The 2014 Canadian Film Fest Opening Night Gala

cfflogoThe 3 day event that is the Canadian Film Fest gets underway this evening with a fantastic feature, and hilarious short, both of which feature the incredibly talented Julian Richings, as well as the very funny Suresh John.

Playing before Craig Goodwill’s feature, Patch Town, is the latest short from our friend writer/director Jeremy Lalonde, Bastards.

Bastards has an Arrested Development feel to it as Richings portrays rock god, Jack Cage, who has invited his illegitimate offspring, Paul Amos, Suresh John, Tara Spencer-Nairn, Tommie-Amber Pirie and Maya Lowe, to live with him, and compete with one another to be declared his heir.

This one is a lot of fun, and shows Lalonde’s knack for dialogue, for me, it’s the throwaway lines that I enjoyed the best. The short is filled with many a familiar face including Christine Horne and Pat Mastroianni, with his DeLorean!

Julian gets to let out a cynical and sarcastic world-weary edge that is a lot of fun to watch, and this evening allows you to see how amazingly talented he is as he goes from this character to the menacing Child Catcher in Goodwill’s modern fairytale, with the occasional musical number, Patch Town.


Jon (the very likable Rob Ramsay) is a child of the cabbage patch, who in his youth was a doll belonging to Bethany (fan favorite Zoie Palmer), when Bethany grew up and left the things of childhood behind, Jon was reclaimed by the Child Catcher, and brought back to work in the Patch Town factories, eking out an unhappy existence with his wife, and stolen child.

When he begins to have dreams of Bethany, he makes a run for it, escaping to the outside world, to find his long-lost, but never forgotten mother. Unfortunately, he is pursued by the Child Catcher and inadvertently places Bethany and her daughter Avery (Kayla Di Venere) in the line of fire.

Dark, funny, and full of heart, it was a delight to see the feature that sprang from Goodwill’s ‘s short, and to see the scenes that Sue Maynard and I were present for (the film’s climax) on-screen! It marries the fairytale with a tale of the modern family, and features some fun performances, and one or two delightful cameos!

Be warned though, Ken Hall, as the diminutive Kenny, steals the film out from everyone, and is just awesome. He was my favorite part in a film that I found all around enjoyable.

The opening night gala gets underway this evening at 7pm at The Royal Theatre. as I write this, the event is already sold out, but maybe, if you’re in town, check at the door, and make sure you check the website for the other films we’ll be covering!

What films are you most looking for in this festival?


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The Mind Reels Tackle the Canadian Screen Awards 2014


Sue and I were elated to be able to take part in the Canadian Screen Awards festivities this week, including two galas and the broadcast event this past Sunday night at the Sony Centre. We wanted to tweet and post all night, and even had a plan to do all kinds of #legoselfies, but the night was just incredibly amazing on its own, and we simply held on for the ride!

We thought that perhaps the Social Media Lounge, which is the area we were allowed to be in, was in a sequestered room somewhere to tweet and Facebook our way through the broadcast as we made notes… Imagine our stunned surprise, to find ourselves right next to the Red Carpet.


The entire dynamic of the evening changed immediately!


We checked in shortly after 4pm, and caught up with Katie Chats, who has her own show on Smithee.TV, just like Sue and I, and we wandered down into what quickly became a bustling hive of activity. Press, magazine, webshows, tv hosts were all in abundance, prepping, reviewing nominees, getting final touch-ups.

Sue and I grabbed a table, and geared up for what we knew was going to be an evening of activity! We met and chatted with the brilliant folks at Touchwood PR, caught up with some familiar and new faces for us at the NFB, gabbed with the folks at Hello! Canada, and took in the surroundings.

Once again, people were focussed on reporting the winners, snapping pics of the stars, and asking who are you wearing, while Sue and I just marveled at the activity around us.


And we were right here in the middle of it all!

As things got underway, before we knew exactly how cool everything was going to be, we did a couple of #legoselfies to set ourselves up for the evening…


But as soon as people started making their entrances, everything became brilliantly, adrenaline-driving, organized chaos! I loved it!!

In quick order, the space alongside the carpet was filled with reporters and photogs, and we watched excitedly to see who we would see, as people kept arriving.

We saw our friend Adam Korson from City TV’s Seed…


I was wandering back and forth along the walkway, and then Sue and I decided to do the best we could to break Twitter and blow up the internet by posting a couple of pics of Lost Girl’s Zoie Palmer, who was given the Fan Favorite Award.


Things were getting really busy, there were rumored glimpses of Tatiana Maslany, and David Cronenberg, but we hadn’t seen either of them yet, but that didn’t stop us from prowling and constantly tweeting with #CDNScreen14. Everytime we walked by the screen featuring a running Twitter feed, I was gleefully excited to see our original tweets, and retweets filling it on occasion (Than you all for that!!).

I was walking back towards Sue, after grabbing a quick drink, when I saw someone in the Media Lounge taking a moment, as he knew he had a full night ahead… I’d yet to meet him, but we’re eager to get him into the studio at some point… Jason Priestley was right there!



Sue and I were just having a grand ole time, until a stunning vision stepped up onto the phot dais, and I had to stop, and literally said, “Cheeses! Is that Helene?” Meaning, of course, Murdoch Mysteries Doctor Ogden, Helene Joy, who gave me a quick wave and hello before posing for pictures.



Well I was snapping a quick pic, Sue was having a pretty special moment, as our friend, Anna Silk, Bo from Lost Girl, paused in giving her interview to call out, “Hi Sue!”

Sue, caught completely unawares, broke into a huge grin, and waved with both hands.

When Anna moved on to her next interview, before she saw me, I got a chance to snap this quick picture…


Anna is one of the most warm and genuine people I have ever met, and is completely down-to-earth, so was more than willing to pose for a couple of selfie pics with us, after her photo shoot on the dais.



Both Sue and I were ecstatic when we heard a very familiar voice speaking from the red carpet, and looked to see Bomb Girls Meg Tilly giving an interview! Sue and I adore Meg and have had an opportunity to quickly say hi and chat with her a couple of times here in TO, but it delights to no end that she recalls us everytime we meet. So as I was walking in for a quick handshake, she pulls me into a hug. She’s so awesome!


So calling Sue over, which caused Meg to light up again, we decided to have a quick pic, and give a shout out to all the Bomb Girl fans!


We also have lots of love for Seed, so was glad to see our friend Laura De Carteret, who’s interview is coming up on the show soon, watch for that, as she’s such a joy to talk with…


Shortly after that, the carpet began to die down as the pre-show awards began, ramping up into a huge celebration of Canadian film and television, hosted by Martin Short, where the best of the year walked away with deserved accolades!

Call Me Fitz, starring Jason Priestley won Best Comedy Series, Orphan Black took Best Dramatic Series, Lost Girl took Favorite Series, David Cronenberg was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award by Viggo Mortensen, alongside Maria Bello. Mortensen, of course, shot History of Violence with Bello and Cronenberg as well as Eastern Promises and A Dangerous Method.

I was just stunned to see him there! (and speaking of stunned, I was gobsmacked when I saw Zachary Levi walking by with Rookie Blue’s Missy Peregrym, I simply blurted out “Zach!” He called back to ask me how I was, and all I could come back with was, “Good! You?!” – Chuck Bartowski… I miss you).


We got to say hi to Supernatural’s Liane Balaban, with the hopeful intention of having her join us in the studio some day soon!!


We cheered for Orphan Black, and actually, most of the Social Media Lounge did as well, at least the ones who weren’t busy typing, facebooking, or tweeting the news! So we were very delighted that when Jordan Gavaris saw us, he popped over for a quick pic!


It was a simply stunning night, and while Sue and I weren’t completely out of our element, because we had been given access, at this point, we were happy to sit back, watch things that happened, chat to people we knew, make some new inroads, and meet new peoples, but we didn’t want to detract from any of the bigger outlets or more importantly the people who were celebrating their work that night.

So we were quite happy to have a sit down and a beer (or two), tweet things that happened, and just generally walked around with big grins plastered on our faces…


But when we heard Lost Girl taking Favorite Series we knew he had to cheer on Anna and Zoie and offer them hugs and congrats when they came down, and of course, do our best to break Twitter again with another pic…


Sue and I, we think, get how nights like that work now, and plan to go even bigger next year, if we’re lucky enough to be granted the access again. We still have our sense of wonder, and joy over seeing our shows and movies win, and we delight in seeing those people we know recognized for their work. We don’t ever want to lose that, but you’d better believe that next time around, I think we’re going in there with cameras rolling, with the full force of Smithee TV behind us.

It was an amazing experience, and thank you to Touchwood PR for setting it up for us.

We will continue to support, love and talk about the amazing films and television coming out of our beloved country and delight as we watch that love spread across the globe.

Congratulations to everyone who one Sunday night! We love you all!!


Lost Girl S04E07 – La Fae Epoque


This week’s episode takes us inside the mind of Dyson (Kris Holden-Ried) as he is held by The Keeper (Christine Horne) and the Una Mens, not for his reaction at the end of last week’s episode, but for crimes of his past, murdering both human and Fae.

Bo (Anna Silk) refuses to believe Dyson would do such a thing, and she and Lauren (Zoie Palmer) recruit a channeler (Vanessa Matsui), to allow Bo to sift through Dyson’s memories to find the truth and establish his alibi.

This is the launching point for the episode which allows Anna to play Dyson, and the rest of the cast to take over roles in Dyson’s head as Bo’s mind merges with his so that some very familiar faces appear on different characters. Paul Amos plays the bushy-mustached Prince Phillipe, with a hilarious lisp, Ksenia Solo plays Angel, someone we start to seek out by the end of the episode, and Zoie takes on a forest nymph, performing in Angel’s Cirque de Ciel.


It’s a visually sumptuous episode allowing our characters to try on different personas and costumes, and they all look great doing it.

In the real world Hale (K.C. Collins) and Kenzi (Solo) try to help Dyson out, but Kenzi is captured and sentenced to death alongside Dyson. While there, he tells her the story that Bo herself is currently reliving within his memories. He also suggests that he start training her, when they get out, to be a Shadow Thief… which sounds pretty cool…

But it led me to a thought, something Kenzi says, Bo always saves them… While there has been an emotional cost to some of the things they’ve done, none of the core group has ever been in real jeopardy, we know they’re going to be saved. It’s safe.

Now to clarify, I don’t want any of these actors to be out of work, I’ve met them all, and they are warm and charming people, very aware of how blessed they are to be on such a beloved show…



Something catastrophic, something that can change the way the characters relate to each other, a death, a possession… something. Something to drive home the costs and the price…

I’m put in mind of the show Angel, when Fred (Amy Acker) becomes Illyria. It changed everything for the characters, but didn’t leave any of the cast unemployed.

It’s a great looking episode, with a tint added to Dyson’s memory to give it a slightly aged look, and despite, in some cases, it’s just Lost Girl sets redressed to look like something else, as Dyson’s and Bo’s memories merge, it looks completely unlike any episode that has gone before it. The costumes, the design… all of it looks gorgeous.

But now, Bo is going to be out there, looking for the Wanderer and the partner to the Hell Shoe that Dyson has.

I won’t lie, I got a little eye-rolly when I realized we were looking for a pair of shoes (and if they’re hell shoes… wouldn’t they have heels?)… still the rest of the episode shines!!!

What did you think of it?

Lost Girl airs Sundays on Showcase.


Lost Girl S04E06 – Of All The Gin Joints


This week’s ep of Lost Girl, came across as a slower, gentler story that had some fun moments, and sees some great pay off finally for those who have been waiting for the Kenzi (Ksenia Solo) and Hale (K.C. Collins) romance to come to fruition.

We also learn that Bo (Anna Silk) while aboard the train, apparently chose to become Dark Fae. But I think there’s a plan there that Bo is just no longer privy too as she has forgotten it. She also is beginning to suspect that Rayner/the Wanderer may in fact be her father…

There’s a Russian songbird Ianka (Lara-Jean Chorostecki) who has a Fae ability that isn’t so dissimilar to Hale, and it makes Kenzi a little jealous to see the two of them together catching up on old times. But the final scenes, which sees Ianka deliver a death note may have had more of an effect on Hale than he’s admitting, but it’s very nice to see the two of them sharing an embrace and a kiss.


Dyson (Kris Holden-Ried) and Bo have been warned not to fraternize together anymore now that she has pledged to the Dark, but that doesn’t stop the two of them from getting together…

The best stuff this week, for me anyway, is the final moments when Dyson is squaring off against the Una Mens and The Keeper (Christine Horne) and Bo knows that his power will be used against him, so there may be a giant dog fight in the bedroom next week, and to see those spooky contacts in Christine’s eyes is a little disturbing.

The other stuff I loved was all the stuff with Lauren (Zoie Palmer) and The Morrigan (Emmanuelle Vaugier). It seems The Morrigan is trying to woo Lauren with all the wonders of the Dark side, and they spend the entire episode drinking beer (with a 25% level of alcohol), swapping stories, and learning that Lauren is a huge Trekkie! AWESOME!

But Lauren is a complete dolt, and obviously isn’t falling for all the wooing Ebony, as The Morrigan tells Lauren to call her, is trying to put over on her, as she has a very Mission: Impossible moment at the end of the episode, and pulls off a bit of covering on her lower lip, and stows it away safely in a petri dish…


The episode weaves pieces of the season’s arc around the Ianka story, and seems to be taking a bit of a breather before throwing us into the second half of the season as we know things are going to no doubt get very complicated and painful for our heroes…

And what plan did Bo come up with on the train?

It’s going to be an interesting second half of the season, and we also have our set visit write-up coming along with the on-set interviews we conducted… Stay tuned.

What did you think of this week’s ep?

Lost Girl airs Sundays on Showcase.


Lost Girl S04E05 – Let The Dark Times Roll


This week’s episode of Lost Girl picks up exactly where last week’s ended with Bo’s (Anna Silk) confrontation with the Una Mens, led by The Keeper (Christine Horne) and the revelation that she is no longer unaligned, but has in fact chosen to be Dark Fae!!

Bo’s reaction is wonderfully Bo.

She’s warned that she must pay fealty to the leader of the dark Fae, hello Morrigan (Emmanuelle Vaugier), before she can do anything else. Chatting with the Morrigan, which sees Kenzi (Ksenia Solo) flirting with her dark side, though bristling under the remarks about her being a pet, Bo learns that she has little time to back out of being Dark Fae, the next full moon, conveniently that night.

Bo has to track down Vex (Paul Amos), whom she believes is the one who has somehow fixed her alignment.

When told she must attend the Dark Fae gathering to learn where Vex is, she and Kenzi, with Tamsin (Rachel Skarsten) in tow, end up there. Which ends hilariously as Tamsin finds herself in a dance-off… to the death.


We also finally get to see Bo and Lauren (Zoie Palmer) reunited, and a dumbstruck waiter stumbles upon the amorous couple… Ha!

When Bo tracks down Vex, we learn he is about to pull an Ash, and ends up like Luke in Empire… It seems the Una Mens has put a malignant mold on his hand that is very aggressive, and of course, if he loses both his hands… he’s a mesmer with no ability to feed, so he takes it to extremes… but Bo does save the hand… so who knows, they may be able to save it!

Trick (Rick Howland) returns, and is stunned to learn that his granddaughter is now pledged to the Dark Fae, while the Una Mens have offered him the opportunity to be the Acting Ash, though I suspect there are other political and controlling motivations behind their decision. There is trouble coming for Trick and Bo in a big way this season I suspect.


Bo is told to find out what really happened, she has to find her dark fae sponsor, someone named Rayner… hmmm, connection to the Wanderer comes to mind, but how did everything get signed?

I do like the fact that there is a bit of a mystery around not only her disappearance but her unexpected alignment. As we get further into the season, I expect we’ll see our favorite characters pushed into darker spaces, and making tougher choices, but that’s something you want to see, you want to see how your heroes behave under duress and wonder how you in turn would react.

We know the Wanderer is bound to show at some point, and we know the Una Mens are up to no good, especially now that we learned how they actually were created, and are unable to feel emotion, and are only worried about following the word of the law, and Trick will be in trouble if they cotton to who he actually is.

This season is looking to turn into a sprawling, treacherous adventure, and I am hoping it gets darker before it gets lighter.

What are your thoughts on the season so far?

Lost Girl airs Sundays on Showcase.


Lost Girl S04E04 – Turn to Stone


Big things this week, as truths are outed, friendships reforged, and the big surprise…

Bo (Anna Silk) is no longer unaligned!!!

This week we find Bo and Dyson (Kris Holden-Ried) rediscovering their passion for one another, while Tamsin (Rachel Skarsten) goes through a growth spurt and takes on a recognizable form, not bad for only being two weeks old (Rachel gets some great moments to play because of Tamsin’s young age).

Kenzi (Ksenia Solo) is having problems with The Druid (Tim Rozon) who has been supplying her with her temporary Fae fix, but seeing as she is unable to pay, and trying to stem her thieving ways, he arranges for the Clubhouse to be robbed, and claims all of the girls’ stuff, discovering Tamsin in the process.


Kenzi and Bo, while temporarily holed up at Lauren’s (Zoie Palmer), deal with the grief Bo has for her missing ex, as well as a tough scene for Kenz when she comes clean about the secrets she’s been keeping. It obviously hurts both women profoundly, but it’s a testament to their love for one another that they find their way through it by episode’s end.

Also through all of this, Bo is being stalked by a bitey gargoyle, not a Weeping Angel, but a threat nonetheless.

Meanwhile we rejoin Lauren and Crystal (Ali Liebert) where they are being held in a dingy room, in a set-up that initially reminds one of Saw. They learn they are being watched, and that Lauren is there to do some emergency lab work for an unknown party. All we know is that the glimpse we get of them, is rather disturbing… I think part of that is the Turn to Stone from the title… perhaps there’s a gorgon at work in the Fae world?

Bo goes after The Druid after he seizes Tamsin, playing on the reborn Valkyrie’s fear that Bo doesn’t like her, and plans to harvest some of her hair to help his ailing mother.

When Bo arrives, Tamsin gets to show how powerful she has become, there are wings! and Bo resolves the situation, but has to live with another death on her conscience.


We also learn that the gargoyle is at the beck and call of the Una Mens, overseen by The Keeper (Christine Horne), and they are the ones who announce to Bo that she is no longer unaligned, that she has made her choice after all…

That choice is going to cause a lot of problems and friction, but perhaps not, because when was the last time we knew Bo to play by the rules.

This episode, more than anything, works to push our characters forward, we see them developing in new ways, hinting at new challenges coming their way, and consequently, the inevitable approach of trouble.

This one was fun, the scenes with Bo and Kenzi are going to go down as favorites I think, because yes, some of the things hurt both sides, but they find their way around it, and come back together, stronger than before. And they are going to need it for what’s coming…

What did you think of this week’s episode? What about Bo’s alignment?

Lost Girl airs Sunday nights on Showcase.


Lost Girl S04E03 – Lovers. Apart.


Steve Cochrane pens this week episode of Lost Girl, as the Dyson (Kris Holden-Ried) and the elemental Clio (Mia Kirshner) continue their search for Bo (Anna Silk). Though by episode’s end it looks like they’ve become enemies because of Clio’s allegiances…

There seems to be lots of trouble piling up for Bo this season!

Bo, meanwhile, after he leap from the Death Train, ends up at a nailed up, solitary house in the country, just as the Jenkins family show up. Ian (Lochlyn Munro), Kathy (Katherine Ashby) and their daughter Julia (Chloe Rose) travel to this house once a year, as they fear they have been cursed and haunted by a ghost.

Bo quickly figures out, she believes it’s a body jumper. But it seems the Jenkins may be a little more correct than Bo, as the truth is revealed, and the episode’s title comes into play. Not just for Bo and Lauren (Zoie Palmer), but also the forces at work on the Jenkins family.


At the greasy spoon, Lauren deals with Crystal’s (Ali Liebert) advances. And, in all honesty, I quite like their relationship, it’s fun to see Lauren happy, even if it’s temporary, as we learn by episode’s end. Though perhaps Crystal is doing what she’s doing under duress. (I certainly hope so, because I hope Crystal gets to stick around for a while!)

And oh dear, trouble is back in town as the Morrigan (Emmanuelle Vaugier) returns!!

The team is slowly coming back together, I’m willing to bet Lauren and Crystal are caught up in what no doubt will be directly tied in with the big bad of the season.

I’m eager to see Bo back at home, with Kenzi (Ksenia Solo) at her side. Still once that happens, you know there will be problems, not only from The Morrigan, but Vex (Paul Amos) as well… The Una Mens… and the big trouble coming down the road right at them.

I was quite happy to see Chloe Rose show up in this episode, as well as Ryan Tilley.


It seems Lost Girl has nicely established itself, and while it is still setting up the fourth season’s major arc it’s nice to have my friends back on the small screen. I’m looking forward to see where the creative team takes the series this year. I hope it pushes boundaries, takes chances, and makes us question the light and the dark fae, as well as challenge our favorite characters.

I love the surreal nature of the train, and everything associated with it. We know whoever is in charge of it is going to be incredibly angry that she got away.

The mythology continues to expand as pieces are still being returned to the board.

What do you hope to see happen this season?

Lost Girl airs Sunday nights on Showcase!


Lost Girl S04E02 – Sleeping Beauty School


After the delightful WTF romp that was last week’s season opener, the Fae world is still missing the unaligned succubus of Bo (Anna Silk), but her friends now aware that she’s missing are pulling out all the stops to find her.

The second episode of the season gives us great character beats right from the get-go, as well as setting up future betrayals, revelations and the beginning of a fantastic series of guest stars that are populating this ever-expanding fantastic world.

First up, it was delightful to see Mind Reel’s friend Christine Horne as one of the menacing, Una Mens, as they conduct their rather extensive ‘interviews’ as they learn what has been going on. Also on deck is Mia Kirshner, after a brief appearance last week, as we begin to learn more about who she is, her powers, and also that we have no idea where her allegiances lay.

Alongside Christine, I was delighted to see that the awesome Ali Liebert makes her first appearance of the season, as Lauren’s (Zoie Palmer) boss, at the greasy spoon the human doctor is working and hiding out in.


It seems Dyson’s (Kris Holden-Ried) compulsive need to revisit the site of the crash he and Tamsin (Rachel Skarsten) went through at the end of the season pays off, as Tamsin returns… kind of. This storyline had some of my favorite moments in the episode, and I am not going to ruin it, but it’s definitely a hoot. Poor Kenzi (Ksenia Solo). ‘Nuff said.

There are also a few laugh out loud moments, as Dyson and Hale (K.C. Collins) end up at the Beauty School hinted at in the title as they seek a tracker to help them find Bo… There’s also a moment that some fans have been waiting from Season 1 for, which will surely be revisited later in the season, and no doubt delight a lot of the fan community.

It’s also interesting to see, more or less, where Bo is, and the reveal is a little troubling, especially if Dyson is now in the same place by episode’s end.

It seems there is a nice sense of play so far this season, which I hope lasts through it’s run, but underneath it, of course, there is the worry and development of our characters. Each one of them is not only different from when we left them at the end of Season 3, but they will no doubt be different to Bo when she finds her way back to them.


And I get Kenzi needs/wants her fake Fae powers to maintain her cover, but when I saw how low she’s willing to go towards the end of this episode, I was so disappointed in her. But I like that. It makes her a flawed character, reinforcing, once again, that none of these people are perfect, they make mistakes, they can be selfish, they can be stupid and foolish.

And Trick (Rick Howland) is going to be furious when he learns about it.

With sharp writing, the return of our characters, scattered as they may be, emotionally or physically, season 4 is already firing on all thrusters are far as I’m concerned, and I can’t wait to see what happens next!

Lost Girl airs Sunday nights on Showcase!


The Untitled Work of Paul Shepard – Available On Demand!


The Untitled Work of Paul Shepard, starring Lost Girl’s Kris Holden-Ried and Zoie Palmer, is a film that will always have an important part in my life, it was one of my fave films of 2011, and also created a number of friendships and acquaintances with some amazing people, not the least of which is Jeremy Lalonde, Mary Krohnert, Anthony Grani, Christine Horne, Kris Holden-Ried and Pat Mastroianni. You can have a look at my original review here…

Now this funny, touching, and highly enjoyable film is available on Vimeo On Demand, which means you can watch it in the comfort of your own home, and this is so a movie to cuddle up on the couch with, snuggle close to someone you care about, and enjoy. So click this link here to check out the film on Vimeo, or you can check out the official site here or here.

After you watch it, let me know what you think!