Evan Rachel Wood on 'Into the Forest'

Patricia Rozema's Into the Forest tackles many of our dystopian fears in a world that's on the brink of an apocalypse.  But you won't find any zombies here. Instead, the film stars Evan Rachel Wood and Ellen Page as two young sisters who do their best to survive in their home in a secluded ancient forest.  They are not only forced to fight against the elements, intruders, and starvation -- but also against their own loneliness and sense of isolation.  They must fight to keep hope, and each other, alive.

First Weekend Club's Katherine Brodsky caught up with one of the film's stars, Evan Rachel Wood to discuss her experiences making the film (reprinted from AICN):

Q: Did you read the book before doing the movie? What kind of awareness did you have of the book?

Yes, but I didn't read it until after I've read the script. If you're doing a film based on a book, in certain cases, I feel like it's right to read the book and it's certainly the case here. The book is told from the point of view of Ellen [Page]'s character Nell and so there's a lot of inner dialogue and her observing my character. So it actually really worked out because so much of it is her talking about her sister and the love she has for her and everything she is going through. So it really helped a lot.

Q: Why do you think we are so fascinated by dystopian futures within pop culture?

I think because it's becoming more and more of a reality. One of the things that I loved about our film is that it is set in the not so distant future and there are small elements that are different than the world we know today. The phones and the TVs and the technology is a little different, but for the most part it looks the same. This is a more realistic look at what it would really be like if you lost every luxury in life. No phones no internet, no TV, no gas, no running water…and so we're not fighting zombies, we're just trying to survive.

Q: We're fighting ourselves in a way.

That too. We're fighting loneliness and depression and grief. It's more about just stripping somebody down to the bone and then [seeing] how you adapt and how you survive -- what really makes you feel. It's about getting back in touch with how we're supposed to be relating to nature and our surroundings. Not in a hippy dippy way, but you know, what DO we do when all our resources run out? Because it's kind of an inevitability. It could be a cautionary tale, or even a how-to because I wouldn't know how to build a fire or filter rain water or go hunting…real things you'd have to deal with.

Q: Me neither. I've tried to imagine myself surviving on a deserted island with no knowledge. It sure took a lot of imagination!

You can't google it!  [She laughs]

Q: No, you can't. If google was around on a deserted island that would solve everything. And YouTube. Google and YouTube.

Yeah, I think we're all out of touch with knowing how to live off of the land nowadays. 

Q: I don't know if you've seen The Walking Dead but I've seen a bit of it, and I love how the real danger isn't really from the 'walkers' because…you know…they are so slow…but rather, other people.

We're playing two young women by themselves in the woods in a lawless world. That would be super dangerous and people would take advantage of that situation so they have to deal with that as well and defend themselves. Everyday you go outside you're looking over your shoulder and waiting for somebody to attack you. You're constantly living in fear and desperation just hanging by a thread.

Q: As soon as you say "two women living alone in the woods" you know exactly where the tension's at…

Definitely. And we certainly touch upon that in the film.  But we're also not victims. Nor are we tough-as-nails women who had never lost a battle. They have moments where they break and don't think they can go on and all is lost, but there is also hope. And the relationship that these sisters have, they really are the only two people left -- at least in their world. So it's about how they come together and defy all odds. So it's a really intense and powerful movie, but there's also such a beauty to it because it gets to the core of who we are as people.

Q: Speaking of sisterhood, with you and Ellen playing sisters…how did you two bond in a way that would be believable on the screen? Did you really bond?

We did! We had so much fun.  The second she gave me the script and I read it, I basically fell to my knees because I haven't read anything as powerful in a…decade.  So we were like 'alright' let's just hang out as much as possible before we have to film this movie because there's certain things that you can't fake. There's a comfortability or just these little looks you give each other…Sisters can talk to each other without saying anything, so we wanted to have that feeling. So we hung out for about a year. It was very easy. We got along famously and became great friends. I still consider her to be one of my best friends and soul sister.  But it's funny. We're the same age, but I'm playing her older sister. And Ellen would say, "It's so funny, sometimes I really do feel like the baby." [She laughs]

Q: You hung out for an entire year? That seems...rare.

It is. But we just had to completely open ourselves up in every way. I felt that we were so connected and cared about each other. By the time we did the movie, there were certain moments where we'd be doing the scene and I'd totally forget that we were doing a scene and I'd think it was really happening. And when I'd see Ellen either shivering or crying, this instinct would just kick in and I had to mother her and take care of her. We really got each other through this movie. We were each other's rocks, for sure.

Continue reading the full interview at Ain't It Cool News.

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Canada Screens and FWC Celebrate Xavier Dolan at Cannes 2016!

First Weekend Club and Canada Screens offer congratulations to prolific Canadian filmmaker & actor, Xavier Dolan on his premiere at Cannes 2016! The 27 year old Quebec director Xavier Dolan's new film, Juste la fin du monde (It's Only the End of the World) is officially in the running for the top prize at the Cannes Film Festival! To celebrate, we've got TWO of his film feats available to rent at! The 2012 Cannes Award-Winning Film Laurence Anyways, which competed in the Un Certain Regard section at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival, where Suzanne Clément won the Un Certain Regard Award for Best Actress ~The film also won the Queer Palm Award at the festival. And, you can enjoy Xavier's brilliant acting in #CdnFilm Elephant Song, in which his haunting lead performance left audiences shaken! BOTH films are available to rent NOW!

Watch Trailer and Rent Laurence Anyways Here!

Watch Trailer and Rent Elephant Song Here!

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New Voices at the Toronto Screenwriting Conference

One day Glenn Cockburn of Meridien Artists Management had the incredible idea to create a writing workshop that was more than simply ‘how to become a writer’, one that delved deeply into the craft and business of screenwriting with top speakers from Canada and Hollywood. Today that conference, the Toronto Screenwriting Conference, is in it’s 7th year. We spoke with the winners of the Telefilm New Voices Award about their experiences at this year’s event.

John Ward

The conference had so many great sessions it’s hard to single out a specific highlight. Corey Mandell’s inspiring sessions were full of advice and practical tools; Stephen Falk’s talk on breaking an entire season was as hilarious as it was instructive; and the conversation with Moira-Walley-Beckett gave us insight into her writing journey and the Breaking Bad writers room. My personal highlight was listening to Glen Mazzara. His sessions were simply amazing; thought-provoking, passionate, and made me want to immediately rush home and start writing. Overall it was a fantastic conference. 

John is currently pitching his pilot “Flux" - an episodic sci-fi about an unlikely team of cops and criminals forced to work together to change the future, and also "Dodge & Burn" - a show about an undercover Mountie who’s also the leader of the criminal organization he was sent to infiltrate. 

Ana de Lara

The Toronto Screenwriting Conference was an amazing experience.  The whole weekend was phenomenal. I left motivated and inspired by the variety of writing tools, perspectives, experiences, and words or wisdom presented by the speakers.  Highlights for me include meeting Glenn Cockburn, having my mind blown away by Corey Mandell's sessions, and leaving knowing that I have tools I can apply to elevate my current projects and progress my career.

Ana is currently working on the following projects. Her first feature film screenplay, The Virgin Mary Had a Little Lamb, a comedy told with magic realism about a Filipina-Canadian girl who loves the Virgin Mary, wants to be just like the Virgin Mary, and what happens to her when God answers her prayers.

The Chosen One is a supernatural horror feature,  about a Filipina-Canadian playwright who must stop dark forces that have been summoned by Filipino witchcraft from attacking her sanity.

Yellow Magic, a comedic webseriesabout a Filipina witch who flees to Canada to escape from her family’s association with witchcraft.  When her past catches up with her, the idyllic suburban neighbourhood where she resides is never the same. 

Kim Izzo

It was an amazing experience to be in the same room with such incredible talent as the speakers at this year's TSC. Glen Mazzara's frank and often hilarious talk about Anti-heroes on Day One and then the behind the scenes of creating and filming his new series Damian gave me a lot of insight into the evolution of television  and were the medium is going. I was also riveted to In-Conversation with Moira Wh\alley-Beckett because Breaking Bad is one of  my favourite shows it was a treat to hear stories from that particular writer's room and she was truly inspiring. I also felt that Interview with the Executive, Nicole Clemens from FX was an absolute must, it was enlightening from a writer's perspective to hear firsthand how FX approaches story, pitching and the value of the writer. I will definitely be back for TSC 2017! 

She is currently finishing off the final draft of my feature, The Shame Sisters, for the NSI Script to Screen program as well as developing several television pilots scripts. 

Rebecca Hales

The Toronto Screenwriting Conference has the best screenwriting content of any conference I have attended. It's so much more than just great stories from top industry professionals - though those are GREAT. It's really about master classes in craft, process, production, and development. Glenn Mazzara walked us through the provenance of the anti-hero. Stephen Falk walked us through the entire season development process he uses on You're The Worst complete with photos of his boards. Moira Walley-Becket talked about life on Breaking Bad and the lessons she brought to Flesh and Bone. Nicole Clemens gave a real breakdown of how FX Network finds and fosters groundbreaking TV. Everyone came to talk about the business in real terms, not platitudes and anecdotes. My personal highlight was Corey Mandell and his very practical teachings on Integration and Story Engines. I know I'm not alone in saying it was a game changer. He got a standing ovation for a reason! 

Rebecca Hales is currently working on a spy thriller in which a young woman's world is shattered when her parents are arrested on suspicion of terrorism, and a half hour cable comedy that takes a surreal look at identity and those little voices in our heads.

Maria Dame

Lunch in a private room at The Spoke Club was the prefect kick off to the conference. It was super cool to talk to Moira about Breaking Bad and her transition from acting to writing; to Melissa about Super Chanel and her move to Toronto, to hear Dan’s remarkable story of how he ended up working for Telefilm and to learn from Glenn that his reading of Elephant Bucks was the catalyst that got him thinking about creating a screenwriting conference in Toronto. 

The party at The Fifth later that night was a blast and after speaking with Jen in such a casual atmosphere I couldn’t wait for her seminar the next day. 

With the eclectic and inspiring roster of speakers, my learning curve over the weekend was pretty steep. This morning as I was reading over my notes I really just felt so grateful to have been given the opportunity to participate. It’s like I already feel like a better writer just by being in the room with those people.  

Maria is working on PASSPORT, a one-hour drama that probes the complexities and conundrums of the refugee housing experience.Tensions arise and prejudices surface when The New Hope Centre– a refugee housing residence — moves into in a middle class neighbourhood.

Myself and the team at FWC look forward to working with all these talented writers to promote their feature films! 

For more information on the conference, visit:

Posted in Blog


Embracing Adaptation

Guest Blogger: Danishka Esterhazy

I have always written my own screenplays. Because it has always felt right to move from that first initial spark of inspiration (usually an image), through to story, character and structure. Followed by production — all the elements of staging, lighting and coverage — and then into post. Right up to the final cut. I write, I direct and I edit. This has always been my preferred method of filmmaking. Immersive. Total. 

But with every film that I make, I become more excited by collaboration. It is a wonderful feeling to sit down and share ideas with a talented artist — whether they be a cinematographer, production designer, or actor. There is a unique and powerful creative pleasure to be found in these relationships. Even during disagreements. Because a great collaborator will challenge you to rise to new levels.

And so it is with this attitude that I embarked on my very first literary adaptation — a short film called The Singing Bones.

It started by accident. In 2011, I was attending the UCLA Writers Studio. At one of the group gatherings, I looked around the room and spied Francesca Lia Block. She is hard to miss. She was absolutely the most magnetic (and best dressed) person in the room. Francesca oozes style and charm. I nearly jumped out of my seat.

I had been a fan of Block’s writing for years. Most people know FLB for her celebrated Weetzie Bat novels. But it was her wonderful dark and modern retelling of fairytales that I loved the most. 

Impulsively, I tweeted a short message about my excitement to see FLB in person. And, to my surprise, she tweeted back! She invited me out for lunch. After an hour of great vegetarian noodles and a passionate discussion of fairytales and feminism — we were already talking about making a film together.

Fast forward to 2014. I optioned Block’s story “Bones” from her short story collection The Rose and the Beast. It is a retelling of the fable Bluebeard. And an amazing story about a young woman discovering her own power and her creative voice.

The writing experience was an absolute dream. Often, I find the writing process to be the most demanding, draining and disenchanting part of the filmmaking process. An exhausting uphill trek. But working with Block was inspiring. First, I loved her story. It was very important for me to respect her original vision and her voice as a writer. In the option agreement, FLB did not have any legal right to input or approval of my screenplay. But I sent her every draft as both a courtesy and opportunity. I valued her notes. She was able to provide me with deeper insight into her characters while also respecting my creative freedom as the screenwriter. 

Development and production were not easy. I had a lot to learn about crowdfunding as this was my first experience raising money through Indiegogo. I was also forced to recast my lead actors (heartbreaking!) after immigration complications made this Canadian-American co-production more challenging than I ever expected, But, luckily, I was aided by my fabulous producers Bianca Beyrouti, Rebecca Gibson and Ashley Hirt. I also had an amazing volunteer crew. Post-production is nearly complete and we expect the film to premiere this summer or fall.

So, would I adapt another short story or novel? Absolutely. I don't expect every collaboration to be as special as The Singing Bones. But I have seen how great the process can be when two like-minded storytellers come together for all the right reasons.

-Danishka Esterhazy

Danishka Esterhazy is a Winnipeg-based filmmaker. Her debut feature, Black Field, was released theatrically by Century Street Distribution and broadcast on SuperChannel. Her second feature, H&G, was released theatrically by MultipleMedia Entertainment and broadcast on The Movie Network. She is currently preparing to shoot her third feature, Level 16, with Markham Street Films.


Danishka Esterhazy:

Francesca Lia Block: 

Black Field 


Markham Street Films 


Posted in Blog


CanadaScreens Welcomes 9 New Titles from Factory Film Studio

A New Partnership with Factory Film Studio 



First Weekend Club is excited to welcome Toronto-based Factory Film Studio as our newest partner.

As part of the partnership, we will be bringing 9 new Canadian films to as well as collaborating with them to support some of their theatrical releases.  We are looking forward to working with them and sharing even more great home-grown films with Canadians!

Here are the most recent titles that are now available on


Check back soon for more great films from Factor Film Studio! 

For more details, or to rent these titles, visit

Posted in Blog


My Interview with Roundhouse Radio on Canadian Film



At the wee hour of 6:30 am I walked into a retro fitted office building in Railtown at 714 Alexander Street in Vancouver, home of Roundhouse Radio 98.3FM for an interview with Kirk Lapointe. What a cool space, with the open office concept, a glass sound room for the interviews and art deco furniture in the waiting area. I sat and listened to the show for a bit as I was mentally preparing myself to run through all the Canadian films that are now playing (and there are a lot). I thought it was going to be one of those quick and dirty 5 minute interviews where I had to spit out all the important information quickly before I would be ushered out the door to make room for the next guest. I was delightfully surprised, however, to discover Kirk wanted to have a conversation with me about Canadian film and the current landscape, and of course, I was a very willing participant. If you are interested in what I had to say about the state of the Canadian film industry, about Canadian directors and actors working in Canada or choosing to go down south, and my thoughts on setting up a screen quota system similar to what happened in the music industry, take a listen. We’d love to hear your opinions about any of the subjects discussed as well.

Interview length: 18 minutes

Posted in Blog


INDIECAN10k Films Initiative Announces Theatrical Releases

 INDIECAN10k Films Initiative Announces Theatrical Releases
After much anticipation, a handful of Canadian Films are opening in theatres soon, as part of the INDIECAN10k project, created by Avi Federgreen to help Canadian filmmakers manifest and achieve their storytelling visions. For more information on the screenings listed below visit our film listings at

Says Avi Federgreen about IndieCan10k Project,
"I believe initiatives like INDIECAN10K are imperative to the success and survival of the Canadian film industry, which is facing increasingly difficult parameters for young filmmakers. We need to encourage emerging filmmakers in Canada to get out there and make their first feature, and we need to show them they can make a great film for a very low budget.  The filmmakers that participated in the INDIECAN10K initiative are all amazing, passionate and creative people who deserved a chance to make their first feature and I think they all deserve all the success in the world not only for their INDIECAN10K films but then next films moving forward.  I am super proud of all of them!"

Films coming to theatres are
A Sunday Kind of Love
The Carlton, TORONTO April 15
*With special event Q&A hosted by FWC's Priya Rao following the 6:45 PM screening.

Vancity Theatre VANCOUVER April 16th and 18th

Basic Human Needs
The Roxy Theatre, SASKATOON, April 20 
Studio 7  REGINA, April 22nd

Noon Gun
Bus Stop Theatre, HALIFAX, April 15 and 20th
The Royal in TORONTO, June 4th.

Owl River Runners
Université de Moncton’s Pavillon Jaqueline-Bouchard Amphitheatre in MONCTON
April 15 and 16

About IndieCan10k Project
Inspired by director Ingrid Veninger’s 1K WAVE CHALLENGE, Federgreen’s INDIECAN10K is a Canada- wide ‘First Feature’ initiative that has seen eight first time filmmaker teams personally mentored by Federgreen as well as a select producer-mentor in each participating province or territory. The final projects must be feature length (documentary or narrative), and have a total budget of no more than ten thousand dollars. The INDIECAN10K initiative will also include considerable in-kind services, ranging from equipment to post production services.
About INDIECAN Entertainment
INDIECAN focuses on independent, low-budget films. As a distributor, Avi Federgreen follows the same principle that earned him his reputation as a filmmaker; bringing Canadians films they want to watch. Aside from the traditional distribution route, INDIECAN leans heavily on digital delivery. INDIECAN helps films find more opportunities with audiences through TV, Netflix, iTunes, websites, Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms. INDIECAN’s vision is to not only support Canadian production but to encourage the viewing of quality independent films by Canadian audiences.

Posted in Blog


Forsaken – The Outlaw Returns Home for a Chance at Redemption

Written by Anna-Lea Boeki

was the perfect film to watch with my father over the Easter weekend since it matched the theme of ‘new beginnings’. Kiefer Sutherland’s character, John Henry Clayton, in returning home, wants to put his gun slinging days behind him and reconcile with his estranged father, played by real-life father, Donald Sutherland who is the town’s Reverend. 

The challenge to remain a pacifist becomes increasingly difficult as the community of frontier families deal with the likes of James McCurdy (Brian Cox) and his gang of thugs, who intimidate them in order to extort their property. The option to fight violence with violence, becomes a not-so-black-and-white issue. I’m admittedly not a watcher of Westerns, however, with the recent terror attacks around the world, this classic ode to the genre reflects the relevancy of our human condition and the endeavour for good to triumph of over evil. 

The quintessentialstrong silent type haunted by his past’ portrayed by Kiefer conveys a strong performance with raw, pained expressions forming his character rather than relying on much dialogue. He manages to honour the cowboy code of ‘standing by your word’ in his choice to selectively not answer questions. Donald’s character, although brash and attempting to evoke a dialogue with his son, also reveals so much more with the bare, conflicting emotion in his face and eyes: love, anger, loss, betrayal, fear and pride. Even the bad guys, played by Aaron Poole and Michael Wincott draw from a strong repertoire of looks that could kill. 

Father and son have a particularly touching and potent scene that occurs in the church, where, for a moment, they drop their macho persona and confess each other’s most vulnerable moments, ultimately allowing their relationship to heal. My father thought it was out of place and too gushy…but I felt it was essential and allowed us to understand the deep level of scars that war and violence had inflicted on John Henry. 

The stunning beauty of Alberta was the ideal backdrop for a story that reminds us that all is not as it seems. The harshness and lawlessness of the land, produces characters that leap to unfounded harsh judgments. By the end, there is a satisfying return to order that allows all misjudged characters their redemption. I thought it was a high complement that this film reminded my father of the highly acclaimed, award-winning 1953 Western, Shane

“You must watch it to compare,” he said. I thought I’d give it a try, after all - Star Wars is like a Western in space. So I did - and I can now say, I am a converted fan of the Western. 

Curious about this Canadian Western starring Kiefer and Donald Sutherland and Demi Moore?

Click to view Forsaken


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Canadian Filmmaking Talent Shines in the Heart of Texas at SXSW

Canadian Film Talent Shines at SXSW 2016!

Every March, lovers of film, music and digital innovation converge in the heart of Texas to celebrate the latest and the greatest in arts and culture, at the SXSW festival and conference. Honoring creative talent as royalty in the capitol-cool city of Austin, film industry and fans alike lined up in the sunshine for this year's freshest   lime-squeeze of storytelling. First Weekend Club's Alexandra Staseson was on the front lines (and a few times at the front of the line ;) to support the Canadian film-making talent that shone under the spotlight at the festival in over 6 different film programs! FWC congratulates the Canadian talent paving the way in the Wild West at SXSW 2016!  Get to know the films that played, and their talented filmmakers below. Keep an eye out for these films coming to multiple-screens and platforms in the future!  

In this competition were ten world premieres with ten unique ways to celebrate the art of storytelling. Selected from 1,442 narrative feature submissions in 2016.

Canadian Film World Premiere

Written and directed by Joey Klein
Starring: Tatiana Maslany, Tom Cullen, Suzanne Clement, Henry Czerny, Mark Rendall, Deragh Campbell, Nancy Palk

About the Film
A grief-stricken man and a bipolar woman fall in love and try to forge a simple life together.  
Nickie is a self-destructive loner ever mourning the disappearance of his younger brother. Having abandoned a life of promise in his native UK, he has subsisted by drowning grief in alcohol and violence. On the fifth anniversary of his brother's disappearance - and on the verge of reaching his nadir - he meets Emily. The two form an immediate, inseparable bond: it is a love at first sight deepened by a shared sense of sorrow.

About Filmmaker Joey Klein
Joey Kein is a native of Montreal and  a graduate of Circle in the Square Theatre School.'
His experience as an actor greatly informs his process as a filmmaker. He has written and directed two shorts: WAITING FOR YOU starring Tatiana Maslany and WATERLOO starring Joshua Close and Jodi Balfour. Favourite films: HUNGER, UNDER THE SKIN, and FAT CITY.


This program featured high profile narrative features receiving their World, North American, or U.S. premieres at SXSW!

Canadian Film World Premiere
Written and Directed by Stella Meghie
Starring: Taylour Paige, Sherri Shepherd, Gloria Reuben, Michelle Hurst, Erica Ash, Mamoudou Athie, Francois Arnaud, Demore Barnes, Anna Hopkins (World Premiere)

About the Film
Chaos ensues after the estranged patriarch of the Jones family dies on their doorstep. When the paramedic who answers their 911 call tries to win over acerbic Jean Jones, his attempts are disrupted by old conflicts that come to a boil at the funeral.
Writer-director Stella Meghie's first feature revolves around the troubled Jones family, one of whom dies at the start of the movie, leading the paramedic who answers the 911 call to develop an attraction to the rambunctious Jones family member Jean. Apparently, the courtship goes south during the funeral. With "Hit the Floor" star Taylour Paige making her big move into a leading role, "Jean of the Joneses" is poised to offer more than one breakthrough in a dark comedy that seems like just the right fit for the SXSW crowd. - Eric Kohn, Indiewire

About Filmmaker Stella Meghie
With a blind script deal at Warner Bros., a pilot in development with John Wells Productions, a comedy optioned by BET and a deal to pen a feature script for VH1, Stella Meghie is not short on momentum. She's a Tribeca Film Institute fellow and Showtime's Tony Cox Award recipient for her feature debut Jean of the Joneses.

This program shone a light on new documentary features receiving their World, North American, or U.S. premieres at SXSW!

Canadian Film World Premiere

Directed by Morgan White. Written by Derek Lageunesse and Morgan White.

About the Film
THE SLIPPERS pulls back the Wizard’s curtain on the unbelievable story and cultural impact of Dorothy's Ruby Slippers from The Wizard of Oz.
Through first-hand accounts and archival interviews, THE SLIPPERS will detail the life of the Ruby Slippers after their sale at the famed 1970 MGM auction. Discovered by costumer Kent Warner, it is unclear how many pairs were found and how many pairs exist. That mystery has only helped to propel the shoes to the forefront of the Hollywood memorabilia market.
They have been bought, stolen, and coveted by many. They are considered the most important piece of Hollywood memorabilia and the catalyst for the creation of Hollywood memorabilia collecting.

About filmmaker Morgan White
A cinephile practically since birth, Morgan White grew up on a steady dose of all things Hollywood. THE SLIPPERS marks his second foray in to documentary film making, his first being THE REP, a film about a group of three film fans opening a repertory cinema in today's dying landscape of independent movie theatres.

This unique program featured the innovative new work aimed squarely at the small screen. Episodic tunes in to the explosion of exciting material on non-theatrical platforms, including serialized TV, webisodes, and beyond.

Canadian Episodic Film Screening

Directed by Nisha Ganatra.  Written by John Scott Shepherd (EP / Showrunner)
Starring, Greg Poehler, Rachel Blanchard, Priscilla Faia, Jarod Joseph, Melanie Papalia.

About the Show
YOU ME HER is television's first "polyromantic comedy," infuses the grounded and relatable sensibilities of an indie rom-com with a distinctive twist. What begins as an impulsive “date” between suburban husband Jack and neophyte escort Izzy spins into a whirlwind three-way affair including Jack’s wife Emma, who’s been keeping secrets of her own. Their “arrangement” soon breaks free of its financial bonds to become something else entirely – a real romance with real stakes involving three real people – confronting viewers with a compelling question: What if your best, truest, happiest life looked nothing like you thought it would? Would you be brave enough to live it?


This program showcased the sounds, culture, and influence of music and musicians, with an emphasis on documentary!

Canadian Film Screenings

Written and directed by Robert Budreau.
Starring Ethan Hawke, Carmen Ejogo, Callum Keith Rennie, Tony Nappo, Stephen McHattie, Janet-Laine Green, Dan Lett, Kedar Brown, Kevin Hanchard, Tony Nardi and Katie Boland.

About the Film
Ethan Hawke lights up the screen as jazz legend Chet Baker, whose tumultuous life is thrillingly re-imagined with wit, verve, and style to burn. In the 1950s, Baker was one of the most famous trumpeters in the world. By the 1960s, he was all but washed up, his career and personal life in shambles due to years of heroin addiction. In his innovative anti-biopic, director Robert Budreau zeroes in on Baker’s life at a key moment in the 1960s, just as the musician stages a hard-fought comeback. Driven by Hawke’s virtuoso performance, BORN TO BE BLUE unfolds with all the stylistic brio and improvisatory genius of great jazz.
About filmmaker Robert Budreau
Born in London, Ontario, Robert Budreau studied at the Vancouver Film School and worked as a lawyer before directing his first feature, THAT BEAUTIFUL SOMEWHERE (2006). His shorts include DRY WHISKEY (2005) and THE DEATHS OF CHET BAKER (2009). BORN TO BE BLUE (2015) is his latest feature.


Written and Directed by Daniel Cross

About the Film
I AM THE BLUES takes the audience on a musical journey through the swamps of the Louisiana Bayou, the juke joints of the Mississippi Delta and Moonshine soaked BBQs in the North Mississippi Hill Country. Visiting the last original blues devils, many in their 80’s, still living in the deep south, working without management and  touring the Chitlin’ Circuit.  Let Bobby Rush, Barbara Lynn, Henry Gray, Carol Fran, Lazy Lester, Bilbo Walker, RL Boyce, Jimmy ’Duck’ Holmes, Lil Buck Sinegal, LC Ulmer and their friends awaken the blues in all of us.

About Filmmaker Daniel Cross
Co-founder and president of EYESTEELFILM in Montreal, Daniel Cross was named by Real Screen Magazine as a top 100 non-fiction production company in the world. He is Professor and past-chair of the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema, Concordia University, an inductee in the Provost’s Circle of Distinction and serves on the University’s Board of Governors.



by Ben Petrie

About the Film
A boyfriend's jealous impulse spirals out of control in 16 minutes of romantic doom.
About Filmmaker Ben Petrie
A Toronto-based writer and director, Ben Petrie's work uses laughter as a Trojan Horse, inside of which he smuggles his ideas. He recently wrote and directed HER FRIEND ADAM, which premiered at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival.

by Zack Russell

About the Film
An aspiring performer struggles to breathe life into a new character she's created. Suddenly, she sees him: the real-life doppelgänger of her masked character. Where's the line between inspiration and theft? A gender-bending romantic comedy that celebrates those who defy the status quo in their search for self-expression.

About Filmmaker Zack Russel
A Canadian writer/director from Toronto, Zach Russell wrote and directed the plays FIXED AT VIDEOFAG and JUST CAUSE at the Flea Theater in New York, as well as the live-stream digital play RIHANNABOI95 in 2013. SHE STOOPS TO CONQUER (2015) is his first film.   


by Sol Friedman

About the Film
A 90-year-old Jewish woman reflects on her life’s experiences as she prepares to try bacon for the first time.

About Filmmaker Sol Friedman
Award-winning, animator and filmmaker Sol Friedman is based in Toronto, Canada. His short films blend a variety of live-action and animation techniques, and have played at the Toronto International Film Festival, Sundance, SXSW, Annecy and over sixty other international film festivals worldwide.


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Alexandra Staseson
is First Weekend Club // Canada Screens Social Media Manager, Contributing Writer and FWC live event and interview host. 
You can follow her @MoveThrough

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It truly was a great night for Canadian film as the industry gathered in downtown Toronto to celebrate the best of 2015. Host, Norm MacDonald brought his unique wit to the festivities by starting off the evening suggesting the presenters and winners refer to the CSA statuette as 'the Candy' in honour of Canadian comedy legend, John Candy.

Little Jacob Tremblay was first up to present and to take up the challenge, saying "and the Candy goes to..." It quickly became a trend with presenters and winners taking up the challenge. Which leads me to the natural conclusion that the song "I Want Candy" should become the official song of the CSAs. As a side-note, this kid could have a future in comedy as his first line was "Thank you Mr Norm Macdonald, my dad says you're a funny guy."

Canadian co-pro, ROOM, swept the major categories by taking home prizes for best actor, actress, director and film, as well as in makeup, editing and adapted screenplay.

HYENA ROAD also won big with awards in visual effects and sound.

The award for cutest acceptance speech of the night went to Jacob Tremblay as he accepted his Best Actor award. "I can't believe a kid like me won against a bunch of talented adults" he said, before going on to acknowledge Christopher Plummer as 'a legend'.  

Congrats to curator, Tatiana Maslany for her win as Best Performance by an Actress in a Continuing Leading Dramatic Role. Always a class act, she thanked all the cast including day players for making every day on set a great experience.

Jamie M. Dagg won for Best First Feature Film for RIVER--he's someone to keep an eye on for great films to come! 

A nod to all the nominees who proved that Canadian film is alive and strong and our future is bright. The full winners' list can be found at

Posted in Blog