Sunday, July 29, 2007

November 2006 - Rendezvous With Madness Film Festival (Toronto)

© November 2006 - Rendezvous With Madness Film Festival (Toronto)

By Bryen Dunn, Toronto

The Rendezvous with Madness Film Festival has been around since 1993, and I believe I’ve attended the last 10 years. It’s an excellent opportunity to see several feature length films, shorts and documentaries from around the world that can’t be seen anywhere else in the city. Each presentation touches on the truths and fallacies of mental illness and addictions. The other plus is seeing these gems in the beautiful Workman Theatre, discreetly hidden within the confines of the Queen Street Mental Health Centre.

The Film Festival is actually part of the Workman Arts, a project guided by the principle that the creative process is integral to the quest for personal and spiritual development. This year the Festival presents 80 films from 10 countries, many with post-screening panel discussions involve filmmakers, artists and people with professional and personal experience with mental illness and addiction.

2006 also brings some celebrity names to the forefront, including the November 9th opening gala presentation of Pretty Broken, Canadian chanteuse Chantal Kreviazuk’s first screenplay. In a powerful meditation on mental illness, Kreviazuk delivers a convincing monologue, bravely inhabiting the role of a woman living with a mood disorder.

On Saturday November 18th there is a Guy Maddin retrospective. This Winnepeg born filmmaker has been creating unusual pieces of work for over 20 years. Here’s a chance to catch most of his work all in one day, beginning with an early afternoon screening at MOCCA (952 Queen Street West), followed by late afternoon and evening closing gala presentations. The fun then continues back at MOCCA for the closing night party.

Be sure to check the schedule for show times as some films will only be shown once, whereas others will have repeat showings.

Tickets are only $8.00.Happening November 9th to 18th, with most screenings at the Workman Theatre, 1001 Queen Street West, 416 583 4606,

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