CineSiege 2007 showcases York’s rising film talent

CineSiege 2007, a juried showcase of outstanding productions by York University’s up-and-coming filmmakers, lights up the silver screen downtown at the Royal on October 29.

The jurors for this sixth annual event are York alumnus Doug Dales, the founder and chairman of PS Productions, a provider of professional motion picture equipment to film and television producers across Canada; video/new media artist, curator and writer Sara Diamond, president of the Ontario College of Art and Design; documentary filmmaker Maya Gallus (Girl Inside, Fag Hags, Erotica, Elizabeth Smart: On the Side of the Angels); Liam Lacey, film critic for The Globe and Mail; and film and television writer/director Laurie Lynd (Breakfast with Scot, The Fairy who Didn’t Want to be a Fairy Anymore, House, I was a Rat).

Vying for a spot in the CineSiege 07 program are short fiction films, provocative documentaries and cutting-edge experimental works. Twenty nominees were shortlisted for jury consideration from the total pool of 193 films produced last year by undergraduate students in York’s Film Department.

The finalists include:

  • The Exquisite Corpses, a camp surrealist musical about sex, death and cult cinema directed by David Frankovich.
  • Raha Shirazi’s Four Walls, in which three women from different social classes in the Islamic Republic of Iran clash and connect in a night that will forever change their lives.
  • The Escape Clause, the story of a dangerously cool-headed magician and a world record attempt of epic proportions, directed by Scott Boyd.
  • Fare, Matthew Nayman’s drama about a taxi driver who returns to work after a traumatic experience and finds himself haunted by a frightening vision.
  • Rock Paper Scissors, a comedy directed by Jamie Cussen about three nine-year-olds who embark on a quest for beer and cigarettes and eventually find something greater…love.
  • Amar Wala‘s film The Good Son, the true story of a young boy who is forced to protect his family’s honour while risking his father’s freedom.
  • Stalking Ava Gardner, Claire Lowery’s wry look at how Hollywood celebrity-worship can be bad for your mental health.
  • Chris Murphy’s Murphy’s Law, an intimate portrait of three men living under one roof.
  • Sarah Evans Reinforced Therapy demonstrates that practice makes perfect.

Six of the nominated productions have been selected to screen at the Royal. Jurors will be on hand to introduce the CineSiege picks and explain why they were chosen.

CineSiege offers an excellent opportunity to talent-scout the next generation of Canadian filmmakers. Many CineSiege entries have gone on to show at the Toronto International Film Festival and other local, national and international festivals. Such success stories include The School (2003) by Matthew Miller and Ezra Krybus, Hugh Gibson’s Hogtown Blues (2004), Tess Girard’s Benediction (2005) and Joyce Wong’s Banana Bruises (2006).

CineSiege is made possible through the generous support of Cinespace Film Studios. The event runs one night only, Monday, Oct. 29, at 7pm at The Royal, 608 College St., Toronto. Admission is free.

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