by Tara Thorne
Ten days of movies, panels, Bob Weinstein sightings and buzz culminated in a round of back-patting on September 22 when the Atlantic Film Festival handed out its annual awards. The gala short Punch-Up at a Wedding, a remarkably dense narrative touching on the bride, groom and trouble-causer at the event, cleaned up with three nods. The Newfoundland production garnered Best Atlantic Short, Best Original Screenplay and Director. Both of the latter duties were handled by Justin Simms, who tied with Cottonland’s Nance Ackerman and Ed Buchanan on the directing honour. The Cottonland team was also awarded with the cinematography award for Alain Dupras’s work, as well as the Rex Tasker Documentary Award. Jackie Torrens’s bizarre, hilarious Pickled Punk picked up an honourable mention for best short.
Camelia Frieberg’s much-talked-about feature debut A Stone’s Throw, a Nova Scotia-set drama melded with a protest song, picked up Best Atlantic Feature and Best Sound Design for the team of Fred Brennan, Steve Munro, David Pellerin and Jim Rillie. Frieberg will re-team with Stone’s co-writer Garfield Lindsay Miller on the 2007 production Dizzy, “a comical light-hearted romp through the worlds of sexuality, autism, puberty and terminal illness.”
Other awards included Stephen Osler for Best Art Direction (for Mary Walsh’s directorial debut Young Triffie’s Been Made Away With), Angela Baker as Best Editor for Heads Up!, Sandy Moore for Best Original Score for Anita McGee’s innovative, operatic love story Dinner for One and Team Trailer Park—Barrie Dunn, Michael Volpe and Mike Clattenburg—which received the inaugural CBC Award for contributing to the film and TV industry.
The documentary Sharkwater was voted People’s Choice.
Speaking of Trailer Park Boys—and who isn’t, with the movie finally set to drop on October 6—you can get a sneak peek at The Big Dirty on October 1 at 10pm on Showcase with a behind-the-scenes special. And on Wednesday, October 4, the channel will air Hearts of Dartmouth, an incisive look at the series by Clattenburg paramour Annemarie Cassidy. It airs at 10pm.
Walking the 2007 Plank
Beloved theatrical institution Two Planks and Passion announced a stellar summer season this week from the deck of the tall ship Silva.
The company’s tentpole—mastpole?—production will be The Odyssey, adapted for the “outdoor stage” by Winnipeg playwright Rick Chafe. Even better, the production, which opens on July 26, will be guided by Two Planks’ 2006-07 company in residence, the incomparable Zuppa Circus. Dope! Also on the bill are works by two playwrights-in-residence: Coast cover author Ami McKay (The Birth House) will create a play based on the myth of Jerome, a mute, legless man who washes up on the shores of the Bay of Fundy, and Allen Cole will develop a musical version of Frank Parker Day’s Rockbound, which won the most recent round of Canada Reads on CBC. Tune in next year for specifics, and keep an eye out for readings of these works in progress. Visit twoplanks.ca for schedules and tickets.
Take it to Tatamagouche
This is a little bit out of our jurisdiction but we’re country and we know how cool it is when culture comes to your town. So take your camera, get in your car and head to Tatamagouche, where from October 4 to 6 you can attend the Tatamagouche Film Festival.
A slate of completely Atlantic documentaries will screen over the three days. They are: AFF champ Cottonland, The Battle at our Shores, Distress Signals, Hard Rock and Water, Herbicide Trials, Moses Coady, The Last Weir, Underlying Threat and When Women Kill.
Founded by marrieds Rob Assels and Lesley Longhorn, “the festival is intended as a means of discussing serious issues but in a relaxed setting with some very creative people,” says Assels, who notes the pair has been screening “socially relevant films” in town for months. Tickets are $10 a film, $20 a day or $40 for an event pass. Call 657-2231 to reserve, and visit tatafilmfest.ca for schedules and more info.
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