Friday, May 22, 2015

Canadian Doctors Launch Campaign to Cease Blackouts in Hospitals In Gaza

Energy Blackouts Will Soon be a Thing of the Past for Gaza's Hospitals 
Canadian doctors launch campaign to install solar power on hospitals in Gaza.


A unique health care project will turn the lights back on in Gaza hospitals and improve the lives of over 1.7 million people. Power outages remain a daily reality in the Gaza strip, lasting more than 16 hours a day. Sick patients in hospitals are especially vulnerable, where insufficient power often decides between life or death.

The EmpowerGAZA health project will save lives by installing solar panels on four major hospitals in Gaza. Solar energy will provide reliable and green energy 24 hours a day to emergency rooms, intensive care units, and operating theatres.

"I work in Gaza and see first hand the multiple challenges that impact every aspect of life there," said Dr Tarek Loubani, an emergency physician and collaborator on the project. "Doctors in Gaza were asking for reliable and green power, and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) came on board immediately when they heard about the project. Everyone agreed, this project is urgent. We believe people world over will understand the impact and help its success."


"Many in Gaza have felt isolated, but supporting this project is a strong act of solidarity that anyone can do to show Gazans they are not alone," said EmpowerGaza initiator Dr. Ben Thomson. Dr. Thomson has traveled and worked in Gaza for the past 3 years.EmpowerGaza is a joint initiative aimed at raising USD$1.2 million dollars (~CAD$1.55 million) for solar panel projects at the Al Aqsa, Kamal Adwan, European and Rantisi Specialist Pediatric Hospitals.

In addition to the campaign web site http://igg.me/at/empowergaza, fundraising events are planned in London and Toronto in July. The crowd-funding campaign will run from April 28th-June 26th.

"The resilience of the Gazan people is what ultimately drives this project, and once we are successful with the hospitals, we plan on continuing health related empowerment projects in the area." Thomson added.


Indiegogo campaign: http://igg.me/at/empowergaza
info@empowergaza.org
EmpowerGaza.org
Dr. Tarek Loubani – tarek@tarek.org
Dr. Ben Thomson – ben@benthomson.org
Dr. Dalal Dahrouj – dalal.dahrouj@medportal.ca

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Berkshire County Opens Theatrically – JUNE 5, 2015 in select theaters

A71 ENTERTAINMENT INC. 
presents

Babysitter-in-peril horror gets a 21st Century reboot
In Audrey Cummings’ acclaimed genre debut
Berkshire County
 
OPENS Theatrically – JUNE 5, 2015
TORONTO – Carlton Cinema, 20 Carlton St.
OTTAWA – Landmark Kanata, 801 Kanata Ave
WHITBY – Landmark Cinemas 24 Whitby, 75 Consumers Drive
More cities to follow

CANADIAN INDIE FILM SERIES Screening - JUNE 3, 2015
In 18 Landmark Theatres Across Canada

*FIRST FEMALE DIRECTOR TO WIN Grand Jury Prize at L.A.'s Shriekfest (2014)*

Twitter: @berkshiremovie
 
 The horror world is abuzz over Berkshire County, the splash feature debut of Canadian Film Centre alumna Audrey Cummings. Canadians will get a chance to experience this Festival hit on June 8, when the film will screen at 18 Landmark locations across the country, part of the Canadian Indie Film Series. Berkshire County will then open theatrically in Toronto (Carlton Cinema), Ottawa (Landmark Kanata) and Whitby (Landmark Cinemas) starting June 5, with more cities to follow.

Cummings – who directed the low-budget psycho-thriller with the help of two fellow CFC grads, writer Chris Gamble and editor Mike Mason – made horror history as the first female director to win the best feature award at L.A.’s fabled Shriekfest.

Berkshire County has gone on to win major awards at other red-letter genre events, including the Chicago Horror Film Festival, Atlanta’s HorrorQuest fest, Phoenix’s FearCon and the Blood In The Snow Canadian Film Festival.
 
 
The object of the shock-fans’ adoration is a re-imagining of the archetypal babysitter-stalked-by-a-psycho movie – with added contemporary elements of cyber-bullying and female empowerment. 

Alysa King plays Kylie, a teen who is coerced into a sexual encounter at a party by a popular boy (Aaron Chartrand), whose friends send video of it across social media. Her self-confidence in shreds, and her reputation in tatters, she is in chronic victim mode when she reluctantly agrees to a desperate plea by a couple in a secluded castle-like mansion to babysit their two children on Halloween. (The children’s mother makes clear she knows about Kylie’s rep, and would rather anybody else be guarding their children that night).  Alone in the country, she is a prime target when she begins receiving prank phone calls, and a boy wearing a pig’s head makes a suspiciously-late trick-or-treat call.

What follows is a game of cat-and-mouse between Kylie and a gang of butchering hicks. It is a test of will that requires her to stand up and take charge if she and the children in her care are to survive the night.

A lifelong horror and sci-fi fan, the Quebec-born Cummings says Berkshire County came alive while she and her friends Gamble and Mason (Cabin Fever 3: Patient Zero) were being schooled at the legendary Canadian Film Centre, a film academy founded by Norman Jewison in Toronto.

“We were thinking of how to get the most out of our limited resources and we settled on doing a really low budget horror thriller,” says Cummings. “We bounced around scenarios like the Charles Manson family and I thought about how much I really loved the 1970s babysitter-in-peril movies like Halloween and When A Stranger Calls. So we kind of made Berkshire County as an homage to ‘70s horror.”

"We have had our eye on this project since it's development. Chris Gamble wrote a great script and having a talented director like Audrey Cummings and such a strong performance from Alysa King, makes Berkshire a hell of a lot of fun to take to theatres." Says Chad Maker, President A71 Entertainment.

One of the brightest new lights in Canadian film, Audrey Cummings emerged from the Directors Lab at the Canadian Film Centre to win the Toronto International Film Festival’s award for Top Emerging Canadian Filmmaker. She was also named Best Emerging Canadian Filmmaker at the WorldWide Short Film Festival, and won the Kodak New Vision Fellowship Award for best up-and-coming female Canadian director.
 
 
 
About A71 Entertainment Inc.
A71 Entertainment Inc. is a newly formed distributor on the Canadian Feature Film landscape. Recent releases include THE VALLEY BELOW (2015), PRETEND WE'RE KISSING (2015), SIDDHARTH (2015), and IN HER PLACE (2015). The company, focused on bringing high-quality festival films to theatres, was founded by Chad Maker, David Miller and Kirk Comrie in 2013.  Upcoming releases include MY EX-EX and THE COCKSURE LADS MOVIE. For bookings contact: screenings@a71entertainment.com

THE DEVIL ON WHEELS AWARDED PROJECT OF THE MONTH ON INDIEWIRE!

THE DEVIL ON WHEELS
AWARDED PROJECT OF THE MONTH
ON INDIEWIRE


The Devil On Wheels, the feature documentary project about Steven Spielberg's Duel, has just been awarded Project of the Month on the prestigious independent film website Indiewire. The film is now a candidate for the 2015 Indiewire Project of the Year award to be held later in the year.

The documentary will celebrate the making and the cult surrounding Duel, the first well known film created by Steven Spielberg. A small shot-for-TV film, Duel has astonished many film fans by generating an ongoing cult for more than four decades.
 

The Power of a Very Small Film


In Duel, a Movie-Of-The-Week shot in 1971, a terrifying truck, whose driver we never see, for no apparent reason chases a lone driver along the desert roads of Southern California. Such was its success that the film was extended and distributed as a film worldwide.

Duel fans from all over the world regularly visit the film locations in the desert next to Los Angeles. They go to see the surviving truck in North Carolina. Film experts discuss its meanings. Would-be filmmakers analyse the way it was made. Steven Spielberg’s first known work has become a top cinematic reference, an iconic piece of filmmaking and its influence is still fresh to this day. Director Alfonso Cuaron revealed he used Duel as a reference when he made “Gravity”.

Why a tiny film, made cheaply and quickly for TV, has generated such a passionate, international and undying cult, is the question the documentary wants to answer. THE DEVIL ON WHEELS will find out what makes Duel so unique, looking deeply into the Duel's phenomenon and in doing so, it will explore the power and fascination that films have on people.


A Crossroads for Duel Fans


The documentary will be shot in the USA by a team international Duel lovers who will travel the country exploring the Duel phenomenon: interviewing the surviving members of the crew, reconstructing the way the movie was made, and meeting other fans and experts to discuss the ongoing appreciation of the film.
The filmmakers have created a website, www.thedevilonwheelsmovie.com, which for the first time gathers in one place all Duel related information that can be found on the internet. The Facebook page www.facebook.com/thedevilonwheels will serve as a meeting point for the fans. An actual gathering with Duel fans is planned in one of the locations during the shooting of the documentary.

Director Enric Folch, a multi-award winning TV director in Spain, returns to documentary making after the excellent international reception of Chining Me, an ironical view on pre-Olympic China. His most successful TV film Tempus Fugit will soon have a theatrical remake through an international coproduction.

The title of the documentary, The Devil on Wheels, is the straight translation of the Spanish title of Duel, and it's been chosen as an homage to the worldwide recognition of the film. 


A few press Links:
 



 

THE CHAIR IS MORE THAN JUST YOUR AVERAGE HORROR/THRILLER!

STEEPED IN SOCIAL COMMENTARY, THE CHAIR IS MORE THAN JUST YOUR AVERAGE HORROR/THRILLER
 

The powerful often take advantage of the powerless - it's a vicious cycle that has existed since the first single-cell organism decided to consume rather than co-exist.  The competition is fierce and struggling to survive will make a killer out of you in one way or another.  THE CHAIR is, at first glance, your average prison horror/thriller.  But just beneath the dark and gritty surface, there's a story - and a film - about the struggle to survive, the abuse of power, and the isolation and despair that all human beings face in their final hour.

Richard Sullivan (played to perfection by Timothy Muskatell) is presented as an innocent man that is sentenced to die - a concept that, if you gave it more than a few seconds of thought, is probably one of the most terrifyingly realistic things a person can conceive.  But in this prison, there are fates worse than death as the Warden (the electrifying Bill Oberst Jr.) and his guards have become thoroughly corrupted with their absolute power.  The brutality that occurs will make you question who the true monsters are in this narrative as even flashbacks of Sullivan's mother (terrifyingly portrayed by Naomi Grossman) reveal that there are very few redeeming characters here.  This is an ugly story with ugly people; there are no demons or zombies here - the only monster on death row is man.

Relying more on psychological horror and suspense than on jump scares and a splatter-fest of gore, THE CHAIR touches upon the ethics of torture, the criminal justice system, child abuse, mental health care, fate, and familial histories of violence.  Created in 2006 by Peter Simeti with Kevin Christensen as penciler, THE CHAIR was first a comic book mini-series and later published in 2008 by Alterna Comics as a compiled graphic novel, THE CHAIR has themes that are unfortunately ever-present in society. Screenwriter Erin Kohut, who also edited the graphic novel, fleshed out various elements of the narrative and adapted the story for film.


THE CHAIR is directed by Chad Ferrin and stars Bill Oberst Jr., Timothy Muskatell, Noah Hathaway, Zach Galligan, Naomi Grossman, Roddy Piper, Ezra Buzzington, Derrick Damions, and Kyle Hester.

THE CHAIR is currently on Kickstarter raising funds for post-production https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/petersimeti/the-chair-post-production-on-our-comic-book-horror 


For more information on the graphic novel and film, please visit http://thechairhorror.com
 
 

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

What We Do In The Shadows Available on VOD and iTunes - May 19, & DVD and Blu-ray - May 26, 2015

Video Services Corp., 
presents


What We Do In The Shadows 
A film written and directed by Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi
Brings fresh blood to the mockumentary genre

Out on VOD and iTunes - May 19, 2015
DVD and Blu-ray - May 26, 2015

People’s Choice Midnight Madness Award  - Toronto International Film Festival 2014
Jury’s Special Mention, Grand Audience Award: Best Feature Film - SITGES Film Festival of Catalonia 2014
Audience Award - San Sebastian Horror & Fantasy Film Festival 2014

"You won't be able to wipe the smile off your face." - Peter Travers, Rolling Stone
"After a while, I was embarrassed at myself for giggling so much." - Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
"One of the best comedies to come along in ages." - Toronto Sun 

After being a film festival hit internationally and a success across the country, the fangtastically funny New Zealand vampire mockumentary What We Do In The Shadowswill soon be available on cable video on demand and iTunes in Canada on May 19, 2015 through Video Services Corp. It will be followed by a DVD and Blu-ray release on May 26th. The suggested retail price for the DVD is $19.98 and $29.98 for Blu-ray. Special features will include a poster gallery, photo album, interviews, video extras, promo videos and deleted scenes.


The creative teams behind all the bloody good fun are Jemaine Clement (HBO’s “Flight Of The Conchords”) and his frequent collaborator Taika Waititi (BoyEagle Vs. Shark). Waititi and Clement co-star and co-direct with a script they wrote but didn’t show to the improv-friendly cast. Because of the prolonged nature of the improvised takes, they came away with about 125 hours of footage from which they hewed 90 minutes that fly by like a bat out of hell! The editing process took an eternity, with the post and VFX being addressed slowly throughout. Thankfully everybody on the crew is immortal.

The big-city housemates of What We Do In The Shadows yearn for virgin blood and someone to clean up the kitchen, yet they can’t seem to get the party started when it comes to the ladies. Their attempts to hit the town usually end up with an encounter with a rival pack of sartorially-challenged Kiwi werewolves, led by the howlingly hilarious Rhys Darby.


The vampire frat house includes the 18th Century neat-freak Viago (Waititi), who frets over the indelibility of bloodstains, the sloppy slaughterer Vladislav the Poker (Clement), the Lugosi-ish Deacon (Jonathan Brugh) and the Nosferatu-like ghoul Petyr (Ben Fransham), who is about eight thousand years old and is best kept in the basement. He doesn’t like plasma TV.

The “new guys” are boorish, newly-turned Nick (Cori Gonzalez-Macuer) and unlikely human best-friend Stu (Stu Rutherford), a too-nice-to-kill chap who introduces the gang to the Internet and social media.

Clement’s fascination with vampirism dates back to a childhood memory of Hammer Films legend Christopher Lee. “I remember seeing a bat spit blood which reanimates the skeleton of Dracula,” he says of the then-frightening image. 

The idea of vampires as paragons of uncool came when Clement and Waititi were in college in Wellington and showed up to a costume party dressed as vampires. “One of those parties where you get there and everyone’s too cool to have dressed up.”

With What We Do In The Shadows, Clement says, “we wanted to examine life’s small problems, extended over centuries - questions like, ‘would old friendships survive, and how long does it really take to get over old girlfriends?’” 


What We Do In The Shadows co-director Jemaine Clement is an actor and musician best known for being one half, with Brett McKenzie, of the internationally acclaimed New Zealand comedy duo Flight Of The Conchords. Co-director Taika Waititi formed the comedy troupe The Humourbeasts with Clement and went on to become an acclaimed writer and film director. His 2003 short film Two Cars, One Night received an Academy Award® nomination. His feature Boy was nominated for the Grand Prize at the Sundance Film Festival.



About Video Services Corp
Founded in 1993 by former rock critic Jonathan Gross, Video Services Corp. (VSC) is a leading independent all-platform film distributor with offices in Toronto and Los Angeles. VSC's DVD catalogue includes Corner Gas, Sharknado, Richard Lewis: Bundle of Nerves, and Don Cherry's Rock'em Sock'em Hockey series. Recent theatrical releases include Frank, starring Michael Fassbender, Alan Partridge, starring Steve Coogan, Iranian Vampire sensation A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night, Cannes Selection Life Itself,  and instant classic mockumentary What We Do In The Shadows. Upcoming releases include winner of the Sundance Grand Jury Prize for U.S. Documentary, The Wolfpack, and festival favourite Best of Enemies. www.videoservicescorp.com | facebook.com/videoservicescorp | twitter.com/vidserv

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Crowdfunding Campaign to Bring Jack Thomas Smith’s Action/Horror Film “In The Dark” !

Fox Trail Productions Announces Crowdfunding Campaign to Bring Jack Thomas Smith’s Action/Horror Film “In The Dark” to the Big Screen and the Opportunity to be a Part of the Film


Fox Trail Productions announces the Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign to raise the startup capital for writer, producer, and director Jack Thomas Smith’s action/horror film “In The Dark.” The campaign plans to raise $185,000, which will cover deposits for named stars as well as the deposit for a specific casting director, who has cast a number of major films. The start-up capital will also be used to begin Pre-Production, which includes storyboards, location scouting, legal fees, publicity, and the hiring of essential crew and effects personnel. Numerous perks are being offered based on the level of contribution, including the opportunity to be in the film as a zombie/vampire creature extra in full make-up as well as tickets to the premiere and after party.

Once the stars are attached, Fox Trail Productions plans to raise the complete budget of the film by securing additional investment, foreign pre-sales, and the monetization of state tax credits.
“In The Dark” is set on a small island in Michigan that has been overrun by zombie/vampire creatures, leaving a small group of survivors, armed with guns, to fight for their lives as they try to escape to the mainland.

“The zombie/vampire creatures in “In The Dark” are vicious and their need to feed is equivalent to an insane drug addiction,” says award-winning filmmaker Jack Thomas Smith. “There’s an underlying theme to the story that is consistent throughout with the protagonists and antagonists. There will be imagery in certain places in relation to the characters’ specific flaws.”
Smith’s previous films include the psychological thriller “Disorder”, which was released by Universal/Vivendi and Warner Brothers, and the psychodrama “Infliction”, which was released by Virgil Films.

To contribute please go to http://igg.me/p/in-the-dark--6/x/9801149.

Follow “In The Dark” on Twitter at @inthedarkJTS.

Like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/InTheDarkMovie.

Follow Jack Thomas Smith on Twitter at @JackTSmith1 and for updates go to www.foxtrailproductions.com.


About Jack Thomas Smith:
Jack Thomas Smith made his feature film-directing debut with the psychological thriller “Disorder.” He was also the writer and producer of that film. “Disorder” was released on DVD by Universal/Vivendi and New Light Entertainment. It was released on Pay-Per-View and Video-On-Demand by Warner Brothers. Overseas, it screened at the Cannes Film Festival and the Raindance Film Festival in London. Curb Entertainment represented “Disorder” for foreign sales and secured distribution deals around the world.
Smith’s second film, “Infliction”, which he wrote, produced, and directed, is a dark and disturbing assembled footage film that documents two brothers’ 2011 murder spree in NC and the horrific truth behind their actions. “Infliction” opened in select theaters across the country in 2014 and was released on DVD, VOD, and Digital HD in the U.S. and Canada by Virgil Films & Entertainment.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Patch Town Available on iTunes, VOD and in Select Theatres June 5th!

Video Services Corp.,
Presents
Patch Town
An Award-Winning Feature FromCraig Goodwill


AVAILABLE ON iTunes AND VOD ON JUNE 5

ALSO Opens THEATRICALLY June 5 in
Toronto – The Royal – 608 College St.
Montreal – Dollar Cinema – 6900 Decaire Square

 PATCH TOWN is based on the award-winning short film of the same name, which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival 2011. Director/producer Craig Goodwill’s debut feature, PATCH TOWN, will be released theatrically in Toronto and Montreal, and via iTunes and cable Video on Demand on June 5, 2015 through Video Services Corp (VSC). It will be available for presale on iTunes Canada May 11.

In North American folklore the stork delivers babies, but in Russian folklore, babies are born in the cabbage patch. Inspired by the award-winning short film of the same name, PATCH TOWN tells the story of Jon (Rob Ramsay), who has lived a sad life as an oppressed worker at a factory where hundreds of cabbage babies are born. Work on the assembly line is a thankless task of shucking, picking, and processing newborns to go out into the world and to their new adoptive mothers.  But when Jon discovers the awful secret that he and all the indentured workers are actually grown-up and discarded toys, he’ll have to take on a villainous corporation to reunite with his long-lost mother, protect his newfound family, and finally find freedom.

The science fiction adventure film stars Zoie Palmer (“Lost Girl,” Sex After Kids), Rob Ramsay (“Blue Mountain State”) and Julian Richings (Cube, Wrong Turn). 

“VSC is a wonderful home for PATCH TOWN, their passion for independent film demonstrates their dedication to a filmmaker’s vision and their passion for the craft,” said filmmaker Craig Goodwill.

PATCH TOWN bowed at the 2014 Palm Springs International Film Festival and was featured in the Moscow, Shanghai, and Fantasia International Film Festivals, among others, and screened as part of the Telefilm Top 10 at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival, followed by a Best Feature Film win at the 2014 Canadian Film Festival. And was an audience favorite during its festival run,

“We’re excited for Canadians to have the opportunity to enjoy PATCH TOWN,” says VSC President Jonathan Gross. “The story and cast have great audience appeal and we are confident Canadians will respond enthusiastically.”

PATCH TOWN was produced by David Sparkes and executive produced by Mark Montefiore with support from Telefilm Canada and Pinewood Studios.

Official Social Media Links:
Twitter: @Patchtown
Craig Goodwill: www.imdb.me/craiggoodwill

About Video Services Corp Founded in 1993 by former rock critic Jonathan Gross, Video Services Corp. (VSC) is a leading independent all-platform film distributor with offices in Toronto and Los Angeles. VSC's DVD catalogue includes Corner Gas, Sharknado, Richard Lewis: Bundle of Nerves, and Don Cherry's Rock'em Sock'em Hockey series. Recent theatrical releases include Frank, starring Michael Fassbender, Alan Partridge, starring Steve Coogan, Iranian vampire sensation A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night, Cannes Selection Life Itself, and TIFF selection mockumentary What We Do In The Shadows. Upcoming releases include Cannes un Certain Regard winner White God, the Oscar®-nominated Glen Campbell: I'll Be Me, and winner of a Sundance Grand Jury Prize, The Wolfpack.
www.videoservicescorp.com | facebook.com/videoservicescorp | twitter.com/vidserv.