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Presidential Coincidences; Canadian Film Center BBQ; Slamdance North

Presidential Coincidences; Canadian Film Center BBQ; Slamdance North

Presidential Coincidences; Canadian Film Center BBQ;
Slamdance North

Compiled by Eugene Hernandez

>> Very Weird Things on the First Friday in Toronto

With echoes of Sundance ’98 when President Clinton’s relationship with
Monica Lewinsky first dominated the national spotlight, the Toronto
International Film Festival continues here in Canada with many keeping
tabs on the latest developments in the story. As the festival began in
earnest on Friday, attendees working from hotel suites mixed business
with news reports and around town participants asked each other for
updates. Later in the day, news of the Starr report’s contents became
fodder for discussion, with lurid Presidential details lingering in the
minds of many on Friday night as crowds jammed the hot-ticket “Very Bad
Things” party at the Phoenix Concert Theater. Planners surely could not
have anticipated the eery coincidence created by their special party
favors: condoms and — no kidding — complimentary hand-rolled cigars!

>> Canadian Film Center Marks First Decade

Celebrating its tenth anniversary, the Canadian Film Centre is being
recognized here in Toronto with 24 films by Center filmmakers or alumni
screening in the Festival, among them is the Feature Film Project’s
sixth feature, Chris Grismer’s “Clutch,” which is having its world
premiere, while twelve movies are showing as part of a tenth-year
retrospective in the Percpective Canada section. Marking the
occasion, the Canadian Film Center hosted ta party at its Bayview Avenue
site, Windfields. Over two thousand people gathered on the Windfields
lawn for an afternoon BBQ which has become a major annual party of the
festival. Director Norman Jewison, Founder and Chair Emeritus of the
Canadian Film Centre, welcomed the crowd and toasted the organization’s

Produced by Chan D. Park, “Clutch” stars David Hewlett and Tanya Allen
in a movie described as “a dark comedy about murder, theft, and engine
trouble.” Jewison and the Film Center are credited with unveiling a host
of new filmmakers including Holly Dale (“Blood & Donuts“), John Greyson
(“Zero Patience“) Laurie Lynd (“House“), Don McKellar (“Thirty-Two Short
Films About Glenn Gould
“), and Clement Virgo (“Rude“).

The Canadian Film Center is a national training site designed to
“promote and advance the artistic, technical and business skills of
Canada’s film, television, and new media production communities.”
Yesterday, the Canadian Film Centre kicked off a series of five one-hour
“Ultra-Indie Experience” discussion sessions with festival filmmakers —
participants include Christopher Nolan (“Following“), Julian Goldberger
(“Trans“), John Kalangis (“Jack & Jill“), Alison Swan (“Mixing Nia“),
and Amnon Buchbinder (“The Fishing Trip“).

>> Slamdance Teams for Toronto Screenings

Planet Indie, the Toronto-based group of local filmmakers, has teamed up
with The Slamdance Film Festival to present its first event in what it
promises will be a series of activities. All week, the two organizations
are offering free film screenings in a centrally located venue on Bloor
Street. Four films are showing as part of the presentation — the world
premiere of Walter Viveros’ “Bad Trip,” additional screenings of Chris
Chan Lee’s “Yellow” which just completed a theatrical run in Toronto, as
well as two films which have been acquired by event sponsor Deer Valley
Distributions’ — “Scrapple” by the Hanson Brothers and Robert
Byington’s “Olympia.”

With a mantra that includes “Subversion, Indie-preneurship, and
Networking” the organization plans to continue on a year-round basis by
offering access to discount services, equipment and facilites, as well
as other resources. The group will launch a website next month at
www.planetindie.com. Film screenings will run throughout the
week in Toronto at 11 Bloor St, while later this week Deer Valley,
Slamdance, Gill Holland, and Planet Indie will host a party honoring
Julie Lynch’s “Getting Off,” which is showing at the Toronto Film

[For more information, call 416/962-4634.]

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