Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Nominated for a LEO Award!

Sunday's Child has been nominated for a LEO Award for best make up.

Congratulations to make-up artists Catriona Armour and Hailey Howse!


Sunday, April 10, 2011

Canadian women KICK ASS!

And we do, especially when it comes to making movies!

As a huge fan of independent films, I have a list of three independent Canadian films that I strongly urge you to check out.

Listed in order of release date:

(click on poster to find movie showtimes)

Written and directed by Canadian filmmaker, Tara Johns, starring Julia Stone, an extremely talented local Vancouver up and comer, along with Macha Grenon, Gil Bellows, and... Dolly Parton!

It's 1976 and Elizabeth is just your average suburban 11-year-old praying for adolescence to arrive, when she discovers her whole life has been a lie. With only her imagination to guide her, Elizabeth runs away in search of her true identity. Her adoptive mother, Marion is then forced to break out of the carefully constructed "truth" she's been clinging to, and go after her daughter. This leads to a cathartic cross-country trek by a mother searching for a daughter who's searching for a mother - both of them really searching for themselves.

The Year Dolly Parton Was My Mom is a poignant, sometimes funny, very female coming of age story that explores the tension between creating identity and finding it within...

The Year Dolly Parton Was My Mom had it's Vancouver premiere on April 8th at Tinseltown to a sold-out crowd. Tickets went like hotcakes and our dear friend, Sue, found herself in a mad scramble to "move" tickets around and accommodate those of us who waited til the last minute to get them. If it wasn't for Sue, me and my team wouldn't have made it to the screening, only the after-party.

Thank you, Sue!! As ever, you are there when needed. And the after-party, held at District 319, was also a smashing success!

(click movie poster to go to movie website)

Co-written and directed by Vancouver filmmaker, Katrin Bowen, starring April Telek, Zak Santiago, and Anna Mae Routledge.

Amazon Falls tells the story of a faded B-movie actress JANA who refuses to let go of her dream of being a star. Famous for her roles in Amazon movies where she portrayed a variety of pre-Xena warrior-princesses, she desperately tries to keep her leg in the B-movie game, and pursues her career with a zealous fervor. She is on the cusp of forty and its now or never. She will not be dispirited by her job at a sleazy nightclub nor the ceaseless grind of waiting for the big break. She creates the illusion that her big break is just around the corner and her friends and co-workers are supporting her in her dreams: ARON, her much younger 25-year old boy toy is in love with her LI-LI, an achingly beautiful 22-year-old actress her best friend and protégé will follow in her glamorous footsteps DEREK, a film producer will be the one to give Jana the big break she yearns for. But the reality is she works in a nightclub run by TOMMY, her sleazy boss who encourages flirtation with an array of oily characters including CALVIN, a particularly shady character from Janas distant past who has resurfaced to tempt her down a dark path. Jana avoids facing the truth at all costs. Despite her best efforts to live clean and expand her skills, Jana is ultimately overcome by the burden of a dream in a business that would seem to punish more for virtue than for vice.

Amazon falls opens in Vancouver on April 15th, 2011 at Denman Cinema. Be sure to get your tickets early for the premiere as I'm sure it will be a sell-out!

(click on movie poster to go to filmmakers website)

Co-written and directed by Vancouver filmmaker, Penelope Buitenhuis, starring Nicholas Campbell, Tara Nicodemo and Krista Sutton.

After the mysterious death of their infamous director, members of a formerly renowned theater company reunite for his wake. The grieving widow welcomes the thespians to her country house, but the drama intensifies when old rivalries and jealousies erupt, exposing a myriad of secrets and lies.

In this intense drama, six former members of a well-known theatre company assemble for their infamous director's wake. Gabor Zazlov (NICHOLAS CAMPBELL) has died suddenly. His grieving French widow, Hanna (TARA NICODEMO), welcomes the thespians to her country house but soon loses control of the proceedings when old rivalries and jealousies erupt. As members of Gabor's last ill-fated production of Hamlet four years ago, the characters they played continue to haunt their lives. Tyler (GRAHAM ABBEY) who played Laertes then Hamlet, is now a minor Hollywood star and secretly in love with Maya (KRISTA SUTTON), the quiet, new-agey Ophelia. Raj (RAOUL BHANEJA), now a successful real-estate agent, is still resentful of losing the part of Hamlet to Tyler. The unexpected arrival of Gabor's loafer son Chad (KRISTOPHER TURNER), ratchets up the tension further. Traveling in Europe, he knew nothing of his father's passing and accuses his stepmother of killing him. Another Hamlet joins the fray. However it is sexy, troubled Danielle (SARAIN BOYLAN), whose presence causes the most controversy. At dinner, the company's patron, Sabina (MARTHA BURNS), demands to know why "this whore was invited" and the party erupts. Not quite forgotten in the chaos is Gabor's deathbed request to mount a final reading of Hamlet. When Hanna can't continue to lead the charge, Chad takes on the role of director, exacting shocking truths from the actors. As secrets are revealed, the players must come clean: To thine own self be true. With morning hangovers, they all leave altered by this tumultuous night. But there remains one last shocking truth that none would suspect.

A Wake opens in Vancouver on April 29th, 2011 at Fifth Ave Cinemas. As with Amazon Falls, be sure to get your premiere tickets early as this film will also be a sell-out.

I attended the premiere of The Year Dolly Parton Was My Mom and will definitely be attending the premieres for Amazon Falls and A Wake.

Hope to see you there!

Friday, January 14, 2011

I got nothin'... but stones

I surfaced from my work the other day, not because I am finished, but because I needed a break from the rewrite for a minute.

I can honestly say that I have never worked so hard on a project (and that's saying A LOT, considering how hard I work) as I have on this one.

Three page one rewrites since just after Christmas. When I sent in the first rewrite, I took the script in a slightly different direction and touched lightly upon a new storyline. My notes came back with "that's intriguing and there's a story there. Find it."

So, I've spent the last two drafts "finding" it and I think I finally have.

Only thing, with all the thoughts still swirling around in my head, I can't settle my mind down enough to be able to read this draft and see if I'm right. When this happens to me, I generally stop my "regular writing" and clear my mind by writing little inconsequential short scripts and short stories.

However, I'm not feeling it right now. I'm not feeling like writing a short script or story, but I need to write something in order to refocus myself, so here I am.

But... I got nothing to write about.

So, I'm gonna post about one of the many mysteries of the world that I find interesting. I picked this one at random:

The Ica Stones

In Peru, just north of the Pampa Colorada, lies the community of Ica, home to physician Javier Cabrera.

In 1966, an illiterate farmer gave Dr. Cabrera a stone for his birthday that had an image of a fish carved on it. Upon research, the doc discovered that the carving matched a specimen that has been extinct for thousands of years.

He questioned the farmer about where the stone had come from and the farmer told him that he found it in a cave after a flood, and that there were many more of them. He also said that he had been selling them to tourists so the good doc offered to buy whatever he had left and any more that he could find.

Dr. Cabrera ended up with more than eleven thousand of them.

Word of the stones and the farmer got out, so the BBC did a documentary on the subject. At the same time, the Peruvian government stepped in to question the farmer in depth about how he came to have the stones. The government also told the farmer that he would spend the rest of his life in prison for selling the rocks, as Peru has tough antiquity laws. The farmer quickly changed his story and said he had carved the rocks himself.

Since the government wanted to get rid of any controversy, they accepted the farmer's revised story without question. In addition, the BBC took a beating and were criticized for airing a story that was a hoax, so they quickly swept it under the rug, too.

And there it would have stayed if not for Dr. Cabrera.

For the last thirty years of his life, Cabrera researched and investigated the origin and content of the stones. He desperately tried to get the scientific community to join in, but they wouldn't because of the "hoax stigma" attached to the stones.

Here's what he found out on his own:

The stones are made of a local river rock that's a form of andesite, a hard volcanic material, and they are covered with a layer of natural oxidation, confirmed by German laboratories to be an ancient patina of oxidation that is impossible to recreate in this day and age.

The stones range in size from those that will fit in the palm of your hand to those the size of two basketballs.

The images etched into the stones depict humans, ancient animals, lost continents and the knowledge of global catastrophes. There are also images of brain transplants, heart transplants and cesarean sections using acupuncture as anasthesia and artificial life support systems that are just now being used by modern medicine.

There are drawings of men using telescopes and aerial images showing the earth with several unfamiliar land masses and a completely different continent configuration. When scientists compared these maps to computer animations, they were found to be highly accurate of what earth would have looked like thirteen million years ago, when the continents of Atlantis and Lemuria still existed.

So, who made the stones? And where did they come from? Do you believe that the farmer carved them himself so he could sell them to tourists?

I don't.

Even the scientists can't explain how an illiterate farmer could carve more than 11,000 stones, depicting intricate and ancient knowledge of the stars and planets, and the cynics can't account for those maps of ancient origin.

No one can.

The Ica Stones still remain a mystery that no one can explain with incontroversial proof, which of course, is why they interest me.

I'm going to Peru one day, and I am going to find one of these stones and I'm going to hold it in my hand.

And then maybe I'll know...