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.

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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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Here are some photos from today’s screening at the Ottawa Indie Fest : Canadian Documentary Shorts screening at the 26th annual One World Film Festival at the National Gallery.

Curators Ed Kucerak, Blair Campbell, Jith Paul and Filmmakers Jennifer Robbins, Mar Y Sol and Howard Adler. Photo: Emily Ramsay

Curators Ed Kucerak, Blair Campbell, Jith Paul and filmmakers Jennifer Robbins, Mar Y Sol and Howard Adler. Photo: Emily Ramsay

The 26th annual One World Film Festival programme centrefold featuring Ottawa Indie Fest's Short Documentary Screening

The 26th annual One World Film Festival programme centrefold featuring Ottawa Indie Fest’s Short Documentary Screening Photo: Jith Paul

Congratulations to Mar Y Sol whose short film 'Sayachapis', about a residential school survivor who now lives in isolation on Indian Island was awarded Best of Fest (Short Film) by the jury of the 26th annual One World Film Festival this evening. She is pictured here with festival manager Jessica Ruano.

Congratulations to Mar Y Sol whose short film ‘Sayachapis’, about a residential school survivor who now lives in isolation on Indian Island was awarded Best of Fest (Short Film) by the jury of the 26th annual One World Film Festival this evening. She is pictured here with festival manager Jessica Ruano. Photo: Jith Paul

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22. September 2015 · Comments Off on Five Questions With Mar Y Sol, Director of “Sayachapis” · Categories: Documentaries, Five Questions with..., Ottawa, Short Films · Tags: , , , , ,
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Photo of Mar Y Sol by Jesse Mckinnon

“This film for me has a lot of meaning. My first thought about it is how does one come to terms with their past. If Sayachapis was able to heal himself from his suffering, if he found the strength to get help and heal himself, anybody can do it”, filmmaker Mar Y Sol tells Ottawa Indie Fest when we spoke to her about her award winning documentary film Sayachapis which screens at the One World Film Festival on Saturday September 26, 2015.

Named “52” for ten years, Sayachapis now lives alone on Indian Island, a small island off grid off the coast of Vancouver Island. A residential school survivor, he remembers vividly the hard labor, starvation, rape, broken bones and unimaginable horrors from the years gone by. “I am still alive, I am still ok.”

Update: Ma Y Sol’s Sayachapis was awarded Best Documentary Short at the 26th annual One World Film Festival in Ottawa on September 26, 2015.  Photos

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14. September 2015 · Comments Off on Five Questions With Jennifer Robbins, Director of “Chajil Ch’upup” · Categories: Documentaries, Five Questions with..., Ottawa, Short Films · Tags: , , , , , , ,
Jennifer Robbins

Photo of Jennifer Robbins by Robin Canfield

“I think there is something really powerful about caring about something so much that you would do anything to keep it alive. Meeting the members of Chajil Ch’upup, it really makes you wonder about your own life. Is there something you would get up every morning at the crack of dawn to fight for?”, filmmaker Jennifer Robbins tells Ottawa Indie Fest during a recent interview about her documentary Chajil Ch’upup which screens at the One  World Film Festival on Saturday September 26. 2015.

The film Chajil Ch’upup (Guardians of the Tule) explores the world of Juan, an Tz’utujil Mayan whose family has fished Lake Atitlan (Guatemala) for generations. His generation especially, however, has been subject to major trials created by nature, and also by man. The members of the local fishing cooperative – Chajil Ch’upup – have banded together to work towards a solution and a better life.

How did you get involved in the making of your film?
I was finishing my final year of Humber College where I was studying Film and Television Production and one of my teachers introduced an opportunity to complete the internship by traveling abroad to work on a documentary project. I remember being so excited and running home to research Actuality Media and Guatemala. I immediately knew that I wanted to be a part of the project, I applied to be director and a few weeks later after an interview process, I got in.

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08. September 2015 · Comments Off on Ottawa Indie Fest at the Gallery – Saturday September 26, 2015 · Categories: Documentaries, Media Advisories, News, Ottawa · Tags: , , , ,

OttawaIndieFestOWFF-1024The One World Film Festival (OWFF) in association with Ottawa Indie Fest presents Canadian Documentary Shorts at the National Gallery of Canada on Saturday September 26th at 12:30pm, followed by a Q&A with filmmakers.

Update: Photos from the event on September 26th

Presented as part of the One World festival’s “Our Home on Native Land” program, the four featured films explore the themes of journeys, the sacred, and conservation and reinforce the need for governments to respect and honour the needs indigenous communities and preserve something lasting for future generations.

 

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Searching for Sacred Mountain
| Dir. Gary Marcuse and Shi Lihong | B.C., Canada | 2015 | 20 mins

In the midst of a growing environmental crisis in China, journalists, filmmakers and scientists discover clean air, green mountains, wild animals and an ancient network of ecological reserves maintained by Tibetan Buddhists in the mountains of southwestern China.


Chajil Ch’upup
| Dir. Jennifer Robbins | Ontario, Canada | 2013 | 8 mins

Juan is an Tz’utujil Mayan whose family has fished Lake Atitlan – one of the most beautiful lakes in the world – for many generations. Working together with other members of the local fishing cooperative – Chajil Ch’upup (Guardians of the Tule) – Juan labours with love to sustain the integrity and viability of the lake that supported his ancestors, marking the way forward for his generation and the next.

Sayachapis
Sayachapis
| Dir. Marie Soleil Henri Foisy | Quebec, Canada | 2014 | 21 mins

On a small island off the coast of Vancouver, Sayachapis lives a solitary life. His memories of hard labour, starvation, rape, broken bones and other unimaginable horrors of a childhood spent in residential school remain vivid, and yet he is able to say: “I am still alive, I am still okay.”

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An Object That Has Spirit
| Dir. Howard Adler | Ontario, Canada | 2015 | 27 mins

Five indigenous artists from across Canada come together to create a heritage marker to honour Indian Residential School Survivors and entrust their experiences to public memory. Faced with an enormous task, the artists rise to the challenge, transforming what was originally conceived of as a heritage plaque into an object imbued with spirit.

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OWFF is Ottawa’s longest-running documentary film festival, focused on raising awareness on global issues. One World Arts, Festival House 450 Churchill Ave. N. Ottawa, ON K1Z 5E2, T. 613-912-3378 oneworldfilmfestival.ca

Ottawa Indie Fest is a cultural, not-for-profit organization whose mission is to recognize, promote and celebrate the art of cinema by showcasing independent Ottawa, Canadian and international films and filmmakers. Its mission is grounded in the belief that Canadian film and filmmakers are distinctive and vital to our country’s culture and the development of the local economy. ottawaindiefest.com