REEL CANADA's First Event in Markham
Iron Road Producer Raymond Massey answering questions via Skype
The students of the Markham region were pumped up for a day of Canadian film!
A diverse crowd of more than 500 ESL students from Middlefield HS, Markville SS, Miliken Mills HS, and Thornlea SS packed the Markham Theatre to capacity on the morning of May 15th excited and eager to see IRON ROAD, a film about the story of Chinese migrant workers on the Canadian Pacific Railway. Roars of laughter and screams of excitement came from the crowd throughout the film; it was like nothing I had ever seen at a REEL CANADA screening.
Following the film, the students had a fantastic Q & A with Raymond Massey, one of three producers of IRON ROAD. The students had a lot of questions on everything from what locations in China and British Columbia were used, the difficulties of shooting certain scenes, to plot elements like why a love story was used to tell a piece of history. It was obvious that Raymond was really enjoying the enthusiasm of the students as they asked about the involvement of Chinese Canadian people in the film and about the business of filmmaking.
Following an amazing morning screening, a couple classes had to return to the “real world” while the rest of the students stayed for another fantastic screening: Michael McGowan’s ONE WEEK, which featured a Q & A with star Liane Balaban. Liane joined us via Skype from the comfort of her back yard garden in LA.
The students were thoroughly engaged, asking astute questions about decisions Liane’s character makes in the film. It really showed me how involved the students were and how much they got out of the screening. The students of Markham region got really excited when it was mentioned Liane did some voice work for the popular video game Assassins Creed. Apparently there are a lot of gamers in the Markham region!
All in all, our first event in Markham at the Markham Theatre was a complete success. The crew at the theatre, everyone from the tech guys and ushers to the theatre manager, were amazing to work with and we look forward to returning next season and bringing more Canadian films to Markham!