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.

Bonnie Robinson

Ottawa Filmmakers web series - Jith Paul ocanfilmfest

Bonnie Robinson is the founder of YOW Productions.  A professional writer, producer and director, on this episode she talks about her favourite types of films to make and where she likes to go to see movies in Ottawa.  She also reminds us that making films is most often a collaborative endeavour and has some great tips for aspiring filmmakers looking to plug into the local filmmaker community.

The Ottawa Indie Filmmakers web series is produced by Jith Paul in collaboration with Apartment613.

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.