Skip to content

Sonja Bennett


Published August 28, 2014 on Vancouver is Awesome. Fake pregnancies. Transgender two-for-one pregnancies. Bloody thrillers. Romance in Hope? Mother-daughter con-women. Changing Chinatown. Discarded food experiment.  Three… Read More »VIFF: Thirteen BC Films Led by PREGGOLAND, TWO 4 ONE, BLACK FLY & SITTING ON THE EDGE OF MARLENE

LEO AWARDS: Brent Butt & Nancy Robertson Host Leo Awards on June 8th

Published May 29, 2013 on Vancouver is Awesome

Hometown comedy couple Brent Butt and Nancy Robertson are set to co-host the 15th anniversary of the Leo Awards, celebrating the best of B.C.-made film and television, at the Westin Bayshore Hotel on Saturday, June 8th. Expect more than the usual hijinks with professional comedians as hosts and and a crowd of outstanding homegrown nominees led by Vancouver born-and-bred Jessie James Miller’s feature film Becoming Redwood with 14 nominations, Vancouver-cop-from-the-future series Continuum with 16 nominations and filmed-in-Vancouver-and-Yellowknife aerial adventure series Arctic Air with 14 nominations.. For tickets, click here.

The 1970s era coming-of-age film Becoming Redwood‘s 14 nominations include well-deserved director and writing nods for Jesse James Miller and performance nods for Ryan Grantham as the young golf-obsessed long-haired title character Redwood; Jennifer Copping (Miller’s wife) as Redwood’s mother; Chad Willett (producer) as Redwood’s draft-dodging, pot-dealing father; Derek Hamilton as Redwood’s red-neck stepfather Arnold and Scott Hylands as Arnold’s basement-dwelling elderly father Earl. Miller shot the Vancouver International Film Festival’s most popular Canadian feature in rural Langley for 24 days in the late spring of 2011. By contrast, Random Acts of Romance, the only other motion picture nominee I’ve seen on screen, filmed in several downtown and East Van locations like the Waldorf Hotel, as befits a movie whose tagline is “Sex, Abduction, Stalking and You Thought Romance Was Dead” about interconnected Vancouverites. Director Katrin Bowen is nominated for the twisted romcom, as is Sonja Bennett for her performance as a wacky stalker.

Becoming Redwood production still – courtesy of Jesse James Miller

In the television category, Continuum dominates with 16 nominations for its first hit season, including nods for creator and UBC grad Simon Barry for his season finale script End Times about time traveller Kiera Cameron’s failure to stop “terrorist” group Liber8 from blowing up a downtown tower, a definitive moment in her corporations-rule-the-world future. Continuum digitally-imploded an Arthur Erickson-designed tower on West Georgia on screen and then filmed the aftermath on a blast-and-rubble set at CBC Vancouver.

Read More »LEO AWARDS: Brent Butt & Nancy Robertson Host Leo Awards on June 8th

VIFF: Vancouver as Vancouver in RANDOM ACTS OF ROMANCE

Published October 19, 2012 on Vancouver is Awesome.

It’s not often in this series that I get an opportunity to talk about movies where Vancouver plays itself, but once a year several locally-filmed features are screened at the Vancouver International Film Festival. This year I got to see director Katrin Bowen’s sold-out Vancouver film Random Acts of Romance on my third try last Friday night.

“Sex, Abduction, Stalking and You Thought Romance Was Dead” is the tagline. The film opens in east Vancouver’s Waldorf Hotel with our two married couples out for the evening: Amanda Tapping’s Dianne married to Zak Santiago’s younger man Matt and Laura Bertram’s young wife Holly married to Robert Moloney’s David. Elsewhere in the restaurant is Ted Whittall’s single sleezeball Richard, breaking up with his latest conquest. Add Sonja Bennett’s single, completely wacko stalker Lynne and Katharine Isabelle’s lesbian Bud to this mix of interconnected Vancouverites and you get random acts of violent romance.

At last Friday’s screening, the very tall Katrin Bowen (below) spoke about the importance of setting her movie in Vancouver in all its “rain, sex and awkwardness.” She wanted  the city to “take on a personna”. It helps that 95% of the movie soundtrack is music from Vancouver indie bands, many discovered at the Biltmore and Cobalt Hotels. And that there are so many scenes set in recognizable locations like the denouement of an abduction under the south end of the Burrard Bridge.

But the big question for the director last Friday was: how did you get Vancouver’s Sci-fii Queen Amanda Tapping to star in your movie? It turns out Katrin Bowen and Tapping became fast-friends years ago when Bowen worked as Tapping’s photo double/standin on the first Stargate TV series, Stargate SG-1. Read More »VIFF: Vancouver as Vancouver in RANDOM ACTS OF ROMANCE