Rendezvous with Madness Film Festival started in 1993, and has evolved and grown into one of the world’s leading festivals showcasing edgy, thought-provoking films, video, media installations, symposiums and panel discussions on Canadian and international perspectives of mental illness and addiction.
Starting this week at the TIFF Bell Lightbox is the documentary that caused quite the splash at this year’s Hot Docs film festival, “Blackfish”. When director Gabriela Cowperthwaite began investigating the death of a trainer who was dragged to her death during a “Dine with Shamu” show at SeaWorld, she soon found the initial story gave way to a far more shocking and further-reaching situation that plumbed the depths of a billion-dollar industry.
Directed by Gabriela Cowperthwaite
A killer whale linked to three trainer deaths over two decades, Tilikum is the backbone of the story presented in Blackfish. However, Cowperthwaite discovered it wasn’t just this particular whale; there have been multiple cases of Orca attacks on trainers in parks around the world, although never in the wild. Featuring testimonies from experts and trainers, and with never-before-seen footage, (more…)
Starting this weekend and running through June 2nd is the 23rd edition of the Inside Out Film Festival in Toronto. Toronto’s LGBT film festival has grown to become one of the biggest and most attended film festivals in a city jammed packed with them. The festival this year features a diverse blend of narrative and documentary for audiences to enjoy, all hosted in the TIFF Bell Lightbox, many will cause discussion and debate while others strain to merely entertain. (more…)
One of the grittiest films to play at last year’s Reel Asian Film Festival in Toronto was the crime thriller “Graceland” from the Philippines. Not to be confused with the lavish estate of Elvis in Memphis, Graceland in this case refers to the seedy underground that inhabits and seeps out of every pore of the city of Manila. A place where everything has a price and nothing appears to be as it seems. Graceland is finally getting a long deserved theatrical run at the TIFF Bell Lightbox starting May 10th and it’s definitely a film that should not be missed.
Starring Arnold Reyes, Menggie Cobarrubias, Dido De Le Paz and Ella Guevara
Written and Directed by Ron Morales
Marlon Villar (Reyes) is a pious family man who minds his own business, takes care of his daughter Elvie (Guevara) and visits his bed-ridden wife at the hospital every night. (more…)
Starting April 11th on screens across Toronto is the 21 edition of the Toronto Jewish Film Festival (TJFF). The prestigious festival has been bringing the best and most diverse of Jewish cinema to the city for more than 2 decades and this year’s crop looks to do the same with gripping documentaries and inventive horror films marking the reviews over the next pages.
For more information about the festival, additional films playing and showtime/ticket (more…)
Don’t worry if you are puzzled and scratching your head after reading the headline, most people in the general public outside of its native Spain have not heard of Ghost Graduation. This delightful comedy comes across as a blend of “Ghostbusters”, “ParaNorman” and “The Breakfast Club” and has charmed audiences worldwide. A hit at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival, the programmers of TIFF brought the film back this year as part of the TIFF Next Wave festival back in February as well. So what is it about this film that has people raving?
Ghost Graduation (Promoción Fantasma)
Written by Cristóbal Garrido and Adolfo Valor
Directed by Javier Ruiz Caldera
Playing as part of this year’s Canadian Film Fest at the Royal Cinema in Toronto this week is the new documentary from the director of 2011’s The Collapsed Justin McConnell, Skull World. The film, playing Friday Mar 22 2013, is the tale of one man’s dreams and obsession over the growing phenomenon known as Box Wars.
Starring: Greg “Skull Man” Sommer
Directed by Justin McConnell
An enterprising man in his early 30s Greg, and his alter-ego Skull Man, is at war, ‘Box Wars’ that is. Step into Greg’s world full of warriors, magic, glory, and metal music. Greg is e founder and developer of the Canadian-chapter of Box Wars, an international (more…)
Dead Before Dawn 3D is Canada’s first all 3D feature film and will play as the closing night Gala Presentation as part of TIFF’s Next Wave Film Festival Sunday Feb 17, 2013. We had a chance to sit down and talk with director April Mullen, writer Tim Doiron about the film and we even got a surprise pop in from star Devon Bostick.
Thanks for taking some time for us today guys. So what made you think you could pull off shooting this film on a 20 day schedule?
April– Well we never thought we could do it for sure, we just believed we could in our hearts.
Tim– And we really didn’t have a lot of options, we knew we only had a 20 day shoot and that was it. IT was all we could fit into the budget so we just studied our butts off and made sure on the preproduction side we had everything (more…)
After a triumphant set of screenings at this year’s Hot Docs Film Festival this past April, Jason Becker: Not Dead Yet makes it return to Toronto screens when it starts Friday Dec 12th at the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema. Not Dead Yet is the inspirational story of one man’s fight and struggle to continue making music after a debilitating disease strikes him down at a young age.
Jason Becker: Not Dead Yet
Starring : Jason Becker
Directed by Jesse Vile
Jason Becker was already a gifted musician before he hit his teens. In 1989 when doctors diagnosed the then 19 year old with Lou Gehrig’s disease (aka ALS) he was an international virtuoso about to join David Lee Roth as lead guitarist for Van Halen. He had also released a solo album and a debut album (more…)
Written and Directed by Christopher Harrison
Back in 2007 Director Harrison along with his cast and crew set out to make an indie film that played as a horror homage to the films he grew up watching in the 1980’s. After filming was completed the film’s rough cut was turned into a feature that was edited, marketed and released under the name Left for Dead. After a five year wait while other projects took precedence and the film was shelved for a bit, Harrison has finally delivered his final version of the film, Devil’s Night. Devil’s night made its Toronto theatrical premiere at the Blood In the Snow Canadian Film Festival this past weekend.
The College students of a nondescript Canadian town throw wild parties (more…)
Hello All. Jeff Konopka and I have a bonus surprise for you guys!! We have a live podcast straight from the Pauper’s Pub at Pub After Dark at Toronto After Dark Film Festival. You’ll get a great taste of what a Pub After Dark is really like with all sorts of fantastic guests. You’ll get to hear from the Directors and Cast members of the films Resolution, Crave, Eviction and Game of Werewolves. Plus other pub goers and fellow bloggers alike. THIS IS A HELL OF A FUN LISTEN! Enjoy 🙂 (more…)
Here is my latest guest spot on the Dead Air podcast!! This time we launch into out Toronto After Dark 2102 Preview!! We do a day by day rundown of the ENTIRE lineup! So join Jeff Konopka, Shawn Savage and myself as we count down all the reasons you need to see the fest!! And last but not least the Pub After Dark Pub Nights!!! And if you see Jeff and me around the pub come say hi, or better yet buy us a beer! 🙂