York film prof’s flick Whole New Thing a hit on the festival circuit

York film Professor Amnon Buchbinder’s latest feature film, Whole New Thing, was a big winner at the Atlantic Film Festival, which took place Sept. 15-24 in Halifax. The film’s sold-out gala screening earned a standing ovation and four prizes awarded by an international jury: Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor (shared by the film’s two leads, Daniel MacIvor and Aaron Webber), Excellence in Editing (Angela Baker), Outstanding Writer’s Award (Amnon Buchbinder and Daniel MacIvor), and an honourable mention in the category of Best Canadian Film.

Left: In a scene from Whole New Thing, Don (Daniel MacIvor, left) and Emerson (Aaron Webber, right) check out the contents of an ashtray

“I’m very happy the film has prevailed and been so well received,” said Buchbinder, who co-wrote and directed the production.

The story of a precocious, home-schooled 13-year-old boy who attends public school for the first time and develops a crush on his male English teacher, Whole New Thing has been a hit with critics and audiences alike since its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival on Sept. 12 (see the Sept. 12 issue of YFile). The publications NOW, Metro and Toronto Life all chose Whole New Thing as one of the “picks of the festival”. In the eyes of NOW‘s arts writer Glenn Sumi, “The film could become a Canadian classic.”

Having wowed audiences in eastern Canada, Buchbinder has taken Whole New Thing out west. It was screened at the Calgary International Film Festival on Oct. 2, and will be featured today at the Edmonton International Film Festival. From there, the film moves to the Vancouver International Film Festival where it will be screened on Oct. 7. Next stop is Montreal, where the film will make its city premiere on Nov. 3 as the opening feature at the image+nation Film Festival.

Click here for more information about Whole New Thing and upcoming screenings.