OCanFilmFest2019 – Thanks

What a weekend. Thank you to all of the filmmakers who submitted a film to our festival this year. Producing a film is no small task and as filmmakers ourselves, we really appreciate what it takes to complete a project. So many amazing films submitted meant for a challenging selection process for our jury. We expanded to two days this year and there were still more excellent films submitted than we could program. Congratulations to the filmmakers whose films we screened this past weekend. We are proud of your achievement.

Independent filmmakers thrive on feedback, opportunities to network, learn and collaborate. Seeing an audience reacting to your film and watching a film with its creative team makes a festival screening different from any other. Thanks our special guests who represented their films at our screenings over the weekend; Matt, Sandra, Valerie, Jim, Ray, Tavit, Christian, Matthew, Nettie and members of your teams who came in from out of town. Thanks also to MP Julie Dabrusin for attending and participating the the Q&A following our opening film! Continue reading “OCanFilmFest2019 – Thanks”

Meet the Teams behind the Films of #ocanfilmfest2019

One of the differences between seeing a film at a local multiplex and seeing a film at a festival is the chance run-ins with the teams of visual storytellers behind the films you will see.  This year we are proud to welcome many members of teams behind the featured films, many visiting Ottawa from near and far.

Confirmed attendees so far (we’ll update the list so check back) include:

  • Director Matt Kelly, comedian Sandra Battaglini and members of the team behind the feature-length documentary The Mayor of Comedy (Toronto) which will enjoy its world premiere at ocanfilmfest2019
  • Director Valerie Barnhart from the short film Girl in the Hallway (Ottawa)
  • Representatives from the short film Rise n’ Shine (West Vancouver)
  • Executive Producer Jim Miller from the feature-length film Trouble in the Garden (Toronto)
  • Director Ray Savaya from CBC Short Film Face-off winning short film Newborn (Toronto) which we’ll be screening at the festival
  • Director Christian Belisle from the multi-Digi60 Award winning short film Overgrowth (Ottawa), screening at this year’s festival
  • Director Tavit Melikian  returns this year, this time with his short film The Order of Things to Come (Montreal)
  • Director Matthew Blecha  from the short film The Still Life of Annika Myers (Victoria)
#ocanfilmfest2019 filmmakers

Tickets are available to purchase online (button below) and there will be a cash bar (drinks and snacks).

Film Line-up and Schedule

Nose to Tail – Review – Alvin Wai Chung Tsang

“Nose to Tail is Superbly Acted” – Alvin Wai Chung Tsang


Alvin Wai Chung TsangGuest blogger Alvin Wai Chung Tsang is a horror movie lover from Barrhaven who goes to the theatre every weekend to see new releases. He takes bets on box office predictions and hopes to win big someday.  He reviewed Jesse Zigelstein’s feature film Nose to Tail, screening at the Ottawa Canadian Film Festival on November 2, 2019.  Here is review.

Daniel (Aaron Abrams) is an isolated professional chef who doesn’t struggle to balance his work, family and love life but fails entirely at it. Is it substance abuse? Crippling debt? A messy divorce? It is the curiosity of what is wrong with him that drives the film forward.

Abrams’ performance is mesmerising. He is constantly denied what he wants, then acts out and causes a new problem for himself and his struggling restaurant. The amalgamation of all his issues into one important night for the restaurant is ugly, exciting and quite masterful. Nose to Tail is a joy to watch.
Continue reading “Nose to Tail – Review – Alvin Wai Chung Tsang”

The Mayor of Comedy: A Canadian Stand-up Story – Matt Kelly (WORLD PREMIERE)

Canadian comedian Sandra Battaglini is an award-winning performer, a headlining comic and a veteran of the Just For Laughs comedy festival. Despite her success Sandra feels trapped in a system that offers low pay, few opportunities and a lack of support from the government.

(WORLD PREMIERE at #ocanfilmfest2019 on Nov 1 at 8pm – details & tickets)

The Mayor of Comedy: A Canadian Stand-up Story is an eye-opening documentary that follows Sandra as she rallies the biggest names in the Canadian comedy industry in an effort to address the many challenges they face. Sandra and filmmaker Matt Kelly give viewers an all-access pass to the murky world of Canadian showbiz, a world where the funniest people in the country struggle and the industry strives to keep it that way.

The film features interviews with over 30 of Canada’s top comics including Scott Thompson (Kids In The Hall), Steve Patterson (The Debaters), Debra DiGiovanni (Conan), Mark Forward (Fargo), DeAnne Smith (Just For Laughs) and K-Trevor Wilson (Letterkenny).

Matt Kelly is the producer and director of the disruptive comedy documentary The Mayor of Comedy: A Canadian Stand-up Story. Matt has produced and directed for Canadian icons like rock band Rush and Wayne Gretzky. Matt created and produced Hookin’ Up, a successful television series for WFN that aired 4 seasons across North America.

Matt’s television project The Uncomfort Zone was a finalist at Just For Laughs ComedyPRO 2014 where it sold to Big Beach Films. In 2016 Matt’s project Inhuman Resources was selected by comedy superstar Kevin Hart for his digital comedy platform LOL Network. Matt’s scripted comedy pilot Mrs Football made the finals of JFL ComedyPRO 2017.
Continue reading “The Mayor of Comedy: A Canadian Stand-up Story – Matt Kelly (WORLD PREMIERE)”

Trouble in the Garden – Roz Owen

Trouble in the Garden is a story about an estranged family in the aftermath of the 60’s Scoop.

(screens at #ocanfilmfest2019 on Nov 2 at 4pm – details & tickets)

Most non-Indigenous Canadians are blissfully unaware that between 1960-85, thousands of Indigenous children were taken from their families and adopted into white families in an effort to make them white. As the film opens, Raven (29) is arrested for protesting development on unceded land. Long estranged from her adoptive family, she never imagined her brother Colin (31) would be the one to bail her out. Now under house arrest in Colin’s suburban home, Raven discovers he’s in real estate – pre-selling houses on the very land she’s been trying to save. Trouble in the Garden is a story of reckoning with betrayal of land, love and blood.

Born in London, UK, and moving to Canada as a child, Roz Owen is an award-winning Toronto based writer-director. She began making films as an art student in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Her first, a 16mm, experimental short, ‘A PRECAUTION AGAINST THE INEVITABLE’, was awarded the Theresa Cha Award and went on to screen at the AGO and other venues. Moving back to Toronto, she followed up with the short drama, ‘A LOVE OF CONTRADICTION’, which premiered at TIFF and was licensed for television. Continue reading “Trouble in the Garden – Roz Owen”