Independent Theaters Are Cool

Blair's Blog - ocanfilmfest

For years independently owned and operated theaters have become a rare thing.  Growing up there were plenty of neighborhood-based theaters that ran a variety of Hollywood, independent or really any films that would fill the seats.  I have happy memories of Sergio Leone shoot-fests, foreign films etc. at the Capital on Rideau, the original Bytowne, the Mayfair etc.  So most of those theaters are still here and doing a great job in delivering films where spandex is not the prevailing fashion sense.

What’s changed is just how important this role has become in our current situation where while. We have plenty ways to deliver content across a variety of platforms and modalities, the actual ‘movie going’ experience has become less available as major chains focus on algorithm-based content that reduce choice and availability.  To which I don’t fault them for doing so, its a business after all and the fact that any chains thrive at all in the Netflix universe is magic to me anyways.

Independents give you the choices you wont find in chains  but also give you the experience of a theater which, for me, is a big part of the deal.  Independents provide the opportunity for a new artist to see their work on the big screen, for festivals to reach out to their audiences as well as specialized programming to meet other needs. By extending choice independently owned theaters extend the experience of movie goers and for that they should be treasured.

Ottawa Filmmakers – Season 2

Ottawa Filmmakers web series - Jith Paul ocanfilmfest

I’m pleased to announce that a second season of the Ottawa Filmmakers web series is in the works.  Here’s a behind-the-scenes photo taken during the set-up / pre-interview chat between Monique Fuller and local filmmaker Stephen Coleman at CKCU in Ottawa from an upcoming episode. – Jith Paul

Past webisodes are available here.



Spotlight on Canadian Films - OCanFilmFest

“Nawal (Lubna Azabal), a dying Middle Eastern woman living in Montreal, leaves separate letters to her twin children to be read once she passes away. Jeanne (Mélissa Désormeaux-Poulin) is to deliver hers to the father the twins never knew, and Simon (Maxim Gaudette) is to give his to the brother they never knew they had. The siblings travel to the Middle East separately, where they each experience acts of brutality, uncover a startling family history, and have revelations about themselves.” – IMDB

Denis Villeneuve‘s Oscar-nominated adaptation of Wajdi Mouawad‘s play Incendies is available on YouTube and streaming on Netflix Canada.  Here’s the trailer.

Continue reading “Incendies”

Diamond Tongues

Spotlight on Canadian Films - OCanFilmFest

Edith Welland dreams of being a successful actress but just can’t seem to make things happen. Things get worse when the ex-boyfriend she broke up with to focus on her career takes up acting on a whim and immediately books a leading role. When Edith can’t figure out what she’s doing wrong, she begins to do everything wrong. Set in Toronto, Diamond Tongues is a dramatic comedy about insecurity, uncertainty, unhealthy competition, and just about everything else between the lines. — NXNE

Directed by Pavan Moondi & Brian Robertson, the film stars Leah Goldstein (a.k.a. Leah Fay of the band July Talk).  The film is currently available on YouTube, on iTunes and Netflix Canada. Here’s  the trailer.


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.