Toronto After Dark 2016: War On Everyone – John Micheal McDonagh

My time with the 2016 Toronto After Dark film festival got underway last night with the exceptional, brash, bold, politically incorrect, devastatingly hilarious War On Everyone. I think the only thing I would have changed about it is the name, everything else, totally worked for me. Now, as a caveat, part of the enjoyment of…

Hot Docs 2016: Wizard Mode -Nathan Drillot & Jeff Petry

  Robert Gagno is a brilliantly talented pinball wizard, he is also autistic.  And amidst the flashing lights, electronic sounds, and crowds of people, he comes of age as he travels to Pinburgh, the pinball  competition mecca of the world. Wizard Mode introduces us to Robert, a young man, with an easy smile, a knack…

Hot Docs 2016: Cheer Up – Christy Garland

  Having its World Premiere this evening at Scotiabank at 7pm is this charming, emotional, little gem, that takes us to northern reaches of Finland’s Arctic Circle, and into the lives of some wonderful young women, cheerleaders, who have big hearts, and bigger dreams. Led by their coach Miia, this cheerleading team tries to win…

Toronto After Dark: The Hallow (2015) – Colin Hardy

  After a fun video introduction by the director, Colin Hardy, the 2nd opening night feature, The Hallow for the Toronto After Dark Film Festival at the Scotiabank Theater. Leaving the bustle of London behind, Adam (Joseph Mawle), Claire (Bojana Novakovic) and their infant son move to a remote cabin in the Irish countryside, enclosed by untouched…

TIFF 2015: P.S. Jerusalem (2015) – Danae Elon

  Having its World Premiere today at Scotiabank, and screening again on the 16th and the 19th is this poignant and powerful documentary from filmmaker Danae Elon. Elon invites us into the life of her and her family, as she documents a journey of the heart, and the search and discovery of home. Born in Jerusalem,…

TIFF 2015: Fire Song (2015) – Adam Garnet Jones

    Having its World Premiere screening today at Scotiabank, with additional screenings on September 15th and 20th, is Fire Song. Writer/director Adam Garnet Jones has created a gentle, and undeniably, moving film that invites you into the lives of its characters, as each one becomes mired and trapped in realities that they seem unable…

TIFF 2015: Portal to Hell – Vivieno Caldinelli

  TIFF tends to be filled with hidden gems, each one tucked away and made all the more pleasing when you find it. So let Sue and I give you a little nudge in the right direction… Portal To Hell!!! is part of the Short Cuts Programme 4 and is nothing short of pure gold. Running…

Hot Docs 2015: Help Us Find Sunil Tripathi – Neal Broffman

Screening today at the ROM theatre at 7:00pm is this amazing, important, and emotionally involving film that introduces us to the Tripathi family. In the early months of 2013, their youngest son, Sunil, a Brown University student left his home in Providence one night, and disappeared. The family was distraught, but organized, and welcoming the help of friends and volunteers…

Hot Docs 2015: (T)error – David Felix Sutcliffe and Lyric R. Cabral 

Screening tonight at the Lightbox at 9:45pm is this thriller of a documentary, that pulls the curtain back from the FBI’s counterterrorism efforts within the continental United States and the revelation that it isn’t all as above-board and by the book as the public would like to believe. Saeed, alias Shariff, an ex-con has been working…

Hot Docs 2015: Circus Dynasty – Anders Riis-Hansen 

Screening today at the Lightbox theatre at 6:30 (rush tickets only, I’m afraid) is this magical, and heart-touching love story set against the back drop of one of Europe’s largest circuses, the Circus Arena! Patrick Bendino is the heir apparent to his the family circus, he’s trained, he’s skilled, and he’s learning to manage and be ringmaster, he’s…

Hot Docs 2014: Kung Fu Elliot (Matthew Bauckman & Jaret Belliveau)

Screening for the final time toady at the Scotiabank Theatre at 9:30 is this highly entertaining, often funny, film about no-budget movies, bad acting, ‘good’ kung fu, and lies. In Moncton, New Brunswick, we are introduced to Elliot Scott and his girlfriend Linda. Elliot’s only desire is to be Canada’s kung fu star, like his heroes…

Hot Docs 2014: The Homestretch (Anne de Mare & Kirsten Kelly)

Screening for the second time this afternoon at 3:30 at the ROM, as well as one final time on 4 May at 7 at Scotiabank is this strong documentary that shines a light on a heartbreaking subject. Opening with some terrifying stats, like there are between 2,000 and 3,000 homeless youths on the streets of…