Boost

Spotlight on Canadian Films - OCanFilmFest

Boost, a first solo feature from Montreal director Darren Curtis, is a gritty and thrilling look at 72 hours in the lives of two high-school students who live in Montreal’s tough Parc-Ex neighbourhood. Jahmil French and Nabil Rajo star as Anthony and Hakeem who work at a car wash run by Hakeem’s uncle Ram (Ntare Guma Mbaho Mwine), who uses it as a front for more nefarious business dealings. Their friendship is put to the ultimate test when they become entangled with the mob after stealing a car that leads to a windfall of cash, but has dire consequences down the road.

Nabil Rajo won the Canadian Screen Award for best lead actor in a feature film for his role in the film. “You have no idea what this means to a kid from Asmara, Eritrea” Rajo says. “I’ve waited a very long time to see a character like Hakeem on the big screen. Representation does matter.”

Continue reading “Boost”

Finding Peter Bryce: Story of a National Crime

Spotlight on Canadian Films - OCanFilmFest

In 1907 Dr. Peter H. Bryce, the Chief Medical Health officer for the Department of Indian Affairs wrote a report documenting the inhuman and unsanitary conditions in Canada’s residential schools.  Bryson’s report was discredited by the department’s chief bureaucrat Duncan Campbell Scott and he was subsequently relieved of his duties at Indian Affairs.

Decades later, Andy Bryce, great-grandson of Peter Bryce opens a box of family memorabilia that inspires a journey into tracing Peter Bryce’s story from his childhood in rural Ontario to his mysterious death on a cruise ship in the West Indies.

Directed by Peter Campbell and produced by Andy Bryce and Peter Campbell,  Finding Peter Bryce: The Story of a National Crime screens at at the historic Mayfair Theatre tonight, May 10th at 6pm.  Admission is free, first come, first served. (Presented by Peter Bryce, the Bryce Family and the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society)

Rise

Spotlight on Canadian Films - OCanFilmFestRise is a Canadian documentary series directed by Michelle Latimer and hosted by Sarain Carson-Fox which profiles indigenous activists in various parts of the Americas.  Several episodes received a preview screening at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival shortly before the program’s television premiere on Viceland and APTN.

“This year, Sundance has a special climate program.  It’s the first time the festival has done a thematic program. And so we showed three episodes that kind of deal with climate and environment,” Michelle Latimer says in an interview with Peter Knegt from CBC Arts.  She goes on to state that Rise is about more than the environment, that it is a political fight for sovereignty and liberation.  “They’re not just Native issues — they affect everybody,” she says. “Our water’s not for sale; our land is not for sale. We were the original stewards of that land, and we have to be able to protect it.”

The series recently won the Canadian Screen Award for Best Documentary Program or Series.

 

Never Steady, Never Still

Spotlight on Canadian Films - OCanFilmFest

“A poetic study of familial relationships straining and strengthening under the pressure of serious illness.” – Nikki Baughan, Screen International

A mother struggles to take control of her life in the face of advanced Parkinson’s disease, while her son battles his sexual and emotional identity amongst the violence of Alberta’s oil field work camps in director Kathleen Hepburn‘s feature film Never Steady, Never Still.

Shot in Ford St. James, British Columbia, the film was nominated for 8 Canadian Screen Awards.  Catch the film at the Bytown  Cinema in Ottawa this weekend.

Here’s the trailer.

8 Minutes Ahead

Spotlight on Canadian Films - OCanFilmFest

“When their dying father makes a sudden change to his will, two half-brothers from different worlds – one a Hong Kong labourer, the other a Vancouver businessman – must decide what they value most – money or family.”  That’s the synopsis of Ottawa filmmaker Ben Hoskyn‘s first feature film 8 Minutes Ahead.

Congratulation to director Ben Hoskyn and the cast and crew of ‘8 Minutes Ahead’ on the Ottawa premiere of their film at the historic Mayfair Theatre on April 15

Directed by Hoskyn, the film stars Raugi Yu (DaVinci’s Inquest), Chang Tseng (Romeo Must Die), Brian Burrel Theresa Wong (Supernatural), Benedict Wong and Jane Wong.

8 Minutes Ahead was produced by Nate Estabrooks & Ben Hoskyn based on a script by Allan Mackey, Nate Estabrooks & Nick Dolinski.

Shot in Hong Kong and Vancouver, the film had its world premiere at the Whistler Film Festival in December 2017 and will enjoy its Ottawa premiere at the Mayfair Theatre on Sunday April 15th.

Here’s the trailer.