Park city

Tara Thorne has your weekly TPB update, plus film and acting news.

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This has been a big week for Trailer Park Boys—it feels like we write that a lot—on both the critical and commercial sides. Along with Atlantic Film Festival entries Sharkwater, Away From Her, Congorama, The Journals of Knud Rasmussen and Manufactured Landscapes, Trailer Park Boys: The Movie has been named one of the top 10 Canadian films of 2006 by the Toronto International Film Festival Group. Its 10-person independent panel included Thom Fitzgerald and CRAZY director Jean-Marc Vallée.

“This year has been phenomenal for Canadian cinema both critically and commercially,” said TIFFG honcho Piers Handling. “The diversity of genres and subjects featured in Canada’s Top Ten highlight the extraordinary filmmaking talent in this country. These films give audiences a chance to experience the stories our filmmakers are telling, challenge our notions of cinema and can even change the way we view the world.”

Also this week, LA-based Myriad Pictures (distributor of the Nova Scotia-shot The River King and the upcoming Edie Sedgwick biopic Factory Girl) acquired the US distribution rights to the TPB film, which hits the Canadian DVD market in February, and will release it next year. That’s a lot of kittens! Or something.

And since we’re on the topic, the TPB Christmas special will air Wednesday, December 20, on Showcase at 10pm.

Acting up

In other Halifax film and TV news, some local actors are raising their profiles throughout North America. Season 2 of Global sudser Falcon Beach—a Canadian-style OC set on the balmy shores of, um, Lake Winnipeg—kicks off on January 5 with Nova Scotia native Jennifer Kydd leading the ensemble. The show is also a huge showcase of Canadian music, and in its first season featured tracks from Matt Mays and El Torpedo and Nathan Wiley.

Someone we missed in our Utah round-up last week was local actor and Jay Dahl-regular Dax Ravina, who co-stars alongside the double-threat hotness of Scott Speedman and Wes Bentley in the Slamdance Film Festival opening film Weirdsville. It seems like an apt title considering its imdb summary: “A pair of slackers get in way over their heads when they try to dump the body of a dead girlfriend in the basement of a drive-in movie theater where a satanic cult performs ritual sacrifices.” Weirdsville was directed by Allan Moyle, helmer of our favourite Canadian film of all time, New Waterford Girl, and produced by Darius Films (The Life and Hard Times of Guy Terrifico). Slamdance runs concurrently with Sundance in late January.

Dy-no-mime!

This is the closing week of the Theatre Arts Guild’s annual pantomime, wrapping up on Saturday December 16. This year’s production, Ali Baba and the Seven Thieves, is about a poor woodcutter who trips across a robbers’ treasure cave. When his brother discovers the secret and is caught by the robbers, pantomimed hilarity ensues. These are family shows filled with music and dope costumes, so head out there while you can. Ali Baba is co-directed by Rebecca Humphreys, Eric Rountree and Cheryl Theriaul with musical direction by Bunny Shore. Call the TAG reservation line for tix at 477-2663. Shows are at 8pm with a 2pm matinee on Saturday at the Pond Playhouse, 6 Parkhill.

The View from here

You know we’re all over anything the Atlantic Film Festival does since it’s a huge reason we have any sort of decent movie climate at all, so we’re happy to announce its (literally) junior event, ViewFinders International Film Festival for Youth has a couple of calls out.

One is for films, and you don’t have to be a wunderkind teenaged auteur to submit. As long as it’s youth-oriented or suitable for the demographic, send in your fiction, documentary, animated or experimental work. The deadline is January 19.

They’re also looking for a youth jury, one of the more important jobs at a film festival—you get to watch everything and then give out the prizes. This year’s jury will be responsible for picking the best short, doc, feature and animation. That deadline is January 26, and applicants will need to write a 250-word review of a film they’ve seen this year. Older siblings and cool parents can download information at atlanticfilm.com/view. Give the gift of film education this holiday season!

Other arty gift ideas? Email: tarat@thecoast.ca

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