Author Archives: Courtney Small

March 23

Sundance Now Launches in Canada

Last night, filmmakers, media (including yours truly) and esteemed industry professionals gathered at the AGO in Toronto with special guests Sundance Now curator George Schmalz and General Manager of Sundance Now and Sundance TV Jan Diedrichsen to celebrate the official launch of AMC Networks’ ad-free streaming platform, Sundance Now in Canada. As a special for […]

March 23

CFF 2017: Broken Mile

Waking up after a night of booze and drugs, Shaun (Francesco Filice) discovers that the girl he had been partying with the night before is dead. Fearful that he will be implicated in her death, and worried about his best friend Kenny’s (Patrick McFadden) reaction, since he was dating the deceased, Shaun does the only […]

March 22

Hot Docs Announces 2017 Slate

Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival announced its full film line-up for the upcoming 24th edition, April 27–May 7, at a press conference this morning at the Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema in Toronto. From 2,906 film submissions, this year’s slate will present 230 titles from 58 countries in 13 screening programs, with work by […]

March 15

Talking Kong: Skull Island on See You Next Wednesday

It is rare that you get to talk about King Kong the fighter and lover in the same night. So it was a treat to be invited on The AV Club recommended podcast See You Next Wednesday to discuss the blockbuster Kong: Skull Island. On the show we also discussed the laughably bad 1986 love […]

March 15

Hot Docs Adds 16 More Titles to Special Presentations Program

Yesterday Hot Docs announced 16 additional documentary features that will screen in this year’s Special Presentations program. Special Presentations features a high-profile collection of world and international premieres, award winners from the recent international festival circuit and works by master filmmakers or featuring some star subjects. Notable subjects featured as part of the Special Presentations […]

March 14

New to Blu-ray: Fences

Nominated for four Academy Awards, including Viola Davis’s win for Best Supporting Actress, Denzel Washington’s directorial effort Fence arrives on Blu-ray and Digital HD combo today courtesy of Paramount Home Media Distribution. Adapted from August Wilson’s renowned play of the same name, the film is an intimate look at a family unraveling at the hands […]

March 12

Changing Reels Ep. 14 – Upstream Color

In episode 14 of Changing Reels, we dive into Shane Carruth’s experimental science fiction drama Upstream Color. The film is a love story revolving around two individual who find themselves inexplicably drawn together after being the victim of an unthinkable crime. Exploring themes of memory and identity, and featuring brilliant sound design, there is plenty […]

March 11

Kong: Skull Island

In a brilliant piece of marketing, Kong: Skull Island strategically aligned itself in the same vein as the Vietnam War film Apocalypse Now. Those looking for a blockbuster take on Francis Ford Coppola’s iconic film should temper their expectations. While Apocalypse’s influences can be felt from a stylistic standpoint, the South Pacific sun looms as […]

March 10

Shadow Girl

“Going blind is a fear of darkness when you can see. Darkness has a different meaning when you are born blind” states filmmaker Maria Teresa Larrain at one point in her moving documentary Shadow Girl. For Larrain, going blind has been both a source of fear and inspiration. After years of working in the visual […]

March 05

TIRFF 2017: Here Lies Mrs. Higgins

Daniel Holmwood’s black comedy Here Lies Mrs. Higgins follows two brothers from Ballyfeely as they try to move on with their lives after the death of their mother. Despite sharing similar physical features, the two men could not be more different. Tony (Kevin Buckley, who also co-wrote the film with Holmwood) is the older of […]

March 05

TIRFF 2017: The Flag

Declan Recks The Flag has aspirations of being a broad heist comedy, but never seems to get past its sitcom style premise. Returning to Ireland to bury his father, Harry Hambridge (Pat Shortt) discovers a letter from his late grandfather claiming a moment of heroics not normally associated with the family name. Believing his granddad […]

March 03

Table 19

The experience of watching Table 19 is, fittingly enough, much like attending a wedding by yourself in which you classify the bride and groom as “acquaintances.” It is awkward, features occasional moments of fun, and ultimately leaves you wondering if it was worth getting all dressed up for. Jeffrey Blitz’s latest film revolves around a […]

March 02

Smurfs, Ballerina, and more play 20th Anniversary of TIFF Kids International Film Festival

From a young boy seeking the acceptance of his mother’s new family, to the trials a child faces in their quest for education, strong and dynamic young protagonists dominate the screen at the 2017 TIFF Kids International Film Festival™. From April 7 through 23, TIFF Bell Lightbox welcomes the next generation of film lovers for […]

February 28

Hot Docs Announces Ten Special Presentations to Screen During 2017 Festival

  Today Hot Docs announced ten documentary features that will screen in this year’s Special Presentations program. Special Presentations features a high-profile collection of world and international premieres, award winners from the recent international festival circuit and works by master filmmakers or featuring some star subjects. Notable subjects featured as part of the Special Presentations […]

February 28

New to Blu-ray: Allied

By all accounts, Allied had all the makings of a great film. A grand wartime romance, featuring two luminous stars in the lead roles, it is easy to get swept up in the old Hollywood feel that the film evokes. Therein lies the problem. The film tries so hard to mimic the glamorous look and […]

February 27

Get Out

Jordan Peele’s directorial debut Get Out wastes no time in establishing both its sense of dread and its social subtext. Opening with an unnamed black man walking in a predominantly white suburb at night, it is immediately evident that no good can come of this. The man himself knows this as he nervously attempts to […]

February 25

Changing Reels Ep. 13 – Beyond the Lights

The world of pop music is often explored in film through a satirical lens. Gina Prince-Bythewood’s Beyond the Lights is one of those rare films that takes an honest look at the complexities of the industry. Centered around a romance between a pop star and a police officer, the film boldly examines topics such as […]

February 24

I Am Not Your Negro

“What is going to happen to this country?” Novelist James Baldwin believes this the real question that should be considered, while appearing on The Dick Cavett Show, rather than the one he has been asked regarding why black people are not jovial about their better life. Of course Baldwin, and those taking in Raoul Peck’s […]

February 24

A United Kingdom

Amma Asante’s latest film, A United Kingdom, tells the real-life story of Seretse Khama (David Oyelowo), a prince who nearly lost his throne and country simply because he wanted to follow his heart. A member of the royal family in his native Bechuanaland (now known as Botswana), Seretse meets and falls in love with Ruth […]

February 23

Provocative Tales Highlighted at Human Rights Watch Film Festival

TIFF® and Human Rights Watch co-present Toronto’s 14th annual Human Rights Watch Film Festival, with a poignant eight-film lineup that galvanizes an impassioned call for social change through extraordinary stories of struggle, survival and hope. Showcasing brave cinematic works at the forefront of the human rights movement, the festival presents documentary feature films from Afghanistan, […]