Riding With Rollo honoured with two awards

Riding with Rollo, a short film directed by Maya Bastian in collaboration with Taylor Hazell Architects, has been honoured with a Media Award from the Architectural Conservancy of Ontario as well as a Heritage Education Award from the Canadian Association of Heritage Professionals.

The film presents an engaging look into the world of living with accessibility challenges in Toronto. Advocating for open, universal access to the places that define our communities, this video aims to give its audience a rooted understanding of the day to day challenges of those faced with mobility issues.

The film was also nominated by Heritage Toronto for their Media Award. What a run!

‘Air Show’, a new short film in progress

Written and directed by Maya Bastian, ‘Air Show’ is a short narrative film that interrogates the experience of newly-arrived Toronto refugees who experience the Canadian Air Show for the first time. 

Amongst cheers of glee and exhilaration from it’s viewers, the Canadian Air Show has been tormenting Parkdale citizens for nearly 50 years. The Toronto neighbourhood of Parkdale is a diverse area which owes it’s vibrancy to the scores of immigrants and refugees that influence it’s streets.

Nearly 20,000 displaced persons call Parkdale home, many of whom have experienced war and aerial bombing first-hand. What happens when they arrive traumatized by conflict, only to have an extravagant show of Canadian military strength in their front yard? Do the fighter jets above their heads, the deafening noises and the windows rattling elicit a distinct response? This film poses these questions through the eyes of a newly widowed father and his young daughter. The pair arrive as refugees from the 30-year civil conflict in Sri Lanka. They are adjusting to a new, impoverished life when the Canadian Air Show interrupts their dysphoria.

‘Air Show’ aims to explore the intersection of Canadian culture and tradition with our ever-evolving climate of diversity and acceptance. The result is an intimate look at the trauma of conflict, the remnants of which are oft carried over into daily life. 

In an experimental fashion, the film was shot during the 2016 Canadian Air Show. All of our professional actors are also victims of war who have experienced air raids. While filming, the actors had the opportunity to react in real-time to the noise and disruption of the fighter jets flying above.

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Once a producer, always a producer

Spent a few days as co-producer last week on the set of Chris Strikes’ short film ‘Housekeeping’. Strikes is known primarily for being a music video director who has worked with the likes of Kardinal Offishall and Down With Webster. Impressively, his last short ‘One Night a Stranger’ premiered at the Cannes Short Film Corner.

We were introduced by a mutual friend and we got along so well that I signed on to produce this next foray into narrative film. Chris is a skilled writer and director and he maintains a surprisingly chill attitude on set. Like all film sets, it was fun, crazy, intense and a little bit frustrating. Damn I love making movies.

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