The film, by writer/director and lone twin Anna Van der Wee, mixes the personal – Anna’s own story – with the universal – interviews with other twins, lone twins and experts in the field – to reveal an emotionally-rich terrain that most of us “singletons” have never even contemplated.
Van der Wee, above left in black, posits that twins are as close to being soulmates as two people can be. The film ultimately follows her to Nigeria, which has the highest birthrate of twins in the world, where she experiences the catharsis of a special ceremony performed for twins who have lost their “other half.” It’s a fascinating rite and a fitting denouement for the doc.
Mentorship is deeply ingrained in Asian dance traditions and it’s at the heart of this year’s CanAsian Dance Festival (February 9 – 11), opening tomorrow night at the Winchester Street Theatre. Titled Kick Start: 6 Choreographers Pushing Boundaries, this year’s festival pairs six emerging or mid-career choreographers with well-established mentors, each taking on the role of dramaturge.
It makes sense that festival founder and Artistic Director Denise Fujiwara, left, should be interested in mentorship since her own career and dance practice were transformed by her mentors Elizabeth Langley (Concordia University) and especially Natsu Nakajima.
“The experience of working with these senior, brilliant mentors really changed the quality of my work and my life,” confirms Fujiwara. “And I thought that these young people could similarly benefit.” READ MORE
On Saturday, Toronto filmmaker Ian Harnarine was honoured by the Caribbean Tales organization and the Government of Trinidad and Tobago with an Award of Excellence for his short film, Doubles with Slight Pepper. Harnarine is pictured above right with his fellow honouree, Denham Jolly, founder of Toronto’s first urban music radio station, Flow 93.5.
Doubles with Slight Pepper was Harnarine’s thesis project for his master’s degree in film from New York University (he graduated last May). The 15-minute movie was named Best Canadian Short Film at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival and is nominated for a Genie Award at next month’s celebration of Canadian film excellence. Talk about beginner’s luck!
In fact, Harnarine has another other impressive plume in his cap resulting from his final year at NYU. A self-described “sound geek,” Harnarine was the sound tech on another thesis project, that of fellow NYU student Luke Matheny whose God of Love defied all expectations to capture the American Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film in 2011 (his Oscar speech is definitely worth a look). READ MORE
The Gardiner Museum uncorked its latest exhibition Thursday with a show that stretches way beyond ceramics to include large-scale lenticular photographs, projections and video work. Greg Payce is an Alberta-based artist who uses turned and thrown ceramic vessels as a medium to explore illusion and perception. Payce plays with positive and negative space to create human profiles and then pushes the concept further with three-dimensional lenticular photographs of composed vignettes that transform as the viewer moves toward and past them. READ MORE
Slow and steady wins the race. That’s the approach Frances-Anne Solomon, left, has taken in building Caribbean Tales Inc. into a multi-faceted organization dedicated to the creation, production and distribution of filmed stories from the Caribbean and African Diaspora. Solomon presides over the Caribbean Tales Youth Film Festival this weekend at the TIFF Bell Lightbox where Jamaican filmmaker Storm Saulter’s Better Mus Come premiers in conjunction with an awards gala honouring Canadian broadcasting pioneer Denham Jolly and young filmmaker Ian Harnarine. Harnarine’s short, Doubles With Slight Pepper, was produced with the help of the Caribbean Tales Market Incubator Program and went on to win TIFF’s 2011 Award for Best Canadian Short Film, a prize worth $10,000.
This weekend’s events – the awards gala brunch and screening at noon on Saturday followed by a public screening of Better Mus Come Sunday at 3:45 pm – marks the first time Caribbean Tales has partnered with TIFF and Solomon is happy to borrow some of the Lightbox’s prestige. The collaboration represents a win for TIFF, too, which is kicking off a Black History Month screening series entitled Music, Magic, Clash: New Voices in the African Diaspora. READ MORE