By Daniel Barna - Friday, November 30, 2012 - 0 Comments
The filmmakers of ‘The Fruit Hunters’ on getting their project made in the Great White North
When it was announced earlier this year that Canadian documentary funding was to undergo radical cuts, with Telefilm slashing 50 per cent of its $1 million allotment to the Theatrical Documentary Program, doc filmmakers around the country– who’ve been dependent on government cheese since the National Film Board’s inception 70 years ago–began a collective sweat. With glaring cutbacks to the CBC and NFB as well, a fertile artistic community was at risk of drying out.
Fortunately, the team behind the new government-funded feature-length documentary The Fruit Hunters, already had their financing secured. “I definitely had an ‘Indiana Jones-sliding-under-the-closing-tomb-door-and-grabbing-his-hat’ feeling at the time,” says Mark Slutsky, who co-wrote the film alongside its director, Montreal’s Yung Chang. Inspired by Adam Leith Gollner’s eponymous 2008 novel, The Fruit Hunters is a kaleidoscopic peek into the subterranean world of exotic fruits, and the off-kilter cast of characters that collect, cultivate, chase, eat, and obsess over them.
By The Canadian Press - Tuesday, September 18, 2012 at 3:53 PM - 0 Comments
MONTREAL – Montreal filmmaker Kim Nguyen’s child-soldier drama “Rebelle” (“War Witch”) has been named…
MONTREAL – Montreal filmmaker Kim Nguyen’s child-soldier drama “Rebelle” (“War Witch”) has been named Canada’s selection for best foreign-language Oscar.
Telefilm Canada says it’s confident the harrowing French-language feature “will win over the members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.”
“Rebelle” stars newcomer Rachel Mwanza as a teen who is forced to fight with, and become a sex slave for, a rebel commander in Sub-Saharan Africa.
The film is one of 65 that will initially be submitted for consideration before a long list is announced by the academy.
Canadian films have made the final Oscar short list for the last two years: Philippe Falardeau’s “Monsieur Lazhar” made the cut last year while Denis Villeneuve’s “Incendies” did so the year before that.
The 85th Academy Awards will be handed out on Feb. 24.
“After 10 years in development and a production marked by many adventures that have provided me with everlasting memories of the Congo and its people, this recognition warms my heart,” Nguyen said in a statement.
“It was truly a team effort and this recognition is sincerely shared with everyone who worked on this film, from the writing, to the creation and production, as well as with all our financial partners who believed in us despite the risks.”
By Brian D. Johnson - Tuesday, September 7, 2010 at 9:46 AM - 0 Comments
A blockbuster hybrid of cinemas, galleries and public spaces
It’s a balmy August night in the heart of downtown Toronto. Canadian filmmaker Guy Maddin is standing in an empty lot, gazing up at a ghostly blond in a white gown who has just appeared between a pair of curtains in an office window. “If you wait, you’ll see a billowy upskirt thing,” he says. In another window, an old man parades between the drapes in a pair of white briefs. These burlesque apparitions, and the curtains framing them, are black and white video loops, rear-projected onto the fifth-floor windows at the back of a brand-new building. Maddin’s silent-movie sideshow is more subtle than the red neon Hooters sign behind it, or the pinball-lit CN Tower to the south. But enough to make a passerby do a double take.
The building is the TIFF Bell Lightbox, an exquisite monument to cinema that serves as the new headquarters of the Toronto International Film Festival. Maddin’s test screening was just one of the hectic preparations leading up to its opening on Sept. 12. The Lightbox is the latest crown jewel in the city’s growing array of cultural landmarks, along with its new opera house and face-lifted museum and art gallery. Though inspired by cinephile meccas such as the British Film Institute, it’s unique in the world—an art-house rebuttal to the multiplex that recombines fine art, film and pop culture in a blockbuster hybrid of cinemas, galleries, learning studios and public spaces.