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Johanna Schneller, host of The Filmmakers
Photo source: CBC Media Centre

The Filmmakers is a new 30-minute series of studio conversations with some of the talent behind the greatest Canadian films of the past 20 years.

Airing on CBC and hosted by Johanna Schneller, each of the 11-episodes centres on one film that will air immediately after the talk show.  The series kicks off on Saturday July 22, 2017 at 8:30pm with an interview with Atom Egoyan followed by his The Sweet Hereafter.

Some of the other artists featured include Xavier Dolan, Sarah Polley, Director X, Mina Shum, Kim Nguyen, Don McKellar, Deepa Mehta, Zacharias Kunuk and Jennifer Baichwal.

Guest panelists include Connor Jessup, David Suzuki, Stephanie Morgenstern, Cameron Bailey, Sook-Yin Lee, Eli Glasner, Edward Burtynsky, Cazhhmere and Academy Award-winner Sylvain Bellemare.

Check your local CBC listings to confirm showtimes.

This is the published schedule:

July 22THE SWEET HEREAFTER – Directed by Atom Egoyan

July 29 – STORIES WE TELL – Directed by Sarah Polley

August 5 – LAST NIGHT – Directed by Don McKellar

August 12  INCENDIES – Directed by Denis Villeneuve

August 19 – DOUBLE HAPPINESS – Directed by Mina Shum

August 26REBELLE (WAR WITCH) Directed by Kim Nguyen

September 2 – J’AI TUÉ MA MÈRE (I KILLED MY MOTHER) Directed by Xavier Dolan

September 9WATER – Directed by Deepa Mehta

September 16ATANARJUAT (THE FAST RUNNER) – Directed by Zacharias Kunuk

September 23MANUFACTURED LANDSCAPES Directed by Jennifer Baichwal

September 30ACROSS THE LINE (aka COLE HARBOUR) Directed by Director X

The feature film Broken Mile, told in real-time and presented as a single unbroken take, follows a drug addict who awakens to find the girl he is with is dead. To escape the consequences, he seeks the help of his ex-girlfriend while they dodge a mysterious figure who chases them around the city with a gun.

justin mcconnell 5QW Version

Broken Mile director Justin McConnell

Wanting to learn more about this tense real-time thriller, Ottawa Indie Fest spoke to the film’s director Justin McConnell about the making of his film which has its Ottawa premiere at Ottawa Indie Fest on Saturday June 3, 2017 at 8:00pm.

What motivated the single take idea?
It was partially practical, and partially story based. The primary reason was practical, though. I had such a limited budget that I was trying to figure out how I could economically shoot a film in the fewest number of days possible, which would mean paying less for actors and crew. But as I began to develop the story I realized that it really would only work if told in real time, so the audience can live in each moment as it plays out. It became about being a window into an 82 minute period of these character’s lives when this horrible thing happens.

How difficult was it to present the story in a single take?
Execution was definitely a huge challenge. But I should get this out of the way now and state that the film is not a true single take. That’s why the marketing says ‘presented as a single unbroken take’. It is actually 8 long takes with 7 very well-planned hidden cuts. We even ended up reshooting the opening 6 minutes of the film two months after we wrapped.

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09. June 2016 · Comments Off on Pat Mills’ GUIDANCE, A benefit for SAW Video Media Art Centre · Categories: Canadian Indie Film Night, Feature Films · Tags: , , ,

Join us at the SAWVideo benefit screening of Pat Mills’ feature film GUIDANCE at the Mayfair Theatre in Ottawa on Wednesday June 22nd.  Doors open at 6:15.  More details here.
SAW Video Benefit Screening - Guidance
Guidance is a Canadian dark comedy film, which premiered at the 2014 Toronto Film Festival on September 5, 2014 as part of the Discovery program.

The full-length directorial debut of Pat Mills, the film stars Mills as David Gold, a down on his luck former child star who fabricates his credentials to take a job as a high school guidance counsellor.  An unrecovered alcoholic and drug addict troubled by his faded success and in deep denial about both his closeted gay sexuality and his health following a skin cancer diagnosis, he becomes unexpectedly popular with the students after his habit of introducing them to his own deeply unhealthy coping mechanisms actually helps many of them solve their own problems.

The film’s cast also includes Kevin Hanchard, Alex Ozerov, Jen Goodhue, Maria Vacratsis, Eleanor Zichy and Allison Hossack.  — Wikipedia

We ran a YouTube live-stream on June 11th to announce a contest for free tickets for the screening.  Check out the archived version More »

16. March 2016 · Comments Off on Questions of Art & Identity — Jesus of Montreal, Life Classes · Categories: Feature Films, Visible Cinema · Tags: , , , ,

Questions of Art & Identity — Jesus of Montreal, Life Classes
mattby Matt Joyce

One’s identity and the complexity of this identity is where the artist finds the source for artistic expression. What has come to shape our individual identity will become clear in our art form. The relationship between individual identity and artistic expression is strong and similar for the one offers stability and clarity to the other. Many artists channel their expression from the familiarity and intensity of their individual identity. The strength of this relationship between individual identity and artistic expression can be illustrated in Denys Arcand’s film, Jesus De Montreal (1989), and William D. MacGillivray’s film, Life Classes (1987). When looking at these two films and the relationship between art and identity and how one spawns the other, we see the drive of the artist (the filmmaker) and how his identity is both inside and outside the film that he has created. Through the director on the outside and the characters and events within the film and the similarities between them we see how the artist’s identity creates the type of art he/she as an individual wants to express. The artistic expression of the characters acts as one with the style of the director and the difference between fiction and reality starts to unwind. “Those characters aren’t insects I’m looking at. Not at all. They’re my friends, they’re me.” (McSorley, 12) More »