The Straight’s talented movie section contributors have been hard at work this past year on their own creative projects. There's been a flurry of news that's been hard to keep up with. I've been compiling a list and finally took some time out to write about it.
In a format not unlike those annual family newsletters you get around this time of year (but no, I'm not related to any of them; I'm not even related to movie reviewer Ron Yamauchi, who people constantly get me mixed up with), here's a rundown of just some of their accomplishments.
Mark Leiren-Young released his 240-page book wittily titled The Green Chain: Nothing is Ever Clear Cut (Heritage House Publishing Company). It’s based on his film The Green Chain (which featured a cast including Babz Chula and Tricia Helfer), which he wrote, produced, and directed.
While the film featured seven characters providing different, sometimes opposing viewpoints about forestry, the book boasts twenty-two interviews with environmentalists, loggers, scientists, and more about the state of the forestry industry and where things are headed.
Another Mark—of the Harris kind—also has a book out. In Wild Heart: The Films of Nettie Wild (Anvil Press), movie reviewer Mark Harris (who is also a UBC professor) wrote an essay about Genie-award-winning Canadian documentarian Nettie Wild who has made films such as A Place Called Chiapas, A Rustling of Leaves: Inside the Philippine Revolution, Blockade, and FIX: The Story of an Addicted City.
Filmmmaker Claudia Medina contributes an interview with Wild to the book.
It's the second title in the Pacific Cinémathí¨que's Monograph series, which highlights Western Canadian media artists. A book launch and retrospective of Wild's work will be held at the Cinémathí¨que (1131 Howe Street) from January 15 to 17, 2010. It'll start with Wild's 2007 film Bevel Up: Drugs, Users, and Outreach Nursing, about Vancouver's Downtown Eastside. Wild will be in attendance for all screenings.
A third movie section contributor also has a book coming out, albeit not for quite some time. Alan Woo will have his children’s book, Maggie’s Chopsticks, published by Kids Can Press in 2012. He tells me that an illustrator has yet to be chosen but he's in the midst of the lengthy process.
Meanwhile, Sean Minogue has been extremely busy beaver. No, he didn't build any dams or gnaw on wooden table legs. Actually, now that I think about it, I don't know that for sure. What I do know is that he completed his script Cold War Portrait, cowritten with Adam Zang (Cole). He also competed in the Mighty Asian Moviemaking Marathon with a short film he wrote and coproduced. And as if that’s not enough, his first play Prodigals is being prepped for a 2010 spring production and will be directed by Peter Boychuk.
Last but not least, movie reviewer R. Paul Dhillon received his second national award for best editorial and presentation by the National Ethnic Press and Media Council of Canada as editor of The Link Indo-Canadian newspaper. He received his award in Markham, Ontario from Prime Minister Stephen Harper, no less.
Congrats to all, and I'm sure there'll be plenty more to come.