The Toronto Youth Shorts festival is a great platform for aspiring filmmakers and for storytellers with a lot on their mind. I can usually count on the selections to cover themes from cultural reflections to personal discoveries, with an occasional fluffy piece to break up the weight of these programmes.
Just as a thoughtful retirement video or an in memoriam can do, Avi Belkin’s well produced outside-the-box doc Mike Wallace Is Here encapsulates its subject’s career and tells a personal story through archival footage.
Free Trip to Egypt is the epitome of a “feel-good movie”. The fact that it’s also a documentary is proof that positive affirmations can manifest organically.
Most people unacquainted with pro surfer Bethany Hamilton (myself included) may only know about her dangerous run-in with a tiger shark, which resulted in her left arm being bitten off (a story adapted in 2011’s Soul Surfer, based on Hamilton’s autobiographical best-seller). I wholeheartedly recommend Bethany Hamilton: Unstoppable to those movie goers. Not only does Aaron Lieber’s documentary fill us in on Hamilton’s career using stylistic flare, but the film does an exceptional job showcasing…
One of the best things about moviegoing is watching a rising star come into their own element. Up-and-coming actors are always praised for this, but we don’t shed enough light on indie filmmakers who finally find the right vehicle for them.
Kevin Hearn, keyboardist for The Barenaked Ladies and an avid art collector, accidentally opened a can of worms by purchasing a painting by late indigenous artist Norval Morrisseau. During an exhibit of Hearn’s curated pieces at the Art Gallery of Ontario, his Morrisseau was proven to be bogus. This pivotal event (which also led to a lengthy court case) pulled a thread, unravelling conflicting opinions surrounding a remarkable mystery behind Morrisseau’s work.
By: Trevor Chartrand Chasing Perfect is a car design documentary with a very narrow focus, and it will undoubtedly appeal to a fairly niche audience as a result. The film chronicles the life and career of legendary car designer Frank Stephenson, the creative mind behind a variety of modern vehicles from flashy sports cars to practical SUVs.
Filmmaker Nick Broomfield recounts his memories of Marianne Ihlen and singer/songwriter Leonard Cohen in his documentary Marianne & Leonard: Words of Love.
By: Jolie Featherstone Maiden opens in the middle of a cold and unforgiving ocean. Waves as tall as houses tumble and crash. A preternaturally calm voice is heard over the roar: “the ocean is always trying to kill you.” The roar continues. A storm brews in the increasingly agitated sky. “It doesn’t take a break.”
Sam Tweedle, a local theatre critic for KawarthaNow.com, is one of the most well-versed music wiz’s I know. We occasionally run into each other at local productions he’s writing about, but I’m almost more familiar with his online takes on his favourite musicians and underrated albums. During our run-ins, he picks my brain about movies. We agree on Kirk Cameron, we disagree on 1st Summoning, but I digress.