Monthly Archives: March 2015

Interview: Ric Esther Bienstock on her ‘Rashomon’ documentary “Tales From the Organ Trade,” coffee and Cronenberg

Filmmaker Ric Esther Bienstock talks about her journey of tracking down and interviewing those involved in an organ trafficking ring for her lauded documentary “Tales From the Organ Trade” and how David Cronenberg came to narrate the film.

Producer/videographer/video editor: Nicole Powell
Journalist/videographer: Charles Hutchings
Sound recordist: Logan Scott


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Interview: Liz Marshall on ‘The Ghosts in Our Machine,’ ‘cognitive dissonance’ and the film’s impact

Filmmaker Liz Marshall discusses her award-winning, animal-rights documentary “The Ghosts in Our Machine,” “cognitive dissonance,” and the impact that the film has had on her and audiences.

“The Ghosts in Our Machine” is available on DVD and VOD.

Producer/videographer/video editor: Nicole Powell
Journalist/videographer: Charles Hutchings
Sound recordist: Logan Scott


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Interview: Albert Shin on his ‘female-driven’ film ‘In Her Place,’ multiculturalism and the power of characters

Albert Shin discusses the journey of his successful, small-budget feature “In Her Place,” the centrality of the film’s female characters, and how multiculturalism and world cinema speak to audiences.

Producer/videographer/video editor: Nicole Powell
Journalist/videographer: Charles Hutchings
Sound recordist: Logan Scott


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Interview: Joel Thomas Hynes on ‘Cast No Shadow’

“Cast No Shadow” writer-actor Joel Thomas Hynes talks about the inspiration for the film’s story, Newfoundland settings and working with his son Percy Hynes White.

Producer/Videographer/Video Editor: Nicole Powell
Journalist/Videographer: Charles Hutchings
Sound Recordist: Logan Scott


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Review: ‘Me And My Moulton’

It is easy to see why Torill Kove’s latest short film, “Me and My Moulton,” won this year’s Canadian Screen Award for Best Animated Short and recently garnered an Oscar nomination. The film’s simple but colourful animations accompany what turns out to be a delightful, yet quite complex, foray into family life.

Set in Norway over the course of spring and summer in 1965, the story is told through the eyes of a 7-year-old girl who longs for everything normal – and a bicycle to share with her two sisters. As the middle child of markedly modernist architect parents, she yearns to be like those around her. The family that lives below her seems the model familial unit, complete with attentive parents, two children – one boy and one girl – a dog and a cozy home with plush wall-to-wall carpeting. Meanwhile upstairs, the girl and her two sisters are encouraged to thrive in an unconventional household, but instead spend much of their time awkwardly navigating their parents’ usual ways. Even their dinner hour is made an exercise in the avant-garde, with the girls trying to eat but spending most of their time attempting, and failing, to stay atop three-legged dining chairs.

The middle daughter is lost in a sea of envy. While her father is the only man with a moustache in the entire town, the father downstairs is clean-shaven and performs manly duties, like yard work, hunting and military service. The mother downstairs stays at home, makes after-school snacks, and shops for beautiful dresses for her daughter, while the 7-year-old’s own mother makes clothing for her and her sisters out of brightly coloured and eclectic fabrics. All of this leads the little girl to a great deal of inner struggle over the notion of what a conventional family should look and act like.

Throughout the film, Kove maintains a careful balance. She takes on challenging themes of identity, envy and the differences in the ways parents and children view the world, all while maintaining a sense of whimsy and humour. As the little girl and her sisters struggle to understand why their parents have ordered a “special” bicycle all the way from England, they are also confronted with the reality that what seems normal and perfect, often is quite the contrary.

With pitch-perfect narration by Norwegian actress Andrea Braein Hovig, the audience is invited to share the variety of emotions that are portrayed – sadness, confusion, envy, loneliness. Ultimately though, it is love that overcomes and the mature realization by our young characters that their parents’ greatest flaw is not their proclivity for the avant-garde, but rather simply that their idea of what is a great bike differs from that of their daughters. What Kove masterfully reminds us is that it is through the eyes of children that we are taught that the acts of giving and receiving are ultimately ones of love.

“Me and My Moulton” is available through VOD on the National Film Board website and iTunes Canada.

Interview: Albert Shin discusses ‘In Her Place’

Filmmaker Albert Shin talks to CanScreen about his “quietly”-made feature film “In Her Place” and its seven Canadian Screen Awards nominations.

Journalist/Videographer: Zachary Zaza
Video Editor: Stephen George


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Interview: Producer Chris Agoston on ‘Cast No Shadow’

Producer Chris Agoston talks with CanScreen about “Cast No Shadow” and its multiple Canadian Screen Awards nominations.

Journalist/videographer: Zachary Zaza
Video editor: Stephen George


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Interview: Liz Marshall on her documentary ‘The Ghosts in Our Machine’

Filmmaker Liz Marshall talks about her “cinematic,” “character-driven” documentary film “The Ghosts in Our Machine” which asks, “Are animals property to be owned and used or are they sentient beings deserving of rights?”

Journalist/videographer: Zachary Zaza
Video editor: Stephen George


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