Everything you've ever wanted to know about Canadian film but were too polite to ask
OK, maybe not everything, but we can certainly offer a considerable primer
This past weekend, the first season of CBC Arts' new film talk show The Filmmakers came to a close, culminating 11 weeks of a CanCon cornucopia both on and off the air. Hosted by Johanna Schneller, each Saturday night the series discussed a notable Canadian film from the past 20 years through expert panels and interviews with the filmmakers themselves, and then CBC aired the film in question.
You can now watch each and every episode here, but if you'd like to be a Filmmakers completist, we're about to lay out all the essays, interviews, panels and fun film lessons (no, seriously, they're actually fun!) CBC Arts put together over the course of the season in one big shiny link guide.
On every episode, host Johanna Schneller was joined by a trio of folks with lots to say about the films and filmmakers in question, offering up conversations that ranged from controversial to comical — and everything in between:
The Sweet Hereafter, featuring film programmer and critic Adam Cook, film critic and author Geoff Pevere and filmmaker and actress Stephanie Morgenstern.
Stories We Tell, featuring film critic Eli Glasner, journalist and documentary filmmaker Francine Pelletier and filmmaker and the National Film Board of Canada executive producer Anita Lee.
Last Night, featuring film critic Norm Wilner, artist and CBC radio host Sook-Yin Lee and writer and actor Bob Martin.
Incendies, featuring Radio-Canada writer and producer Helen Faradji, Toronto International Film Festival artistic director Cameron Bailey and film producer Niv Fichman.
Double Happiness, featuring actor Samantha Wan, VICE culture writer Amil Niazi and TIFF programmer and film critic Kiva Reardon.
Rebelle (War Witch), featuring writer and actor Rachel Mutombo film critic Marc-André Lussier and musician, activist and former child soldier Emmanuel Jal.
J'ai tué ma mère (I Killed My Mother), featuring filmmaker Connor Jessup, Toronto International Film Festival programmer Magali Simard and CBC Arts' own Peter Knegt.
Water, featuring filmmaker Rakhi Mutta and film critics Radheyan Simonpillai and Brian D. Johnson.
Atanarjuat (The Fast Runner), featuring imagineNATIVE Film & Media Festival executive director Jason Ryle, filmmaker Nyla Innuksuk and filmmaker and songwriter Elisapie Isaac.
Manufactured Landscapes, featuring Art Gallery of Ontario curator Sophie Hackett, author and professor Darrell Varga and scientist, environmentalist and The Nature of Things host David Suzuki
Across The Line, featuring producer and screenwriter Floyd Kane, Prism Prize founder Louis Calabro and filmmaker Cazhhmere.
To complement the series, CBC Arts decided to ask the panellists themselves to expand on what they said on the show with a personal essay. From the varied perspectives of journalists, actors and filmmakers themselves, here's what they had to say:
The Sweet Hereafter, written by Adam Cook
Stories We Tell, written by Eli Glasner
Last Night, written by Norm Wilner
Incendies, written by Helen Faradji
Double Happiness, written by Samantha Wan
Rebelle (War Witch), written by Rachel Mutombo
J'ai tué ma mère (I Killed My Mother), written by Peter Knegt
Water, written by Radheyan Simonpillai
Atanarjuat (The Fast Runner), written by Nyla Innuksuk
Manufactured Landscapes, written by Darrell Varga
With all due respect to the panellists, the centrepiece of The Filmmakers had to be the interviews with, well, the filmmakers. From Sarah Polley on steering clear of Hollywood to Xavier Dolan addressing his critics, these are conversations with Canadian filmmakers like you've never seen before:
Atom Egoyan on The Sweet Hereafter
Sarah Polley on Stories We Tell
Don McKellar on Last Night
Mina Shum on Double Happiness
Kim Nguyen on Rebelle (War Witch)
Xavier Dolan on J'ai tué ma mère (I Killed My Mother)
Deepa Metha on Water
Zacharias Kunuk and Natar Ungalaaq on Atanarjuat (The Fast Runner)
Jennifer Baichwal and Edward Burtynsky on Manufactured Landscapes
Director X on Across The Line
Led by Exhibitionists host and CBC Arts columnist Amanda Parris, "Film 101" was our weekly segment on The Filmmakers introducing you to key players behind the scenes via some quick and easy lessons. From the key grip to the best boy, take your film set knowledge to the next level.