Issue: November 2013 - Independent Film

The New Toronto New Wave

For well over a year I have been saying things at Toronto Film Scene meetings like, “We should do an issue on the New Toronto New Wave.” I am often met with blank faces from our contributors and editorial staff. It’s the face you’re probably making right now. The faces on the former indicate they have no idea what I’m talking about. The faces on the latter indicate they have no idea how we would do that – and if we did, would anyone care? By now, I’m pretty used to this, and still, I forge ahead. “Let’s talk...

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TFS Essentials: Things

A woman wearing a devil mask stands in some grotty looking basement hanging towels. A schlubby dude with his jeans up past his belly button comes in and declares that he wants her to have his baby. She proceeds to take off her clothes and as he comes closer she grabs a carriage from a shower stall. “I’ve already had your baby,” her otherworldly voice states. Sticking his finger in the carriage, a creature leaps out and attacks him. He wakes up; it was all a dream… or was it? This is madness. This is the opening of Things....

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Adding indie value: an interview with The Butler Brothers

Toronto has become a mecca for film culture thanks to the multitude of film festivals that occur throughout the year, the many film schools that draw students from across Canada, and its wealth of production facilities and services. Within this culture there exists a sub-culture of independent producers. This is a die-hard group of film lovers and filmmakers who strive to create original films and get them distributed through a network of festivals, online services and home distribution. Toronto is home to two award-winning independent filmmakers who boast an extraordinary output of feature length material, as well as online...

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An interview with Denis Côté, director of Vic & Flo Saw a Bear

Denis Côté is one of Canada’s most prolific and divisive filmmakers. He’s also an internationally renowned award winner who makes films that are just different enough to feel completely real. His latest film, Vic & Flo Has a Bear, opens Friday, November 22, 2013 at TIFF Bell Lightbox. TFS has the chance to speak to Côté about his film in advance of its release. Where did the story for Vic and Flo come from? What inspired you to want to tell it? I can’t remember what was the initial spark for the story but I sure wanted to push...

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An interview with Jennifer Podemski, producer and star of Empire of Dirt

You might not know who Jennifer Podemski is, but you should. She isn’t new at this. In fact, she’s been doing it most of her life. It’s not an accident, however, that she largely works behind the camera as a producer, and when she does step in front of the camera it’s largely in Canadian productions. Podemski is the producer and one of the stars of Empire of Dirt, the latest film from director Peter Stebbings (Defendor). She has had roles in the adaptations of many important Canadian novels, such as The Diviners, Fugitive Pieces, and The Robber Bride,...

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Essential Canadian Cinema: Son of the Sunshine

As part of our month on independent film, we have decided to go with the film Son of the Sunshine (2009), which is co-written, directed by, and starring Ryan Ward, who is probably best known for his lead role in Evil Dead: The Musical.  The film stars Ward as Sonny Johnns, a 30-something man with Tourette’s syndrome, who undergoes an experimental surgery to correct the symptoms.  Soon afterwards Sonny begins a relationship with a girl named Arielle (Rebecca McMahon) and his life seems to be turning around; however, Sonny quickly learns that the surgery had unexpected side effects and he also learns a dark...

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Tower of Terror: Toronto’s indie horror scene

There isn’t a better genre of film for independent productions than horror, and you can’t beat the city of Toronto when it comes to film culture. From huge Hollywood hits, to films you may not have even discovered yet, Toronto has become one of the best cities in the world for film. The city plays host to the Toronto International Film Festival, with Midnight Madness bringing horror fans some annual goodies, and genre fans know that Toronto After Dark will be bringing the best that horror has to offer. The recent launch of the Blood in the Snow Canadian...

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