Mountain Men

Spotlight on Canadian Films - OCanFilmFest

Mountain Men is a Canadian comedy/drama that follows two estranged brothers, Toph and Cooper (played by Tyler Labine and Chance Crawford), as they journey to a remote family cabin in the mountains to evict a squatter.  When old resentments and bruised egos derail their plans they end up with a burned truck, a destroyed cabin and injuries which force them to reconcile and work together if they want a chance at making it back to civilization.

Writer/Director Cameron Labine (lead actor Tyler Labine’s real-life brother) studied film at the University of British Columbia.  Labine’s first feature film, Control Alt Delete premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2008.

Mountain Men is currently available on iTunes and streaming on Netflix Canada.  Here’s the trailer.

 

The Fruit Machine

Spotlight on Canadian Films - OCanFilmFest

On November 28th, 2017, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau delivered a formal apology in the House of Commons on behalf of the Canadian government for its past treatment of LGBTQ2 Canadians.

In her new feature-length documentary The Fruit Machine, Ottawa filmmaker Sarah Fodey speaks with survivors of that four-decade anti-gay witch-hunt.

Continue reading “The Fruit Machine”

My Internship in Canada

Spotlight on Canadian Films - OCanFilmFest

“Guibord is an independent Member of Parliament who represents Prescott-Makadewà-Rapides-aux Outardes, a vast county in Northern Quebec. As the entire country watches, Guibord unwillingly finds himself in the awkward position of holding the decisive vote to determine whether Canada will go to war. Accompanied by his wife, his daughter and an idealistic intern from Haiti named Souverain (Sovereign) Pascal, Guibord travels across his district in order to consult his constituents. While groups of lobbyists get involved in a debate that spins out of control, the MP will have to face his own conscience.

My Internship in Canada (Guibord s’en va-t-en guerre) is a biting political satire in which politicians, citizens and lobbyists go head-to-head tearing democracy to shreds.” – First Weekend Club

Director Philippe Falardeau hails from Hull, Quebec and is best known for his 2011 film Monsieur Lazhar which was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the 84th Academy Awards.  My Internship in Canada stars Patrick Huard, Suzanne Clément, Irdens Exantus, Clémence Dufresne-Deslières, Sonia Cordeau, Paul Doucet, Jules Philip, Robin Aubert and Micheline Lanctôt.

The film is available to rent via NFB / CanadaScreens.ca.

Diving with Selvi

Spotlight on Canadian Films - OCanFilmFest

“Selvi, like so many girls living within India’s patriarchal culture, is forced to marry at a young age, only to find herself in a violent and abusive marriage. One day in deep despair, she chooses to escape, going to a highway with the intention of throwing herself under the wheels of a bus. Instead she gets on the bus, choosing to live.  She goes on to become South India’s first female taxi driver.

Elisa Paloschi is a documentary director, producer, cinematographer and photographer who is drawn to stories with a human voice. She runs Eyesfull, a Toronto- based independent production company dedicated to making non-fiction documentaries with social relevance that reflect the diversity of the human condition.” — Official website for the film

Paloschi grew up in Kingston and encountered 18-year old Selvi while on travel during her volunteer work at an NGO called Odanadi, which runs a shelter for girls and women who have suffered gender based violence in South India. Continue reading “Diving with Selvi”

Closet Monster

Spotlight on Canadian Films - OCanFilmFest

Newfoundland director Stephen Dunn‘s feature film debut Closet Monster, starring Connor Jessup, tells the story of a teenage boy desperate to escape his dysfunctional family and get a job developing special effects for movies. The film premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival  in 2015 where it won the award for Best Canadian Feature Film.

Dunn is an award-winning filmmaker and graduate of Norman Jewison’s Canadian Film Centre and Ryerson University’s Film Program.  I had a chance to meet him in Halifax when our films were competing in CBC’s Short Film Face-off in 2013.  His film Life Doesn’t Frighten Me, starring Gordon Pinsent, won the competition.

Dunn was the youngest filmmaker ever selected for the TIFF Talent Lab where he won two TIFF RBC International Emerging Filmmaker awards for his film, Swallowed.  He attended the Cannes Film Festival – Short Film Corner in 2009 with his film, The Hall, where film critic Roger Ebert highlighted Dunn as an upcoming filmmaker to watch.

Closet Monster is now available to stream on YouTube.