Telefilm Canada  is pleased to present six new original videos to join its Off the Wall  series on social media. These two-minute videos capture thoughts about Canadian cinema as voiced by Canadian personalities: Joannie Rochette, figure skating Olympic bronze medallist and six-time Canadian champion; Joel Plaskett, musician, songwriter and producer; Anne-Marie Withenshaw, radio and television host; Elaine “Lainey” Lui, blogger, host and reporter; Yann Martel, novelist; Victor Lucas, video game show host.
“We’re pleased to launch new additions to our Off the Wall video series, this time featuring personalities who are tastemakers for Canadians,” said Carolle Brabant, Executive Director of Telefilm Canada. “Like all of us, they have a special relationship with Canadian film: childhood memories, funny stories or characters they identify with. By generously sharing their anecdotes, they can encourage Canadians to revisit homegrown classics or discover new movies. Telefilm’s aim with promotional initiatives like this is to engage more Canadian consumers via social media.”
Canadian cinema seen by Canadian influencers
The new videos follow on the initial series, which spotlighted the experienced and emerging talent behind recent Canadian hit films, such as Deepa Mehta (Water) and Jason Eisener (Hobo with a Shotgun). The six new clips present influencers from different regions of Canada and diverse professional fields. Athlete or TV host, musician or best-selling author, they reveal the uniqueness of Canadian cinema as they share their personal stories and memories.
The videos with Joannie Rochette and Joel Plaskett are now online.
Those with Elaine “Lainey” Lui and Anne-Marie Withenshaw will be posted in April, followed by Yann Martel and Victor Lucas in May.
Joannie Rochette , Montreal – Bronze winner at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, World silver medallist in 2009 and six-time Canadian champion, figure skater Joannie Rochette holds a special place in Canadian hearts.
“When I go on a first date, I like to laugh. So the movie shouldn’t be too intense or too dramatic… it could be a little comedy, laid-back. It doesn’t need to be romantic, but something like Les Boys or even Cruising Bar… Bon Cop, Bad Cop,” she says.
Joel Plaskett , Halifax – Producer and musician Joel Plaskett, former frontman for the band Thrush Hermit, has earned international success with the albums Three (2010) and Scrappy Happiness (2012). His impressive list of honours includes four Junos and a string of East Coast Music Awards.
“One of my favourite Canadian films that comes to mind is Goin’ Down the Road. The story of these two guys who make the trip from Cape Breton to Toronto in an old car. That’s such a good movie!” he recollects.
“I love the film Starbuck. I just thought it was so original and familiar at the same time. And that’s what a great film is!” she confides.
Anne-Marie Withenshaw , Montreal – Television and radio producer and host Anne-Marie Withenshaw has been in the public eye since 1998. Now helming a variety of shows ranging from Guide Restos Voir to C’est Juste de la TV, she is well up on movies, having reported from the Oscars and many festivals.
Asked who’s the funniest Canadian actor, she replies, “Jay Baruchel! I might have this little obsession for Goon but seriously, when he yells to Sean William Scott at the rink and shouts “69”, it’s crazy!”
Yann Martel , Saskatoon – Philosophy graduate, world traveler and internationally renowned novelist Yann Martel is the author of the acclaimed Life of Pi, adapted for film by Ang Lee (who took home the Best Director Oscar for the film) and winner of the coveted Man Booker Prize for Fiction in 2002.
Movies hold an important place for him: “I love cinema. I grew up watching movies, being nourished by their images and the perspective on life that cinema delivers.”
Speaking of films and games, he says, “I think David Cronenberg would create an amazing game. I think he has an ability to craft really creepy, subversive imagery.”
Katherine Brodsky , producer of the Off the Wall series – Producer and director Katherine Brodsky has lent her talent to Telefilm Canada to helm the Off the Wall video series. As a journalist, she has contributed to such publications as Variety, Entertainment Weekly, USA Weekend Magazine, MovieMaker Magazine, Stage Directions, The Georgia Straight and Canadian Screenwriter Magazine. She has conducted interviews with numerous Oscar, Pulitzer Prize, Tony, Emmy and Canadian Screen Awards winners and nominees. Through her agency Random Minds PR, she has also been involved in the promotion of Canadian films for close to 10 years.