Friday, December 31, 2010

Barney's Version (2010)

According to what I've heard Mordicai Richler's novel Barney's Version is a huge thing in Canadian literature. Unfortunately, because the story is told from an external point of view rather than from Barney's own introspection, the film suffers a little bit. Nonetheless, the film is enjoyable.

Barney Panofsky, is a TV producer from Montreal. Back in the 1970s, he starts to search for the love of his life. Claire (Rachelle Lefebvre), his first wife, is an artist who is rather unstable. His second wife (Minnie Driver), an intellectual with a Master degree from McGill University, rather irks him. Moreover, Barney met his third wife, Miriam (Rosamund Pike), on the day of his marriage with his second wife.

Now that he's in his sixties, Barney takes a reality check and looks back at his life. He remembers his failures, his blunders and a few of his good decisions. Moreover, he also has to deal with the disappearance of his best friend, Boogie (Scott Speedman), because he's the prime suspect in the case.

I haven't read the novel, which is considered a major work in Canadian literature. Nevertheless, I found Barney's Version entertaining at best. Told as a chronicle, the film's story is a smooth river stripped down from too much intellectual references. As a result of that, it only focuses on Barney's thoughts about his own life.

While we don't have much access to Barney's inner thoughts, the film is somehow enjoyable. Sure, in its exploration of sexual and romantic fantasies, the film can seem a little bit vulgar. Moreover, given what he's gone through, one would wonder why Barney entertains sexist thoughts. However, it's the magic and humoristic performance of Paul Giamatti that make us feel the necessity to understand his character.

Finally, although I found some parts of the film a little bit boring, the film managed to make me laugh.

Rating: 3.5/5


Wushu Warrior (2010)

It isn't because you make a co-production that you necessarily get the best out of Chinese expertise in making martial art films. Speaking about quality, Wushu Warrior looks like an awful made-for-TV film.

The story takes place in China during the 19th century. Lord Lindsay (Matt Frewer), a British merchant and also a drug trafficker, intends to bring opium in China by ship. However, because Rev. Elders (Matthew Bloomfield) is an outspoken critic of Lord Lindsay, he's killed. Hopefully, with the help of Rev. Elders' Chinese friends, his son, Jonathan, is taken to a safe village.

Once there, Jonathan will be taught Wushu. After many years of training, Jonathan embarks on a journey to avenge the death of his father and to put an end to Lord Lindsay's drug business.

After Yves Simoneau's L'appât, Quebec's cinema is also trying to satisfy us with another action film. Just like L'appât, Wushu Warrior is so predictable from the beginning to the end. Even though the film has decent fight scenes in store, watching Wushu Warrior is an unpleasant chore. Although its members - even Matt Frewer who plays the "bad guy" - did bother to learn Wushu, the cast' performance is so wooden. In fact, we just have the feeling that the actors played in the film just to collect a pay cheque.

Finally, I won't waste anymore of my time telling you how much this film is lame. Once the film begins, you'll just want it to end.

Rating: 1/5

Origin:Canada/China (2010)
Length:82 minutes
Genre:Action drama
Screenplay:Cecil Arto
Director:Alain Desrochers
Starring:Tod Fennell, Matt Frewer and Amber Mullin

Thursday, December 30, 2010

L'appât (2010)

Because Quebecker cinema pretends to be something that it isn't, no wonder we've got an action comedy this year. Whether you're looking for good action scenes or a good laugh, L'appât will dismay you, because it's closer to television than cinema.

In Montreal, a French mobster of Italian heritage died at a police precinct. Prudent Poirier (Guy A. Lepage), a very incompetent cop, was trying to save him. Because Poirier might help to crack the case, France's secret services sends Ventura (Rachid Badouri), an elite agent, in Montreal. However, Ventura will pose as a rookie trained by Poirier. However, Ventura ends up loathing Poirier and things get rather complicated for viewers' pleasure.

Moreover, L'appât is really unbearable to watch because its two leading actors, Guy A. Lepage and Rachid Badouri, who takes his role too seriously, overact too much. As Prudent Poirier, Lepage looks like a cop who came out of a sitcom. After all, given how much of an imbecile Lepage's character is, one will wonder why a police department would keep a cop like Poirier who can't even handle a machine gun or be subtle when he's around criminals.

In addition to that, there are uninspired jokes about the differences between France and Quebec, a plot twist that falls flat on the ground and a story that you just want to go through as quickly as possible. After all, no matter what happens, we all know that Poirier and Ventura will get along.

Finally, with the budget L'appât has, don't expect to see action scenes as spectacular as those in action films from Hong Kong. Moreover, the film is so annoying, because the contrast between the two leads is underlined in a way that lacks subtlety.

Rating: 1/5

Origin:Canada (2010)
Length:88 minutes
Genre:Action comedy
Screenplay:William Reymond and Yves Simoneau
Director:Yves Simoneau
Starring:Guy A. Lepage, Rachid Badouri and Maxim Roy

Monday, December 27, 2010

'Hiccups' Season 1 On DVD On Jan. 11

While the premiere of Hiccups' second season has yet to be announced by CTV, a Canadian TV network, its first season will be released on DVD on January 11.

This Canadian half-hour comedy, which was shot in Vancouver, tells the story of Millie Upton (Nancy Robertson), a successful writer for children books. She's also emotionally unpredictable. This is why her editor, Joyce Haddison (Laura Soltis), believes that Millie needs some help. This is why Millie sees Stan Dirko (Brent Butt), a self-proclaimed life coach. However, Millie doesn't know that she's Stan's first client.

The show also stars David Ingram, Emily Perkins and Paula Rivera.

Legend of the Black Scorpion (2006)

Since the release of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, wuxia films have clearly become a popular genre in Chinese filmmaking. Feng Xioagang's Legend of the Black Scorpion had all the ingredients to be a worthy successor of CTHD. However, the film's problem is its storyline.

Feng Xiaogang's film is a loose adaptation of William Shakespeare's play Hamlet. In 907 AD, the Tang dynasty is in decline. Li (Ge You) murders his brother, the Emperor. Afterwards, Li takes the power and also Empress Wan (Zhang Ziyi). Moreover, Li also dispatches assassins to kill Prince Wu Luan (Daniel Wu), who's in exile studying dance and music.

Because she loves the prince and she's only four years older than him, the Empress also sends assassins to protect the prince. Even in the palace, the prince also escapes all the Emperor's assassination plans. In order to celebrate the 100th day of his reign, the Emperor will organize a banquet. During this very day, both the prince and the Empress plan to put their own revenge in motion.

Personally, I'll take Legend of the Black Scorpion over Hamlet any day. This is because the former has great fight scenes.

Other than that, the other difference between Hamlet and this film is that the Empress is the central character. While the cast's performance was impeccable, the character of the Empress wasn't as developed as she should have been.

Zhang Ziyi, despite being blamed for her lack of experience, definitely managed to show how power-thirsty the Empress is. However, because of its lack of clarity, the story doesn't really tell how much the Empress is affected by the first Emperor's death. After all, because there was a time when royal marriages were arranged, it would have been really interesting to see that love is a royal couple isn't what many think it is.

Other than that, Legend of the Black Scorpion is a visually beautiful film that certainly could have beaten Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and many other great wuxia films.

Rating: 3.5/5

Origin:China (2006)
Length:131 minutes
Screenplay:Gangjian Qiu
Director:Feng Xiaogang
Starring:Zhang Ziyi, Ge You, Daniel Wu and Xun Zhou

Monday, December 20, 2010

'Air Face' to Host the New Year's Eve On CBC

The comedians of the defunct show Royal Canadian Air Farce will be back for the New Year's Eve at 8 PM on CBC.

Obviously, these comedians are Jessica Holmes, Penelope Corrin, Alan Park, Roger Abbott, Don Ferguson, Craig Lauzon and Luba Goy. As always, they'll poke fun at all the major newsmakers of 2010.

Speaking of that, we can think about the rise of teen-singer Justin Bieber, the G8/G20, WikiLeaks' cables, William and Kate, Lady Gaga's high-protein apparel, Sarah Palin, the Tea Party, Celine Dion, Tony Hayward, the Chilean miners, Barack Obama, Joseph Biden and even the soccer World Cup.

CBC also revealed that Lloyd Robertson, one of Canada's news anchors, will guest-star. He will look back at his four decades anchoring national newscasts at CBC and CTV, another Canadian TV network. Other guest-stars will include journalists Lisa LaFlamme, Peter Mansbridge and Brian Williams.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

'Incendies' Will Be Released In France on Jan. 12

Denis Villeneuve's Incendies will hit theatres in France on January 12.
Besides France, other countries will also have the chance to see this film that will represent Canada at the next Oscar ceremony.

The film is based on a play by Canadian playwright Wajdi Mouawad.

Built in a non-linear way, the film introduces to Simon (Maxim Gaudette) and Jeanne (Mélissa Désormeaux-Poulin) Marwal, who are twins. After their mother's death, Jean Lebel (Rémy Girard), a notary for whom the twins' mother worked, reads their mother's last wishes. Upon the reading of these, Jean give one envelope to each twin. Jeanne has to give this envelope to a father who apparently didn't die during the Lebanese Civil War and Simon, to a brother he and his sister have never heard of.

From this day on, Jeanne begins her personal investigation in an unidentified Middle Eastern country (read: Lebanon) in order to gather informations about who her mom really was and where her father is. While Simon loathes his mom and doesn't want to bring the envelope to the mysterious brother, he joins Jeanne in her trip because of his bond with her. Together, Simon and Jeanne will try to understand why their mom had remained silent on her dark past.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Canadian TV Series 'Being Erica' Will Have a U.S. Remake

ABC, an American TV network, might produce the American remake of the Canadian TV series Being Erica, according to the magazine Variety.

No actress has been confirmed to play the part of Erica, which was played by Erin Karpluk in the original Canadian version. However, Temple Street Productions, a production company from Toronto, and ABC have made a deal to produce the remake, reports Variety.

The Canadian original version stars Erin Karpluk, as Erica Strange. She's a thirty-something woman from Toronto who meets a therapist (Michael Riley) after a mishap.

This therapist, named Dr. Tom, allows her to revisit regrets from her own past. Through this therapy, Dr. Tom wants Erica to learn how to fix her life and live the fate she wants.

Maggie Friedman (Eastwick) will write the U.S. remake and will also be the executive producer of the show.

The third season of Being Erica will premiere on SoapNet, a cable network, on January 26 at 11 PM.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

'18 to Life' Season 1 On DVD On Jan. 18

CBC announced that the first season of the sitcom 18 to Life will come out on DVD on January 18, 2011. The show will also return for a second season this winter.

Tom Bellow (Michael Seater) and Jessie Hill (Stacey Farber) are two neighbours who've been living side by side since their childhood. They're both 18 years old. In the pilot, they decide to marry each other. However, their parents have reservations about this marriage and believe that it won't last.

The show also stars Erin Agostino, Alain Goulem, Angela Asher, Jesse Rath, Kaniehtiio Horn, Arielle Shiri, Peter Keleghan, Ellen David and Carl Alacchi.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

First Clips of 'Good Neighbours'

The first three clips of Jacob Tierney's Good Neighbours surfaced online and the release date for the film hasn't been announced yet.

Speaking about the story, the film is adapted from the novel Chère voisine, which was written by Chrystine Brouillet, and takes place in 1995, the year of the second referendum on the separation of Quebec. In the dead of winter, a serial killer is on the loose in the small Montreal neighbourhood of Notre Dame de Grace. The tenants of an old apartment house must figure out who they can trust and who they can't.

The film stars Jay Baruchel, Scott Speedman, Emily Hampshire, Xavier Dolan, Gary Farmer, Kaniehtiio Horn, Anne-Marie Cadieux, Pat Kiely, Nathalie Girard and Sean Lu.

Monday, December 6, 2010

First Clip of Action Comedy 'L'appât'

Yesterday, the first clip of the upcoming action comedy L'appât was presented during the talk show Tout le monde en parle. The film will be released in Quebec in December 17.

The film is directed by Yves Simoneau and co-written with William Reymond, a French journalist.

The film takes place in Montreal and a French citizen got murdered. Since that French citizen had highly important information, the French government sends Ventura (Rachid Badouri), an elite spy who can speak eight languages. However, Ventura will discover that Prudent Philippe Poirier (Guy A. Lepage), an agent of the Sûreté du Québec (SQ), is on the investigation whether Ventura likes it or not. As time goes by, both of them will learn how to work together.

The film also stars Ayisha Issa, Maxim Roy, Romano Orzari, Serge Dupire, Alain Moussi, Joe DeMarco

Friday, December 3, 2010

Canadian Films Go to Sundance

Five Canadian films are in the Sundance Film Festival's line-up.

World Cinema Dramatic Competition

The Salesman (Le vendeur)
Director: Sébastien Pilote
Car salesman Marcel Lévesque operates by the rules of a bygone era, turning on the charm to make his quota. But the increasing decline of his fading industrial town threatens to plummet this peddler of dreams into an unfriendly reality.
Cast: Gilbert Sicotte and Nathalie Cavezzali.

Director: Iwai Shunji
On the surface, Simon seems like a fairly normal, average young man, devoted to his teaching job and ailing mother. Secretly, he is compelled to hunt through online chat rooms and message boards, searching for the perfect girl who will ensure his own survival.
Cast: Kevin Zegers, Keisha Castle-Hughes, Rachel Leigh Cook, Kristin Kreuk, Aoi Yu and Adelaide Clemens.


Director: Denis Villeneuve
A mother's last wish sends Jeanne and Simon, twins living in Canada, on a journey to the Middle East in search of their tangled roots.
Cast: Lubna Azabal, Mélissa Désormeaux-Poulin, Maxim Gaudette and Rémy Girard.


Park City at Midnight

Hobo with A Shotgun
Director: Jason Eisener
A hobo hops from a train with dreams of a fresh life in a new city, but instead finds himself trapped in an urban hell. When he witnesses a brutal robbery, he realizes the only way to deliver justice is with a shotgun in his hands and two shells in the chamber.
Cast: Rutger Hauer, Molly Dunsworth, Gregory Smith and Brian Downey.



I Melt with You
Director: Mark Pellington
Four friends gather every year to celebrate their friendship. This year they are unexpectedly forced to confront a forgotten promise they made 25 years earlier. As they examine choices they've made, they realize that what they said they would do with their lives and what they have done are entirely different.
Cast: Thomas Jane, Jeremy Piven, Rob Lowe, Christian McKay, Carla Gugino.

Monday, November 29, 2010

'Being Erica' Premieres In the USA In Jan. 26

The hit Canadian TV series Being Erica will premiere on Soapnet, an American cable network, in January 26 at 11 PM.

American fans will see the third season of this Canadian TV series in winter.

In this third season, we finally get to see what's behind the mysterious door Erica Strange (Erin Karpluk), an woman from Toronto in her thirties, has to open. Only by opening that door will Erica know where her therapy with Dr. Tom (Michael Riley), a doctor who send people back in the past so that they can fix their regrets.

In her personal life, Erica is facing uncertainty. She's wondering if the publishing house she found with Julianne (Reagan Pasternak) will succeed. In fact, Brent (Morgan Kelly), their former colleague at River Rock Publishing, will stop at nothing to put them out of business. Moreover, Erica also looks out for her mom (Kathleen Laskey) and her sister, Samantha (Joanna Douglas).

The actors returning for this season are Devon Bostick, Joanne Vannicola, Sebastian Pigott and John Boylan. New regular members of the regular cast include Adam Fergus, Brandon Jay McLaren, Kim Roberts, Melanie Scrofano, Jeff Geddis, Bill Turnbull, Michael Northey and Graham Greene.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

'Spartacus: Gods of the Arena' Premieres January 21 on Starz

Starz, an American premium cable network, hasn't announced a premiere date for the second season of Spartacus: Blood and Sand. However, its prequel, Spartacus: Gods of the Arena, will premiere January 21 at 10 PM.

The story of the prequel takes place before the events in the first season of Spartacus: Blood and Sands. Before Spartacus came in the house of Batatius (John Hannah), a owner of gladiators who were to compete in an arena, there was one champion: Gannicus (Dustin Clare). Batatius always made sure that his gladiators were in demand for "entertainment" and could always rely on his wife, Lucretia (Lucy Lawless). Moreover, Lucretia herself has an ace in the hole in the person of her friend Gaia (Jaime Murray).

The show also stars Manu Bennett, Peter Mensah, Marisa Ramirez, Jeffrey Thomas and David E. Woodley.

The show Spartacus: Gods of the Arena will also premiere in Canada on January 23 at 10 PM on The Movie Network, a Canadian premium cable network.

Canadian Remake of 'Being Human' Premieres Jan. 17 On Space

The Canadian remake of the British TV series Being Human will premiere on Space, a sci-fi oriented Canadian cable network, on January 17 at 10 PM.

While the show was shot in Montreal, the story will take place... in Boston. Wow, at least Space is very upfront about it unlike Global, the TV network that broadcast the Canadian TV series Rookie Blue, which epically fails to pass off as an American city.

So, like I said, the show follows three roommates with paranormal powers: Vampire Aidan, played by Sam Witwer (SMALLVILLE, BATTLESTAR GALACTICA); ghost Sally played by Meaghan Rath(I Me Wed, THE ASSISTANTS); and werewolf Josh played by Sam Huntington (Detroit Rock City, Superman Returns); and Mark Pellegrino (LOST, DEXTER) stars as Aidan’s charismatic but menacing vampire mentor, Bishop.

'Republic of Doyle' Season 2 Premieres Jan. 12 on CBC

CBC, a Canadian TV network, announced that Republic of Doyle's second season will premiere January 12 at 9 PM.

The show is a comedy following a private detective, Jake Doyle (Allan Hawco), from St-John's, Newfoundland. In the second season, viewers don't know if Jake's father, Malarchy (Sean McGinley), will come back. Will Christian (Jonathan Goad) return? Can Jake clear him? And are Jake and Leslie (Krystin Pellerin), a constable of the St-John's police department, really over? Is “The One” for Jake gone for good?

Also returning to the Republic are the people that Jake can’t live with — or without: colleague (and defacto stepmother) Rose Miller (Lynda Boyd); vandal turned P.I. apprentice Des Courtney (Mark O’Brien); and enterprising niece Tinny (Marthe Bernard).

U.S. (or Canadian?) 'Skins' Premieres Jan. 17 on MTV

MTV, an American cable network, is starting to promote the American remake of the British TV series Skins. The show will premiere on MTV in January 17 at 10/9 PM central.

Just like the British version, the American version, will document the life of a group of teenagers who try to balance their life in school, in their family and keep their friendship. Moreover, these teenagers like to party, consume drugs and, above all, get drunk.

The leading cast of the show will be Rachel Thevenard, James Newman, Daniel Flaherty, Jesse Carere, Ron Mustafaa, Britne Oldford and Sofia Black D'Elia.

For the moment, it's hard to determine if this Skins actually is the Canadian remake. On the IMDB page of the show, the Canadian company Entertainment One isn't mentioned as one of the production companies. Moreover, The Movie Network, a Canadian premium cable network, is not mentioned as a "distributor". However, an article by Variety, an American cultural magazine, did identify Entertainment One as one of the production companies behind the remake.

Finally, here's the trailer:

Want to know more?
1. Facebook page of the show

2. Official web site

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

'The Bang Banb Club' Gets a U.S. Distributor

Canadian distributor sold The Bang Bang Club to U.S. distributor Tribeca Film.

While the Canadian release, which was initially expected for October 29, was postponed, the U.S. release in theatres is expected "in the second quarter of 2011, as well as on video-on-demand, and other platforms" according to Tribeca Film.

The film is adapted from the book of the same name written by Greg Marinovich and Jao Silva. Besides, the film also stars Malin Åkerman, Ashley Mulheron and Russel Savadier.

This film directed by Steven Silver (The Last Just Man) takes place during the final years of the apartheid in South Africa during the 1990s. These days are seen through the eyes and lens of four young photographers who, among other things, captured the fight between the National Peacekeeping Force and the African National Congress in the Tokoza township. These photographers are Kevin Carter (Taylor Kitsch), Greg Marinovich (Ryan Phillippe), Ken Oosterbroek (Frank Rautenbach) and Joao Silva (Neels Van Jaarsveld).

Quebecker Films at Paris's Forum des images

A group of Quebecker films have been presented at Paris at the Forum des images for four days.

Until November 28, Parisians and also possible French distributors can see 14 Quebecker feature films.

These films are:

* Une vie qui commence, by Michel Monty.
* L'enfant prodige, by Luc Dionne.
* À l'origine d'un cri, by Robin Aubert.
* Route 132, by Louis Bélanger.
* Piché: entre ciel et terre, by Sylvain Archambault.
* Journal d'un Coopérant, by Robert Morin.
* 10 ½, by Daniel Grou.
* Filière 13, by Patrick Huard.
* The Trotsky, by Jacob Tierney.
* Jo pour Jonathan, by Maxime Giroux.
* Les 7 jours du talion, by Daniel Grou.
* Trois temps après la mort d'Anna, by Catherine Martin.
* Curling, by Denis Côté.
* Incendies, de Denis Villeneuve.

Finally, of all these 14 films, only Incendies has a planned released in France, which will be on January 12, 2011.

Monday, November 22, 2010

'Incendies' Will Be Released In France On Jan. 12

The film Incendies - which is Canada's pitch for the next Oscar ceremony - will be released in France's theatres on January 12, 2011 according to

The film, which is based on a play by Canadian playwright Wajdi Mouawad, had a limited release in Canada. Moreover, a limited release is also expected in the USA on April.

Built in a non-linear way, the film introduces to Simon (Maxim Gaudette) and Jeanne (Mélissa Désormeaux-Poulin) Marwal, who are twins. After their mother's death, Jean Lebel (Rémy Girard), a notary for whom the twins' mother worked, reads their mother's last wishes. Upon the reading of these, Jean give one envelope to each twin. Jeanne has to give this envelope to a father who apparently didn't die during the Lebanese Civil War and Simon, to a brother he and his sister have never heard of.

From this day on, Jeanne begins her personal investigation in an unidentified Middle Eastern country (read: Lebanon) in order to gather informations about who her mom really was and where her father is. While Simon loathes his mom and doesn't want to bring the envelope to the mysterious brother, he joins Jeanne in her trip because of his bond with her. Together, Simon and Jeanne will try to understand why their mom had remained silent on her dark past.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Manhattan (1979)

Woody Allen's Manhattan is considered as one of his best films. The only way for us to appreciate it is to watch it as if we're living in the 1970s.

Isaac (Woody Allen) is man in his forties who has been divorced twice. His latest wife, Jill (Meryl Streep), left him for a woman and she intends to write "an honest account of our (Isaac's and Jill's) mariage". Moreover, Isaac works as a comedy writer, a job he loathes, and dates Tracy (Mariel Hemingway), a seventeen-year-old girl. One day, he meets Mary (Diane Keaton), an intellectual woman. Moreover, she's also the mistress of Yale (Michael Murphy), Isaac's best friend.

Because he's married, Yale no longer dates Mary. Which leaves to Isaac the opportunity to date her and to break up with Tracy much to her surprise. Moreover, by that time, Isaac had also quit his job in order to find happiness. However, as time goes by, Yale gets back his interest for Mary, which creates a conflict between him and Isaac.

As a person from the twenty-first century, you might feel that Manhattan is just a mere film in which there are more romantic betrayals - so to speak - than in any film from Atom Agoyan. Allen's Manhattan, despite being praised by many of his fans, might just be dismissed as a very predictable soap opera. On a second thought, one has to think about the evolution of our mentality in the 1970s to understand Manhattan's small charm. This is because talking about divorce was less and less a taboo in Hollywood and our society. Thus, this gives Allen the opportunity to depict with humour the fact that men no longer find it easy to get in a relation with a woman in contemporary history. Unfortunately, the film misses a few opportunities to elaborate on this point, because the sub-plots involving Jill's desire to be with another woman and Isaac's fascination are too small. Therefore, the film probably needed to be a little longer to give us the feeling that we're living in the 1970s.

In all fairness, Manhattan is a charming and entertaining film that is a little bit overrated. What makes the film very appealing is most definitely the fact that the cast delivers its performance with a tangible enthusiasm.

Rating: 3.5/5

Origin:USA (1979)
Length:96 minutes
Genre:Romantic comedy
Screenplay:Woody Allen and Marshall Brickman
Director:Woody Allen
Starring:Woody Allen, Diane Keaton and Mariel Hemingway

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Second Trailer of 'The Bang Bang Club'

The second trailer of The Bang Bang Club is now online and the Canadian release has been postponed.

This film directed by Steven Silver (The Last Just Man) takes place during the final years of the apartheid in South Africa during the 1990s. These days are seen through the eyes and lens of four young photographers who, among other things, captured the fight between the National Peacekeeping Force and the African National Congress in the Tokoza township. These photographers are Kevin Carter (Taylor Kitsch), Greg Marinovich (Ryan Phillippe), Ken Oosterbroek (Frank Rautenbach) and Joao Silva (Neels Van Jaarsveld).

The film is adapted from the book of the same name written by Greg Marinovich and Jao Silva. Besides, the film also stars Malin Åkerman, Ashley Mulheron and Russel Savadier.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Winners at the 25th Gemini Awards

Yesterday, the winners at the 25th Gemini Awards, the Canadian equivalent of the Emmy Awards, were revealed as Corey Monteith (Glee) was hosting that night. Moreover, Degrassi Junior High/Degrassi: The Next Generation was crowned by the public as the best Canadian TV series of the last 25 years.

Without further ado, here's the list of winners.

Best Animated Program or Series:
Glen Martin, DDS

Best Children or Youth Fiction Program or Series:

Best Children's or Youth Non-Fiction Program or Series:
Canada's Super Speller

Best Comedy Program or Series:
Less Than Kind

Best Cross-Platform Project - Children’s and Youth:
Taste Buds

Best Cross-Platform Project - Fiction:
Being Erica Webisodes

Best Cross-Platform Project - Non-Fiction:
Kraft Hockeyville 2010

Best Documentary Series:
Licence To Drill

Best Dramatic Mini-Series:
The Summit

Best Dramatic Series:
The Tudors

Best General/Human Interest Series:
Tosca: Flexing at 49

Best History Documentary Program:
Paris 1919

Best Original Program or Series produced for Digital Media - Fiction:
The Vetala

Best Original Program or Series produced for Digital Media - Non-Fiction:
Love Letters to the Future

Best Reality Program or Series:
The Cupcake Girls

Best Talk Series:
Spectacle: Elvis Costello With...

Best TV Movie
She Drives Me Crazy

Best Achievement in Casting:
John Buchan (CSA), Jason Knight - The Summit

Best Achievement in Main Title Design:
Kevin Chandoo - Durham County - Little Lost Children

Best Achievement in Make-Up:
Eva Coudouloux and Adrien Morot - Durham County - Surviving the Fall

Best Costume Design:
Joan Bergin - The Tudors - Episode 307

Best Direction in a Children's or Youth Program or Series:
Stefan Brogren - Degrassi: The Next Generation - Beat It, Part 2

Best Direction in a Comedy Program or Series:
Ian MacDonald - Pure Pwnage - The Day the Lan Centre Stood Still

Best Direction in a Dramatic Program or Mini-Series:
Sudz Sutherland - Guns

Best Direction in a Dramatic Series
David Frazee - Flashpoint - One Wrong Move

Best Direction in an Animated Program or Series
Ken Cunningham - Glenn Martin, DDS - The Tooth Will Set You Free

Best Original Music Score for a Dramatic Program, Mini-Series or TV Movie:
Tom Third - The Summit

Best Original Music Score for a Program or Series
Trevor Morris - The Tudors - Episode 304

Best Original Music Score for an Animated Program or Series:
Jonathan Evans and Gerard Tevlin - Guess With Jess - How Can We Decorate the Christmas Tree?

Best Photography in a Comedy Program or Series:
Paul Sarossy - Kids In The Hall: Death Comes To Town - Cause of Death

Best Photography in a Dramatic Program or Series:
Glen MacPherson - Keep Your Head Up Kid: The Don Cherry Story

Best Visual Effects:
Mario Rachiele, Marie-Ève Bédard-Tremblay, Benoît Brière, Raphaël Hubert and Pierre-Simon Lebrun-Chaput - Ben Hur

Best Writing in a Children's or Youth Program or Series:
Trevor Cameron - Wapos Bay - The Hardest Lesson

Best Writing in a Comedy or Variety Program or Series:
Marvin Kaye, Chris Sheasgreen - Less Than Kind - Third Death's The Charm

Best Writing in a Dramatic Program or Mini-Series:
Jennifer Holness, Sudz Sutherland - Guns

Best Writing in a Dramatic Series:
Jeremy Boxen - Cra$h & Burn - Sunday Bloody Sunday

Best Ensemble Performance in a Comedy Program or Series:
Cathy Jones, Gavin Crawford, Mark Critch, Geri Hall, Shaun Majumder - This Hour Has 22 Minutes - Episode 8

Best Individual Performance in a Comedy Program or Series:
Benjamin Arthur - Less Than Kind - That's Somebody's Knish!

Best Performance by an Actor in a Continuing Leading Dramatic Role:
Robert Carlyle - Stargate: Universe - Human

Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Supporting Role in a Dramatic Program or Mini-Series:
Clé Bennett - Guns

Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Supporting Role in a Dramatic Series:
Clé Bennett - The Line - Episode 203 / Episode 206

Best Performance by an Actor in a Guest Role, Dramatic Series:
Michael Riley - Flashpoint - Coming To You Live

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Dramatic Program or Mini-Series
Jared Keeso - Keep Your Head Up Kid: The Don Cherry Story

Best Performance by an Actress in a Continuing Leading Dramatic Role:
Caroline Cave - Cra$h & Burn - Forget to Remember

Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Supporting Role in a Dramatic Program or Mini-Series:
Debra Lynne McCabe - Guns

Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Supporting Role in a Dramatic Series:
Catherine Disher - The Border - The Dead / Dark Ride

Best Performance by an Actress in a Guest Role, Dramatic Series
Tatiana Maslany - Bloodletting And Miraculous Cures - All Souls

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Dramatic Program or Mini-Series
Sun Li - Iron Road

Best Performance in a Children's or Youth Program or Series:
Charlotte Arnold - Degrassi: The Next Generation - Somebody

Best Performance in an Animated Program or Series:
Kim Cattrall - Producing Parker - The Skinny on Parker

Thursday, November 11, 2010

NFB Unveils New Original Documentary 'Children of Soldiers'

The National Film Board (NFB) of Canada has launched online a new original documentary on war as the nation celebrates Remembrance Day.

This documentary directed by journalist Claire Corriveau gives a voice to children who have parents in Canada's army. The documentary was shot at the military base of Petawawa as the troops are preparing to be deployed in Afghanistan.

The documentary is also available on DVD.

Comedy 'La sacrée' In Theatres In Summer 2011

This French-speaking comedy from Ontario will be in theatres in summer 2011.

The first stills of the Canadian comedy La sacrée are now online and the film, which was made with a budget of $1.2 million, is now in post-production.

The film talks about a crook (Marc Marans) who wants to marry a rich business woman. This man has to regain his fertility. However, in order to get it back, this crook has to go back in his hometown in Ontario. Once there, the man launches a brewery. Will he manage to boost his village's economy?

This first film in French from Ontario also stars singer Damien Robitaille, Louison Danis, Marie Turgeon, Roch Castonguay, Luc Thériault and Geneviève Bilodeau.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Trailer of Sci-Fi Film 'Paradox'

Kevin Sorbo leads the cast of this Canadian sci-fi film.

For the moment, no release date has been announced for this film, which is based on a comic book by Canadian writer Christos N. Gage.

The story is about a detective, Sean Nault (Kevin Sorbo), who investigates on a series of weird murders that were committed with the help of science. Because he lives on a parallel Earth, Nault only knows what magic is. In his investigation, he's helped by Leonore (Steph Song), a person who believes that science has its place in society. During their mission, both will be led to another dimension and they must hurry before both Earths get destroyed.

The film also stars Christopher Judge, Alan C. Peterson, Alisen Down, Jerry Wasserman, Michael St. John Smith, David Richmond-Peck, Vladmir Moskovchenko, Kanji Nimet, Keith Dallas, Adrian Holmes, Jeny Cassady, Sean Tyson and Gerry Durand.

Lauren Holly's Role In 'Rookie Blue' Revealed

Holly will play mother of Gail Peck (Charlotte Sullivan).

Actress Lauren Holly (Covert Affairs) will guest star in the second season of the Canadian TV series Rookie Blue as Elaine Peck, the Superintendent in charge of Operations at the Metropolitan Police Service who might become the first female Chief of police.

The second season, which is currently in production in Toronto, will be back on Global and ABC in summer 2011.

This season will follow five former rookies (Missy Peregrym, Gregory Smith, Enuka Okuma, Travis Milne and Charlotte Sullivan) of the Toronto police department with a special focus on Andy McNally (Missy Peregrym), a woman with a good heart.

The show also stars Eric Johnson, Ben Bass, Matt Gordon, Noam Jenkins, Melanie Nicholls-King and Lyriq Bent.

Source: TV Fanatic

Saturday, November 6, 2010

'Incendies': Limited U.S. Release on April 1

Denis Villeneuve's Incendies will be released in New York City and Los Angeles on April 1rst.

Built in a non-linear way, the film introduces to Simon (Maxim Gaudette) and Jeanne (Mélissa Désormeaux-Poulin) Marwal, who are twins. After their mother's death, Jean Lebel (Rémy Girard), a notary for whom the twins' mother worked, reads their mother's last wishes. Upon the reading of these, Jean give one envelope to each twin. Jeanne has to give this envelope to a father who apparently didn't die during the Lebanese Civil War and Simon, to a brother he and his sister have never heard of.

From this day on, Jeanne begins her personal investigation in an unidentified Middle Eastern country (read: Lebanon) in order to gather informations about who her mom really was and where her father is. While Simon loathes his mom and doesn't want to bring the envelope to the mysterious brother, he joins Jeanne in her trip because of his bond with her. Together, Simon and Jeanne will try to understand why their mom had remained silent on her dark past.

Friday, November 5, 2010

'Wrecked' Acquired by IFC Films

IFC Midnight, the genre branch of American film distributor IFC Films, acquired the Canadian thriller Wrecked at the American Film Market (AFM), an event where film distributors from the world meet. The film will be released in the USA in spring 2011.

The first film by Canadian director by Michael Greenspan follows a man (Adrian Brody) who wakes up in a car wreck at the bottom of a cliff. He's injured and has no recollection of who he is or even what he's done. His only companion is a radio. The voice of the news reader talks about a bank robbery that has gone awry. Moreover, a wallet he has identifies him as one of the robbers.

The film also stars Caroline Dhavernas, Ryan Robbins, Adrian Holmes and Jacob Blair. Moreover, Wrecked will be distributed in Canada by E1 Entertainment.

'The Whistleblower' Finds a U.S. Distributor

Samuel Goldwyn Films bought the U.S. distribution rights for the Canadian film The Whistleblower and the film will be released in August 2011, reported

This film by Canadian director Larysa Kondracki tells the true story of Kathryn Bolkovac (Rachel Weisz), a police officer by trade hailing from Nebraska. In 1999, she becomes part of a team of DynCorp, a private corporate army, and is sent to Bosnia, a country that had been torn by war. This American private corporate army's duty is to train Bosnian police officers.

As times goes by, Bolkovac notices alarming signs regarding the existence of an underground sex industry. Afterwards, Bolkovac finds a woman who escaped from a human trafficker who sell sex slaves to hidden brothels in the area. As she gathers more evidence, she discovers that UN officers and employees of DynCorp are involved in the sex slavery that has been lucrative after the war in Bosnia. Besides, to top it all, Bolkovac finds that UN officers and employees of DynCorp can't be held accountable for their actions. Will she manage to expose the truth?

The film also stars Monica Bellucci, Vanessa Redgrave, David Strathairn, David Hewlett, Liam Cunningham, William Hope and Benedict Cumberbatch.

Sortie 67 (2010)

Jephté Bastien's Sortie 67 is his first feature film. It's also the first Canadian film ever to deal with the problems of street gangs in the St-Michel and North-Montreal, two poor districts of Montreal. Hopefully, the film doesn't glorify crime.

A dead black mom. A white father (Sylvio Archambault) in prison for the murder of his wife. These are the two reasons that brought Ronald (Henri Prado), a young guy from St-Michel, in thirteen foster families. Because he hates school, Henri gets recruited by a new family: a street gang led by Brooklyn (Benz Antoine). After he had passed Brooklyn's loyalty test, which consisted in killing someone, Henri adopts the nickname of Jecko. As he commits a plethora of crimes, Ronald waits for the day when his father will get out of prison and to kill him. However, because he has a daughter and a wife who's ashamed of him, Ronald contemplates leaving criminality.

Sure, the theme of criminality has been explored a lot of times. Moreover, because Sortie 67's leading character, Jecko, tries to get out, the story is a little bit predictable and similar to other movies cut from the same cloth. Despite not that, Jephté Bastien's first film is nonetheless an important film for Quebec's cinema. Without glorifying the lifestyle of a street gang, the film offers an interesting analysis of how some people become attracted by criminality in St-Michel and North-Montreal, a reality that most of us hopefully never knew. Moreover, with its honest tone, Sortie 67 perspicaciously lambastes that belief shared by a few Montrealers of Haitian heritage that one's blackness is an obstacle to success in life.

Finally, the film's script isn't perfect. However, Sortie 67 relies on solid actors who need to be seen more often in Quebec's films rather than some other countries'.

Rating: 3.5/5

Origin:Canada (2010)
Length:103 minutes
Screenplay:Jephté Bastien
Director:Jephté Bastien
Starring:Henri Prado, Benz Antoine and Natacha Noël

Thursday, November 4, 2010

'Daydream Nation' Gets Its First Foreign Distributor

Michael Goldbach's first film, Daydream Nation, will be distributed in the USA, UK and Australia/New Zealand by Anchor Bay Films, reported The Hollywood Reporter. The film will be released in 2011.

This Canadian film follows a seventeen-year-old girl, Caroline (Kat Dennings), who moves with her dad in a small town. Life isn't too fun for her. At school, most students only think about partying or getting high. Caroline finds joy in "having great sex with Mr. Anderson (Josh Lucas), my by far favourite teacher". As she develops a friendship with one of her schoolmates (Reece Thompson), Mr. Anderson becomes jaleous.

The film also stars Andie MacDowell, Natasha Calis, Landon Liboiron, Genevieve Buechner, Katie Boland, Ted Whittall, Quinn Lord, Calum Worthy, Luke Camilleri, Cole Heppell, Patricia Isaac and William J. Phillips.

Trailer of 'Die'

The trailer of the Canadian thriller Die is already online. Its distributor, E1 Entertainment, hasn't confirmed a release date for Die.

This is what the story looks like as provided by the distributor:

Six people, each of them is on the road to self-destruction. They wake up in cells in a surreal facility, without knowing how they got there or why. Are they in denial? Are they crazy? What happened? As they try to figure things out, a mysterious man forces the six abductees to participate in a distrubing experiment called the Trials. During the experiment, the unwilling participants will come to face disturbing truths about themselves and decide each others' fate in a game of dice. As the storyline unfolds, we discover that something greater connects them all.
The story of this Canadian-Italian co-production was penned by Nick Mead and Domenico Salvaggio. The film will be helmed by Canadian director Dominic James.

The stars are Emily Hampshire, Elias Koteas, John Pyper-Ferguson, Caterina Murino, Patricia McKenzie, Patricia McKenzie, Karl Pruner, Simone-Elise Girard, Fabio Fulco, Peter Miller, Alexander Bisping, Ruth Chiang, Larry Day, Jayne Heitmeyer, Debbi Larkins, Elliott Larson, Vincent Messina and James Stevens.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Trailer of 'Jaloux'

At last, the trailer of Patrick Demers' Jaloux is finally online. No release date has been announced, but the film is currently looking for foreign distributors at the American Film Market (AFM).

This is the story according to the Toronto International Film Festival:
Thomas and Marianne, a feuding couple whose relationship has hit a wall, decide to spend a weekend at Thomas’s uncle’s lakeside cottage. This is their last chance to save their relationship, which has been jeopardized by Marianne’s meaningless flirtations and Thomas’s uncontrollable jealousy. As they arrive, a restless yet charming neighbour welcomes them into their house and, realizing that Thomas’s uncle and girlfriend will not be showing up for days, suggests they share the dinner he has prepared. The drunken night that follows – with this man, who might not be who he seems to be, pushing his charms on Marianne – leads to a weekend of blurred emotions and events, where loyalties, guilt and a shared secret will test the young couple’s ability to survive.

Along the way, flashbacks shed light on events that unfold, as Demers – who won the prize for Best Canadian Short Film at the Festival in 1999 for Décharge – begins to introduce information about each character in order to build doubt and ramp up the tension. Jaloux is a tour de force in both its European mood and style and its North American subject and nature, a result which could not have been achieved without the self-assured skills of an expert filmmaker.
The film stars Sophie Cadieux, Maxime Denommée and Benoît Gouin.

Trailer of Web Series 'La déséducation'

Does Quebec's educational program have a problem? That's what Mathieu Côté-Desjardins, the creator of the web series La déséducation and a disillusioned 26-year-old teacher, believes.

The sixteen-webisode series will premiere this Thursday on the website

Each webisode should lasts about 10 minutes. They're a mix of fiction and documentary. Moreover, the story of the web series is told through the eyes of teachers, parents, politicians, public pundits and even kids. Speaking about politicians and pundits, expect to see Françoise David, one of the two leaders of the political party Québec Solidaire, Gilles Proulx, a TV/radio host, Benoît Dutrizac, another TV/radio host, and even philosopher Jean Bédard.

The webseries was shot throughout Quebec with a budget of $65,000 at a time when Côté-Desjardins stopped working.

Here are the questions that will be asked throughout the web series:

  • What does it mean to be a parent?
  • Are our teachers well trained by our universities?
  • Does our educational system really think about our kids?
  • What's wrong with our bureaucracy?
  • What's wrong with Quebec's public schools?

While the first 8 episodes will talk about the problems of our schools, the last 8 ones will propose ideas to fix them.

Source: Le Devoir

Monday, November 1, 2010

Trailer of 'Complexity'

The official trailer of Adam Bogoch's Complexity is now online and it will be released next year.

In this film directed and written by Bogoch, we follow Clara (Emilie Ullerup), a young woman stuck in a place of complete uncertainty. Although she has a job, she lives with the pressure of meeting a man. When she meets Scott, a man who will turn her world upside down and make her question her decisions, things turn from bad to worse.

In order to help the film go through its post-production, you can fund it on its's page. So far, this independent Canadian film has raised $1,160. For more information, you can go on the film's Facebook page.

Camille Sullivan Joins Global's 'Rookie Blue'

As Global's Rookie Blue is shooting its second season in Toronto, The Hollywood Reporter reports that Camille Sullivan has joined the cast.

Sullivan will play detective Jo Rosati. Besides her, Lauren Holly will also guest-star in Rookie Blue.

Obviously, the ensemble cast of this show about five young police officers who got out of the academy will be back: Missy Peregrym, Gregory Smith, Charlotte Sullivan, Enuka Okuma, Travis Milne, Ben Bass, Eric Johnson, Matt Gordon, Noam Jenkins, Melanie Nicholls-King and Lyriq Bent.

Prior to Rookie Blue, Camille Sullivan has appeared in feature films such as Mount Pleasant, Mothers and Daughters and Normal. As for her TV credits, they include CBC's Intelligence and Shattered, which is currently airing on the Canadian TV network Global.

Source: Matt Gordon's Twitter page [1] and [2].

Gunless (2010)

After the war drama Passchendaele, Paul Gross comes up with another populist blockbuster. While some may find Gunless funny, Paul Gross's latest action film is also a little bit mindless. That's too bad, because Canada's own conquest of the West is replete with interesting stories to tell.

So, "once upon a time... in the North", a severely wounded American gunslinger rides into a small Canadian frontier town after he had been involved in a confrontation. Before he can leave the town, the Montana Kid (Paul Gross) must wait for the local Chinese seamstress to fix his clothes. In the meantime, he borrows some Chinese clothes. As for the local blacksmith (Tyler Mane), after he had taken care of the Kid's horse, he called the Kid a "common". Provoked, the Montana Kid defies the blacksmith into a duel.

Unfortunately, the only gun available in the town belongs to Jane Taylor (Sienna Guillory) and it needs to be repaired. Before she gives him the gun, Jane wants the Montana Kid to help her build a windmill and get it to function. In the meantime, the American bounty hunters - led by Cutler (Callum Keith Rennie) - are still after the Kid and eventually, they'll have a stand off in the town.

The film pretty much looks like a bad sitcom from the 1990s with its use of very few (and real-life) locations and also supporting characters who serve a specific purpose such as being a comic relief. As a historical drama, Gunless is quite hard to believe. This is because through the exchanges the Kid and the townspeople have, the film pokes fun at ideas that many Americans supposedly have about Canadians: politeness, niceness and non-violence. Unfortunately, that kind of humour didn't make me laugh. Besides, the film is really predictable. Nonetheless, despite a very light script, the film is competently made if you don't have difficulties to stand commercial flicks. The first reason being that the actors seem to be delighted to play their part, especially Sienna Guillory and Callum Keith Rennie. Secondly, the film can be seen as a good entertainment by others if you're waiting for the final action scene.

Rating: 2.5/5

Origin:Canada (2010)
Length:86 minutes
Genre:Western comedy
Starring:Paul Gross and Sienna Guillory

Friday, October 29, 2010

Jephté Bastien: 'Sortie 67' Not a Film On Street Gangs

Canadian director Jephté Bastien talks about why he wanted to do Sortie 67, his first film.

Jephté Bastien doesn't believe that his film Sortie 67, which will come in Quebec's theatres on November 5, has to "improve" the image of Montrealers of Haitian heritage who mostly live in the district of St-Michel and North-Montreal. According to him, "the film's story is about an individual instead of a whole ethnic group". Moreover, Bastien said that he sees it that way, because he wants to avoid "abusive generalizations".

Having worked as a video editor and also in the music industry, Jephté Bastien makes his directorial debut with the independent film Sortie 67, which a reference to a bus line that passes through St-Michel and North Montreal. The film follows Ronald (Henri Pardo), a young biracial man who's been involved in a street gang in the Montrealer district of St-Michel ever since his adolescence. Now that he has a daughter and that his wife is ashamed of him, Ronald strives to get out of criminality. Bastien sat down with The Cultural Post to talk about the importance of making a film in the vein of Sortie 67.

The Cultural Post: Why did you choose to make a film on street gangs in Montreal?

Jephté Bastien: In my opinion, Sortie 67 isn't about street gangs even though the leading character is involved in one. It's rather a film centred on an individual who tries hard to get out of this dark world because of what happens in his family. Moreover, I wanted to show a human being - not a monster - living in a world of violence.

Did Freddy Villanueva's death at the hand of a policeman in a park of North Montreal during the summer 2008 give you the envy to write Sortie 67?

The first draft of Sortie 67's script dates back to 2008 before Freddy Villanueva's death. Moreover, no one chooses the circumstances in which his/her film project comes to life. I wrote the script of the film right after I had learnt about my sixteen-year-old nephew's death. He was involved in a confrontation between street gangs.

Authenticity seems to be your motto when making this film. How did you make sure that the details in the film look close to reality as much as possible?

During my research, I talked to former and current members of street gangs. When I wrote the dialogues, the challenge was to combine French, English and Creole, because the youth in the street gangs constantly switch languages when they talk. As for the filming period, I wasn't afraid to be on location in St-Michel and North Montreal despite what many think about these two districts of Montreal. Even if I had the budget to recreate these two districts in a studio, I would rather be on location. As a movie director, I'm trying to depict what I see through my eyes.

In the film, one of the characters say that in Canada, it's impossible to succeed in life if we're a black. Is such a mentality still alive in the 21rst century even though we hear about successful blacks like Canadian boxer Jean Pascal or the American president, Barack Obama?

Obama's election might be a good thing. Nevertheless, he's not a black; he has mixed blood. Those who believe that this event has put an end to racism against blacks in North America are wrong. In Quebec, many blacks believe that without a Quebecker accent, you will be a failure. For those who have the Quebecker accent, just like a few characters in the film, some of them are not even sure if they'll succeed. On a personal note, I feel like a Quebecker whenever I'm outside of Quebec.

What will non-blacks learn about black people from Quebec as a whole after they had seen Sortie 67?

I relied on two things to build the characters, who are mostly blacks. The first one is this idea some people have about American blacks, because I once lived and worked in the USA. The second one is my understanding of what it means to be black and of Haitian heritage in Quebec. All in all, this film is an alternative to the image of blacks that is given to us by the media.

Yet, American journalist John Howard Griffin (who is white) passed himself off as a black in order to understand the psychological effect of racial segregation on blacks and to write his bestselling diary Black Like Me in the 1950s. If we fast-forward to 2010, are you saying that a Canadian journalist wouldn't understand blacks even though he darkens his skin?

With such an approach, you might become an observer. However, one won't understand everything, because there are things that we, whether we like it or not, can't grasp. For instance, even though I know Asians, I will never know what it truly means to be an Asian. Even though I'm able to imitate the Quebecker accent, I wouldn't do film centred on a Québécois. In short, even though your writing is fraught with good intentions, your vision of other people is unconsciously distorted.

Just by looking at Sortie 67's poster, we see that it's not distributed by one of the four biggest Quebecker distributors: Alliance Vivafilm, Remstar, Les Films Séville and Métropole Films. Does it mean that your film will get a limited release in Quebec just like The Trotsky and Serveuses demandées, two films about Quebeckers from ethnic minorities?

I don't fear a limited release in Quebec for Sortie 67. I don't want to sound political, but if the film doesn't breach the doors of movie theatres outside of Montreal, their owners must have their own reasons. However, I know that the public will respond to the film. First of all, whether a Quebecker viewer is from Montreal or not, he/she already knows that the film deals with a hot topic: the criminality among some Montrealers of Haitian heritage. Secondly, I dropped my prejudice regarding people's indifference to black Canadians when Sortie 67 received fundings from Téléfilm Canada and the SODEC (note: respectively the cinematographic funding agency of Canada and Quebec). I was surprised to see that my film was selected by both agencies as one of the few independent films that will be funded.

Many Québécois complain that Quebecker from ethnic minorities boycott French Quebecker cinema, because the market share of Quebecker films in Montreal is only 7% according to the latest study of the Observatoire de la culture et de la communication du Québec (OCCQ). Will your film change that tendency?

If it does, it would come to me as a surprise. When it comes to showing ethnic diversity on screen, there are students in a classroom who either sit at the front or at the back. Quebec's cinema, unlike that of the rest of Canada and the USA, is that student at the back despite some small progress. The debate about Quebec's cinema whiteness isn't young. Given that most of Quebec's films are filmed in Montreal, I don't understand why Montreal looks like a city without ethnic diversity most of the time. If Quebec's ethnic diversity was shown on screen more often, I'm sure our films would be more popular than they currently are. Unfortunately, Quebeckers from ethnic minorities are responsible for the lack of ethnic diversity on screen. They expect the Québécois to tell their own stories without thinking that the Québécois have a distorted idea about them. All in all, we're not going to get out of the woods anytime soon, but I'm sure Quebec's cinema can pull itself together.

-Interview by Anh Khoi Do

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