In the five years since its inception, the Talent to Watch Program has supported close to 75 first projects. In both narrative web series and feature film format, these stories range from thoughtful documentaries to heart-warming romantic comedies, and are the perfect gift to give your favourite film buff.
Here is a little taste of what you can find:
Want to have a giggle? Pop some popcorn and settle in with these laugh-out-loud comedies:
Pretend We’re Kissing – All Benny (Dov Tiefenbach) wants to do is be more confident, stop thinking so much, and fall in love. When he has a chance encounter with Jordan (Tommie-Amber Pirie), a woman obsessed with the notion of fate, he may finally have the opportunity. That is, if he can get out of his own way. This adorably bittersweet film is perfect for everyone who doesn’t think their love life resembles a romantic comedy. English, 2014.
Two 4 One – In this unique romantic comedy, Gavin Crawford plays Adam, a transman, who agrees to have a one-night stand with his ex-girlfriend (Naomi Snieckus) during which he will artificially inseminate her with donated sperm. Unexpectedly … they both wind up pregnant! This heartwarming film deals with questions of identity and belonging in a way that is both touching and funny. English, 2014.
Kooperman – When the owner of a struggling comic book store, played by Dylan Miller, faces eviction, he must take enough time off from his superhero fantasy life to save his cruel and impending reality. This smart, character-driven comedy will leave you laughing-out-loud and attempt a debate on society’s obsession with superheroes. English, 2015.
The Editor – In this horror-thriller-comedy dam Brooks plays Rey Ciso, a film editor, who gets embroiled in a string of Hitchcock-like murders. Rey finds himself in a giallo-esque plot when he is the suspect in a number of murders taking place among the crew of the very film he is working on. English, 2014.
In the mood for a good tear-jerker or something a little scary? Grab your coziest blanket and snuggle in to watch these:
Werewolf – Blaise (Andrew Gillis) and Nessa (Bhreagh MacNeil) are outcast methadone users in Cape Breton just trying to get by, day by day, pushing a rusty lawnmower door-to-door begging to cut grass. Nessa wants a way to escape, while Blaise is slowly deteriorating, but they need each other to survive in the harrowing journey of addiction. English, 2016.
Cast No Shadow – This film tells the story of one tumultuous summer in the life of a troubled teenager Jude (Percy Hynes) as he attempts to navigate his way through a life of delinquency. In the midst of it all, he forms an unlikely friendship with a reclusive older woman (Mary-Colin Chisholm) after his abusive father (Joel Hynes) is sent to jail. English, 2014.
The Northlander – It’s a dystopian future in the year 2961, and humanity and nature have recovered the land. A hunter named Cygnus (Corey Sevier) is called to protect his people by traveling across a desert valley to defend his tribe against a band of Heretics. Cygnus must find a way for his tribe to survive … and time is running out. English, 2016.
Le Dep – This psychological drama tells the story of Lydia (Eve Ringuette), a young Innu woman, who is held at gunpoint one night while working at her father’s convenience store in a First-Nations community in rural Québec. That night, Lydia is forced to make a decision that will forever change her life as well as her assailant whom she seems comes to find is someone closer to her than she thought. French, 2015.
What We Have – This is the tale of Maurice (Maxime Desmons), a gay ex-patriot who has become a prisoner of his past, unable to connect with the people in his small town. In an attempt to make something of his life, he takes a job tutoring Allan (Alex Ozerov), a queer high school student who is being bullied. Their student-teacher relationship is soon complicated when Allan falls in love with Maurice, in turn triggering Maurice’s own repressed memories of childhood sexual abuse. French & English, 2014.
For those with a taste for thought-provoking documentaries, we have something for you:
The Secret Trial 5 – Imagine spending years in prison without being charged with a crime or knowing what you were accused of. This film, directed by Amar Wala, explores the human impact of the “War on Terror,” and how the act of systemic racial profiling from the branches of the Canadian government has had on 5 Canadian immigrant men. English, 2014.
Welcome to F.L. – This documentary, directed by Genevieve Dulude-De Celles, is a sincere portrait of the smart, passionate and reflective students preparing for life after high school. Coming from a regional school in Quebec, students share their views of the world and contemplate the adult lives that await them. French, 2015.
Find these movies as well as other iconic Canadian gems on the iTunes page created in honour of Canada 150 or on the National Film Board Emerging Talent channel.
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