Nose to Tail – Jesse Zigelstein

(Screens at #ocanfilmfest2019 on Nov 2 at 8pm – details & tickets)

Nose to Tail stars Aaron Abrams (Hannibal, Blindspot) as a talented but abrasive chef struggling mightily with his personal demons and the relentless pressures of running a high-end restaurant in downtown Toronto. Over the course of one increasingly frantic day and night, he faces a rash of private trials and professional tribulations in a desperate bid to beat the odds and save the business that he’s sacrificed virtually everything in his life to build.

Jesse Zigelstein was born in Toronto. He studied film at York University and UCLA. Nose to Tail is his first feature.
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Baba Yaga – Nicole Sitanski and Cheryl Taam

A desperate mother with an incurably ill baby ventures into the dark woods long believed to be the home of Baba Yaga, a mystical witch with the power to change fate.

(Screens at #ocanfilmfest2019 on Nov 2 at 2:30pm – details & tickets)

Nicole Sitanski has always been fascinated with the lasting power of storytelling and the effect certain fables have on cultures all around the world. She believes storytelling transcends not only time but lifestyles and cultures, and is at the core of all forms of art. Inspired by both new and old mediums, she tries her best to tell a story through what she creates in order to immerse herself – and hopefully others – into new worlds.

Cheryl Taam is a Vancouver-based 3D artist who is inspired by early 2000s CG films like Monsters’ Inc and The Incredibles. She is a recent graduate of the Animation program at Emily Carr University.
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The Order of Things to Come – Tavit Melikian

Neil Berman, a petty criminal, was recently released from prison. In order to rehabilitate himself and go ‘straight’, he decides to reconcile with his old crime boss Frankie Flacco. Needless to say that the visit doesn’t go as well as he planned.

(Screens at #ocanfilmfest2019 on Nov 2 at 6:30pm – details & tickets)

Tavit Melikian is a three-time award-winning filmmaker. His first short film entitled “End Of The Night” garnered the best short film award in London Film Awards, the best Canadian Short Film in Canada Independent Film Festival and the award of commendation from Canada Shorts Film Festival. Born in Lebanon Beirut to Armenian parents, Tavit currently lives in Montreal and is working on making his first feature film.
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Trouble in the Garden – Roz Owen

Trouble in the Garden is a story about an estranged family in the aftermath of the 60’s Scoop.

(screens at #ocanfilmfest2019 on Nov 2 at 4pm – details & tickets)

Most non-Indigenous Canadians are blissfully unaware that between 1960-85, thousands of Indigenous children were taken from their families and adopted into white families in an effort to make them white. As the film opens, Raven (29) is arrested for protesting development on unceded land. Long estranged from her adoptive family, she never imagined her brother Colin (31) would be the one to bail her out. Now under house arrest in Colin’s suburban home, Raven discovers he’s in real estate – pre-selling houses on the very land she’s been trying to save. Trouble in the Garden is a story of reckoning with betrayal of land, love and blood.

Born in London, UK, and moving to Canada as a child, Roz Owen is an award-winning Toronto based writer-director. She began making films as an art student in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Her first, a 16mm, experimental short, ‘A PRECAUTION AGAINST THE INEVITABLE’, was awarded the Theresa Cha Award and went on to screen at the AGO and other venues. Moving back to Toronto, she followed up with the short drama, ‘A LOVE OF CONTRADICTION’, which premiered at TIFF and was licensed for television. Continue reading “Trouble in the Garden – Roz Owen”

Girl in the Hallway – Valerie Barnhart

Why does ‘Little Red Riding hood’ give Jamie nightmares? It’s been 15 years, and the girl in the hallway haunts him still. This is a testament to locked doors. A lullaby sung by wolves with duct tape and polaroids. Not all girls make it out of the forest. Some stories children shouldn’t hear.

(Screens at #ocanfilmfest2019 on Nov 2 at 2:30pm – details & tickets)

Valerie Barnhart is an independent animator and visual artist based out of Ottawa, Canada. Her interdisciplinary practice is exploratory in nature but revolves specifically around the dynamics of silence and inaction as a form of violence.

Valerie’s background in book arts and photography led her to study at the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design with a major in Visual Arts: a studio specialty in Printmaking and Drawing and an academic emphasis in Decolonization Politics and Non Western Art. Continue reading “Girl in the Hallway – Valerie Barnhart”