“As I filmmaker I grew up loving animation and comic art in hopes of telling stories that I could create and tell. Watching movies like Tim Burton’s Batman or the 90’s TMNT films and shows made me love the medium,” director Yaron Betan tells Ottawa Indie Fest during a recent conversation about his feature documentary film Heroes Manufactured.Yarton with Poster in BG

Winner of five awards and the official selection in 30 international film festivals, the film explores the world of Canadian independent artists who are trying to break into the comic book industry while dealing with fandom and the craze of comic book conventions, super heroes, cos-players and everything else the comic-con markets have to offer.

Heroes Manufactured has its Ottawa premiere on Saturday June 3, 2017, 11:00am at Ottawa Indie Fest 2017.

How did you get involved in making a documentary on this subject?
Comic books have always been a passion of mine while growing up. I had produced a number of documentaries and feature films in the past and wanted to create something that I really loved and appreciated. Comic creation, illustration and story telling have always been a subject I had interest in.

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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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22. May 2017 · Comments Off on Five Questions With Kim Saltarski, Director of “Andre The Anti-Giant” · Categories: Canadian Filmmakers, Documentaries, Five Questions with..., Ottawa · Tags: , , , , , ,

“Andre was such a ‘human beacon’ in the sense of how he made the most of life despite facing extremely daunting physical challenges. He was a 3-foot-something comically fuelled, socially conscious, disability activist tank of a man”, director Kim Saltarski filmmaker tells Ottawa Indie Fest during a recent interview about the subject of his documentary “Andre The Anti-Giant” which has its Ottawa premiere at Ottawa Indie Fest on Saturday June 3, 2017 at 8:00 pm.

Andre & Kim

Andre H. Arruda and director Kim Saltarski

Andre the Anti-Giant is the remarkable journey of 3-foot-something actor, comedian, and disability advocate Andre H. Arruda. Although born with a rare genetic condition, Andre hasn’t let it or misguided ableist preconceptions prevent him from fulfilling his show business dreams. Supported by a loving family, Andre defied an early prognosis that he wouldn’t live beyond his teens, becoming a regular at Toronto comedy clubs despite their limited accessibility and the harassment of those who insist on defining him by his stature. When a new medical complication threatens to leave him paralyzed, Andre must summon that defiant spirit yet again in order to retake the stage.

 

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06. March 2017 · Comments Off on Ottawa Indie Fest visits the Kingston Canadian Film Festival 2017 · Categories: Film and Stuff · Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

BlairBack from a great weekend at the Kingston Canadian Film Festival.  Outstanding effort by  all the organizers and volunteers in putting together a well curated and delivered program.

Lots of films to choose from but I wanted to share some personal highlights:

Stella Meghie’s debut feature “Jean of the Joneses” – outstanding script, funny, poignant and real.  Beautifully shot and honestly one of the most satisfying stories I  have seen in a feature film for quite a while.

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10. May 2016 · Comments Off on Five Questions with Steven Hunt about his Web Series “Past Redemption” · Categories: Canadian Filmmakers, Five Questions with..., Ottawa, Web Series · Tags: , , , , , , ,
Steven Hunt 5QW Photo

Photo of Steven Hunt by Susan Murdock

“I have never really thought of doing a narrative film until my son Dylan asked me to help him on one of his high school projects. He wrote a script about a fictional town called Redemption where nothing was sacred except blood, money and religion. What eventually emerged was a complete and complex world of a fictional town,” replies filmmaker Steven Hunt. Ottawa Indie Fest spoke to Hunt at his home about his web series Past Redemption.

Steven Hunt, a seasoned director and producer, has worked in Latin America and Africa on numerous broadcast and communications projects. His documentaries on various social issues have appeared on Canadian, European and New Zealand television.

Past Redemption is a 9-part character-driven web series about survival in a small impoverished town, where you can be law abiding and live in poverty, or be involved in petty crime where prospects improve dramatically. It is also the historical birthplace of a major crime family – the Wesley’s.

The web series will have a special premiere screening at the Mayfair Theatre on May 19th at 7pm. It will also appear on line, as nine separate episodes released every second Thursday starting June 2, 2016.

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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 »