Here I spoke with actors Brooke Nevin and Corey Sevier (who also directs the film) about their work on the new Christmas romance film, "It Takes a Christmas Village," where Brooke Nevin plays a Mayor who plans a last-minute Christmas market to help the small shops in town. Coming to Super Channel on Dec. 1, with a limited, one-night only theatrical run tonight, Nov. 29.
Brother, I Cry is a beautiful passion project by writer and director Jessie Anthony, and the film is a drama about a First Nations man, Jon (Justin Rain), who is struggling to overcome his addiction and avoid the multiple warrants out on him. With his family rallying behind him, he tries to overcome his demons.
In the sci-fi web series Narco Leap, Chelsey Reist plays Kelsey Green, a college student who discovers the extraordinary ability that she can leap into the body of other people during her bouts of narcolepsy. This gift makes her the target of some military espionage. The series also stars Madison Smith, Austin Eckert and Aleks Paunovic. For the series’ second season, I was able to speak with director and series executive producer + creator Kate Green. The web series is now playing tonight (Oct. 30) as part of the Blood in the Snow Film Festival, as it plays tonight on Super Channel in the short film programme “Web Bites.”
Exploring themes of loss and grief through a science-fiction story in Between Waves, Fiona Graham plays photographer Jamie who finds herself at the centre of a missing persons investigation when her boyfriend Isaac (Luke Robinson) disappears. As she’s dealing with potentially losing her boyfriend, she still sees him everywhere; and then she literally sees him everywhere. Isaac comes to her and reports that his research has worked: He’s thought of a way to open a parallel dimension, using the conduit of water. This sets Jamie on a journey, through Toronto and into the Azores, trying to reunite with Isaac. For my podcast The Filmcraziest Show, I was able to speak with the film’s director and writer Virginia Abramovich where we talked about being drawn into the story, the research and figuring out the rules, the casting in the film, shooting in the Azores, shooting the underwater scene, the transitions in the writing and much more in between.
In Michael McGowan’s adaptation of Miriam Toews’ novel of the same name, All My Puny Sorrows concerns two sisters: Yoli (Alison Pill), a writer struggling with success, and the other, Elf (Sarah Gadon), a brilliant concert pianist who’s hellbent on ending her own life. The themes in this film are very heavy, as it opens with their father Jake (Donal Logue) waiting for a train and stepping in front of it to end his life. It’s a heartbreaking film that you’ll need a pick-me-up from after watching it, and one that I admittedly was apprehensive that would have the dull, negative melodrama of August: Osage County. However, this is a truly beautiful film. I really enjoyed these characters and getting to learn about the sisters’ relationship, and I was surprised by the story because I figured the sisters would be brought together by their father’s suicide, and not Elf’s own suicide attempt.
For Black Conflux, I was able to speak with actress Ella Ballentine about her layered and memorable performance as Jackie. In the interview, we talk about how Ella picks her projects, workshopping the character, singing for a scene in the film, watching her films, working with Ryan McDonald, some advice and more in between.
In horror thriller Don’t Say Its Name, outsiders are being killed by an unseen force in the woods in a Canadian Indigenous community. The town’s sheriff, Betty (Madison Walsh), can’t make heads or tails of it, so she enlists the help of badass game warden Stacey (Sera-Lys McArthur). The film is an Indigenous story at its core, one about protecting one’s land as outsiders (a coal mining company called WEC) look to profit off their land. At the very least, Don’t Say Its Name is thought-provoking because of this. There’s strong character work here, especially with Betty and Stacey. Stacey’s an army vet suffering from PTSD, so her healing from trauma of war is an intriguing element on top of Indigenous people coping with their collective trauma.
Sometimes films are equally as entertaining as they are culturally important, and that’s true for the Canadian short film Kwêskosîw (She Whistles), an Indigenous supernatural thriller playing as part of the Born of Woman programme at this year’s Fantasia Film Festival. In the film, Stephanie (Sera-Lys McArthur) is on her way to girlfriend’s house and she hops in a taxi. On this episode of my podcast The Filmcraziest Show, I was joined by the film’s director Thirza Cuthand, who also writes and associate produces the film, as well as one of the film’s leads and producers, Sera-Lys McArthur.
Maxwell McCabe-Lokos’ Stanleyville is a unique film set up as a sweepstakes for five competitors to be put through a series of tasks. They’re invited by a blue backpacked mysterious recruiter (Julian Richings), who tells them their prize is, as it’s said repeatedly, “a Habanero Orange Compact Sports Utility Vehicle, at a wicked price.” Our way into this competition is lonely office worker Maria (Susanne Wuest), who is enamored not by the vehicle, but to learn more about herself. “This is an opportunity to discover the true you that cowers inside the YOU you,” explains Richings’ Homunculus. Maria intrigues because of that, who seems content to be there, observing, as she’s not nearly as competitive as the others.