Domestic Arrivals of Canadian Films

Written by Nick Workman February 09, 2012

Domestic Arrivals Festival of Canadian Films

The first annual Domestic Arrivals Festival of Canadian Films starts today at Museum London. The film festival is a chance for you to see the latest in Canadian film, and a chance to meet filmmakers, actors and crew members.

Besides presenting feature-length Canadian films, the festival will be highlighting local student talent. Short films from students will be played before and after every feature length.

Thursday, January 9th. Opening Night Gala Film and Party.

The Opening Night Gala Film and Party will include a screening of Irvine Welsh’s Ecstasy. This will be followed by a questionnaire with production designer Dean O’Dell, actor Shawn Shorer and cameraman director Juan Montavlo.

7:00 pm: Irvine Welsh’s Ecstasy, Rob Heydon, 2011, 99 min, NR

Irvine Welsh’s Ecstasy is a film adaptation of the novella The Undefeated. Like Trainspotting, the film deals with the impact that drugs have on people’s lives. The film follows the romantic relationship of Heather (Kristin Kreuk) and Lloyd (Adam Sinclair) as they explore if their relationship is chemical induced or based on real feelings.


Friday, January 10th.

2:00 pm: Cloudburst, Thom Fitzgerald, 2010, 93 minutes, NR (adult language and nudity)

Stella and Dot are two 80-year-old lesbians. They live a comfortable life in rural Maine, that is until Dot takes a fall and 911 has to be called. Molly, Dot’s granddaughter, decides that the best place for Dot would be in a nursing home. Unable to live without each other, Dot and Stella decide to embark on a journey to Nova Scotia to fully live the relationship that they deserve.


5:00 pm: Monsieur Lazhar, Philippe Falardeau, 2011, 94 min, NR, French with English subtitles

Bachir Lazhar is a middle-aged Algerian immigrant seeking political refuge in Quebec. Bachir jumps at the opportunity to replace a Montreal elementary school teacher who committed suicide one night after class, and the school’s overworked principal is initially relieved. To these children in shock, Bachir’s traditional teaching methods, in the context of Quebec’s endless pedagogical reforms, may well provide the structure they need.


8:00 pm. West Wind: The Vision of Tom Thomson, Michele Hozer and Peter Raymont, 2011, 90 min, NR

What made Thomson one of the first to recognize the beauty of the Canadian territories, portraying our swamps, trees and skies with such glorious energy? He witnessed the dramatic colours, moods and intensity of the woods and responded with bold compositions, thick, rhythmic brushstrokes and a shocking palette. The directors have created an enjoyable, visually stunning and thoughtful reflection on that life.


11:00 pm: The Whistleblower, Larysa Kondracki, 2010, 100 min, NR (adult language and nudity)

Based on true events, this harrowing political thriller recounts the story of Nebraska police officer Kathryn Bolkovac, who discovers a deplorable United Nations cover-up and launches an indomitable fight for justice. Kathryn (Rachel Weisz) accepts a well-paying UN peacekeeping job. She arrives in post-war Bosnia expecting a harmonized international effort, but is greeted with disorder and irresponsibility. UN officers behave like immature college students, Bosnian police are uncooperative and there is rampant sexism. When a brutally injured young woman lands in the UN’s care, Kathryn unearths a terrible underworld of sex trafficking and traces the path of criminality to a shocking source.


Saturday, January 11th.

11:00 am: Master Class with Triana Productions

Constanza Burucua offers advice about developing, producing, funding and distributing documentary films. Part owner of Triana Productions along with Juan Andras Bello; Burucua will speak about Viva Venezuela, a 2006 documentary produced for UNESCO. Commissioned by Venezuela’s Ministry of Culture, the short documentary won acclaim from UNESCO and, in 2009, inspired a subsequent series of thirteen 23-minute television episodes.

Admission is free and open to the general public. Constanza Burucua holds a PhD from the University of Warick, UK. Juan Andres Bello has produced several works for The Biography Channel, and previously worked ten years in TV programming and acquisitions. Both currently teach in the Department of Film at The University of Western Ontario.

1:00 pm: Eco-Pirate: The Story of Paul Watson, Trish Dolman, 2011, 110 min, PG

The film follows “professional radical ecologist” Captain Paul Watson as he repeatedly flouts the law so he may apprehend what he sees as the more serious law-breakers: the illegal poachers of the world. Part high-octane adventure, the film follows Watson and his crew and seamlessly segues in and out of a wealth of archival footage from decades of confrontational activism. From the genesis of Greenpeace to sinking a pirate whaling ship off Portugal, this film chronicles the extraordinary life of the most controversial figure in the environmental movement;the heroics, the ego, the urgency of the world’s original eco-pirate.


4:00 pm: Romeo Onze, Ivan Grbovic, 2011, 91 min, PG, French and Lebanese with English subtitles

Rami (Ali Ammar), a young man struggling with a physical disability, desperately tries to find his way in this touching story set in Montreal’s Lebanese community. Working at the family restaurant and living under his parents’ roof, Rami occupies a world meticulously controlled by his father. Intensely shy but curious about women, Rami escapes online, where he has constructed an avatar called Romeo 11, a confident and successful globe-trotting businessman. One day he takes a bold step by agreeing to date a woman with whom he’s struck up an online flirtation, leading to one of the film’s most memorable sequences.


7:00 pm: Le Vendeur, Sabastien Pilote, 2011, 107 min, NR, French with English subtitles

Widower Marcel Levesque (Gilbert Sicotte) is the top car salesman in a small Quebec town. He’s past retirement age, but still shows up for work every day with enthusiasm. His only interests outside of work are his daughter Maryse (Nathalie Cavezzali) and his grandson. Part of Marcel’s drive comes from his painful awareness of his own mortality, but it’s also sparked by the state of the town. The paper mill is being shut down and most people are leaving. But there are events even a top salesman can’t control, and Marcel’s life is about to change suddenly and immeasurably.


10:00 pm: A Beginner’s Guide to Endings, Jonathan Sobol, 2010, 93 min, NR

Duke White (Harvey Keitel) hasn’t been an ideal father to his five boys. An inveterate gambler who never experienced a windfall he couldn’t blow within twenty-four hours, he has come to the end of his rope, literally. Years ago, he signed up his three eldest sons for unsafe drug tests that turned out to have dire consequences: the boys’ life expectancy has been substantially reduced. Upon receiving the news after their father’s funeral, the sons return to their family home in Niagara Falls, where they respond to their eminent demises in different yet equally hilarious ways.


Sunday, January 12th.

1:00 pm: Breakaway, Robert Lieberman, 2010, 100 min, PG

Rajveer Singh (Vinay Virmani) grew up in a loving Sikh-Canadian home in suburban Toronto, and now works for his uncle’s trucking company. But what he really wants to do is play hockey, so he corrals his Punjabi buddies to form a team of their own. Enter coach Dan Winters (Rob Lowe). And because the story wouldn’t be complete without romance, coach Winters happens to have a sister (Camilla Belle), who is as beautiful as she is elusive. Raj’s attempts to win her heart inspire the film’s one big musical number on ice. Director Robert Lieberman keeps Breakaway bubbling with a mix of immigrant angst and smart comedy.


4:00 pm: Amy George, Yonah Lewis and Calvin Thomas, 2011, 95 min, 14A

Amy George tells the story of thirteen-year-old Jesse (Gabriel del Castillo Mullally), who is given a school art assignment for which he’s asked to incorporate autobiographical elements. Reading somewhere that “you can never be a true artist until you have made love to a woman,” Jesse endeavours to overcome this handicap. He looks first at school, then through the window of his new neighbour, the eponymous Amy (Emily Henry). Jesse expresses and represses a range of emotions during this period, and as he searches for his artistic voice, Jesse will find a way to see himself through his own eyes.


7:00 pm: i am a good person/i am a bad person, Ingrid Veninger, 2011, 82 min, NR

i am a good person/i am a bad person opens with filmmaker Ruby White (Veninger) departing to a film festival in England, where her eighteen-year-old daughter Sara (Veninger’s real-life daughter Hallie Switzer) will tag along as her assistant. Sara’s sullenness and Ruby’s laissez-faire ways drive the two women apart, and a sudden change of plans pushes the characters toward transformative experiences. For Sara, this evolution takes place along the alleys of the Pere Lachaise Cemetery or at the foot of the Eiffel Tower. Meanwhile, Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate provides the backdrop for Ruby’s realization about her art and life.


9:00 pm: Closing Party and Awards Night

Join us for this free evening celebrating four days of terrific Canadian film – admission to the day’s films is not required and all are welcome! The evening starts off with the People’s Choice Awards for best feature and the top three student short films.

Teen Actor Gabriel del Castillo Mullally (Amy George) and Editor Chris Wiseman (i am a good person / i am a bad person) will be with us to celebrate the winners. The evening continues with live instrumental electronica music by local talent Ian Doig-Phaneuf of A Priori.

For tickets to the festival either contact 519.661.0333 or click the link to order online.

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About Nick Workman

Nick Workman: Co-host of Nerd Alert, editor of news, writer of reviews, and lover of all that involves imagination. If he is not on his computer working on We Eat Films or Nerd Alert, you can probably find him in a big comfy chair, sipping a cup of coffee, with his nose deep in a book.

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