Monday, 31 March 2008

Canadian Film Fest 08 - Wrap Up


Five days of film have come and gone with the Canadian Film Fest. It was my first time attending this festival and I would have to say I don't think I've ever spent such a concentrated amount of time at the Carlton at in a while. The range of films was great, I loved how they showed shorts with the majority of the features and there were tons of Q&A's with filmmakers, actors and the like. A fun time all around. Here are some highlights of the festival.

Quintessentially Canadian & Favourites Features: Maple Flavour Films, River, The Chair, Mr. Big and Rock, Paper, Scissors: The Way of the Tosser. These films were not only fantastic but also felt 100% Canadian from either the subject matter (Maple Flavoured Films and Mr. Big) or the tone (River and Rock, Paper, Scissors: The Way of the Tosser). I also had to throw in The Chair as I can honestly say I feel like I've lived in that house.

Quintessentially Canadian Shorts: Moment and Bedwetter

Favourite Short: It is too hard to pick just one. Moment was brilliant as it visually depicted emotion in an understated way, Loonie challenged preconceived notions and Everything is Connected was heartfelt and honest.

Themes: Isolation, Family, Crime dynamics, Bizarre circumstances, Production

Best Attended: Hank and Mike, Production Office

Most Enthusiastic Crowd: Production Office, I swear I felt like I was going to lose my hearing due to the laughter in the audience

Scariest: The Chair, by far. I was worried it would be your run of the mill horror flick but it's so much more.

Still thinking about: Hide. I can't get this film out of my head. The film itself is gorgeous and the idea has stuck with me.

Favourite Experience: The film Maple Flavour Films and panel discussion regarding the state of English Language Canadian film on Day 2. It gave me a lot to think about as well as generated quite a few ideas. Now to decide who to contact about those ideas

Best Day: Day 4 by far. All the films rocked and I got to hang out with my sis.

Wasn't expecting: Late starts. I have patience, especially when the majority of the screenings are in the same theatre so you know you'll be able to get into the next one. But, almost all started 5+ min late, and on the Day 2 the Screening of The Chair started 30 minutes late (10:20pm instead of 9:50pm). That was one late night.

Best Q&A: Intro by Rock, Paper, Scissors: The Way of the Tosser. This vid says it all. If you want to taste the experience, check out the screenings on April 4 & 5/08 at the Bloor. This screening was the most memorable of the fest. I would highly recommend this film, you can start by checking out their website which includes info on the tour.

The Canadian Film Fest runs from March 25-29/08 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


Suzie Ridler said...

Excellent summary Shannon! I love how you organized your thoughts and favourite moments. I really will consider renting The Chair when it comes out on video. That one stands out to me the most.

I can't believe the movies started late like that! What the heck?

Jamie said...

Great wrap up of the festival. It really gives me an impression of the entire experience. It sounds like there was quite a range in terms of content and having a chance to hear the key players in the filmmaking is such a treat.

Maybe I'll be able to check out more next year!

Anonymous said...

I was in touch with one of the guys from Rock, Paper, Scissors: The Way of the Tosser last year about a screening in Toronto which, of course, I couldn't make but I did love what I saw of the movie. I'm looking forward to seeing it this side of the coast later this year!

Great coverage of the festival!

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