Finding Peter Bryce: Story of a National Crime

Spotlight on Canadian Films - OCanFilmFest

In 1907 Dr. Peter H. Bryce, the Chief Medical Health officer for the Department of Indian Affairs wrote a report documenting the inhuman and unsanitary conditions in Canada’s residential schools.  Bryson’s report was discredited by the department’s chief bureaucrat Duncan Campbell Scott and he was subsequently relieved of his duties at Indian Affairs.

Decades later, Andy Bryce, great-grandson of Peter Bryce opens a box of family memorabilia that inspires a journey into tracing Peter Bryce’s story from his childhood in rural Ontario to his mysterious death on a cruise ship in the West Indies.

Directed by Peter Campbell and produced by Andy Bryce and Peter Campbell,  Finding Peter Bryce: The Story of a National Crime screens at at the historic Mayfair Theatre tonight, May 10th at 6pm.  Admission is free, first come, first served. (Presented by Peter Bryce, the Bryce Family and the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society)

8 Minutes Ahead

Spotlight on Canadian Films - OCanFilmFest

“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.

Congratulation to director Ben Hoskyn and the cast and crew of ‘8 Minutes Ahead’ on the Ottawa premiere of their film at the historic Mayfair Theatre on April 15

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.

Shot in Hong Kong and Vancouver, the film had its world premiere at the Whistler Film Festival in December 2017 and will enjoy its Ottawa premiere at the Mayfair Theatre on Sunday April 15th.

Here’s the trailer.

Independent Theaters Are Cool

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.

Stephen Coleman

Ottawa Filmmakers web series - Jith Paul ocanfilmfest

Ottawa winters are cold and many people in our city go without adequate accommodation and protection from the elements.  In his first feature length documentary Project Cold Days, filmmaker Stephen Coleman helps us meet these often invisible and voiceless people and allows them to tell their stories.  He dropped by CKCU for an interview with Monique Fuller (host of A Luta Continua) and I tagged along to take some behind the scenes video.  Here are a few excerpts from the interview.

Continue reading “Stephen Coleman”

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.