Category: Reel Spin

Italian stars Virginia Raffaele and Luca Barbareschi in Toronto for launch of ICFF 2019

The 2019 edition of the Italian Contemporary Film Festival kicked off yesterday with a sold-out screening of Dolceroma at the TIFF Bell Lightbox, where the film’s producer and lead actor Luca Barbareschi charmed the crowd, alongside Italian actress Virginia Raffaele, whose comedic antics entertained the audience. Following the Opening Film, a Dolceroma-themed cocktail party launched the official start of the eighth edition of the Festival; a massive celebration enhanced by the Raptors’ NBA Championship win. 

Some of the biggest stars and starlets of Italian cinema are descending on Toronto for the eighth edition of the Italian Contemporary Film Festival, launching nine days of films and special events across the country. Italian superstar producer, director and actor Luca Barbareschi presented his latest work Dolceroma at TIFF Bell Lightbox, ahead of the Opening Party at Ricarda’s. Barbareschi, who says he was most inspired by Steven Spielberg in his career, notes the film is set against the beauty and the tragedy of the eternal city, saying “Rome is condemned to never die. It’s slowly dying, but it will never die.”

As a tribute to Barbareschi’s extensive career, he will present two other films during this year’s festival, the comedy Airplane Mode/Modalita’ aereo, a hilarious commentary on the destructive power of social media in the age of celebrity, and the stunning biopic I Am Mia/Io sono Mia, the tragic true story of one of the greatest Italian singers of all time, Mia Martini. Barbareschi will be receiving the ICFF 2019 Best Producer Award.

In honour of the opening film, the ICFF Opening Party was a true celebration of Roman decadence and culture, held at one of the best and most beautiful Italian restaurants in Toronto, Ricarda’s at the Queen Richmond Centre. More than a thousand guests filled the stunning atrium with its 70-foot ceilings, Continue reading “Italian stars Virginia Raffaele and Luca Barbareschi in Toronto for launch of ICFF 2019”

A-Z Films has picked up ‘The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir’

Film stars renowned Indian Actor Dhanush in the lead 

A-Z Films has picked up The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir, a comedy adventure by Quebec director Ken Scott (Starbuck, Delivery Man, Unfinished Business, La Grande Séduction) and starring the well-known Indian actor Dhanush, and featuring Bérénice Béjo (The Artist) Barkhad Abdi (Captain Phillips) Erin Moriarty (Blood Father) and Abel Jafri (Timbuktu). Rounding out the cast is Gérard Jugnot, Ben Miller, Sarah-Jeanne Labrosse, Stefano Cassetti.

A co-production between France, India and Belgium, the English-language feature will be distributed in Canada by A-Z films, and released day and date with US, India and Canada on June 21.  

The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir most recently won the Audience Award for Best Comedy at the Barcelona Sant-Jordi International Film Festival, and was the opening night film at the International Film Festival of South Asia, in Toronto.

The screenplay was written by author Romain Puértolas, and Luc Bossi who also is producing through his Paris-based company Brio Films. Other co-producers include Vamonos Films, Little Red Car Films, Scope Pictures, M! Capital Ventures, Impact Films and Golden Ratio Films.

The film has been adapted from Puértolas’ novel “The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir Who Got Trapped in an Ikea Wardrobe,” which came out in 2014 and has been translated into 35 languages.

A hustler from Mumbai embarks on an extraordinary voyage across Europe in search of his estranged father. During his trip, he finds love in a Swedish furniture store in Paris, but danger with Somalian migrants ensues and he ends up in London, then more threats follow the young man until he finds himself in Rome, where an unlikely threat shadows the hustler on to a hot-air balloon that rides across the Med. Continue reading “A-Z Films has picked up ‘The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir’”

ICFF celebrates Italian Oscar winners from GreenBook and Life is Beautiful

— Highlights of the bold 2019 lineup!

Film lovers can expect another glamorous, star-studded Italian Contemporary Film Festival across Canada this June, with more movies and guest stars than ever, including writer and producer of the 2019 Best Picture Green Book, Nick Vallelonga, and renowned Italian composer, Nicola Piovani, winner of the 1999 Oscar for Best Original Score for Life is Beautiful.

Among the many stars arriving from Italy for this year’s festival are Ezio Greggio, Claudio Gubitosi, Luca Barbareschi, Fabio De Luigi and Piera Detassis.

The Italian Contemporary Film Festival, presented by IC Savings and in affiliation with Fare Cinema, announced the lineup for its 8th edition at The Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Toronto today. The 2019 program features 128 diverse and acclaimed films, including dozens of shorts and documentaries, totalling more than 190 screenings across the country – its largest and most ambitious program to date, which will see no shortage of star power.

Guests of the 2019 festival will include Nick Vallelonga, writer and producer of the 2019 Academy Award-winning film for Best Picture and Best Screenplay, Green Book; world-renowned Italian composer Nicola Piovani, winner of the 1999 Oscar for Best Original Score for Life is Beautiful (La vita è bella); Continue reading “ICFF celebrates Italian Oscar winners from GreenBook and Life is Beautiful”

IFFSA: Voice of South Asian Cinema in Canada

On April 18th, IFFSA Toronto unveiled an exciting lineup of films and events for this year’s festival, which runs from May 9th to May 20th. As a film festival, every year IFFSA’s attempt has been to surprise the film lovers, to take us on new adventures.

To begin with,   IFFSA, is over the moon to have the opportunity and honour to share some very special films, with their audiences, as part of our celebration of the ‘Hundred Years of Bengali Cinema’,

IFFSA Toronto is THE LARGEST SOUTH ASIAN FILM FESTIVAL IN NORTH AMERICA. In its 8th year now, the festival has become an international icon and the voice of South Asian cinema in Canada.

This 12+ day extravaganza showcases a diverse, language independent, selection of the best feature films, featurette films, short films, documentaries and music films from around the world, on themes of South Asian cultures and identities. In the spirit of “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam – the world is one family”, a select number of foreign films are considered under Beyond South Asia segment.

In addition, the festival also features gala dinners, red carpet premiers, concerts, lounge parties, exhibitions, seminars, workshops and networking opportunities with government representatives, business leaders, local organizations that support film development, film stars, producers, directors, members of the media and more. Continue reading “IFFSA: Voice of South Asian Cinema in Canada”

We Got This: A Unique Blend of Pop Melodies

Vibrant and culturally eclectic ensemble, Delhi 2 Dublin, are back with the release of their latest studio album We Got This (May 172019 via Inside Pocket / Warner Music Canada). The album, produced by Toronto-based hitmaker Gavin Brown (Barenaked Ladies, Metric, Tragically Hip), offers a unique blend of energetic-pop melodies with the electronic pulse of warehouse raves, bringing a positive, colourful feeling to the socially aware messages expressed throughout.

The Vancouver-based band’s latest single “My People” speaks to their personal experiences as descendants of immigrants and paints a dynamic picture of them finding their artistic voices. The songs have an accessibility that you might compare to the songwriting of Bob Marley – speaking to the band’s own culture in the most personal way yet have depth and meaning to people of all cultures, backgrounds and ages.

The experience of making We Got This encouraged Delhi 2 Dublin to become creative storytellers, enabling listeners to relate to the messaging while dancing along to the Bhangra beats. And, of course, the songs are just as fun to listen to, filled with sing-along choruses, easy melodies and sharp production throughout.

Said vocalist Sanjay Seran, “the process of making this record was a bit of a departure from our beat-centric past and more of a journey into writing songs with a message that can really reach people. Continue reading “We Got This: A Unique Blend of Pop Melodies”

Mallika Sarabhai’s ‘The Colors of Her Heart’ – April 17, 2019 @ the Ailey Citigroup Theatre, NYC

The Colors of Her Heart is a spell binding, dance-theatre-multimedia production, choreographed and directed by Mallika Sarabhai, that uses the haunting lyrics of British musician Samia Malik with the creativity visual imagery and story creating skills of Yadavan ChandranOn the stage, six women tell their poignant stories bringing awareness into the issue of gender inequality. 

What do all women across the world share as experiences? Whatever the color of their skins, whatever their language and culture, the single identity that leads to their exploitation and violence against them is their gender. With songs in Urdu and English, and stories that are both personal and universal, the heartful composition draws you into the world of women and their lives, dwelling on their experiences of vulnerabilitylove, pain, rejection, discrimination and violation. 

The ballet shifts between powerfully spoken monologues as accounts of the performers, group and solo dances, emotive pieces, even a ghazal that come together rhythmically with the bilingual live music by Samia Malik. The pieces reflect upon the common thread that binds all women, bringing together not just the stories of six women, but the pains, travails and victories of women of all nations. The Colors of Her Heart plays at The Ailey Citigroup Theatre on 405 W 55th St, New York, NY 10019. Continue reading “Mallika Sarabhai’s ‘The Colors of Her Heart’ – April 17, 2019 @ the Ailey Citigroup Theatre, NYC”

Blues Legend Lucky Peterson launches Kitchener Blues Festival!

–Lachman Balani

 The cavernous up tempo bar and nightclub Elements in Kitchener was the scene for the launch party of the Kitchener Blues Festival this past weekend.

The Kitchener Blues Festival is one of the few tightly run annual music festivals in Ontario announcing its line-up way ahead of its scheduled event in August.

This 4 day festival in Kitchener spread over 3 stages boasts of having hosted some amazing acts in recent times such as Eric Burdon, Randy Bachman, Burton Cummings, Foghat , Edgar Winter, Rik Emmett and many more! It is the go to event for blues and rock lovers in the neighbouring Greater Toronto Area.

Matt Weidinger opened the kickoff party setting the mood for the party-goers.

Following the opening band, Lucky Peterson from Buffalo and Kitchener homeboy Shawn Kellerman and his band sent the crowd into a dancing tizzy as both young and old folks got up to groove to the blues.

Shawn opened up with his band and Lucky joined in a couple of songs later and they all came together to play nonstop blues rock ramming one song into the next without missing a beat! It was incredible to see them play for a full hour with no break between songs! Continue reading “Blues Legend Lucky Peterson launches Kitchener Blues Festival!”