York film talent showcased at CineSIEGE

CineSIEGE brings a stellar fest of cutting-edge short films by students from York University’s Film Department to the Bloor Cinema on Oct. 25. Jurors for this fourth annual showcase are five luminaries of the Canadian film and media scene: movie critic and writer Ingrid Randoja, television programming executive Emily Morgan, and award-winning filmmakers Kevin McMahon, Lisa Steele and Sudz Sutherland.


From intense dramas to provocative documentaries to genre-defying experimental works, CineSIEGE offers a taste of the next great wave of indie film. It’s an opportunity to talent-scout young filmmakers who challenge the status quo.

Landing a coveted spot on the CineSIEGE screen is the result of a rigorous selection process. All 179 films produced at York last year, by students from first through fourth year, were reviewed in-house to create a shortlist of 22 productions. Of these finalists, seven were chosen for the CineSIEGE program by the external jury.

Over the past decade, McMahon has built a reputation as one of Canada’s finest documentary directors and writers. A cofounder of Primitive Entertainment, McMahon’s credits include a long list of national and international award-winning films on subjects ranging from Niagara Falls (The Falls) and the nature of intelligence (Intelligence) to the insidious role of public relations in the media (Truth Merchants) and the Canadian fishing industry (Cod: The Fish that Changed the World).

Morgan is vice president, programming for IFC -The IndependentFilm Channel, Showcase Action and Showcase Diva. Prior to joining Alliance Atlantis four years ago, her career included programming The Movie Network and launching the classic-film pay-TV service Moviepix. In 1995 she moved to Australia to launch a successful startup pay-TV company. Upon her return to Canada she consulted as a broadcasting policy advisor for Canadian Heritage.

Currently deputy editor of the Canadian entertainment and lifestyle magazine Famous, Randoja was a longtime movie critic and editor for Toronto’s NOW magazine. Her reviews have also appeared in many other publications, including eye Weekly, Sight and Sound, Take One and Montage. Her broadcast credits include CTV’s “Canada AM”, “@ The Movies” and CBC Radio’s “Definitely Not the Opera”.

One of Canada’s best known new media and video artists, Steele has risen to international prominence through her prolific solo and group exhibitions and curatorial projects. The recipient of the 2005 Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts, she has work in the collections of many leading art museums, including the Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art, New York; Centre Pompidou, Paris; the Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston; and the National Gallery of Canada.

Sutherland is director of Love, Sex and Eating the Bones, which won best Canadian first feature at the 2003 Toronto International Film Festival. In 2001, he co-directed Speakers for the Dead, which won Télé-Québec’s Chantal Lapaire Award at the Vues d’Afrique film festival in Montreal and best documentary at the 2000 Reel Black Film Awards for Vision and CBC Television. His short film, My Father’s Hands (1999), toured the festival circuit in Canada and the US, winning four Golden Sheaves at the 2000 Yorkton Festival and garnering a Gemini nomination for best short.

Jurors will be in attendance at CineSIEGE to introduce their picks, explain why they were selected for the screening, and award certificates of merit.

“CineSIEGE has grown into one of the most anticipated events of the academic year,” said York film department Chair Barbara Evans. “Our program is full of gifted filmmakers, some of whom have already made their mark on the industry.”

CineSIEGE is made possible through the support of Cinespace Film Studios. It plays one night only on Wed. Oct. 25 at 7pm at the Bloor Cinema, 506 Bloor St. West, Toronto. Admission is $5 at the door. For more information, call 416-736-5149 ext. 22172 or visit the CineSIEGE Web site.