Toronto filmmaker completes journey into life of Edwin Boyd

Toronto filmmaker Nathan Morlando says he’s "nervously anxious" about how his feature Edwin Boyd will be received by the relatives of the late Canadian war vet, who was hailed a folk hero after robbing banks over half a century ago, reported The Canadian Press Sept. 8.

"I can’t imagine how they’re feeling when their life is about to be displayed before the world, so it’s hard, it’s definitely hard," Morlando said in a recent phone interview from his Toronto home. "But I think I have (his daughter) Carolyn’s trust, so I think she feels OK."

Debuting this weekend at the Toronto International Film Festival, Edwin Boyd stars Scott Speedman as the Second World War veteran-turned-bus driver who resorted to bank heists so he could provide for his wife and two kids in Toronto from 1949 to 1952.

Shot in February in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., the film depicts Boyd’s first robbery as an act of desperation and part of an anti-authoritarian attitude he developed after the war.

Quickly, the dashing and charismatic bandit becomes addicted to the performance aspect of his crimes, which he commits wearing a dandy suit and stage makeup. He also loves the ensuing media coverage and fame.

Morlando, who wrote and directed the film, said he’s been intrigued by Boyd since he was a child.

"Growing up in Toronto, we never had any folk heroes, or at least none that I was aware of, but I was aware of Eddie Boyd," he recalled, noting his family often talked about the Boyd Gang. "They were very intrigued by their Bonnie and Clyde or their Butch Cassidy and Sundance."

Later in life, when Morlando was [pursuing a] master’s degree at York University, he saw a parallel between Boyd’s life and existentialism, which is what he was studying.

"I thought he was a perfect example of a modern anti-hero and I wanted to explore that," said Morlando, who believes that Boyd started robbing banks because he suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder.

Sino-Forest executives face ‘direct hit’ from OSC in probe 

In a Sept. 8 report on the ongoing Sino-Forest corporate scandal, Bloomberg news service noted that the Ontario Securities Commission initially ordered five executives, including chief executive officer Allen Chan, to resign. That demand was rescinded hours later when the regulator was "persuaded" to wait for today’s hearing before issuing such an order, Wendy Dey, an OSC spokeswoman, said at the time.

“To order that was outlandish,” Dirk Matten, a professor at York University’s Schulich School of Business in Toronto [and director of Schulich’s Centre of Excellence in Responsible Business], said in a telephone interview.

Toronto leads the drive into 3D, says Variety

From filmmaking to cutting-edge research, Ontario is emerging as an important centre for stereoscopic 3D activity and expertise, with Toronto its focal point, reported Variety Sept. 7.

"If there is innovation happening anywhere in the world, (Ontarians) are all over it," says John Helliker, director of the Sheridan Institute-founded Screen Industries Research and Training Centre in Toronto.

The centre fosters collaborative research (workflow, software, motion capture, etc.), training and relationship-building between academic and industry here and abroad working in digital image capture and creation – with S3D a key area. A new Pinewood-housed theatrical 3D screening facility will serve the centre’s research and be made be available to Toronto productions needing footage evaluation starting this fall.

York U. is home base for 3D Film Innovation Consortium (3D Flic), which unites scientists, creators and industry partners for research and development in S3D film language and production.

Both 3D Flic and the centre are talking about collaborative projects. This fall they jointly launch a 3D Ontario resource web portal dedicated to comprehensive info, company profiles and news.

 On air

  • Vice-President Students Rob Tiffin spoke about York’s record enrolment, on CBC-TV News (Toronto) Sept. 8.