What Travel Writers Say

Move Over TIFF; It's Tinsel Time In St. Catharines

© Mike Keenan

David Barlow

Toronto may have TIFF, but did you know that St. Catharines is home to myriad movie and TV stars? In two weeks time at 8 pm on Wednesday, September 28, a new short film about St. Catharines celebs will premiere at The Film House at the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre. We might have to change the Garden City moniker to Hollywood North. Quick, get out your over-sized sun glasses.
HOTSHOTS directed by St. Catharines native and Gemini-Award-winning, Sir Winston Churchill graduate David Barlow, showcases some of the surprising number of individuals from St. Catharines who have become national and international stars in film, television, and theatre.
Stage actors Kim Huffman (Les Misérables and Mamma Mia) and Mike Shara (Stratford and Shaw Festivals), television actors David Sutcliffe (Gilmore Girls) and Chris Potter (Heartland), and radio host Barbara Budd (As It Happens) share recollections of the performing arts and the development of their craft in St. Catharines. The film also highlights the credits of many other actors and 'behind the scenes' artists, including Oscar, Emmy, Tony and Gemini award-winners with a St. Catharines background.
The film invites these talented individuals to draw on their show business experiences to weave together narratives about what it takes to achieve success on the stage, the airwaves, and the screen.
Executive Producers for HOTSHOTS are Janis Barlow, another Sir Winston grad, and Stephen Remus, Minister of Energy, Minds and Resources for the Niagara Artists Centre.
The documentary was filmed and produced by graduates of the Advanced Film and Television program at Sheridan College in Oakville, Ontario, including Cam Anderson, Zachary Smith and Caitlin Benton, who are also Brock University alumni.
"The greatest pleasure for me in making this little film came from working with a young crew at the beginning of their careers who discovered - as they recorded these stories of established artists - that everyone shared similar dreams, aspirations and a love of storytelling," notes David Barlow.
"There's no doubt, St. Catharines is a place where talent emerges. NAC was honoured to work with community-minded businesses and organizations to help celebrate this," says Stephen Remus.
HOTSHOTS premieres in advance of the screening of Mr. Zaritsky on TV, a feature about John Zaritsky, the Academy award-winning filmmaker acclaimed as one of Canada's best documentarians. He's another St. Catharines-born talent that attended St. Catharines Collegiate and graduated from Denis Morris. The film is co-directed by Michael Savoie, a Merritton High School grad, and Jennifer Di Cresce.
After the screening, a reception will be held across the street at Mahtay Café.
Film House Fall Schedule: https://firstontariopac.ca/Online/article/FilmHouse

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