It’s an interesting and potentially important time for English language Canadian filmmakers, with several Canadian films managing to reach cult hit status, such as It’s All Gone Pete Tong and The Life And Hard Time of Guy Terrifico. With only five percent of movies seen by Canadians made by Canadians (according to the program guide) and the writer of It’s All Gone Pete Tong Michael Dowse expressing a wish for Canadian content quotas for cinemas as well as TV and radio, the 3rd annual Canadian Filmmaker’s Fest, held with the support of he Toronto Film Festival Group’s Film Circuit, is timely.
Tonight’s opening gala is the Toronto premiere of Sidekick, shot in Toronto, telling the story of a comic book obsessed computer consultant attempting to turn a coworker with latent telekinetic abilities into a superhero – but managing to turn him into a supervillian. There’s a Baldwin brother in it! (Cineplex Odeon Varsity Cinema, 55 Bloor W.)
All other showings are at the Cineplex Odeon Carlton Cinemas (20 Carlton St.) and the festival runs until the 26th. Friday includes the Toronto Premiers of Chairman George, the tale of a Greek-Canadian’s quest to perform at the closing ceremony of the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, and the world premiere of drama The House.
Saturday features an interesting shorts screening at 2pm, featuring the comedy training film How To Make a Canadian Film and martial arts short Shaolin Delivery Boy. The Canadian premeire of performance art mocumentary Magnus Opus is at 6pm and The evening ends at 9:50pm with a showing of The French Guy, Ann Marie Fleming’s comedy of errors about the aftermath of brain surgery.
Sunday features a second shorts screening at 2:30pm, and the Toronto premiere of Anita Doron’s The End of Silence at 4:30pm, the festival ending at 6:30pm with a showing of Love is Work, an improvisational film weaving the stories of five couples into one whole.