Ran into some old pals at the TIFF Canadian Film centre BBQ Sunday in Toronto. Founder Norman Jewison made a stirring speech from the stony deck of the old E.P. Taylor Windfields Farms Estate. Jewison recalled how he flipped burgers all those years ago at the first TIFF BBQ, which used to take place at his farm. At one point, the famed director recalled, Robert De Niro wandered off to the barn, perhaps to quiz farm animals with a little of the old, “You talkin’ to ME?”.
CFC executive director Slawko Klymkiw was a gracious host as ever and love what he’s done with the place, especially the newly-restored greenhouse (where future Canadian filmmakers are incubated from saplings).
There were plenty of writers, talent and showrunners from the Canadian TV scene roaming the lawns in the warm late summer sun. Ol’ U of T classmate Peter Mohan is in command over on The Listener and already has six scripts in the hopper. His star Craig Olejnik is jazzed to start production on a third season this week and can’t recall heading into a year with so many lines to memorize already.
My Yukon buddy Yannick Bisson from Murdoch Mysteries says he and the gang are half way through shooting season five out at their new Scarborough digs (the old Kevin Sullivan Wind at my Back playpen). Denis McGrath, fresh from gigs in L.A. and Quebec, says he’s back mentoring future TV scribes this semester as executive producer in residence at the CFC television program.
The man himself, Gordon Pinsent, was there with radiant daughter Leah. He’s sporting a ‘stach for his upcoming Stephen Leacock CBC bio-pic. Pinsent says he will be back again this season on Republic of Doyle (oh yeah!) and also is off to a high peak in Mexico for some future film shenanigans.
Somehow missed running into my old pal Ray Bennett, in from London working the TIFF beat, but we had a meeting of the white beard society last week so I guess we’re cool.
CBC faves The Midway State rocked the back lawn, where my old leaky Neon wasn’t missed.