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 »

13. March 2016 · Comments Off on #52FilmsByWomen #CdnTwist 9 – Les Êtres Chers (director: Anne Émond) · Categories: #52filmsbywomen, Canadian Filmmakers, Feature Films · Tags: , , ,

This year, I joined thousands of other film fans who have taken on the challenge to watch 52 films directed by women in 2016.  It’s part of a campaign using the hashtag #52filmsbywomen.  I’m throwing in an additional twist and making them all Canadian films.

My selection for film 8 is the film Les Êtres Chers (2015) by director Anne Émond.

Les Êtres Chers which translates to “The Loved Ones” follows a Quebecois family over 3 decades after the death of it’s patriarch and shows how the impact of love and loss transmits from one generation to the next.  Directed by Montreal-based Anne Émond, the film premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2015 and screened at the Lucarno International Film Festival in Switzerland.

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06. March 2016 · Comments Off on #52FilmsByWomen #CdnTwist 8 – Stay (director: Wiebke von Carolsfeld) · Categories: #52filmsbywomen, Canadian Filmmakers, Feature Films · Tags: , , ,

This year, I joined thousands of other film fans who have taken on the challenge to watch 52 films directed by women in 2016.  It’s part of a campaign using the hashtag #52filmsbywomen.  I’m throwing in an additional twist and making them all Canadian films.

My selection for film 8 is the film Stay (2013) by director Wiebke von Carolsfeld.

Aiden Quinn and Taylor Shilling play lovers who reach a crossroads in their lives and in the lives of people connected to them when they finds out she’s pregnant in the feature film Stay by director Wiebke von Carolsfeld.  The film is shot on location in Montreal and Ireland.

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24. February 2016 · Comments Off on Don Owen’s ‘Nobody Waved Good-bye’ · Categories: Canadian Filmmakers, Feature Films · Tags: ,

don-owen.jpg.size.xxlarge.letterboxToronto filmmaker Don Owen has died at the age of 84.  Credited with “introducing Canadians to the world and the world to Canadians” he is best known for his 1964 feature-length film Nobody Waved Good-bye about a teenage boy who rebels against his parents’ middle-class goals and conventions.  The film began as a documentary short about probation officers which he transformed into the feature film shot in just three weeks.

He used a small crew of five people and no screenplay. Instead, he wrote a short outline that he would discuss with the actors and camera operator John Spotton before each scene, with dialogue then improvised based on these discussions.  He also choose to shoot one scene with hidden cameras with the actors unaware that they were being filmed.
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