REEL CANADA Blog : Tags : Canadian film

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


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.

Happy Earth Day


On April 22nd every year, we celebrate Earth Day to promote a heathlier environment. In honour of the 43rd Earth Day, here are a selection of thought provoking Canadian films from the REEL CANADA catalogue that may change your perspective on how you treat the environment. 



Filmmaker Rob Stewart sets out to dispel the myth that they’re bloodthirsty, merciless monsters who prowl the seas in search of tasty swimmers. SHARKWATER takes you into shark-filled oceans, exposing the true nature of sharks as well as the way human interference has turned this noble predator into prey. Stewart teams up with a rogue environmentalist group on a breathtaking adventure to battle shark poachers around the globe. His incredible journey will make you see sharks in a whole new light.




A documentary follows a Canadian fellow working on his dream: building a suit of armor so he can observe grizzly bears from a close distance.




A medicine man walks in the woods and discovers an intriguing secret world.




A late-winter Inuit camp in the 1930's. Four families build a qaggiq, a large communal igloo, to celebrate the coming of spring with games, singing and drum dancing.




Story of a state scientist Anna, and the two brothers who vie for her love while she tries to save the world.




A pilot and his passenger struggle for survival after crashing in the Arctic tundra.