Monday, March 12, 2012

Fever, Film and World Peace

Dragging myself out of stomach flu this week while finishing up a couple of shoots, I have - I regret - all systems on "dim" right now. But the Canadian cinema horizon is looking quite bright in contrast - with both the Genie and the Jutra awards being handed out this week and lots of accompanying chatter keeping it top of mind for a lot of us.

Leaving aside the various controversies surrounding both events, it's just heartening to see our homegrown artists and their art being celebrated in an increasingly popular arena. Especially where the Genies are concerned, we've come an incredibly long way in the last few years. Consider that up until a year or two ago, the one major awards show commemorating, celebrating and nurturing our national cinema was only broadcast on an obscure digital specialty channel - effectively hiding itself from any kind of mass audience. To what end, I always wondered...

Well, now that CBC is broadcasting the show, the Genies are finally out of the bottle and on display for the entire Canadian population to watch if they so choose. So now, it's just about how to get us all to want to watch - and by extension, appreciate and consume more Canadian cinema fare.

In my semi-delirium of stomach flu, I was thinking that if this newly liberated Genie would happen to grant us three wishes, what would I ask for?

First wish: That the subscription fee for films to be eligible for Genie consideration be greatly reduced in order that every Canadian film produced in the given year - and its artisans - could afford to be eligible.

Second wish: That the Toronto-based Genies follow in the Junos' footsteps and take the show on the road! Our national cinema comes from all regions, from coast to coast to coast - setting the event in a different Canadian city every year would make the celebration more inclusive, more effervescent and give us all a greater sense of ownership!

Third wish: That we enter an extended era of world peace, economic stability and preservation of human dignity for all.

I know - but I had to ask...

In other news, the film is being screened in competition this week at the BUFF Filmfestival in Malmo, Sweden! With great regret, I'm not able to be there but Barbara's off to represent the film and probably sample a little of the local vodka while she's at it. If you're in the neighbourhood, drop by and say hi!