It was a rainy, cold afternoon in Ottawa, not to be unexpected in mid April. The MayfairTheatre in Ottawa was having a Premiere screening of 8 Minutes Ahead, so as part of Ocan Film Festival, I ventured out to see what the film had to offer. This film brought geographical landscapes together beautifully, with rich cinematography. It also had the edge a suspense film needed. Good plot, and visually appealing imagery. A very urban experience as it was filmed in three major cities, Ottawa, Vancouver and Hong Kong.
Canadian film needs the encouragement Ben Hoskyn’s brings to the table with this feature. What is also a message from Hoskyn’s, is that no matter the time it takes to make a film, make it.
During the Q & A session many of the challenges, benefits and rewards of producing a work readily came through in the filmmaker’s own words. Dedication was a key element of bringing this film to the screen.
If you are living in a city that offer’s a rich film culture, it can only be recommended you treat yourself to one of the Film Festival experiences offered in Canada. Whether you are vacationing in a City or live in it, you can be sure there will be something to see.
Rise 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.”
Ashley Mackenzie undoubtedly added to Canadian film culture with her feature film Werewolf. As a fellow Cape Bretoner, seeing a film of this caliber made about life on the Island made me very excited for the future of film in Cape Breton. The authenticity of this film was moving, having seen Cape Breton struggle with many issues, particularly with opioid addiction. The main characters of this film show us the true depth of this way of living in a very candid way. Centering on addiction, love and reality the film pulls you in all of those directions. This wonderfully shot and edited film is of worth note for its authenticity.
A young Canadian filmmaker, Ashley Mackenzie is sure to build from here and you can see why in this short roll up of her Q & A after her screening at The Ottawa Arts Court in April 2018 on National Canadian Film Day hosted by The Canadian Film Institute.
This film should be celebrated for many reasons as the cinematography, emotion and raw aspects of lives mundane suffering, longing to break free platitudes are all encapsulated in this work.
See a few highlights of her post screening Q & A here.
“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.
“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.
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.