Weekly roundup: Festival screenings and industry pitch competitions

Scott Thompson plays Bob London in The Immigrant

This has been a short work week, and as a result its a short Friday roundup.

Festival screenings

The Immigrant (pictured), a comedic short film from the Toronto-based Levy brothers Robi and Josh that stars Kids in the Hall alumnus Scott Thompson, has secured a screening at the Comic-Con 2013 Independent Film Festival in San Diego on July 19. Created by Thompson, the film tells the story of a has-been comedian, who, desperate to review his career, tries to smuggle himself into the U.S. through Mexico.

My Father and the Man in Black, a documentary by Canadian Jonathan Holiff, is to receive a gala screening at the Grammy Museum at the Downtown Film Festival Los Angeles July 10 to 20. A multiple festival award winner, the film recounts the story of Saul Holiff’s management of the famed singer in the 1960s and early 1970s. It is based on recorded diary entries and telephone conversations Saul created over the years before he abruptly quit working for the singer in 1973.

Industry pitch event

The organizers of the JFL ComedyPRO conference taking place in Montreal have announced the short list for its TV and web series pitch competitions. The TV pitch session will be held July 26 and the web-series pitch will be held July 27.

The winner of the TV pitch will be invited to participate as an official artist at the 2013 New York TV Festival while the winner of the web series pitch will have the change to become an official YouTube partner and have their content highlighted across YouTube.

In the TV category the pitchers are:

  • Andy Bush (Picnic Face, This Hour Has 22 Minutes), with Cavendish
  • Hilary Weisman Graham (The Adventure of Tiger Girl) with Bad Mommies
  • Mark Little and Dan Beirne (Dad Drives) with Tiger Patrol
  • Britt Sanborn (Failure To Launch) with How To Succeed At Birth
  • C.J. Toledano with Kuang Banks

In the webseries category the pitchers are:

  • Lauren Francesca and Rex Pickett (author of Sideways) with Like Me
  • Jonas Diamond and Mike Valiquette with Mink and Dink
  • Luke Conrad and Jock Hiltz with One Pair of Underpants
  • Nick Flanagan and Michael Schaus with Psychic Brothers
  • Lisa Kowalski and Julian Curtis with Tallest Poppies

Organization milestone

The national non-profit film-promotion organization First Weekend Club is marking its 10th anniversary this month. Founded by Anita Adams in 2003, the booster group (whose name is pegged to a films’ all crucial screen opening) has supported over 300 films and hosted over 200 special events, all with the goal of building a strong audience for Canadian films. As well, the club helps build awareness by creating and distributing content such as video interviews with filmmakers and actors, articles, contests, film alerts. Films it has helped draw attention to include One WeekStarbuckThe Corporation, C.R.A.Z.Y. and Scared Sacred.