Weekly roundup: Festival lineups, new apps and renewals

Among other news, Kim Nguyen's War Witch (pictured) will play at the up-coming Toronto Black Film Festival, and Vancouver's Core Music Agency unveils a host of new composers it's managing.

Here’s Playback‘s weekly summary of shorter news items of interest to the industry. As ever, we thank the senders and publicity folks for thinking of Playback!

Toronto Black Film Festival

The first run of the new Toronto Black Film Festival Feb. 13 to 17 will include screenings of Kim Nguyen’s Oscar-bound War Witch (pictured) and the Quebec-made drama Manages Humains as part of its public screenings, which were announced earlier this week. The lineup also features films from the U.S., Europe and Africa, including Nairobi Half Life, Kenya’s official foreign-language Oscar contender.

The festival will also have industry programming, including an online panel featuring “black Canadian filmmakers” who will discuss the challenges and rewards of securing festival, theatrical or TV distribution, according to a press release (it didn’t provide filmmakers’ names).

Vancouver International Women In Film Festival

Women in Film and TV Vancouver have announce the lineup for the eighth annual Vancouver International Women In Film Festival, to be held March 8–International Women’s Day. The lineup includes among its Canadian fare the short The Stole by Karen Lam, the feature Under the Red Star by Kelly Saxberg; the U.S.-Canadian copro Rumble Strips by John Adams and Toby Poser; Lucille’s Ball by Lulu Keating and North Boys by Lucy Van Oldenbarneveld.

Other festival events include an industry panel on building audiences and a workshop on directing horror.

Sarila App

Les Films Seville, a division of Entertainment One, has rolled out a tie-in app to coincide with the theatrical release of The Legend of Sarila (pictured), a 3D animation film the English-language version of which features the voice work of Christopher Plummer, Rachelle Lefevre (Twilight) and Elisapie Isaac.

The free-to-download 3D augmented-reality app was developed in collaboration with Montreal-based app maker Merchlar, and allows users to take photos with Kimi, the Inuit-themed film’s main character. Seville claims its the first Quebec-made film to feature an iOS-compatible app. The Legend of Sarila‘s French-language world premiere is Feb. 9, and its Quebec theatrical run starts Mar. 1, the company said in a release.

Screen composers signed

Vancouver-based Core Music Agency has unveiled additional talent it is representing, all of whom have worked on  screen-entertainment projects. The newly signed composers include Gemini Award winner Lou Pomanti, Terry Frewer (Donovan’s Echo, Head in the Clouds), Todor Kobakov (The Samaritan, Cold Blooded, Young People F*cking), and Blain Morris (Afghan Luke, Trailer Park Boys)

Additionally, it noted in a recent press release that several of its composers have secured Canadian Screen Award nominations for their work, including Jay Semko in the category of best original music for a non-fiction program or series for his work in Dust Up – It Looked Like Death, Paul Intson for best original music score for a series for Scaredy Squirrel – Perfect Pickle/Goat Police, as well as co-nominees Richard Pell and Dylan Heming (aka “VertigoSound”) for their work on Call Me Fitz – How Do you Say… .

ReelWorld Visionary Award

The 2013 ReelWorld Visionary Award is being handed to Toronto-based film critic Alice Shih. She will receive it due to her “unflinching support of racially diverse artists and individuals working in Canada’s entertainment industry,” according to a ReelWorld statement. Her interviews and reviews have been published in magazines such as CineAction and Point of View and her critiques can be heard on Movie Fans A-Go-Go on Fairchild Radio, a national Chinese radio broadcaster.

The award will be presented during a ReelWorld festival brunch Apr. 14 (the Toronto festival runs Apr. 10 to 14).

NXNE partners with Bloor Hot Docs Cinema

This June’s NXNE Film Festival in Toronto will be anchored to a new signature location, the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema as the signature location. The cinema will be the hub for all galas, screenings and events, with ancillary facilities including the Art Gallery of Ontario and alt-culture centre (and pub) The Cameron House.


Pet Fashion, a 30-minute show that focuses on animal garments and other trends, has been renewed for a fourth season by The Pet Network. The newest 13-episode season, hosted by Kristina Ejem, starts Saturday. It is produced by Toronto-based prodco and branding agency Front TV.

Meanwhile, Oil Change: Game On, a non-fiction (5 x 60 minutes) series that follows the provides fans of the Edmonton Oilers a behind-the-scenes look at the Alberta NHL team, is returning for its third season on Sportsnet One and Sportsnet West. It commenced last Tuesday.

Boxing on Super Channel

Super Channel has secured an exclusive deal that sees it broadcasting in Canada Showtime boxing events, including Showtime Championship Boxing and ShoBox: The New Generation telecasts through 2014. The deal was unveiled Tuesday.