Archive for the ‘’ Tag

The VIFF lurches on…

What movie am I seeing? It’s the 3rd week of the Vancouver International Film Festival, but it feels like week 17 and counting. Last night, Keith Dallas, one of the stars of the upstart Control Alt Delete walked into the theatre and asked me: “Is this Control Alt Delete?” You get the picture. 

So, thank goodness for the bright spots (especially if you’re in Vancity looking outside today):

1. When Life Was GoodTerry Miles, director, spied heading into Neptoon Records on Saturday, breathed indie cred into the festival with his guided improvisational dramedy. You had to be at the October 2nd screening to find out what made star Casey Manderson slink off in embarrassment during the Q&A. Check out the vlogs on SuperU for behind the scenes coverage.

2. Control Alt Delete – Once all the stars were seated, writer & director Cameron Labine‘s debut really got smoking. His brother Tyler Labine is the lovesick Lewis, computer programmer by day, internet porn addict by night. Yup, the synopsis says it all, but there’s so much more. And, for me, having known Cam so long, it’s interesting – if not a little creepy – to see the repeating themes in his work. Check it out in theatres in the spring.

3. RR – My secret guilty pleasure is the purely experimental feature by James Benning. A 111-minute-long film composed of 40-odd static shots of trains. Oddly poetic and sometimes highly entertaining, the first half-hour was good, the second – when the guy beside me started snoring – was tough, but the last 30 minutes was a breeze. In full disclosure Mr. Benning: yes, I was the drunk woman lunging at you at the Gala in 2007; a coincidence that you didn’t attend the VIFF this year?

Advertisements – Unnnbelievable!


The Drive Thru on

The Drive Thru on

New videos are posted on, the English-language site of the infamous Tetes a claques animated videos. The latest is The Drive Thru which, like most of the videos plays on our frustrations in the normal world and then skews it a bit to the side and amps it up. In this one, a hungry driver battles with the unintelligible disembodied voice of the fast food drive thru. Pop over to to watch. Sign up for their newsletter, you’ll be among the first to know when new animations are uploaded.

Thirsting for more animation? Check the & Super U Animation contest going on now. We have CGI, stop motion, hand drawn animations already uploaded and the deadline’s not until October 30. Watch and rate!

Announcing the launch of Super U’s Animation Contests

I’m writing from the Ottawa International Animation Festival. I’ve met lots of animators here from schools across Canada, like Emily Carr University, and through the United States. They’re here for inspiration that can only come from meeting people of like-mind and with the same interests.

It was a spark of inspiration that led Michel Beaudet to create Tetes a claques (now, too). He was playing around with different animation techniques in the basement of his house and came up with the unique style of the characters – the dim pilots, the Halloween kids, the farting frogs.

We at Super U are so excited to be partnering with Michel and to launch our first animation contests. I’ve been telling the animators here at the festival about the contests. Michel has said that the “Internet is sucha  great tool to give a voice to emergent artists.” This is exactly what Super U is dedicated to.

The animation contest opens for entry on Thursday, September 25 and we’ll be running 4 contests a year and a best of contest in August 2009 – the top prize is $7,500.

Today was the Billings’ Estate picnic sponsored by Cartoon Network with food by Lone Star (thanks!). They had a cool pumpkin carving competition. I hope the animators entering our film contest are as inventive as these artistic geniuses:

Ottawa International Animation Festival – Blog #2

Matt Senreich, unidentified blonde, Seth Green

Matt Senreich, unidentified blonde, Seth Green

I had the pleasure of seeing the Co-Creators of Robot Chicken (Cartoon Network, Adult Swim), who were the keynote speakers on Thursday at the OIAF. Seth Green (you know him as Scott Evil from Austin Powers) and Matt Senreich produce this stop-motion sketch comedy series and are real fans of animation, actors and pop culture. They came up with the idea in 2000 – before broadband – and told some entertaining storiesabout the early years of fedexing huge tapes coast to coast, working full-time at day jobs and getting by on 3 hours of sleep a night for 9 months. They had some great advice: Make a demo or a pilot (to compensate for the utter lack of imagination of the people you’re pitching to – Green’s words).

Green also said that the immediacy of the internet makes it a great place to use as a launching pad. I really agree with that – lots of animators at the conference are talking about the ability to make something and have it seen by people almost instantaneously. We really hope that they’ll take advantage of the new animation contests here at Super U. Watch this space tomorrow for special details about the contest announcement on

Ottawa International Animation Festival – Blog #1

Parliament Buildings from the National Gallery

Parliament Buildings from the National Gallery

Welcome to a special series of posts from the Ottawa International Animation Festival. This morning, the Television Animation Conference started off with a bang – the Government of Brazil announced that they have co-production funding available for animation. (Let me know if you’re interested and I’ll track down the contact info.) The keynote speaker was Brown Johnson, President of Animation for Nickelodeon which sounds like a fun place to work: they have fun houses at Halloween, funny car competitions and tie day on Friday. I wonder if Super U will beat them to the first annual “underwear on the outside day”?

Animators - and future animators - in the Book Lounge

Animators - and future animators - in the Book Lounge

The Pitch This! session pitted enthusiastic animators against experienced commissioners from CBC Kids, Teletoon, PBS Kids and Jetix. At breakfast, I sat with the guys who were pitching The Mulligans – a series set around a kids’ golf school – and they were sweating bullets. I admire their chutzpah. Here’s some great feedback I gleaned: Complex character descriptions can be used to fuel the storyline. And: defining the age-range is crucial when pitching. If you’re an animation creator, here’s the scoop on what the Canadian ‘casters are looking for: Teletoon wants boy comedy and teen/tween dramedy, CBC is taking pitches for shows for 4-6 year olds, and a 7:30 am before school show with a broad appeal for young families and they’re looking for shorts.

Stay tuned for some exciting news about animation contests on

Gotta run to Happy Hour! Here’s a shot of me by the National Gallery of Canada.

Clare at the National Gallery of Canada (Louise Boureois sculpture "Maman")

More Tommy Chong sightings

I just heard that Tommy Chong was on the CBC quiz show “Test the Nation”. He was answering questions for the Reach for the Toppers team. We used to watch Reach for the Top during Sunday night dinner, just after The Beachcombers. We had a family friend, Donald Wilmer, who was on the show, so he became kind of a celebrity for a while. Anyone know how Tommy did? I know he was a great juror for’s It’s Hilarious contest.

And the Gemini* goes to…

        *The 23rd annual Gemini Awards honours the best in Canadian TV

The Gemini nods were revealed today. And while there are no real surprises in who was nominated, can I make a little back-handed Canadian compliment and say that it’s a pleasant surprise that we have so many heavy-hitting dramas duking it out for the top?

We have a couple of period pieces – CityTV’s Murdoch Mysteries,(leading the noms with 14), and CBC copro The Tudors – against three cop dramas – The Movie Network/Movie Central’s Durham County, CBC’s The Border and Intelligence – for best dramatic series.

In Comedy, fan favourite Corner Gas (CTV) leads the strong pack up against CBC’s This Hour Has 22 Minutes, The Comedy Network’s Odd Job Jack and Rent-A-Goalie, Kenny vs. Spenny and Cock’d Gunns, both from Showcase, for best series.

Congrats to the creators, movers and shakers of Degrassi: the Next Generation (Epitome Pictures), nominated for the umpteenth time for Best Children’s or Youth Fiction Program or Series. We’re happy to welcome DNGer Adamo Ruggiero, who plays Marco del Rossi, as one of the jurors on our latest contest: “Out There” for films by and about the GLBT community on

The Gemini Awards’ main gala takes place in Toronto on November 28. Galas for news, sports and documentary; lifestyle, children’s and youth; and drama, comedy and variety shows take place Oct. 20, 21 and 22 in Toronto.

Curious? Check out the complete list of Gemini nominees.

Good luck everyone!

Queer is Here!

The 20th Anniversary Vancouver Queer Film Festival opened last night with this rousing cheer from the packed house: “Like a virgin / touched for the very first time…” We were honouring the amazing people who started up and have made this festival grow into the must-see, must-do event it is. And we were celebrating the Opening Gala Film, “Like a Virgin” from South Korean filmmakers Lee Hae-yeong and Lee Hae-jun about a boy dreaming about Madonna and wishing for his own sex change operation.

I started off the night with my colleague Dino (our superuvoyeur) in the sweatiest, thirstiest, most animated VIP reception anywhere. We talked to a few filmmakers, including Gwen Haworth (“She’s a Boy I Knew“) who will be one of the judges for our exciting new SuperU contest “Out There” for films by and about the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgendered communities. Then we stood in the corner and sweated some more, Dino gallantly tossing me a piece of bread – dinner!

Now, I don’t read movie synopses before the film, so I got all my info from Dino, who told me that the movie was about a boy who competes in a Madonna impersonation contest to win money for his sex change operation. Actually, It turned out that the movie was about a boy who trains and competes as a wrestler in order to win money for his sex change operation so that he can take part in a Madonna impersonation contest. (There’s a slight difference there, Dino.) While waiting for the lip-synching to begin, I was pleasantly surprised to be introduced to the traditional Korean wrestling practice called SSireum

Look for Super U at a couple of upcoming screenings we’re sponsoring: The Coast is Queer (Monday Aug 18, 7 pm Tinseltown), Confessions of a Sorta Str8 Drag King (Saturday Aug 23, 7 pm Tinseltown). All the details are at the VQFF website

Gotta run, it’s Friday and it’s hot.