Don McKellar on "Childstar"

After the panel discussion on Friday, Don McKellar screened Childstar and did a Q&A session when the movie was done. (Answers to some of the questions: Yes, the inspiration for the film was meeting Haley Joel Osment at an Oscar party and thinking "what a strange little creature he was"; yes, he kept waiting for the brat factor to show up in his star, Mark Rendall and no, it never did; no, he doesn't have an accent, that's just the way he talks. [Sidebar - hands up who thinks McKellar and Stephen Lewis sound a lot alike? Just me? Okay.])

The movie is about an American child actor (Rendall) who comes up to Canada to shoot a god-awful action flick and runs first amok, then away. McKellar plays the kid's driver who's hoodwinked into becoming his legal guardian. The movie also features Dave Foley, who has rocked my world since he first put on a dress as part of the Kids in the Hall, and Jennifer Jason Leigh, who hasn't rocked my world since Fast Times at Ridgemont High. Production-quality-wise it's about on a par with most one-hour American TV dramas, but it's humorous and the relationship between Rendall and McKellar feels real. As McKellar was quick to point out to us, the Cinematheque screening doesn't count towards his opening weekend box-office, so let's all go out and see the picture so he can know the joy of distributors smacking him around, mmmkay?

By the way, there are still tickets to some of the Top Ten screenings, and to the 2nd panel discussion "The Global Muse: Filmmaking and Inspiration" which takes place tomorrow night at 6:30. Directors Michael McGowan, Michael Dowse and Peter Raymont will be talking about getting inspiration from global events and culture, as well as what creates a film's nationality. Raymont is the director of the Romeo Dallaire doc, Shake Hands With the Devil, the screening of which is unfortunately sold out (but which will air tomorrow night on CBC Newsworld's "The Passionate Eye" at 10 p.m.).

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