Thursday, April 13, 2017

Press Release: The ACT Art Centre presents Michael Kaeshammer on Sunday, April 23, 2017




The ACT Arts Centre presents Michael Kaeshammer on Sunday, April 23, 2017 at 7:30 p.m. as part of the 2016-2017 ACT Presents Series.

Michael Kaeshammer has been called Canada’s triple-threat combo of piano virtuosity, vocal ability and charisma. Kaeshammer's performances are pure delight and his energy knows no bounds. Audiences at The ACT Arts Centre know this first hand. Performing during The ACT Arts Centre’s inaugural season over a decade ago and again in 2014, Michael Kaeshammer has received standing ovations each time.

The prolific Vancouver Island-based singer/songwriter/pianist/producer has earned a loyal local and international following as a triple threat. He’s a piano virtuoso with a technical mastery of many different styles, an eloquent singer/songwriter, and a charming and engaging performer. Kaeshammer is well known in Canada but has toured extensively in the United States and Europe and five times in China.
 
                Below is a cover Micheal did of
                      "People Get Ready"

Released in 2016, No Filter, the eleventh album from Michael Kaeshammer, shares the sound of an artist following his muse completely unhindered by thoughts of commercial imperatives or genre constraints. He has an acrobatic way with a grand piano. When Kaeshammer performs, it’s obvious he’s having a ball, playing superlative boogie-woogie, blues, jazz, and pop cross-over material, drawn mostly from an impressive list of standards and his catalogue of studio recordings. No wonder he is a six-time JUNO Award nominee, a three-time West Coast Music Award winner, and the winner of the Canadian Smooth Jazz award for Keyboardist/Pianist of the Year, 2010 and Best Original composition for “Isabelle”.

 In the video below you can see his talent first hand(pun intended)he also speaks of the history of his music and inspirations as well

Kaeshammer is an excellent role model for young music students, as he first made his own mark as a young piano prodigy. Growing up in Offenburg, Germany, he studied classical piano for seven years prior to falling in love at 13 with the boogie-woogie and stride piano stylings of such greats as Albert Ammons, Pete Johnson, and Meade Lux Lewis. Today, Many piano students find inspiration from seeing Michael perform live.
Tickets: Adult $40, Senior $36, Youth $15.
Tickets are available in person at The ACT Arts Centre at 11944 Haney Place, Maple Ridge, or over the phone at 604-476-2787 or online at 

About The ACT Arts Centre

A not-for-profit society serving the community since 1971, The ACT Arts Centre aims to offer vibrant arts and cultural opportunities and experiences through excellence in artistic and educational programming, customer, and member and community service. The ACT Presents Series is supported by The Department of Canadian Heritage: Canada Arts Presentation Fund and The Province of British Columbia Gaming Branch, and the BC Arts Council Community Presenter fund. www.theactmapleridge.org

I have been given the honor and pleasure of being able to cover some of the events for The ACT Theatre I am very thankful for Karen Pighin Communications Manager of the Theatre for giving me the opportunity to do so.This will be my first event attending with the compliments of The ACT.

Thank you for reading this 
Sincerely
Anthony Nadeau



Sunday, April 9, 2017

First Inaugural Maple Ridge Festival of BC Film March 17, 18 & 19, 2017

I was given the privilege of attending the first ever Maple Ridge Festival of BC Film. Why was it a privilege? Because I was given entry into the Festival by the connections I have made over the years doing this blog and loving every minute of it as well.
I had approached the festival as I have every other one that I have covered in the past. This being the first ever for Maple Ridge I was more than eager to try my luck at this one. 
This was put on not only by The Act Theater but also The Ridge Studios and The City of Maple Ridge.
The night opened with a welcoming song from the local Katzie Nation. 



A speech from the Executive & Artistic Director of The Act Lindy Sisson(below left), also from Maple Ridge Mayor Nicole Read.(below right)


                
John Wittmayer CEO of The Ridge Film Studios also had some words to say about the film community in Maple Ridge and the history of film here. Joining him is Nikki Brando Assistant General Manager of the studio.

The evening started out with a mix and mingle , tables of appetizer's were set up for the guests of the evening and the bar was open for many different beverages. There also was a red carpet for the guests to get their pictures taken if they liked , pictures can be seen on the Act Theater's website.

Red Carpet Pictures(click here)


For the record the films presented here were all films that were shot on location somewhere in the beautiful Province of British Columbia.
Then the night started off and we had our first films of the Festival:

Friday March 17, 2017
Anxious Oswald Green  would be the first short of the Festival , one of six short films to each be grouped with a Feature Film. 
Poor anxious Oswald seems to be in a dream state and we are right there beside him. However this is not a dream but a different reality. An amazing trip and also in a Q&A after the showing it was learned that they had to shoot at three different locations over the course of filming as some of the locations just did not work out.



NUMB:
This would be the opening feature film of the weekend. What we have here is a story of a young couple heading back to Vancouver, along their way they pick up another couple who's vehicle has broken down. Along the way they find out the other couple is up in the area to find some long lost gold and invite our couple to join them on their  quest.

This would of course not work out as planned the group gets lost agitated and fearful of each other, freezing in the cold. The pure survival mode comes into full effect for the lead in the film and decides to head back when all hope seems lost.
The amount of scenes with the actors out in the snow and cold was great--found out later from the Director of the film some of the tricks that were used. However I am not going to spoil that for those of you that may want to see the film.

                                 Trailer for Numb:



Saturday March 18, 2017


The Timekeeper
This wonderful short would go onto win the Audience Award for Short film of the weekend.
This tells the story of a timekeeper that has watches, etc set for certain people throughout the short and what they decide to do with that time is up to them.
Another Q&A followed this film and the writer of the short explained he had passed one of those money loans places and thought what if there was a place you could get a loan on time, to have more time to do what you wanted? In short make the most of your time with what you have.
Black Fly
What can be said about this little gem of a film? This had the reaction from a good majority of the audience that I think the filmmakers were hoping to get. I thoroughly enjoyed this film very much. I am going to get a copy of it as the writing and the acting were top notch. A young man is having difficulties living at home we find early on in the film. He goes to stay with his over abusive older brother and his girlfriend, where he is brought into a much darker and violent world. His morals as a human being and his loyalty to his brother is often questioned.
The tension that builds slowly over the time of the film is that very much like waiting for  a volcano to erupt, you know it's coming but sometimes happens slightly faster than you expected. It does not give you time enough to react as you may have liked , but it is a force to be reckoned with.

The entire film is so tightly played and not much is left to the imagination for some in the audience that seemed to be too much from the people I spoke to after the showing. Oddly it was my favorite film of the festival that I had the pleasure of viewing.
This has a raw emotional edge to it, has some great scenes and is a great little gem of a thriller in my opinion.


                                            Black Fly Trailer:

Thank you to Teresa Travoto PR for the festival and Karen Pighin for both allowing me to attend this great festival.
Thank you to The Ridge Film Studios , The Act Theater & The City of Maple Ridge for putting this event on.

Also the main sponsor of the Event.



Thank you for reading 
Sincerely
Anthony Nadeau

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Counter Act --1960's Civil Right's Protest Sit In's Powerfully Portrayed in Short Film

                                        Story Synopsis:
When Alice, a naive young woman having lunch in a diner circa 1960, joins Mary and Ray in their "sit-in" protest, the ire of the racist patrons boils over and Alice learns what it truly takes to stand up for what you believe in.

This powerful short film will be showing this evening March 18, 2017 at the Maple Ridge Festival of BC Film starting at 5 pm followed by the documentary Fractured Land.

I was given the chance to email some questions to the makers of the film, below is the Q&A:

I watched your powerful movie and have seen some interviews with you all regarding the film, what were your main goals in getting across when starting the film? 
Thank you so much for watching! Originally, our goal was just to make a film that honoured and brought awareness to the Sit-In Movement of the 1960's. We were actually unaware of the movement until we saw an incredible documentary called "Soundtrack For a Revolution", a small potion of which focused on the Sit-In Movement. When we found out more details about it and started doing more research, it became obvious that this was an incredible story and learned that, like us, many people of our generation had no idea that it had even taken place. But as we did more research and dove deeper into the subject matter, we found a way to make the film more personal for us - As Caucasian, Canadian filmmakers, we weren't blind to the fact that we were definitely outsiders looking in at these events in history and really of racial persecution in general. That's why we decided to tell the story through Alice's eyes, because it was a perspective we could understand and relate to; somebody who's not personally involved, but feels a duty and responsibility to support the cause anyway. In that regard the film grew from just being a film that shined a light on a too-unknown social movement, into being a film that tried to make a bigger statement - just because you're not a part of the victimized minority, does not exonerate you from doing what's right. 


How was the atmosphere on set , seeing as this is a racially motivated film was there any tension among the actors or crew? To be honest, the atmosphere on set was incredibly professional, and while there were definitely some heavy moments, the amazing actors we hired did a great job of making it feel light and fun in between takes. We made sure to address the issues with the cast and crew before we started shooting each day - that what we were going to be shooting that day would be incredibly intense, and there would be some awful language being said and horrific acts taking place, and just asked everyone to try to be respectful of the performers and of the subject matter, and everyone did just that. They treated the material with honour and respect, and kept in mind the bigger picture of what we were trying to say with the film, and everyone managed to keep a positive, friendly attitude on set and  felt like a real team with a mission, which was wonderful. 
For me the most powerful part of it was when they pick themselves back up and go back to the counter , then the entrance door chimed --chosing not to cut  away to see Alice come back in, but instead you just ended the film. Powerful and yet so small. The reasoning behind that choice of ending? 


(Spoilers abound in the following answer). Thank you, we're so glad that came across. The main reason behind that choice was that we were consciously trying to avoid the idea that this was a "white savior" type of film. We had told everyone involved with the film from the get-go that although Alice was the protagonist of the film, she was not our hero, the heroes were Mary and Ray, and we wanted to make sure that came across. In all honesty, when we shot the ending, Alice actually did return and sit back down at the counter with Mary and Ray, but in editing we just felt like that was too clean, too happy of an ending. It felt like it was saying, "racism has been beaten" and it was really important to us for it to feel like this hadn't been resolved, that it was an ongoing issue that is just as much a problem today as it was in 1960, and rather than try to wrap up the story cleanly, we wanted to put the onus back on the audience, and ask them what they would do in that situation.   
My mother was a part of the civil rights movement and was there anyone in your family etc that was?
We did not have any family members directly involved with the civil rights movement,  . I will say though that it was important to us for it to feel authentic, and in our research we found out that there was a couple named Jack O'Dell and Jane Power who had participated in the civil rights movement that were living in Vancouver. In fact, Mr. O'Dell used to be a personal advisor to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and Mrs. Power had picketed outside of segregated lunch counters in the 60's, so we reached out to them and asked if they would read our script and give us some guidance and just get their opinions in general. They were incredibly supportive of us, they gave us notes on the script, as well as the rough cut after we had shot, and we were honoured that they even came to our cast and crew screening. They're both wonderful people, and with Mr. O'Dell being African-American and Mrs. Power being Caucasian, they were supportive of the idea that people of all colour had a responsibility to stand up against persecution. 
Is there anything you are working on for future projects and how much of a group effort is put into the making of each film, seeing as there are four of you what are each of your parts as a group member? 
We do have a number of things on the go. We have several projects in development, we just finished shooting a western called "The Undertaker's Son" for the Crazy8's contest, and we're just a couple of weeks away from shooting a stop-motion animated short called "Soggy Flakes", about a group of breakfast cereal mascots who have lost their jobs due to the low-carb, sugar-free, gluten-intolerant society we're living in. As far as the group effort goes, everything we do is a huge group effort. It starts with the four of us crafting the story together, and it just grows and grows from there as we add more crew members. Between the four of us, we do have different roles depending on what the project is (we work in both live-action and animation), but overall work as a collaborative team throughout the whole process. Thomas and I (Heath) aretrained in live-action 
Heath

Thomas 










Jon
Nathan

Jon and Nathan were 
trained in animation. 






On the set of a live-action project like Counter Act, Nathan and Jon spent more time at video village because of their highly visual nature, and Thomas and I would spend most of our time on the set working a bit more closely with the actors. Stop-motion is a good medium for us because it utilizes both Jon and Nathan's stellar animation skills and Thomas and my ability to work with lighting and cameras. But honestly, we communicate like mad and collaborate on all aspects (particularly when creating the story), and it really is a team effort through and through. 



Thank you for reading this
Sincerely
Anthony Nadeau


Friday, March 3, 2017

Maple Ridge Festival of BC Film--March 17, 18 & 19, 2017--The Act Arts Centre




THE ACT ARTS CENTRE AND RIDGE FILM STUDIOS CELEBRATE BC FILM 
WITH INAUGURAL FILM FESTIVAL

MAPLE RIDGE FESTIVAL OF BC FILM” TO TAKE PLACE
MARCH 17-19 AT THE ACT ARTS CENTRE

TICKETS ON SALE NOW AT WWW.THEACTMAPLERIDGE.ORG

(Maple Ridge, BC) ~ The ACT Arts Centre and The Ridge Film 
Studios, with the support of the City of 
Maple Ridge, are pleased to present a new festival highlighting 
films created in British Columbia. The inaugural 
Maple Ridge Festival of BC Film is scheduled to take place at 
The ACT Arts Centre in 
Maple Ridge from Friday, March 17 to Sunday, March 19, 2017.

Just as The ACT Arts Centre’s ‘ACT Presents’ performance 
series is designed to introduce new 
Canadian and BC talent to our audiences, the ‘Festival of BC Film’
 has been created to bring
 more attention and access to the work of BC filmmakers,” 
says Executive and Artistic Director,
 Lindy Sisson. “More and more films are being shot in the 
Maple Ridge area and with The Ridge 
Film Studios a block away from The ACT, it felt quite logical 
to join forces and champion BC 
filmmakers,” she adds.

John Wittmayer, owner of The Ridge Film Studios states,
 “We are thrilled to be a founding partner, 
along with The ACT Arts Centre, of the first annual celebration 
of BC Film. This festival aims to 
raise the profile of films made in British Columbia, and supporting
 the awareness of the amazing 
talent that this province has to offer is truly something to be proud 
of.”

The Festival kicks off with an Opening Reception on Friday, 
March 17 at 6:30pm and features a 
total of six shorts and six feature films over the course of
 three days.



FRIDAY, MARCH 17 at 8:00pm
Feature Film: Numb


Director: Jason R. Goode | Starring: Jamie Bamber, 
Marie Avgeropoulos, Aleks Paunovic
Synopsis: When a couple in financial distress discovers 
GPS coordinates that promise to lead 
to stolen gold, they must partner with a pair of mysterious 
hitchhikers to enter the remote 
winter wilderness to recover the coins.
Trailer:


Short: Anxious Oswald Greene


Director: Marshall Axani | Starring: Ryan Beil, Jason Burkart, 
Trevor Devall
Synopsis: Oswald Greene must cure his crippling anxiety, 
even if it means trusting a blind nurse, a talking fly, and a 
flamboyant doctor with a knack for rhyming.

Trailer:


SATURDAY, MARCH 18 at 5:00pm
Feature Film: Fractured Land


Directors: Damien Gillis & Fiona Rayher | Starring: Caleb Behn, 
Janet Annesley, Maude Barlow
Synopsis: With some of the world’s largest fracking operations 
on his territory, a young indigenous 
leader and lawyer confronts the fractures within his community
 and himself as he struggles to 
reconcile traditional teachings with the law to protect the land.

Trailer:



Short: Counter Act


Directors: Heath Affolter, Jon Affolter, Nathan Affolter, & 
Thomas Affolter
Starring: J. Alex Brinson, Naika Toussaint, Teal Fiddler
Synopsis: When Alice, a na├»ve young woman having lunch in 
a diner circa 1960, joins Mary and Ray 
in their “sit-in” protest, the ire of the racist patrons boils over 
and Alice learns what it truly takes 
to stand up for what you believe in.

Trailer:                 

SATURDAY, MARCH 18 at 7:30pm
Feature Film: Black Fly


Director: Jason Borque | Starring: Matthew MacCaull, 
Dakota Daulby, Christie Burke
Synopsis: A troubled teenager and his older brother reconnect, 
setting off a powder keg of buried
 secrets, paranoia, and murder. Inspired by true events.

Trailer:                                               

Short: The Timekeeper


Director: Scott Weber | Starring: Tom McBeath, 
Nathan Dashwood, Tammy Gillis
Synopsis: A watchmaker, who pawns time from people who 
waste it, is forced to question his own 
use of time when confronted by someone who might value it
 more.


SUNDAY, MARCH 19 at 2:00pm
Feature Film: The Wingman


Director: Jim Garrison | Starring: Peter Benson, Geoff Gustafson, Iris Paluly
Synopsis: A professional womanizer coerces his relationship 
counselor into helping him seduce 
women, only to discover that having him as his best friend 
is more important than using him to 
satisfy his insatiable sex drive.

No trailer I could link up for this film

Short: I Wanna Date U


Director: Lisa Ovies | Starring: Laura Adkin, Lisa Durupt, 
Anthony Konechny
Synopsis: After being stood up by her dream guy, a perpetually
 single Holly and her best friend
 Lucy decide to take a stand for women everywhere and 
hunt him down.




SUNDAY, MARCH 19 at 5:00pm
Feature Film: Lawrence and Holloman


Director: Matthew Kowalchuk | Starring: Ben Cotton, 
Daniel Arnold, Katharine Isabelle
Synopsis: The dark and twisted story of a cynical and 
suicidal accounting clerk who gets taken 
under the wing of a happy-go-lucky, ever-optimistic suit salesman.



Short: Monster


Director: Deborah Burns | Starring: Jodelle Ferland,
 R. Douglas Hutchinson, Dave Abustan
Synopsis: Monster is a fable set in a pastoral post-apocalyptic 
time. Hannah, played by 
Jodelle Ferland, draws the winning lot to feed a terrifying 
hungry monster waiting in the forest.
No Trailer Available:

SUNDAY, MARCH 19 at 7:30pm
Feature Film: Into the Forest


Director: Patricia Rozema | Starring: Ellen Page, 
Evan Rachel Wood, Max Minghella
Synopsis: A mesmerizing and powerful story about two teenage 
sisters in their remote woodland
 home who are forced to fend for themselves in a society that 
may be on the brink of collapse.




Short: Bedbugs: A Musical Love Story


Director: Matthew Kowalchuk | Starring: Shauna 
Johannesen, Sebastien Archibald, Blu Mankuma
Synopsis: Just when flannel-clad Tracy Polokowski thinks her
 ‘yes’ day has come, her hipster 
boyfriend breaks up with her, she discovers she has bedbugs, 
and she is ostracized by everyone 
she knows.

Trailer not able to be uploaded to this site.

Tickets for the inaugural Maple Ridge Festival of BC Film are 
available online at www.theactmapleridge.org, by phone at 604.476.2787 or in person at The ACT Arts Centre, located at 
11944 Haney Place in Maple Ridge. Ticket prices range from 
$11 for single tickets, $27 for a 3-pack of tickets, and $50 for
 a 6-pack of tickets. Tickets purchased for the screening on 
March 17 will also be honoured at the Festival’s Opening 
Reception at 6:30pm.


For more information on the Maple Ridge Festival of BC Film, 



About The ACT Arts Centre:
The ACT Arts Centre is operated by The ACT Arts Council - 
a non-profit charitable society that serves the community of
 Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows since 1971. The ACT Arts Centre
 aims to offer vibrant arts and cultural opportunities and 
experiences through excellence in artistic and 
educational programming, customer service, and member 
community service. The ACT Arts Centre is dedicated to
 “Bringing Arts to the Heart of our 
Community”. www.theactmapleridge.org


About Ridge Film Studios:
The Ridge Film Studios opened for business on January 1st, 2015 in Maple Ridge, British Columbia. Since then, over 25 TV Movies, 
and two TV Series have been filmed at the studios. With over 
46,000 square feet of stage space available along with film
 production equipment rentals, the vision for The Ridge Film 
Studios is to provide a premiere film production studio 
facility that producers, directors, and crew will find 
artistically satisfying, convenient, and cost-efficient. The Ridge
 Film Studios is committed to building a strong, locally run film 
studio that provides stable jobs to the community and helps 
make Maple Ridge a film-friendly 
destination. www.theridgefilmstudio.com


Thank you for reading this 
Sincerely 
Anthony Nadeau