SHE STARTED IT gives a new face to the popular image of the tech entrepreneur: a female face.
Following five women over two years as they pitch VCs, build teams, bring products to
market, fail and start again, SHE STARTED IT takes viewers on a global roller coaster ride from San Francisco to Mississippi, France and Vietnam. Along the way, it weaves in big-picture perspectives from women like investor Joanne Wilson; White House CTO Megan Smith; GoldieBlox CEO Debbie Sterling; and Ruchi Sanghvi, the first female engineer at Facebook. Through intimate, action-driven storytelling, SHE STARTED IT explores the cultural roots of female underrepresentation in entrepreneurship including pervasive self-doubt, fear of failure, and risk aversion among young women. It exposes, too, the structural realities women face as they become entrepreneurs, including lack of female role models and investors, and the persistent dearth of venture capital funding made available to women-led companies.`
GEEK GIRLS reveals the hidden half of nerd culture; a world of cute dresses, professional gamers, fake names and death threats. In the first feature-length documentary about ‘geeky’ women, filmmaker Gina Hara goes on a journey to discover the trials and tribulations of high achieving women in the international world of comics, games, anime and ‘cosplaying’, revealing previously untold stories and what it means to be a true Geek.
Although geeky communities of tech, games, comics and fandom have recently risen to prominence as major cultural contributors, very little attention has been directed towards the women who live and work with nerd culture on a daily basis. Director Hara addresses this oversight by delving into a world of eleven women in Japan, Hungary, USA and Canada including: Nasa rocket scientist Dr. Anita Sengupta, social media maven Jamie Broadnax and Canada’s ‘Smartest Person’, professional gamer Stephanie Harvey (pictured). Hara follows her subjects through the exhilaration of newfound community and the ennui of ostracization while also exploring her own struggles with her geek identity.
Post Screening Q&A with Gina Hara
Gina Hara is a Canadian-Hungarian filmmaker and artist. She holds an MA in intermedia, an MFA in film production and had worked in different media with regard to film, video, new media, gaming and design. Waning (2011), her first fiction film, was nominated for Best Canadian Short at the Toronto International Film Festival. Your Place or Minecraft (2016) is her machinima docu web series about game studies and is available on YouTube. Hara’s latest project, Geek Girls (2017) is a feature documentary exploring nerd culture from women’s perspective and will be in theatres late 2017. Hara’s art works have been featured by different institutions including the New Museum in New York, Budapest Kunsthalle and the City of Montreal. Hara lives in Montreal, where she is the creative director of the Technoculture, Art and Games Research Centre.
Filmed in Dominique Abel and Fiona Gordon’s signature whimsical style, LOST IN PARIS stars the filmmakers as a small-town Canadian librarian and a strangely seductive, oddly egotistical vagabond. When Fiona’s (Gordon) orderly life is disrupted by a letter of distress from her 88-year-old Aunt Martha (delightfully portrayed by Academy Award®-nominee Emmanuelle Riva) who is living in Paris, Fiona hops on the first plane she can and arrives only to discover that Martha has disappeared. In an avalanche of spectacular disasters, she encounters Dom (Abel), the affable, but annoying tramp who just won’t leave her alone. Replete with the amazing antics and intricately choreographed slapstick that has come to define Abel and Gordon’s work, LOST IN PARIS is a wondrously fun and hectic tale of peculiar people finding love while lost in the City of Lights.
Sam Schmidt lived out his boyhood dream as an IndyCar racer, winning races and earning the title of IndyCar “Rookie of the Year” along the way. That dream came to an abrupt end when Sam crashed into a wall at 200 miles per hour, leaving him a quadriplegic. REENGINEERING SAM pulls the curtain back and shows up close the serious implications of a life of paralysis on Sam and everyone around him. Sam’s accident rendered him physically helpless, never being able to brush his teeth, much less drive again, until a dedicated group of some of the brightest minds today stepped up to build him a car that he could drive, using only his head. Through groundbreaking adaptive technologies, REENGINEERING SAM chronicles Sam Schmidt’s inspirational road back to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and shows the promise of freedom and mobility for almost anyone confined to a wheelchair.
Post Screening Q&A with Brian Malone
Brian Malone is a six-time Emmy®-Award winning filmmaker, editor and composer. Malone has been making national and regional documentary films for almost 20 years. His programs have aired nationally on PBS and cable networks, covering political issues, public education, Grammy-Award-Winning recording artists, environmental issues, and Native American culture.
After Euclid, Toronto’s Jim Stewart is the most published mathematician in the world. Stewart spent a decade and a small fortune building the home of his dreams to reflect his two obsessions: curves and music. The completed home, called Integral House, provides him with both. A stunning architectural gem of subtly curved wood and vast, evocative spaces, the house stands in Toronto’s Rosedale neighbourhood and is considered by many one of the city’s best performance spaces. Stewart took joy in hosting his trademark musical evenings with world-class guests, including the likes of Grammy Award–nominated Canadian soprano Measha Brueggergosman, featured in the film. Landscape designer and artist Joseph Clement’s debut film is an impressive work of art in its own right, with its masterful combination of beautiful soundscapes and gorgeous architectural details. It ultimately delivers a finely crafted portrait of Stewart and his beloved home.
Post Screening Q&A with Larry Richards
Larry Wayne Richards has been engaged in the world of architecture for 50 years as an advisor, designer, educator, and writer. A graduate of Yale University, Professor Richards was director of the University of Waterloo School of Architecture from 1982 to 1987 and taught there until 1997 when he was appointed dean of the University of Toronto’s John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design, a position he held through 2004.
From 2008 to 2016, Richards consulted on architecture and urban design projects in New York, Hong Kong, and Nansha, China. He has written numerous books on architecture including: Canadian Centre for Architecture: Building and Gardens, “80” [Bloor Street West], and University of Toronto: The Campus Guide. He received the Royal Architectural Institute of Architecture’s national “Advocate for Architecture” award.
Richards has served on design juries and assisted with architect selection processes internationally for a broad range of institutions, corporations, and individuals such as the University of Toronto, MCA Universal in Los Angeles, and the Toronto-based mathematician/musician, Dr. James Stewart,
whose extraordinary life and house are celebrated in the film, Integral Man.
LUCKY follows the spiritual journey of a 90-year old atheist and the quirky characters that inhabit his off the map desert town. Having outlived and out smoked all of his contemporaries, the fiercely independent Lucky finds himself at the precipice of life, thrust into a journey of self-exploration, leading towards that which is so often unattainable: enlightenment.
Acclaimed character actor John Carroll Lynch’s directorial debut, LUCKY, is at once a love letter to the life and career of Harry Dean Stanton as well as a meditation on mortality, loneliness, spirituality, and human connection.
A blood feud divides a small town in rural Newfoundland.
As winter creeps toward his rural Newfoundland community, local widower and workhorse Patrick Whelan finds himself at odds with a violent young man returning home from a stint in the penitentiary, determined to breathe new life into his father’s bitter feud. As violence erupts, the community is divided – leaving Patrick with a fractured home and nagging guilt.
RIVERHEAD is the atmospheric debut feature from emerging Newfoundland filmmaker Justin Oakey, featuring strong turns from an all-local cast headed by Lawrence Barry (Maudie, The Grand Seduction), Stephen Lush (Cast No Shadow), and Des Walsh (Random Passage), with a seething breakout performance from Stephen Oates. Aggressive, profane, violent, with a stroke of naturalism – this is a raw portrait of secular rivalry in a small town.
Post Screening Q&A with Justin Oakey
Justin Oakey is an award-winning filmmaker from rural Newfoundland raised on hunting, fishing, and storytelling. He studied filmmaking at Ryerson University, earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts. His work is atmospheric, and aggressive, but maintains a quiet sense of naturalism. His short films The World Is Burning (2013) and Flankers (2014) brought his unique vision of Newfoundland to film festivals around the world – the latter earned a coveted Staff Pick badge on Vimeo, garnering hundreds of thousands of plays online. His feature-length debut, Riverhead – an arthouse drama about feuding families in Newfoundland – was completed in late 2016 and received two nominations at the Canadian Screen Awards. He has two features in development.