Skip to main content


Showing posts from 2013

Toronto Film Critics Association Gives Its Nod To...

Well, the Toronto Film Critics Association has made their list and checked it twice, and we can all now speculate as to how this roster of films will do at the upcoming Golden Globes and the Oscars. Some awards such as the Manulife Financial Student Film Award (best from programmes at Humber College, Ryerson University, Sheridan College and York University ) and the Rogers Best Canadian Film Award will be selected on January, 17, 2014. The three finalists are: The Dirties, directed by Matt Johnson, Gabrielle, directed by Louise Archambault; and Watermark, directed by Jennifer Baichwal and Edward Burtynsky.
“It’s been an unusually thrilling year for cinema,” said TFCA President Brian D. Johnson, film critic at Maclean’s. And these awards celebrate a remarkable diversity. Among our distinctive Canadian finalists, each offers an inspired take on a compelling issue—from school bullying in The Dirties to sexual liberation among the disabled in Gabrielle to epic environmental crisis in Wate…

Canada's Top Ten Announced!


As a supporter of Canadian film, I look forward to TIFF announcing its selection of films that will be screening at its Canada's Top Ten.  To make the list, "each film must have premiered at a major film festival or obtained a commercial theatrical release in Canada in 2013. The filmmaker must be a Canadian citizen or resident working on a Canadian production or co-production."  Canada's Top Ten runs January 3 to 12, 2014 at TIFF Bell Lightbox and besides films will include In Conversations with filmmakers Denis Villeneuve and Jake Gyllenhaal, and John Greyson and TIFF Artistic Director, Cameron Bailey.
Like every list out there, debates will break out on social media in regards to the merit of the 10 features and 10 shorts that have been chosen this year. Entertainment One Films should be proud to have five films in the mix, but I'm happiest about the mix of established (Denis …

Regent Park Film Festival (Nov. 13th - 16th) Welcomes Everyone!

Ananya Ohri is the Executive Director of the Regent Park Film Festival (RPFF). She is an educator and filmmaker and holds a Master’s degree in Cinema and Media Studies from York University. In this interview, she shares how RPFF is different from other Toronto film festivals, and welcomes everyone to attend.
donna g:Some people may have the impression that Regent Park Film Festival (RPFF) is mainly for youth? Who attends RPFF?

ANANYA OHRI: Youth are very important to the festival, but we get people from all backgrounds and ages, and people from across the city attend. It’s a very welcoming event that offers excellent programming and a great film festival experience to everyone. About 12 films from the 38 films at the festival this year are geared towards youth. We have our School Program that invites teachers for Grades 1-8 to bring their classes to the festival, and then we have our Saturday Morning Breakfast and a Movie that invites families with young kids.
The rest of the 26 films …

Toronto Reel Asian Film Fest (Nov. 5-16) Kicks Off with Bombay and the Boxer

The 17th Annual Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival (RA) is getting the party started right with an Opening Night that celebrates 100 years of Indian Cinema with Bombay Talkies, followed by an After Party in Yorkville's Empire Lounge. Bombay Talkies, a Cannes Film Festival gala showcase, is comprised of four short films by four of Mumbai's most talked about, hit box office directors: Karan Johar, Dibakar Banerjee, Zoya Akhtar, Anurag Kashyap. The film his making its Canadian premiere, November 5, 7:00 pm at the Isabel Bader Theatre, 93 Charles Street West. Keep your ticket stub and the gala party (10:00 pm - 1:00 am) is free. Can't make the film but want to celebrate RA's kick-off? Then poney up $10 at the door. Click here for complete details.

Live in Richmond Hill? RA comes to you with your own Opening Night screening of UNBEATABLE (Ji Zhan) by director, Dante Lam. The film is about a boxer and aspiring MMA contender who gets involved with the single moth…

I Wanna Dance with Cornejo German (Tango Fire is Back in T-Dot)

Angentina's TANGO FIRE is coming to back to Toronto after a five year absence and a highly successful recent run in London, England. I had a wonderful opportunity to interview Cornejo German, the Company's award-winning choreographer/dancer, about his dancing and his partnership with Gesela Galeassi, with whom he was a finalist on Jennifer Lopez and Marc Antony's ¡Q'Viva! The two-time World Tango Champions were JLo's special guests at her 2012 concert in Buenos Aires.

donna g:I watched several videos of you without the sound turned on because I wanted to watch how you moved. Man, you have incredible talent in your hips and legs! You know how to control your movements in such a way that your dancing never seems mechanical or too flashy. You make it look easy, but even a non-dancer like myself knows that it's not. What methods have you included in your training to help you attain this level of fluidity in your dancing?

CORNEJO GERMAN: Thank you, donna. As you kno…

TMTM SHOW OCT. 12: Rosa Laborde and Santee Smith

Bad news made good! Here is the October 12, 2013 edition of The More the Merrier! Because of things crashing and banging in the technological atmosphere, TMTM could not be broadcast today in its usual time slot. Thank goodness, I had a back up recording and the time I spent Tuesday night in the recording studio with guests Rosa Laborde and Santee Smith was not lost completely. Yay!

Rosa Laborde"s "Marine Life"
Performance Date: October 18, 8pm

De Colores Festival of New Works
by Latin-Canadian Playwrights

Oct. 16-18, 2013
Wychwood Theatre, 601Christie Street
Tickets: $15, Sen/Students $13, Pass $40

A Story Before Time (ages 5+)
October 16 -24, 2013
Young People's Theatre, Main Stage
65 Front Street East

TIFF13: Recap/Top 5 Faves

I recently did my annual TIFF wrap up with TMTM regulars, Kirk Cooper, founder of Film Market Access (, and blogger, Heidy M. ( I look forward to this discussion every year because our perspective of TIFF is so different. This year because of her schedule, Heidy M, did mostly public screenings; Kirk was busy with his Toronto Program at TIFF, so saw some of the bigger films in between taking care of his clients (he also so some films at Cannes); and I attended media screenings and a few public ones, which I always love because of the feedback from the audience. To hear the complete discussion, click here.

Here is my Top 5 out of the 19 feature films that I saw. 
Concrete Night MASTERS -Pirjo Honkasalo A fourteen-year-old boy in a stifling Helsinki slum takes some unwise life lessons from his soon-to-be-incarcerated older brother, in Finnish master Pirjo Honkasalo’s gorgeously stylized and emotionally devastating work about wha…

TIFF13: Meeting Concrete Night Director, Pirjo Honkasalo

Remaining Screening:
Saturday, September 14
Scotiabank 14 9:45 PM
Deciding that we both liked the cool temperatures of the September morning, Finnish director, Pirjo Honkasalo, and I decided to sit on the patio of our downtown meeting place rather than chat inside the "old boys club" (her words) ambiance of the main floor bar. 
While she had a cappuccino and patiently sat through my mishap, first with my recorder then camera, she delighted in my reversion to pen and paper, lamenting the fact that digital technology doesn't allow our memories to retain information the way we used to. When you write, you remember, when you allow technology to do everything, your mind doesn't have to retain it in the same way. "Will you remember what we had discussed?" I assured her that I would and we segued into talking about Concrete Night, her thoughts on filmmaking, and the film industry. 
A fearless director, who clings to her indie spirit of making films on her …

TIFF13: Canadian Filmmakers Rock!

As the host country, and with Toronto being the location for an "A" list festival such as TIFF, lets show our filmmakers that we acknowledge and respect their work. What impression are we giving if our guests are going to our films, but we choose to skip them? To get you started here are a few feature film selections from some of my favourite Canadian filmmakers. (Note, I've already posted about Alanis Obomsawin's  Hi-Ho Mistahey and the Short Cuts Canada programe.)

THE ANIMAL PROJECT. I've been following Ingrid Veninger's work for a while now both as producer (NURSE. FIGHTER.BOY) and director (MODRA, i am a good person/i am a bad person). I adore her independent spirit in making films that she is passionate about.
TIFF Description:A Toronto theatre director endures a series of creative and personal travails in this affecting and typically inventive new film from Festival favourite Ingrid Veninger. 

Wednesday September 11 Isabel Bader Theatre 7:30 PM Thursday Septe…