Wednesday, 5 September 2012

TIFF! Highlights 10 Top Films - INSIDER TIPS

1.  Harmony Korine’sSpring Breakers” starring Selena Gomez and James Franco screening at Venice in competition before TIFF. This is a hot one! BFF four friends, Brit, Candy, Cotty and Faith go way off track looking for something to take the edge off the banality of dorm life. James Franco is remarkable!

2. Daniele Cipri’s drama “The Son Did It” screening at Venice on route to TIFF is a directorial debut from this genius of cinematography. Set in Sicily, this visually dazzling story with an outstanding performance from Toni Servillo, will transport you to another world.

3. Walter Salles’ drama “On The Road” is based on one of this centuries’ great works, the cult classic novel by Jack Kerouac (1951) that defined a generation. The cast includes Kristen Stewart, Amy Adams, Kirsten Dunst and Viggo Mortensen. The story is based on Kerouac’s own experiences and is considered a “defining work of the postwar Beat Generation.” The ‘Beat Generation’ was inspired by jazz, poetry and drugs. “Experience is the Best Teacher.”

4. Nick Cassavetes’ “Yellow”, covers huge territory in the complicated life of LA beauty, Mary Holmes, haunted by a dark past.  This dark comedy starring Sienna Miller, Gena Rowlands, Melanie Griffith and Ray Liotta is complex and riveting. This is what we might expect from a director who has such an incredible list of credits as a director (The Notebook), screenwriter (Blow), and many actor and musician credits to his name.

5. Bahman Ghobadi’s (Caméra d’Or–winner A Time for Drunken Horses)
Rhino Season” stars Monica Bellucci and Iranian superstar Behrouz Vossough.
Ghobadi based the movie on the tragic story of his friend and Kurdish poet, who was unjustly incarcerated during Iran’s Islamic Revolution. This movie follows a mesmerizing, tragic love story over 3 decades utilizing the most beautiful and powerful cinematography that leaves an indelible impression with the viewer.

6. Dante Ariola’s directorial debut “Arthur Newman” stars Colin Firth, Anne Heche and Emily Blunt. Ariola has crafted a compelling story that allows us to experience the vicarious thrill of doing something we may normally only daydream about - throwing it all away, and living as someone else.  

7. Directors Tom Tykwer (Run Lola Run) and Lana and Andy Wachowski (Matrix) have teamed up for “Cloud Atlas”, a movie based on the award winning post apocalyptic, sci-fi novel by David Mitchell. This intriguing and complicated story knits together characters across millennium in 6 interrelated stories. The characters are reincarnations of the same soul, identified by a birthmark. Starring Tom Hanks, Halle Berry and Hugh Grant expect something thought provoking and original.

8. Directors Scott McGehee and David Siegel (The Deep End, Bee Season) turn the Henry James novella “What Maisie Knew” into a contemporary movie, set in NYC. “What Maisie Knew” stars Julianne Moore, Joanna Vanderham and child star Onata Aprile. The story surrounds 7-year old Maisie who is at the epicenter of a custody battle between her divorcing parents one an aging rock star and the other a wealthy art dealer.  “A grown-up film about childhood and a scathing look at two childish grown-ups, wickedly amusing and cuttingly insightful.”

9. Mike Newell (Four Weddings & A Funeral, Harry Potter) brings a new dramatic adaptation by David Nicholls of Charles Dickens’ classic Great Expectations to the screen. Starring Ralph Fiennes as Magwitch, Helena Bonham Carter as Miss Havisham, Jason Flemyng plays Joe Gargery and Jeremy Irvine is Pip. Filmed on location in Northamptonshire and Holdenby House in the UK, will the handsome lovelorn orphan turned London gentleman survive the tortures of Miss Havisham’s twisted mind?

10. Anurag Kashyap’s hindi gangster crime thriller “Gangs of Wasseypur”, comes with in two epic films. Seasoned Bollywood indie director Kashyap was spotlighted at Cannes and on myETVmedia for his bold approach to filmmaking earlier this year. “Gangs of Wasseypur” is his first ‘commercial, mainstream Indian film’. Kashyap was at TIFF in 2010 with actor/writer Kalki Koechlin for their award winning film “That Girl In Yellow Boots.”

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

69th Venice Film Festival Line Up & Highlights

69th Venice Film Festival Line Up & Highlights


Mira Nair continues to amaze with her very unique, international brand of filmmaking. What better film as a festival opener than The Reluctant Fundamentalist?  Her colourful, heartwarming internationally acclaimed film Monsoon Wedding followed Salaam Bombay for which she won the Golden Camera and Audience Award at Cannes.

The Reluctant Fundamentalist – Mira Nair’s film adapted from the novel by Mohsin Hamid is one of the highly anticipated films of Venice. Set in Lahore Pakistan, and Princeton, New Jersey over a decade that saw the Twin Towers vanish from the New York skyline, this is a story of love, ambition and tragedy.
Starring, Riz Ahmed, Kate Hudson, Live Schreiber and Kiefer Sutherland.  

17 Films In Competition Golden Lion Trophy:
Some Films to Highlight
Passion – Brian De Palma starring Rachel McAdams Noomi Rapace
-       Contemporary sexual thriller

Spring Breakers – Mr. Korine starring Selena Gomez, Vanessa Hudgens, James Franco
-                      young revelers decide to rob a fast food restaurant

To The Wonder – Malick (writer/director) starring
                              Rachel McAdams, Ben Affleck, Rachel Weisz, Javier Bardem
The Master - Paul Thomas Anderson (director) delves into the strange cult world
                             of a man very similar to L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of  Scientology.
                               Starring Joaquin Phoenix and Philip Seymour

Highlighted Films Screening Out of Competition:

Enzo Avitabile Music Life – documentary Jonathan Demme about Mr. Avitabile, the Italian singer-songwriter and saxophonist.
Bad 25 – Spike Lee documentary about Michael Jackson

The Company You Keep – Robert Redford, starring Shia LaBeouf  and Julie Christie

Your Film Festival & the 69th Venice Film Festival :

Youtube’s New Film Competition with Venice Film Festival & Ridley Scott was announced in January 2012. 10 Shorts will be screened at Venice. The prize is a trip to Italy, and a $500,000 grant to work with Mr. Scott’s company. Ridley Scott has already had one project on YouTubeLife In a Day” a 2011 documentary created from user-submitted videos. The Weinstein Company and Mr. Weinstein is involved. The 7 year old website will be link with the world’s oldest Film Festival. YouTube found that a previous effort to showcase shorts from festivals around the world was not successful and is on hiatus. Yahoo also has recently started it’s own short film project.

Venice and Ridley Scott are a good combination with a new artistic director and new management Venice Film Festival is looking forward to being aggressive.

Check out these latest myETVmedia exclusive film features and bookmark the site to keep posted on the latest film festival news and other great entertainment.

The Magic of Venice in Films

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Fan Expo Toronto 2012 Beginner’s Guide

Fan Expo Toronto 2012 Beginner’s Guide

Fan Boys and Girls rejoice as 17th Annual Fan Expo returns to the Toronto Convention Center in on August 23-26 to bring the best of Sci-Fi, Anime, Horror and Gaming genres to Toronto. With this year set to be bigger than ever we’ve got some Fan Expo noobs wondering how to make the most of the convention, and to answer the big question “ To costume or not to costume?” 

Here’s our beginner’s guide to making the most out of this year’s FAN Expo.

1. Plan your schedule in this order: Panels, Pee Breaks and Purchases.
Ah the three P’s. An essential tool when planning out your time.There are so many celebrities, artists and events going on that scheduling out where to be over the four day expo can get a little overwhelming. Panels are the most time consuming activity- which is why it’s so important to schedule them in first, than your bathroom breaks (trust us, the lineups are an event all unto themselves) and last but not least- time to shop.

2. Bring a poster tube with you if you’re planning on buying art
This one is pretty straight forward. After you spend over $300 on original artwork the last thing you want is some Stormtrooper spilling his Nacho dip all over your piece.  You can buy a poster tube with a strap to make transporting around all the easier.

3. Deodorant. Wear it.
For the love of God wear, Deodorant. Some odd 80,000 fans see their way through the convention center over 4 days. Most of them smell, really really bad. Don’t add to the problem. Be the solution. Wear deodorant, everyone around you will thank you. I see the degree girls trying to hawk deodorant to bums in dundas square all the time. They should have a booth at the expo if ever there was a group that needed it...

4. It’s all about the right gear
Wear comfortable shoes. Dress in layers. Bring a bag big enough to comfortably carry all of your shit .Don’t dress to impress, dress to survive.

5. Arrive early.
Arrive 15-20 minutes before a panel begins if you want to get in. The more popular the panel the earlier you want to arrive. That being said, there are no guarantees. Pick tickets up today if you can (South Building).

6. Bring a decent camera.
You don’t want to be the guy whose pictures of Rose McGowan in a tube top turn out all blurry. Bring a decent camera, with fully charged batteries and thank us later. PS she prolly wont be in a tube top.

7. Entertainment is key.
Fan Expo is full of amazing things to see and do, however once and awhile you’re going to want to chill out and take a break from the insanity. We recommend bringing a handheld gaming device for optimal chill out entertainment. Magic the Gathering games break out everyone as well, so don’t hesitate to bring a set of cards with you.

8. Pack a lunch
that is of course if you don't want to pay 8 dollars for a hotdog.

9. Artist Alley spending money tips
artist alley is pretty simple, artists take commissions; usually based on size or colors and can cost anywhere from 5 bucks to 300. Research is what is key here; look up your favorite artists to get an idea of what you're in for. If you're not bringing a poster tube grab a big hardcover artbook to keep your pieces safe.

10. Costumes or not?!
Go full out or not at all etc etc.

A note on buying things at Fan Expo

            Retailers bring their crap to these events with a mind to turn all of it, And I mean all of it into money. They really don't want to have to lug all their stock back with them. For many of the larger places this means trucks and smaller margins...You get the idea. In light of this they are going to try and squeeze as much cash as possible out of you. If ever there was a time for haggling it's now. However if you want a good deal on something make sure you don't piss anyone off with lowball offers or attitudes, you've gotta remember a lot of these guys have been selling this stuff for lifetimes (in dog years). The key is to make sure that everyone stands to benefit. If your gonna buy 5 graphic novels at full price try and see if you can get the sixth for free. If you want that galactus statue and the wolverine one try and get a deal for both. This last part I cannot stress enough; The best time to spend money on toys, costumes, comics...whateva is the last two days, specifically the last day. Like I mentioned no one wants to lug their stock home so they will be offering the stuff they were selling yesterday for a fraction of the price. I spent about 300 bucks the last con I went to, the last hundred of which on the last day netted me more stuff than 200 over the course of the prior two days.


12. Go to the FREE Exhibit at TIFF Bell Lightbox X-Men Master: Gordon Smith 

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

What are the Genies?

Apparently the Genie Awards have been going for 32 years and yet a lot of Canadians are fairly unaware of them.

The Genies have been given out annually by the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television since 1980.

The Genie is a gold-plated bronze sculpture by Sorel Etrog of a bent over figure. It is 14 inches tall and weighs 14 pounds.

Sad to say many Canadians do not know that the Genies are Canada’s equivalent of the Oscars.

Take a quick poll of your friends and you will find they are pretty unaware of what films are Canadian productions. “A Dangerous Method” – it’s a Canadian film?!

Many films are made in Canada. As a centre for Film production, Ontario is no. 3 ($1.26 billion industry) in North America behind LA and NYC. BC is no. 4. That means a lot of technical talent needed for filmmaking and post production is right here. A quick look at the impressive number of Oscars won by Canadians over the years shows the strength, depth and innovation of the Canadian film industry. Canadians have been winning Oscars since 1932.

Some Well Known Canadian Film Celebrities:

Paul Haggis (Crash, Million Dollar Baby, Casino Royale, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3), David Cronenberg (King of Horror – The Dead Zone, The Fly, Naked Lunch and History of Violence).
Don Carmody is another resident celebrity with almost 100 films to date including blockbusters – Resident Evil, Porkys and many Academy Award productions like Chicago and Good Will Hunting and a few cult classics like Boondock Saints. James Cameron, self-titled ‘King of the World’ is another Canuk as is Keanu Reeves of The Matrix fame. They are all just hometown boys. Nia Vardalos (My Big Fat Greek Wedding) is one of Canada's rarer comedic writer/actors.

Some Less well-known Canadians:
Philippe Falardeau (writer director “Monsieur Lazhar”, Oscar Nominee) and 

Larysa Kondracki (Director, “The Whistleblower”),

Sara Polley (Take This Waltz), 

Jean Marc Vallée (Young Victoria, Café de Flore) and screenwriter David Shamoon (“In Darkness”, Oscar Nominee). 

Canada has many Oscar nominated Animation and documentary filmmakers. Most recently 2 Oscar nominated animated shorts, Wild Life and Dimanche (Sunday).

Rachel McAdams
Some Veteran Red Carpet Film Celebrities:

Donald Sutherland, Christopher Plummer, Margot Kidder, Martin Short, John Candy, Michael J. Fox and William Schatner...


Our Darlings on a growing list of young Canadian Film International Film Stars:

Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gosling
Check out our 32nd Genie Awards highlights on: 

Sunday, 26 February 2012


Oscar Sunday 

It is Oscar Sunday here in LA and the excitement is certainly building for the Red Carpet. There is not a single Oscar nominee that does not deserve to win. 

Our attention will be on the Documentary Films, the Foreign Language Feature Films, the Animated Short Films and Short Action Films. These categories sometimes do not get as much attention as the big headliners but are extraordinary.

See our special feature Oscar Mania. Be sure to check for behind the scenes interviews with the directors, screenwriters and stars as well as the official trailers.

Nick Verreos, Oscar expert on Fashion is on the Red Carpet today. He joined us at the FIDM where the 5 Oscar nominated Films for Costume have costumes from the movies on display. Be sure to check the myETVmedia Oscar Mania Episode on Costume in Film

You will see costumes from Hugo and Madonna’s W.E. with 1920's and '30's beautiful recreations from the finest houses of Haute Couture. Could the winner be the Elizabethan period piece Anonymous or the 1960's film The Help? Or will the Material Girl win the day? Is nostalgia going to sweep us away with The Artist’s styles from the 20’s

The Foreign Language Oscar Nominated Films hold surprises. No one can be sure who the frontrunner is with Separation the Iranian film taking top honors yesterday at the Independent Spirit Awards. Footnote from Israel has become a favourite. Israel has been at the Oscars 10 times previously and has yet to capture the elusive Oscar.

Canada has won the Oscar for Foreign Language Film before and Monsieur Lazhar is a superb film that is certainly Oscar worthy today.

BullHead from Belgium is one of the rare R rated film in contention. In Darkness from Poland is a wrenching true drama about wartime horrors for Polish jews. Either of these two dramatically different films could certainly sweep away with the Oscar. See our interviews with the Foreign Language Oscar Nominated directors and screenwriters. Bullhead is director/screenwriter Michael Roskam first feature! 

Agnieszka Holland has had 3 previous Oscar nominations and an extraordinary career as a filmmaker. 

In the Documentary Category we will wait to see if the war doc Hell and Back Again takes the Oscar.  

Pina is an extraordinarily beautiful and touching movie about Dance. It shows the remarkable choreography of Pina Bausch. It is filmed using 3D and shows dance in a way never seen before. Could it be the winner?  

Then there is the HBO documentary about the 3 boys who were murdered, “Purgatory 3: Paradise Lost”. This is a story that has been kept alive due to the excellent documentary work by HBO. It raised international media attention and brought major celebrities to the cause including Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam and director Peter Jackson. It has lead to the release of the 3 teens, now men, who were unjustly sent to prison for 20 years and faced death row for murders they did not commit.

Finally there is the inspiring documentary  “Undefeated”about a coach who leads a loosing inner city football team to glory while giving these young men and their whole community pride and hope .

The Short film Oscar category is equally remarkable. The skill of story telling in this very immediate format is becoming more remarkable every year. See Oscarmania: Episode 2: Shorts for a great guide to the Nominees. 

Join us for the Oscars in Review after the Awards Ceremony on myETVmedia. Make sure to check our reviews, press interviews and behind the scenes coverage of the year of events that have lead to the Oscars.

Saturday, 11 February 2012

MyETVmedia’s Blog Guide: Top Ten Music Awards Shows

MyETVmedia’s Blog Guide: Top Ten Music Awards Shows

We’re in the thick of the Music Awards Season and sometimes keeping track of these events gets a little confusing. We’ve taken the top 10 Music Award Shows of the year and will provide a quick blog guide. Month by month we’ll cover what’s coming up, the bare essentials and highlights.


January and February is when all the award ceremonies blast off. The People’s Choice Awards rolls out the Red Carpet first followed by The Grammy’s and The Brit Awards and the Canadian Junos. 

The People’s Choice Awards (Nokia Theatre, LA, California) have come and gone, The 54th Grammy’s are this Sunday night (Feb 12th, Staples Centre, LA, California), The 32th Brit Awards air live Feb. 21st from London’s O2 Arena and The 41st Juno Nominees are April 10th, Scotia Bank Place, Ottawa, Canada, this year and air live on CTV. Nominees for Juno’s have just been announced. The Juno’s unlike the other awards shows do not have a permanent home and are held in different cities across Canada each year. This has a lot to do with Canada’s unique geographical and cultural diversity (5300 miles coast to coast, second largest country in the world).

The People’s Choice Awards:

The People’s Choice Awards (LA, California) kick off Awards   Season, recognizing the people and the work of music, television, movies and books.  It is widely believed that the Peoples Choice Awards results are indicative of who will win a Grammy in February.  The People’s Choice Awards aired January 11, 2012 at the Nokia Theatre in L.A. Broadcasted on CBS and hosted by Kaley Cuoco. These are poll-based awards, which include a mixture of online polling, Internet Video viewing data and candidates determined by national ratings averages, box office grosses and album sales.

An absent Katy Perry cleaned up at The People’s Choice Awards this year taking home awards for Favourite Female Artist, Favourite Song of the Year for “E.T”, Favourite Tour Headliner, and Favourite Music Video for Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F). Lady Gaga’s  ‘Born This Way’ took home Album of the Year and Demi Lovato surprised everyone by beating out Beyoncé, Katy Perry, Lady Gaga and Rihanna for Favourite Pop Artist of the Year.

The Grammy Awards:

Next on the list of Music Awards is the Grand Daddy of all music award shows: The Grammys, airing on CBS (this) Sunday, Feb. 12, 2012 8pm, hosted by LL Cool J. Touted as ‘music’s biggest night’, this is considered one of the most prestigious awards in the music industry because it is based on peer-to-peer evaluation. Members of the Music Industry and Record Companies submit recordings to be nominated and winners are determined by votes from members within the industry.

The National Academy of Recording Arts and Science recognizes outstanding musical achievements based on these votes. The Grammy’s are music equivalent to the Academy Awards for film, Emmy Awards for Television and the Tony Awards for Stage.  This year Adele returns to the stage for the first time since her vocal cord surgery. Kayne West, Adele, Foo Fighters, Bruno Mars and Bon Iver lead the nominations.

And for the first year ever The Grammy’s are featuring a special Dance/Electronica spotlight featuring current Grammy Nominees Chris Brown, Deadmau5, Foo Fighters, David Guetta and Lil Wayne.  Electro meets R&B meets Rock meets more Electro meets Rap. This is going to be spectacular.

The Brit Awards:

The BRIT Awards are Feb. 21, 2012 and will be hosted by James Corden and held in London’s 02 Arena. The BRIT Awards are the British Phonographic Industry’s annual pop music awards. The awards are voted for by the BRITS Academy, which is comprised of 1,000 individuals from across the U.K’s music business. Their votes are collected and tallied online by the ERS (Electoral Reform Services) this year’s performances include: Adele, Blur, Bruno Mars, Coldplay, Florence and the Machine, Noel Gallagher and Rihanna. Ed Sheeran leads the nominations with four, including a nomination for British Male Solo Artist of the Year.

Robbie Williams is the record holder for the greatest number of BRIT Awards. He won 12 for Solo Artist and 5 awards as a member of the Pop Boy-Band sensation Take That. A personal ‘favourite BRIT award moment’ was the 1997 performance by The Spice Girls, where Geri Halliwell debuted her infamous ‘Union Jack’ dress (YouTube link below). That dress went on to be auctioned off for 41,000 pounds and win the Most Memorable Performance of 30 years at the BRIT Awards in 2010.  

The biggest Awards Show of all this month happens Feb. 26th, LA Grand- the 84th Oscars! will be there, stay tuned!

Friday, 3 February 2012

The Numbers are Staggering: Social Media Games

More than 200 million people worldwide play casual games via the Internet and “they are changing the games industry: So far only ca. 10%-20% of the population regularly play digital games (called “gamers”). Social games are for the other 80%” claims Jens Negemann CEO of Wooga (4).

The Casual Games Association came out with its 2012 Casual Games Sector Report earlier this month. With an estimated US audience of 77.9 million casual gamers, clearly casual and social gaming is a trend that is not going away.
So what is a social game? 
Think: Casino games such as the multiplayer casino game Texas HoldEm poker. Think: Garden of Time, Sims, Cityville. These are the sorts of games that are on a rampant rise. Easily accessible from mobile platforms and within browsers, easy to turn on or off on a impulse, and basically great time wasters, casual games provide a simple, technologically uncomplicated and widely accessible way for youth and adults alike to game.
So, with those almost 80 million people in the US alone to be using social gaming this year, who are the major players in the casual game world, what are people spending, and how much does this industry stand to gain?
Almost all social network games are built on a “freemium” model - the game is offered for free while charging a premium for more advanced features, functionality or related products or services.        
·       Average console game player (i.e. PS3, XBox 360) is a 37 year old male, the average social network game player is a 40 year old female (US stats).

·       Emerging markets are a key component of revenue growth in the global social networks games market. Brazil and Russia are prime examples of current emerging markets for social network gaming. Use the following attributes to evaluate if a market is ready for social network games:
·      High speed internet and smartphone penetration
·      Attractive social network audience
·      Existing payment systems for processing online purchases

Who are the Whales?

·       Social network games rely heavily on their big spenders, or ‘whales’. Whales spend more than $25 per month, on average. While whales represent less than 15% of a game’s paying users, they account more than 50% of a typical game’s revenue.

·        Most payers spend only $1 - $5 a month


·      The top ten content providers reach more than half of the total gaming audience on Facebook, Zynga leading the pack with over 46 million daily active users (DAU) seriously losing market share from previous years. Electronic Arts (EA) comes in 2nd place with just over 12 million users, 3rd Wooga with 7 million DAU.
·       Estimated worldwide revenues in social network games for 2012 is $6.20 billion (yes, billion). For 2014? $8.64 billion.
According to application traffic tracking site’s leaderboard the Facebook games with the most active users for December are: CityVille, CastleVille, FarmVille, Texas HoldEm Poker and The Sims Social.
 Facebook’s rating was based on games that had the most active users and received the highest user recommendations in 2011.

Facebook's Most Popular Games in 2011:

1.  Gardens of Time (By Playdom)
2.  The Sims Social (By EA)   
3.  Cityville  (By Zynga)
4.  DoubleDown Casino (by DoubleDown Interactive)
5.  Indiana Jones Adventure World  (By Zynga)
6.  Words With Friends (By Zynga)
7.  Bingo Blitz (By Buffalo Studios)
8.  Empires & Allies (By Zynga)
9.  Slotomania-Slot Machines (By Playtika)
10. Diamond Dash (By wooga)