Sharkwater Extinction: A matter of death, and life, for the Stewarts
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 ...
Tim Wardle’s life changed at the hands of Three Identical Strangers
People: Interview with documentary director Tim Wardle
When he first heard the story of triplets separated at birth and placed in different families, British director Tim Wardle knew it should be a movie. He didn’t know others had tried, and hit a wall of orchestrated silence. His new documentary takes us inside a secret ‘Twin Study’ and the shocking experience of three unwitting subjects.
Pixar’s Ted Mathot Talks Technology, Education, Incredibles’ Design
Interview: Ted Mathot
The talented artist says working under the wing of Oscar-winner Brad Bird helped him make the big leap from storyboard artist on The Simpsons to story supervisor on The Incredibles 2. But this could just be the beginning for the Boston native. Now a fledgling graphic novelist, Mathot's own stories seem poised to fly.
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.
Meet Linnea Dick: Daughter of a Maker of Monsters
Interview: Linnea Dick - Meet Beau Dick: Maker of Monsters
A new documentary and a retrospective of Beau Dick's work mark the anniversary of his passing, but for his daughter Linnea, the healing journey her father started is only just beginning. The 26-year-old has already battled addiction and depression, but she’s found a purpose in poetry, helping suicidal youth, and keeping her father’s legacy alive.
Mina Shum Gets Her Freaky Friday On
Interview: Mina Shum
The Vancouver filmmaker always wanted to make a movie about how she and her mother are so different, and in her new movie Meditation Park, she reunites with Sandra Oh to make it happen.
By Katherine Monk
VANCOUVER — Mina Shum says she's trying to be “a good Chinese daughter.” After a greeting at the door of the hotel suite, she ushers me to a seat, and checks to make sure the publicist is comfortable. The place is all too generic for a talk about the particular. With its creamy white walls and bleached white linens, the hotel room overlooking Vancouver’s downtown skyline is all postcard pretty, displaying snow-capped mountains and green-patina copper rooftops. Shum says she loves every corner of this coastal town, but her new movie Meditation Park is looking at a different view of the city she calls home.
Set in the Eastside neighbourhood of Sunrise-Hastings, and focused on one family’s love-laden unravelling, Meditation Park stars Asian heavywe...
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
Fellipe Barbosa Follows Dead Friend’s Footsteps on the Mountain
Interview: Fellipe Barbosa
Gabriel and the Mountain tells the story of Gabriel Buchmann, a 28-year-old Fulbright scholar who perished on Mulanje Mountain in Malawi in 2009. Former classmate and Brazilian filmmaker Fellipe Barbosa says he didn't want to make an ode to his old friend, but an honest account of his beautiful contradictions.
By Katherine Monk
VANCOUVER, BC — Fellipe Barbosa’s first memory of Gabriel Buchmann was as a seven-year-old, studying at an all-boys Catholic school in Rio de Janeiro. “He was looking at me from a distance. He was very observant. He would study emotions. He was more shy, then.” Barbosa hesitates. “Eventually… I went to the U.S. to study film at the age of 19, and we lost touch.”
They would never have the chance to reconnect in the flesh. Buchmann died of exposure climbing Mulanje Mountain in Malawi in 2009. His tragic death became a headline that captured the hearts and minds of Brazilians: A Fulbright Scholar heads to Africa in ...
Mike White Updates Status Consciousness
The writer-director of Brad's Status is an indie darling, but he says he still wrestles with insecurity and ego issues because we live in a world of false comparisons
By Katherine Monk
TORONTO — “I think you have your epiphany, and then you forget about it,” says Mike White. “Then you remember it again. And you forget it again. It’s like you are inching toward wisdom. Or circling the drain.”
White seems to be doing all of the above, all the time, because his mind seems to radiate ideas. He creates tangent lines mid-sentence, leaving orbit, only to fall back to earth, chained by the full force of gravity.
It’s his ability to levitate and fall with giddy aplomb that makes his voice so unique and his characters so memorable, whether it’s Selma Hayek as massage therapist and healer in Beatriz at Dinner, Laura Dern as a recovering executive experimenting with faith in Enlightened, or the entirely childlike Chuck, from the indie landmark Chuck & ...
Finding the Real Mensch in Menashe
Movies: Interview with Joshua Z. Weinstein
A documentary filmmaker explores the closed world of New York's Hasidic community in his first narrative feature shot entirely in Yiddish with amateur actors and a leading man who'd never set foot in a cinema
By Katherine Monk
There are approximately 330,000 Hasidic and Ultra-Orthodox Jews living in New York City, yet, the community remains largely closed and somewhat mysterious to outsiders. Filmmaker Joshua Z. Weinstein wanted to know more, so he focused his documentary skills on the world at his doorstep in the boroughs and neighbourhoods of his native New York City.
The result is Menashe, a narrative feature shot entirely in Yiddish with an amateur cast of community members — some of whom had never set foot in a theatre until the film’s debut at this year’s Sundance Film Festival.
Weinstein says the experience was rich and memorable, but it’s not something he’ll do again — if only because as a director, he’d like ...