Jefferey St. Jules‘ debut feature Bang Bang Baby is an indie musical that follows the story of a small-town teenager who believes her dream of becoming a famous singer will finally come true when her rock start idol Bobby shore is stranded in town. Her dream soon becomes a nightmare when a leak at a nearby chemical plant starts causing mutations.
Originally from Fall River, Nova Scotia, St. Jules studied creative writing and film at Concordia University. Bang Bang Baby won the 2015 Claude Jutra Award (Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television) and the Best First Feature award at last year’s TIFF. The film hits theatres in select locations across Canada this month. Check local listings.
“Despite the fact that it’s only his feature film debut, St. Jules is already something of an auteur, with his own unique perspective. The film is part homage to campy, stylized 60s musicals like Bye Bye Birdie. It’s also part science fiction/mutant horror movie. But one thing I can say for sure is that it’s 100% a feminist-friendly coming-of-age flick.” — SheDoesTheCity.com
A truly hilarious addition to the reprobate-comedy genre, Guidancefocuses on David Gold (writer-director-star Pat Mills, the 2008 winner of Telefilm Canada’s PITCH THIS!), a former child star who now lurches from one bottom-of-the-barrel voice-over gig to the next, usually in an alcohol-fuelled stupor. About to get kicked out of his dump of an apartment, he happens upon a motivational tape and, newly inspired, decides to pass himself off as a guidance counsellor at Grusin High, a school desperate for someone to deal with its problem students. — TIFF
Pat Mills was born in Ottawa and graduated from Ryerson University in Toronto. Guidanceis his feature directorial debut and premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2014 and screened in Cannes earlier this year. Mills who plays the lead in the film was nominated for a 2015 ACTRA Award for his performance.
Here’s an interview with Pat Mills posted by The Eyeopener.
“In Maxime Giroux‘s latest feature, an unusual romance blossoms between two lost souls who inhabit the same neighbourhood but vastly different worlds. Meira (Hadas Yaron) is a young Hasidic Jewish mother in Montreal’s Mile End district who secretly rebels against her faith by listening to soul music and taking birth control pills; Félix (Martin Dubreuil) is a loner grieving the recent death of his estranged father. Intrigued by Meira, Félix hopes her religious devotion will provide insight into his loss, and though she rebuffs him at first a mutual affection soon arises between the two. As Meira’s desire for change becomes harder for her to hide, the young woman is faced with a stark choice: remain within the community she has always known, or pursue an uncertain future outside of it.
Maxime Giroux was born in Montreal. He has directed music videos and several short films and features including Demain, Jo pour Jonathan, and Félix et Meira.” –TIFF
Here’s director Maxime Giroux on Film Circuit chatting about the film, about connecting with audiences and the importance of the theatrical experience.
Monsoon by Canadian filmmaker Strula Gunnarsson is a stunning documentary that showcases the cultural and spiritual significance of the monsoon season in India. The film was the an Official Selection at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival and the People’s Choice Award Winner at Canada’s Top Ten Film Festival in 2014.
“Part road movie, part spectacle, part human drama Monsoon is a documentary exploration of chaos, creation and faith in the land of believers. Filmed across the Indian sub-continent and charting the huge system’s path as it surges toward and gradually engulfs every region of the country, Monsoon introduces us to a remarkable array of individuals whose lives are in different ways entwined with the phenomenon.” – Monsoon press kit
Veteran filmmaker Strula Gunnarsson is one of Canada’s most prolific and eclectic filmmakers. He was born in Reykjavik, Iceland, studied English literature and film at the University of British Columbia and is best known for his directorial work on David Suzuki‘s documentary Force of Nature, the 2010 TIFF Documentary Audience Award winner.
Gunnarsson joined guest host Talia Schlanger on CBC’s Q to discuss the film. Here’s the interview.