Adoration

Director Atom Egoyan
Year 2008
Run Time 100min
Genre Drama
For his French-class assignment, a high school student weaves his family history in a news story involving terrorism, and goes on to invite an Internet audience in on the resulting controversy.

Director

Atom Egoyan

Egoyan received the Governor General’s award in 2015 for Lifetime Artistic Achievement. He was the first-ever Canadian director to earn two Oscar nominations (for The Sweet Hereafter). His award-winning films include Exotica, Ararat and The Captive. His most recent film, Guest of Honour, premiered at TIFF 2019.

Writer

Atom Egoyan

Cast

Rachel Blanchard, Devon Bostick, Louca Tassone

Producers

Simone Urdl, Jennifer Weiss

Genre

Drama

Interest

Family Relationships

Original Languages

English, French

Cooper’s Christmas

Director Warren P. Sonoda
Year 2008
Run Time 95min
Genre Comedy

Jason Jones and Samatha Bee (who won the Canadian Comedy Award for her role) lead a powerhouse cast in this outrageously funny found footage comedy. When Gord Cooper (Jones) buys a state of the art VHS camera from a neighbour (Foley), the stage is set for a Christmas film like no other!


Set in 1985, Cooper’s Camera captures the candid hilarity of the Coopers’ holidays as everything descends into total chaos. Gord and his wife Bev (Bee) attempt to keep it together while their son Teddy films everything with the new camera and a cast of wild relatives descend on their home, including moustache and mullet-wearing brother-in-law Nick (Beaver, in a show-stealing performance), Gord’s estranged brother Tim (Keleghan) and the chain-smoking and bitter Aunt Gert (Eastwood).


Get to know one of Canada’s strangest and funniest cinematic families in a film The Globe and Mail said was “destined to become a holiday classic” after its 2008 premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival.

Director

Warren P. Sonoda

Writers

Jason Jones, Mike Beaver

Cast

Boyd Banks, Jennifer Baxter, Mike Beaver

Producer

Sean Buckley

Genre

Comedy

Interests

Family Relationships, History

Original Language

English

Birdland

Year 2018
Run Time 90min
Genre Drama

Sheila Hood (Kathleen Munroe) is an ex-cop whose marriage is on the rocks. Rather than confronting her husband about an affair, she hides surveillance cameras in her home and watches his transgressions, becoming a voyeur of her own life.

 

Her husband, Tom Kale (David Alpay), is an ornithologist who begins an affair with an ex-girlfriend, Merle James (Melanie Scrofano). Ray Starling (Joris Jarsky), the charismatic owner of a boutique hotel, is Merle’s lover, and has dealings with her father, Mr James (Stephen McHattie), a powerful oil baron who operates in the shadows but whose influence touches the whole city. Merle’s younger sister, Hazel (Cara Gee), is also drawn to Tom, but trapped in Starling’s web of power.

 

Calvin (Benjamin Ayres) is a cop whose loyalty to his ex partner, Hood, is tested when mounting evidence from her own surveillance tapes connects her and Tom to Starling’s murder, and perhaps even Merle’s mysterious death.

Trailer available here: https://vimeo.com/210263245

Directors

Genre

Drama

Original Language

English

Drowning in Dreams

Director Tim Southam
Year 1997
Run Time 72min
Genre Documentary
In August 1911, the luxury steam yacht Gunilda sank in the deep waters of Lake Superior. A half century later, raising the salvage-rich vessel becomes a holy grail of sorts for gutsy Canadian business mogul Fred Broennle, who risks life, limb, fortune and family in a quest to realize his obsessive dream. Director Tim Southam's documentary chronicles his adventures as they devolve into a real-life allegory pitting man's hubris against the indomitable powers of the sea.

Director

Tim Southam

Producer

Michael Allder

Genre

Documentary

Original Language

English

Mr. Viral

Director Alex Boothby
Year 2013
Run Time 157min
Genre Action/Adventure, Romance
A dark satire about viral marketing, click-bait and gutter-porn.  In the trenches of a struggling advertising agency three desperate execs become consumed by their secret online lives.  A twisted agency producer takes radical steps to sell his client’s wholesome products, re-branding children's toys as sex toys and adult diapers as kink-wear.  His covert viral videos inspire an underground cult following and spark a violent confrontation with his arch agency rival.  Meanwhile, a heart-broken account-girl frantically tries to uncover her wife's infidelity but becomes victim of an e-stalking extortion racket.  A lonely, middle-aged accountant searches the dark-web for companionship, but learns the true cost of free-love online.  Spiraling into madness, each story becomes linked by the mysterious character of Mr. Viral, digital pimp.

Director

Alex Boothby

Writer

Alex Boothby

Producers

Janine Short, Drazen Baric

Genres

Action/Adventure, Romance

Interest

Cult & Offbeat Cinema

Original Language

English

King for a Day

Year 2016
Run Time 80min
Genre Documentary
A feature length documentary that explores the phenomenon of Elvis and how impersonating Elvis affects the culture of music in Canada and the world. Starting in the Canadian small town of Collingwood, that hosts one of the largest Elvis Festivals in the world, filmmaker Tracey Johnston delves deep into the world of fake hair, spray tan and sparkling jumpsuits. Her pursuit finds millions of tax dollars being invested into the culture of Elvis. Soon she discovers the commercial sector of Elvis festivals and road trips to Memphis, the heart of Elvis. Interviews with top Elvis Tribute artists including Canadian champions and the Ultimate Champion, reveals more about why thousands of artists dedicate their lives to Elvis. King for a Day explores greed, corruption and cultural abduction and asks the question of what would Elvis have to say about all of this?

Directors

Genre

Documentary

Original Language

English

  • Own Voice

The Book of Negroes

Director Clement Virgo
Year 2015
Run Time 265min
Genre Drama

This CBC mini-series is based on the internationally celebrated novel by Canadian author Lawrence Hill. A compelling tale of loss, courage, love and the triumph of the human spirit, it follows the extraordinary journey of Aminata Diallo (Ellis), an indomitable African woman.

In 1750, 11-year-old Aminata is kidnapped from her village in West Africa and begins a rich journey that takes her through the harrowing ordeal of slavery, to the turmoil of the American Revolution and ultimately to freedom in the British colony of Nova Scotia. Brilliant and determined, Aminata is a remarkable heroine whose unshakeable connection to her own African heritage guides her over unimaginable obstacles in her quest for freedom and ultimately allows her to assume the mantle of leadership for which she is destined.

Deeply moving and inspiring, The Book of Negroes explores painful historical realities through the unblinking eyes of a strong female protagonist whose story will stay with you long after the telling.

Director

Clement Virgo

Virgo rose to prominence with his first feature, Rude, which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival and garnered two Genie nominations. He has also directed the films Poor Boy’s Game and Lie With Me, and hit TV shows such as The Wire, Regenesis and The Listener. He recently produced the show Greenleaf and directed episodes of Empire and Billions. His most recent film, Brother, premiered at TIFF 2022. 

Writers

Lawrence Hill, Clement Virgo

Cast

Aunjanue Ellis, Lyriq Bent, Cuba Gooding, Jr, Ben Chaplin, Allan Hawco

Producers

Damon D'Oliveira, Clement Virgo

Genre

Drama

Interests

BIPOC Stories, History, Literary Adaptation, Social Justice & Politics

Original Language

English

Hurt

Director Alan Zweig
Year 2015
Run Time 84min
Genre Documentary
In this honest look at the mythmaking of heroes and what later becomes of them, acclaimed documentary filmmaker Alan Zweig profiles Steve Fonyo, a man who ran across Canada at the age of 19 after losing a leg to cancer, following in the footsteps of Terry Fox, and raising millions of dollars for cancer research while doing so.

Although his charity marathon in 1984 was a glorious success, his subsequent exploits — precarious jobs and petty crimes —find him in a state of financial ruin in one of Canada’s toughest neighbourhoods. The unbelievable run that became his life’s greatest achievement is now a crushing burden.

Zweig’s rare and sensitive portrait of a complex one-time hero won the inaugural Platform prize at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival.

Director

Alan Zweig

Writer

Alan Zweig

Cast

Steve Fonyo

Producers

Peter Gentile, Mikey Lalonde

Genre

Documentary

Interest

Biography

Original Language

English

Nobody Waved Good-bye

Director Don Owen
Year 1964
Run Time 80min
Genre Drama
Shot in just three weeks in Toronto, Don Owen’s film — which was originally intended to be a short documentary — quickly evolved into a fictional coming-of-age story that has enraptured audiences for decades with its honesty and emotional integrity.

Peter (Kastner) is an 18-year-old growing up in 1960s suburban Toronto who is totally fed up with his parents’ middle-class lifestyle. He’s on the verge of finishing high school but the thought of a conventional life climbing the corporate ladder is unbearable.

Peter yearns to strike out on his own with his girlfriend Julie, but a life of petty crime and poor decisions looms. Told in stark black and white, this tale of teenage rebellion is timeless and relatable.

One of the National Film Board’s first narrative features, Nobody Waved Good-bye is a cinematic treasure and a true Canadian classic.

Director

Don Owen

Writer

Don Owen

Cast

Peter Kastner, Julie Biggs, Claude Rae, Charmion King

Producers

Tom Daly, Roman Kroitor, Don Owen

Genre

Drama

Interests

Classics, Family Relationships

Original Language

English

Hitman Hart: Wrestling with Shadows

Director Paul Jay
Year 1998
Run Time 93min
Genre Documentary
Bret Sergeant Hart — known in the professional wrestling world as Bret “The Hitman” Hart — was one of the greatest pro wrestlers in the sport’s history.

In 1997, at the Summer Series in Montreal, Hart put his WWF (now WWE) title on the line against Shawn Michaels, where the two privately agreed to end the fight with a no contest conclusion.

Referred to in the wrestling community as the “Montreal Screwjob,” the agreement was believed to be a secret betrayal of Hart, who was one of the WWF’s most popular performers. In the end, Michaels won the match, and Hart lost his title.

Jay’s award-winning documentary is an honest and engaging look at a world-famous career of highs and lows.

Director

Paul Jay

Writer

Paul Jay

Producers

Silva Basmajian, Sally Blake, Paul Jay, David M. Ostriker

Genre

Documentary

Interest

Biography

Original Language

English

Language Version

EN CC

One Week

Director Michael McGowan
Year 2008
Run Time 94min
Genre Drama
Ben Tyler (Jackson) is a young guy with a comfortable life, a good job as an English teacher and a sensible fiancée, Samantha (Balaban). When his doctor unexpectedly tells him he has cancer and “maybe two years, maybe one week” to live, Ben’s only chance is to start treatment immediately. Instead, he decides to buy a motorcycle and head out west.

A classic road trip movie featuring lots of Canadian icons (like Gord Downie of The Tragically Hip), One Week follows Ben’s journey from Toronto to Tofino. Along the way, Ben makes new friends and re-evaluates his life, his job and his upcoming marriage. As his fiancée and family back home struggle to understand his decision, Ben rediscovers himself, reawakens his old passion for writing and ultimately learns to appreciate life.

Director

Michael McGowan

McGowan made his film debut as a writer, director and producer with My Dog Vincent, and directed Saint Ralph, One Week, Score: A Hockey Musical and Still Mine, which was named by TIFF as one of Canada’s Top 10 films in 2012. He recently directed TV shows Reign and Between and wrote the film The Etruscan Smile. His most recent film, All My Puny Sorrows, premiered at TIFF 2021.

Writer

Michael McGowan

Cast

Joshua Jackson, Liane Balaban, Campbell Scott, Fiona Reid

Producers

Nicholas de Pencier, Jane Tattersall, Michael McGowan

Genre

Drama

Interests

ESL, Family Relationships

Original Language

English

Language Version

FR Dub

Pontypool

Director Bruce McDonald
Year 2008
Run Time 93min
Genre Comedy, Horror, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Grant Mazzy (McHattie) is a big-city shock radio DJ who has lost his job and moves to the small Ontario town of Pontypool, where he frustrates his new station manager, Sydney (Houle).

Nothing ever happens in Pontypool, so when Mazzy arrives at the station to start his show one wintry morning, he and his team are surprised by strange reports from town.

The station’s tiny crew find themselves holed up in their church basement studio, trying to piece together what’s happening outside as disturbing details pour in. Callers are making very little sense, and it seems like the English language itself is infected with a strange virus.

“McDonald knows it’s the things you don’t see, but only imagine, that best chill the blood.”
— Peter Howell, Toronto Star

Director

Bruce McDonald

McDonald directed the cult hits Highway 61, Roadkill, Hard Core Logo, The Tracey Fragments, starring Elliot Page, Pontypool, and the award-winning series Twitch City, episodes of Degrassi and Heartland. His recent films include Trigger, The Husband, Hellions, Weirdos and Dreamland. He recently directed the series Creeped Out and Malory Towers and is currently working on the films Switched at Death and I Have a Bad Feeling About This.

Writer

Tony Burgess

Cast

Stephen McHattie, Lisa Houle, Georgina Reilly

Producers

Jeffrey Coghlan, Ambrose Roche

Genres

Comedy, Horror, Sci-Fi/Fantasy

Interests

Cult & Offbeat Cinema, Literary Adaptation

Original Language

English

Language Version

EN CC

Prom Night

Director Paul Lynch
Year 1980
Run Time 92min
Genre Horror
“If you’re not back by midnight, you won’t be coming home!” So says the terrifying poster for Prom Night, Paul Lynch’s Canadian horror classic. The premise is deadly simple: An unknown killer seeks revenge on four teens for the accidental death of a classmate six years earlier — and with a knife this sharp, prom night just may be their last night.

This memorable slasher film was remade in 2008, but we’ll stick to the original, thanks! This gruesome and wildly fun cult hit was a drive-in-theatre hit all over the country, and garnered Jamie Lee Curtis a Genie nomination for her performance.

Director

Paul Lynch

Writers

Robert Guza Jr., William Gray

Cast

Leslie Nielsen, Jamie Lee Curtis, Casey Stevens

Producer

Peter R. Simpson

Genre

Horror

Interest

Cult & Offbeat Cinema

Original Language

English

Blackbird

Director Jason Buxton
Year 2012
Run Time 103min
Genre Drama
Troubled teen Sean (Jessup) is misunderstood, alienated and bullied at school. When he establishes an unlikely friendship with preppy Deanna (Fast), her angry and threatened boyfriend forces a confrontation. In an attempt to protect himself, Sean makes a fateful online mistake, and is soon falsely accused of planning a Columbine-style school shooting. Thrust into the spotlight for all the wrong reasons, Sean must now overcome stereotypes, prejudices and the mistrust of his community and prove his innocence to the town, and especially to Deanna.

Tense, challenging and told with a great deal of emotional honesty, Blackbird is a powerful film with a breakout lead performance by Jessup.

Director

Jason Buxton

Writer

Jason Buxton

Cast

Connor Jessup, Alexia Fast, Michael Buie

Producers

David Miller, Marc Almon, Jason Buxton

Genre

Drama

Interests

Bullying, Social Justice & Politics

Original Language

English

Barney’s Version

Director Richard J. Lewis
Year 2010
Run Time 134min
Genre Comedy, Drama
Barney’s Version tells the story of Barney Panofsky, played by Paul Giamatti in a Golden Globe–winning performance. As he progresses from young adulthood to old age, Barney ricochets from one romantic entanglement to another, trying to keep his outrageous father (Hoffman) under control while being pursued by a cop who suspects him of murdering his best friend, Boogie (Speedman).

Based on Mordecai Richler’s Giller Prize–winning bestseller of the same name, this rich and hilarious film won seven Genie Awards and was nominated for an Oscar.

“The impeccably cast confessional, with a pitch-perfect Paul Giamatti leading the way, nimbly traverses the four decades in its lead character’s eventual life with considerable exuberance, visual flair and, ultimately, grace." — Michael Rechtshaffen, Hollywood Reporter

Director

Richard J. Lewis

Lewis’s television credits include episodes of Due South, Power Play, Beggars and Choosers, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Person of Interest and many others. His critically acclaimed debut feature, Whale Music, won four Genie Awards. Recently, he has been directing for television, including episodes of Westworld and Penny Dreadful, and is currently producing the series Trigger Me.

Writer

Michael Konyves

Cast

Paul Giamatti, Rosamund Pike, Scott Speedman, Dustin Hoffman, Minnie Driver

Producer

Robert Lantos

Genres

Comedy, Drama

Interests

Family Relationships, Literary Adaptation

Original Language

English

Language Versions

EN CC, FR Dub

Such a Long Journey

Director Sturla Gunnarsson
Year 1998
Run Time 113min
Genre Drama
Based on the award-winning novel by Canadian author Rohinton Mistry, Such a Long Journey is the story of Gustad Noble (Seth), whose life is thrown into turmoil when he is asked by an old friend to deposit a large sum of money at the bank where he works. Set in Bombay on the eve of the war between India and Pakistan, Gustad’s troubles become an allegory for the chaos and upheaval occurring around him.

His son would rather become an artist than attend engineering school, his daughter has malaria and his wife (Razdan) spends an increasing amount of time with a neighbour that he fears is a witch. On top of all this, the local government threatens to tear down the wall surrounding his housing complex. Ingeniously, Gustad asks an artist (Chowdhry) to paint a multi-faith mural on the wall so believers of all religions will be compelled to save it. A rich and thoughtful portrayal of the power of spirituality and how to overcome even the most daunting of circumstances.

Director

Sturla Gunnarsson

Born in Iceland and raised in Vancouver, Gunnarsson earned an Oscar nomination for his debut feature doc, After the Axe. His films include Beowulf and Grendel, Force of Nature: The David Suzuki Movie and Monsoon, and he has directed hit TV shows such as Motive, Degrassi: The Next Generation, The Art of More, and most recently Schitt’s Creek and Ransom.

Writer

Sooni Taraporevala

Cast

Roshan Seth, Soni Razdan, Ranjit Chowdhry, Om Puri, Kurush Deboo

Producers

Paul Stephens, Simon MacCorkindale

Genre

Drama

Interests

BIPOC Stories, Global Experiences, History, Literary Adaptation, Social Justice & Politics

Original Language

English

  • Own Voice

Rude

Director Clement Virgo
Year 1995
Run Time 89min
Genre Drama
Writer-director Clement Virgo’s groundbreaking debut feature is a vivid drama about three people wrestling with personal demons in Toronto’s inner city. General (Witt) is a drug dealer turned artist arriving home from prison to his estranged family. Jordan (Chevolleau) is a promising boxer who reluctantly participates in gay-bashing, even as he struggles with his own identity. Meanwhile, Maxine (Crawford) faces the end of her relationship after she chooses to end a pregnancy. Their tales are woven together by Rude (Lewis), the smoky-voiced pirate radio DJ whose words penetrate the community with wit and insight.

Director

Clement Virgo

Virgo rose to prominence with his first feature, Rude, which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival and garnered two Genie nominations. He has also directed the films Poor Boy’s Game and Lie With Me, and hit TV shows such as The Wire, Regenesis and The Listener. He recently produced the show Greenleaf and directed episodes of Empire and Billions. His most recent film, Brother, premiered at TIFF 2022. 

Writer

Clement Virgo

Cast

Sharon Lewis, Rachael Crawford, Richard Chevolleau, Maurice Dean Wint, Clark Johnson

Producers

Karen King, Damon D'Oliveira

Genre

Drama

Interest

BIPOC Stories

Original Language

English

Vinyl

Director Alan Zweig
Year 2000
Run Time 110min
Genre Documentary
Alan Zweig’s cult favourite documentary mines the comedy and tragedy of obsessive record collecting, assembling an all-star lineup of audiophiles, store clerks, DJs, Elvis fanatics and hot jazz enthusiasts. A hard-core collector himself, Zweig uses mirror confessionals to excoriate his anti-social compulsion, while approaching his interview subjects with open-hearted compassion.

With this film, Zweig established his voice as a documentarian who is not content to be merely a fly on the wall in the lives of his subjects. Instead, he deploys the camera as a tool for engagement, rooting around in the margins of contemporary society to explore themes of beauty, addiction, love and longing in a profound and unique way.

Director

Alan Zweig

Writer

Alan Zweig

Cast

Alan Zweig, Harvey Pekar, Alan Williams, Don McKellar

Producers

Alan Zweig, Greg Klymkiw, Bruce McDonald, David McCallum

Genre

Documentary

Interests

Arts and Culture, Cult & Offbeat Cinema

Original Language

English

Little Italy

Director Donald Petrie
Year 2018
Run Time 102min
Genre Comedy

A decade-long feud between neighbouring pizza shops heats up when the children of the rival owners, Nikki (Emma Roberts) and Leo (Hayden Christensen) enter into an unexpected romance. With their love soaring higher than a spinning pizza pie, the feud between their parents also reaches new hilarious heights and they are forced to choose sides and compete against each other in the neighbourhood’s legendary pizza bake-off.

Set in Toronto’s Little Italy neighbourhood, and as tempting and saucy as a margherita pizza, this fun-filled romantic comedy with a lot of heart is sure to leave audiences feeling satisfied.

Director

Donald Petrie

Petrie has directed many iconic box office hits, including How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, Miss Congeniality and Mystic Pizza. His television credits include episodes of Chicago P.D., The Kominsky Method, Chicago Justice, and many others. He is currently developing several feature films, including Your Perfect Angel, Million Dollar Mustang and Jack vs. Future Jack.

Writers

Steve Galluccio, Vinay Virmani

Cast

Hayden Christensen, Emma Roberts, Danny Aiello, Andrea Martin

Producers

Vinay Virmani, Pauline Dhillon, Ajay Virmani

Genre

Comedy

Interests

ESL, Family Relationships

Original Language

English

Language Versions

EN CC, FR Dub, FR Subtitles

  • Own Voice

Winter Kept Us Warm

Director David Secter
Year 1965
Run Time 81min
Genre Drama, Romance

Doug (John Labow) is a well liked senior and Peter (Henry Tarvainen) is a shy freshman at the University of Toronto. The two young men become fast friends and start spending a lot of time together. But when their friendship” starts to move toward romance,  they face the tough challenge of how to deal with their newfound emotions (and their girlfriends). The first example of an LGBTQ-themed story by Canadian filmmakers, it remains a universally relatable story about young romance and the struggles of youth.

One of the first Canadian feature films to receive international critical attention, Winter Kept Us Warm was the first English-language film to premiere at Cannes and received a Special Jury Prize at the Montreal International Film Festival.

Director

David Secter

Writers

David Secter, John Clute, Ian Porter

Cast

John Labow, Joy Fielding, Henry Tarvainen, Janet Amos, Iain Ewing

Producer

David Secter

Genres

Drama, Romance

Interest

Classics

Original Language

English