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The latest in breaking news from The Ex-Press

Konelïne drills deep into the dark heart of colonialism

Movies: Available Light Film Festival Veteran documentary filmmaker Nettie Wild heads North to explore a motherlode of ugly conflict unfolding against a backdrop of pristine beauty in her latest film, Konelïne: Our Land Beautiful By Katherine Monk (Feb. 8, 2016. Updated Oct. 29, 2016) WHITEHORSE, YUKON — “We didn’t want it. We still don’t want it. But it was a done deal when they called us to the table.” Tahltan elder Lillian Moyer was speaking about a transmission line along the once-scenic Highway 37 in Canada’s Yukon, but the comments she uttered at the premiere of Nettie Wild’s latest documentary, Konelïne - Our land Beautiful, seem applicable to just about every situation that pits traditional First Nations’ values against the continuing colonial reality. From resource extraction in pristine wildlife habitats in the North to condos and casinos on traditional lands in the South, Canada’s colonial history clearly didn’t end with when Europeans ...

Bob Dylan don’t need Nobel, or stinking badge

Comment: On Bob Dylan, Nobel laureate Looking back on a close encounter of the Dylan kind reveals a slightly rumpled honouree who has a hard time accepting praise, let alone the Nobel Prize *Caution: This article contains a top-100 list of Bob Dylan songs. By Rod Mickleburgh In the winter of 1990, I waited with a handful of reporters and photographers in a grand salon of the Palais-Royal in Paris for Bob Dylan. More than 25 years ahead of the Nobel Prize people, the French had decided that Dylan’s lyrical prowess was worthy of the country’s highest cultural honour, Commandeur dans l’ Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. T.S. Eliot was one of the first to receive the award in 1960. Borges followed in 1962. And now, following in the footsteps of Sean Connery (1987), it was Bob’s turn. Finally, the gilded, ceiling-high white doors opened, and there he was, ambling into the opulent room, followed by France’s flamboyant minister of culture at the time, Jack Lang. He was ...

Telefilm touts diversity as key to future

News Brief: Canadian Film Industry Telefilm Canada announces a new diversity initiative designed to increase representation within the "Canadian Film Portfolio" by 2020 through new initiatives and industry partnerships By The Ex-Press Right now, it's all just words on a press release, but by 2020 the Canadian film landscape will look a lot different if Telefilm makes good on a promise of "diversity" they made earlier today (Thursday, September 8) in Montreal. Seeking to increase the field of representation to better reflect the population of Canada, Telefilm Executive Director Carolle Brabant declared the following objective:  "By 2020, [to] have a more representative and diversified feature film portfolio that better reflects gender, diversity and Canada’s Indigenous communities." To realize the long-term goal, Telefilm will partner with the Canadian Media Producers Association (CMPA) and the Association québécoise de la production médiatique (AQPM) to create ...

Sophie Gregoire-Trudeau, Sarah McLachlan to jury new refugee film prize

News: VIFF, Radcliffe Foundation sponsor new short film competition Former mining entrepreneur Frank Giustra hopes to inspire and engage Canadians about the 'greatest humanitarian catastrophe of our generation' through original, 'call-to-action' short films By The Ex-Press Sophie Gregoire-Trudeau, Sarah McLachlan and Atom Egoyan are just a few of the big names putting their clout behind a new film competition conceived as a “call to action” for the global refugee crisis. Sponsored by the Radcliffe Foundation in collaboration with the Vancouver International Film Festival, the Refugee Crisis Film Competition will award a $20,000 prize to the best short film – up to 60 seconds in length – to a film that “inspires, engages and empowers Canadians to take action on the global refugee crisis.” The competition is open to all filmmakers across all genres and will feature a nine-member jury that includes the Prime Minister’s partner, McLachlan and Egoyan, as well as ...

Hot Docs gets million-dollar boost from Rogers

News: Hot Docs Ted Rogers Fund Rogers Foundation partners with Hot Docs, Canada's leading documentary festival, to create new production fund named after late Canadian communications mogul Ted Rogers By The Ex-Press The cash-strapped world of documentary film just got a million dollars richer: Hot Docs and The Rogers Foundation announced the creation of a new fund to help filmmakers realize their non-fiction visions through production grants worth up to $35,000 Thursday. Part of a $5-million dollar endowment from The Rogers Foundation that also includes a $4 million gift to buy the Hot Docs theatre on Toronto’s Bloor Street, the new Hot Docs Ted Rogers Fund will be administered by Hot Docs and support up to three or four projects each year. “Hot Docs has a remarkable history of strengthening the documentary industry and supporting documentary filmmakers,” said Martha Rogers, chair of the Rogers Foundation. “We are proud to join their tradition with the establishm...

TIFF announces STUDIO slate

News: TIFF talent development A lucky dozen writer-directors get their hands metaphorically dirty with development sessions and skills workshops at this year's TIFF STUDIO programme By Katherine Monk “Writer-director” sounds good, but in the world of Canadian Film, it often means a hand-to-mouth existence without external support. The Toronto International Film Festival wants to change that, and this year, it refocused its STUDIO programme to assist writer-directors with a series of professional workshops designed to empower the nation’s storytellers. The monthly modules began Friday with sessions that include peer review, project development, packaging and talent, working with actors and casting agents as well as the requisite art of the pitch pep talk. “Since its launch in 2013, STUDIO has boasted immense success in readying Canadian producers for the global film industry,” said TIFF artistic director Cameron Bailey in an announcement released Monday. ...

Xavier the Great crushes Cannes skeptics

News: Xavier Dolan wins Grand Prix, Ecumenical Prize at Cannes 2016 Quebec's golden boy picks up second-highest honour at Cannes, but his quest for the coveted golden palm continues, as does his battle with critics By Katherine Monk He didn’t win the Palme D’Or, but Xavier Dolan’s double win at this year’s Cannes Film Festival marks the best performance by a Canadian on the Croisette since Atom Egoyan scored a triple with The Sweet Hereafter back in 1997. Dolan won the Grand Prix and the Ecumenical Prize for his latest film Juste la fin du mode (It’s Only the End of the World), a drama that follows a writer with a terminal illness on his final journey home. Based on the stage play by the late Jean-Luc Lagarce, It’s Only the End of the World is Dolan’s sixth feature, and fifth title to be invited to France’s red carpet extravaganza. “Dolan’s two latest awards at Cannes are renewed recognition of his immense talent, of course, but also of the determined ...

Is it too late to say sorry for Komagata Maru?

News: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau apologizes for racism Though many know the outline of an ugly chapter in Canadian history, the truth of the Komagata Maru is both an indictment of institutional prejudice, and a testament to the strength and pride of the passengers aboard the infamous vessel By Rod Mickleburgh At long last, a formal apology is being delivered in the House of Commons for Canada’s racist behaviour in its shameful treatment of Sikh passengers aboard the Komagata Maru who had the effrontery to seek immigration to the West Coast more than a hundred years ago. Not only were they denied entry, they were subjected to two months of exceptionally inhumane treatment by unflinching immigration officers. While many now know the basics of the ill-fated voyage, the story has many elements that are less well known. To fill in the gaps, we can look to Hugh Johnston and his definitive book, The Voyage of the Komagata Maru. Just days before the outbreak of World War ...

4DX – Butt-tingle Part Deux?

News: Movie Exhibition Cineplex Entertainment announces partnership to bring 4DX, a new, immersive viewing technology that features mists, smells and moving seats to downtown Toronto April 12, 2016 - TORONTO - If you’re old enough to remember the Odorama of John Waters’s Polyester and the butt-rumble of Midway’s Sensurround, you’ve been waiting a long time for the second generation of full cinematic immersion. But according to Cineplex Entertainment, it’s coming to Toronto’s Yonge and Dundas this summer. The metro Toronto multiplex is slated to open the first 4DX auditorium in Canada, and for those unfamiliar with the new technology, think theme park: Moving seats that roll and tilt with the action, misting effects, vibration and strobe lights. Plus, odor emanating from the seat in front of you — that isn’t the result of popcorn and pop consumption from your seat mate. Currently installed in more than 230 locations around the world, 4DX includes over 20 ...

Sharlto Copley: Never a cop out

People - Interview with Sharlto Copley The recently transplanted South African talent focused on staying alive as he donned a variety of hardhats in the new, boundary-pushing action movie Hardcore Henry By Katherine Monk VANCOUVER, BC –  “Let’s not die today.”  According to Sharlto Copley, those four words were a daily mantra on the set of Hardcore Henry. “It was a big discussion: No one must die making this film. We talked about it because we were pushing the boundaries and the rules and we had very little money. On the days where there was a very high risk, we’d fly the Jolly Roger – skull and crossbones – in a prominent place to make sure everyone was on guard and alert,” says Copley, sitting down for a chat at a high end Vancouver hotel. “Everything you see in the movie happens. When you see a guy getting blown up and the van beneath him, that’s actually happening… It was by far the most risk I’ve taken as an actor, which sounds so lame ...