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The Panorama of Canadian Feature Films at FilmExchange

FILMS FROM QUEBEC TO SCREEN AT NSI FILMEXCHANGE CANADIAN FILM FESTIVAL,
MARCH 2 – 6, 2004 IN WINNIPEG

Sarah Polley, Kevin Pollak, William Hurt, Mark McKinney, Sir Ian McKellan and others star in some of the year’s best Canadian Feature Films.
These national and internationally celebrated stories will be screened with the storytellers attending at one night only intimate screenings followed by an interactive Q&A with the audience.

Opening Film: The Blue Butterfly
Special Presentation: Seven Times Lucky
Closing Night Film: The Saddest Music in the World

The Blue Butterfly by Léa Pool
with William Hurt, Pascale BussiËres, Marc Donato, Steve Adams, Raoul Trujillo
Ten-year-old Pete Carlton (Marc Donato) is terminally ill with brain cancer. His last wish is to catch the most beautiful butterfly on earth, the Blue Morpho, found only in South America. His mother, Teresa (Pascale Bussières), convinces Alan Osborne (William Hurt), a renowned entomologist who prefers insects to people, to take the wheelchair-bound Pete to the rainforest. Deep in the majesty and mystery of the jungle, the two must overcome numerous dangers and hardships. Léa Pool, one of Canada’s most respected directors, brings a nuanced understanding of character to this deeply moving tale, which is based on a true story.Join us after the screening for a party at Pasta la Vista Presented by WOW Hospitality Concepts Inc.


Seven Times Lucky by Gary Yates
with: Kevin Pollak, Liane Balaban, Jonas Chernick, James Tolkan, Aleks Paunovic
A hard-boiled Christmas noir, Gary Yates’ con-and double-con caper drama recently received its world premiere at Sundance. Veteran grifter Harlan (the always excellent Kevin Pollak best—known from The Usual Suspects) and young protégé Fiona (New Waterford Girl’s Liane Balaban) are working together to finally make that one big score. Seven Times Lucky spins a twisting yarn in which three generations of crooks vie for a coveted prize on Christmas Eve. Smart, fast-paced and wonderfully acted, Seven Times Lucky marks director Yates as a talent we will hear a lot from in the future. Developed through NSI Features First.

Closing Night Film
The Saddest Music in the World by Guy Maddin
with Mark McKinney, Isabella Rossellini, Maria de Medeiros, David Fox, Ross McMillan
Winnipeg, 1933; the Depression is in full swing as beer baroness Lady Port-Huntly (Isabella Rossellini, playing a double amputee whose hollow legs are filled with our national drink) launches a contest that catches the imagination of the world: a competition to determine the saddest music ever. Humiliated Broadway producer Chester Kent (Mark McKinney) is determined to take part, as are musicians from around the globe... Guy Maddin’s latest comedy adapted from a screenplay by Booker Prize-winner Kazuo Ishiguro is both hilarious and surreal, a fever dream made even more priceless by McKinney and Rossellini’s bang-on performances.


The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz by Ted Kotcheff
with Richard Dreyfuss, Micheline Lanctôt, Jack Warden, Randy Quaid, Joseph Wiseman
A special presentation of a newly restored print of Ted Kotcheff’s film adaptation of Mordechai Richler’s The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz, presented by the Audio Visual Preservation Trust and the Toronto International Film Festival Film Circuit. Noted film scholar Tom McSorley of the Canadian Film Institute will introduce the film and lead a discussion afterwards.


Emile by Carl Bessai
with Sir Ian McKellen, Deborah Kara Unger, Theo Crane, Chris William Martin, Tygh Runyan
Following on the heels of Johnny (1999), and Lola (2001), Emile—starring the great Sir Ian McKellen—completes Carl Bessai’s ‘identity’ trilogy. Past and present co-mingle as Emile (McKellen), a British professor in Victoria to receive an honorary degree, seeks out his only surviving relatives and looks back on his life. Regrets rise to the surface as he tries to connect with his angry niece (the lovely Deborah Kara Unger) and her young daughter... Bessai brings an immediacy to this formidable meditation on life and family, but it is McKellen’s outstanding performance that gives the film a truly potent gravitas.


Les Immortels by Paul Thinel
Guillaume Lemay-Thivierge, Jean Lapointe, Isabelle Lemme
After having had a well-earned taste of success, Paul McMullen (Guillaume Lemay-Thivierge from Louis 19e) and his band Les Immortels start dreaming about making a living from their music. However, they now have to deal with the machinations of their record company. Will they have the strength to put up with this new reality? Meanwhile, Adélard Major (veteran actor Jean Lapointe), a musician from jazz’s golden age, retires from the factory where he has spent most of his life. He suddenly finds himself fronting a brass band with a rather old-fashioned repertory. Can he make up for lost time? Set against the background of a small working-class town and the ups and downs of its citizens, Les Immortels tells the story of two generations which come together thanks to their passion for music.


Love, Sex and Eating the Bones by Sudz Sutherland
with Hill Harper, Marlyne Afflack, Mark Taylor, Kai Soremekun, Marieka Weathered
The theme of voyeurism is given an alternately hilarious and affecting update in Sudz Sutherland’s feature debut. Michael (Hill Harper, equal parts sexy, charismatic and weird) is a photographer in his twenties who pays the rent by working as a security guard. When he’s not making his rounds he likes to watch pornography—a lot of pornography. When he begins a relationship with the formerly celibate Jasmine (Marlyne Afflack), his video addiction threatens to ruin what could be a very good thing. Effortlessly switching between comedy and drama, writer-director Sutherland makes an affecting contribution to the cinema of voyeurism.


Luck by Peter Wellington
with: Luke Kirby, Sarah Polley, Jed Rees, Sergio Di Zio, Noam Jenkins
With the legendary 1972 Canada-Russia hockey series serving as a tension-filled backdrop, Peter Wellington’s (Joe’s So Mean to Josephine) latest takes us into the world of a group of free-spirited young slackers (including the wonderfully over-the-top Jed Rees of The Chris Isaak Show) who see gambling as a perfect mirror for life in general—sometimes you’re lucky and sometimes you ain’t. Fatalistic Shane (Luke Kirby), obsessed with his own destiny and always backing the wrong horse (literally), wonders if he has the luck to win the lovely Margaret (the lovely Sarah Polley). Wellington treats his subject and his characters with wit and intelligence, showing that challenging your destiny head on is sometimes the only way to get what you really want.

On the Corner by Nathaniel Geary
with: Alex Rice, Simon Baker, Katharine Isabelle, JR Bourne, Gordon Tootoosis

Vancouver’s infamous Downtown Eastside—North America’s heroin capital—serves as the setting for Nathaniel Geary’s award-winning feature debut. "Angel" Henry (Alex Rice) left her reserve in Prince Rupert to try her luck in Vancouver at the age of 18. Now, at 23, a heroin addict and prostitute, she just manages to keep it together. But when her younger brother (Simon Baker) arrives on the scene and plunges into a destructive lifestyle, Angel has some decisions to make. Geary’s humanist neo-realism renders the hurt and squalor of the people and places of Vancouver’s dark side in a way that is both palpable and deeply disturbing. Developed through the NSI Features First Program.


Totem: The Return of the G’psgolox Pole by Gil Cardinal
Veteran director Gil Cardinal documents the return of a Haisla totem pole, carved in 1872, cut down (against the Haisla’s wishes, it goes without saying) in 1929 and transported to a Swedish museum. For the Haisla, the G'psgolox pole only existed in oral history before being located at the Folkens Museum Etnografiska in 1991 and claimed by members of the family who first raised it. Cardinal brings a sense of history to this emotional tale, as he chronicles the negotiations for the pole’s return and the carving of a replacement pole for the Swedes. A powerful film about the need for cross-cultural sensitivity and respect.


World Premiere of East of Euclid by Jeff Solylo
with Michael O’Sullivan, Brent Neale, Maria Lamont, Daina Leithold
Jeff Solylo’s debut feature is a twisted comic film noir from the world of the Winnipeg Film Group. A reporter breaks a story involving a strange love triangle between a dangerous Russian gambler, a perogy factory girl and the news photographer who she loves. Mix in a kidnapped Finnish hockey player, a murder and the KGB, and you have a claustrophobic and eerily dark vision of Winnipeg, featuring a compendium of classic Winnipeg references, from the old Tribune office to the snow-swept factory districts of the North End.


Graveyard Alive: A Zombie Nurse in Love by Elza Kephart
with: Anne Day-Jones, Karl Gerhardt, Samantha Slan
Patsy Powers is a shy, retiring nurse obsessed with romance novels and secretly in love with Dr. Dox, her high school sweetheart. After being bitten while treating a randy lumberjack with an axe in his head, Patsy is transformed into a sex kitten with an appetite for human flesh. With her newfound zombie powers, nurse Patsy sets out to win back Dr. Dox from bitchy young nurse Goodie Teuschuze. ‘The best zombie movie I’ve seen in more than a decade’ Karen Walton, screenwriter, Ginger Snaps.


Goldirocks by Paula Tiberius
with: Sasha Ormond, Greg Legros, Laura Kim, Dru Viergever, Dominick Abrams, Megan Dunlop
The tale of Goldilocks is rocketed into the contemporary rock ën’ roll scene, in musician and filmmaker Paula Tiberius’ debut feature, developed through the NSI Features First Program. Sasha Ormond is Goldi, a sex-seeking would-be musician who hooks up with an indie garage band with three players — one too hot, one too cold, and one that seems just right... Soon, she is fronting the group until her desire to perform her own songs forces her to make her own destiny. Tiberius brings an authentic rocker sensibility to this mix of fairytale and feminist empowerment piece and Ormond dominates the screen like a seasoned pro. Porridge this is not. Featuring performances by Toronto rockers The Chickens, Sticky Rice, Cheerleadër and former Winnipegger Robin Black and the IRS. Rock ON!




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