FILMMAKER FEATURES

2016 Filmmakers


R. W. Gray – Chokehold

R. W. Gray has had over ten short scripts produced including the award-winning shorts “alice & huck” and “Blink.” “Choke Hold” is his fifth film as a director. His film “zack & luc” was featured in Cinema Spectacular last year. He is a senior editor of numerocinqmagazine.com, and is chiefly responsible for “Numero Cinq at the Movies,” the monthly film column. He has written two books of short stories, Crisp (2010) and Entropic (2015). He is a professor of film and creative writing at the University of New Brunswick.

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Tyrone Deise – Away Home

A self-taught graphic designer, video artist and digital filmmaker; Tyrone Deise was born quite close to the geographical centre of North America, in the ‘one great city’ of Winnipeg to be specific. A complex and beguiling place that not only serves as his home, but as a major influence and source of inspiration.His most recent work includes the experimental shorts; The Child Molester (2016), Away Home (2015), and Connection Series (2015), as well as the short documentary, Thank You For Coming (2015).With a strong distaste for repeating himself, he chooses to remain a moving target, constantly challenging himself to treat each project as a complete departure from everything before it. His goal is to create films of all types – from the real to the fantastic and from the accessible to the experimental.

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Lynn Dana Wilton – Celestial Red & Blue and Robot Monster Us

Lynn Dana Wilton’s (Sheridan, Classical Animation -2001; Ryerson, BAAID – 1991) commercial work principally includes directing, animating, and lending hands where needed in stop-motion for TV series, specials, and interstitials including “Scout & the Gumboot Kids”, “What’s Inside?”, “Glenn Martin, DDS”, “Rick & Steve: The Happiest Gay Couple In All the World”, “A Miser Brothers’ Christmas”, “Lunar Jim”, and “Henry’s World”. Indie shorts including “(Re)Cycle” and “Celestial Red & Blue” have screened around the world and she conducts workshops & lectures at home and abroad. She’s also very proud of her former involvement in Scratch Track, a cameraless film project performed live with hand-drawn sound (yes, drawn sound!) at the 2002 OIAF.

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Jason Karman – Up and Down

Jason Karman is a Vancouver-based screenwriter and director whose films have screened at festivals in Brazil, Australia, China, across Europe, United States and Canada. He received the Gerry Brunet Memorial Award at Vancouver Queer Film Festival in 2011, and in 2015 was recipient of the Jury Choice Award at Reel Pride Winnipeg.

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Sydney Southam – Postcards from a Ghost

Sydney Southam is a visual artist, filmmaker, and performer based in Vancouver. She holds a B.A. in English for the University of Toronto (2007) and a B.A. in Visual Art from Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design (2011). Her work explores themes of memory, death, nostalgia and identity, and she often works with archival footage in her films and videos. More recently, she has experimented both with the documentary form and performance as ways to explore these themes. Sydney has exhibited her films and artwork widely across North America and Europe, most recently at MOCA Taipei. Sydney is the creator and curator of the Special Sunday Supper artist talk and dinner series, now in it’s fourth year, and she is also one of the founding members of the Iris Film Collective. You can catch Sydney performing somewhere in The Hague this summer with her super awesome experimental performance art dance crew LUMI CREW…stay tuned!

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Stephanie Young – Limitless

Stephanie Young is an award-winning artist, filmmaker, photographer, and activist. In 2013, She received her BFA in Film from Nova Scotia College of Art and Design University. Her work is heavily influenced by issues facing her as an active member of both the queer and mental health communities. She currently works as a research videographer with McGill University creating documentaries on mental illness. When not creating visual art, she performs drag at various venues, fundraisers, and events as her male alter-ego, Felix Static. Stephanie currently resides in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

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Leslie Emerson Randall – I Would

Leslie Emerson Randall is a video artist living in Vancouver. Her films explore the nature of social connectivity and the personal rifts it is comprised of, as they ebb and flow through the river of time.

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Nancy Lee – Let it Go

Born in Taiwan and raised in Canada, Nancy’s versatility and fluency in a wide range of perspectives comes naturally. From producing a documentary series on the Chinese-Canadian experience, to highlighting social issues in PSAs, and directing music videos for musicians such as Joshua Hyslop, WILLA, Sundays, Young Liars, #XI, Kline, and Friends with the Help, Nancy’s diverse portfolio is a testament to her passion for telling stories and building visual narratives about the fascinating and diverse world that she lives in. Never having to compromise between a wide scope and a deep perspective, Nancy has a refined talent for producing beauty at the moment her camera captures it. If there is a story to be told, Nancy will make sure that it is worth retelling.

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Ben Dextraze – Noise of Silence

Ben Dextraze loves filmmaking in his own way. Growing up in Kamloops, BC he would take his camcorder out to capture adventures with his friends, but decided not to pursue filmmaking until only a few years ago. He then bought himself a camera and ignited a passion that’s driven him to be able to produce work single-highhandedly from start to finish. Soon Ben found himself shooting promotional videos, webseries, and short films by paying attention to his surroundings and utilizing the power of the audio-visual medium. In 2013 Ben founded his own new-media production company Iconochasm Media with the hopes of making longer more complex projects come to life and is currently producing a multi-part documentary which examines Vancouver’s surging craft beer scene. When not producing his own work, Ben also finds time to be in others – either behind the scenes, or as an actor. Among other things, he’s also a journalist, father, husband, and human being who holds a BA in English and a BFA in Acting.

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James Penco – Networking with James

James Penco is a film director and screenwriter who lives and works in Vancouver, BC. His work strives to articulate a comic panorama of social absurdities and human foibles. James is a graduate of the film program at Simon Fraser University, and his short films have screened and won awards at film festivals throughout North America. He does not enjoy networking.

Maxime Gilbert – Dime

Maxime Gilbert is a bilingual French-Canadian writer, producer and director. Born in the multi-cultural suburbs of Montreal in the early 80s, he has developed a deep passion for movies and knew, at a very early age, that he wanted to be a filmmaker. He directed his first short film at the age of seventeen using a camcorder and two VCRs and wrote his first feature length screenplay at the age of eighteen. After graduating in 2006 with a Film Production Certificate from Concordia University, he directed, under the banner of Be Realistik Productions, a number of award-winning short films before directing his first feature film, “The desolation of Henri Desmarais”, with a modest budget of $6000 USD, at the age of 29. In 2015, he created a new company, Two Poles Films, whose first film, “Dime”, won the New York 2015 Twenty-Four Hour Film Race and has been showcased in a number of festivals around the world.

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Françoise Doherty – The Girl Bunnies. Rocketship.

Françoise Doherty is a Canadian Filmmaker-Songwriter and Queer Activist for children. Her musical shorts have been shown worldwide and have gathered distinctions such as: the Audience Choice Award for Cinéffable in Paris France and Montreal Canada’s Festival Image + Nation. She is a trailblazer in Queer Activism with her animated series “The Girl Bunnies” for young children. The series is set in a world of queer rabbits, where love between girl bunnies is the norm. The 4th instalment, “The Girl Bunnies. ROCKETSHIP” introduces a transgender character. Equally a songwriter and a filmmaker, Françoise Doherty’s indie-style music lays the groundwork for her animated stories. She is a filmmaker who creates work for social change and child/youth-protection. Her goal of the Girl Bunnies series is to show that being queer is about the heart. All parts of the film were created by Françoise Doherty (director, animator, editor, actor, musician, composer, writer, photographer).

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Robert Valley – Pear Cider and Cigarettes

Robert graduated from Emily Carr College of Art and design in 1992 with a major in film animation. He moved to San Francisco in 1993 and worked in advertising for several years, directed commercials for Nike, Coke,Levis etc. In 1994 Worked as a storyboard artist on Aeon Flux (directed by Peter Chung) directed an Episode of Aeon Flux called “Ether Drift Theory”. In 1997 he founded an animation studio in San Francisco called Maverick Studios, more adverting ensued. In 1999 Robert moved to London where he worked on the Gorillaz music videos with Pete Candeland and Jamie Hewlett. This London gig went on for several years and culminated in the Beatles Rock Band cinematics and Dance Central cinematics in 2008. Next came Los Angeles and Disney, where Robert worked as character designer and story supervisor on the Tron Uprising TV series directed by Charlie Bean. He won an Annie award for his character designs on Tron in 2012. Next was a stint of work over at Warner Brothers directing some Wonder Woman shorts for DC nation. His next job was directing and animating a series of animated shorts called Shinjuku. In nov 2015 Robert completed a 35 minute animated film called Pear Cider and cigarettes.

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Mike Mckinlay – The Perfect State

Mike McKinlay was born in North Vancouver and raised in the interior of British Columbia. During his 15 years as a Director of Photography, Mike’s film subjects have varied; from non-fictional narrative to wildlife and Environmental Awareness films, Mike has had the opportunity to work within the genres of both the commercial and documentary world. Some of his most recent clients have included National Geographic, the National Film Board of Canada, Knowledge Network, Wilderness Committee, and Greenpeace.

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Brendan Prost – Sensitive Parts

Brendan Prost is a DIY filmmaker and a recent graduate of Simon Fraser University. He is best known as the unabashedly personal young auteur behind four micro-budget feature films: Choch (“one of the intriguing and involving low-budget indies to cross my desk in 2011” – The Independent Critic); Generation Why (Rising Star Award Winner at the Canada International Film Festival – 2010); Spaces and Reservations (“a grounded and thought provoking look at modern love” – FilmPulse.net); and most recently Sensitive Parts, which is being released in the fall of 2016. Brendan’s directing credits also include a diverse set of short films on a variety of formats, including an improvised act of self-interrogation entitled Best Friends For Life (Official Selection – Montreal World Film Festival) and his SFU grad film Getting There (Official Selection – Calgary International Film Festival).Originally from Calgary, Brendan relocated to Vancouver, where he has continued to pursue his interest in performance-intensive, personal narrative filmmaking while working odd-jobs and collaborating with peers in a myriad of ways.

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Guillaume Collin – Everything Will Be Alright

Guillaume Collin is a Montreal filmmaker.He graduated from Concordia University in Film Production and founded his production company Arpent Films.He has directed the feature film Soft Gun and has produced many short films.

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Daniel Jeffery – Sad Hill with Sad Hill

In some form or another, Daniel has been shooting and editing short documentaries since he was 15-years-old. Armed, oftentimes, with just a handycam and pirated editing software, he has covered a wide variety of subjects. From adult circumcision, broken relationships, the corruption of youth, to the underground sport of “Hedge Jumping”, he tends to focus on stories near and dear to him.Last year, with co-directors Devan Scott and Will Ross, he completed his first feature-length documentary, We Three Heathens. In short, the film was: “A first-person documentary account of spirituality, culture, and the physical toil of an 800 km walk on the world’s most famous pilgrimage.”Currently, Daniel is editing for the feature-length mockumentary, Marrying The Family, which is expected to premiere this Fall.

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2015 Filmmakers


SMAK! Productions – The Parties

Maria J. Cruz, Arianna McGregor, Kel Salerno, and Sarah Kathryn Young make up SMAK! Productions and they’re showing off the trailer for their feature THE PARTIES at Cinema Spectacular! “A Series of holiday parties challenges the bonds of friendship and lays bare lifelong fears amongst a group of four single friends who revel in their superior command of all things pop culture. LIFE’S MESSY. THROW A PARTY.“Four Friends. Staying Sober. One Drink at a Time.”

THE PARTIES is a collaboration between Maria J. Cruz, Arianna McGregor, Kel Salerno, and Sarah Kathryn Young: four Vancouver actors that don’t quite fit. Like all good stories of unrequited love, our protagonists have opted to celebrate what makes them stand out, rather than feign fitting in.

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Sad Hill Media – We Three Heathens

We’re getting to see a trailer of the film WE THREE HEATHENS. “The Camino de Santiago is the most popular pilgrimage in the world. Every year, hundreds of thousands of people walk the 800km of it across Spain in hopes of finding… somthing. In this new mixed-format documentary, three atheist filmmakers, Devan Scott, Will Ross, and Daniel Jeffery, take their cameras and search for meaning in the culture of the divine”

Devan Scott is the director of such short films as Butterfly (2011), TIFF Official Selection Paradiso (2013). As a cinematographer, Devan has shot many short narrative and documentary films, developing his fascination with existential questions by seeking out unique and vital ways to express them using every possible resource at his disposal. See some of Devan’s sillier work at his Youtube channel.

Daniel Jeffery is an endlessly curious filmmaker. Armed with a handycam and editing software, Daniel has created over 75 videos with content ranging from absurd sketch comedy to intimate portrait documentaries: His short films include Manboyhood (2011), Whoops! (2012), and The Script (2013). Currently, Daniel is employed as an Assistant Editor on a feature documentary. See some of Daniel’s many videos at his Youtube channel here.

Will Ross is a contemplative editor and critic. His film work and writing grapple with the questions “how do we make films? ” “why?” and “how can we make them better?” Will has edited and sound designed the films Bread of Heaven (2012), Paradiso (2013), and Highly Effective People (2013). His latest film, The Bottom of My Heart, delves into the experience of depression and bureaucratic alienation through experimental means.

Together, these three form Sad Hill Media, a filmmaking collective based in Vancouver, BC which aims to directly engage with cinema culture by collaborating with local artists, writing extensive criticism, and making films that combine formal innovation with powerful storytelling.

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Carinne Leduc – Les Grébiches

Today we’d like to introduce you to Carinne Leduc, hailing from Quebec! Her film LES GRÉBICHES shows us that new moms aren’t always what they seem! “Julie and Catherine try to get noticed by the handsome Stroller Cardio trainer. As for Leah, far from romantic ideas, she is trying to get back on her feet as a new mother.”

CARINNE LEDUC came to directing after her experiences as an award winning actress, screenwriter and photographer.She has embraced every role in film and television with enthusiasm, nuance, and an astute emotional intelligence. Her love of story led to the co-writing of the feature film 3 Saisons, and she has since been active writing and editing multiple projects. While discovering and exploring the human experience through acting and writing, photography uncovered for her the vast world of image composition, light variation and the subtle art of bringing the best out of her clients.It was a natural transition – with her love of storytelling and the appeal of capturing human nature – that she decided to direct her first short film. Even in the early stages of the production, she knew she had found her path, and has since directed a number of other short films, music videos and commercial specs.Carinne brings passion, curiosity and a sense of fun to all her endeavours. Her light- hearted attitude and love of people, coupled with her artistic conscientiousness, defines Carinne and her work.

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Matthew Hayes – Tilco Striker

Matthew is bringing us a documentary called TILCO STRIKER – “In the 1960s women workers at a factory in Peterborough, Ontario went on strike. In the middle of winter. This is the story of the Tilco Strikers, and their effort to fight against a tyrannical employer.” Matthew Hayes is an independent filmmaker and PhD student in Canadian Studies at Trent University. His research will explore Cold War science policy and government secrecy by coming through Canada’s UFO archive. He earned his MA in Anthropology from Simon Fraser University, and spent most of his time while living in Vancouver seeing films at the city’s independent cinemas – especially Vancity. He’s fascinated by local and bizarre histories, and loves using archival material in films, research, and art pieces. His short films have screened in Canada and the US, and he is currently working on his first feature documentary, titled ELECTRIC CITY, an observational montage of Peterborough, Ontario.

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R.W. Gray – Zack & Luc

Gray is bringing his super 8mm film ZACK & LUC to the screening this year. ZACK & LUC is “a split-screen film telling two versions of the entire story of a relationship. Each memory becomes intertwined with all the others: the firsts, the lasts, the middles; each of the small nothing moments that add up to something in the end.”

I was born and raised on the North West Coast and now make films. I am a professor of film and creative writing at the University of New Brunswick on the East Coast. Thanks to all of my moving around for work and my travel addiction, I never actually feel like I am from a place which I think gives me a useful skewed perspective on the places and people in my films. I am also a short story writer and have two collections of short stories, Crisp, and my new book Entropic which will be released next month and launched May 28th in Vancouver at the Paper Hound bookstore.

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Greg Doble – False Allegory

Representing both Alberta and Quebec, Greg Doble’s short FALSE ALLEGORY “is an abstract audio/visual landscape brought to life by the pairing of animation by Greg Doble and the music of Woulg.”

Greg Doble is an animator born and raised in Canada. Since graduating from the Alberta College of Art and Design with a BFA in Media Arts in 2011, Doble has moved to Montreal, QC, where he currently works as an illustrator and creates short animated films.

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Ryder White – Shadowbox

Last year Ryder White and Alexandra Caulfield brought the trailer for their feature COME HOME to Cinema Spectacular. This year, catch Ryder’s short film SHADOWBOX in all of its 16mm glory! “Stuck in the gap between his joke and its punchline, Brek finds himself unable to leave a mostly empty diner. The only other customer believes the way out lies in an ancient geometrical paradox, but it is up to Brek to find out for sure before he gets stuck in his red leatherette booth for eternity.”

Originally from the mountains outside of Albuquerque, New Mexico, White left the United States at 18 to study film production at Vancouver’s Simon Fraser University. White is a writer, filmmaker, and multimedia artist whose works centre around themes of alienation, miscommunication, and the absurdity of modern living. He is also a member of Iris Film Collective and runs an artist-focused video and media consulting company with his partner Alexandra Caulfield.

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Joel Mackenzie – Lumberjacked

Joel Mackenzie is bringing his short film LUMBERJACKED to the show – a delightfully animated adventure! “A reformed lumberjack must harness the POWER OF NATURE in order to fight an 8-BIT MUTANT WASP MONSTER that is destroying his friends and his home.”

I’ve always loved drawing, but I also loved making money, so I tried to find a way to combine my two passions. I equipped myself with degrees in classical animation and film in order to try and combat poverty. Past clients include Teletoon, BBC Kids, Cartoon Network, Sesame Street, HBO, and many more.

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Kurt Spenrath & Frederick Kroesch – The Match

We’re very please to have THE MATCH in our programme this year by Kurt and Frederick of Open Sky Pictures in Edmonton! “THE MATCH follows two performers in a struggling independent wrestling promotion, the Prairie Wrestling Alliance. It explores the impact that their vocation has on their personal lives, and the psychology behind why audiences are drawn to this pseudo blood-sport.”

Kurt Spenrath is the director and Frederick Kroetsch is the Producer/DP. We own a production company in Edmonton called Open Sky Pictures. Most of the content we produce is for Telus Optik and includes a series about an adventurous quadruple amputee, and ambient kitten television.
The Match was funded by a grant from bravoFactual. We won a grant in the inaugural bravoFactual competition. In fact, we were the only people in western Canada to win.
We’re currently in development with the NFB making a documentary about bike messengers. Ironically we are NOT big fans of wrestling.

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Laurel K Brown – Sometimes We

Last year at our inaugural event, she premiered her first independent short, MY OLD FLAME. This year, something completely different – a semi-archival short documentary called SOMETIMES WE. “A close-to-the-heart video essay comprised of Brown family moments on DVtape between the years of 2003 and 2011″

Raised in Canmore, Alberta, Laurel came to Vancouver seven years ago to pursue a degree in film production from Simon Fraser University, which she received last year. A purveyor of weird and whimsical films and creations, she has taken a shining to cinematography and all manors of animation. A strong proponent of Canadian film and local artists, Cinema Spectacular is her first and largest initiative to support and bring more great, small-budget, independent work to the big screen with friendly community events. (And boy, are there plans to expand it) This photo of her and this crab is still the most personable image of her available.

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Stephanie Young – Masculins

Stephanie Young, hailing from Nova Scotia, has brought us her short documentary MASCULINS. “MASCULINS is a portrait of three people who each have distinct masculine identities, and embody transformation in very different ways. Through intimate cinematic approaches, the film identifies and embraces the human element in the deconstruction of gender binaries.”

Stephanie Young is an award-winning artist, filmmaker, photographer, and activist. In 2013, she received her BFA in Film from Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. Her work is heavily influenced by issues facing her as an active member of both the queer and mental health communities. She currently works as a research videographer with McGill University creating documentaries on mental illness, and as a Peer Support Worker with Laing House. When not creating visual art, she performs drag at various venues, fundraisers, and events as her male alter-ego, Felix Static. Stephanie currently resides in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

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Joelle Arseneau – Ancrage

Hailing from Quebec, Joelle Arseneau is bringing us her beautifully shot film ANCRAGE. “Fred is looking for a treasure that has been in her family for several generations.”

Joelle Arseneau is passionate about cinema forrever. In 2009, she founded her own production company LE PIED MARIN now producing more of its own projects presented in several festivals around the world. She has several other film projects in which she is a director, producer, and editor. She does not hesitate to take on new challenges!

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Nathan Douglas – Son in the Barbershop

BC’s own Nathan Douglas is bringing the premier of his short film SON IN THE BARBER SHOP to the Vancity next week! “A teenager overhears a phone call and finds himself drawn into the father-son story behind it. As this strange ‘conversation’ develops, two separately wounded lives slowly wind into a double helix of pain, regret, and filial love.”

Nathan is the Vancouver-based writer and director of several short films including Bread of Heaven (2012) and Brother’s Keeper (2011). He also moonlights as a producer, most recently on the short film Networking with James (2015), and works fill time as a cinematographer and editor with SFU’s Centre For Online and Distance Education. Deeply fascinated in the contemplative and liturgical properties of cinema, his work seeks to capture a sense of longing within a culture beset by materialism and indifference.

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Amanda Thomson – Blind Spots

Vancouver’s Amanda Thomson is bringing BLIND SPOTS, a lovely super 8 piece, to our screening! “Narrative and non-narrative coalesce in this short, avant garde work by Amanda Thompson. A Woman’s voice sketches out an enigmatic romance while the camera gets lost in the patterns of sunlight on windswept leaves and water. Shot on super 8, the most nostalgic of near-dead shooting formats (and a medium uniquely suited to finding unexpected shapes in the familiar world) the film ultimately abandons nostalgia and memory for a moment suspended in the eternal present.”

Amanda Thomson is a filmmaker born and raised in Vancouver, B.C. Her work focuses on perspective, the subconsciousness, and other things she can’t quite put her finger on.

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Shelagh Carter – Is It My Turn

Shelagh Carter is bringing her unique dance film IS IT MY TURN to our screening! “The feminine, expressed through dance.”

Shelagh Carter is a Lifetime Member of the Actors Studio as an Actress and Director, a Professor of Theatre and Film and the University of Winnipeg, and a graduate of the Canadian Film Centre’s Directors Lab in Toronto. As a director, Shelagh has created work for over ten years. Night Travellers, her third short film, was a National Screen Institute Drama Prize winner in 2007. Her award winning 35mm short, One Night, filmed as part of the Canadian Film Centre’s Short Dramatic Film 2009 series, screened at several international film festivals. She has also won world festival recognition with her experimental narrative short films Canoe and Rifting/Blue. Her recent experimental short, Is It My Turn, a 3D black and white dance film, has begun its festival tour. “I am very happy for an opportunity to show my work. If I stood back from my films, some words to describe what I am interested in are ‘transitions and delicate and dangerous transformations. I hope you enjoy them.”

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L & C Style Productions – Power of Prayer

Luis and Candace of L&C Style Productions are bringing their music video POWER OF PRAYER to Cinema Spectacular this week! “’Power of Prayer’ by Ian McKay aka Mr. Work, feat. P.H.E.B.U.S. A multi-scened and large-cast production. Shot on location, Calgary AB, Canada.”

We are Luis and Candace, also known as L&C Style. We are a dynamic duo, with a partnership of over 20 years. Living and working in 29 countries and counting has given us a very unique global perspective when it comes to any type of production. From music videos to cinematic shorts to corporate media reels to narrative full features, we do it all.We have extensive experience in multiple fields of business. From launching successful start-ups, to production for live events and film/TV productions, in managing corporations, in humanitarian work, we feel we have done it all.More than anything, we love telling the story, and telling it well. It’s what makes our lives, enriches our relationships, defines the human experience, and moves us toward action. It’s all about the story for us.

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Johan A. Du Toit – Short End

Johan A. du Toit is bringing us his very topical film SHORT END to screen at Cinema Spectacular a week from today! “In the very near future, veteran cinematographer Reginald Masters prepares to deliver a ‘farewell message to film’ on the last bit of 35mm film in existence. The hapless crew of digital natives, headed up by director Lee Archibald, scramble to keep up appearances in front of the old master – while in reality they are hopelessly out of touch with the ways of celluloid film. As things to inevitably and hilariously wrong, it falls to Dolly, the humble camera assistant – to rise above her peers to make sure that reginald’s message goes out to the world – albeit not quite as intended”

Johan A. du Toit was born in South Africa, grew up in Belgium, and now lives in Canada. As a kid he loved reading Belgian comic books, inspiring him to create his own. That was his introduction to visual storytelling. Today, Johan strives to create films that viewers will think about for days later.

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2014 Filmmakers


2012 / 2013 – Ryan Flowers

Ryan Flowers is bringing his nostalgic short film 2012-2013 to Cinema Spectacular! 2012-2013 is a warm, visually stunning film that may just leave you pining for cozy days spent indoors away from the rain, apple-red cheeks after a day ou ton the ice, or perhaps just the company of good friends.

Ryan Flowers is a filmmaker, musician, and Canada Post Letter Carrier based in Vancouver, BC. He’s currently developing two of his short films into feature-length movies: the documentary Jimbo, and the narrative film Knuckle. Ryan’s last project, No Words Came Down was honourable mention for Best Short Film at TIFF 2011, as well as being named to TIFF’s Top Ten, and winning Whistler International Film Festival and Montreal Worldwide Film Festival’s Student awards for narrative works that same year. Ryan studied Philosophy and Creative Writing at Capilano College, then he received his BFA in Film from Simon Fraser University.

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Spaces & Reservations – Brendan Prost

Come get a sneak peek of Brendan Prost’s brand new feature film, Spaces and Reservations at Cinema Spectacular! “Spaces and Reservations is an intimate relationship drama that tells the story of a young couple being torn apart by malaise and infidelity, and the way in which the trauma of their breakup brings them back together. ”

Brendan Prost is a 24-year-old DIY filmmaker and a student at Simon Fraser University. He is best known as the ambitious and unabashedly personal young auteur behind two feature films, Choch(“one of the most intriguing and involving low-budget indies to cross my desk in 2011” – The Independent Critic) and Generation Why (Rising Star Award Winner at the Canada International FIlm Festival). Brendan’s directing credits also include a diverse set of short films, including most recently a psychosexual character study, Jerk.Originally from Calgary, Brendan relocated to Vancouver three years ago to pursue his education. Currently, as well as exhibiting and distributing Spaces and Reservations, Brendan is also in post-production on an improvised mid-length comedy called Best Friends For Life, and continues to pursue his interest in performance- intensive personal narrative filmmaking while working towards his BFA.

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Lancaster – Alea Rae

Alea Rae is a sweet n’ sad Vancouver band who produces soulful original tunes, and some kick-ass covers. They’re bringing a music video for an all new single, LANCASTER, to Cinema Spectacular this May!

Based in Vancouver, Canada, Alea Rae writes folk-inspired songs, often bridging compelling lyrics and strong, melodic guitar lines. Her voice has been described as “an abstract mix of Karen O and Veronica Falls.”

Alea started her career in 2011, writing and performing as a solo artist, later meeting band-mates, Patrick Farrugia, and Jeremiah Ackermann, at a show in February 2013—all of them performing in different bands.
Hitting it off, they began working together: Patrick’s atmospheric chords and soaring melodies filling out her sound, and Jeremiah’s percussive work framing her soft voice. Prior to meeting the boys, Alea had already begun recording her debut EP, Offerings. Patrick and Jeremiah came in halfway through the recording process to perform parts on the last two songs, title track: Offerings, as well as Stunning Silence.
Gaining international attention, the EP appeared on UK blog, Independent Music News’ list of “Top 50 Unsigned Acts From Canada.” Offerings, start to finish is a documented transition of Alea Rae, going from her stand-alone ballads, to the more powerful force of the band driving the songs forward.
In October 2013, the group officially became a three-piece, remaining under the name Alea Rae. After working intensively together and having written new songs, the trio are planning to record and release new material in the late spring.

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Nostalgia – Reem Morsi

Reem Morsi is bringing a new short film to Cinema Spectacular! Nostalgia is our only black and white film programmed, and even more awesome is that it was shot in Egypt! Shot on a micro budget with a micro crew, Reem is definitely a true DIY filmmaker!

“Nostalgia tells the story of abandonment & the need for love, when it’s out of reach. What if tomorrow we wake up and there is no love? Nostalgia is symbolic of how life feels in world with no love nor protection. In a world of abandonment, we may refer to other means of finding tenderness and an illusion of love to help us survive. Some people use blow-up dolls to satisfy a need, some pay for love, some make believe or distract themselves. When Hasnaa & Kassem’s harsh surroundings close in on them & they shut each other out, Hasnaa takes matters into her hand to give her little brother the feeling of love. Although she creates an illusion, a lot of love still blooms.”

Born in Syria, to Egyptian parents and having lived all over the world, Reem has finally settled in Vancouver, Canada. Reem worked at the United Nations & many international organizations in the area human rights, anti-trafficking efforts and working in impoverished or war torn parts of the world, Reem uses film to tell stories that influenced her during her previous career in human rights. From Kosovo, to Thailand to the Sudan & all over the Middle East & North Africa, many real stories have been more amazing than fiction & Reem felt the need to tell those stories and shed light on them. Reem is now an advocacy filmmaker, who uses film to advocate for important causes & for awareness and social change. Her films have screened on BBC Alternative Cinema & Cannes Short Film Corner as well as competed at TIFF 2012. She was also nominated for two prestigious production awards affiliated with the Berlin Film Festival for her scripts in 2013 & 2014.

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Free Section & Come Home – Alexandra Caulfield

Alex Caulfield and Ryder White make up the great national treasure known as Caulfield-White Productions! Coming fresh from their cross-country interactive documentary Canadian Frame(Lines), they’ll be bringing their short film FREE SECTION, and a trailer for their upcoming documentary Come Home to Cinema Spectacular!

Alexandra Caulfield is a screenwriter, director, and producer who was born and raised in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia. Since graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Simon Fraser University in 2011, she has produced several independent short films, directed one of her own, and is currently in the post-production stage of her first feature documentary. Her films have screened across North America, including at the Anthology Film Archives in New York City.

Alexandra’s most recent project is the audio/visual installation Canadian Frame(lines), a ten-screen work comprised of films made from residents of small Canadian towns in every province. She lives in Vancouver, where she likes to garden, cook, and advocate for the advancement of women in the arts.

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Patterson’s Wager – O. Corbin Saleken

O. Corbin Saleken is just putting the finishing touches on his first feature film Patterson’s Wager – andCinema Spectacular is very excited to have the debut of the trailer as part of our lineup! Patterson’s Wagerhas a fantastic cast which includes (to name just a couple) Fred Ewanuick (of Corner Gas) and Chelah Horsdal (of Arrow).

O. Corbin Saleken is an award-winning filmmaker who lives in Vancouver, BC. He’s made three short films (The B-Team, When They Were Little, and The Vehicle), and edited The Lobster and The Liver: The Unique World of Jim Woodring, a feature-length documentary. His projects have screened at film festivals around the world. Corbin has just finished Patterson’s Wager, his first feature film, which he wrote, directed, produced, edited, and self-financed.

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My Old Flame – Laurel K Brown

Laurel K Brown is the ringleader behind Cinema Spectacular, and is premiering her 16mm short film, My Old Flame, at the event this Saturday! “Reggie, a writer of grand adventures in her youth, finds herself confronted by the bizarre manifestations of abandoned characters, each with their own opinion about her absence in the writing world.”

Raised in Canmore, Alberta, Laurel came to Vancouver nearly six years ago to attend Simon Fraser University’s film production program. A purveyor of weird and whimsical films and creations, she has taken a shining to cinematography and is beginning to explore the world of animation on an experimental basis. A strong proponent of Canadian film and local artists, Cinema Spectacular is her first initiative to support and bring more great, small-budget, independent work to the big screen with friendly, community events.

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BLS ActiveArt Showcase – Rheanna Toy & Brandon Siemens

Check out BLSActiveArt! They’re bringing a great showcase of their webseries work to the big screen withCinema Spectacular this May!

Blue Light Syndrome is an organization that helps people in creative ways. To me Blue Light Syndrome is about seeing something in a new light. Each of our campaigns are unique but all focus on changing peoples lives in positive ways, big or small.

HumanKind is a short-documentary web series featuring everyday people who are going out of their way to help others. I started it hoping to inspire people to see how much good in the world everyone has the power to create.

Emerging is a web-series that highlights talented up-and-coming dancers, choreographers, and physical performers. We want each episode to help support their career by showcasing their work to a larger audience.

Brandon Siemens has been active in Vancouver’s Film industry for 4 years and began focusing on expanding the impact of Blue Light Syndrome which he founded in 2013. Rheanna Toy recently graduated from the film BFA program at Simon Fraser University. She used to be a dancer, and now loves combining movement and video.

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Estuary – Tyler Hagan

Tyler Hagan is bringing some 16mm goodness to Cinema Spectacular with his structural short film, ESTUARY. “Estuary is a compositional work shot on super 16mm that takes the viewer into a pensive cinematic state where they are allowed to view a familiar environment – a river landscape – in a completely new way. Shot on the Fraser River estuary flowing into the Pacific Ocean in British Columbia, the work imbues reverence for one of the most rich and diverse ecosystems in North America.”

Tyler Hagan is a filmmaker and photographer based in Vancouver, B.C. Tyler’s latest project, Similkameen Crossroads, is an interactive documentary produced by the National Film Board of Canada, which launched in Oct. 2013 and has been presented at Berlinale in the Forum Expanded. The project explores aboriginal identity in contemporary Canada by looking at land, faith, and our collective past. He received his BFA in Film from Simon Fraser University’s School For the Contemporary Arts.

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Young Trouble – Perry Miotto

Perry Miotto is bringing his wonderful, heart-warming, and rebellious short film YOUNG TROUBLE to Cinema Spectacular!

“Ling lives in a suburban prison. An outcast at school and forced to work the late shift at her family’s convenience store on the weekends by her alcoholic father, she struggles to maintain her stoic obedient manner. When a handsome young thief comes in one night to rob her, the two find an unorthodox bond and as a romantic gesture, he leaves her one of the scratch and win tickets he stole from her. In a surreal twist of fate, it turns out to be a winner. Escape from her suburban hell comes closer than ever before, but will she find the courage to follow through?”

Perry Miotto is an independent writer, producer and cinematographer dedicated to progressing and nurturing the art of immersive storytelling through film. He prides himself on his integrity, leadership skills, and ability to deliver. Since graduating from Simon Fraser University in 2011 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Film Production (with Distinction), Perry founded Cinepericoloso – a production company that specializes in both the development and production of original films, as well as marketing, branding and commercial production.

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Girls with Swords – Kial Natale

Kial Natale is bringing his exciting, fantastical web series pilot of Girls with Swords to Cinema Spectacular! His work is pumped full of awesome pop culture, killer visual effects, and will provide you with a hardy dose of humour. Follow three warriors through a vibrant homage to RPG video games – see what kind of mischief they get up to!

Kial Natale is a multi-award winning filmmaker known for his outrageous visual effects and colorful visual style. A published film theorist and teacher of film production, Kial currently runs the youtube channel “Megasteakman,” which as of writing has over 19 million video hits.

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