Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The YoungCuts Film Festival Best Of and Closing Gala

The YoungCuts Film Festival Best Of and Closing Gala

Thursday, October 1st at Cinema du Parc 3575 Avenue du Parc starting at 9:15

At the end of the screening, we will be presenting awards for Best Canadian Film, Best Director, Best Film and the People's Choice Award.

To see the Award Winners to date at the Festival go HERE!

And to see the leading vote-getters in the People's Choice Awards by evening go HERE!

During our Closing Gala we will present the following films:

A promotional film for the annual Fuller-Landau Cedars Dragonboat Race filmed by Elisa Ruggiero and edited by Francois Laurent

And the YoungCuts 2009 Top Ten Plus One:

Meltdown by David Green, USA
Winner: Little Burgundy Award for Best Animation

Batter Up by Josh Webber, Canada

(one) by Benjamin Bee Stevens, UK
Winner: Award for Best Editing

L'Homme Boreale by Francois Laurent, Canada

Nodutgang (Emergency Exit) by Tomas Solli, Norway

Fashionably Green by Esther Viragh, Canada

The Bridge by Sheldon Schwartz, USA

Le Cou Cou by Zed Bennett Jr., USA
Winner: Mirror Weekly Award for Best Short Short Film

Swipe by Max Blustin, UK

Breathless by Kyle Sandilands, Canada

You Have the Right by Clarity, Canada
Winner: Virgin96 Award for Best Music

We will also be screening the Official Closing Film of the 2009 YoungCuts Film Festival:
S'Oublier by Mirek Hamet, Canada
in a a brand-new 35MM print!

Hope to see you there!

The YoungCuts and MyFilmmaker Team

Jay Moulton, Chairman
Louise Kierans, President
Michael Ryan, Festival Director
Francois Laurent, Festival Co-ordinator
Philippe Lapointe, Festival Producer
Marc Hétu, Festival Producer and Captain of the victorious YoungCuts Film Festival Dragonboat
David Roux, YoungCuts Host
Sabrina D. Fenster , YoungCuts Publicist (STRUT INC.)

Friday, September 25, 2009

YoungCuts Film Festival Starts Today!

The YoungCuts Film Festival Starts Today!
Friday, September 25th to Thursday, October 1st at Cinema du Parc
Screenings every day at 9PM, plus extra screenings on Saturday and Sunday at 3PM.

We had our Opening Gala last night at Restaurant Newtown, officially the High Fidelity HDTV Opening Gala - a charity benefit for the Cedars Cancer Institute hosted by the 2009 YoungCuts Honorary Chairman, Justin Trudeau who gave a rousing and inspriring speech telling the filmmakers that they were not the leaders of tomorrow, but the leaders of today.

In addition to Justin Trudeau, we heard from Ken Murphy, CEO of High Fidelity HDTV who called on young filmmakers to help shake up and add new energy to Canada's Film and TV community. There were also remarks from David Roux, our Master of Ceremonies, Jay Moulton, Chairman of YoungCuts and Louise Kierans, President of YoungCuts. Representing the Cedars Cancer Institute, Jeff Shamie, Executive Director and Gwen Nacos, founder of Cedars CanSupport spoke passionately about the involvement of young people in helping raise money for Cedars.

We also played a short film by Francois Laurent and Elisa Ruggierio, produced by YoungCuts documenting the 4th Annual Cedars Cancer Institute Fuller Landau 'Rain or Shine' Dragon Boat Race & Festival. Jeff and Gwen are delighted with the film and intend to use it to help promote the charity and next year's dragonboat race. The film will be replayed on the last evening of the YoungCuts Film Festival during our Best of the Festival Closing Screening, Thursday, October 1st at 9PM.

Newtown was packed for the event, everyone had a great time, we heard some great speeches and we saw a great film and some great trailers! A fantastic kick-off to the Festival!

The 2009 YoungCuts Film Festival Program Book can be downloaded HERE.

If you are not going to be able to make it up for the Festival and would like us to mail you a physical copy of the Program book, just make a donation to the Festival HERE to cover shipping and we will happily mail one out to you with some other memorabilia to the Festival or if you buy one of our production DVDs like you can do HERE we will include a program book in the envelope.

Press Articles about the YoungCuts Film Festival:

September 23rd, 2009
Festival Showcases Young Filmmakers Talents
Page 77
Julia Gerke, Montreal Suburban
Download the PDF: Festival Showcases Young Filmmakers Talent

September 22nd, 2009
YoungCuts Film Festival: It's the young one

Bill Brownstein, Montreal Gazette
Download the PDF: YoungCuts Film Festival: It's the young one

September 21st, 2009
Filmmaker Makes the Cut

Profile of Mazi Khaligi (Foreign Soil)
Download the PDF: Filmmaker Makes the Cut

The Festival Schedule until Thursday:

Friday, September 25th 9PM Cinéma du Parc 21h vendredi le 25 septembre.
The Best of Quebec Film Screening sponsored by the free daily newspaper 24 Heures (iCi Weekend)
La Séance du Quotidien 24 Heures (iCi Weekend) - Meilleurs Films du Québec
Inclusing/Incluant: iCi Weekend Best Quebec Film Award/Le Prix iCi Weekend Meilleur Film de Quebec

Saturday, September 26th 3PM Cinéma du Parc 15h samedi le 26 septembre. The High Fidelity HDTVBest Documentary Screening
La Séance High Fidelity HDTV Meilleur Documentaire
Inclusing/Incluant: High Fidelity HDTV Best Documentary Film Award/Le Prix High Fidelity HDTV Meilleur Film de Quebec

Saturday, September 26th 9PM Cinéma du Parc 21h samedi le 26 septembre. The En PrimeurBest Visual Films Screening
La Séance En Primeur Meilleur Films Visuels
Inclusing: The En Priemur Award for Best Cinematography and the Award for Best Editing.
Incluant: Le prix En Primeur pour Meilleur Cinematographie et le prix pour le Meilleur Montage.

Sunday, September 27th 3PM Cinéma du Parc 15h dimanche le 27 septembre.
Little Burgundy presents the Virgin96 Best Animation and Music Screening
Little Burgundy présente la Séance Virgin96 Meilleur Films d'Animation et Musique
Inclusing: The Virgin96 Award for Best Music and the Little Burgundy Animation Award.
Incluant: Le prix Virgin96 pour Meilleur Musique et le prix Little Burgundy pour le Meilleur film d'Animation.

Sunday, September 27th 9PM Cinéma du Parc 21h dimanche le 27 septembre.
The Best Actor Screening
La Séance Meilleur Acteur
Inclusing/Incluant: Best Actor Award/Le Prix Meilleur Acteur

Monday, September 28th 9PM Cinéma du Parc 21h Lundi le 28 septembre.
The Best Actress Screening
La Séance Meilleur Actrice
Inclusing/Incluant: Best Actress Award/Le Prix Meilleur Actrice

Tuesday, September 29th 9PM Cinéma du Parc 21h, mardi le 29 septembre. The Mirror Weekly Best Short Shorts Screening
La Séance de l'Hebdomadaire Mirror Meilleur Court Court Métrage
Inclusing/Incluant: Mirror Weekly Best Short Short Film Award/Le Prix Hebdomadaire Mirror Meilleur Court Court Métrage

Wednesday, September 30th 9PM Cinéma du Parc 21h, mercredi le 30 septembre.
The Best Teen Film Screening
La Séance Meilleur Film d'Ado
Inclusing/Incluant: Best Teen Film Award/Le Prix Meilleur Film d'Ado

Thursday, October 1st 9PM Cinéma du Parc 21h, jeudi le 1 octobre.
The Grand Prize Film Screening
La Séance Grand Prix
Includes prizes for Best Film, Best Director, Best Canadian Film and the Public Prize
Incluant prix pour Meilleur Film, Meilleur Realisateur, Meilleur Film Canadien et le Prix du Public

We are also pleased to announce that the Official Closing Film of teh Festival will be Mirek Hamet's S'Oublier. If all goes well, this will be presented in a brand new 35MM print!

Bon Festival!

And we hope to see you at Cinema du Parc!

The YoungCuts and MyFilmmaker Team

Jay Moulton, Chairman
Louise Kierans, President
Michael Ryan, Festival Director
Francois Laurent, Festival Co-ordinator
Philippe Lapointe, Festival Producer
Marc Hétu, Festival Producer and Captain of the victorious YoungCuts Film Festival Dragonboat
David Roux, YoungCuts Host
Sabrina D. Fenster , YoungCuts Publicist (STRUT INC.)

Thursday, September 24, 2009

News Article (YCFF) It's the young one

Artice by Bill Brownstein, Montreal Gazette
Profiles the Festival, Meltdown and Emergency Exit
Also made me sound a lot more coherent and eloquent than I feel right now.

They used our poster! With the logo. WOO! + HOO!

YoungCuts Film Festival - It's the young one

MONTREAL - Inquiring minds just might want to know how the YoungCuts Film Festival is different from the other 385 or so film fests that play Montreal annually.

YoungCuts director Michael Ryan has a ready response: “It’s probably the largest film festival in the world for filmmakers 25 years old and younger. Plus, it’s our mandate not only to give these filmmakers a platform, but also to find them work after.”

That works for me. And that should work for the rest of you, too. All the more so since YoungCuts offers patrons more creative bang for their bucks than almost any entertainment spectacle anywhere.

The 7th YoungCuts fest will showcase 100 films – of all lengths and from all genres known to man as well as a few genres not yet known – from 12 countries, beginning tomorrow and running until Oct. 1 at the Cinéma du Parc. Tickets for screenings are a steal at $7.50 each and even more of a steal if you buy a booklet of 10 for $50.

If you are not blown away by many of these mostly no-budget flicks, you may have to check yourself for a pulse. Okay, no-budget may be a bit of an overstatement. Budgets for the films run anywhere from $50 to $5,000.

“If you totalled the budgets of all 100 films, the amount still wouldn’t cover the catering cost for Transformers 2. Nor would that sum cover more than one second of screen time on Transformers 2,” Ryan muses. “But it’s hard to quantify in dollar figures the blood, sweat and tears these filmmakers put into their work for no salary at all.”

Which explains why Ryan and festival chairman Jay Moulton feel a responsibility to land these filmmakers some work. Through the Canadian Heritage Information Network, Ryan and Moulton have arranged for a group of YoungCuts grads to shoot 80 shorts on Canadian museums and to get paid for their efforts. Over the years, YoungCuts alumni have also shot commercials for the likes of Pepsi, Air Canada and Astral Media.

Oh yeah, and for Montrealers looking for additional incentive to attend, YoungCuts is one of the few to reverse that annoying trend and to move east here along the 401. That’s right, we snagged this one from Toronto.

It began in 2001 as the Toronto International Teen Film Festival, but moved here as YoungCuts in 2006. “We wanted more of an international flavour to the festival and just felt that Montreal would afford us that opportunity,” Ryan says.

“And it has paid off. We now have more films from more countries than ever being submitted.”

Ryan and his team had to sift through some 1,000 fictional, documentary and animated offerings (and combos thereof) from 25 countries to arrive at the top 100. Then they had to go through that batch of 100 to arrive at the “Top 10 Plus 1,” which will screen closing night on Oct. 1.

Among the represented countries are Canada, the U.S., Britain, the Czech Republic, the Philippines, France, Argentina, Egypt, Singapore, India and the first ever entry from Norway.

The Norwegian entry, Emergency Exit, is a riveting short drama about two men entering a bank for opposite reasons. One is dying and decides to empty his account so that he can go out with a bang. The other is a destitute widower and seeks to rob the bank in order to provide for his young daughter. In the chaos following the aborted heist, the thief takes the dying dude hostage. But they soon establish an unusual bond: the Stockholm Syndrome in Oslo, if you will.

“What strikes me most about these films is the passion and the ingenuity of the filmmakers, and then to get these films done on minimal amounts is amazing,” Ryan says. “It all bodes well for the future of filmmaking.”

One of the most dazzling works in this year’s collection is The Meltdown by American director David Green. Part live-action, part computer-generated animation, the short – which will be featured in the Top 10 Plus 1 screening Oct. 1 – looks like it came out of Pixar or Disney or the NFB, for such is its sophistication and brilliance of its premise. Difference is that its budget was in the hundreds.

The Meltdown action takes place in a fridge that’s gone on the fritz. Conditions are sub-polar inside. An orange has perished from the frost. The ham, mayo, butter, spaghetti and leftover Chinese food now fear for their lives. Unbeknownst to humans, these food products can talk and move their parts and get most agitated.

But they have come up with a plan. They conscript a celery stick to try to turn up the temperature in the refrigerator. It’s do or die. Will the celery stick buckle under the pressure? Will the ever-limp spaghetti noodle have to tighten itself up and come to the rescue?

Best check for yourselves. Don’t want to spoil the suspense.

The YoungCuts Film Festival kicks off Friday night and runs until Oct. 1 at the Cinéma du Parc, 3575 Park Ave. Tickets are $7.50 per screening; or 10 tickets for $50. For tickets and information, call 514-285-4591 or go to

News Article (YCFF) Filmmaker makes the cut

Article from
Profile of Mazi Khalagi, director of Foreign Soil

Mazi Khalagi, director of Fopreign Soil

Mississauga Article: Filmmaker makes the cut

Mississauga filmmaker Mazi Khalighi's film Foreign Soil has been selected to be screened at Montreal's YoungCuts Film Festival.

A film by Mississauga’s Mazi Khalighi has been selected to be screened at a festival
designed to showcase the short works of aspiring Martin Scorseses.

Khalighi’s Foreign Soil was selected from more than 1,000 entries from around the world to be included at the YoungCuts Film Festival in Montreal. It opens Thursday with a gala hosted by honorary chair and Liberal MP Justin Trudeau and continues until Oct. 1.Screenings will be at the Cinema du Parc.

Organizers have received entries from the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Australia, the Czech Republic, Spain, Italy, Egypt, Argentina, Singapore, India, the Philippines and Armenia. They also received two animated films co-produced by teens from Canada, Israel and Palestine.

Foreign Soil, which was screened at the inaugural Mississauga Independent Film Festival, portrays a family’s acclimatization to a new country. It was described as a gift by Khalighi to his mother Nahid, who led her three young children out of war-torn Iran more than two decades ago.

In a scene from Foreign Soil, Ali, the oldest son, presents his mother with new shoes after she breaks her heel when they first land in the new country.

Khalighi, who was too young to help his mother when they made their journey, said, “Foreign Soil was me giving the shoes to my mom. There are a lot of people with my story, but not all have the outlets to express them.”

At the festival, prizes will be awarded for Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Editing, Best Cinematography, Best Animated Film, Best Original Music, Best Documentary, Best Short Short, Best of Quebec, Best Teen Film, Best Director, Best Film and the Public Prize.

The seven-year festival is open to filmmakers aged 25 years and younger.