Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Happy Anniversary

One year ago, we wrapped principal photography on The Year Dolly Parton Was My Mom. On a secondary highway about an hour and a half outside of Winnipeg in the rain and fading light, we shot our final scene of the film - and of the whole production.

Even though I remember that moment like it was yesterday, so much has transpired in the 365 days or so since. But now, quite appropriately, a year later we are marking our first year production anniversary by heading back to the Peg - to where it all wrapped up. With a finished film tucked under our seat - or in the overhead bin, I'm not sure... Where does one stow a 35 mm print representing the labour of love of so many people over so many months and years? Truth be told, it deserves a seat in first class.

One way or another, the film is finally going home. Going home to the other half of cast and crew that helped create it. With the exception of our dear co-producer, Liz Jarvis, none of the Manitobans have seen the fruits of their labours yet! So I am totally looking forward to our cast and crew screening at the Cinematheque next week - to show the film of course, but also to see these amazing people again! Because through all the film's "coming out" moments these past months, we've been missing them. We've been accepting credit and compliments in their stead. The whole experience hasn't felt really and truly complete as long as the Winnipeg group hasn't been part of it.

So, full circle here we come! And after our private screening, the film will play for the rest of the week at the Cinematheque in the Peg - with hopes of staying on a little longer if luck and numbers are on our side. If Manitoban hospitality is anything to go by, I think it will have a long and very happy stay!

P.S. Has anyone seen a missing blog post titled "Priceless"? It was last seen in this very spot - until sometime on May 13 (Friday, May 13 that is) when it up and disappeared without a trace. If you find this post which is of sentimental value to its owner, kindly contact us at: info@palomarfilms.com

Monday, May 2, 2011

New(s) Cycle

Okay, so I'm throwing my own bulletin into what is arguably the biggest mother of all news days in recent memory.

That's right, I'm choosing this very noisy news moment to jump in to the fray even though my little blurb can't hope to be heard over the reports of the long-awaited capture/assassination/burial-at-sea of the World's Most Wanted Man. Nor can it hold a candle to the Orange Wave blowing political winds of change (and shamelessly mixed metaphors) across an unexpectedly electrified Canadian electorate. In fact, it probably can't even stand toe to toe with whatever "shocking" thing happened on Celebrity Apprentice last night...

But share it I will, because my news is really more like a feeling. An intuition if you will - based on anecdotal, if carefully catalogued, observations. Coming off the circuit of Canadian cinema these last few months, I'm getting the feeling like there might be the first whisperings of a gentle, yet persistent shift in perception...

And if you listen very closely - that's it, with your ear pressed firmly to the ground or the tree - you too might hear the earliest, most primordial creakings and yawnings of a new trend emerging. In one word, that trend is ...


Canuck Chicks, to be geographically exact. Making movies. Gaining in numbers and recognition and respect. Starting, slowly but surely, to take their rightful place in this country's cinematic landscape.

Case in point: In these last few weeks alone, no less than FOUR feature films by Canadian female writer/directors have opened in Canadian (and some U.S.) cinemas : From Katrin Bowen's "Amazon Falls" to Deborah Chow's "High Cost of Living" to Penelope Buitenhuis' "A Wake" to you know who's film, it's slowly starting to feel like women's voices and views are occupying a slightly more proportionate amount of theatrical real estate than ever before! Maybe the captain of the Orange Wave, Jack Layton's whole "proportional representation" thing is catching on in more than just the political arena...

Anyway, as "Dolly" leaves Regina and Charlottetown and heads to Ottawa - with stops tonight in Vaudreuil-Dorion, Friday in Hudson, before moving on to Winnipeg in June, etc. - it feels more and more like we're coming home.