National Canadian Film Day!

Celebrate National Canadian Film Day on April 29th, 2014! Click the image above for more information.

REEL CANADA Black History Month Tour with Charles Officer






Filmmaker Charles Officer and REEL CANADA are collaborating on a very special Canadian film tour during the month of February 2014. As part of Black History Month, Charles Officer will be touring with Mighty Jerome (2010), his inspiring documentary about Canadian track and field star Harry Jerome, who represented Canada in the 1912 Summer Olympics.


The tour will include 17 screenings of the film with high school students across five Canadian cities – Montreal, Toronto, Winnipeg, Calgary and Vancouver. Each screening will be followed by a live Q&A with Charles Officer, and nearly 7,000 students are expected to participate in the tour.


This tour is possible thanks to the generous support of TD Bank. In addition to helping mount the tour as a whole, TD Bank’s sponsorship has allowed REEL CANADA to serve more schools in priority neighbourhoods that would otherwise not have the resources to host a large-scale film festival event such as this.


Events that are part of the Mighty Jerome Tour include:

• Feb 10, 2014 - Westmount High School, Montreal, QC

• Feb 10, 2014 – Riverdale High School, Montreal, QC

• Feb 11, 2014 – Thistletown, Toronto, ON

• Feb 18, 2014 – Bloor Collegiate, Toronto, ON

• Feb 18, 2014 – Parkdale Collegiate, Toronto, ON

• Feb 20, 2014 – St Johns Secondary School, Winnipeg, MB

• Feb 20, 2014 – Kelvin High School, Winnipeg, MB

• Feb 21, 2014 – St Johns Secondary School, Winnipeg, MB

• Feb 21, 2014 – Miles Macdonnell Secondary School, Winnipeg, MB

• Feb 24, 2014 – Templeton High School, Vancouver, BC

• Feb 24, 2014 – Killarney Secondary School, Vancouver, BC

• Feb 25, 2014 – Magee Secondary School, Vancouver, BC

• Feb 27, 2014 – Lord Beaverbrook High School, Calgary, AB (two screenings)

• Feb 28, 2014 – Bow Valley College, Calgary, AB

REEL CANADA 9th Season Launch




More than 1,000 young ESL students will get a visual crash course in Canuck culture - watching handpicked Canadian movies in three cinemas at TIFF Bell Lightbox on October 21st. They’ll also get to practice their English with actors Wendy Crewson (Away from Her) and Vinay Virmani (Breakaway), and producer Anne Tait (Iron Road) after watching their work on screen.







The students, from the Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC) program across the GTA, will attend as part of REEL CANADA’s “Welcome To Canada” program for ESL students.


Now launching its ninth season, REEL CANADA has presented over 800 screenings of Canadian features, documentaries and animated films to more than 200,000 students across P.E.I., Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and B.C. This event marks the launch of the 9th season, which will be the biggest yet.


Currently scheduled student-screening events for the 2013-14 National Tour include: ·

Nov 4 & 5, 2013 - Windsor, Ontario

Nov 18, 2013 – Toronto, ON

Nov 20, 2013 – Vancouver, BC

Nov 26-28, 2013 - Prince Edward Island

Dec 3, 2013 - Toronto, ON

Feb 6, 2013 - Simultaneous events in five Quebec communities

February 2013 - "Black History Month" Multi-Province Tour with filmmaker Charles Officer

March 13, 2014 - Montreal, QC

March 18, 2014 - Calgary, AB

April 21-25, 2014 - Toronto, Brampton and Ottawa, ON

April 29, 2014 - NATIONAL CANADIAN FILM DAY, events at 10+ schools across Canada

April 29 - May 1, 2014 - Saskatoon, SK


In addition to these large-scale festival events, REEL CANADA will hold a minimum of 30 additional events in at least eight provinces across Canada during the 2013-14 season.


Founded in 2005 by Jack Blum and Sharon Corder with the help of a committee of passionate filmmakers and dedicated educators, REEL CANADA is designed to foster greater awareness of, and pride in, Canadian films, by bringing the excitement of a film festival experience directly to students. It is an immersive, dynamic learning experience that introduces teenage audiences to home-grown films and filmmakers.


Academy Award nominated director and REEL CANADA Board member Atom Egoyan is one of the many celebrated filmmakers who have presented their work to students through REEL CANADA. “It’s the dream of any filmmaker,” he says, “to engage in a dialogue with an audience. [The teenage] audience is the most difficult to reach, so the experience of such an intimate response is a career highlight for me.”


Canada faces unique challenges in creating and maintaining a viable cultural identity. Movies and television from the U.S. are ubiquitous and overwhelming. By engaging future audiences and inspiring filmmakers at home, REEL CANADA helps to foster a sense of pride for Canadian culture among high school students and helps build future audiences for Canadian film.


Students at Colonel Gray High School

Canadian film spread across PEI last week as REEL CANADA visited two schools and screened more than 20 feature films. After showing three of their comedy shorts, filmmaker duo Adam and Dave led laughter-filled Q&A sessions with three different groups of students. They shared how they got involved in filmmaking, how they balance between scripted and improv filmmaking, and their advice for young film makers: just never stop making films. Students also heard from filmmaker Pat Smith about his own experiences in the Canadian film industry, and the importance of supporting our local cultural products. Imagine how awful it would be if the only hockey games that were ever televised were those of American teams...

Filmmakers Adam and Dave at Colonal Gray High School

Thankfully, the students of Montague and Colonel Gray High Schools got to watch the Canadian film ONE WEEK, and travel on a motorcycle trip across the country with its main character, Ben. At Colonel Gray, we also watched BREAKAWAY, and six lucky students won DVDs of Canadian films for their trivia wizardry. When the theatres let out, students at both schools watched films with their classes for the rest of the week, showing REEL CANADA favourites like THE GREY FOX, THE CORPORATION, THE ROCKET, and MIGHTY JEROME. Several Colonel Gray students were interviewed about their film festival experience for the CBC radio program Main Street, and for all you islanders, keep an eye out for REEL CANADA’s appearance in the local paper, The Guardian, as well. Thank you to PEI for such a warm welcome!

REEL CANADA in Montreal

MAMBO ITALIANO at Laurier Macdonald


We had an amazing couple of days in Montreal earlier this month. On Wednesday, April 3rd, we pulled into Laurier Macdonald, an English high school in the Italian neighbourhood of St Leonard, which also happens to be the setting for MAMBO ITALIANO, the coming-out family comedy co-written by Steve Galluccio based on his fantastically successful stage play of the same name. It is always great to watch the kids get excited about seeing streets and landmarks that they actually know turn up on the big screen and this was no exception. Steve himself spoke to the students afterwards and answered some very pointed questions about the autobiographical nature of the story, such as how he dealt with showing the film to his own family. By way of an answer, Steve told the funny and touching story of the film’s opening night, when he realized that he had not actually told his family that he was gay, and that the screening itself would be his own coming out.


MAMBO ITALIANO co-writer Steve Galluccio talks to students at Laurier Macdonald

The afternoon was rounded out with a screening of another Montreal movie, THE TROTSKY, and an appearance by animator Jonathan Ng, who discussed the way movement, drawing and drama intersect for him in his “martial arts/breakup” short, REQUIEM FOR A ROMANCE.


Animator Jonathan Ng

In the evening, REEL CANADA hosted an extraordinary dinner for the Quebec filmmakers that support our program, including a few we were only just meeting for the first time. Our guests included REEL CANADA alumni Kevin (producer of BON COP/BAD COP) and Jacob Tierney (director of THE TROTSKY), Michel Poulette (director of LOUIS 19: LE ROI DESONDES), Don McKellar (director/writer of LAST NIGHT), and Kevin Duhaney, Daniel Keith Morrison and Tristan D Lalla (cast members from the dance film HOW SHE MOVE), as well as new friends to the program, Louise Archambault (one of the directors of THE NATIONAL PARKS PROJECT) Wiebke von Carolsfeld (director of MARION BRIDGE), and Stéphane Lafleur (editor of MONSIEUR LAZHAR). Telefilm’s Sheila de la Varende was on hand to help with hosting duties.


High school students at REEL CANADA's Cineplex Day

The next day was the Big One: 1,300 kids from across the entire Riverside School Board on the south shore of Montreal gathering at the Cineplex Brossard. (The board was so pleased with our event at Centennial Regional HS last year that dynamo board chair Moira Bell insisted that we do something for the entire district.)


This one really tested our team’s organizational muscle as we juggled different school schedules, bus routes and 3,000 pieces of pizza (thanks to PIZZA PIZZA for the generous help!) but somehow we pulled it off without a hitch.


BON COP/BAD COP director Erik Canuel

Érik Canuel, director of BON COP/BAD COP, spoke to two packed theatres, passionately exhorting the students to be aware of the way Canadian movies were part of their identity. This message – as well as his “colourful” language – got a big rise out of both students and teachers.


THE TROTSKY writer/director Jacob Tierney

In other venues, Jacob Tierney talked about his perennially popular THE TROTSKY, hockey historian Jean-Patrice Martel shared a lot of insight into the historical accuracy of THE ROCKET, and the HOW SHE MOVE actors had their audience screaming with excitement.


HOW SHE MOVE actors Daniel Keith Morrison & Kevin Duhaney


Hockey historian Jean-Patrice Martel answering student questions on THE ROCKET 

Thanks to LEARN Quebec for helping to support our Montreal tour, and to the incredible Val McLeod of the Canadian School Boards Association for wrangling every detail into place. We look forward to coming back to Montreal next year.