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Toronto-born director Ed Gass-Donnelly is one of the latest Canadian filmmakers to make headlines in Hollywood. His second feature film 'Small Town Murder Songs' has been doing the festival circuit since it's world premiere at TIFF 2010... and last month Variety magazine named Ed as of the "Top 10 Directors To Watch" for 2011. Past recipients have included Canadian Sarah Polley, not to mention the likes of Christopher Nolan, Wes Anderson, and Ben Affleck! Not bad for a guy who got his first big artistic break in the bathroom.
Ed started with theater, and in 2000 his play 'Exercises in Depravity' made a splash... partly because it was staged in a women's bathroom. Ed was born into a theater family (his father Ken Gass was the founder of the Factory Theater) and by the age of 16 he had directed his first play. By the time he was 22, he'd gotten bored with the stage and got a job on a movie set as a director's assistant. He fell in love with filmmaking process, and right after that he pumped out 3 short films - all based on playwrights he knew well. Ed has directed music videos for bands such as Shad, Andre Ethier and A Northern Chorus; he's credited with making the first music video shot entirely on a cell phone, "History Watching" for the Fembots.
Ed dusted off an old play, hooked up with a high school buddy (actor Aaron Poole) and transformed it into his first feature film 'This Beautiful City'... and it got 4 Genie nominations. Ed's latest film 'Small Town Murder Songs' is a modern gothic tale about crime and redemption.