Wapos Bay in Running for Five Gemini Awards

6 Sep

The Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television announced that Wapos Bay, the stop motion animated children’s series broadcast on APTN and SCN, has received five Gemini Award nominations.  The 25th Annual Gemini Awards ceremony will be held in Toronto November 2nd and 3rd, 2010.

Wapos Bay is among five productions nominated for Best Animated Program or SeriesDerRic Starlight, the voice behind the character of Devon, received a nomination for Best Performance in an Animated Program or Series. Trevor Cameron earned two nominations; one for Best Direction in an Animated Program or Series, and one for Best Writing in a Children’s or Youth Program or Series, both for the episode, The Hardest Lesson. Ross Nykiforuk joins the list of nominees for Best Original Music Score for an Animated Program or Series (The Hardest Lesson).

The announcement comes on the eve of the broadcast premiere of Season 5 on APTN, the September launch of the digital media properties, and production for the Movie of the Week commencing in October.

Producer/ writer/ director Melanie Jackson comments: “Working on Wapos Bay has been a wondrous experience.  The cast and crew have had such faith in the production since we began, that we’ve built a family. I’m very honored and ecstatic with this years nominations and I know with unwavering confidence they are well earned.  I offer my congratulations and appreciation to the nominees, cast and crew of Wapos Bay for their hard work and undying enthusiasm for the little show that could!”

Wapos Bay season five premieres Wednesday, October 6th, 2010 on the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN) with special guest star David Suzuki (The Nature of Things).  Saskatchewan Communications Network (SCN) broadcasts seasons three and four.  Wapos Bay Productions is currently in pre-production for the Movie of the Week.

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First Weekend Club Launches Saskatoon Chapter with “Last Train Home”

17 May

Saskatchewan organizations have partnered up to bring international award winning feature documentary, Last Train Home, and producer Daniel Cross to Yorkton and Saskatoon in recognition and celebration of Canadian film success.  The film produced by Cross of Montreal’s EyeSteelFilm recently won for Best Feature at the International Documentary Festival Amsterdam, known as the “holy grail” amongst documentary filmmakers.  The film opens the 63rd Annual Yorkton Film Festival on Thursday May 27th, and premieres in Saskatoon at the Broadway Theatre on Sunday May 30th.

Once a year during China’s springtime, a chaotic wave of millions of migrant factory workers — a force field of human persistence and dog-eat-dog survival — pushes through turnstiles and squeezes down narrow passageways for what is the considered the largest human migration on the planet. It is the one weekend they have this chance to make it home for the Chinese New Year.

Producer Daniel Cross, a former professor at the University of Regina, will attend the Yorkton Film Festival and Saskatoon premiere offering filmmakers and fans a chance to meet the filmmaker/ producer of recent hits RIP: A Remix Manifesto, Up the Yangtze, Squeegee Punks in Traffic, and Taqwacore.  Cross offers a master class at Paved Arts in Saskatoon at 3:00pm, Sunday May 30 in advance of the premiere at the Broadway Theatre.  A sips n‘ cinema social takes place at the theatre at 5:00pm, sponsored by Copper Moon Wine.

The First Weekend Club (founded in February of 2003 by Anita Adams) is a non-profit organization and cross-Canada movie club dedicated to promoting and raising awareness for great Canadian films. Through grassroots efforts such as Q & A’s with talent, contests, premiere parties, advance screenings, film alerts, and much more, First Weekend Club builds audiences for Canada cinema and creates a “buzz” for the crucial First Weekend of a film’s release. This event marks the launch of the Saskatoon chapter. www.firstweekendclub.ca

The Yorkton Film Festival continues as the longest running film festival in North America. www.goldensheafawards.com

From Saskatchewan to India – Mad Cow Sacred Cow screens at Mumbai Film Festival and broadcast on SCN

3 Feb

After a successful broadcast and festival run, the momentum of Anand Ramayya’s award winning documentary, Mad Cow Sacred Cow continues as it screens at the Mumbai International Film Festival on February 6th in India and airs February 7th on SCN.

MIFF will be held at the National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA), Mumbai, from February 3rd to 9th.  The festival that began in 1990, held with the active support of the Government of Maharashtra, is a competitive biennial event which has gained recognition on par with renowned International Film Festivals like Leipzig, Berlin, Oberhausen, Cracow, and Tampere.

Anand commented from the festival today:  “It’s a special honour to be screening Mad Cow Sacred Cow at MIFF after having shot in India and, as a 2nd generation filmmaker of Indian origin, this is the first time in my family that we’ve had a film screen back in India. Myself along with the numerous other international filmmakers in attendance are being given the royal treatment and were looking forward to a great festival!”

Following up on the Gemini Award winning “Cosmic Current,” filmmaker Anand Ramayya embarks on another personal journey, but this time as a new father and completely terrified of his food. Mad Cow Sacred Cow reveals shocking connections between the Mad Cow crisis, Farm crisis and Global Food crisis.

Weaving interviews from renowned speakers such as Dr. Vandana Shiva, Maneka Gandhi, Dr. Murray Waldman, Nettie Wiebe and Swami Agnivesh with stunning visuals of a personal journey that crosses continents, the story of Mad Cow Sacred Cow takes us from the filmmaker’s own happy days of indiscriminate beef consumption to the frightening realities created by globalization.

The film has traveled from Saskatchewan, where it picked up awards at the 63rd Yorkton Film Festival, to Whistler, Florence, Toronto, Stuttgart and now back to India where it was filmed.

Mad Cow Sacred Cow airs on SCN Sunday Feb 7th at 8:00 pm and 10:00 pm.  Visit www.scn.ca.

Wapos Bay Wins Again!

9 Jun

The Alliance for Children and Television presents series with Award of Excellence

 

(Saskatoon, SK) – The producers of Wapos Bay received the ACT Award of Excellence for Animation, ages six to eight category, for the episode Raiders of the Lost Art in Toronto on June 3 2009.  The Alliance for Children and Television honours the best in children’s entertainment, juried by Canadian and international industry creators, craftspeople and professionals.

 

Producers Dennis & Melanie Jackson (Dark Thunder Production), Anand Ramayya (KarmaFilm) and Derek Mazur (National Film Board of Canada) add this award to their slate of wins for Season 3 of the series.  Season three award recognition includes the 2009 Golden Sheaf Award (Yorkton Film Festival) for Best Children’s Production, the 2009 Elan Award for Best Children’s Animated Television Production, and the 2008 Gemini Award for Best Ensemble Performance in an Animated Program or Series.

 

Wapos Bay just wrapped production of season four, which is scheduled to broadcast on the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN) in the fall of 2009.  Seasons two and three are currently airing on APTN and the Saskatchewan Communications Network (SCN)As pre-production for season five begins, Wapos Bay is also versioning the series into French, Cree and Inuktitut.

Karma Film, Hulo Films and Wapos Bay Productions Bring Home Six Golden Sheaf Awards

25 May

The 62nd Annual Yorkton Film Festival, the longest running film festival in North America, announced the winners of the 2009 Golden Sheaf Awards on May 23rd.  Of the 21 genre categories, three craft categories and six special awards recognizing excellence in Canadian short film, four Saskatoon producers were honoured with nine nominations and six awards at the Golden Sheaf Awards Gala, closing a weekend of meetings, workshops and skeet shooting in Yorkton, Saskatchewan.

P1030338Writer/ director/ producer Anand Ramayya (KarmaFilm) and producer/ researcher Ryan Lockwood (Hulo Films) accepted the Golden Sheaf for Best of Saskatchewan Ruth Shaw award and Best Research for their work on Mad Cow Sacred Cow.

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Wapos Bay, the charming stop motion animated series created, written, and directed by Dennis & Melanie Jackson (Dark Thunder Productions), was awarded the Golden Sheaf award for Best Children’s Production for the episode Raiders of the Lost Art. The Jacksons and Anand Ramayya produce the series with Executive Producer Derek Mazur (National Film Board of Canada).

IMG_0235Producers Ryan Lockwood and Anand Ramayya also accepted the Golden Sheaf award for Landing, winning Best Documentary Series, and Best Multicultural Documentary for the Razawa episode.  The series also won the National Film Board of Canada’s Kathleen Shannon award, presented to an independently made documentary film that “allows people outside the dominant culture to speak for themselves.”

Hulo Films’ Interpersonalities, produced by Stephen Huszar (Hulo Films) and directed by Aidin Nakhai, received a nomination for Best Short Drama and the Ruth Shaw Award for Best of Saskatchewan.

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Mad Cow Sacred Cow – Best of Saskatchewan Ruth Shaw Award, Best Research

Landing – Best Documentary Series, Best Multicultural, NFB Kathleen Shannon Award

Wapos Bay – Best Childrens Production

Interpersonalities

Vancouver Choreographer and NYC Poet Collaborate for “She” at the 2009 Sound Bites Poetry Festival

22 Mar

“Poetic Moves”

18 March 2009 (Vancouver, BC) Vancouver contemporary choreographer Heather Laura Gray and NYC spoken word poet Mahogany Browne will perform at the Sound Bites Poetry Festival April 12th with an added show on 13th 6pm, Roy Arias Theatre 300 West 43rd St., New York, NY.

This exciting collaboration began after Gray traveled to New York to deliver a DVD of a performance done to Mahogany’s “She”. “In 2006 I produced a 60 cast showcase of spoken word through music and dance. I found “She” on an unlabelled burnt CD from poetCD.com and instantly connected with Mahogany’s content and amazing delivery not knowing the author or the title”.

When Gray went to perform “She” a second time in 2007 she made sure to determine the author. From there the two communicated via email. “Trying to describe what I did was pointless; I knew I had to show Mahogany.” Soon after viewing the DVD Browne commissioned Gray to collaborate on new work for The Sounds Bites Festival 2009.

Both artists come from different cities, countries and very different backgrounds but bond through their passion to create journeys for their audiences. “She is an artist with amazing craftsmanship and awareness” said Gray “To hear that she was moved by my work meant I succeeded in connecting to that. I look forward to putting it together now in the same room.”

The SoundBites Poetry Festival returns, April 11th and 12th, with writing and performing workshops (sponsored by Poets and Writers) with an Off Broadway Showcase and a $1000 Team Slam. The team slam will be a 4 round event for 4-5 person teams. This slam will only host 12 teams. For more information go to http://www.soundbitesnyc.comMahogany Browne

Mahogany Browne is a nationally renowned performance poet, author, editor, freelance journalist, entrepreneur, and among other highly prestigious positions, the host and curator of the world-renown Nuyorican Poets’ Café in Manhattan.

Performing at "Body Language" Vancouver 2008

Performing at "Body Language" Vancouver 2008

Heather Laura Gray is a professional contemporary dancer, choreographer, actor, musical theatre performer as well as producer. She currently resides in Vancouver B.C. Canada.

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Contact:

Kelly Balon
Raw Talent Entertainment Management
Telephone: 778-838-7306
Email: rawtalentbc@gmail.com

Mad Cow Sacred Cow broadcast premiere on CBC Newsworld The Lens in January

10 Jan

After enjoying its World Premiere at the Whistler Film Festival ‘08, Mad Cow Sacred Cow will have its broadcast premiere on CBC Newsworld’s “The Lens” on January 27th, 2009, 10:00 PM EST.

calfFollowing up on the Gemini Award winning “Cosmic Current,” filmmaker Anand Ramayya embarks on another personal journey but this time he is a new father, and completely terrified of his food. The steaks are high as his journey reveals shocking connections between the Mad Cow crisis, Farm crisis and Global Food crisis.

Weaving interviews from renowned speakers such as Dr. Vandana Shiva, Maneka Gandhi, Dr. Murray Waldman, Nettie Wiebe and Swami Agnivesh with stunning visuals of a personal journey that crosses continents, the story of Mad Cow Sacred Cow takes us from the filmmaker’s own happy days of indiscriminate beef consumption to the frightening realities created by globalization.

Mad Cow Sacred Cow is a universal story that connects the food we eat to the environmental, cultural, economic and health crisis we are currently facing on a global level. A project that began over four years ago in response to the Mad Cow crisis has become even more relevant and timely today.img_06712

Stunning High Definition visuals and an Indian fusion music score transport us from the rolling prairies of cattle country in Southern Canada to the heart of Exotic Southern India and the land of the Sacred Cow. Edited by Chris Bizzocchi (Tree Fallers), Cinematography by Thomas Hale (A Year at Sherbrooke, Cosmic Current), Music by Raj Ramayya (Space Cowboy Beebop, Cosmic Current), Producer/Production Sound Ryan Lockwood. The project is produced by four- time Gemini Award winning Karma Film in association with CBC Newsworld and Hulo Films.

Financing partners include Canadian Television Fund, Canadian Independent Film and Video Fund, Rogers, SaskFilm and broadcast partners CBC Newsworld, Saskatchewan Communications Network, and Knowledge Network.img_1345

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Whistler Film Festival 2008 Screens the World Premiere of Anand Ramayya’s “Mad Cow, Sacred Cow”

9 Nov

The 2008 edition of Whistler Film Festival kicks off with the world premiere of Anand Ramayya’s feature length documentary, Mad Cow Sacred Cow, on December 4th, 3:00 pm at the Rainbow Theatre in Whistler.

mad-cow_sacred-cow_wff-copy2

In the wake of the Mad Cow Crisis, terrified of his food, filmmaker Anand Ramayya (Cosmic Current) embarks on a journey from his in-laws’ family farm in Canada all the way back to India, land of the Sacred Cow. His Journey reveals shocking connections between the Mad Cow crisis and Global Food crisis.

Weaving interviews from Dr. Vandana Shiva, Maneka Gandhi, Dr. Murray Waldman, Nettie Wiebe and Swami Agnivesh with stunning visuals of a personal journey that crosses continents, the story of Mad Cow Sacred Cow takes us from the filmmaker’s own happy days of indiscriminate beef consumption to the frightening realities created by globalization.

Congratulations to the crew: Producer/ Writer/ Director Anand Ramayya, Producer Ryan Lockwood (Hulo Films), Cinematographer Thomas Hale, Composer Raj Ramayya, Editor Chris Bizzocchi.

Financing partners of Mad Cow Sacred Cow include Canadian Television Fund, Canadian Independent Film and Video Fund, Rogers, SaskFilm and broadcast partners CBC Newsworld, Saskatchewan Communications Network, and Knowledge Network. It will air on CBC Newsworld’s The Lens in Spring 2009.

contact: anand@karmafilm.ca, rawtalentbc@gmail.com

Stop Motion Animation TV series, Wapos Bay, earns third Gemini and begins new season with guest, Mike Holmes

28 Oct

October 28, 2008 (Saskatoon, SK, Canada) – At The 23rd Annual Gemini Awards, the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television has awarded Wapos Bay with the Gemini for Best Individual or Ensemble Performance in an Animated Program or Series.  The prize winning ensemble cast includes Gordon Tootoosis, Raven Brass, Trevor Cameron, Lorne Cardinal, Taylor Cook, Eric Jackson, Andrea Menard, and DerRic Starlight.


 Saskatoon based production company, Wapos Bay Productions, in co-production with the National Film Board of Canada has produced this unique stop-motion animated series broadcast nationally on the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN).  Created by Saskatoon based husband and wife team Dennis and Melanie Jackson, Wapos Bay has received 3 consecutive Gemini awards to date and begins principal photography on season 4 on November 10th, 2008.  Special guest, Mike Holmes will play himself in the new season of Wapos Bay, which starts shooting November 10, 2008.  Wapos Bay Productions will be recording Mr. Holmes’ lines on Wednesday, October 29, 2008 in our Saskatoon studio.

 The premiere airdate for six new episodes of Wapos Bay, shot last winter, is set for November 11, 2008 on the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (Check local listings).  This one of a kind, half-hour, stop-motion series focuses on three Aboriginal children as they learn about teamwork and cooperation from their grandparents in the fictional northern community of Wapos Bay. 

Gordon Tootoosis (Legends of the Fall) voices the wise and good-humored grandfather Mushom.  Andrea Menard (The Velvet Devil) voices the patient, kind grandmother, Kohkum.  Lorne Cardinal (Corner Gas) voices the caring, good-natured single father of T-Bear.  Saskatoon based newcomers Eric Jackson and Taylor Cook play the calm, team player Talon and the rambunctious, independent spirited T-Bear.  The innocent, playful and spunky Raven is played by emerging talent Raven Brass. 

Wapos Bay – is produced by Dennis and Melanie Jackson, Anand Ramayya and Derek Mazur. The production will be distributed internationally by the National Film Board of Canada. 

For more information on Wapos Bay, please contact:

Kelly Balon

Wapos Bay Productions Inc.

Telephone: (306) 652-9335 

“45 RPM” Screens at Vancouver International Film Festival 2008

5 Oct

A New York disc jockey announces a contest to name 30 songs in 30 seconds. A trip for two to a rock and roll concert in New York City goes to the winner. By some fluke atmospheric condition, the airwaves travel 2000 miles to Goose Bay, Saskatchewan and to the ears of two youth desperate for a better life. For Parry Tender and his side kick Luke, winning the contest is their only hope of getting out of a remote northern Canadian town in 1960.

1960s period piece “45 RPM,” written and directed by Saskatoon’s Dave Schultz, was shot in Saskatchewan by producing partners Chad Oakes and Michael Frislev of Calgary’s Nomadic Pictures, Don Carmody, and co-Producer Anand Ramayya of Saskatoon’s Karma Film. The picture introduces lead actors Jordan Gavaris and Justine Banszky as Parry and Luke. They deliver an honest portrayal of a trapped youth in small town Saskatchewan with a strong supporting cast including Michael Madsen, Amanda Plummer, Kim Coates, Terry David Mulligan, August Schellenberg and MacKenzie Porter.

Kempton, a blogger and filmmaker, interviewed Director Dave Schultz and got the background story (spoiler alert) of 45 rpm while Schultz described his process of writing and directing the film.

45 RPM screened it’s international premiere at the Calgary International Film Festival and is playing at VIFF on October 8th and 10th at the Pacific Cinematheque. Saskatchewan screenings of the film are tentatively scheduled for late October in Regina and Saskatoon.

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Industry Moves at 45 rpm



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