By David Klassen
Four made in Manitoba films will have the honour of being screened at the upcoming Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF).
“How to Start Your Own Country” is one of the films, which was directed and produced by Jody Shapiro of Everyday Pictures and Phyllis Laing of Buffalo Gal Pictures. The producers describe the flick as a “ultra-sharp documentary” that looks at micro-nations — tiny states seldom recognized by better-known and established countries. The film introduces viewers to several states they’ve almost certainly never heard of. The project was co-produced by Denis Seguin.
Short Cuts Canada will present three Manitoban short film projects, including “Negativipeg,” directed by Matthew Rankin and produced by Walter Forsberg. It’s a short film collaboration long in the making that tells the story of Rory Lepine, who went from obscurity to fame in 1985 when he attacked The Guess Who’s legendary lead singer Burton Cummings with a beer bottle at a Winnipeg 7-Eleven. This will be director Matthew Rankin’s third film in the festival since 2006.
“Warchild” will also be screened at the film festival and follows students from Northern Manitoba who come to live at a boarding school in Winnipeg for Aboriginal youth. Lastly, “Open Window” will depict the portrait of a family and the rising tension of the unspoken during a backyard birthday party in a single continuous shot.
The 2010 Toronto International Film Festival runs from September 9-19.
— With files from On Screen Manitoba and Manitoba Film & Music