The Canadian Film Fest starts this week and has a exciting selection of films and events, all exclusively Canadian. Out of the 34 films (features and shorts) many genres are represented: comedy, horror, documentaries and drama are all in mix. The festival not only has a fantastic line up of films, there are also a variety of panel discussions as apart of their lecture series.
One of the documentaries of the festival bridges a screening and a panel discussion: Maple Flavour Films. This is a documentary that follows the cross Canada tour of the film Sidekick while concurrently interviewing Canadians on their knowledge and interest in Canadian films. I think this will be one of the highlights of the festival. The panel discussion following the screening will be moderated by Richard Crouse with panelist involved in the Canadian film industry.
One thing that is certain about us Canucks is we like our comedies, and we get plenty of them here. Six of the feature films and five of the shorts are comedic in nature, here are some giggling highlights:
Hank & Mike is the festival opener and has perfect post-Easter timing as we journey with two bitter unemployed Easter Bunnies. See more on the film site or watch the trailer. Rock, Paper, Scissors: The Way of the Tosser follows the life of a tosser with such ups and downs in the competitive world of Rock, Paper, Scissors. See the trailer and film site to explain the unexplainable.
What is more funny that comedies? The concept of what could go wrong while making films themselves. The explorations include Production Office, set during an all nighter on a sci-fi film shoot where many things can and do go wrong and Places Everyone which goes through the process of first time film making.
After seeing the nightmares of what could go wrong, we have the opportunity to see work of and fuel for nightmare's themselves with a strong selection of scary films. We have The Third Eye (site has creepy images & sounds) which explores trepanation is an 'ancient procedure that involves drilling a hole in one's head' . I'm glad the term trepanation was defined in the film synopsis and film site, as it was not in my handy dandy Gage Canadian Dictionary! Next up is The Chair, which looks pretty gruesome to me, judge for yourself by checking out the trailer on film site. If you are spoiler sensitive just watch the first minute - if you can take it! For the outdoor adventure thriller fans among us, Portage (renamed for US release as Crooked Lake) will be right up your alley, or shall I say stream? It makes the Canadian Shield a scary place to be! See the trailer here.
For those of us who prefer calmer moments, there are dramas to choose from as well. River looks compelling dealing with theme of friendship. The process of the film sounds fascinating, all the dialogue was improvised and shot with a crew of 5. I can't wait to see this one.
After all that, there is even more! The festival includes a healthy number of short films, some of which will play with the feature films and then there are two shorts screenings with a collection of different shorts. The shorts including a vast variety of styles and topics, including animation with Monument, Darkness Calls in Gitxsan (trailer) and Inheritance, coming of age with Rock Paper Scissors and self help guru's What You're Ready For.
For more information, check out the Canadian Film Fest website, Film Schedule, Ticket Info and Lecture Series
The Canadian Film Fest runs from March 25-29/08 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.