Fox and the Whale

Spotlight on Canadian Films - OCanFilmFest

Toronto filmmaker Robin Joseph‘s self-financed Fox and the Whale is among 10 short animated films that have advanced in the voting process for the 90th Academy Awards.

Directed and produced by Joseph, the film features character animation by Kim Leow, character rig (fox) by Louis Vottero and music by John Poon.  In addition to producing and directing Joseph was responsible for storyboards, backgrounds, 2D animation, VFX, comps, editing, foley & sound design.

Here’s the film.

The 5 final nominees for the best animated short film Oscar will be revealed on January 23, 2018.  The 90th Oscars will be held on March 4th.  Congratulations and good luck, Robin and team!

A Better Man

Spotlight on Canadian Films - OCanFilmFest

A Better Man is a documentary which follows the story of Canadian filmmaker Attiya Khan, a survivor of domestic abuse, as she invites her abuser to discuss the events in their lives from over 20 years ago.  They confront and contrast their memories as they visit their old apartment, school and other places where key events in their past took place.

Co-directed by Khan and Lawrence Jackman the film was an official selection at Hot Docs 2017 and  was presented with a panel discussion hosted by the One World Film Festival at Ottawa U on December 2nd.  If you missed the screening or would like to see the film again, it is now streaming at tvo.org.

Here’s the trailer.

Ben’s at Home

Spotlight on Canadian Films - OCanFilmFest

Ben’s at Home is  a quirky comedy about a 30-year-old guy who has made the unusual decision never to leave the house after a bad break-up.  Thanks to the power of the internet, has finds that abiding by this decision is easier than he thought.

The film is the first feature of award award-winning Canadian director Mars Horodyski.  An alumna of the Canadian Film Centre’s Director’s Lab, she also co-wrote and produced the film.  Lead actor, Producer and co-writer Dan Abramovici is a founding member of Awkward Silence sketch comedy troupe.  The film has screened and won awards in several festivals around the world and is now streaming on Netflix Canada.

Ben’s character reminds me of “Physical Phil” from October Road (2007-2008), one of my favourite TV series of all time.  Mars’ debut feature film is one I really enjoyed and is just the kind of film I would like to make in the future.  Check it out.

Jean of the Joneses

Spotlight on Canadian Films - OCanFilmFest

“It’s just like a Woody Allen movie.  Except in this case, he’s a Jamaican woman.”  That’s how someone described Canadian writer-director Stella Meghie’s debut feature comedy Jeans of the Joneses at a recent screening I attended.  It’s an accurate description of what I have to say was one of the most entertaining and satisfying movie experiences I have enjoyed in some time.

Meghie’s quick-witted dialogue and directorial style really add to the quirkiness of the comedy which focuses on a young writer and her interactions with her dysfunctional family in the aftermath of a death in the family and a failed relationship.  The film was a hit at TIFF 2016 and I recommend you check it out if you have a chance.  Here’s the trailer.

 

The Stairs

Spotlight on Canadian Films - OCanFilmFest

Winner of the Toronto Film Critics Association prize for Best Canadian Feature of 2016, Hugh Gibson’s documentary The Stairs is a challenging look at the lives of those who live on the margins.

I saw this film at the Kingston Canadian Film Festival earlier this year and was blown away by the sensitivity of the filmmaker and the amazing access to the subjects in Toronto’s Regent Park.

The film is now streaming on-demand at tvo.org.  Here’s the trailer.

You can access the film directly at the tvo.org site by clicking  this link.