For many, the Oscars are the last stop of awards season. Up here in Canada though, the highest awards that the Canadian Academy gives out are being awarded this coming Sunday, April 10th. Canada produces a ton of great movies each year, and 2021 was no different.
Presented here is a list of all the nominees for Best Original and Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Supporting Actor and Actress, Best Actor and Actress, Best Director, The John Dunning Best First Feature Award, and Best Picture, along with where you can buy, rent, or stream them.
Greetings programs! Katie Boland is a Canadian actor, writer, director, and producer. She is probably best known for her television appearances and the web series she created, Long Story Short. However, this year, Katie made her feature film directorial debut with We’re All In This Together, a story about a dysfunctional family brought together by absurd events. Not only is she the film’s director, though, but she also adapted it from the best selling book, produced it, and starred in it as estranged twins.
A few weeks ago, Katie and I sat down after the Whistler Film Festival –where the film premiered– to talk about the film, which is now playing as part of the Canadian Film Festival.
There are streaming links for the movie on this page, and the episode is live wherever you listen to podcasts (including an embedded player also on this page). Join us!
There are many theories about the missing 18 1/2 minutes of Richard Nixon’s White House recordings. At a time of heightened controversy –thanks to Watergate and the ensuing investigations– the gap in recordings created a convenient slot into which a persons conspiracy theory of choice might fit.
Dan Mirvish’s new film 18 1/2 explores a quaint, yet zany, moment of alternate history where the tape itself was taped and a young transcriptionist secrets it away from the White House to listen to it with a journalist. Hilarity ensues when they check into a small town motel to do just that.
There’s a whole world of sexual proclivities out there. The world of the dominatrix and the submissive is represented in media fairly thoroughly but often without much depth. A Wicked Eden changes that, taking a deep dive into the world of Alexandra Snow, a popular dominatrix.
Devotion to a church or a cause is, for many people, a true calling in life. Those who join the priesthood describe hearing a call to that life and dedicate their lives to it. On the island of Malta, a tiny island nation in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, it is also a tradition that when a man hears that call, his younger sister goes with him. In theory, this is to devote her life to the church. In practice, it appears that it is to ensure that the new priest has a servant.
In Carmen, Natascha McElhone plays such a woman; having lived a life of servitude since she was 16 and set free 34 years later when he brother dies, suddenly she has to rediscover her own life and desires. What follows is a lovely journey of self-discovery that takes Carmen around the sun-drenched, 1980s set Maltese countryside.
Every country has their extraordinary criminals, and Canada is no different. One key difference with notorious contract killer Gerald Gallant though, is just how ordinary he otherwise was. Living a mostly quiet suburban life, he carried out 27 hits (and attempted 12 more) in 25 years and went almost entirely unnoticed. Confessions of a Hitman chronicles that life and its absurd banality with Luc Picard in both the starring role and the director’s chair.
Grief affects everyone differently. Some of us find resolve, some not so much—some of us the latter, then the former. Run Woman Run is a story of grief about one woman’s journey to put herself back together after a loss.
Of all the most reliable subjects for drama, family is the most reliable. After all, unlike friends or coworkers, you don’t get to choose family, and that extra level of tether adds stakes to any situation. We’re All In This Together is a good example of this fact, bringing together a pair of estranged twins, an underaged sister in a relationship with an older man, and a mother who went over a waterfall in a barrel. Literally, not figuratively.
Moon Manor feels like a film that is destined to be divisive. It follows an older man who has learned he has Alzheimer’s, and rather than waiting for it to erase him slowly, he throws a big party –a FUN-eral– to make sure he connects with the important people in his life before committing suicide.
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: a teenager is hopelessly in love with a beautiful girl and signs up for some kind of feat to impress her. He trains for this event and trains some more. At least once, he loses faith, but along the way, he grows up a little, turns his bully into a friend, and in the end, gets with the girl who has been his friend the whole time.
If any of this sounds familiar, then Drinkwater won’t have that many surprises in store for you, at least when it comes to the plot. But, on the other hand, it has a good central performance, an incredibly Canadian take on the materials, and a delightful supporting performance from Eric McCormack.
Our history is littered with stories of great men and women, figures that are larger than life and did incredible things. Being Canadian, most of the stories feature people from either Great Britain or France, but there were many nations of indigenous peoples here well before any colonists showed up. Tzouhalem tells the story of a larger than life figure on what we now call Vancouver Island, a warrior chief who was both a great man and a monster.
Good news, everyone: the 2021 Whistler Film Festival is about to start! One of the last festivals on the Canadian circuit returns for its 21st year with a five day run (December 1st through 5th, 2021) in cinemas starting in Whistler BC and a month-long run online (December 1st through 31st). The films online are available Canada-wide, and the festival has a ton of Canadian films for you to enjoy.
You can follow along with my coverage using the WFF-2021 tag right here on AwesomeFriday.ca.
You can see –and purchase tickets for– the full lineup of 30+ feature films and 35 shorts on the festival website.
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He friends, I made a thing. I made a list of upcoming film festivals for my own reference, and I figured that others might find it useful, too. I know there are ways to find this info, but I like having it all in one big list, and I figure I can’t be the only one.
This list is by no means exhaustive; it’s just the festivals that are presently on my radar. If you were wondering: yes, there are way too many for anyone to attend them all. If you know of a festival that I don’t have here, please feel free to shoot me an email or @ me on Twitter.
The list is presented in chronological order. Expected dates are present whenever they’re not available, and those dates are my guesses. I will do my best to keep this up to date on a monthly-ish basis.
The festival proper is over, but all the titles at the Whistler Film Festival are still available to stream through the end of the month. With that in mind, let’s take a quick look at three more films that you can watch right now.
Policing in America is broken. There’s no two ways about it; when black men and women are gunned down in the streets and in their homes and the police who kill them face little to no consequence, something is broken. A Shot Through The Wall seems keen to take on at least some of that brokenness in telling the story of a young Asian American police officer who accidentally discharges his weapon and kills a young black man on the other side of a wall.