Scarborough Film Festival spotlights local talent

News May 28, 2014 by Jean Ko Din Scarborough Mirror

Local filmmakers will be featured alongside Canadian and international talent at this year’s Scarborough Film Festival.

The opening gala on Tuesday, June 3 at 7 p.m. will kick off the six-day event with two films from Scarborough natives.

Cliffside is a short film inspired by the area that writer/director Steven Matthew Hoffner grew up in.

Hoffner described the area as a unique makeup of culture that is still exactly same as it was during his high school days.

“The idea came from my lead actress Kearsten Lyon who grew up in the area with me,” said Hoffner. “It’s the same characters up to the same activities. It’s like Peter Pan because all these guys don’t grow up... and we kind of ran with that theme of an urban Neverland.”

Grand Street is another film at the opening gala. It is about a former film executive that finds herself on a 24-hour adventure in New York City with a young writer.

Writer/director Lex Sidón’s cast list includes Scarborough-born Michael Wincott who has worked with some of cinema’s most highly regarded filmmakers.

The local talent continues into the week as the festival screens another film featuring a Scarborough actor. At 9 p.m. Thursday, June 5, the Fox Theatre is screening a short film by Shiren Van Cooten. Her lead actor Mark Taylor portrays a man meditating on life’s littlest distractions.

On Saturday, June 7, the University of Toronto Scarborough campus is screening the short film Cold Feet at 7 p.m., directed by Scarborough native Daniel D’Alimonte. It’s about a young deli butcher interested in getting involved with the mob who has been asked to cut up a dead body.

D’Alimonte described the film as a tribute to the mobster and gangster film genre. He wanted the film to depart from the cliches of the genre and focus on character and humour as a way to make it more accessible.

“Now all you’re getting are the blockbusters on the one hand and all these really niche films on the other hand and not so much in between,” said D’Alimonte.

“I am interested in making films that are more accessible to anybody... like my father with $14 in his pocket. I want him to be able to see it.”

On this same night, the film festival is opening up a free outdoor screening at Cedar Ridge Creative Centre at 7:30 p.m. This event is a new initiative by the film festival called A Night at the Movies.

The Story of Furious Pete is a documentary about Peter Czerwinski who nearly died at the age of 16 because of his anorexia. The film narrates how Czerwinski overcomes his eating disorder and becomes one of the greatest competitive eaters in the world.

The film was directed and produced by Scarborough resident George Tsioutsioulas.

“I wanted to make a film that’s funny, strange, gross and heartfelt,” he said. “Every time I told people what I was working on, their reaction would always be ‘what’ and that’s how I knew I was going to be great.”

Tsioutsioulas is also a member of the festival’s jury committee this year and will be going through the feature films being screened this year.

“There is a lot of talent to be found this year and the Scarborough Film Festival has been a good platform for that,” said Tsioutsioulas.

For the full schedule of film screenings, visit ScarboroughFilmFestival.com.

Scarborough Film Festival spotlights local talent

Opening gala set for June 3 will include Cliffside

News May 28, 2014 by Jean Ko Din Scarborough Mirror

Local filmmakers will be featured alongside Canadian and international talent at this year’s Scarborough Film Festival.

The opening gala on Tuesday, June 3 at 7 p.m. will kick off the six-day event with two films from Scarborough natives.

Cliffside is a short film inspired by the area that writer/director Steven Matthew Hoffner grew up in.

Hoffner described the area as a unique makeup of culture that is still exactly same as it was during his high school days.

“The idea came from my lead actress Kearsten Lyon who grew up in the area with me,” said Hoffner. “It’s the same characters up to the same activities. It’s like Peter Pan because all these guys don’t grow up... and we kind of ran with that theme of an urban Neverland.”

Grand Street is another film at the opening gala. It is about a former film executive that finds herself on a 24-hour adventure in New York City with a young writer.

Writer/director Lex Sidón’s cast list includes Scarborough-born Michael Wincott who has worked with some of cinema’s most highly regarded filmmakers.

The local talent continues into the week as the festival screens another film featuring a Scarborough actor. At 9 p.m. Thursday, June 5, the Fox Theatre is screening a short film by Shiren Van Cooten. Her lead actor Mark Taylor portrays a man meditating on life’s littlest distractions.

On Saturday, June 7, the University of Toronto Scarborough campus is screening the short film Cold Feet at 7 p.m., directed by Scarborough native Daniel D’Alimonte. It’s about a young deli butcher interested in getting involved with the mob who has been asked to cut up a dead body.

D’Alimonte described the film as a tribute to the mobster and gangster film genre. He wanted the film to depart from the cliches of the genre and focus on character and humour as a way to make it more accessible.

“Now all you’re getting are the blockbusters on the one hand and all these really niche films on the other hand and not so much in between,” said D’Alimonte.

“I am interested in making films that are more accessible to anybody... like my father with $14 in his pocket. I want him to be able to see it.”

On this same night, the film festival is opening up a free outdoor screening at Cedar Ridge Creative Centre at 7:30 p.m. This event is a new initiative by the film festival called A Night at the Movies.

The Story of Furious Pete is a documentary about Peter Czerwinski who nearly died at the age of 16 because of his anorexia. The film narrates how Czerwinski overcomes his eating disorder and becomes one of the greatest competitive eaters in the world.

The film was directed and produced by Scarborough resident George Tsioutsioulas.

“I wanted to make a film that’s funny, strange, gross and heartfelt,” he said. “Every time I told people what I was working on, their reaction would always be ‘what’ and that’s how I knew I was going to be great.”

Tsioutsioulas is also a member of the festival’s jury committee this year and will be going through the feature films being screened this year.

“There is a lot of talent to be found this year and the Scarborough Film Festival has been a good platform for that,” said Tsioutsioulas.

For the full schedule of film screenings, visit ScarboroughFilmFestival.com.

Scarborough Film Festival spotlights local talent

Opening gala set for June 3 will include Cliffside

News May 28, 2014 by Jean Ko Din Scarborough Mirror

Local filmmakers will be featured alongside Canadian and international talent at this year’s Scarborough Film Festival.

The opening gala on Tuesday, June 3 at 7 p.m. will kick off the six-day event with two films from Scarborough natives.

Cliffside is a short film inspired by the area that writer/director Steven Matthew Hoffner grew up in.

Hoffner described the area as a unique makeup of culture that is still exactly same as it was during his high school days.

“The idea came from my lead actress Kearsten Lyon who grew up in the area with me,” said Hoffner. “It’s the same characters up to the same activities. It’s like Peter Pan because all these guys don’t grow up... and we kind of ran with that theme of an urban Neverland.”

Grand Street is another film at the opening gala. It is about a former film executive that finds herself on a 24-hour adventure in New York City with a young writer.

Writer/director Lex Sidón’s cast list includes Scarborough-born Michael Wincott who has worked with some of cinema’s most highly regarded filmmakers.

The local talent continues into the week as the festival screens another film featuring a Scarborough actor. At 9 p.m. Thursday, June 5, the Fox Theatre is screening a short film by Shiren Van Cooten. Her lead actor Mark Taylor portrays a man meditating on life’s littlest distractions.

On Saturday, June 7, the University of Toronto Scarborough campus is screening the short film Cold Feet at 7 p.m., directed by Scarborough native Daniel D’Alimonte. It’s about a young deli butcher interested in getting involved with the mob who has been asked to cut up a dead body.

D’Alimonte described the film as a tribute to the mobster and gangster film genre. He wanted the film to depart from the cliches of the genre and focus on character and humour as a way to make it more accessible.

“Now all you’re getting are the blockbusters on the one hand and all these really niche films on the other hand and not so much in between,” said D’Alimonte.

“I am interested in making films that are more accessible to anybody... like my father with $14 in his pocket. I want him to be able to see it.”

On this same night, the film festival is opening up a free outdoor screening at Cedar Ridge Creative Centre at 7:30 p.m. This event is a new initiative by the film festival called A Night at the Movies.

The Story of Furious Pete is a documentary about Peter Czerwinski who nearly died at the age of 16 because of his anorexia. The film narrates how Czerwinski overcomes his eating disorder and becomes one of the greatest competitive eaters in the world.

The film was directed and produced by Scarborough resident George Tsioutsioulas.

“I wanted to make a film that’s funny, strange, gross and heartfelt,” he said. “Every time I told people what I was working on, their reaction would always be ‘what’ and that’s how I knew I was going to be great.”

Tsioutsioulas is also a member of the festival’s jury committee this year and will be going through the feature films being screened this year.

“There is a lot of talent to be found this year and the Scarborough Film Festival has been a good platform for that,” said Tsioutsioulas.

For the full schedule of film screenings, visit ScarboroughFilmFestival.com.