Despite all the less-than-stellar changes made to TIFF this year, the festival continues to excel in giving a voice to Canadian filmmakers and video artists. Representatives of TIFF, once again, gathered in the Fairmont Royal York hotel to announce Canadian films which will play at the festival this year and then – presumably – disappear into Canadian cinemas, where a few of them will compete with the latest Oscar bait and Hollywood slop.
The Toronto Youth Shorts Film Festival has always been a reliable and reassuring venue for up-and-coming filmmakers and animators to showcase their passion projects for a wider audience; establishing an early imprint in their career. In its ninth year, the festival continues to succeed by screening solid work.
It’s that time of the year again, when people in suits infest the city and everyone becomes a cinephile for a week-and-a-half. It’s TIFF time, as the 42nd annual event gets ready to come down upon us.
The ReelHeART International Film & Screenplay Festival is currently underway until Saturday, July 8 featuring events all over the city of Toronto. I’ve seen two of this year’s selected documentaries and while these films belong in separate categories, both have a comparable criticism.
The Canadian Sport Film Festival sprints to Toronto for its ninth year. This weekend (Friday, June 9 – Sunday, June 11), audiences will be able to watch a diverse selection of feature films, documentaries, and short films about athletic subjects and themes. Wylie Writes’ Shannon Page received a sneak peek of the festival by watching the Emmy-award winning opening night selection Keepers of the Game, along with a haunting doc titled Hillsborough.
Charlie, a queer millennial in New York, is looking for love. His modest expectations are reasonable, yet the mission proves to be a constant bust throughout the course of Prom King, 2010. Charlie chats with friends, family, and other acquaintances within his community (mostly for catharsis or assistance), but these conversations lead to opinions – sometimes closed-minded views – about love, Charlie’s sexual orientation, and dating etiquette.
The ReelAbilities Film Festival returns to Toronto on Wednesday, May 10 after a successful debut. The festival, centring around noble stories of disability cultures, will screen feature films and shorts around the city until Thursday, May 18.
Do Donkeys Act? (DIR. David Redmon, Ashley Sabin) Do Donkeys Act? takes an animal that is not usually afforded much dignity – the donkey – and gives movie goers an opportunity to let the animals speak for themselves (without speaking). The film takes its audience to visit various donkey sanctuaries around the world, where donkeys that have been subjected to abuse or neglect are cared for, healed, and allowed to relax and retire.
Birth of a Family (DIR. Tasha Hubbard) Birth of a Family follows four siblings, three sisters and a brother, who were taken from their mother and placed in separate families during the “sixties scoop” – a period of three decades in Canada that saw tens of thousands of indigenous children removed from their homes and sent to live with non-indigenous families throughout North America. Now middle aged, the siblings meet for the first time and attempt…
Gilbert (DIR. Neil Berkeley) I expected to laugh while watching Gilbert, but I certainly didn’t expect to be misty-eyed and charmed by foul-mouth comic Gilbert Gottfried. Just as Private Parts showed an identifiable side to shock jock Howard Stern, Neil Berkeley’s Gilbert shows Gottfried’s tenderness while staying true to the comedian’s relentlessly profane wheelhouse.