March 2014 Issue

March 2014

Canada’s Call Sheet

By Judith Klassen

Motives, Mean Streets, and Random Acts of Matchmaking

March 2014Who would you call if you had to get rid of a dead body?

That’s a question writer Dennis Heaton (Call Me Fitz, Fido) asked himself when working on season two of the CTV drama Motive. Over coffee on a gunmetal gray Vancouver day, the Motive co-showrunner describes what is uniquely compelling about this BC shot homicide series. Says Heaton, “We create a moral gray zone. Our characters, while not always likeable, are relatable. You look at the murderer and think, there but for the grace of God go I.”

Created by Dexter and The Mentalist executive producer Daniel Cerone and developed with Motive co-showrunner James Thorpe (Sanctuary, Highlander), Motive is a deep, dark “why-done-it?” that delves into the minds of both murderers and victims. Starring Kristin Lehman (The Killing, G-Spot) as the single, crime- solving mom, Detective Angie Flynn, Motive’s stellar cast also includes: Louis Ferreira (Breaking Bad, Durham County), Lauren Holly (Dumb & Dumber), Roger R. Cross (Continuum, 24), Brendan Penny (Flashpoint), Valerie Tian (21 Jump Street) and Cameron Bright (Juno).

Montreal Noir

March 2014Oh happy day! Bravo adapts the critically acclaimed Quebec series 19-2 for English- language audiences. Turning hit Quebec series into hit English-Canadian shows has proved challenging in the past, but Bravo and 19-2 co-producers, Sphere Media Plus and Echo Media, have a clear vision: Let it be! Yes, Montreal will continue to play itself in the gritty, urban, one-hour drama.

This unified vision has been a boon to 19-2 showrunner, Bruce Smith (Played) who believes the only way to provide a legitimate window into Quebec police culture is to ignore the language issue. 19-2 uses the same model as films like The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo — which is set in a foreign country where the people just happen to speak English. March 2014The cast includes: Adrian Holmes (Arrow), Jared Keeso (Falling Skies), Maxim Roy (Heartland), Laurence Leboeuf (Durham County), Dan Petronijevic (Saving Hope), Conrad Pla (The Listener) Mylène Dinh-Robic (The Listener), Bruce Robert Ramsay (Continuum) and Benz Antoine who will reprise his role as Officer Tyler Joseph from the original Québec series.

Female Eyes

March 2014Now in its 12th year, Toronto’s Female Eye Film Festival screens cool indie flicks by righteous indie chicks, and has even opened a new location, Female Eye Sudbury! The list of contenders is long, but here’s a taste: In writer Roslyn Muir’s and director Siobhan Devine’s comedic short, OMG, actress Gabrielle Rose (The Sweet Hereafter) schools her emo-goth granddaughter (Mr. Young’s Matreya Fedor) on life without a cellphone. The fully female team works so well together that they’re shooting a feature film, The Birdwatcher, in Vancouver this month with producer, Alexandra Raffe (I Heard the Mermaids Singing, Endgame).

March 2014Forget it, Jake, it’s a different Chinatown.

In the quietly hilarious short, Chinatown, writer / star Precious Chong (daughter of Cheech & Chong’s Tommy) plays with her own experiences as a “redheaded, one quarter Chinese white girl” trying desperately to connect with her Asian roots. Oh, and she’s going through a divorce. First time film director, and long-time (award- winning) comedian, Sandra Battagalini (Classy Lady) deftly directs this instant classic. Screened at the inaugural Sudbury Female Eye Fest.

March 2014Filmmaker Katrin Bowen won the Female Eye Best Debut Feature Award in 2011 for her groundbreaking drama Amazon Falls. In 2013 Bowen returned with Random Acts of Romance, a dark comedy (co-written with Jillian Mannion & Kevin McComiskie) that boasts a killer cast that includes Amanda Tapping (Sanctuary) and Ted Whittall (Beauty and the Beast). An innovator behind the camera and in the social media realm, Bowen personally hooked up over 48 single friends at screenings in Toronto and Vancouver making her sexy flick an official date movie. At least one of those random couples is still going strong, but naturally there were a few disgruntled daters. Says Bowen, “Who knew that these random acts of matchmaking would be so intricate.”

Judith Klassen is a Toronto-based writer, comedian, filmmaker, and host of the celeb talk show Judecast.

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