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Fan Expo Coverage 2012

Entertainment Maven

Fan Expo 2012

So another Fan Expo is in the books and it’s time to do some reflecting. This year was my first time with a media pass for the fest and thus I attended two of the four days, Thursday night and Sunday afternoon. Thursday became my walkabout day as the main hall was pleasantly less crowded and easy to maneuver, while Sunday was a work day as I attended some panels and conducted some interviews. The interviews will be along very shortly but for now we’ll start by focusing on Day 1.

My first stop after attaining my pass was to go directly to visit my great friends at the Toronto After Dark Film Festival and find out what their first 10 films announced for the 2012 festival would be. The announcement should be live online at the link above by the time you read this, but at…

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Shinsedai Fest Wrap

Entertainment Maven

Shinsedai Cinema Festival 2012

Shinsedai’s fourth year came with a change in venue from the Japan Canadian Cultural Center (JCCC for short) up in the north part of the city down to the heart of Toronto’s west end at the Revue Cinema (just off the Bloor/Danforth subway line at Dundas West station). The move provided record attendance for the fest and a flexibility to program films that previously had been unavailable for Chris Magee and Jasper Sharp, such as the Pink double-bill.

This year’s line-up proved to be strong in diversity, showcasing many different elements of independent Japanese cinema. Opening night gave us the engaging Ringing in their Ears, while the second night brought a couple of bizarre entries in Ghost Cat and the Mysterious Shamisen, and Zero Man vs The Half Virgin. On day three I caught most of the Yubari Fanta shorts with the fascinating Student…

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TKFF Fest Wrap

Entertainment Maven

TKFF 2012

Kirk

The first ever Toronto Korean Film Festival wrapped on July 1st after a nine-day run in its first year. The highlights of the festival were the films of course, closing with the latter two entries of the famed Vengeance Trilogy from Park Chan-wook, Oldboy and Symapthy for Lady Vengeance on 35mm film prints, highlighting some of the best that Korean Cinema has to offer. Of course there were ups and downs, as with any fest going through its first iterations, growing pains if you will, and the TKFF is no exception.

First off, while I was not present for the opening gala which I did hear run late, there seemed to be some disorganization with lineups and showtimes as for the first weekend not one film started at its designated start time. Now while this is not a rarity in film festival land, the fact that we…

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Shinsedai Preview

Entertainment Maven

Shinsedai 2012 Festival Preview

Shinsedai Film Festival July 12-15th 2012 (Toronto)

The Revue Cinema – 400 Roncesvalles Ave (Just south of Dundas West TTC station)

In Japanese the phrase Shinsedai stands for “new generation” and it is this declaration that festival creators/programmers Chris Magee and Jasper Sharp live by when setting this festival in motion. Dedicated to bringing the newest in independent Japanese films to Toronto film fans, Shinsedai’s 4th year of programming starts this Thursday bringing an eclectic mix of titles for fans to discover. Like my TKFF preview I will give you my 5 reasons for making sure not to miss this year’s fest.

5. Location, Location, Location

After toiling its wares out in Richmond Hill at the JCCC for the last 3 years, Shinsedai will finally make its debut in the west end of Toronto at the Revue Cinema. The Revue’s location, a mere minute…

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TKFF Preview

Entertainment Maven

Toronto Korean Film Festival 2012

5 Reasons you need to check out the TKFF

This month brings the launch of a new film festival for us residents of “Festival City” aka Toronto. The Toronto Korean Film Festival runs from June 22nd until July 1st over 9 days and aims to introduce those not familiar to some of the best of Korean film. For its inaugural event the staff of TKFF have decided to feature a best of Korean Cinema lineup, rather than just new undiscovered cinema, as an introduction for the non-indoctrinated and to offer a rare chance to see these films on a theater screen to those who have seen them before at home. That said, I will now tell you the 5 reasons why I will be in attendance.

5 – Korean Culture. The festival organizers are just as motivated to introduce people to Korean culture…

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Death of the Video Store?

An Article i wrote a month ago that caused quite the reaction!

Entertainment Maven

With the news a short time ago that Rogers has decided to pull out of the video rental marketplace Canada has found itself somewhere it has not been in decades, without a nation-wide video rental chain. This is a turn of events that most in the industry have seen coming for a while, but the question is whether it’s actually a step forward or a step backward for the industry. I must confess, being a former Blockbuster Canada employee, my opinion on this issue will be informed but also biased. That said, I am going to try to explore this issue from an open mind.

I can remember a 12 year-old version of myself excitedly making the long trek to the video store with money from my parents; finally able to pick out exactly what I wanted. The aisles of VHS tapes lining the store with covers that hinted at…

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Fright Nights: Viscera Film Festival

Entertainment Maven

Fright Nights at the Projection Booth

Viscera Short Film Festival, May 15th 2012

For Kelly Stewart’s May presentation of Fright Nights at the Projection Booth in Toronto he decided to do something different. Hooking up with Curio Media and Director/Producer Karen Lam, Kelly was able to bring the Viscera Film Festival to Canada for the first time ever! Viscera is a traveling festival of short genre based films directed by women that was created to inspire and forward the amount of women involved in genre filmmaking. To top it off, Kelly managed to pull together a three-woman panel of directors for a Q&A/panel discussion after the film as well. This panel included Lam herself, whose short Doll Parts was showing, Dara Jade Moats whose short Adventure Girls 3 was also showing, and Jovanka Vuckovic, a local filmmaker who is in the midst of directing her first feature. A…

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