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Previous Entries

» Since when did we divorce the right answer from an honest answer?
» Queerly Canadian #11: Have I become a professional lesbian?
» Eco chamber #4: Fighting for the Fry
» Jackpot! An interview with Filmmaker Alan Black
» Hot Docs launches with docs in crisis
» ThisAbility #25: Love Connection
» Film Club Contest!
» Eco Chamber #3 - Earth Day Special: A movement, not a day
» ThisAbility #24: Domesticity with a Disability
» In the age of Facebook, campaigns need to grow up already
» Eco Chamber #2: Countdown to Copenhagen
» Queerly Canadian #10: Teach them well, let them lead the way
» Eco Chamber #1: Past and future at the far end of the world
» ThisAbility #23: House Call
» Queerly Canadian #9: House-proud?
» ThisAbility #22 Are We There Yet?
» ThisAbility #21: Faking it
» 20 years on, the ocean still runs black
» My so called life without tv
» How to fix your favourite drink

Welcome to Blog This!

Check back regularly or subscribe to our RSS feed as This Magazine’s editors and contributors reflect on issues of the day and events the mainstream media won’t cover. Join the discussion by leaving a comment below.

July 17, 2009

We've moved!

Posted by Graham F. Scott at 07:22 PM ET | Comments (0)

We've moved to a new website: this.org. Visit us there!

We've moved websites: This Magazine is now online at This.org, so come on over and see the new site. Maybe you'd also like to follow us on Twitter or become friends on Facebook.

More entries on: THIS matters

May 28, 2009

Film Club Contest!

Posted by annette at 11:19 AM ET | Comments (1)

Who wants to go see The Baby Formula? The new Canadian comedy debuts June 19 at Toronto's AMC Dundas Square. Email me at filmclub@thismagazine.ca before midnight tomorrow (May 29) for a chance to win a pair of tickets valid opening week.

baby.jpeg

The Baby Formula is a comedy about a lesbian couple who try to conceive a child using sperm created from their own stem cells.

More entries on: Film

Film Club Contest!

Posted by annette at 11:19 AM ET | Comments (0)

Who wants to go see The Baby Formula? The new Canadian comedy debuts June 19 at Toronto's AMC Dundas Square. Email me at filmclub@thismagazine.ca before midnight tomorrow (May 29) for a chance to win a pair of tickets valid opening week.

baby.jpeg

The Baby Formula is a comedy about a lesbian couple who try to conceive a child using sperm created from their own stem cells.

More entries on: Film

May 06, 2009

Bird is the Word: Ghost Bird

Posted by Elaisha Stokes at 10:56 AM ET | Comments (0)

Look up. Way up. What do you see? What do you think you see?

In the swamps of eastern Arkansas it might be a whole lot of nothing. Or so Ghost Bird a new film by director Scott Crocker suggests.

The Ivory-billed woodpecker has long been considered the Holy Grail by diehard birders who refused to believe it went extinct over sixty years ago. So when scientists announced that the bird had been found in the small town of Brinkley, Arkansas, it was celebrated around the world as the rediscovery of a lifetime. But the skeptics aren't convinced, and the evidence isn't conclusive.

What follows is a deep meditation on the politics of scientific discovery, the revival of a small town, and the hope for a species long considered a ghost from the past. Ghost Bird is not a film about birds, or environmental conservation. Rather it is a story of loss and belief, our difficult relationship with nature and our own tragic culpability. Ghost Bird is fundamentally a story about people.

Ghost Bird has it's world premiere at Hot Docs on May 6th at 9:45 PM at the Cumberland theater and May 8th at 1:30PM at the ROM.

More entries on: Hot Docs festival

May 05, 2009

How to tell imperfect stories: Reporter

Posted by Elaisha Stokes at 12:45 PM ET | Comments (0)

Before I was a blogger for This, I worked briefly as a media trainer in Zambia. The experience was challenging at the best of times and devastating at the worst, but overall I think I emerged a better person, and certainly gained a stronger understanding of the complex nature of international aid work. Suffice to say, sending your dollars to Africa isn't enough. Reporter, now screening at Hot Docs, attempts to answer some of these questions through the experiences of Nicholas Kristof, a two-time Pulitzer Prize winning columnist for the New York Times.

Continue reading "How to tell imperfect stories: Reporter"

More entries on: Hot Docs festival

May 04, 2009

Since when did we divorce the right answer from an honest answer?

Posted by Elaisha Stokes at 10:49 AM ET | Comments (0)

Norman Cornett
Universities in Canada have been a source of political controversy for years. Increasing tuition fees, strikes that go unresolved for months, and conflicts between tenured professors are often the topics of nightly news reports. At times academia seems more like a political minefield that a sanctuary for the pursuit if higher learning.

Professor Norman Cornett, a new documentary by filmmaker Alanis Obomsawin, explores the wrongful dismissal of the professor Norman Cornett from McGill University in 2007. Cornett won the affection of many students with his unconventional teaching methods, which favored stream of conscious reflections over academic essays and standardized tests. He encouraged his students to explore diverse issues from a personal standpoint, and rejected the notion that academic pursuit much by an impersonal proposition. Unfortunately, McGill University did not share his views on unconventional teaching techniques and opted not extend his contract when it came up for renewal (Professor Cornett was not tenured faculty.)

Director Alanis Obomsawin, who is the subject of this years Hot Docs retrospective, explores the nature of what is means to learn through the story of Professor Cornett. Through the eyes of his excited and eager former students, Obosawin creates a touching and tender tribute to both the Professor and the virtues of an open minded and generous spirit. While this is a small film with a local perspective, it honors the spirit of the documentary medium, calling attention to a grave injustice, and building awareness on what it means to be truly educated.

Professor Norman Cornett will have its world premiere on May 8th at 9:30 PM at the Bader Theater in Toronto, Canada.

More entries on: Hot Docs festival

May 01, 2009

Queerly Canadian #11: Have I become a professional lesbian?

Posted by Cate Simpson at 12:01 PM ET | Comments (0)

Label MakerQueer people spend a lot of time thinking about labels. Picking one that fits, reclaiming offensive ones to alter their meaning, trying to avoid them entirely. Lately, I've started to worry about acquiring a label I never selected for myself: gay journalist.

I just finished an internship, and I'm returning to the freelancer's constant search for work, so I've been looking back over my portfolio and wondering: when editors read through my clippings, do they see reviews, news pieces, and columns, or do they see reviews of gay books, gay news, and a column about queer politics? I didn't set out to be a professional lesbian. I haven't decided yet what sort of journalist I want to be when I grow up so I want to keep my options open, but I worry that the more queer-themed writing I do, the more the label starts to stick.

Continue reading "Queerly Canadian #11: Have I become a professional lesbian?"

More entries on: Queerly Canadian

Eco chamber #4: Fighting for the Fry

Posted by Emily Hunter at 11:41 AM ET | Comments (1)

eco_chamber.png

[Editor's note: Every month, Eco-Chamber profiles an eco-activist from Canada and abroad, called "Eco-Warriors." Eco-Warriors takes a look at both the activist and the environmental issue they fight for, using such approaches as direct action, legal crusading, documentary filmmaking, or green commerce.]

As a lover of whales, Alex Morton left eastern plains of Connecticut for the mountainous rainforest of British Columbia. Setting out to study Orca whales, her research soon became more like of a "study of absence," with the whales becoming increasingly rare. She knew the food source of the Orcas was what really needed needed protection: B.C.'s wild salmon. Since there were few people advocating for wild salmon, she became an activist and a scientist.

Short film by Twyla Roscovich

Continue reading "Eco chamber #4: Fighting for the Fry"

More entries on: Eco Chamber

Jackpot! An interview with Filmmaker Alan Black

Posted by Elaisha Stokes at 10:59 AM ET | Comments (0)

Delta Bingo Hall
Back in grade five (oh the good old days) my best friend Cait and I used to spend our lunch hours playing Bingo in the cafeteria. The Scottish lunch lady would call out the numbers and we would patiently scratch them out on our tiny square cards. It was free to play, and prizes included bouncy balls and stickers. Not that it mattered much - even at that tender age of ten I had the worst luck ever. I never won anything.

Still the thrill of the game stuck with me. And it turns out I'm not alone. I caught up with Canadian filmmaker Alan Black to talk about his new film Jackpot! Set against the backdrop of a local Toronto Bingo hall, Jackpot! explores what it means to really win in life.

Your film is about a Bingo hall in Toronto. Where did the idea come from? Do you play a lot of Bingo?

It came from playing Bingo with my grandmother as a kid. Every Christmas we would go down to Florida to visit her and pass the days playing Bingo. It was a great experience, exciting and a great feeling to win. To this day is stands out as a really Important childhood memory. Later on in life I went to play Bingo as an adult and it was so different, people were so serious, it wasn't fun at all. There was this strange sub culture that I don't remember existing when I played as a kid. Then I read an article about a shooting outside a Bingo hall at Jane and Finch over $1500 bucks. Four people beat another person to death. Can you imagine killing someone for $300? It made me realize, playing Bingo is not about the money. I started to wonder "what are these people really after?"

Continue reading "Jackpot! An interview with Filmmaker Alan Black"

More entries on: Hot Docs festival

Hot Docs launches with docs in crisis

Posted by Elaisha Stokes at 10:27 AM ET | Comments (0)

Hot Docs Film Festivall
Last night marked the opening of the 16th annual Hot Docs International Documentary Film Festival, the largest documentary film festival in North America, and an important industry event for independent film makers world wide. As an independent Toronto based producer, I've been involved with Hot Docs for the last four years. This year I'll be covering the event for This Magazine, bringing you news and reviews from the front lines of the festival.

This years festival is the largest in the history of Hot Docs. It's also arguably the most important. The global economic down turn, combined with the restructuring of Canadian government funding for film and television has created unprecedented challenges for documentary filmmakers. Recently, the Conservative government elected to abolish both the Canadian Television Fund (CTF) and the Canadian New Media Fund (CNMF). While these funds have been replaced by the Canadian Media Fund (CMF), the CMF is controlled by the cable industry, with no commitment to educational or documentary programming. Moreover, private broadcasters will have access to the CMF to produce their in-house productions. The result? Less financing for independent Canadian producers, more of tax payers money in the hands of private broadcasters and cable companies, and less quality Canadian content on our airwaves.

Independent Canadian documentary production is a $170 million dollar industry in Canada. It represents some of the best in educational Canadian content. While Hot Docs is a time of celebration for an industry with international recognition, it's also a time to pause and reflect on what kind of content we as Canadians want to see on our airwaves. Like it or not, television matters. And in my mind, television without Canadian content in no television worth having at all.

More entries on: Film | Hot Docs festival



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