Saturday, 14 October 2017

Money Power Control - The Fall of Harvey Weinstein

There have been so many opinions about the Fall of Harvey Weinstein.  It's been on every social media feed and every channel so I have been thinking about it all week.

I have a few opinions that I would like to share and you can agree or disagree but they are my opinions on the matter.

First of all,  what took so long for this all of the sexual harassment allegations to come into the public view?  Was it because the media are hunting for scandals or is it because it is no longer tolerable in the workplace or in life.

I believe it's a little bit of both.  No woman wants to be the only one to stand up to a bully like Producer Harvey Weinstein or even President Donald Trump for that matter but it's time to stop thinking like that and take a stand.

Every industry has these issues but because the Entertainment Industry is in the public eye it becomes media fodder and gossip for everyone to consume. Is it a reflection of society?  I think so because it's happening everywhere.

I am proud to say that I have never been sexually harassed by my employers but then again I don't look like a Hollywood actress who is asked to take her clothes off to audition for a job.  That has to stop unless it's for the wardrobe person or makeup people to do fittings and special effects castings.

I have been harassed by coworkers in a male dominated industry but I was always able to brush them off but the mental harassment is probably a whole lot worse because it can happen anywhere and everywhere in public and in the workplace because other people are afraid to say anything in defence of it.  Sexual predators only act on it in private places so it makes sense that a lot of people that didn't experience the sexual harassment didn't know about it.

I believe that a lot of women brush it off if it's minor but then do the predators continue to push it further if they get away with the first move?  Probably.

As for the actresses involved,  I would say almost all of them are considered to be beautiful so men believe that it's ok to objectify them and they think they are used to it or "want it".  Most women like to be thought of as attractive but they don't want unwanted advances in the workplace when their livelihoods depend on their jobs.

What I think needs to change comes from both sides.

1.  Men need to be taught that it is UNACCEPTABLE to make sexual advances or derogatory remarks to women at work.
2.  Men need to be held accountable for their actions immediately and not 30 years later.
3.  Women need to REFUSE & REPORT any unwanted interactions to anyone connected or affected as soon as possible.
4.  Actresses need to reduce the risks by not taking meetings in hotel rooms and in public places like restaurants or corporate offices where a third party is present.
5.  Actresses need to start refusing to do unnecessary nude scenes before they accept a part or if a director throws one in at the last minute.

I don't think women are asking for it when they dress sexy but I think men believe that they are OK with it when they wear dresses that have their boobs and asses exposed.  You can be fully clothed and still be sexy. Look at someone like Michelle Obama.  She was sexy because she had confidence, intelligence and dressed appropriately at every event.

Kids need to be taught from an early age what is acceptable on both sides.  A woman wearing a bikini at the beach does not deserve to be self conscious about her body and women need to think about how the world judges them by what they are wearing.   I am not saying it's right but that's the way it is and unless everyone was wiped out and we started a new world where everyone knew what's right and wrong it probably isn't going to change that quickly because these ignorant behaviours are passed down from adults and the media and children don't know that it is wrong until the pay the consequences later.

We need to give more women a chance in the film Industry to change the narrative.  When I was making short films I refused to add nudity, except for 1 guy taking off his shirt to make fun of what men do to women in film and I also refused to do violence and steered clear of profanity even though most of my shorts were silent I preferred them to be something a kid could watch.

I am very proud to say that currently I am working for the Ministry of Labour who are trying to champion rights in the workplace regarding Harassment in the Workplace.  Here is a link to Understanding the Law on Workplace Violence:

In my workplace currently everyone respects their fellow coworkers so it's not a concern that I have at work currently but because I am aware of the new legislation I can take it with me to any future employment with the confidence to know when to use it.

Although I have never directly met Harvey Weinstein I have seen him at the Toronto International Film Festival and his reputation of bullying has been well known for years.  Although i have never heard of sexual incidents i was always keenly aware that he was a person who liked to wield his power.

It's great that the women are coming forward to tell their stories.  I just wish they were able to do so when they happened.

Let's work to change the culture of secrecy and fear and make it unacceptable behaviour for the future generations of women in the work force.

Sunday, 24 September 2017

WASTED! The Story of Food Waste at Planet in Focus


Anna Chai/Nari Kye, USA, 2017, 85 min

Slick, solution­-oriented, and featuring Anthony Bourdain at his sardonic best, 
WASTED! The Story of Food Waste is that rare social issue documentary that’s every bit as entertaining as it is informative.

Do you remember when Documentaries where things you were forced to watch in High School,  well this isn't one of those.  It's eye opening and educational but it's also whitty and interesting.  It puts food waste into perspective and you will feel a twinge of guilt the next time you throw food into the garbage and forget about it.  This documentary is one that SHOULD be shown in schools to young children so that they learn where there food comes from and where it goes if they don't eat it.

I highly recommend everyone watch this film.  It has so many well known people in the food industry discussing different aspects of the food supply chain and how everyone can do their part to make a difference.  

You can see it at the Planet in Focus Film festival in Toronto  in October 2017.

PLANET IN FOCUS Screening Times: Saturday 21 October, 6:45pm ­at Innis Town Hall

Screens with THE POACHER (Nicholas Jones) 

Friday, 22 September 2017

My Tiff Film Picks

For the past 17 years I have chosen my Tiff (Toronto International Film Festival) Volunteering Shifts and then have begun the long task of trying to figure out which films will fit into the spaces in between work and Tiff shifts.

This list is my picks of films I want to see.  I will probably only have time to see a handful of films this year but hopefully these films will be released to a wide audience in the future and I am sure many will be nominated for Academy Awards.

Here is my list.  I use this as a reference as I am running around town trying to get into rush films most of the time.

It's now past the festival and I will check mark the ones I actually got to see.   A lot of these are already coming out on Netflix or in the theatres so I will see more soon.

My TIFF Picks:

Don't Talk to Irene
Meditation Park
Porcupine Lake - Directed by Torontonian Ingrid Veniger
All You can Eat Buddah
55 Steps
 Borg/McEnroe - About Tennis stars Bjorn Borg and John McEnroe rivalry - Starring Shia LeBeuf
✓ C'est La Vie
Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool
The Leisure Seeker - Donald Sutherland, Hellen Mirren
Long Time Running - Tragically Hip Documentary
Mary Shelley - Starring Elle Fanning
The Mountain Between Us - Idris Alba, Kate Winslet
Stronger - About the Boston Marathon Bombing survivor - Starring Jake Gyllenhall
The Upside
The Wife
Woman Walks Ahead
First Reformed
Happy End
The Other Side of Hope
The Disaster Artist
Battle of the Sexes
The Children Act
First they killed my father - Angelina Jolie
Gaga - Five foot two - Documentary about Lady Gaga
I love you daddy
The killing of a sacred deer - Starring Colin Farrell
Loving Pablo - Starring Penelope Cruz
Mark Felt - The Man who Brought down the White House
Mollys Game
On Chesil Beach
Professor Marston & the Wonder Women
The Shape of Water
Sheikh Jackson
Unicorn Store - Brie Larson
Victoria & Abdul
The Carter Effect - Drake, Vince Carter
Eric Clapton - Life in 12 Bars - Documentary about musician Eric Clapton
The Final Year
The Gospel According to Andre - Documentary about Andre Leon Talley
Grace Jones - Bloodlight and Bami - Documentary about Singer Grace Jones
Jim & Andy - Documentary about Jim Carrey and Andy Kaufman
Love means zero - Documentary about Tennis coach
Sammy Davis Jr - I've gotta be me - Documentary about Sammy Davis Jr. legendary personality.
History of Hollywood
Super Size me 2 - Follow up Documentary by Morgan Spurlock

not on my list but a last minute film:
The Escape

My 3 favourites were:

  1. Super Size me 2
  2. Kodachrome
  3. The Leisure Seeker
While they don't match the award winners except for maybe Super Size me 2... they are very moving and entertaining.

I  will try and add some reviews soon.

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Devour Food & Film Fest

I should be at this festival since my Blog is called Film Food Stuff.  I even know the director of Grand Cru.  Anyone want to pay for me to go and cover the festival?  

5 Days. 99 Events. 72 Films. 3 Celebrity Chef Dinners. 1 Epic Event.
Devour! The Food Film Fest Announces 2017 Programming

October 25 – 29 in Wolfville, NS -  

Celebrated chefs Jacques Pépin, Michael Smith, Bob Blumer and Mark Greenaway are among 2017 participants for the world’s largest culinary film festival

Films screenings include the world premiere of David Eng’s Grand Cru and the
Canadian premiere of Peter Stein’s Jacques Pépin - The Art of Craft
Wolfville, NS (August 22, 2017) – The world’s largest culinary film festival, Devour! The Food Film Fest (Devour!) today announced initial programming details for the seventh annual instalment. Celebrated chefs Jacques PépinMichael SmithBob Blumer and Mark Greenaway are joining previously announced festival Guest Curator, Canadian film icon Gordon Pinsent as 2017 participants.

Devour! is the world’s largest film festival devoted to all things culinary. Each year, the festival showcases engaging cinema paired with extraordinary food and wine culture over five days in Wolfville, Nova Scotia from October 25 – 29, 2017. The seventh edition of Devour! is themed “A Celebration of Canadian Cinema and Cuisine” and will bring acclaimed filmmakers and chefs from across Canada  and internationally. The festival features 99 events including 72 films in 34 screenings, 23 industry workshops, three celebrity chef dinners, 22 tasting tours, and 20 special events including dinners and parties.

“In the span of just eight years, Devour! has grown to become a pre-eminent Canadian film festival and one of the most delicious events in this great country,” says Chef Michael Howell, Executive Director of Devour! “We cannot thank our many partners and supporters enough, as they have shared our vision of becoming one of Canada's must-visit festivals. We are grateful for the ongoing support of The Province of Nova Scotia and their invaluable commitment to helping the festival grow."

The first round of tickets to the highly anticipated seventh edition of Devour! The Food Film Fest goes on sale Tuesday, August 29 at 10am AT. Tickets range in price from $10 to $999 (plus applicable taxes) for the exclusive Devour! The Festival Pass (limited quantities available). This all-access pass gives priority entry to the opening gala evening and all films, workshops, tasting tours, celebrity chef dinners, parties and special events. Devour! also offers a round-trip shuttle from Halifax to Wolfville for $20. For more information or to purchase tickets visit

Film Screenings
Devour! will showcase 72 films during 34 screenings. The festival’s 2017 Guest Curator Gordon Pinsent will help kick off the festivities during the Opening Gala taking place at the Fountain Commons at Acadia University on Thursday, October 26. The award-winning actor, screenwriter, director and playwright personally selected The Hundred-Foot Journey directed by Lasse Hallström as the opening screening of the festival.

Film screenings also include the Canadian Premiere of Jacques Pépin - The Art of Craft directed by Peter Stein, which will be attended by culinary legend Jacques Pépin and Stein, as well as the world premiere of the Canadian film Grand Cru, directed by David Eng, who will be in attendance.

Culinary Events 
The 2017 line-up of visiting celebrity chefs, industry leaders, and up and comers will have even the most refined culinary palates watering. Among them are Food Network stars Bob BlumerMichael Smith and John Higgins; top tier Scottish chefs Mark Greenaway – whose cookbook was named the world’s best cookbook at the 2017 Gourmand Cookbook Awards  – and Peter McKenna (The Gannet, one of Glasgow’s leading restaurants). The festival also features some of Canada’s best-known chefs includingJoshna Maharaj (The Drake Hotel; Toronto), Emma Cardarelli (Nora Gray; Montreal), Paul Rogalski (Rouge, Bistro Rouge; Calgary), and CBC’s Ali Hassan.
From Thursday, October 26 – Saturday, October 28, these international culinary leaders will pair up with local Nova Scotia sensations to create three decadent meals inspired by select festival films.

The Celebrity Chef Dinner on Thursday, October 26 is themed Scotland vs New Scotland as three Scottish and three Nova Scotia chefs face off to create a French-influenced menu in tribute to Pépin.

For the first time, Devour! will bring a sample of the Devour! satellite events home with The Devour Roadshow Comes Homes on Friday, October 27 Each chef will prepare one course inspired by a short film screened right in the dining room in Nova Scotia wine country’s most stunning new venue, Lightfoot & Wolfville Winery.

The Spotlight Gala on Saturday, October 28 will be the ultimate Canadian feast inspired by the Canadian film Grand Cru. Eight of Canada’s best chefs will combine their culinary genius to prepare an unparalleled patriotic repast.

Faculty and student chefs from the Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts in Vancouver will join returning culinary programs Toronto’s George Brown College’s Centre for Hospitality and Culinary Arts and Nova Scotia Community College’s Culinary Arts and Tourism Management programs at Devour! as part of the festival’s ongoing partnership with renowned culinary schools to help provide real-world experience, skills development and valuable industry connections for Canada’s next generation of culinarians.

Festivalgoers can participate in 23 workshops spanning the film and culinary industry. Highlights include a Food Photography workshop with influencer Dennis The Prescott, an all-day filmmaking intensive with From the Wild filmmakers Kevin Kossowan and Jeff Senger, It's Five O'Clock Somewhere: Cocktails Workshop with mixologists Jeff Van Horne and Matt Jones, culinary workshops with chefs Michael SmithMark Greenaway and others.

Additional programming will be announced in the weeks leading up to the festival. For full programing details visit


About Devour!
Combining cinematic talent with extraordinary culinary and wine creations, Devour! The Food Film Fest is the world’s largest festival focused on food and film. Taking place in the culinary epicenter of the province, Wolfville, Nova Scotia, the seventh edition of Devour! is slated for October 25-29, 2017.

The Location
Only one hour from Halifax and Stanfield International Airport, is the agricultural heartland of eastern Canada, a thriving wine region and the home of Acadia University, one of Canada’s pre-eminent educational institutions. A rich cultural landscape infuses the region and its people with a respect for the riches around us. No place could be more perfect as the home of Devour!

Acclaim for Devour!
 “One of the 23 Top Festivals for Foodies in the World” -American Express Essentials
“The New Napa of the North” -Gusto TV
“Canada's Secret Foodie Destination” -The Hollywood Reporter

Thursday, 27 July 2017

Theron kicks butt in Atomic Blonde

I really wanted to love Atomic Blonde but it didn't quite have the finesse of a Bond or smarts of a Bourne film.  What it had was Charlize Theron, a strong, sexy beautiful woman who kicked butt on all the men in the movie.

Theron, a former model had the most beautiful wardrobe for a Spy as does James Bond.  The difference was that she did all her butt kicking in 6 inch heels.  Her outfits looked like she was going to walk a British Fashion week runway.  Who wears white and mini skirts when they know they are going to have to fight bad guys?  Because Charlize is a model/actress she has perfected the sexy strut and serious stare into the camera.  She is a beautiful woman who oozes sexuality and strength and she did a great job in the fight scenes but they were laughable because of the zombie men she was fighting.  People actually laughed during some of the fight scenes.  Spoiler.. one guy gets stabbed with a set of keys and just pulls it out and no blood runs and he just goes on to try and beat her up.  As a trained makeup artist I followed the makeup closely and most of it was excellent but as someone that also worked in a hospital I found that what happened during the fight scenes so unbelievable that it was distracting me from just enjoying the film.  

It's a grungy, gritty looking movie mostly shot dark and without color except for her pink stillettos.

Most of Charlize's acting was ok but I found her accent slipping all over the place.  Was she English, American, something else,  who knows.

The thing that annoyed me the most though was the directors choice to linger on Charlize's naked body for a long time at the beginning of the movie.  If a Bond or Bourne movie started with 10 minutes of Daniel Craig or Matt Damon naked sitting around and taking a bath people would go nuts about it.  If there are nude scenes with them they are short and have a point.   I would have been ok with her getting dressed and you see touches of her injuries but these scenes seemed to be for the director to watch her sitting around naked for a long time.  If you want to start a trend of women being action hero's and spies skip the lingering nude scenes and focus on their strength and character.

Then there is her female French spy lover but the film starts with a happy photo of her with a man who was killed.  Is she gay, is she bi is she just who knows what?    When Bond or Bourne have love scenes they seem to make sense in the context of the film but of course there are times when they are ridiculously timed as well.  

Then there is James McAvoy who plays an obnoxious lying arrogant shady spy.  I normally like him in films but this character was hard to like.

I know there are flaws in a movie when I watch it and think of how I would have made the movie if I was the director.  Even with my small short film experience and working on other people's films I have learned a few things and know that I would have done a few things differently.  When my mind starts to go there I know that it's not quite there.   If a movie sucks me in I don' t think about ways to change it.

I am not sure if it was the writer or director who could have made a better version.   I would have liked to see if more clever.  She comes across as smart even though her dialogue isn't very smart.  There isn't a lot of depth to this film but there could have been with a few less fight scenes and more backstory.

I really hope the film does well because that will mean they will start a flood of action films with women in them.  All the guys leaving the film thought it was amazing.  For me as a woman who has worked on films I think we can do better.  Charlize produced it but maybe the director should have been a woman and it might have had a lot more to it.

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Content lifting

I have spent years creating media content at a great expense of time and money.  I have had a camera in my hand since I was in my teens and have always created what is called "content" now.  When I started taking photos I took photos of my friends and weird things in my environment.   It has changed over the years to shooting food, artistic things and making short films and even working on a documentary.   I had to stop making short films because I couldn't afford to do it anymore.  I had to sell my video camera at a huge loss and haven't had the time it takes to assemble the things and people needed to do it justice.  I have also stopped because I started feeling ripped off.  I would spend a huge amount of time trying to create a short film and expense of submitting it to film festivals to receive nothing in return even if it was accepted into a small festival.  But what is getting to me now is finding my images or trailers on other people's websites but no notification has been sent to me and sometimes not even credit.   Have you ever googled yourself?  Try that and see what comes up on other people's sites.  

My images have appeared on BLOGTO, and I just found one on TORONTO LIFE and an old image I took in the 80's appears in a video promotion for an artist.   These are professional entities that get paid for their work.  I created the content but have not received any compensation for any of these images.

I found one of my short film posters and trailer on some website asking the question is it offensive?  How would they know unless they had seen the whole thing.  It has not been sold for distribution anywhere and it hasn't even been shown at a film festival.  It has only been submitted to a few festivals so what gives them the right to propagate my materials for their own gain?

I admit that I have used some images on my blog but if I am able to credit the author I do.  I usually only use images that promote events and illustrate something like a holiday or a logo to promote an event and most of the time the event producers are aware that I am promoting their event.

Taking photos comes naturally to me.  I am constantly striving to take better quality images with very basic tools.

I am going to try to only use my own content but I hope that other people stop using mine for their own gain.  I can honestly tell you that I am not compensated for my content on this blog.  The only compensation I may receive is a ticket to an event where I can create my original content.   As I said I have invested a lot of time creating content and I don't want to have to stop because everyone decides to steal it.   Make your own content or pay for it or at least give the creator credit.

Sorry.. this rant has been building up and I had to put it out there to those people who do not understand copyright and content respect.

I suppose I should be flattered that people have noticed my content and thought it useful enough to steal it but I also find it disturbing to have to find it by accident online.

thanks for reading this whole rant..

Sunday, 11 June 2017

Opening Night ICFF - Qualcosa di Nuovo

For the third year in a row I have had the great fortune to be able to attend the Italian Contemporary Film Festival (ICFF) a great festival in Toronto that is very young in years but it is very big in scope.
It has grown so much in a few short years.  It now spans from Toronto to Vancouver to Montreal.  It's more than a film festival, it's a celebration of Italian Culture and along with the films there has been loads and loads of Italian Food and fashion and Italian centred art.

The Opening Night film was a hilarious comedy called QUALCOSA DI NUOVO.  It stars Paula Cortellesi.  Although I am not familiar with her work I understand that she is very popular and is a great singer.  She is a very good actress and I really enjoyed this fun and interesting look at 2 Forty something women who were best friends since childhood.  One is a responsible and repressed Jazz singer and the other is a wild child single mother with 2 kids.  In an interesting twist of fate the mother meets a young man on an alcohol fuelled night out and after they spend the night together the young man who doesn't remember all of the details of the previous evening but knows he had a great time but mistakenly thinks it was with her friend the repressed Jazz singer.  Through a serious of mixed up circumstances the 2 women get to know the young man and realise that although they think they are teaching him a few things about life he is actually teaching them some big life lessons.

This was a smartly written piece that was adapted from the theatre and the dialogue and the chemistry between the 3 characters is incredible.

It's great to see women over 40 in attractive, desirable and smart roles and it was very entertaining at the same time.  A great start to the film festival.

From the films I have seen so far at the festival I think that Italians really know how to do comedy well and make their films both hilarious and smart.  They remind me of the films like the old Hollywood film with Carey Grant and Sophia Loren.

Paula Cortellesi and ICFF artistic Director Cristiano de Florentis

You still have time to see some films at ICFF.  for more information and tickets

Thursday, 27 April 2017

Film - Cafe Nation at Hot Docs

How serious are you about the coffee you drink?

Do you drink anything that's cheap and convenient or do you seek out the best coffee you can find or make?

If you are obsessed with the quality of the coffee you drink then you will enjoy the journey of Canadian Ben Put who strives to be one of the Best Barristas in the World.
He has travelled to Dublin, Ireland to compete in the World Barrista Competition.

Ben is the part owner and Barrista at Monogram Coffee,  Coffee is  his career and his life.  He practices his coffee making techniques like he is training for the Olympics.  With his wife's support he has dedicated years to pursue the Top spot in the world of coffee making.

Maybe you just think your cup of Java is just some coffee beans and hot water.  Ben thinks there is a lot more to it than that to make the most perfect cup of coffee and he is not alone.

Director; laura o'grady
Tue, May 2 - 8:15 PM -  TIFF Bell lightbox 4
Thur, may 4 - 3:30 pm - scotiabank theatre 7
sun, may 7 - 9:15 pm - scotiabank theatre 13



Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Film - Ramen Heads at Hot Docs


In Japan Ramen is like a Sandwich in the West.  It can be breakfast, lunch and dinner.  Japanese people are very dedicated to their favourite Ramen restaurants.  I have even seen this trend in Toronto.  There is a fairly new Ramen restaurant on Dundas near University and just before lunch people start to line up outside.  I don't get it because there are other Ramen shops nearby, but they must like that one better than the others in the area.  I prefer the broth of Pho to Ramen broth as it has more depth in the flavours but people love to slurp up those noodles and suck back that broth.

This documentary is the story of a man in Japan who has become the King of Ramen Heads and has developed a system to serve his customers. His name is Osamu Tomita. He is an obsessive perfectionist and will not allow his apprentices to take over.  If he can't be in his shop it doesn't open.  He searches the highest quality ingredients and makes his noodles by hand every day and they are longer than everyone else's and has a specific stretch that keeps them from breaking.  

Ramen Heads looks at the Ramen culture in Japan and Chef Tomita's mentors and influences and some of the other styles of Ramen in other restaurants in Japan.  

He won the "Best Ramen in Tokyo" for 4 years in a row and people come from all over to try his Ramen.  His shop celebrates it's 10th Anniversary and this is a behind the scenes look at their practices and success and why they have over 200 people who line up everyday for his noodles and broth.  

He only eats Ramen and will work all day without a break and on his days off he goes to eat at other Ramen shops.

Is it dedication or obsession?  Watch the film and you decide.

See it at HOT DOCS 

Thursday, May 4 5:45 PM, SCOTIABANK THEATRE
Friday, May 5 10:15 AM, TIFF BELL LIGHTBOX
Saturday, May 6 10:45 AM, TIFF BELL LIGHTBOX


Saturday, May 6 10:45 AM, TIFF BELL LIGHTBOX

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Film - New Chefs on the Block - Hot Docs


Have you ever wanted to own your own Restaurant?  Do you think it's easy?  

People have told me for years that I should open a Restaurant but they seem to think it's really easy to just open the doors of a space and start selling food.  

Not so much.  Nearly 30 per cent of new restaurants fail within the first year.  

It's a very high risk investment where most of the capital comes from borrowing from banks, credit cards and friends and family. 
If you aren't financially independent or have lot's of support from friends and family, you will find the process very challenging.  It takes a village to open a great restaurant.  If you want to know why your meal costs so much then you should see this film as it takes you through the behind the scenes process of building a restaurant from the ground up.

New Chefs on the Block is a feature documenting the roller-coaster ride of two young chefs in Washington, D.C., as they estimate their budgets from design to opening nights of their first restaurants.

Chefs Aaron Silverman of Rose's Luxury and Frank Linn of Frankly...Pizza! are in for a big shock as they incur increasing costs due to the number of obstacles in their way in the process of construction, permits and human resources issues that they must overcome to get to their Opening Nights. 

How important is a review from the Big Local newspaper?  It can make or break a restaurant.  Social media is also the new game changer although influenced mostly by the original big media reviews.

The Chefs featured in the film are a dedicated new breed of Chef/restauranteurs who have modelled their businesses after successful restauranteur Danny Meyer's practice of treating his staff well and building a community that stays together.  Gone are the days of the loud dictator chefs.  And the diners are better off for the changes.

Two chefs in DC struggle to open their first Restaurants.  NEW CHEFS ON THE BLOCK

Directed by Dustin Harrison-Atlas

Starring Aaron Silverman of Rose’s Luxury and Frank Linn of Frankly...Pizza! Featuring legendary chefs and restaurateurs Danny Meyer (author, “Setting the Table”), Michel Richard (2-time James Beard Award Winner), Mike Isabella (Bravo Top Chef All-Star) and Washington Post food writer Tim Carman.





“What is good food? Food made with Love. Love, love, love, love.” -Chef Michel Richard

TJFF Doc - Praise the Lard

Praise the Lard (Documentary)
Director- Chen Shelach
Israel (2016)

Did you ever wonder why Jews don't eat pork?  Praise the Lard tells the story of the pork industry in Israel and the power struggles between different ethnic groups in transition.  There is a term "New Jew" to describe Jews who eat pork.  Pork was considered the dirty animal but modern times have changed the pork industry and some people wonder why people fought over the right to produce, sell and eat pork in the first place.

What does eating Pork have to do with being Jewish?  Are you less Jewish if you eat Pork?  These are questions you will ponder while watching archival and current footage in Praise the Lard.

This is the story of the Mizra Kibbutz pork producing business and the people that fought for and against it's existence.

Is it time to rethink the Jewish laws that dictate what Jews should eat?  Are they outdated and don't match the current times.  Why is what we eat connected to your religion?

This documentary shows and intriguing look at the history of pork in Israel and where we are now.

See it at the Toronto Jewish Film Festival.  Note.. (Subtitled)

Screening at the Toronto Jewish Film Festival (TJFF)
Friday 5 May, 4:00 PM - Cineplex Cinemas Empress Walk 6  
Monday 8 May, 3:30 PM - Alliance Francaise

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

International Women's Day - Women and Work

Statistics: Women and Work

Did You Know...

These Statistics from Statistics Canada are shocking.  In 2017 we still don't have equal pay for equal work.

The increased participation of women in the workforce is one of the most significant social trends in the past 30 years...
  • The employment rate for women aged 15 to 64 in Ontario is 68% (2012), up from over 51% in 1976.1
  • Women comprise 48% of the employed labour force in Canada (2011).2
  • 55% of all Canadian doctors and dentists are female (2009), up from 43% in 1987.3
Yet women in Ontario are still less likely than men to be employed…
  • The employment rate for men aged 15 to 64 is 74%, six percent higher than the rate for their female counterparts (2012).4
  • Over 73% of women with a university degree are employed, in comparison to 77% of men (2012).5
  • Just over 29% of women with some high school education are employed, in comparison to more than 40% of men (2012).6
The percentage of women in small business has increased…
  • The number of self-employed women in Canada grew by 23% from 2001 to 2011, compared with a 14% growth rate for men.7
  • 17% of small businesses in Ontario are majority-owned by women (2010).8
Women are more likely than men to work part-time…
  • Women have accounted for about 7 out of 10 of part-time employees in Canada since the late 1970s (2009).9
Many women in Canada work part-time because of family responsibilities…
  • 34% of female part-time workers aged 25 to 44 work part-time because they are caring for children,10 in comparison to more than 3% of their male counterparts (2012).11
Yet, at the same time, more women with children are working than ever before…
  • 64% of Canadian women with children under the age of 3 are employed (2009), more than double the figure in 1976.12
  • More than 72% of women with children under the age of 16 are part of the employed workforce (2009).13
However, women with children are still less likely to be employed than women without children…
  • Over 80% of women without children are employed (2009).14
Women who are single parents are less likely to be employed than women in two-parent families…
  • More than 68% of female single parents with children are employed, compared with over 73% of their counterparts in two-parent families (2009).15
Women remain over-represented in traditional areas of female employment…
  • Of all employed women in Canada, 27% work in sales and service occupations, more than 24% work in business, finance and administration occupations, and more than 16% hold occupations related to education, law and social, community and government services (2011).16
  • Women account for more than 9 out of 10 administrative assistants, registered nurses and registered psychiatric nurses, early childhood educators and assistants, and receptionists (2011).17
The majority of minimum wage earners in Ontario are women…
  • It is estimated that women account for more than 57% of minimum wage workers, though they account for just over 49% of all employees (2011).18
  • More than 10% of female employees work for the minimum wage, in comparison to over 7% of male employees (2011).19
  • More than 11% of employed women over the age of 25 worked for the minimum wage from 2009 to 2011, an increase from 6% during 2003 to 2005.20
Women make up a growing share of employees holding more than one job…
  • 56% of multiple job holders are women (2009).21
Certain groups of women are less likely to be employed…
  • Over 68% of immigrant women aged 25 to 54 are employed, about 11 points lower than the rate for their Canadian-born counterparts (2011).22
  • Over 52% of Aboriginal women are employed, in comparison to more than 57% of women in Canada (2012).23
Certain groups of women are more likely to be unemployed…
  • Women who are very recent immigrants have one of the highest unemployment rates: more than 14% of all recent immigrant women, and just over 13% of recent immigrant women aged 25 to 54, are unemployed (2012)..24
  • More than 8% of all immigrant women are unemployed, in comparison to just over 6% of their Canadian counterparts (2012).25
  • In the 25 to 54 age group, more than 8% of immigrant women are unemployed, in comparison to over 4% of their Canadian counterparts (2012).26
  • More than 12% of Aboriginal women are unemployed, in comparison to over 6% of women in Canada (2012).27
Women are more likely to receive Employment Insurance (EI) benefits than their male counterparts…
  • For women between the ages of 25 and 39, a larger share of their income comes from EI, in comparison to their male counterparts. This is partly due to maternal benefits under the EI program.28
  • In the 30 to 34 age group, more than 5% of the total income for women comes from EI benefits, in comparison to just over 2% for men.29
  • Women aged 30 to 34 receive a median amount of $7,400 in EI benefits, in comparison to $4,300 for their male counterparts.30
There is a wage gap between the average earnings of men and women…
  • The gender wage gap in Ontario is 28% for full-time, full-year workers (2011), a decrease from 36% in 1987. In other words, for every dollar earned by a male worker, a female worker earns 71 cents (2011).31
  • On average, a woman in Ontario earns $33,600 annually, while a man earns $49,000 (2011).32
  • For workers with less than a grade 9 education, women’s earnings are 51% of those of men (2008).33
  • While the wage gap narrows for those with higher levels of education, women working full-year, full-time with a university degree earn about 30% less than equally educated men (2008).34

Saturday, 25 February 2017

Academy Award Predictions 2017

Here are my picks:

Every year I watch the Academy Awards with my TIFF film festival Team and we do an Oscar Pool.  I usually come in close to 3rd or 4th.  We have some serious researchers and movie watchers.
Sometimes I choose what I think will win and sometimes it's what I think should win.  So this list has both what I think the Academy will choose and what I would like to see win.

Hacksaw Ridge
Hell or High Water
Hidden Figures – Should Win
La La Land – WILL WIN
Manchester by the Sea

Casey Affleck (Manchester by the Sea)
Andrew Garfield (Hacksaw Ridge)
Ryan Gosling (La La Land) – Should Win
Viggo Mortensen (Captain Fantastic)
Denzel Washington (Fences) – WILL WIN

Jeff Bridges (Hell or High Water)
Mahershala Ali (Moonlight) – WILL WIN
Dev Patel (Lion)
Lucas Hedges (Manchester by the Sea)
Michael Shannon (Nocturnal Animals) Should Win

Isabelle Huppert (Elle)
Ruth Negga (Loving) - Should Win
Emma Stone (La La Land)  WILL WIN
Natalie Portman (Jackie)
Meryl Streep (Florence Foster Jenkins)

Viola Davis (Fences) – WILL WIN
Naomie Harris (Moonlight)  Should Win
Nicole Kidman (Lion)
Octavia Spencer (Hidden Figures)
Michelle Williams (Manchester by the Sea)
Damien Chazelle (La La Land) – WILL WIN & Should Win
Mel Gibson (Hacksaw Ridge)
Barry Jenkins (Moonlight)
Kenneth Lonergan (Manchester by the Sea)
Denis Villeneuve (Arrival)

Kubo and the Two Strings
My Life As a Zucchini
The Red Turtle
Zootopia – WILL WIN & Should Win

Blind Vaysha
Borrowed Time
Pear Cider and Cigarettes
Piper - WILL WIN & Should Win

Ennemis Intérieurs
La Femme et le TGV - WILL WIN
Silent Nights
Sing - Should Win

Fire at Sea
I Am Not Your Negro
Life, Animated
O.J.: Made In America - WILL WIN
13th -   Should Win

Extremis - WILL WIN & Should Win
4.1 Miles
Joe's Violin
Watani: My Homeland
The White Helmets

Land of Mine (Denmark)
A Man Called Ove (Sweden) - Should WIN
The Salesman (Iran) - WILL WIN
Tanna (Australia)
Toni Erdmann (Germany)

Hidden Figures - Should Win
Moonlight - WILL WIN

Hell or High Water
La La Land
The Lobster
Manchester by the Sea - WILL WIN & Should Win
20th Century Women

La La Land – WILL WIN & Should Win

"Audition (The Fools Who Dream)" from La La Land
"Can't Stop The Feeling" from Trolls
"City of Stars" from La La Land – WILL WIN & Should Win
"The Empty Chair" from Jim: The James Foley Story
"How Far I'll Go" from Moana

La La Land – WILL WIN & Should Win

Hacksaw Ridge
Hell or High Water
La La Land – WILL WIN & Should Win

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them - Should Win
Florence Foster Jenkins
Jackie - WILL WIN
La La Land

A Man Called Ove
Star Trek Beyond - WILL WIN - Should Win
Suicide Squad

Arrival - Should Win
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Hail, Caesar!
La La Land - WILL WIN

Deepwater Horizon
Hacksaw Ridge - WILL WIN- Should Win
La La Land 

Hacksaw Ridge - WILL WIN & Should WIN
La La Land –  
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Thirteen Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi

Deepwater Horizon
Doctor Strange
The Jungle Book – WILL WIN & Should Win
Kubo and the Two Strings
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story