Wednesday, March 31, 2010

'L'enfant prodige' In Quebecker Theatres on May 28

Alliance Vivafilm, a film distributor, announced ([1] and [2]) that L'enfant prodige (aka André Mathieu - Le dernier des romantiques) will have a world premiere on May 9 in Shanghai during the Expo 2010 Shanghai. Afterwards, L'enfant prodige will hit theatres in Quebec on May 28, 2010.

The biopic about Canadian pianist André Mathieu (1929-1968) was produced with a budget of $6 million by Daniel Louis (Les invasions barbares) and Denise Robert (Maurice Richard). It was directed and written by Luc Dionne.

The story follows André Mathieu (Guillaume Lebon plays the child and Patrick Drolet, the adult), a Montreal-born pianist who was described as the "Canadian Mozart" during his childhood. Because of his talent, he will travel in Europe in order to study piano with different great teachers like Arthur Honneger (Marc Béland) and Jacques de la Presle (Patrice Coquereau) just to name a few. Moreover, André Mathieu will also come across Russian pianist Sergei Rachmaninov (Itzhak Finzi) who described him as his worthy successor. However, André Mathieu died at the age of 39 and finished his life in solitude and alcohol.

Besides, the cast also includes Benoît Brière, Lothaire Bluteau, Marc Labrèche, Mitsou Gélinas, Macha Grenon, Karine Vanasse, François Papineau, Isabel Richer, Catherine Trudeau, André Robitaille and Marie-Félixe Allard.

Finally, before its official Canadian premiere, the stars of the film will tour Quebec in order to present the film in advanced screenings. Here are the dates of these advanced screenings:

Advanced screenings in Quebec
City
Date
ChicoutimiMay 19
SherbrookeMay 20
Ste-AdèleMay 23
St-Jérôme
Montreal
May 24
Quebec City
May 25
Trois-RivièreMay 26
Joliette
GatineauMay 27


Tuesday, March 30, 2010

'La cité' In Theatres on April 9


Now that English Canada has made a real war drama (Passchendaele), Quebec will follow with a war drama of its own. In fact, La cité, Kim Nguyen's latest film, will hit Quebecker theatres on April 9, 2010.

The film takes place in 1885 in Algeria at a time when it was a French colony. Dr. Max Orswell (Jean-Marc Barr) just went through a war that lasted 8 years. Now that the war is over, he's to be taken to a port by a caravan, because he plans to go back to France. However, that caravan doesn't come. Besides, the village Max lives in is struck by a strange plague and is forced to be isolated.

This war drama was produced with a budget of $4.8 million CDN and it's a co-production between Canada, Switzerland and Tunisia. Moreover, it was shot in Tunisia and Italy.

The movie also stars Claude Legault, Pierre Lebeau, Lotfi Abdelli, Sabine Karsenti and Vincent Winterhalter.


First Trailer of 'The Big C'


There it is! The first trailer of The Big C, an upcoming half-hour comedy from the American premium cable network Showtime, made its first appearance online. While Showtime initially announced that The Big C will premiere in fall 2010, the show will come to the USA this summer.

In this TV series, we follow Laura Linney (John Adams). She plays a reserved suburban wife and mother whose recent cancer diagnosis forces her to shake up her life and find hope, humour and the light side of a dark situation. Besides, she also has to deal with her immature but well-meaning husband, played by Oliver Platt (Frost/Nixon).

Moreover, the show also stars Gabourey Sidibe (Precious), John Benjamin Hickey (Flags of our Fathers) and Gabriel Basso (Eastwick).


Monday, March 29, 2010

List of Winners at the 2010 Jutra Awards



Yesterday, the Jutra Awards, Quebec's Oscars, were presented. I personally didn't have the time to watch it, because I was finishing some research papers. However, here's the list of winners for this year's Jutra Awards.

Best feature film:
* 1981.
* Dédé, à travers les brumes.
* [Winner] J'ai tué ma mère.
* Polytechnique.
* Le jour avant le lendemain (Before Tomorrow).

Best director:
* Ricardo Trogi for 1981.
* Marie-Hélène Cousineau et Madeline Piujuq for Before Tomorrow.
* Jean-Philippe Duval for Dédé à travers les brumes.
* Xavier Dolan for J’ai tué ma mère.
* [Winner] Denis Villeneuve for Polytechnique.

Best actress:
* Céline Bonnier in Je me souviens.
* Marie-Thérèse Fortin in Les grandes chaleurs.
* Élise Guilbault in La Donation.
* [Winner] Anne Dorval in J’ai tué ma mère.
* Isabelle Guérard in Détour.

Best actor:
* Jean-Carl Boucher in 1981.
* Michel Côté in De Père en flic.
* Normand D’Amour in 5150, rue des Ormes.
* Xavier Dolan in J’ai tué ma mère.
* [Winner] Sébastien Ricard in Dédé à travers les brumes.

Best supporting actress:
* Hélène Bourgeois-Leclerc in Je me souviens.
* [Winner] Sandrine Bisson in 1981.
* Bénédicte Décary in Dédé à travers les brumes.
* Fanny Mallette in Grande Ourse: la clé des possibles.
* Sonia Vachon in 5150, rue des Ormes.

Best supporting actor:
* Stephen McHattie in The Timekeeper.
* Rémy Girard in De Père en flic.
* Normand Daneau in Suzie.
* [Winner] Maxim Gaudette in Polytechnique.
* Dimitri Storoge in Dédé à travers les brumes.

Best screenplay:
* [Winner] Xavier Dolan – J’ai tué ma mère.
* Jean-Philippe Duval – Dédé à travers les brumes.
* Bernard Émond – La Donation.
* André Forcier et Linda Pinet – Je me souviens.
* Ken Scott – Les doigts croches.

Best cinematography:
* Bernard Couture – Cadavres.
* [Winner] Pierre Gil – Polytechnique.
* Daniel Jobin – Je me souviens.
* Sara Mishara – La Donation.
* Ronald Plante – Grande Ourse: La clé des possibles.

Best art direction:
* Jean Babin – Grande Ourse: La clé des possibles.
* André-Line Beauparlant – The Timekeeper.
* Jean Bécotte – Cadavres.
* Danielle Labrie – Les doigts croches.
* [Winner] David Pelletier – Dédé à travers les brumes.

Best sound:
* Cadavres.
* Grande Ourse: la clé des possibles.
* [Winner] Polytechnique.
* The Timekeeper.
* Un ange à la mer.

Best editing:
* Michel Arcand – Love and Savagery.
* Glenn Berman – Un ange à la mer.
* [Winner] Richard Comeau – Polytechnique.
* Michel Grou – Grande Ourse: la clé des possibles.
* Linda Pinet – Je me souviens.

Best score:
* Benoît Charest – Polytechnique.
* Bertrand Chenier – Love and Savagery.
* Normand Corbeil – Grande Ourse: la clé des possibles.
* Kate and Anna McGarrigle – Before Tomorrow.
* [Winners] Dédé Fortin, les Colocs and Éloi Painchaud – Dédé à travers les brumes.

Best costume:
* [Winner] Dédé à travers les brumes.
* Grande Ourse: la clé des possibles.
* Le jour avant le lendemain.
* Les doigts croches.
* The Timekeeper.

Best make-up artist:
* Djina Caron – Grande Ourse: la clé des possibles.
* Sophie Leblanc – Martyrs.
* Jo Pat Parris – 5150, Rue Des Ormes.
* [Winner] Colleen Quinton – Cadavres.
* Fanny Vachon – The Timekeeper.

Best hairdressing:
* Andre Duval – Grande Ourse: la clé des possibles.
* [Winner] Linda Gordon – 1981.
* Martin Lapointe – Serveuses demandées.
* Marie-Lyne Normandin – Dédé à travers les brumes.
* Martin Rivest – Je me souviens.

Best documentary:
* Antoine.
* Hommes à louer.
* [Winner] Last Train Home.
* Silence, on vaccine.
* Une Tente sur mars.

Best short:
* [Winner] Danse Macabre.
* La Chute.
* La Neige cache l’ombre des figuiers.
* L’Ordre des choses.
* Mon cher Robert.

Best animation film:
* M.
* OKO.
* Playtime.
* [Winner] Robe de guerre.
* Le Tiroir et le corbeau.

Teaser of 'Modra'


The teaser of the upcoming film Modra, which was helmed by Canadian director Ingrid Veninger (Only), just made its way on the Internet. In fact, you can already see it on the web site of the film.

Synopsis:

Lina (Hallie Switzer) is seventeen years old and lives in Toronto with her mother. For one week during the summer holidays she plans to visit her extended family in Modra, a small town in Slovakia. When Lina is dumped by her boyfriend she invites Leco (Alexander Gammal) instead, a cute boy from school.

Not long after arriving in Modra, Lina and Leco discover they have little in common. To make matters worse, Lina's family mistakenly assumes they're a couple, setting off a chain reaction which leads to an explosion of repressed desire and confusion.


'Nurse Jackie' and 'United States of Tara' Renewed for Third Seasons


Showtime, an American premium cable network, announced a few days ago that it will renew Nurse Jackie and United States of Tara, two of its original series, for a third season.

In Nurse Jackie, we follow Jackie Peyton (Eddie Falco), a nurse at All Saints' Hospital in New York. We get to see her deal with doctors, patients, her fellow nurses and her personal life. As for United States of Tara, a show created by Diablo Cody (Jennifer's Body), we follow Tara Gregson (Toni Collette), a woman with a dissociative identity disorder (DID). While Tara tries to cope with her alternate personalities that she transforms into in moments of stress, she also tries to raise her family.

Finally, both of these half-hour comedies received an order of 12 episodes and will begin production later in the year.


Friday, March 26, 2010

P2

It's quite easy to be harsh on most of nowadays' horror movies, because they're nothing but turds. Even if you run into Franck Khalfoun's P2 without knowing what to expect, you won't be disappointed. In fact, the film is not flawless, but it entertains us without trying to absolutely frighten us just for the sake of it.
On the eve of Christmas, Angela (Rachel Nichols) works late at her office and tries to finish a contract. Once she's ready to join her family, her BMW, which is parked at the second sub-level of the underground parking (hence the title of the film), won't start. Thomas (Wes Bentley), the garage attendant, tries to start her car, but it gives no results. Afterwards, Angela goes upstairs and tries to take a cab, but all the doors in the lobby (and the building, apparently) are locked. The next thing she knows is that she's knocked up by Thomas, wakes up in his office and has one of her legs chained. All in all, if Angela wants to make it through the Christmas morning, she has to fight Thomas.

First of all, P2 can definitely rely on a a script that knows how to set a thrilling tone at the beginning and efficiently maintain it until the rather predictable end. Obviously, there's not much to the story's premise. In fact, it's mostly about a cat-and-mouse game between an honest lady who discovers that she has a hell of a survival instinct and a lonely psychopath who just wants to spend the Christmas eve with someone he has been keeping his eyes on for a while.

Despite that small lack of fesh around the story's skeleton, the film is really entertaining and the performance by the two leading actors rock. While there's no doubt that she's hot, Rachel Nichols didn't get cast because of her curves. In fact, when the confrontation between her character and Wes Bentley's start, she display Angela's fear with an obvious panache. As for Bentley, his piercing blue eyes definitely do the job and by the time the credit rolls, you'll remember his character as much as Norman Bates (who was portrayed by Anthony Perkins in Psycho).

All in all, for a horror film, P2 is rather effective and entertaining. Of course, the presence of some implausible situations mars the film a little bit. After all, have you ever seen a lobby in a building without emergency exits? Secondly, are you tired to see horror films in which the bad guy unexpectedly appears next to the heroine? Oh I forgot an important detail: he has an eye on the TV screens that are linked to the surveillance camera! Other than that, if you like horror films, you must see this film.

Rating: 3.5/5


Origin:USA (2007)
Length:98 minutes
Genre:Thriller
Screenplay:Franck Khalfoun, Alexandre Aja and Grégory Levasseur
Director:Franck Khalfoun
Starring:Rachel Nichols and Wes Bentley

'Le baiser du barbu' In Quebecker Theatres on June 18


Now that you've seen director Yves Pelletier talk about the story of Le baiser du barbu, his upcoming film, you're going to have a look at the trailer of it. Moreover, I'd like to remind you that Le baiser du barbu will be released in Quebec on June 18.

Synopsis:

The film talks about an actor (David Savard) who is struggling to make a name for himself. After he had grown a beard, his career becomes sucessful and many women are attracted by him. However, this actor's long-time girlfriend (Isabelle Blais) can hardly endure his beard. Moreover, she'll give him an ultimatum: he either chooses her or his beard (i.e. success).

The film also star Louis-José Houde, Ricardo Trogi, David Boutin, Pierre-François Legendre, Bénédicte Décary, Hélène Bourgeois Leclerc, Brigitte Pogonat, Alexis Martin, Benoît Gouin and Claude Larouche.

The producers are Nicole Robert and Martine Beauchemin.




Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Canadian Premiere Of “Socalled” Movie at Hot Docs


From a press release

reFrame Films and Canada's National Film Board (NFB) are very proud to announce The Socalled Movie’s Canadian premiere this May at Hot Docs in Toronto, one of the the most coveted doc festivals in the world. The film screens May 2nd and 4th.

Tickets and passes for this documentary directed by Garry Beitel are available at: http://www.hotdocs.ca/film/title/the_socalled_movie

Screenings of the film:

Sun, May 02 9:15 pm at Bloor Cinema.
Tue, May 04 11:30 am at The ROM Theatre.

Synopsis:

Meet Josh Dolgin aka Socalled. He’s unstoppable. A pianist, singer, arranger, rapper, producer and composer (and also a magician, filmmaker and visual artist), he’s blasting through the boundaries that separate music from different cultures, eras, and generations.

Socalled is a musical alchemist, always looking for the next old thing to make new again. The Socalled Movie shows him introducing funk trombone legend Fred Wesley (of James Brown fame) to klezmer music, while wowing Wesley with his knowledge of funk. When Dolgin comes across LPs from the 1950s by lounge pianist Irving Fields, he looks up 94-year-old Fields and inspires him to pen a new hit song.

Shot in Socalled’s Montreal neighbourhood where Hasidic Jews and hipsters crowd the sidewalks, and in New York, France and Ukraine, The Socalled Movie is a cinematic multi-faceted depiction of inspiration, collaboration and transformation.

Socalled defies category and refuses limitation. The “Socalled” Movie examines his energy from all angles and transmits the urgent creative spark to everyone watching: now’s your chance – go out there and make something!


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

IFC Acquires Sitcom 'Death Comes to Town'


To all the American fans of the Kids in the Hall, the wait is almost over! As a matter of fact, IFC, an American cable network, announced that it acquired Death Comes to Town, an eight-episode miniseries in which the Kids in the Hall are back together. Moreover, IFC just said, so far, that the show will premiere in the USA on August.

Before getting an idea about what this Canadian show is all about, have in mind that the Kids in the Hall - a Canadian comedy group made of Dave Foley, Bruce McCulloch, Kevin McDonald, Mark McKinney and Scott Thompson - described it as a cross-over between Corner Gas and Twin Peaks.

In The Kids in the Hall: Death Comes to Town, Death gets off a Greyhound bus in the small Canadian town of Shuckton (the show was shot in North Bay, Ontario). The whole town is drawn in when one of its most distinguished is discovered murdered. As a suspect is arrested and the trial begins - the town's dark secrets begin to tumble out.

Finally, I still haven't seen the show, because of my research papers. In fact, the show was aired in Canada in winter on CBC, a public TV network. However, I'll watch the show on streaming (it only works in Canada) whenever my hands are no longer tied by my university.



Nikki Blonsky Will Be in ABC Family's New Series 'Huge'

Did anyone think that Nikki Blonsky (Hairspray) retired from acting? Apparently, she's still working in the showbiz industry. As a matter of fact, ABC Family, an American cable network, announced that she's got cast in Huge, an upcoming TV series based on a book of the same name written by Sasha Paley.

Speaking about production, Huge will begin filming in April and will premiere in summer 2010. The show follows seven teens and staff at a weight-loss camp, as they look beneath the surface to discover their true selves and the truth about each other.

In Huge, Blonsky will portray Willamina, a teen whose sardonic and rebellious nature make her a menace to some and revolutionary to others. Additional cast include Andrew Caldwell as Trent, Zander Eckhouse as George, Harvey Guillen as Alistair, Ari Stidham as Ian, Ashley Holliday as Chloe and Hayley Hasselhoff as Amber.


Yves Pelletier Talks About 'Le baiser du barbu'


Details about the upcoming comedy Le baiser du barbu are starting to make their way online, which means on the official Facebook fan page of the film. Today, we get to see a one-on-one interview with Yves Pelletier, the film's director, who talks about the story of the film. If you're not fluent in French, scroll down and read the description of the story.

Synopsis:

The film talks about an actor (David Savard) who is struggling to make a name for himself. After he had grown a beard, his career becomes sucessful and many women are attracted by him. However, this actor's long-time girlfriend (Isabelle Blais) can hardly endure his beard. Moreover, she'll give him an ultimatum: he either chooses her or his beard (i.e. success).

Finally, the release of the film is slated for June 18, 2010 in Quebec.


Monday, March 22, 2010

Starz Acquires Canadian Series 'Camelot'


Starz, an American premium cable network, announced that it had secured the U.S. broadcasting rights to Camelot, an Irish-British-American-Canadian co-production that tells the story of King Arthur. This 10-episode drama will be aired in the first half of 2011. Besides, if I tell you that some people behind the TV series The Tudors are taking part in the creation of Camelot, will you keep reading this post?

Obviously, the story of this TV series will be based on Le Morte d'Arthur, a book written in the 15th century by English writer Thomas Malory. Expect the story will be retold in a modern way so that we, people of the 21rst century can relate to it.

As for the casting, it's being done right now. Furthermore, production on this TV series will begin in June in Ireland and the post-production will be done in Canada.

Finally, Academy Award® winning producer Graham King (The Tourist, The Departed, Gangs of New York, The Aviator) along with Tim Headington and Craig Cegielski will serve as Executive Producers. Additional Executive Producers include Morgan O’Sullivan (The Count of Monte Cristo, The Tudors), James Flynn, Michael Hirst (The Tudors) and Douglas Rae (Nowhere Boy, Becoming Jane, The Waterhorse). The series is being written by Chris Chibnall (Life on Mars, Torchwood). As for, John Weber, he will serve as the Canadian producer.


Sunday, March 21, 2010

Titanic

If I go down in my memories, I was 10 years old and I saw Titanic in theatres with my parents when it was released. Despite the hype surrounding Titanic back in 1997, I never had a particular affection for this $200 million joint production from Paramount and 20th Century Fox. Obviously, I hadn't seen this in 13 years, but there are two things I can tell you: Titanic still looks technically impressive and above all, Kate Winslet still looks lovely as I remembered her being (and she still looks lovely these days).

Titanic is the story of a boy and a girl who fall in love. Jack Dawson (Leonardo DiCaprio) is a penniless artist travelling in steerage who is so excited to be on this adventure. Rose DeWitt Bukater (Kate Winslet) is a bourgeois girl with a pushy mother (Frances Fisher) and an antipathetic fiancé (Billy Zane). Notwithstanding their social differences, Jack and Rose come across each other by a quirk of fate and quickly fall in love.

In all fairness, the lack of dimensions in the love story between Jack and Rose slightly debases the film. As a matter of fact, director James Cameron's film is an almalgammation of recycled old ideas that show us how much our cultural mentality has barely evolved throughout history. Now, can you, dear readers, enlighten me and think of a story (films, novels or plays) in which two characters are lovey-dovey despite their social difference? However, I can tell you that this idea of forbidden love certainly reminds you of William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. With that said, the chemistry between DiCaprio and Winslet is so criticism-proof that you may as well overlook (to a certain extent) the flatness of the whole story itself. After all, their performance confers a touch of magic to the film and gives us memorable scenes before and after the Titanic hits the iceberg.


Moreover, although there's not much to the story, director James Cameron also manages to illustrate the panic that got hold of people at the moment when the Titanic was sinking. This directorial skills make us see how getting to the lifeboats was a hell of a sport in a manner of speaking or how some people couldn't go on the deck on time as the water made its way into the ship. In addition to that, I don't need to say how I'm still impressed by the special effects. Thirteen years after its release, Titanic looks more real than most special/visual-effects-oriented films of today.

Finally, Titanic is definitely not the best film from 1997. Seriously, there's not much to the story except the moments following the collision between the ship and an iceberg. However, one can't deny that the film is magic - despite being sad - thanks to the impeccable performance from Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet.

Rating: 3.5/5


Origin:USA (1997)
Length:194 minutes
Genre:Romantic/historical drama
Screenplay:James Cameron
Director:James Cameron
Starring:Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet


Saturday, March 20, 2010

'Emily of New Moon' Coming Soon on DVD


According to the folks at TVshowsondvd.com, Emily of New Moon, a TV series that was aired on CBC from 1998 to 2000, will come on DVD. While the first season will hit the shelves on April 20, the second season will have its turn on May 18.

Obviously, the TV series is an adaptation of a novel written by Lucy Maud Montgomery who is best known for Anne of Green Gables, a classic of Canadian literature.

As in Anne of Green Gables, the novel/TV series Emily of New Moon takes place in Prince Edward Island, an Atlantic province of Canada, at a time when the world was making a transition between the 19th and 20th centuries. The story is centred on Emily Starr (Martha MacIsaac), an ophan who has been living in the town of New Moon with her rigid aunt Elizabeth (Susan Clark), her timid aunt Laura (Sheila McCarthy) and her cousin Jimmy (Stephen McHattie). Besides, Emily dreams of becoming a famous writer, but this dream makes her enter in conflict with her adoptive family.

Finally, the TV series was created by . It also stars Jessica Pellerin, Kris Lemche, Peter Donaldson, Phyllis Diller, Shawn Roberts, Linda Thorson, MacKenzie Donaldson, Richard Donat and Peter Donaldson.

Other informations: pre-order for the first and second season on Amazon.ca.

PS: As of now, the DVD artwork hasn't been released online.


Friday, March 19, 2010

'Treme' Premieres on April 11 on HBO Canada


It appears that True Blood won't be the only TV series from HBO that is set in Louisianna. In fact, HBO Canada announced that Treme, a one-hour drama series taking place during the post-Katrina period, will premiere on Sunday, April 11 at 10 PM.

Treme begins in fall 2005, three months after Hurricane Katrina and the massive engineering failure that resulted in the flooding of 80 per cent of the city and the displacement of hundreds of thousands of residents. More than half the city’s population is elsewhere and much of the city is wrecked, muddied and caked in mould. The tourists have yet to return, the money that follows them is scarce, and residents can take solace only in the fact that the city’s high levels of crime have migrated to Houston and Baton Rouge. For those returning, housing is hard to come by, with many waiting on insurance cheques that may never arrive.

The drama unfolds with Antoine Bastiste (Wendell Pierce), a smooth-talking trombonist who is struggling to make ends meet; his ex-wife, LaDonna Batiste-Williams (Khandi Alexander) a bar owner concerned over the disappearance of her younger brother David; Toni Bernette (Melissa Leo), an overburdened underpaid civil rights attorney; Toni’s husband Creighton (John Goodman), a university professor and local history expert who’s becoming an increasingly outspoken critic of the institutional response to the disaster; Davis McAlary (Steve Zahn), a rebellious radio disc jockey and musician; Janette Desautel (Kim Dickens), Davis’ occasional partner and a popular chef hoping to regain momentum for her newly re-opened restaurant; Albert Lambreaux (Clarke Peters), a displaced Mardi Gras Indian Chief who returns to find his home and his tribe, The Guardians of the Flame, scattered; and Albert’s son Delmond (Rob Brown), an exile in New York playing modern jazz and looking beyond New Orleans for his future.

The series is named for the Faubourg Tremé (a historic neighbourhood just to the lakeside of the more celebrated French Quarter in New Orleans). Jazz itself was said to be born there, created by the slaves of Creole planters who were allowed to drum and chant on Sundays and market days in a public area that came to be known as Congo Square. In addition to honouring the actual chronology of political, economic and cultural events following the storm, Treme will also feature cameos by notable real-life New Orleanians and musicians and artists associated with the city’s music, including Allen Toussaint, Dr. John, Elvis Costello, Steve Earle, Kermit Ruffins, Donald Harrison Jr., Galactic, Trombone Shorty Andrews, Deacon John, and the Rebirth and Tremé Brass Bands.


Tideland

This is the weirdest Canadian film I've seen mostly because it's directed by Terry Gilliam. In all fairness, I've never understood what makes him such a reference in filmmaking. Perhaps, Tideland might lead to some answers. Here's my theory: most people might not like the fact that Gilliam relies a lot on imageries rather than on what traditional movie lovers want.

In order to cope with the death of her parents (Jeff Bridges and Jennifer Tilly) from drug overdose, Jeliza-Rose (Jodelle Ferlan) escapes in an imaginary land that only exists in her mind. Moreover, she does that with the head of different dolls she puts on her fingertip. During her journey into her world, Jeliza-Rose meets and befriends her two neighbours: Dell (Janet McTeer), a woman who is blind from one eye, and Dickens (Brendan Fletcher), Dell's mentally challenged brother.

Some might feel that Tideland's script is as thin as Wong Kar-Wai's 2046. While these two films quickly introduces us to their respective premise at the beginning, they use the remaining minutes of their length to catapult us into their leading character's world.

Honestly, in Tideland, the world crafted by Gilliam's vision might not seem as ensnaring as the one in 2046. Nonetheless, Gilliam's focus on Jeliza-Rose's make-believe world for the three quarters of the film is rather effective. Until the very unpredictable ending, the film manages to make us wonder if Jeliza-Rose will get out of her own world or go into the real world.

Finally, this film hasn't necessarily transformed me into a fan of Terry Gilliam. However, let's render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's. In fact, Tideland - with its humorous, disgusting and dark tones - is an intriguing film about the power of imagination. Of course, many might not necessarily like the film, but there's one thing that we can all agree on: Jodelle Ferlan certainly deserved her nomination for the Genie Award (the Canadian Oscar) of best actress in a leading role. In fact, I don't remember seeing an actress who has so skillfuly depicted the pursuit of thrill that characterizes a child.

Rating: 3.5/5


Origin:Canada/UK (2005)
Length:120 minutes
Genre:Fantasy
Screenplay:Terry Gilliam and Tony Grisoni
Director:Terry Gilliam
Starring:Jodelle Ferlan, Brendan Fletcher and Janet McTeer

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

'The Unusuals' on DVD on April 6


Did you follow ABC's short-lived show The Unusuals? Were you sad when ABC announced that it will not renew this show for a second season? If that's the case, have in mind that this show created by Noah Hawley (Bones) will be released on DVD on April 6, 2010.

Synopsis:

Det. Casey Shraeger (Amber Tamblyn) got transferred from Vice to the Second precinct of New York's Police Department. She's asked by Sergeant Harvey Brown (Terry Kinney) to clean this precinct. Casey is also teamed up with Det. Jason Walsh (Jeremy Renner) the same night his partner got killed. Afterwards, Walsh and Shraeger begin a quest for the killer of Walsh's ex-partner. Finally, when she's not investigating, Casey has to deal with her colleagues who have secrets of their own.

The show also star Harold Perrineau, Joshua Close, Monique Gabriela Curnen, Kai Lennox and Adam Goldberg.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Season 2 of 'Sanctuary' on DVD on June 15


According to the folks at TVShowsOnDVD.com, E1 entertainment, a DVD distributor, just revealed the DVD cover art for the second season of the Canadian TV series Sanctuary. Besides, according to Amazon.com, the DVD should come out on June 15, 2010.

I haven't seen the first season of the show yet. Despite that, I know that it's about a 200-year-old scientist (Amanda Tapping) who offers sanctuary for "abnormals" (creatures, "special people" and you name it), because they're not tolerated in the society. Moreover, that scientist and her team (Agam Darshi, Robin Dunne and Ryan Robbins) doesn't exclude the option of using force against "abnormals" that are a true threat to the society.

Finally, Agam Darshi, one of the leading members of Sanctuary's cast, confirmed on her Twitter page that the third season of Sanctuary began filming yesterday. Still not convinced about that? Have a look at this press release from Syfy, the American cable network that airs Sanctuary in the USA.


New Poster for 'Le journal d'Aurélie Laflamme'


Fans of teenager novels, the poster of the upcoming teen comedy Le journal d'Aurélie Laflamme has been online since a few days. As always, the release of the film is slated for April 23, 2010.

Synopsis:

Meet Aurélie Laflamme (Marianne Verville), a girl who believes that she was abandoned on Earth by aliens. Now that she's in high school, she doesn't connect, so to speak, with most people around her. Since her dad died, she finds her mom (Édith Cochrane) dull. In school, Aurélie thinks that Kat (Geneviève Chartrand), her best friend, has a numb mind since she's found love. This is why Aurélie is not interested to have a soul mate. However, can Aurélie escape from love?

Other informations:

Finally, the film also stars Pierre Gendron, Valérie Blais, Jérémie Essiambre and Aliocha Schneider.


Monday, March 15, 2010

The 30th Genie Awards To Be Presented Live on TV and Online

Fans of Canadian cinema from around the world! Canadians from coast to coast! The Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television (ACCT) announced ([1] and [2]) today that on Monday, April 12, 2010 at 9:00 PM (Eastern time), the 30th Annual Genie Awards (the Canadian equivalent of the Oscars) will be broadcasted live on the Independent Film Channel and also via live webcast on CBC.ca.

While the Independent Film Channel can only be viewed within the Great White North, people from around the world can follow the night celebrating the best from Canadian cinema on CBC.ca.

Moreover, to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Genie Awards, a one-hour special paying tribute to three decades of celebrating Canadian filmmaking is also in the works and will air on CBC this fall, as well as CBC’s digital specialty channel, Bold.

Re-broadcasts of the 30th Annual Genie Awards show on The Movie Network and Movie Central will continue the momentum of celebrating this year’s nominees and winners.

The nominees for best film for this year are 3 saisons, Before Tomorrow, Fifty Dead Men Walking, Nurse.Fighter.Boy and Polytechnique. Furthermore, yours truly will be tweeting live during the presentation of the Genie Awards on my Twitter page. In fact, I will tell you who are the winners for each category.

Finally, here's the full list of nominees. For more information on this year's Genie Awards, go to this web site.


USA Network Greenlights New Series 'Facing Kate'

From a press release
LOS ANGELES, CA - March 15, 2010 - USA Network has announced today the pickup of its newest original series FACING KATE starring Sarah Shahi ("Life," "The L Word"), Michael Trucco (Battlestar Gallactica, One Tree Hill), Virginia Williams (The O.C., American Beauty) and Baron Vaughn (Invasion) in a first-ever co-production between Universal Cable Productions and Universal Networks International. Shooting on location in Vancouver, FACING KATE will debut with a 90-minute premiere followed by 11 one-hour episodes. The announcement was made today by Jeff Wachtel, president, original programming, USA Network, and co-head, original content, Universal Cable Productions.

"The combination of Michael's and Sarah's unique talents gives this funny, energetic and iconoclastic law show a completely fresh voice," said Wachtel. "We see Facing Kate as the perfect complement to our character-based series line-up."

FACING KATE centers on Kate Reed (Sarah Shahi), a top litigator who became frustrated with the endless bureaucracy and injustice she witnessed on a daily basis and decided to become the ultimate anti-lawyer: a mediator. Using her knowledge of the law, along with intuition and a whatever-it-takes approach to resolving conflict, Kate finds the middle ground for a wide variety of adversaries -- from Fortune 500 corporations to bitter divorcees. After the death of her father, she finds herself at odds with her new boss, her stepmother (Virginia Williams) ... and in bed with her ex-husband (Michael Trucco), himself a lawyer in the DA's office. Helping her keep all of this chaos at bay is her trusted, geek chic assistant Leonardo (Baron Vaughn).

From Universal Cable Productions and Universal Networks International, FACING KATE is executive produced by creator Michael Sardo ("Caroline in the City," "Wings). Steve Stark (Medium, The Game) also serves as executive producer along with Russ Buchholz as co-executive producer. Bronwen Hughes (USA's BURN NOTICE, WHITE COLLAR, COVERT AFFAIRS, Criminal Minds) directed the pilot.


'At Home by Myself... with You' Comes to The Movie Network


You heard that At Home by Myself... with You unfortunately had a theatrical limited to Toronto thanks to most of Canada's bunch of culturally colonialized owners of movie theatres. If you didn't have the chance to see this indie film from Kris Booth in Toronto, you can catch it on The Movie Network (or its affiliated channels) provided that you have it in your cable package.

Synopsis:

Romy Scott (Kristin Booth) is afraid of lobsters, closed boxes, kissing, and storms. But her biggest fear is of going outside because every time she does, something bad happens. Choosing not to go outside ever again, Romy constructs a new life inside her apartment and figures out how to negotiate her debilitating fears by using the help of her close acquaintances. But when her most important helper – an old lady (Rosemary Dunsmore) who lives across the hall – kicks the bucket, Romy is suddenly left on the doorstep of facing her fears. Things go from bad to worse when the old lady’s nomadic nephew (Aaron Abrams) arrives to squat in the empty apartment. Their initial mutual aggravation quickly leads to friendship and incredulously, Romy begins to conquer her fears one by one with his help. As they fall for each other, Romy finds herself at a crossroads; the man she loves is by nature, a man on the go.

When to watch it and where?

Date
Hour
Channel
March 177:40 AMMFest
4:16 AMThe Movie Network HD
10:30 PMMFest
March 216:00 AM
12:40 PM
March 224:25 AMThe Movie Network HD
March 256:00 AM
7:25 PM
March 262:55 AM
March 2910:35 AMMFest
March 304:25 AM
April 29:00 PM
April 34:20 AMThe Movie Network HD
April 69:30 AMMFun HD
6:25 PM
April 74:25 AM
April 107:35 AM
7:25 PMMFest
April 114:25 AM
April 146:00 AM
1:40 PMMFun
April 1512:40 AM
April 189:00 AM
2:45 PMMFest
10:45 PM
April 229:30 AMMFun HD
7:25 PMMFest
April 233:00 AM
April 2610:10 AMMFun HD
9:45 PM
April 274:25 AMMFest
April 3010:10 AMThe Movie Network HD
6:25 PMMFun HD
May 12:05 AMMFest



Saturday, March 13, 2010

Lost Song

If you're in for an entertaining and fast-paced drama, don't even think about renting Lost Song. Although the story is fairly well written, Rodrigue Jean's film is frustrating to watch because of its execution. Yet, it doesn't prevent this independent film to possess some qualities.

Pierre (Patrick Goyette) and Elisabeth (Suzie LeBlanc), a couple in their thirties, move with their newborn son into a cottage on a lake for the summer. While Elisabeth stays at the cottage to rehearses for an upcoming voice recital, Pierre goes to work in the city. Obviously, Elisabeth is not alone since Pierre's mom lives in the neighbouring cottage and is willing to help Elisabeth at times. However, Elisabeth feels isolated, overwhelmed by her maternal responsibilities and distressed. Besides, Elisabeth's entourage doesn't seem to get that.

Honestly, if I knew how Lost Song is like, I wouldn't have bothered to watch it in the first place. The slowness of the pace in the few first minutes might be effective to present the premise. However, in the long run, Lost Song seriously lacks energy and is far too slow in the execution.

Because of that flaw, the film mostly depends on the ideas conveyed by the script and the cast's performance (especially Suzie LeBlanc). With thin dialogues and even moments of silence, director/scriptwriter Rodrigue Jean successfuly illustrates Elisabeth's failed attempt to find happiness in the wilderness while everybody around her looks happy. Since her mother-in-law offer some help with the newborn child, Elisabeth feels that she'll never be a good mom. Add to that the growing tension between Elisabeth and Pierre. Although Suzie LeBlanc never spends her time screaming or explicitly expressing her feelings, anyone without a degree in psychology can figure out what's going on in the mind of her character.

Finally, Lost Song is definitely not my cup of tea. However, if you have a lot of patience, then there's no doubt that you'll like this film.

Rating: 3.5/5

Origin:Canada (2008)
Length:103 minutes
Genre:Drama
Screenplay:Rodrigue Jean
Director:Rodrigue Jean
Starring:Suzie LeBlanc, Patrick Goyette, Ginette Morin and Marilou Longpré Pilon

Friday, March 12, 2010

Season 1 of 'Party Down' on DVD on April 6


Are you a fan of sitcoms? Have you ever wondered how it feels to be an actor who has to work a part-time to job to make the ends meet? Well, the sitcom Party Down should appeal to you. The DVD of the show's first season will be released on April 6. Moreover, the series was created and executive produced by Rob Thomas (Veronica Mars), John Enbom, Dan Etheridge and actor Paul Rudd.

Synopsis of season one:

Party Down is a comedy from Starz, an American premium cable network. The story follows a catering crew from Hollywood. Its members (Adam Scott, Ken Marino, Lizzy Caplan, Jane Lynch, Ryan Hansen and Martin Starr) just work at Party Down while they wait for an opportunity to make a name for themselves in Hollywood. Obviously, their job make them come across stars, politicians and any other type of people with deep pockets you can think of.


Season 2:

By the way, Starz announced many months ago that the second season of Party Down will premiere on April 23 at 10 PM. Megan Mullally (Will & Grace) will join the cast as Lydia Dunfree, a middle-aged refugee from a lousy marriage who moves to Hollywood in hopes that her 13 year-old daughter will make it big. Furthermore, Starz also revealed that the ten half-hour episodes will feature guest stars like Jane Lynch (Glee), Kristen Bell (Veronica Mars), J.K. Simmons (The Closer), Joey Lauren Adams (Chasing Amy), Steve Guttenberg (Veronica Mars), Christopher Mintz-Plasse (Kick-Ass), Thomas Lennon, Jimmi Simpson (The Invention of Lying), Loretta Devine (Eli Stone) and Alex Rocco (The Division).

Title on Amazon (Canada)

Title on Amazon (USA):

Season 2 of 'Flashpoint' Coming on DVD in Canada and the USA


Attention to those who live in Canada and the USA. The second season of Flashpoint is coming soon on DVD. However, since this Canadian cop drama is distributed by a specific distributor in each country, expect the release in both countries to be different.

Synopsis:

This TV series created by Stephanie Morgenstern and Mark Ellis follows a team of the Strategic Response Unit (SRU), a tactical unit based on Toronto's Emergency Task Force (ETF). This team is led by Sgt. Gregory Parker (Enrico Colantoni), a negociator. He's accompanied by Ed Lane (Hugh Dillon), a sniper; Jules Callaghan (Amy Jo Johnson), the only woman in the team; Sam Braddock (David Paetkau), a former soldier of the Joint Task Force 2; Mike 'Spike' Scarlatti, a technology expert; Kevin Wordsworth (Michael Cram) and Lewis Young (Mark Taylor). In each episode, the SRU try to finish their intervention as peacefully as possible through negociations with suspects. However, there are moments when they realize that they have no choice but to use force.

Canadian release:

The show is distributed in the Great White North by Phase 4 Films. This company announced that it moves on with the release of Flashpoint - Season 2, volume 1 on March 23, 2010. Given that the second season of this show has, in actuality, 18 episodes, we should expect to see the first nine episodes and the other nine in volume 2.


U.S. release:

In the USA, the second season of Flashpoint will be in stores on May 25, 2010. However, is it the complete second season? We'll wait and see. I'd wager that CBS doesn't want to air the remaining nine episodes of the second season, because it didn't bother to do it while these episodes were being aired in Canada in fall 2009. Furthermore, CBS doesn't want to air Flashpoint now or eventually, because the DVD is coming soon in Uncle Sam's land. Therefore, to all Americans who couldn't see the last 9 episodes of season 2, just wait for the release of Flashpoint on DVD.



Title on Amazon (USA):


Title on Amazon (Canada):

'Cooking With Stella' In Canadian Theatres on March 19


After a run at the latest Toronto International Film Festival, the comedy Cooking with Stella will have a theatrical release in Canada on March 19, 2010. The following is a presentation of the film's synopsis and trailer.

Synopsis:

Stella Elizabeth Matthews (Seema Biswas) has been a cook in the Canadian High Commission in New Delhi for 30 years. She is brilliant as a cook, and brilliant at creatively padding her salary – with a few pilfered items, some minor overcharging, and a special phone-­‐order duty free business. A newly posted Canadian diplomat (Lisa Ray) and her husband Michael (Don McKellar) arrive with their baby (Alexiane Perreault). After an initial jolt when Stella learns that Michael will be staying home as “diplomatic housewife” while Maya goes off to work, everything goes swimmingly for Stella.
Michael was a chef in Ottawa and he is longing to learn authentic Indian cooking. Stella agrees to be his “cooking guru”. But Stella’s cozy domestic set-­‐up implodes when Tannu (Shriya Saran), an honest nanny, joins the household, and threatens to expose Stella’s deceptions. Eventutally Stella wins Tannu’s full cooperation (and then some!). This unlikely partnership embarks on a much grander, riskier scam, which seems to bring disaster.


Tannu (Shriya Saran).
An unexpected kind of justice is found, but not until the guru-­‐student relationship between Stella and Michael has been sorely tested. Michael has learned many important lessons from his teacher …including glorious traditional South Indian cooking. And Stella? Well…. let’s just say dreams sometimes come true in unexpected ways.

Other informations:

The film was directed by Dilip Mehta. He also wrote the screenplay with Deepa Mehta.

Chances that I'll go see the film: 100%, because I didn't have the chance to see it at the Toronto International Film Festival.


Thursday, March 11, 2010

Finalists at the 2010 WGC Screenwriting Award


The Writers Guild of Canada (WGC) just announced the finalists for the WGC Screenwriting Awards. Those finalists come from the industry of television, filmmaking and web series. Besides, comedian Debra DiGiovanni will host the 14th Annual WGC Screenwriting Awards on April 19, 2010.

So, the finalists are...

Animation:
* Grossology - "New Recruits." Written by Richard Clark.
* Total Drama Action - "Crouching Courtney, Hidden Owen." Written by Alex Ganetakos.
* League of Super Evil - “Glory Hog." Written by Philippe Ivanusic-Vallee and Davila LeBlanc
* Total Drama Action - "The Sand Witch Project." Written by Shelley Scarrow.

Children & Preschool
* Max and Ruby - "Max Says Goodbye." Written by Kate Barris.
* Max and Ruby - "Ruby's Good Neighbor Report." Written by Shelley Hoffman & Robert Pincombe.
* Zigby - "Zigby's Collection." Written by Louise Moon

Documentary:
* Malls R Us (Feature Version). Written by Helene Klodawsky.
* The Royal Winnipeg Ballet - 40 Years of One Night Stands. Narration Written by Robert Lower.
* A Time There Was: Stories from the Last Days of Kenya Colony. Narration Written by Donald McWilliams.

Episodic half-hour:
* Less Than Kind - "The Daters." Written by Garry Campbell.
* Less Than Kind - "Fun." Written by Jenn Engels.
* Less Than Kind "Happy Birthday Sheldon." Written by Marvin Kaye & Chris Sheasgreen.
* Less Than Kind - "Careers Day." Written by Mark McKinney
* Corner Gas - "Shirt Disturber." Written by Kevin White & Norm Hiscock.

MOW & Mini-Series:
* The Summit. Written by John Krizanc.
* Paradise City: Degrassi Goes Hollywood. Story and teleplay by Vera Santamaria, Matt Huether and Sara Snow.
* Guns. Written by Sudz Sutherland & Jennifer Holness

Feature Film
* High Life. Written by Lee MacDougall.
* A Shine of Rainbows. Written by Vic Sarin, Catherine Spear and Dennis Foon.
* The Trotsky. Written by Jacob Tierney.
* Love and Savagery. Written by Des Walsh.
* Crackie. Written by Sherry White.

Episodic one hour:
* Stargate Universe - "Time." Written by Robert C. Cooper.
* Flashpoint - "One Wrong Move." Written by Mark Ellis, Stephanie Morgenstern and James Hurst.
* ZOS: Zone of Separation "Bred in the Bone." Written by John Krizanc.
* Cra$h & Burn - "Trust." Written by Jackie May.
* Murdoch Mysteries - "Mild Mild West." Written by Derek Schreyer.
* ZOS: Zone of Separation - "Shallow Graves." Written by Jason Sherman.

Radio Drama:
* Afghanada - "Episode 65." Written by Alex Levine.
* Afghanada - "Episode 61." Written by Barbara Samuels.

Short Subject:
* Being Erica (season 1) - "Webisodes." Written by Jessie Gabe.
* My Pal Satan - "Cheaters Never Perspire." Written by Dennis Heaton.
* How People Got Fire. Written by Daniel Janke.

Variety:
* This Hour Has 22 Minutes (season 27) - “Episode 6.” Head Writer: Ed Macdonald / Written by Mark Critch, Gavin Crawford, Kyle Tingley, Albert Howell, Dean Jenkinson, Joanne O'Sullivan, Tara Doyle, Erik Van Wyck, Mike Allison and Joey Case.
* This Hour Has 22 Minutes (season 27) - “Episode 8.” Head Writer: Ed Macdonald / Written by Mark Critch, Kyle Tingley, Albert Howell, Shaun Majumder, Dean Jenkinson, Geri Hall, Joanne O'Sullivan, Tara Doyle, Erik Van Wyck, Mike Allison and Stephen Patterson.
* The Ron James Show - “Episode 7.” Written by Ron James, Garry Campbell, Brian Hartt, Mark De Angelis, Chris Finn, David MacKenzie, Paul Pogue, Gary Pearson and Jennifer Whalen.
* Rick Mercer Report (season 6) - “Episode 17.” Written by Rick Mercer, Irwin Barker, Greg Eckler, Chris Finn, Paul Mather and Tim Steeves.

Youth
* How to Be Indie - "How to Be a Mehta." Written by Anita Kapila.
* The Latest Buzz - "The Wonderful World of Buzz Issue." Written by Brent Piaskoski.
* Family Biz - "Breakaway." Written by Sheila Prescott.
* The Latest Buzz - "The Comeback Issue." Written by Darrin Rose.
How to Be Indie - "How to Strike a Balance." Written by Vera Santamaria.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Production Almost Over for '2 frogs dans l'Ouest' (2 Frogs in the West)

If you live in Quebec, expect to hear, in the upcoming months, about an indie flick starring a homegrown star. For that matter, director Dany Papineau announced that his upcoming film 2 Frogs dans l'Ouest (2 Frogs in the West) will almost be over now that the winter Olympics in Vancouver are history. Moreover, 2 Frogs dans l'Ouest will be released in Quebec in fall 2010.

The screenplay was written by Dany Papineau, Grégoire Bédard and David Uloth.

In the story, we follow Marie Deschamps (Mirianne Brulé), a young 20-year-old Quebecker girl who quits college. She plans to go on the Canadian West coast to learn English. Obviously, her father (Germain Houde) is against this trip and wants her to finish school instead. Moreover, he tells Marie that if she dares to travel across Canada, she'll no longer have the right to come back to her parents' house. Marie's journey will bring her up to Whistler, British Columbia, where she will meet other young people who are a little lost just like her. However, somewhere out in the West, these people and this adventure will change her life forever.

Besides, the film also star Diane Lavallée, Dany Papineau, Anik Vermette and Jessica Malka.

Finally, there's no doubt that the film will be compared to Sean Penn's Into the Wild. Until then, let's wait for the release of the film in fall 2010. The following video is a news release that bring us on the set of the film.


What's Waiting for You at the Just for Laughs Festival

From a press release
  • Just For Laughs Comedy Conference Announces Artists!
  • Keynote Speaker Lewis Black and the return of Andy Kindler.
  • Conference Reaches Out to the Next Generation of Creative Talent.
  • Comedy Bootcamp for Film: A Telefilm Canada, Canadian Film Centre and Just For Laughs Joint Initiative.
  • Plus Returning Pitch Programs for Web & Television.
  • July 15 – 17, 2010 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel.

Montreal, Wednesday, March 3, 2010 – This year’s Just For Laughs Comedy Conference may leave you battered and bruised or laughing out loud, but it will definitely not leave you feeling indifferent. The keynote address will be delivered by that acerbic, but observant, angry man himself: Lewis Black. And The Late Show with David Letterman correspondent Andy Kindler returns with his annual ‘State of the Industry’ address, calling out all of comic royalty, including those in the room.

The Conference, coupled with the Just For Laughs Festival presented by Videotron, is THE comedy event for anyone in the business of comedy. Delegates and participants get access to the three days full of panel discussions on the business of comedy, great speakers and pitch programs. The Conference pass also gives them the chance to see a wide range of shows at the Festival, ranging from some of the hottest comedians in the world to tomorrow’s next big talent. But most of all, it’s about the experience. The Conference and the Festival attract an impressive list of industry heavyweights, including studio execs, broadcasters, agents, managers, writers, producers and filmmakers, in addition to the multitude of comics from around the world.

The 2010 edition breaks down the wall between the comedy establishment and the next generation of comedy creators vying for a way in. Two great programs invite comedy makers to get valuable face-time, as well as advice, from veterans in the comedy film, Web and TV industry.

Expanding on a collaboration started last year, Comedy Bootcamp for Film is presented by the 2010 Telefilm Canada Features Comedy Lab, a CFC Film program, in collaboration with Just For Laughs. The Bootcamp is a precursor to those individuals interested in the 2010 Telefilm Canada Features Comedy Lab. It is designed to offer a community of aspiring and established Canadian comedy talent high-level insights about the dos and don’ts of developing feature comedy films. In order to apply filmmakers must meet the eligibility requirements of the 2010 Telefilm Canada Features Comedy Lab available March 15 at www.cfccreates.com and www.hahaha.com/conference. Three teams will be invited to participate in the Bootcamp and will present their five-minute pitch presentations to a panel of comedy experts. Each presentation will be followed by a round of feedback and a 45-minute script meeting with a selected panellist to discuss their script in greater detail. This feedback will be a valuable benefit to Bootcamp participants when they submit their pitch to the 2010 Telefilm Canada Features Comedy Lab in August.

Feedback from 2009 participants in the Telefilm Canada Features Comedy Lab has been very positive. 2009 Lab participant Sacha Pavlovic, the writer of Destiny, aka Ramington’s: Men of Steel said: "The Comedy Lab was the best experience of my professional life. The knowledge I gained about the business of screenwriting, and the contacts I made have forever changed the course of my career. The lab far exceeded any and all expectations I had, in a good way of course."

This year also marks the return of an expanded version of the TV pitch event as the Just For Laughs Comedy Conference invites TV & Web writers, show runners, producers and performers to Pitch ‘Til Your Sides Split. Projects for the Web or television will once more be presented to a panel of leading comedy industry executives and decision-makers in an open-forum pitch session. Three projects from each category will be selected to be presented and the creators will be given the opportunity to make a five-minute pitch to the panel, followed by feedback.

“These two programs add a new dimension to our goal of discovering and promoting emerging talent and gives them a shot at getting opinions of decision-makers who can change their lives in an instant” said Just For Laughs Chief Operating Officer, Bruce Hills. “In addition to our seminars and panel discussions, these two pitch programs give us the chance to bring a hands-on approach to nurturing new talent and being involved in the birth of exciting new programming.”

This year’s Comedy Conference attendees are in for a treat as the keynote address on the opening day of the Conference will be delivered by Lewis Black, on a one-man mission to wake up Washington, along with the rest of the civilized world. His rants are famous from his previous appearances at Just For Laughs Festivals in Montreal and Toronto, as well as his popular Back In Black segment from The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.

Black is not the only man with an opinion. Fellow ranter Andy Kindler performs yearly in a standing-room only presentation about the state of the comedy industry. No one is safe as he tears into and tears up, everyone in the industry, from performers to decision-makers.

Early registration to the Just For Laughs Comedy Conference starts now, with early bird prices in effect until April 5 at www.hahaha.com/conference. Submission and eligibility requirements for the Pitch ‘Til Your Sides Split program are also posted, while Comedy Bootcamp for Film requirements will be added on March 15.


Gabourey Sidibe Joins Showtime's 'The Big C'

Yesterday, Showtime - an American premium cable network that gave us shows like Dexter and Californication - announced that Oscar® Nominee Gabourey Sidibe (Precious) will be a recurring guest star in the upcoming half-hour dark comedy The Big C.

In this dark comedy, Sidibe will play a smart-alecky student whose teacher is the character played by Laura Linney, the show's leading actress.

In this TV series, we follow Cathy (Laura Linney), a reserved suburban wife and mother whose recent cancer diagnosis forces her to shake up her life. Besides, Cathy tries to find hope, humour and the light side of a dark situation, while managing her immature but well-meaning husband (Oliver Platt).

Finally, The Big C, which was created by Darlene Hunt, will begin shooting its 13 episodes in May.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

'The Trotsky' Coming to Canada on May 14


Some of you have probably seen The Trotsky during the last Toronto International Film Festival, Festival du nouveau cinéma or Kingston Canadian Film Festival. The wait will almost be over, because The Trotsky will hit Canadian theatres on May 14. Besides, the poster and the trailer of this comedy from Jacob Tierney have been online since a few days.

The four students in the front from left to right: Ricky Mabe, Kaniehtiio Horn, Jesse Camacho and Tommie-Amber Pirie.
Synopsis:

Leon Bronstein (Jay Baruchel), a teenager from a wealthy family, infuriated his father (Saul Rubinek), because he organized a strike at the family's clothing factory. Moreover, Leon did that because he firmly believes he's the reincarnation of Leon Trotsky, a Russian communist revolutionary. As a punishment, Leon gets sent to a public school. Once there, Leon will try to unionize the students in order to live his faith to its fullest.

Other informations:

I've seen the film at the latest Festival du nouveau cinéma. Even though I found the film a tad cheesy and predictable, it entertained me.

Chances I'll go see the film in theatres: 100%.

Web site of the film.

Finally, the film also star Michael Murphy, Emily Hampshire, Jesse Rath, David Julian Hirsh, Kaniehtiio Horn, Ricky Mabe, Colm Feore, Anne-Marie Cadieux, Colm Feore, Geneviève Bujold, Domini Blythe and Jesse Camacho.


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