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Mark Wigmore's Top 3 - Weekend of January 13th

It’s Friday and that means Senior Arts Editor Mark Wigmore shares with his top picks for your arts and entertainment weekend ahead.


It’s award season, and thanks to the programmers at The Toronto International Film Festival, ten deserving Canadian films are being celebrated this week at TIFF Bell Lightbox. It’s the 16th edition of Canada’s Top Ten Film Festival at TIFF; the mission to celebrate the best in Canadian cinema, and typically these are films that screened as part of TIFF festivities back in September. First up, the winner of the 2016 Audience Award at Hot Docs; ‘Angry Inuk’.

‘Angry Inuk’ arrives via Director Alethea Arnaquq-Baril, and is her very challenging exposé-documentary that covers the heartbreaking effects of seal-hunting protests on Inuit communities in Canada and beyond. It’s a serious issue, with both sides having flag to wave. Will you come out of this film more empathetic to the seal hunt in this country? ‘Angry Inuk’ screens Monday and Tuesday at TIFF, the director will be there for a Q&A both nights.

Speaking up Inuk, Inuk filmmaker Zacharias Kunuk who gave us ‘Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner’ in 2001 returns this year with ‘Searchers’. The story was inspired by the John Ford Western. It’s screens Friday as part of the Top Ten, but also gets a full theatrical run at TIFF beginning January 20th.

In ‘Mean Dreams’ it’s Bill Paxton and Colm Feore in the latest from Director Nathan Morlando:

Mean Dreams screens on Sunday the 22nd. Scandalous Quebec writer Kelly Arcan gets the biopic treatment in ‘Nelly’ with screenings on the 21st and 22nd, and the debut feature from Chinese-Canadian director Johnny Ma is titled ‘Old Stone’, which screens Saturday.

Up next, Werewolf is the debut from Director Ashley McKenzie

Werewolf is the unflinching and intense tale of two homeless drug addicts and screens Sunday and Tuesday.

‘Those Who Make Revolution Halfway Only Dig Their Own Graves’ was the winner of the Best Canadian Feature prize at TIFF last year, and was inspired by Quebec’s massive 2012 student demonstrations. And Sandra Oh, Ellen Page and Don McKellar lend their voices to the animated feature ‘Window Horses (The Poetic Persian Epiphany of Rosie Ming)’. There’s also the thought provoking hockey tough guy film ‘Hello Destroyer’ from newcomer Kevan Funk. And Quebec Director Xavier Dolan and his latest ‘It’s Only the End of the World’ is of course is part of the top ten. It won the Grand Prix at Cannes last year.

Canada’s Top Ten Film Festival is a wonderful celebration of this year’s maple infused cinematic efforts. The fest opens Friday at Lightbox and runs through the 26th. Click here for details.


A cinematic tribute to Leonard Cohen continues at Bloor Hot Docs Cinema. It’s hard to believe that we lost one of the last lions of Montreal back at the beginning of November. A massive hole now exists in the cultural fabric of this country. But his words may just be powerful enough that he will always be with humanity. At Bloor Hot Doc Cinema, ‘Tower of Song: Remembering Leonard Cohen’ is a set of films that includes two feature docs, ‘I’m Your Man’ and ‘Bird on a Wire’. There’s an assortment of shorts and affiliated films on the roster as well.

‘I’m Your Man’ screens Friday at 6:30pm, the 1970’s shot ‘Bird on a Wire’ screens Saturday at 3:30pm. Visit for more information.


Great music this weekend in the clubs. Julie Michels is a member of the Broadsway crew and will perform Friday and Saturday at the Jazz Bistro. The lineup includes Julie Michels on vocals, Ross McIntyre on bass and Adream Farrugia on Piano. The Julie Michels trio at the Jazz Bistro. $15 is your cover and the shows start at 9pm. Click here for more details.

And Mark Kelso’s Jazz Exiles hit the Rex Hotel stage on Friday. The lineup here is Mark on drums, Luis Deniz on sax, Hilario Duran on keyboards, Rich Brown on bass and Joey Martel on guitar. You can’t do better than that. Friday at the Rex. Click here for more information.

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