporary family; and Simonas Askelavicius and Ricardas Marcinkus’ SAUL AND PAUL ROBBED THEM ALL (Lithuania), a heartwarming comedy on two average Joes whose lives are turned upside down by a wealthy girlfriend-stealing Georgian.

Academy announces 124 documentary features submitted for 2015 Oscar race

One hundred twenty-four features have been submitted for consideration in the Documentary Feature category for the 88th Academy Awards®.

Several of the films have not yet had their required Los Angeles and New York qualifying releases. Submitted features must fulfill the theatrical release requirements and comply with all of the category’s other qualifying rules in order to advance in the voting process. A shortlist of 15 films will be announced in December.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Doc Circuit Montréal 2015 Programming Announced

Doc Circuit Montréal’s (DCM) 11th edition will be held from November 14-18 2015. With over 30 events programmed and 100 local and international guests, DCM is a key market to documentary professionals now more than ever.

This year’s programming is more ambitious and broad than ever before, offering 3 initiatives for emerging filmmakers, 20 professional activities and 10 networking events. The revitalized team led by programmer Samara Chadwick has been attentive to the needs of the community. Says Chadwick: “This year, we conceived DCM’s event with a deliberate attentiveness to optimized networking formats, and oxygenated and unexpected discussions among major industry players.”

Doc Circuit Montréal’s 11th edition will address the key themes of Coproduction, Big Data, Impact Producing, Online Storytelling, and Strategy: everything from Format, to Festivals, to Financing, to Distribution. New formats include the 1:1 Meetings and the Roundtables, as well as the UXdoc Focus, which spans over the three days of programming. Returning this year are the celebrated Talent Lab, Cuban Hat and Eurodoc Pitches, the Beat Dox D+M event and DCM’s central event: the One-on-One Pitches.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Academy announces 81 countries in competition for 2015 Foreign Language Film Oscar

Eighty-one countries have submitted films for consideration in the Foreign Language Film category for the 88th Academy Awards®. Paraguay is a first-time entrant.

The 88th Academy Awards nominations will be announced live on Thursday, January 14, 2016, at 5:30 a.m. PT at the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills.

The 88th Oscars® will be held on Sunday, February 28, 2016, at the Dolby Theatre® at Hollywood & Highland Center® in Hollywood, and will be televised live by the ABC Television Network at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT. The Oscar presentation also will be televised live in more than 225 countries and territories worldwide.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Tribute to Chantal Akerman at the 18th Montreal International Documentary Festival (RIDM)

In light of the tragic death of filmmaker Chantal Akerman, the Rencontres internationales du documentaire de Montréal / Montreal International Documentary Festival (RIDM) will pay tribute to the distinguished member of the cinema community. Her final film, No Home Movie, presented in the official competition at the Locarno Festival this summer, will be screened at this November’s RIDM, as will a portrait of the director, I Don't Belong Anywhere - Le cinéma de Chantal Akerman, directed by Marianne Lambert, who will attend the festival. Festivalgoers will also have the chance to rediscover Akerman’s De l’autre côté, her 2002 documentary about Mexican migrants.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

19th Reel Asian Film Festival – full programming announced


The Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival (Reel Asian), presented by National Bank, celebrates its 19th annual edition from November 5 to 15, 2015 with high-profile guests from around the world, screening venues in Toronto, North York, and Richmond Hill, and a special exhibition by acclaimed Canadian filmmaker and artist, Randall Okita. This year, Reel Asian will present 72 films from over 10 regions including Afghanistan, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Canada and the United States.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Ontario VQA Wine + Fall Harvest Tasting

Last night, the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) and Wine Country Ontario hosted the Ontario VQA Wine + Fall Harvest Tasting at the Burroughes Building on Queen Street West.

Twenty-two Ontario wine producers sampled a total of 24 wines to go along with eight food stations representing local chefs, cheeses and foods. The wine and some of the food was available for purchase at the site.

Each winery presented a single wine, mostly in the $15-20 range. The one winery that sampled a higher-end product was Norman Hardie from Prince Edward County. Their table poured their Unfiltered Niagara Pinot Noir ($39) which was noticeably denser and richer than the others. Still, the other Pinot Noirs from Henry of Pelham, Coyote's Run, Rosehall Run and G Marquis (Magnotta) were tasty and fresh, as well as being excellent values.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

imagineNATIVE Announces Feature Films and Documentaries

imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival
Announces Feature Films and Documentaries
The Witching Hour Program • Industry Series

imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival, with presenting sponsor Bell Media, announces the Festival’s feature length films and documentaries, the return of The Witching Hour: Late Night Program, and the FREE Industry Series with panels, talks and case studies.

The 16th imagineNATIVE Festival will present feature length films from October 14-18, 2015 such as Esprit de Corps, a Filipino film about two military cadets in a brutal training camp during the Ferdinand Marcos dictatorship; The Dead Lands, the first-ever Maori-language action film, starring Lawrence Makoare (The Lord of the Rings) and James Rolleston (Boy); Chasing the Light, a dark comedy by Blackhorse Lowe with comparisons to Kevin Smith and Quentin Tarantino films; Le Dep, a French film about a young Innu woman held at gunpoint while working at her father’s dépanneur; and The Last Saint, a film with an unapologetic look at gang wars and drug addiction, directed by Rene Naufahu, known for his role in The Matrix trilogy.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Buffy Sainte-Marie’s Power In The Blood Wins 2015 Polaris Music Prize

Buffy Sainte-Marie has won the 2015 Polaris Music Prize for the album Power In The Blood, besting the nine other albums on the Polaris Short List.

Sainte-Marie performed the songs “Power In The Blood” and “Carry It On” during her Polaris Gala set.

The Prize, which goes to the best Canadian album of the year based on “artistic merit without regard to genre, sales history or label affiliation,” was determined by a Grand Jury of 11 music media professionals drawn from the greater Polaris jury pool of roughly 200 writers, editors, broadcasters, DJs and personalities from across the country.

Call for submissions: 2016 Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival

Submissions for Hot Docs 2016 are now open.

Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival is North America’s largest documentary festival, conference and market. Each year, the Festival presents a selection of approximately 200 cutting-edge documentaries from Canada and around the globe.

The 2016 Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival will take place from April 28–May 8.