Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Celebrate Canadian Filmmakers!

Canadian Film Festival

The Royal Cinema, 608 College St. in Toronto’s Little Italy

The Canadian Film Festival running March 20 – 23 in Toronto highlights Canadian projects by Canadian artists.  Six films and 19 shorts run the gamut of genres and daily panels cover a multitude of issues on creativity and the industry.  Parties, cinematic comradeship and the buzz of Canadian talent run this boat. 
Warren Sonoda  www.blogto.com
Warren Sonoda, maker of 160 music videos and 9 feature films opens the festival at 10 am on the 20th  leading a day long master class on filmmaking.  Sonoda and the Trailer Park Boys recently launched Swearnet, a niche website predicated on the right to swear featuring videos, comedy and every other damn thing.  There may be some swearing in Sonoda’s master class “Ten Things They Don’t Teach You in Film School”.  
        The Storm Within
Festival screenings begin at 7 that night with The Agreement, a short from director Cody Campanale.  It’s followed by The Storm Within Aka Rouge Sang, a feature thriller by Martin Doepner.  Beautifully shot in the snowy wilds of French Canada in 1799, a pregnant settler left to fend for her three children while her husband goes to town allows British soldiers into her home.  Things soon go wrong and she must man up even if it means resorting to violence to keep her family safe.  It stars Isabelle Guérard, Lothaire Bluteau and Anthony Lemke.  Plot twists will leave the audience gasping.
                                                      The Disappeared
On March 22, at 7 p.m., the uniquely chilling The Disappeared, a tense story of six Canadian fishermen lost at sea with dwindling food and water provides an eerie and meditative experience.  Despair sets in as the days and nights roll along, and tempers flare over the politics of leadership.  Then the hallucinations begin.  The Disappeared is a stark and deeply stirring film that creeps under the skin; the open spaces, sun and the sea that the men refer to as “she” is after them.  Shandi Mitchell wrote and directed the film starring Billy Campbell, Shawn Doyle, Brian Downey, Ryan Doucette, Gary Levert and Neil Matheson.
                                                           Mr. Viral
Mr. Viral, a snappy dark satire on marketing and consumerism closes the festival March 23rd at 7 p.m.  Written and directed by Alex Boothby and starring Jefferson Brown, Alex Appel, Christian Lloyd and Michael Ripley, Mr. Viral takes place in a Toronto ad agency promoting children’s Bunny Beads and an adult diaper.  While the drones ponder and play with the campaign, the alpha male of the bunch secretly shoots pornographic films using the products as toys, puts the videos online and causes a sensation.  It’s witty and wicked, and beautifully executed.  A subplot about an ad agency lesbian seeking revenge on her cheating partner feels like a screwball comedy within the satire. 
There’s a little something for all tastes. For information on ticketing, screenings, film descriptions, parties, industry events and panels, visit Canadian Film Festival 2013.

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