Film Review: THE GARDENER (Canada 2016) ***

Deadlines to Submit your Screenplay, Novel, Story, or Poem to the festival: http://www.wildsound.ca

the_gardener.jpgThe Gardener is a documentary directed by Sebastien Chabot about Frank Cabot’s Les Quatre Vents, aka Cabot Garden, a magnificent private garden in the Charlevoix region near Quebec City.

Director: Sébastien Chabot
Writer: Sébastien Chabot
Stars: Francis Cabot, Anne Cabot, Adrienne Clarkson

Review by Gilbert Seah
 
Veteran of Canada’s TV industry, director Sébastien Chabot first feature documentary THE GARDENER offers audiences a rare opportunity to experience arguably the most beautiful garden in the world. This garden is designed and cultivated by Frank Cabot (recently deceased in 2011), THE GARDENER of the title who is also a philanthropist and horticulturalist.

The garden’s beauty, as well as Cabot’s boundless passion and his commitment to refining their every last detail are captured in the pensive and stunningly photographed film.

The garden is called Les Quatre Vents (The Four Winds) at Malbaie, Quebec. It is only near the end of the film that Chabot reveals that this Garden of Eden is now open to the public. It is open only for 4 Saturdays of the year at a price of $30 per person and sold only in November. Needless to say, the tickets are always sold out and each person is allowed a maximum purchase of 4 tickets. (this year’s tickets are sold out and the 2018 tickets go on sale in December). It is practically a sure thing that anyone watching Chabot’s film will mark this calendar date to book the tickets.

The film contains two days of interviews of Cabot. It is fortunate as audiences get to hear Cabot’s perspective on life and on the design of his garden. Cabot was ill at that time but agreed to be interviewed. His wife and close friends also tie in their points of view on the garden.

The best segments of the film are the shots of the garden. From the tiered waterfalls, sculptured hedges, flowers and stone sculptures to the garden paths, the tour of the 20-acres of Cabot’s land is nothing short of magnificent.

Cabot talks about his garden being like a symphony. It is a bit tacky that Chabot immediately follows this comment with symphony music. It is also quite obviously artificial that he adds in the sound of bird chirping during the tracking shots. These are a few forgivable complaints on the film. Original music of the film is provided by Luc St-Pierre.

Chabot spends a fair amount of time, necessarily on the background of the man. It is insightful to see where his ideas originated. Cabot was a rich and wealthy man and a genius in his own right. One can see that a man full of riches and owner of such a magnificent garden would eventually want to share the beauty with the rest of the world. He thus opened the garden to the public for the first time in 1987.

“It was a true pleasure to document the beauty of Les Quatre Vents, and the bold vision of Frank Cabot,” said director Sébastien Chabot. “I’ve been elated to see festival audiences respond so enthusiastically to the film, it’s a privilege to offer people the opportunity to experience a stunning place that only a lucky few have had a chance to see.” These are the same thought echoed in the words of Chabot when interviewed in the film.

The film offers a rare opportunity to see true beauty. Don’t miss it! From May 19, THE GARDEN opens theatrically at the Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema for a week-long run.

Trailer:​ https://vimeo.com/213602278

_________

Also, Free logline submissions. The Writing Festival network averages over 95,000 unique visitors a day.
Great way to get your story out: http://www.wildsound.ca/logline.html

Deadlines to Submit your Screenplay, Novel, Story, or Poem to the festival:http://www.wildsound.ca

Watch recent Writing Festival Videos. At least 15 winning videos a month:http://www.wildsoundfestival.com

Film Review: ALIEN: COVENANT (USA 2017) ***1/2

Deadlines to Submit your Screenplay, Novel, Story, or Poem to the festival: http://www.wildsound.ca

alien_coventent.jpgThe crew of a colony ship, bound for a remote planet, discover an uncharted paradise with a threat beyond their imagination, and must attempt a harrowing escape.

Director: Ridley Scott

Stars: Michael Fassbender, Katherine Waterston, Billy Crudup, Danny McBride

Review by Gilbert Seah

 
ALIEN helmer Ridley Scott (he directed two of the series) proves that at the age of 80, he still has it. The latest ALIEN called ALIEN: COVENANT the second of the prequel before the first ALIEN movie and the sequel to the last PROMETHEUS shows Scott in top form. ALIEN COVENANT is far superior to copycat space horror films like the recent LIFE and PASSENGER. ALIEN: COVENANT is the real thing – with real horrors in the abyss of space that will keep one at the edge of the seat watching face clingers and torso busters (called more mildly face huggers and chest bursters in the film).

The film begins with a short flashback showing Peter Weyland (Guy Pearce) while he is still alive; he addresses a synthetic android (Michael Fassbender) who would become part of the Prometheus expedition. Weyland asks the android to select a name for himself and the android selects ‘David’ as his preferred name.

The film moves to the present which is 2104. The crew of the colony ship Covenant is bound for a remote planet with two thousand colonists and a thousand embryos aboard. While en route to their destination, an energy surge damages the ship, killing its captain and waking the crew. As they repair the ship, the crew intercept a radio transmission from a nearby planet and decide to investigate as the transmission is human in origin but the planet is supposedly lifeless. This is when the horror begins.

The first ALIEN film was panned by the critics with the critic at Time Magazine calling it a bastard movie, a cross between STAR WARS and JAWS. One can see why. Like JAWS, the first sight of the alien occurs almost a third into the movie just as the first sight of the shark was never seen till half of the film elapsed – a Hitchcock trait (best example: THE BIRDS). But once the monsters starts bursting out of the victim’s bodies – watch out ! Sound effects, special effects and all the horror instruments filmmakers use are perfectly combined to scare the hell out of audiences and for a fairly lengthy interval of time at that. PASSENGER never achieved that level of effect while LIFE imitated a few of the scares. The alien clinging on the outside of the spaceship as it strives to enter the ship, is seen in both LIFE and COVENANT. There are more characters in COVENANT than in any of the past ALIEN Films or in LIFE and PASSENGER resulting in more grisly deaths as well.

COVENANT is neatly tied in to PROMETHEUS though the audience need not know much about the original film. The film also contains an intricate enough plot, with a sufficient twist at the end, brilliant for the fact that the audience is supposed to guess it.

The only complaint is of the film being a bit confusing, though the confusion can be sorted out with a bit of reflection. One is the use of actor Fassbender to play the two androids David and Walter. The other is the flashback at the start of the film, which is not clearly conveyed to the audience as a flashback. When Fassbender appears on the ship, one assumes he is David, but he is actually Walter. Another disarray arises with the large number of crew suddenly descending on the planet as the film only showed a handful of humans awakened from their slumber.

Scott still uses the gimmicks of the past ALIEN films to ensure the film’s success. Katherine Waterston as Daniels, a terraforming expert looks like a younger Sigourney Weaver, especially in her sweat-soaked undergarments. The sight of the alien eggs before hatching still looks as eerie as before. A few new additions are added like the bath scene (looking almost pornographic) which is comical in a way as the alien strikes like a snake-like creature.

ALIEN: COVENANT returns the franchise to its roots and to what works. Fans and audiences would shriek in delight!

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H0VW6sg50Pk
 

_________

Also, Free logline submissions. The Writing Festival network averages over 95,000 unique visitors a day.
Great way to get your story out: http://www.wildsound.ca/logline.html

Deadlines to Submit your Screenplay, Novel, Story, or Poem to the festival:http://www.wildsound.ca

Watch recent Writing Festival Videos. At least 15 winning videos a month:http://www.wildsoundfestival.com

Interview with Festival Director Len Gibson (Peachtree Village International Film Festival)

PVIFF is hosted by Gipp. Museums, Inc. PVIFF attracts 3,000+ people each year from around the world. PVIFF was created in 2006 under the previous name (Sweet Auburn International Film Festival) and have served as the launching pad for many successful filmmakers and other artists alike in the film & entertainment industry. This dynamic international film festival showcases feature length films, shorts, music videos, documentaries, and screenplays from around the globe. PVIFF also feature celebrity attractions, innovative workshops, panels, parties, and much more. PVIFF is one of the most celebrated film events through dynamic programming and a dedication to helping filmmakers excel in their careers. PVIFF’s brand is entrenched in the old saying “It Takes A Village.”

Contact
  • Email
  • Website
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Matthew Toffolo: What is your Film Festival succeeding at doing for filmmakers?

    Len Gibson: We succeed at connecting filmmakers with the resources they need to advance their careers. Over the years we have garnered numerous international relationships to include financiers, distributors, executives and more. We succeed at pairing our filmmakers with these relationships in a non threatening manner.

    What would you expect to experience if you attend the festival this year (2017)?

    You can expect to meet some really cool exciting people that are doing great things in film, television and technology. You can also expect to experience some great films, panels and workshops.

    What are the qualifications for the selected films?

    The films just have to speak to our audience. Our audience is multi-cultural with diverse backgrounds. We attempt to select quality films with great themes that speak to a broad audience.

    Do you think that some films really don’t get a fair shake from film festivals? And if so, why?

    In some cases I do. In some cases you can see the talent in a young filmmaker that may not be there yet but they have all the tools to be successful. We try to give young filmmakers an opportunity to share their work if we feel that they are the tools to become a solid filmmaker. Not all festivals do this and I can understand why but we try to because you never know who is going to blossom into a great filmmaker.

    What motivates you and your team to do this festival?

    Helping young artists succeed.

    How has your FilmFreeway submission process been?

    Our process with Film Freeway has been great.

    Where do you see the festival by 2020?

    By 2020 we expect to be about 3 times the size we are now. We are focused on infusing more music and more technology into what we offer at our festival.

    What film have you seen the most times in your life?

    Probably Shawshank Redemption.

    In one sentence, what makes a great film?

    A great story that makes a broad impact on the viewers that see it told with believable acting and solid cinematic value.

    How is the film scene in your city?

    The film scene is great is Atlanta. This city has truly become the place to shoot film and television. Atlanta has the look of many places around the U.S. and the weather is good here so shooting in this city is great.

     

    peachtree2.jpg

    —-

    Interviewer Matthew Toffolo is currently the CEO of the WILDsound FEEDBACK Film & Writing Festival. The festival that showcases 20-50 screenplay and story readings performed by professional actors every month. And the FEEDBACK Monthly Festival held in downtown Toronto, and Los Angeles at least 2 times a month. Go to www.wildsound.ca for more information and to submit your work to the festival.

    SUBMIT your TV PILOT Screenplay or TV SPEC Script
    Voted #1 TV Contest in North America.
    Screenplay CONTESTSUBMIT your Short Screenplay or FEATURE Script
    FULL FEEDBACK on all entries. Get your script performed

Interview with Festival Director Shawn P. Greene (Great Lakes Christian Film Festival)

Christian Filmmakers are on the rise, and as technology advances and is more accessible to more and more people, new outlets are necessary to meet the demand of new Christian Films. The third festival in 2017 will be located in Buffalo, NY, the gateway to the Great Lakes. Buffalo has a rich history, and many stories to tell.

Film Review: JACKIE BOY (Canada 2015) ***1/2

Deadlines to Submit your Screenplay, Novel, Story, or Poem to the festival: http://www.wildsound.ca

jackie_boyA self-destructive womanizer falls for a girl with mysterious intentions.

Director: Cody Campanale
Writer: Cody Campanale
Stars: Alino Giraldi, Shannon Coulter, Edward Charette

Review by Gilbert Seah

As far as nasty films go, JACKIE BOY is arguably the nastiest screened this year. But this is not necessarily a bad thing. Ottawa based writer/director Cody Campanale has nailed a gritty, disturbing yet absorbing tale of self-destructive males on the sexual prowl.

The film’s lead character is Jack (Alino Giraldi) nicknamed by his close friends as Jackie Boy. The film never reveals the race of the three, though they look East Indian, but more likely Italian from the name of the actors portraying them. When the film opens Jack has picked up a girl at a party and they make out, doing drugs and drink. He takes her home and shoots lots of nude shots of her using his cellular. When she is sleeping, he posts them on twitter under #meow (obviously for pussy). The film has a contemporary edge, with whatever is happening on screen – the disco, pots and pans music, the drugs, the social media and the liberal decadence. But Jackie’s mean deed will come back to haunt him later in the story.

But Jackie eventually meets Jasmine (Shannon Coultier), a mysterious woman who cock teases Jack to no end. She also causes a rift between him and his best friends Cal (Edward Charette) and Tony (Andrew Di Rosa).

Campanale’s film deserves credit in many departments. For a sexual predator, director Campanale has achieved the tough task of getting the audience to root for him. This is accomplished in several ways. For one, he is shown to be kind to his pet cat, slapping his friend Cal who has shot the cat with a paintball and cleaning it gently after. He has a sick father who he visits and looks after in hospital. But mostly, Campanale shows that his friends are worse than him. Cal, though cleans Jack up after a night vomitting from drink and drugs, assaults Jasmine while Tony is a no-good fat husband who fools his wife to think that he is on a diet to lose weight as well as believing him to be looking for work. Jackie is also shown to be turning into a more responsible male after falling for Jasmine. When Jackie finally gets what is due to him from his past acts, the audience actually sympathizes with his character. But the film never shows what Jackie or Cal do for work or their background how they have became buddies.

Alino Giraldi proves to be an actor capable of carrying an entire movie. He is not the sexiest person alive, but the camera knows how to create that needed sexiness by focusing on his tattoo, clothes and hunky build. The camera also does not shy from showing particularly the male genitals.

JACKIE BOY ends up a film one would appreciate more than one would imagine. It is well shot, written (though with sparse dialogue), directed and acted and is an absorbing (though one can hardly call it entertaining) watch from beginning to end.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Shwdjkpju00

_________

Also, Free logline submissions. The Writing Festival network averages over 95,000 unique visitors a day.
Great way to get your story out: http://www.wildsound.ca/logline.html

Deadlines to Submit your Screenplay, Novel, Story, or Poem to the festival:http://www.wildsound.ca

Watch recent Writing Festival Videos. At least 15 winning videos a month:http://www.wildsoundfestival.com

Interview with Festival Director William Strang-Moya (OCEAN CITY FILM FESTIVAL)

The Ocean City Film Festival was founded in January, 2017. Hosted by the Art League of Ocean City, this festival is a regional affair that allows both community engagement and networking for artists.

http://oceancityfilmfestival.weebly.com/

Matthew Toffolo: What is your Film Festival succeeding at doing for filmmakers?

William Strang-Moya: This film festival is ultimately going to expand the demographic of these filmmakers. It is truly providing them an opportunity to lay the groundwork for an emerging film culture within the Delmarva region.

What would you expect to experience if you attend the festival this year (2017)?

This is the inaugural year for the Ocean City Film Festival. A person attending can expect mainly an incredibly diverse selection and the chance to personally engage the filmmakers that will be showing their work.

What are the qualifications for the selected films?

The qualifications are few for this year’s festival. We have an animation category, short film category, feature length category, and youth category. We seek work based on its uniqueness, diversity, and its coherent purpose for being a film. However, we do offer various awards for films. Such as a judge’s choice and audience choice. Then there is the “Pink Flamingo” Award for the film that most uniquely represents Maryland life. The “Celluloid Crab” award goes to the film with the best use of analog equipment or practical effects. And last we have the “Inky Tentacle” award for the best screenplay.

Do you think that some films really don’t get a fair shake from film festivals? And if so, why?

I don’t think that films will always get a fair shake anywhere, really. As film, to us, is ultimately viewed as an art, beauty is truly in the eye of the beholder. As someone who is fresh out of film school, I can say that for the longest time I have had to craft my films in a way that would appease my professors as opposed to my artistic inclinations. It is truly shameful that as a collective, film cannot be approached with a more open mind as Hollywood has set such specific standards for how films should be executed. When it comes to festivals, films have a lot of opportunities for due recognition, but as a whole, I do not feel too much at liberty to speak on behalf of how complicated the relationship can be between filmmakers and festivals.

What motivates you and your team to do this festival?

We are motivated by a number of things. My partner Kristin Helf(Festival Co-director) and I have been shooting films in the area for a while now, and even as a native, I am constantly amazed by how readily the community embraces film-making and allows for individuals such as ourselves to come in and work on our films. So we are really motivated by the idea of establishing a culture for filmmakers in the region and awaken the local artists so that a network can be established.

How has your FilmFreeway submission process been?

The process was intimidating at first, but we are fortunate to have gotten a good committee of judges and a coherent color-coded flagging system to sort through the entries.

Where do you see the festival by 2020?

By 2020, I see the festival at its third year, with larger venues, and bigger names attending.

What film have you seen the most times in your life?

Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead II.

In one sentence, what makes a great film?

A great film is a film that is both personal and purposeful to the filmmaker and its audience.

How is the film scene in your city?

I currently live in Baltimore and with the Maryland Film Fest going on, the film scene is present and active. Ocean City however has no film scene. The closest film scene can be found about an hour away in Rehoboth.
 

oceancity_1

Interviewer Matthew Toffolo is currently the CEO of the WILDsound FEEDBACK Film & Writing Festival. The festival that showcases 20-50 screenplay and story readings performed by professional actors every month. And the FEEDBACK Monthly Festival held in downtown Toronto, and Los Angeles at least 2 times a month. Go to www.wildsound.ca for more information and to submit your work to the festival.

SUBMIT your TV PILOT Screenplay or TV SPEC Script
Voted #1 TV Contest in North America.
Screenplay CONTESTSUBMIT your Short Screenplay or FEATURE Script
FULL FEEDBACK on all entries. Get your script performed
Screenplay CONTESTFIRST SCENE (first 10pgs) Screenplay CONTEST
Submit the first stages of your film an

Interview with Festival Director Warren Workman (Family Film Festival)

The Family Film Festival will take place this summer at the Covey Center for the Arts. They will be screening films and producing 3 short films the week prior to the award program. Come join in the fun with the entire family in Provo, Utah.

http://www.familyfilmfest.org/

 Matthew Toffolo: What is your Film Festival succeeding at doing for filmmakers?

Warren Workman: At the Family Film Festival we are cultivating an environment for young filmmakers to learn the skills it takes to tell great stories through cinema. By providing a venue for them to learn the skills and watch films by great filmmakers, we provide a well rounded experience to help anyone dive into the family friendly filmmaking genre.

What would you expect to experience if you attend the festival this year (2017)?

Expect a different vibe at the Family Film Festival than you are used to. You will see a lot of young children running around in the lobbies and cheering and laughing along with your film. We provide a relaxed atmosphere while showcasing films in our posh theater to audiences of all ages.

What are the qualifications for the selected films?

We are looking for family friendly films so if it would fall in the G-PG or TV-G to TV-14 area then we are the festival for you. The films are selected by a committee of parents and kids that are looking for films that entertain, inspire, and educate audiences without alienating younger viewers.

Do you think that some films really don’t get a fair shake from film festivals? And if so, why?

Not at all. We work with several festivals and see that each film is viewed by multiple members of a selection committee. However some films just don’t make sense for all film festival. A film probably wont get accepted to a horror genre film festival if it is a feel good family comedy. Filmmakers would see a higher acceptance rate if they submitted their projects based of what the festival is looking for. Its always a good idea to see if the festival is a good match for the film before submitting.

What motivates you and your team to do this festival?

Provo City asked us to help bring a film festival that would resonate with their younger family demographic. Having young children ourselves we have found it difficult find events that cater to the entire family. We are excited to present and event that is fun for everyone no matter their age.

How has your FilmFreeway submission process been?

We have had a tremendous response! We had 50 submissions come through in our first week since we opened our call for submissions. Almost every single one of the films and screenplays submitted is exactly what we are looking for and we are excited to start programing a wonderful first year.

Where do you see the festival by 2020?

We would love to see the event grow into a week long festival tradition bringing grandkids and grandparents into the same theater to provide a unique educational experience.

What film have you seen the most times in your life?

Other than the annual watching of “It’s a Wonderful Life” I have probably seen “Sound of Music” more than any other film.

In one sentence, what makes a great film?

If a film can connect with me on an emotional level, thats what makes a great film to me.

How is the film scene in your city?

We currently have 21 films/series being filmed in Utah County right now. It’s super busy here if you in the film business.

familyfilmfest_2.jpg

Interviewer Matthew Toffolo is currently the CEO of the WILDsound FEEDBACK Film & Writing Festival. The festival that showcases 20-50 screenplay and story readings performed by professional actors every month. And the FEEDBACK Monthly Festival held in downtown Toronto, and Los Angeles at least 2 times a month. Go to www.wildsound.ca for more information and to submit your work to the festival.

SUBMIT your TV PILOT Screenplay or TV SPEC Script
Voted #1 TV Contest in North America.
Screenplay CONTESTSUBMIT your Short Screenplay or FEATURE Script
FULL FEEDBACK on all entries. Get your script performed
Screenplay CONTESTFIRST SCENE (first 10pgs) Screenplay CONTEST
Submit the first stages of your film an