Anote’s Ark

Spotlight on Canadian Films - OCanFilmFest

Montreal filmmaker Matthieu Rytz‘s debut film Anote’s Ark details the plight of the tiny island nation Kiribati (formerly called Gilbert Islands), which is in danger of being engulfed by rising water levels or wiped out by patterns of extreme weather.

“The country will be drowned in the next 50 years, no matter the investments and agreements” states Rytz in his Kickstarter pitch for the film.  “Anote’s ark will be the first full-length shot in the Republic of Kiribati. I am so honored and I feel like I need to tell the story of this nation before it completely drown out.”

The film enjoys its world premiere at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival this week.

Here’s the trailer.

 

Backcountry

Spotlight on Canadian Films - OCanFilmFest

Based on a true story about an urban couple who go camping in the Canadian wilderness, writer/director Adam MacDonald‘s directorial feature film debut Backcountry is described as “a full blown, full blooded horror film about the apathy of nature and the folly of human resistance in the face of its violent shrug. There are no cartoonish, cross-eyed, cannibalistic hillbillies lurking in these deep, dangerous forests. There is simply the sheer panic of being swallowed by the unknown…and the very real possibility of being ripped to shreds by one very hungry bear.” — Fangoria

“[The movie] came to me when I was lying in a tent with my wife and I heard something large walking around at the crack of dawn. I was scared, and luckily for us, whatever it was walked away, and left me with an idea.” says Adam MadDonald about the film that was shot in 17 days in North Bay and Squamish, B.C.

Backcountry is now available on Netflix Canada.  Here’s the trailer.

In Their Words: The Power of Poetry

Spotlight on Canadian Films - OCanFilmFest

In Their Words: The Power of Poetry is a documentary by filmmaker Randy Kelly which features local spoken-word artists and their stories.

Originally broadcast on CBC Ottawa TV in the Summer of 2017, the film is now streaming on CBC’s online platform.  Follow the powerful stories as the poets share their hopes, fears, struggles and dreams for the future by clicking on the image below or via this link.

Featured poets include JustJamaal ThePoet (one of Ottawa’s new Poets Laureate), CauseMo, DMP, King Kimbit and Apollo the Child.

Basic Human Needs

Spotlight on Canadian Films - OCanFilmFest

Miles and Audrey are two post-adolescents whose wit and charm can’t make up for a debilitating lack of ambition. Although they claim to have the wanderlust of moving from Saskatchewan to the big city, they do nothing proactive to get there. Instead, they remain in their aimless routine, merely fantasizing on an ideal grown up life; that is, until adulthood is abruptly thrust upon them in the form of a missing condom, a pregnancy test, and a few invaluable life lessons they’re likely to forget.

Director Matt Yim was born and raised in Regina, Saskatchewan. He is a graduate of the University of Regina where he studied film production.  — Official website

Basic Human Needs is part of producer Avi Federgreen‘s and IndieCan Entertainment’s INDIECAN10K initiative, which has selected seven teams from across Canada to put together debut features for $10,000. The film is produced by Allan Roeher & Matthieu Belanger.

Here’s the trailer.

Taking My Parents to Burning Man

Spotlight on Canadian Films - OCanFilmFest

Vancouver filmmaker Bryant “Spry Bry” Boesen decided “rip his nearly retired parents from their routine and throw them into an adventure of a lifetime.” Collaborating with filmmaker Joel Ashton McCarthy, they launched a crowd funding campaign to create a documentary following their trip to Burning Man.  Described as a debaucherous arts festival, Burning Man isn’t your average family vacation.  According to the festival’s official website: “Once a year, tens of thousands of people gather in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert to create Black Rock City, a temporary metropolis dedicated to community, art, self-expression, and self-reliance. In this crucible of creativity, all are welcome.”

The resulting documentary Taking My Parents to Burning Man is described as a parental coming-of-age story has had a successful festival run and a theatrical run at the Rio Theatre in Vancouver.   The film is now available on a variety of streaming and VOD platforms.  Here’s the trailer.