CLAYMATION3CUPPA COFFEE STUDIO has animated TORONTO’s topsy-turvy Chief Magistrate and his ragtag circus.  President and Executive Producer ADAM SHAHEEN says the video “is about a guy who never ceases to amaze us all.  He keeps coming back and keeps surviving — and keeps wanting to survive. It’s a short film about the mayor finding himself in weird and cartoony predicaments but always surviving.  We decided not to focus on the negative side because it’s sort of ‘been there, done that’ by other people,” he explained. “We’ve stayed away from the stuff that’s been well-recorded. We wanted to stay away from ‘the fat guy who smoked crack’ and tell the circus story.”


CUPPA COFFEE STUDIO, the largest full-service stop-motion facility in the world, has been in business for 20 years.  They produce on average 3 new television series per year and are now developing several feature films.  CUPPA COFFEE has a newly expanded 2D flash department, and a brand new top-quality sound recording and mix studio at 53 Ontario Street.


To see the video, go to

An enduring link between the Sundance Film Festival & the Toronto Int’l Film Festival


Hands across the border: 25-30 veterans of the Toronto International Film Festival pay airfare, food and sometimes lodging, and head annually to PARK CITY, Utah for ‘winter camp’ (aka the famed Sundance Film Festival).  The love of movies, camaraderie, atmosphere and parties keep them volunteering year after year.  WHITNEY CHANEY, Sundance’s manager of the volunteer program: “They’re the theatre managers.  If the programmer isn’t there, they’re also introducing the Q & A’s.  They’re running all the behind-the-scenes and they’re the leaders of the teams there.  It’s their house and their work.”  Sundance Director JOHN COOPER: “I know all about them.  I love them.  They’re very organized.  It’s an interesting world, this thing of film festivals, and it’s hard to learn.  Anybody who comes seasoned is a diamond for me, so I rely on them.”  PIERS HANDLING, Toronto International Film Festival’s CEO and director says “we are proud of these team members who are at the top of their field, whose talent is recognized and who travel to share their skills and experiences.”


Ryerson U’s photographic preservation program expands to include the movies

 RYERSON1   TORONTO’s Ryerson University is a leader in photographic preservation and collections management.  So much so, that graduates of its PPCM program are running collections at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the International Centre of Photography (both in New York City); the Library and Archives of Canada in Ottawa; and the Blibliotecca Naconal de Chile in Santiago.


Now the program has been expanded to include the preservation of film in the ‘digital age’.  MARTA BRAUN, PPCM director says “theatres have invested a lot of money in the adaptation of (digital) technology, so what happens to film?  What about the films that are the only documents that remain of the history of our country?”  Partnering institutions: the National Gallery of Canada; George Eastman House in Rochester NY; the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles; and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.



STEAKQUEEN1 It seems that TORONTO’s Mayor ROB FORD has fallen off the wagon – yet again.  The proof is an incoherent video with the mayor holding forth in Jamaican patois and some expletives, shot at the STEAK QUEEN RESTAURANT in Etobicoke on Tuesday night, January 21.  Ford admitted he was there and that he’d been drinking again.  The Steak Queen was mentioned in a police document last year, after an undercover police officer watched Mayor Ford and alleged drug dealer Sandro Lisi eating there together.


Said JOHN MOORE of CFRB’s ‘Moore in the Morning’: “Ford is a great big walking mess.  He has no business squatting on the mayoralty of this town.”  JIMMY KIMMELL on ABC: “So he’s back, folks.  He’s back for a whole new-season of Super Mayor.  Just when you thought he couldn’t possibly pull another nugget out of his bag of crazy, he gets drunk and speaks Jamaican.  When you’re the best, that’s what you do.  Thank you, Canada.  This almost makes up for Justin Bieber.”


Newfoundland’s Mary Pratt is one of Canada’s finest still-life realists

“Of all the paintings I’ve done, I think I like this best.  My first grandchild in her first bath.  Secure against her mother’s arm . . . Curiosity overcoming fear.  A promising child.” <‘Child With Two Adults’, 1983, Mary Pratt>


Touring nationally, the exhibition ‘MARY PRATT’ is allowing Canadians to view well-known and rarely seen works gathered from private and public collections.  Concentrating on Pratt’s oils and mixed media paintings, the exhibition juxtaposes more than sixty paintings from different times in the artist’s career.  <PHOTO BELOW – a postage stamp featuring Mary Pratt’s “Jelly Shelf”, 1999>