Saturday, May 24, 2008

Leos Celebrate The Women of The Green Chain

Tonight's a big night at the Leo Awards for The Green Chain's three leading ladies.

Jillian Fargey is nominated for "Best Supporting Performance by a Female
in a Feature Length Drama" for her amazing performance as Jenni Holm in The Green Chain. Jillian received an honourable mention from Women in Film & Television's for their Artistic Merit Award for her "riveting" performance as Jenni Holm in The Green Chain.

Tricia Helfer is nominated for her dominating "Lead Performance by a Female in a Feature Length Drama" for her role in "Walk All Over Me." Tricia was previously nominated for a Leo for her performance in an episode of "The Collector" written by The Green Chain's Mark Leiren-Young

And Babz Chula is nominated for "Best Guest Performance by a Female in a Dramatic Series" for her work in the much mourned CBC series, J-Pod.

Let's hope for a hat trick!

Monday, May 19, 2008

The Green Chain Goes Beachcombing With Jackson Davies

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The Beachcombers is so iconic, that even if you never saw CBC’s long-running made-in-BC family drama you probably remember it anyway.

In 1990 I was lucky enough to interview actor Robert Clothier (aka the ever cranky Relic) about the final season of The Beachcombers – which wasn’t just Canada’s longest running series, but was challenging Bonanza for the title of longest running drama series ever. And even though I’d never been a fan of the show, his passion for it was so genuine that I found myself missing it desperately and furious at the Torontonians at CBC head office who’d taken a chainsaw to part of BC’s culture.

Jackson Davies (who played RCMP officer Constable Constable on The Beachcombers) has fought to revive the series ever since it left the airwaves and he helped produce two highly rated TV movies that reunited the surviving cast members – and introduced a new generation of stars, and viewers, to one of Canada's most mythic meeting places, Molly’s Reach and the not so mythical land of Gibsons, B.C.

When we launched The Green Chain podcast the idea was to get different perspectives on BC’s forests and it hit me that for a lot of people around the world, the image they have of our forests, our loggers and our trees comes from watching Nick, Relic, Jessie and Constable Constable fight their weekly battles over those drifting logs.

These days Jackson is teaching film at Capilano College and starring in The Producers at the Arts Club’s Stanley Theatre. I met Jackson at Listel O’Douls in downtown Vancouver to talk about the death of The Beachcombers, the death of real-life beachcombing and how the whole world came to Molly’s Reach.

Click here to check out the latest Green Chain podcast. Coming up on future episodes I'll be talking trees, faith and getting scared sacred with Velcrow Ripper.


Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The Green Chain's LA Premiere! Sunday (May 18th)!

Okay, so I've avoided the word "mockumentary" in interviews about The Green Chain -- but please don't tell the lovely people at Mockfest in Los Angeles where the movie makes its LA premiere this Sunday at 3 pm at the Hollywood Vine Theatre -- 6321 Hollywood Blvd.

So why have I avoided the "m" word? Because The Green Chain is a lot of things, but This Ain't Spinal Tap... What's exciting about Mockfest is they get that doc style films don't have to be comedies to work.

If you're in Los Angeles be sure to check out our LA premiere.

And if you know someone in Los Angeles, be sure to send this their way!

Here's the scoop on Mockfest:


Our mission is to showcase the best mockumentaries from around the world, gathering fans and filmmakers together to celebrate the beauty and brilliance of the mockumentary genre at the center of it all, Hollywood, California.

MOCKFEST is the first film festival solely devoted to the mockumentary, a groundbreaking film style capable of bending reality and shaping human perceptions. MOCKFEST features mockumentaries of all types and lengths, comedic, dramatic, and experimental, and will showcase works from the past, present and future. The festival's most highly prized characteristic in filmmaking is innovation. All films that are selected to appear at the 2008 festival will have that in common.



Sunday, May 11, 2008

The bloom of the enviro film.

If you're looking for an enviro-themed film, Katherine Monk at CanWest/ recommends The Green Chain -- along with eco-classics like An Inconvenient Truth, Who Killed the Electric Car?, The Lorax and Blockade (which features the same cinematographer (Kirk Tougas) and sound designer (Gael MacLean) as The Green Chain).

The story includes an interview with The Green Chain's Mark Leiren-Young.

``The idea isn't to lecture people, but to have people identify with the characters and . . . open their eyes to the larger issues,'' said Mark Leiren-Young, the director of The Green Chain, a 2007 movie about the many facets of the forestry industry.

``The whole point of this movie is to get people talking about the real issues from an educated position. The dialogue goes nowhere when it devolves into ignorant blanket statements about which side is right and which side is wrong,'' said Leiren-Young.

``The best way to effect change is to bring all areas of the debate to the stage, and let the audience make their own decision. That way it's real because the viewer has internalized the argument and made it his or her own.''

Here's the full list of recommended eco-films...

The Lorax (1972): There's no doubt Dr. Seuss moulded the minds of young people with his book, and later this TV adaptation, about a community that cut down all its valuable trees for profit, and later paid the environmental price.

If You Love This Planet (1982): Dr. Helen Caldicott's lecture to a group of college students about the dangers of nuclear war set the tone for most of the films that would follow by laying out in clinical terms our capacity for self- destruction. In this landmark award-winner from the NFB's Terre Nash, nuclear war is the trigger for environmental catastrophe, but its sheer sobriety in the face of a real threat seemed to permeate the popular psyche, and readjust our notions of public responsibility. A wave of anti-nuke sentiment followed.

An Inconvenient Truth (2006): Davis Guggenheim proved the power of a lecture captured on screen once more with this surprisingly dramatic examination of climate change via Al Gore. Thanks to Al Gore's recent Nobel Prize co-win, this Oscar-winning film will forever be seen as the tipping point in the environmental movement, as well as a genre hallmark.

Who Killed the Electric Car? (2006): Chris Paine's little movie is about the little car that could: the General Motors all-electric EV1, a zero-emissions vehicle that was introduced into California as an experiment in the late 1990s, and later destroyed by GM when it appeared the car - if mass-produced - had the potential of eliminating every service station in the state because it needed no gas or maintenance. The film is raw but it's personal, and proves what one person with an idea, some passion, and a camera can accomplish.

Manufactured Landscapes (2007): Jennifer Baichwal records Edward Burtynsky's photographic landscapes as they're being created, and shows us industrial ugliness in a different light. By revealing the poetry in the pictures, she proves how mankind has the capacity to redeem itself - even in the face of industrial horrors.

The Unforeseen (2007): Laura Dunn takes on a familiar story of developers vs. environmentalists and turns it into a meditative study on how we live, and how we choose to house ourselves.

Rivers and Tides (2001): Though not an environmental movie on its surface, this documentary about environmental artist Andy Goldsworthy redefines the way we perceive the natural world by making it into physical art objects.

Garbage Warrior


Flow: For Love of Water

Fields of Fuel

The 11th Hour

Planet in Peril

The Future of Food

Everything's Cool


The Simpsons Movie

Plagues and Pleasures on the Salton Sea

Darwin's Nightmare

The Green Chain