Happy to announce that both THE PEDESTRIAN JAR (dir. Evan Morgan) and PATHWAYS (dir. Dusty Mancinelli) will be premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival this year.
Congratulations to Evan and Dusty, as well as our wonderful producers Jamie Cussen and Harry Cherniak.
The Pedestrian Jar will screen on September 11 and 12 at TIFF Bell Lightbox and Jackman Hall at the AGO, and Pathways will screen on September 14 and 15, also at Lightbox.
Spring is one of my favourite times to be in Toronto for many reasons but mostly because HOT DOCS takes over a bunch of theater screens and everybody in town flips through the schedule and makes a list of things to see. I’m happy to say that this year THREE WALLS will be screening at the festival, marking its Canadian premiere. Zaheed Mawani’s doc about office cubicles (and the people who spend their days working in and making the most of them) will be screening on Saturday, April 30th (9pm) at TIFF Bell Lightbox and on Monday, May 2nd (1:45pm) at the ROM. It will play alongside Abner Benaim’s MAIDS & BOSSES in the “Workers of the World” program.
You can read more about how we shot THREE WALLS in this post, which I wrote in July 09 after we wrapped shooting.
Here’s a frame of one of our participants, Dionne, in New York City:
Joyce Wong put together this sequence of out takes from our homemade hot air balloon shoot – we got what we needed so we let the thing burn and continued shooting in slo mo as it happened…
Come see the film, called HOW TO PARTY AND MAKE GOOD BALLOON (which features the balloon actually in flight!) screening as part of the 7-part omnibus feature SUITE SUITE CHINATOWN with live foley and score by an orchestra of high school music students alongside the Exercisers this Friday, November 13 at the Royal in Toronto.
See the official website for Suite Suite Chinatown here!
Shot off the screen. From my upcoming bootleg video.
If you’re in Montreal, Calgary or Vancouver you can see SLIP, along with a bunch of other hand-selected shorts from the Canadian Film Centre’s Worldwide Short Film Festival, screen as part of this NATIONAL TOUR! Dates: MONTREAL – Nov. 16, CALGARY – Nov. 24, VANCOUVER – Nov. 30.
SLIP will also be screening in Amsterdam in December as part of CINEDANS – its first screening across the pond.
Back in May I shot a musical with director Sonia Hong and producers Olga Barsky and Claire Lowery called A DRAGGED OUT AFFAIR – a campy satirical tale about forbidden love between drag queens from competing nightcubs and rival social circles. Starring four of Toronto’s most well-known queens in outrageous, vibrant costumes designed by Donnarama (one of our leads and a brilliant performer), we shot the musical short over four days on the theatre stage at St. Vladimir’s in downtown Toronto. Sonia and I talked a wide range of references within the musical genre, from Glee and All That Jazz to Hedwig and the Angry Inch, and agreed that our visual priorities had to be movement and colour. The production design, headed by Miranda Morricone and art directed by Summer Gaal, made that challenge easier on my team: the sets pop off the screen, and it was a pleasure lighting and framing scenes so rich with colour and texture (not to mention humour!). The project was shot on the Red in 4K, then later colour graded at Alter Ego in Toronto by Tricia Hagoriles. Special thanks must go out to Videoscope and Charles Street Video for supplying the camera, lighting and grip, as well as Mike Armstrong (gaffer), Todd Thompson (key grip and fantastic jib op) and Josh Fraiman (1st AC).
Screen Grab: Daytona B Itch on the set of a sketchy nightclub dressing room
A DRAGGED OUT AFFAIR will premiere at the Toronto Reel Asian Film Festival on Thursday, November 11th, 2010.
ADOA screened at Toronto’s InsideOut film festival in May ’11 and the lovely Sonia Hong was awarded “Best Up-and-Coming Filmmaker”. Sonia, Olga Barksy and Claire Lowery make an awesome team, and I’m happy to have been a part of it on this film.
If you’re in Calgary and want to check out SLIP, it’ll be screening at the Calgary International Film Festival on September 28th as part of the “You, Me & Everybody” programme. Coincidentally, Chelsea McMullan and I will be touring Alberta shooting her next doc while on tour with RAE SPOON between now and early October.
Dusty Mancinelli’s short film SOAP will have its national television debut on Sunday, July 4th at Midnight (making that July 5th), on the CBC’s Canadian Reflections program. If you have a TV set that you can plug into a wall in Canada, check it out!
SOAP has also recently been accepted to screen at the LA Shorts Fest, marking Soap’s 15th festival screening following its premiere at TIFF in 09. Congratulations to Inflo Films!
Chelsea McMullan’s beautifully haunting dance film SLIP will be screening tomorrow, June 4th, and Saturday June 5th at the 2010 CFC Worldwide Short Film Festival. We shot the film back in ’08 upon immediate arrival back to Toronto after shooting DEADMAN (we were still living in a trailer in rural B.C when Chelsea found out she got the Bravo!FACT grant to make the film.) Here’s what the festival has to say about SLIP:
“In one perfectly orchestrated tracking shot, the most private of spaces – a women’s change room – is fluidly explored. Female bodies of all shapes and sizes dance across the space, creating an endearing movement piece.”
After we wrapped I had posted something about the making of the film here. SLIP was my first project on the Red and the cool, clean image quality proved to be a perfect fit for the atmosphere we were hoping to achieve with this piece. A while back the film aired on Bravo, but tomorrow will mark its big screen premiere. A huge thank you must go out again to Sean Sealey, whose Steadicam work is simply incredible. See for yourself…here’s a sample of SLIP on my website.
SLIP TOOK HOME TWO AWARDS ON JUNE 6th @ THE CFC WSFF AWARDS CEREMONY: Best Experimental Film and the Kodak Award for Best Cinematography. Congratulations and thank you to everyone who helped bring SLIP to the screen.
Official site of the Canadian Film Centre’s WSFF
Website of director Chelsea McMullan
I’ll be heading to Vancouver and Edmonton this week with Lilia Topouzova and Ferdinando Dell’omo for the documentary SATURNIA, a feature doc project we have been shooting together since early 2009. The documentary weaves together the stories of Italian-Canadians from Canada’s East coast to the West as they recount their journeys to Canada via the SS Saturnia. The subjects, who have been in Canada for over forty years (the Saturnia was scrapped in 1966) , offer heartwarming and often heartbreaking insights into what their ideas of life in Canada once were in relation to how the stories of their lives ultimately unfolded. I haven’t been out to Vancouver since Deadman wrapped back in the summer of 2008, so I am very eager to return and get some great scenic shots of the city.
On another note, SOAP will be screening at the 2010 Palm Springs International ShortFest in June- if you’re in the area and want to see the short (which has already screened at FIVE festivals including Toronto International and Cinéfest, with another two fast approaching!) you should definitely check it out. If you are in Canada and want to see the film you can catch the TV broadcast on the CBC’s Canadian Reflections program starting July 4th, 2010.
And finally, Sunday marked the wrap of the short film HAEDO… more pictures from the 550D shoot coming soon!
If you’re in Toronto during the ReelWorld Film Festival, check out a feature I shot back in 2008, “A Touch of Grey”.
Here’s what festival programmer Bobby Del Rio has to say about the film:
“I think of this as a post-Sex and the City film. It’s not often that older women get a chance to get major roles on screen, and certainly not roles like these. Featuring some of the best performances at this year’s ReelWorld festival (including established Canadian actress Maria del Mar), A Touch of Grey is definitely a polished film – geared toward a female demographic. The story revolves around a group of middle-aged friends who reflect on their lives in the past 20 years or so of friendship – from high school to their current lives. What emerges is an explosive revelation of secrets, horrors and confessions.
In an industry dominated by 20-year old ingénues, it’s rare to see a woman over 40 play anything other than a stock character. It’s refreshing to see so many great roles for middle-aged women in the same film – and the result is a clinic for the actor in subtlety, depth of emotion and nuance. Four sharply defined characters take us through their roller coaster of emotions, and the culmination of their efforts is an utterly human film that is as honest as it is heartwarming.”
Much time has passed since my last post as this fall shaped up to be a busy one. Since the TIFF screenings, SOAP has gone on to screen at Cinéfest Sudbury, and DEADMAN played at the Vancouver International Film Festival as part of the NFB’s 70th Anniversary Program. SOAP has also been sold to the CBC, so I will be posting broadcast dates and times as they come up.
I’ve been shooting a really fun new documentary with a good friend of mine, director Scott Boyd. It’s called MADE IN CANADA and we kicked off our eight month shooting schedule at TIFF. The documentary will be exploring the logistics of “making it” as a filmmaker, and Scott is inserting himself into the narrative as a means of illustrating the ups and downs of trying to realize his goals at home in Canada.
The project is being produced by Marva Ollivierre of DOE EYE MEDIA PRODUCTIONS and will be broadcast on SUN TV in 2010.
Follow Scott and MIC on Twitter.
I also did a little mobile film in October that got a prize! Nadia and I will buy camera equipment with that prize and make more videos. Here it is:
The Toronto International Film Festival will be screening two films that I had the pleasure of shooting, “SOAP” and “DEADMAN”. Both will be presented in the Short Cuts Canada Programme 3.
You can find more info on both of these films on the old NEWS section of my website
SOAP was directed by Dusty Mancinelli and shot on S16mm. DEADMAN was directed by Chelsea McMullan and produced by Vision Entertainment and the National Film Board of Canada.
See the schedule and synopsis for SOAP and DEADMAN by clicking on these links.