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Sharkwater Extinction: Resurrecting a son on-screen

Movies: Sharkwater Extinction Shattered by their son Rob’s death in a diving accident, Sandy and Brian Stewart found inspiration in his message and turned pain into positive action by completing the film he died trying to make. By Katherine Monk VANCOUVER — “There was no way this movie was not going to be made.” The very statement is an act of defiant optimism in a world where the majority of endeavours fail to even reach production, let alone completion. For Brian and Sandy Stewart, however, defiant optimism was the very essence of their son’s message, which is why they dedicated the last 20 months of their heartbroken lives bringing Sharkwater Extinction to fruition. The movie isn’t just a tribute to their late son, Rob, 37, who died in a diving accident off the Florida Keys in January 2017. “It’s the continuation of his mission,” says Brian Stewart, sitting with his wife Sandy on the eve of Sharkwater Extinction’s western premiere at the Vancouver ...

Canadian film goes full frontal in Toronto

Movies: #TIFF18, The Toronto International Film Festival This year’s lineup of Canadian film at TIFF represents more than a handful of familiar faces, it’s a coming-of-age moment for the whole industry.

Christa Dickenson named new head of Telefilm Canada

News: Canadian Film Christa Dickenson named Telefilm Canada’s new executive director, replacing Carolle Brabant as keeper of Canadian entertainment’s purse strings. By Ex-Press Staff (June 26, 2018) — Veteran marketing executive Christa Dickenson will replace Carolle Brabant as the executive director of Telefilm Canada, the public administrator responsible for funding the vast majority of Canadian audio-visual content. Heritage Minister Mélanie Jolie made the announcement today via press release, which cited Dickenson’s years of experience in the entertainment industry, as well as excellent language skills, as central reasons for the hire. Dickenson will leave her job as president and CEO of Interactive Ontario to start the five-year mandate on July 30. “To say that I'm excited to be named the Executive Director of Telefilm Canada is an understatement,” said Dickenson in the release. “I cannot wait to be part of an organization that has put Canadian ...

Eisha Marjara Finally Feels Like She Belongs

Interview: Eisha Marjara Venus is a new transgender comedy that finds new curves thanks to the veteran director’s elusive quest for belonging, and an internalized sense of misogyny that helped her understand the negative effects of gender dysphoria.  

Happy National Canadian Film Day! Yes. We Have One.

News: National Canadian Film Day Once stunted by an icy carapace of quiet self-loathing and back-stabbing bickering, our love for Canadian cinema is beginning to blossom every spring with screenings across the country, and the world, in the budding celebration called National Canadian Film Day -- which celebrates its fifth year today with more than 850 events and a focus on female filmmakers.

Stephen Campanelli: The Indian Horse Whisperer

Interview: Stephen Campanelli, Forrest Goodluck and AJ Kapashesit on Indian Horse He spent more than two decades in Los Angeles lensing Clint Eastwood’s Oscar winners. Now Montreal-born Stephen Campanelli is back on home turf, taking on Canada’s ugly legacy of residential schools with his big-picture take on Richard Wagamese’s Indian Horse.

Kathleen Hepburn Takes a Metaphorical Skinny Dip

Interview: Kathleen Hepburn The first-time feature director went back to the family cabin in northern B.C. -- and deep into the wilderness of mother-child dynamics -- in Never Steady, Never Still

Canadians get early Christmas presence from NFB

Brief: Canadian Film The National Film Board of Canada wants you to unwrap your present of Canadian presence, offering 20 award-winning movies on-line for free, starting today By Katherine Monk (December 7, 2017) --  Naughty? Nice? No matter. The National Film Board is giving everyone a gift by posting 20 award-winning movies on-line — for free. Starting today, Canadian film fans can take in an assortment of documentaries and animated films, including Sarah Polley’s The Stories We Tell, a timeless portrait of her own family and its secrets, as well as Mina Shum’s Ninth Floor, a documentary about racial tensions at Concordia and the scars that linger decades later. Perhaps best suited to the Christmas season is Payback, Jennifer Baichwal’s big screen take on Margaret Atwood’s Massey Lecture outlining the unspoken balance sheet that exists between humans. “We all have these scales of acknowledged or unacknowledged balances in our heads. Some are family things. ...

Canada’s Sundance 2018 Delegation: Sexy and Animated

News Brief: Canadian Film Three NFB shorts and four Canadian world premieres selected for the prestigious independent film festival founded by Robert Redford   By The Ex-Press VANCOUVER — A sexy wolf washing repairman, epic girl crushes and a Croatian co-production about a hedgehog’s quest for home will be heading to Park City as part of the National Film Board’s Sundance Film Festival delegation. Accepted into this year’s short film competition are Diane Obomsawin’s LGBTQ-themed I Like Girls, Chintis Lundgren’s Manivald — a howling take on the Maytag man, and Eva Cvijanovic’s Hedgehog’s Home, a stop-motion story of hedgehog domesticity. According to the news release issued Monday, the three films have already pulled in more than 40 international awards before heading to Utah in the New Year. In addition to the three NFB shorts, the following Canadian projects will also be taking part in the recently announced feature program with several world ...

Frankie Drake Mysteries Rewrites The Feminine Mystique

Interview with Lauren Lee Smith Frankie Drake is a female crime-solver working in 1920s Toronto, but for Vancouver actor Lauren Lee Smith, the new CBC heroine played a pivotal role as personal emancipator By Katherine Monk She never thought she’d be a dick. Little girls aren’t conditioned to be assertive, let alone take control — which is exactly why Lauren Lee Smith had to say yes to Frankie Drake. A female detective working in 1920s Toronto, Frankie Drake makes her debut on the national broadcaster tonight, but Smith says the journey to bring the character of Frankie to televised fruition is a feminist odyssey. “The whole idea of a female detective working in 1921 is pretty rad,” says Smith over the phone from Toronto. “But she’s part of a larger history. She worked as a messenger during the First World War, was recruited to be a part of British Intelligence, but when someone blew her cover, she went back to Canada… and opened the first female detective ...