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LEO AWARDS: Agam Darshi & Gabrielle Rose of Bruce Sweeney Film CRIMES OF MIKE RECKET

Crimes of Mike Recket is about failed real estate agent Mike Recket (Nicholas Lea) whose beautiful, pampered wife Jasleen (Agam Darshi) has dumped him and barred access to their daughter. In a bid to solve his money woes, he tries to scam widow Leslie Kemper (Gabrielle Rose) so that when she goes missing, Recket becomes the lead detective (Paul Skrudland)’s prime suspect in her disappearance.

Agam Darshi, (below) won a Leo for her supporting performance in the film. Her next project: a co-starring role as tech expert Khali Bhatt in upcoming Toronto crime drama Played. Darshi was on stage at the CTV Upfront  last week in Toronto, where  the thirteen-episode series is filming from early May through September.

Read More »LEO AWARDS: Agam Darshi & Gabrielle Rose of Bruce Sweeney Film CRIMES OF MIKE RECKET

BIG READ: Vancouver Director Jeff Renfroe’s Ice Age Thriller THE COLONY

Published April 25, 2013 on Vancouver is Awesome

How do you survive in a frozen world? The next ice age forces humans underground in Canadian sci-fi thriller The Colony, which opens nationwide tomorrow. Directed by Vancouver’s own Jeff Renfroe, The Colony explores what happens when hunger and desperation below an icy surface lead to the kind of savage, animalistic behaviour we’ve seen shades of in real-word disasters like Hurricane Katrina.

Reluctant hero Sam (Kevin Segers) accompanies Colony 7’s leader Briggs (Laurence Fishburne) on an expedition to the only other known outpost Colony 5 after receiving a distress call. Briggs leaves his below-ground colony at the mercy of hardass Mason (Bill Paxton) who’s itching to impose his own harsh regime where the sick are executed at the first sign of illness. “You’re a dick,” yelled a woman beside me at an advance screening. Deservedly so. But what the expedition find at Colony 5 is so much worse than Mason: wild, feral survivors who’ve lost their humanity completely.

How do you film a frozen world? Jeff Renfroe shot his $16 million feature in twenty-eight days in North Bay and Toronto, Ontario. On the first day of filming outside in North Bay, crew battled -30 temperatures which froze the camera lenses. Watching them fight the cold and pull it off, Bill Paxton dubbed the Colony crew “film animals”. Laurence Fishburne called another North Bay shoot the toughest location he’d ever seen. Weren’t you in Apocalypse Now?, Renfroe reminded the actor. Yes, Fishburne replied, but North Bay still ranked as his toughest. The frozen surface is almost all VFX. Colony crew shovelled snow into an airplane hangar, surrounded the set with green screens and shot through an open doorway.

Kevin Zegers and Laurence Fishburne in The Colony. Courtesy of EOne Films.
Laurence Fishburne, Director Jeff Renfroe and Kevin Zegers. Courtesy of EOne Films.

Read More »BIG READ: Vancouver Director Jeff Renfroe’s Ice Age Thriller THE COLONY

PREMIERE: Debut of Toronto Crime Drama CRACKED Tonight on CBC

Published January 8th, 2013 on Vancouver is Awesome

New crime drama Cracked premieres tonight at 9 p.m. on CBC, starring David Sutcliffe (Rory Gilmore’s Dad) as a troubled Toronto police officer and Vancouver actress Stefanie von Pfetten as a Toronto psychiatrist, who work together in a new Psych Crimes Investigative Unit. Unfortunately, I turned down an opportunity to interview them when they were in Vancouver last May for a media preview of CBC’s 2012-13 season but did photograph the new crime-fighting duo on stage with host Geroge Stroumboulopoulos.

PREMIERE: MURDOCH MYSTERIES Detective Enters 20th Century Tonight on CBC

Published January 7, 2013 on Vancouver is Awesome

Historical Toronto detective series Murdoch Mysteries begins its sixth season at 9 p.m. tonight on CBC with Yannick Bisson’s Detective William Murdoch investigating  the death of a man killed by the crash of a flying machine at the turn-of-the-20th-century. I had the chance to interview Bisson, who directed the premiere, at CBC Vancouver’s Open House and Food Bank Day late last year.
When the CBC re-ran season five of Murdoch Mysteries in the fall to better ratings than its first run on Citytv in the summer, it proved that the public broadcaster really is a “better fit”, as Bisson put it, for this period drama about a Toronto police detective using ahead-of-his-time forensic methods to solve crimes. Read More »PREMIERE: MURDOCH MYSTERIES Detective Enters 20th Century Tonight on CBC