Casting Panel at Canada’s Top Ten

TIFF celebrates the best films of the year with its annual Top Ten selections – which felt especially significant this year with all events and screenings taking place in the Lightbox.
Joyce and I attended Friday’s casting panel which included Chinese-Canadian director Deborah Chow (HIGH COST OF LIVING) and Ingrid Veninger (MODRA) who graciously mentored our 2009 Pitch Winners, the team from A DRAGGED OUT AFFAIR.

Chow’s film is her first feature, and she shared her experience financing the film without having one of the leads (Zach Braff) in place (the star power of the other lead, Isabelle Blais, who is well known in Quebec, was an important part of securing the financing). The importance of a star lead was a major and somewhat contentious topic in this discussion, so Chow provided some great insight into her process. One of the supporting characters was played by an Asian Canadian teenager with no acting experience and delivered a strong and convincing performance, showing that non-professional actors have an important place in independent films. HIGH COST OF LIVING screens Sunday the 23rd at 12:30pm and Sunday the 29th at 9:00pm and is one of my favourite feature films this year. Totally a bonus that it happens to be Asian Canadian! For full details visit the TIFF website.