Patron Exclusive: Helen Shaver Video Interview

Helen Shaver / Happy Place

Hey team! This year at VIFF I have taken on a few interviews. The first of them was with Canadian director Helen Shaver to speak about her first feature film, Happy Place.

I conducted that the interview via Zoom, and now as a bonus Patrons at the Lieutenant level and higher can watch the video.

Keep your eyes on this space for more patron exclusives. This week I should have a review of The Haunting of Bly Manor available to patrons at least two days ahead of running it here on the site. If all goes to plan that will be the case for some other content, too.

Thanks to everyone for your ongoing support.

Matthew

VIFF Interview: Curtis Woloschuk, VIFF Associate Director of Programming, on the changes and challenges of hosting a festival in a pandemic

Curtis Woloschuk

There’s no denying that 2020 has been an abnormal year for film, and film festivals are by no means exempt from that. I sat down with Curtis Woloschuk, associate director if programming for the Vancouver International Film Festival, to talk about this years festival moving online and other challenges of hosting a festival during a pandemic.

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VIFF Interview: Cheryl Foggo on her film ‘John Ware Reclaimed’

Cheryl Foggo / John Ware Reclaimed

John Ware Reclaimed is a look at one of the least told types of stories in Canada, that of black history. John Ware himself is a locally famous figure and telling his story has been a lifelong interest of Canadian historian and writer Cheryl Foggo, who wrote and directed the film. I have already watched and reviewed it, and spoiler alert: it’s good.

I was able to sit down with her over Zoom this week to speak about the film, Black Canadian history, and the stories that get told.

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VIFF Interview: Clark Backo on starring role in ‘Happy Place’

Clark Backo

Clark Backo is a star on the rise. Known for her roles in Letterkenny and Supernatural, she makes the jump to lead actor in Happy Place, the new adaption of Pamela Sinha’s play.

I spoke with Clark on Zoom about her experiences making Happy Place.

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VIFF Interview: Director Helen Shaver on her film ‘Happy Place’

Helen Shaver / Happy Place

Helen Shaver is kind of a big deal. This year alone she has directed episodes of Westworld, Snowpiercer, and Lovecraft Country. She is a veteran of prestige TV and directed a made-for-TV movie in 1999 that won an Emmy. Her new film Happy Place, streaming as part of the Vancouver International Film Festival, is her first feature film.

I was able to sit down with her on Zoom to speak about Happy Place, what it’s like working with Canadian legends, and about the universality of the experience of trauma and mental health issues.

Spoiler alert: she was a delight to talk to.

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Patron Exclusive: Quinn Armstrong Interview Video

Quinn Armstrong / Survival Skills

Hey team. One of my favourite things to come out of last months Montreal Fantasia Festival was the interview I conducted with filmmaker Quinn Armstrong about this film Survival Skills. The interview is written but it was conducted over Zoom.

As a bonus for the patrons, the video of my interview with Quinn Armstrong is now available as a patron-exclusive on Patreon.

Part of the plan moving forward is for more exclusives like this, and a few other ideas that I have.

I really enjoy film blogging, but it also isn’t free. There are costs –both money and time– associated with doing it. That’s just the world we live in, so I am trying to make a bit more of a go of this.

The one question I get asked the most is “when are you going to relaunch the podcast?“, and that’s a fair question. The current answer is “when I have 25 patrons“, So if you liked the podcast please considering supporting.

Thanks,

Matthew

Fantasia Interview: Amelia Moses on her film ‘Bleed With Me’

Amelia Moses / Bleed With Me

Bleed With Me is the first feature from Canadian director Amelia Moses. This slow-burn psychological horror film is rife with tension and atmosphere. As I said in my review earlier this week, this film is the type that should land Moses firmly on your radar for whatever she does next.

I had the opportunity to sit down with Moses via Zoom to speak about her movie, the process of getting it made, and about making a movie looking at a darker type of female relationship.

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Fantasia Interview: Quinn Armstrong on his film ‘Survival Skills’

Quinn Armstrong / Survival Skills

Survival Skills is a film I haven’t been able to stop thinking about since I first watched it. A biting satire of police training, it frames a cold hard look at the way police are trained to interact with the people they’re sworn to protect.

I watched and reviewed the film yesterday and today had the opportunity to sit down with writer and director Quinn Armstrong via Zoom to talk about police training videos, the timeliness of this satire, and what he hopes to expose with his film.

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