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Homecoming Weekend: All alumni are invited to return to campus for Film Homecoming, 17-19 October 2014. It will be a last chance to look inside Film House, and a first chance to look inside our new home, the Isabel.
We hope you'll consider a donation to one of the new Film and Media Funds including the Peter Morris Memorial Scholarship, and the Dr. John Ramlochand Memorial Student Initiatives Fund.
Check out old photos, and post updates, on our Facebook group.
Note: See Alumni E-mail Addresses for contact information.
Sarah Abbott (Arts '91) has been awarded a Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship for academic excellence, research potential and leadership. Sarah is now a Doctor of Social Sciences researcher at Royal Roads University, and intends to combine her experience with previous film, media literacy and empowerment projects with social science approaches to make a film that examines factors associated with high rates of suicide among indigenous people.
The short film Teenage Dance by Adam Bentley (Arts '08) aired on CBC's Canadian Reflections on 20 July.
An update from Rusty Deluce (Arts '81) in Vancouver: "I'm still freelancing as a First Assistant Cameraman working on American scripted screen entertainment. Also I'm on the Executive Board of IATSE Local 669 (Cinematographers Guild) for a second elected term."
Rob Fitl (Arts '07) was recently the co-editor on a documentary called Never Enough, for Radar Station Pictures. The film sets out to discover the common traits of those who fill their homes with collections of anything from Cadillacs to rubber duckies.
John VanDuzer (Arts '86) was at convocation this year to see his son Ian VanDuzer (Arts '14) graduate. John is President and Creative Director of wishart in Hamilton, doing graphic design and web work for charitable organizations. See also more photos from Convocation 2014.
Peter Raymont (Arts '72) wrote a column for The Globe and Mail on 8 May, suggesting how Arts programming can save the CBC from oblivion.
Sierra Megas (Arts '13) recently received the Queen's Student Alumni Association Volunteer of Distinction Award. Sierra is pictured with Principal Woolf and QUAA President George M. Jackson at the 5 April Alumni Association Awards.
Rob Perry (Arts '05) has a daughter, Gwendolyn, born last fall. Oh yeah, same Gwendolyn. Congratulations to Erica and Rob on a 100% Queen's Film baby. Rob is now head of production at commercial production house Suneeva in Toronto.
The Canadian Screen Awards for 2014 wrapped up with a Gala Broadcast 9 March on CBC. Queen's alumni picked up 13 nominations. Winners are indicated by a .
John Esford (Arts '84) writes, "Some of you will remember Antony Anderson (Arts '84) and Helen Fletcher, who was Antony's girlfriend during our Film Studies days. Helen was diagnosed with incurable brain cancer in October 2013. Her family announced with great sadness on January 14 that Helen passed away today at the tender age of 51. Helen died peacefully in the company of her boys."
Andrew Smyth (Arts '10) and Josh Jensen (Arts '07) brought their feature doc The Scene: An Exploration of Music in Toronto to Queen's for a free showing to students on 22 November. CFRC and the Film Dept. co-sponsored the screening of the film, fresh from the CBGB festival in New York.
Meanwhile, Elli Raynai (Arts '00) had a screening of his second feature Personal Space at the Carlton Cinema in Toronto on 21 November. Elli says, "It was an absolutely wonderful experience to make this film and I can't wait to release it as it represents my thoughts, moods, humour, and feelings in all the best ways."
News from Geoff Ashenhurst (Arts '99): "Still living, making babies, and cutting movies in Toronto. The Art of the Steal recently had a great gala premiere at TIFF. A fun heist movie written and directed by Jonathan Sobol, starring Kurt Russell, Jay Baruchel, Matt Dillon and Terence Stamp opens Friday September 20 in Canada. Here's a link to the trailer."
Alexis Mitchell (Arts '06) is currently working on a PhD in Toronto, and was one of the former students of John Greyson who collaborated on a short video to support the campaign to "Free Tarek and John" from an Egyptian jail. See also Principal Woolf's statement and more at TarekAndJohn.com.
A recent high-profile video was the low-profile work of director Wendy Rowland (Arts '89), who is known for her documentaries on health and aging. Wendy shot the interview with Dr. Donald Low about assisted suicide, which was seen across Canada following his death on 18 September.
As Film and Media prepares to move out of Film House, another Stuart Street landmark is disappearing. Tower House, where a number of Film students have lived over the years, was demolished to make room for a large residence hall.
Congratulations to Adam Bentley (Arts '08) who writes, "Thought you'd be interested to know my short screenplay Teenage Dance was a finalist in the CFC's Canadian Short Screenplay Competition and my newest documentary iCUP was selected for the EnRoute Film Festival. Watch for it on Air Canada throughout August and September. If you won't be flying, you can watch it at enroutefilm.ca and vote for it to get the Viewer's Choice Award. The winner gets an all-expenses paid trip to the Sundance Film Festival!"
Robert Murdoch (Arts '91) has been working in Vancouver since he graduated, and says, "I've worked as an Assistant Director, Unit Manager and Producer, but what usually pays the bills is I work as a Location Manager on U.S. series. I have worked for pretty well all the main studios. Lately I have been on the TV show Arrow, made for the CW network by Warner Bros. Last summer I helped produce a children's TV series pilot that is being considered for development by a Canadian network. At the end of the day, these projects are not much different than what we learned at Queen's. The most important lesson was how to try and do a group project with people who are very different from each other!"
Craig Webster (Arts '90) knew we would like this photo of him with his Canadian Screen Award for Best Editing. He commented, "I've been nominated for awards six times, but it's the first time I got to bring the trophy home. I hadn't prepared a speech, so I said, 'I want to thank the Academy for giving the opportunity to say the time-honoured phrase 'I want to thank the Academy'.' I was caught by surprise about how much it meant to me."
Craig even gets a big nod in the trailer for the fourth season of Less Than Kind. And he adds, "These days, I've just started the first season of a comedy series for CTV called Satisfaction which has me hysterically laughing out loud as I assemble it, which is always a great sign!"
Adam Kennedy (Arts '10) has some good news: "I have been living in Japan as a language teacher, and while I teach by day, I definitely still screenwrite by night! Recently my efforts have begun to yield fruit and I won the Toronto-based WILDsound Original TV Pilot Contest for Spring 2013 with a pilot entitled "Gotham Nights", a live-action teen drama centered around the lesser characters in the Batman universe. This was my first-ever attempt at entering a contest of any kind and, according to the contest supervisor, I beat out over 200 others in my category. So I just feel incredibly humbled and honoured by this whole experience. As a result my work will now be read aloud by professional actors in front of a live audience in Toronto sometime in the next couple weeks and from there will go up on YouTube. And then, we'll see what happens next I guess!"
West Wind: The Vision of Tom Thomson, directed by Michèle Hozer and Peter Raymont (Arts '72), has been nominated for a "Rockie" at this years Banff World Media festival, in the Arts and Performing Arts Programs category. The awards will be held on 9 June at the Banff Springs hotel.
Neil Bailey (Arts '06) is now recovering at home, following surgery in February to remove a brain tumor, and a lengthy stay at the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute. Neil's photo was in the Toronto Star on Saturday May 4, showing him working hard at regaining the ability to walk. Neil can be contacted through his parents, at email@example.com.
4 Kids by Craig Conoley (Arts '08) was the winner of the DocStudio "Poverty in 5" contest at TVOntario. Produced by Partus Films, the film was co-directed by Craig with Randy Kelly, and features spoken word artist Just Jamaal.
Andrew Smyth (Arts '10) says, "For the last year, I have been editing a feature length documentary directed by Film and Media alumnus Josh Jensen (Arts '07). The Scene: An Exploration of Music in Toronto opened at the Downtown Doc Fest in Belleville, Ontario on March 2nd and will have its Toronto premiere at the Canadian Film Fest on March 23rd. Taking a feature length project from concept to screen is a long held dream that was largely cultivated during many late nights spent in the Film House. The whole experience has been wonderful! This photo of Josh and me was taken during our Q&A at the Downtown Doc Fest."
Phil Borg (Arts '05) has an entry in the CineCoup contest. Phil, as writer/driector, and Catherine Carnovale (Arts '05) as producer, are going after up to $1 million in financing for a feature. The sci-fi thriller is called Heart Cooks Brains.
Nicholas Gaede (Arts '08) is a camera operator, editor and communications coordinator for the ever-expanding online medical news site Insidermedicine. His family also keeps him busy (he now has two children) plus he works as a videographer/producer for Viva Productions in Kingston.
Bliss, a new short film by Amanda Sage (Arts '01) opened the Kingston Canadian Film Festival on 28 February at the Baby Grand. This year's "Local Shorts" competition also featured Market Square Movie by David McCallum (Arts '77) and a number of films by current Queen's students.
Meanwhile, Amanda has added Clarke Mackey to the list of people featured on her website KickassCanadians.ca. And her limited edition photobook WIDE OPEN: A Canadian Perspective, produced in support of CARE Canada, is sold out but is now available as a PDF download.
Ten Queen's grads were nominated in nine categories of the Canadian Screen Awards from the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television. The new awards, a merger of the Geminis and Genies, recognize excellence in film, television and digital media. Awards in craft categories were presented on 27 and 28 February, and the awards telecast is 3 March 2013 on CBC. Nominees include:
The latest documentary by David Ridgen (Arts '91) was broadcast on 11 January on CBC Radio's The Current and The National on CBC-TV. "Treatment Centre" is a look at Mamisarvik Healing Centre, one of Canada's only Inuit-specific centres for the treatment of trauma and addiction, in Ottawa.
Michael Wheeler (Arts '04) was executive producer, and Liz Etherington (Arts '78) was a researcher on Supervolcano: Yellowstone's Fury produced by David Brady Productions and premiered on 3 January on CBC-TV.
Martha Rudden (Arts '86) was presented with a Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal on 9 December by Hugh Segal, Senator for Kingston-Frontenac-Leeds. Martha, who works with Kingston Literacy, has advocated for a number of causes, and was one of 22 Kingston residents recognized for their dedication and deep sense of civic engagement.
Paisley Smith (Arts '10) has been awarded a Fulbright Student Award for 2012-2013. She is currently finishing her first year of a MFA degree in Cinematic Arts (Film and Television Production) at the University of Southern California.
Adam Bentley (Arts '08) was a finalist for the K.M. Hunter Artist Awards in 2012, and his short film Call of the City was selected for the Hamilton Film Festival. He also received funding from the Edmonton Arts Council to produce a 3 minute short about a teenager deciding whether to attend their school dance as they appear or as they truly are.
Mike Souther and Teza Lawrence (Arts '94) of Amaze Film + Television visited Alex Jansen's FILM 450 class in early October to talk about their experiences in the industry. They are currently in production on the fourth season of their series Call Me Fitz for HBO Canada, The Movie Network and Movie Central.
Mary Reed (Arts '84) was the recipient of the Alumni Association's 2012 Herbert. J. Hamilton Award, to be presented at the Alumni Awards Gala on 13 October. Mary is President of the Arizona Branch of the Alumni Association, and is currently an elected member of the University Council, which is one of the three governing bodies of the University. The Council includes members of the Board of Trustees, the Senate, and elected graduates, and serves as an advisory body to the University as a whole and is responsible for the election of the Chancellor.
And one of this year's Film grads, Cicely Johnston (Arts '12) received the Queen's Student Alumni Association's 2012 Volunteer of Distinction Award at the same gala event. Cicely has made a major impact during her years with the QSAA. She has also worked on the Class of 2012 website and been instrumental in their donation to mental health initiatives at Queen's.
Congratulations to Sarah Abbott (Arts '91), who received the Lieutenant Governor's Arts Award at a gala celebration of the arts hosted by the Saskatchewan Arts Board on 18 September, 2012. Sarah is an Associate Professor in the Department of Media Production and Studies at the University of Regina, and received the award for "her filmmaking endeavors, innovative teaching methods, ability to bridge cultures, commitment to empowering people, and passion for communicating hard-hitting issues." More details on Sarah's website.
Tara Nadolny (Arts '10) is staying in New York for now: "Last year I moved here for grad school (an MA in Media Studies at The New School) and started working at Common Good Productions, a small documentary production company, as a researcher and associate producer. We recently finished a huge multi-platform project Marine Defenders (film, website, printed materials, and a smart phone app) about intentional oil pollution from ships. Working at a smaller company is great because I've been getting lots of experience in all aspects of production, from development to grant writing, to post. Clarke may be happy to know that my producing experience from 450 comes in handy all the time, though the call sheets I'm making these days have gotten a lot more complicated!"
Jack Yan Chen, (Arts '11) writes, "Here's what a Canon 7D looks like in Hollywood. I'm just one month into a cinematography internship with Hurlbut Visuals in Los Angeles, mentored by Shane Hurlbut, ASC. Check out his blog on filmmaking tips. Kinda cool to see how everything works down here. I have never been so creatively and technically challenged in my life. So far on my journey, I have gripped and sparked on a few sets, tested out the latest prototype cameras and have laid hands on pretty much all the latest digital formats."
Jack Young (Arts '10) is taking his further education in digital media in a different direction. He says, "I have been accepted into the Library Science program at UWO. I am excited to start my first term in September and look forward to the opportunities this program will open up for me. An eventual career as a librarian or archivist is my final goal, as both positions reflect my deep valuation of the pursuit of knowledge and the freedom of information."
Mark Reitsma (Arts '07) continues to get a variety of experience as Manager of In-House Production at Sullivan Entertainment. He recently got DOP credit on the documentary Out of the Shadows, a look at the work of the Rembrandt Research Project in Europe. The film was narrated by Donald Sutherland and edited by Gord McClellan (Arts '72).
Mark Delottinville (Arts '09) was a featured Young Entrepreneur on Notable.ca recently, where he commented on his company name Big Pig Production Company: "While working in production I felt that there wasn't a single commercial production company in Toronto that had created a brand that was associated with the city. I wanted to do that. The reason I chose Big Pig as a name is because Toronto's 'Hogtown' history fits perfectly with the company I wanted to build here."
Owen Roth (Arts '08), Evan Bellam (Arts '09), and Devin Knowles (Arts '09) premiered their web series Cut to the Chase in January. The series is about an aspiring filmmaker named Chase Fountaine, whose efforts are largely motivated by the sudden departure, and subsequent success, of his "untalented" roommate Josh Wood. As Josh's fame rises, Chase's actions become more desperate, with hilarious results.
New Year, directed and co-written by Phil Borg (Arts '05) won Best Feature and Best Actress (Joanna Douglas of Being Erica) at the 2011 Clearwater Film Festival in Florida, and was screened in Toronto on 21 December. The film, Phil's first feature, is a coming of age comedy with a stellar cast including Nicholas Rose, who was nominated for an ACTRA award for his work.
Ben West (Arts '96) has been running Big Green Technical Solutions in Vancouver since 2004, providing a range of interactive and video services. Ben was profiled in Business in Vancouver recently, after his new company Xomo Digital won a Canadian New Media Award for Best Mobile App, for their work on the Vancouver Olympics.
One of the visitors for the Queen's Focus Film Festival this year will be Paul WInestock (Arts '89), who is currently president of the Canadian Cinema Editors. Paul has been busy in 2011 working on the TV series King and Little Mosque. Commenting on the plans for our new Performing Arts Centre, Paul says, "Exciting stuff at Queen's Film -- it's a huge change from when I was there. I might have to return to being a student..."
"Hey guys! James Tarlton (Arts '07... last year as 'Film Studies') here. After graduating, I moved to San Francisco, California where I worked in corporate and event video for a year before heading down to Los Angeles where I am now at USC pursuing my MFA in Film and TV Production. I am going into my 4th year of the degree, am specializing in Directing and Cinematography. My latest film as director, Out of the Shadows, is completed."
Matt MacLellan sent a great update in July: "For the last year or so, I've been working on music videos with TwoThreeFive Films in Toronto. Last night, I won my first MMVA as a producer on Classified's That Ain't Classy (MuchVibe Best Hip-Hop Video of the Year.) Hopefully the first of many to come. I'm pretty excited about it."
Evan Bellam (Arts '09) and PJ Lee (Arts '09) have put together a daily video blog at Konekt Magazine, following a not-for-profit organization in Kenya called the Kenya Help Project.
Craig Allen Conoley (Arts '08) writes, "After spending a year creating documentary-inspired web videos for WatchMojo.com, I returned to Ottawa and put together Partus Films. We are currently in post production on a feature documentary entitled Life Song and have just released our first short entitled Poetry in Motion, a short narrative providing a visceral account of a poet's relationship to cerebral palsy. It is competing in this year's Ottawa International Film Festival on Sunday, 21 August for best music video. We are currently seeking out distribution and completion funding for Life Song and hope to release it in 2012."
A nice update arrived from Carrie McKenna (Arts '02): "My husband Kevin and I are thrilled to announce the arrival of our baby girl, Julia Yvette Kelley, on January 14th, 2011 in Toronto. I continue to work in online advertising selling integrations and sponsorships on sites such as NFL.com, USMagazine.com, Marvel.com, ComingSoon.net, etc., however am really enjoying my time away from the office on maternity leave taking care of my beautiful daughter."
Marc Griffin (Arts '00) has been producing a new blog and podcast series from Montreal called The Poutine Wall. It's devoted to "Sports & Pop Culture from Canada's Cultural Divide" and has been attracting lots of attention, as well as top-notch guests from the worlds of sports and movies.
We were sorry to hear of the death of Trevor Brown (Arts '00) in Kingston in May. Trevor's obituary suggested that memorial donations might go to the new Mental Health Unit at Kingston General Hospital.
Ben Roberts and Brett Bergmann (Arts '04) have developed a free piece of mobile software called Pulse The World which has been getting great reviews and ratings in the iTunes App Store. PTW lets you tag and discover things happening around you.
Amanda Sage (Arts '01) continues to expand her website Kickass Canadians featuring inspiring people from all walks of life, including some former Queen's Film students: producer Alex Jansen and National Parks Project "filmmaker-visionaries" Ryan j. Noth (Arts '01) and Geoff Morrison (Arts '02).
Meanwhile, the National Parks Project picked up a Golden Sheaf nomination at the Yorkton Film Festival. Peter Raymont (Arts '72) was also nominated, as producer of documentaries Pet Pharm and The Team, and former Queen's prof Brenda Longfellow was nominated in the experimental category for her short enviro-opera Carpe Diem.
Author, chef and media personality Trish Magwood (Arts '93) has a new cookbook called In My Mother's Kitchen, about family cooking and life at home. Working with Trish as a producer is Julia Keilty (Arts '05).
David Ridgen (Arts '91) recently produced a short radio documentary for CBC's The Current on a 1964 cold case in Louisiana, called "Murder at the Shoe Shop." It was also broadcast in the U.S. on NPR as the Mystery Of Frank Morris.
Andrew King (Arts '09) shot a short documentary on the Premiere of Kenneyville which also gives a look at the production of the ambitious low-budget feature. He had some help from Mark Delottinville (Arts '09).
Adam Bentley (Arts '08) wants to follow up on his success at the 2009 Cabbagetown Short Film & Video Festival in Toronto with his documentary Luke's Kitchen. He says, "I am officially launching pre-production for my third short film, Call of the City, my most ambitious film yet! My first big step is organizing a fundraising campaign at IndieGoGo."
Elson Chan (Arts '10) writes from Hong Kong: "I am now working in the television industry as a production assistant at a television station called Television Broadcast Limited. Basically, what I do is to assist the directors with filming‚ casting, arranging schedules, preparing props and costumes (and much much more....) Well, to be honest, this is a very demanding job that comes with much pressure, but I have learned a great deal about the television industry. So I guess it's safe to say that I enjoy working as a production assistant. That being said, I really miss school!"
Ben Sulzenko (Arts '08) writes, "I finished my MA at U of T in April of 2009 and have been working in the biz since. I'm currently researching and casting on a Food Network Canada show called Pitchin' In with Chef Lynn Crawford. The production company I work for is called Frantic Films."
Karie Richards (Arts '93) was one of a crowd of alumni and other well-wishers who turned out for the recent Toronto launch of Prof. Clarke Mackey's book Random Acts of Culture: Reclaiming Art and Community in the 21st Century.
Thanks to David Scott (Arts '96) for the photos.
Steve McNamee (Arts '94) spent part of September and October in the Northwest Passage, on the Coast Guard icebreaker Amundsen, doing sound and second camera on a shoot for the documentary Polar Explorer.
The latest issue of Konekt magazine, co-published by Neil Martin (Arts '09), has hit university campuses in Kingston, Ottawa, London and Waterloo. The glossy quarterly magazine with a circulation of 25,000 was launched last year, and features writing and art contributed by students.
Don Breithaupt (Arts '83) invited everybody to "Toronto Sings the Breithaupt Brothers Songbook" at the Young Centre for the Performing Arts in Toronto's historic Distillery District on 2-3 October. "As always, we have a small army of brilliant vocalists performing our original jazz, pop and theatrical songs with a swingin'/sensitive trio."
David Ridgen (Arts '91) picked up Gemini nominations for Best Editorial Research and Best News Information Segment, for his documentary Canadian Cold Case: The Bomb That Killed Wayne Greavette on CBC TV. Meanwhile, his theatrical doc American Radical: The Trials of Norman Finkelstein has been on the festival circuit, including David's appearance on a panel with Michael Moore called "Here Comes Trouble" at the Traverse City Film Festival.
Another busy year cutting in Toronto for Geoff Ashenhurst (Arts '99). He writes, "Two films I worked on are making their World Premieres at TIFF. A Beginner's Guide To Endings from writer/director Jonathan Sobol is a dark comedy about 3 brothers (Scott Caan, Jason Jones, Paulo Costanzo) dealing with the somewhat complicated legacy left behind by their wayward father (Harvey Keitel). cite>The Whistleblower from writer/director Larysa Kondracki is a thriller set in post-war Bosnia, based on the true story of an American cop (Rachel Weisz) and her discovery of a sex-trafficking scandal involving the UN. And when I'm not editing I'm busy with my awesome year-old son Cole."
Nightmares in Red, White and Blue: The Evolution of the American Horror Film is the first film directed by our '97-98 Glasgow exchange student Andrew Monument. The Canadian premiere was at Rue Morgue's "Festival of Fear" in Toronto in August. Since graduating from Glasgow Andrew hs been working as an editor in the U.S. for various networks including National Geographic and Discovery Channel. He says, "The film is also currently available On-Demand in Canada through Videotron, Cogeco, Telus and Shawvideo. It is also available at iTunes and Amazon. We are scheduled to release Sept.28 on DVD and Blu-Ray."
Chris Donaldson (Arts '94) has been busy editing episodes of The Bridge, Kids in the Hall: Death Comes to Town and The Border, but his short film 2:14 PM also showed recently at the Worldwide Short Film Festival in Toronto, in the program "One for the Road".
Dorothy Engelman (Arts '82) tells us that there are now four Queen's Film grads working at q media solutions, the company started by Dorothy and her husband Richard Quinlan ('81) about ten years ago. Also on staff now are Associate Producer Menaka Mallikage ('05) and most recently Matt Campea ('09). Dorothy and q media are also still very involved in their Power of the Hour campaign to encourage community volunteer work.
Jeremy Shtern (Arts '01) is a Fonds québécois de la recherche sur la société et la culture (FQRSC) postdoctoral fellow in the Faculty of Communication and Design at Ryerson University. He has recently co-edited Media Divides: Communication Rights and the Right to Communicate in Canada, published by UBC Press.
Dana (Kearns) Brou (Arts '95) announces, "Everything is going great with our new little girl, Isabel Lorraine. She arrived on April 29 and weighed in at a whopping 9 lbs., 12 oz.! She's a happy, healthy baby and we've all settled in nicely at home, save for only getting sleep in 3-4 hour stretches at a time."
Tasha Diamant (Arts '83) received strong positive response at the 2009 Edmonton Fringe Festival to her Human Body Project performances, which she has been doing since 2006. Tasha states that, "It feels intensely urgent to me that we humans address the amputation of empathy and connectedness from our existence," and her latest step in what she intends to be a lifelong project, is a recently-completed video documentary.
After working at CBC and TSN, Wilder Weir (Arts '06) is now one of the hosts of Oh So Cosmo on Cosmopolitan TV, the cable channel associated with Cosmo magazine. He's seen here on location in Miami. Wilder also does stand-up at Yuk Yuks and other clubs.
The latest episode in the documentary series Canadian Cold Case produced by David Ridgen (Arts '91) aired on CBC Radio's The Current, and CBC-TV's The National in March. Sharin' Morningstar Keenan was nine years old when she disappeared from Sibelius Park in Toronto on January 23, 1983. City-wide searches were conducted, and her body was found nine days later. A man eventually identified as Dennis Melvin Howe was named the perpetrator, and has been on the run ever since. Some believe he may still be alive in Canada, the United States, or Mexico.
Alumni were well represented at the 10th Anniversary Kingston Canadian Film Festival: Ryan j. Noth (Arts '01) and Geoff Morrison (Arts '02) brought both their Gros Morne documentary and their low-budget feature No Heart Feelings to the Festival. The two filmmakers also participated in a workshop on producing a first feature.
Peter Raymont (Arts '72) screened Genius Within: The Inner Life of Glenn Gould, and conducted a Master Class on documentary. The Festival also hosted the Kingston premiere of Defendor, edited by Geoff Ashenhurst (Arts '99). And a long list of alumni contributed to a workshop on Breaking In: Starting a Career in Film & Media.
One of the Local Shorts was Farce Films by Rob Lindsay, playing before High Life on both Saturday and Sunday. And check out the trailer for the Festival at YouTube, by Andrew Gurney.
Andy Landen (Arts '04) is one of ten finalists for the 2010 "Coca-Cola Refreshing Filmmaker's Award". Ten scripts were chosen from hundreds submitted, for a 50-second theatrical commercial linking Coke and the moviegoing experience, to be produced at a cost of up to $7,500 each. The 2010 finalists can be viewed online; Andy's entry is called "Message in a Bottle."
The New York TImes has reviewed the long-awaited documentary American Radical: The Trials of Norman Finkelstein co-directed by David Ridgen (Arts '91) and Nicolas Rossier. The subject of the film was first suggested to David by Noam Chomsky, and having always been interested in individuals who take bold action, he began working on American Radical in 1997. The film is currently on the festival circuit, and will play Hot Docs in Toronto in May.
The Next Day, a new-media project by Shahid Quadri and Alex Jansen, is one of two winning entries of the NFB-TVO Calling Card Program, which offers Ontario-based filmmakers and new-media teams $45,000 and the chance to work with the NFB and TVO to create documentaries. The Next Day will be a philosophical, magic realism documentary told in an interactive graphic novel form, and based on interviews with three survivors of suicide attempts. It will be launched on both NFB.ca and tvo.org.
Chris Kennedy attended a Canadian Film Institute retrospective of his work called The World Viewed: The Films of Chris Kennedy on 4 February at Club SAW in Ottawa. Program notes mention that Chris "holds an MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute, where he was co-founder and host of a weekly film salon. His work as an artist and programmer operates in dialogue with the history of film as art, exploring the medium's materiality in a contemporary context."
Pawel Hyrkiel (Arts '03) in Toronto says: "I am now fully involved in the travel industry, having been with numerous companies since my last update. Currently I am working for MeritBiz, the corporate travel part of the Merit Family. I am doing quite well arranging travel for employees of several large corporations such as Panasonic and Deloitte. The work is good, definitely a bit of a challenge. Good luck to all."
We have another alumna working at TVOntario: Yasmina Sekkat completed the media writing program at Humber College and now works as an Associate Producer on the current affairs show The Agenda at TVO. She also has an active presence on Twitter.
Stephanie Wilson (Arts '09) writes, "I'm still in Vancouver and loving it! I've moved into my fabulous studio apartment in the trendy Main St. (Mount Pleasant) district, and decided to apply for a spot in the highly competitive MFA program at UBC - MFA Film Production and Creative Writing, which will begin in Sept 2010. I'm planning to take some time off and come home to Ontario for a couple weeks during the Olympics (if I can rent out my place, that is.)"
Neil Bailey (Arts '06) has been working on a documentary on the up-and-coming fashion designers involved in "Iconic Power," the 2009 Art of Fashion design competition. See a teaser at ArtOfFashion.org.
Toronto-based musician and composer Don Breithaupt (Arts '83) received an Emmy Award for his theme to the hit animated series 6teen at ceremonies held in Los Angeles on 29 August. Breithaupt (left) and his DNA Music Productions partner Anthony Vanderburgh (right) were nominated in the category "Outstanding Original Song - Main Title." Don's reaction: "They called our names, and before I knew it, we were onstage thanking the academy. The academy! Who gets to do that?"
6teen has been carried in Canada by TeleToon since 2004, but began running on the Cartoon Network in the U.S. only last year. Don also currently holds the keyboard chair in the Kim Mitchell Band, and his musical Seeing Stars, set in the rough and tumble world of Depression-era professional boxing, gets its world premiere at the New York Musical Theatre Festival from 7-17 October at The Theatre at St. Clement's on West 46th St.
The new novel The Carnivore by successful Kingston writer Mark Sinnett (Arts '85) will be launched at Kingston WritersFest on 24 September at 7:00 P.M. The following evening, Mark will take part in an onstage discussion with Joseph Boyden, Michael Crummey and Steven Heighton on the new male hero. ("Lives of Boys and Men," Friday 25 September, 8:30 P.M.) Advance tickets $10, rush admission free for Queen's students.
Craig Conoley (Arts '08) is back from Nepal where he produced a number of promotional docs on the co-op movement (see September 2008 below.) He writes, "I have made my way to Montreal. I'm now working for watchmojo, a new media company and leader in the cybermarket of a new digital economy. We produce a variety of segments ranging from the surf scene in Montreal, to How To clips on beating the frosh 15. Sometimes we are even lucky enough to interview the Justin Biebers of the world, or guys like Louis Psihoyos, the director of The Cove. We are a videopedia that is exploring the world of content branding and infotainment. I have been hired on to bring a documentary sensibility to the clips. Please check out the site and watch our mojo!"
Producer and director Jonathan Weiman and Torey Kohara (Arts '09) have returned from shooting in Rwanda for their feature-length documentary A Generation After Genocide. They were recently interviewed on CTV's Canada AM.
Geoff Ashenhurst (Arts '99) is still cutting ads and music videos at Stealing Time in Toronto, but he writes: "I took a leave over the winter to cut my first theatrical feature, Defendor. Written and directed by Peter Stebbings, starring Woody Harrelson, Kat Dennings, Elias Koteas and Sandra Oh, the film will be making its world premiere at the Toronto Film Festival. My other big news is the birth of my son, Cole Thomas Ruby Ashenhurst. Proud editor, proud father."
Laurie McGregor (Arts '05) writes, "Since Queen's, I've been doing a lot of odd jobs, including many a café, a teaching gig, and a stint in an art gallery/artist run centre, but I also went back to school to study graphic design, where I met another Queen's Film grad, Franci Duran. Under her tutelage, I became a not so bad designer and I've recently accepted the position of Junior Designer at Oxford University Press Canada. I haven't given up on film though! Currently, I'm also doing a research internship at Vtape here in Toronto, where I get to work with Erik Martinson. Exciting times!
"I hope everyone is doing well. I really miss Kingston from time to time. I can't believe the news about the move from Film House! I love Film House!"
Note to all Alumni: Yes, if you haven't heard the news, please check out our preview of Queen's future Performing Arts Centre. Maybe we'll have to get the Student Film Society to offer their latest T-shirts (120K JPEG) for sale to Alumni.
Jedrzej Jonasz (Arts '00) writes, "I am finally releasing my
feature film about indie filmmaking Low Budget in an abridged episodic version. Over the past few years I have been getting more and more involved in web and new media production and marketing, and have produced podcasts
and web shows. Last summer I shot a web travel series in Europe with my wife called Getting Around."
Amanda Sage (Arts '01) recently wrote and self-published a children's book called Dinostory. It tells the tale of what really happened to the dinosaurs. To learn more, and find out about her latest projects, visit Amanda's website.
A new short film by Franci Duran (Arts '91) Retrato Oficial (Official Portrait) premiered on 7 April at the Images Festival in Toronto.
Mike Cameron (Arts '00) now has his own film school going, at thesubstream.com. As well as forums and reviews, there are instructional video clips covering everything you might have missed in FILM 250, including "The Boom-Holder's Waltz" (left).
Brian O'Neill (Arts '04) came from Vancouver to attend the Kingston Retrospective gala of Reelout 10 on Friday, 6 February, and screen his short film Starring Brian O'Neill As Himself. The program also included several other Queen's student productions.
Laura Heselton (formerly Wilson, Arts '82) has co-produced the feature-length documentary What If?. The film deals with awakening the spiritual power that lies within ourselves, and complements Laura's work as a spiritual medium. She would be happy to hear from you through her website.
Ryan j. Noth (Arts '01, right) and Geoff Morrison (Arts '02, centre) were featured in a recent National Post article about their new documentary on Gros Morne, part of their proposed "National Parks Project" film series. Ryan is also quoted in the Winter 2008 issue of Point Of View (magazine of the Documentary Organization of Canada), in an article about the current state of film festivals and online distribution including FilmCAN.
See also Alumni News from 2007-2008.
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