I‘m not sure the what sort of reception Guy Maddin had expected for My Winnipeg but I have a suspecting feeling that he never imagined that his personal account of growing up in Winnipeg would have this sort of permeating effect on culture. First it was the UK competition which asked that filmmakers send in 3 minute short films about their hometown (the online contest was sponsored by a Winnipeg tourism group and several U.K. production houses) and now it looks like Maddin’s heartfelt ode is going to spread across the Great White North.
Thanks to Colleen over at 353 Haiku Review who sent over the story, it’s come to my attention that My Winnipeg producer Michael Burns is putting together a project titled My Canada. Working from Maddin’s blueprints, the film will feature Canadian filmmakers creating odes to their own cities and the list of participants is very impressive. Announced so far are internationally acclaimed Canadian filmmakers Atom Egoyan (Victoria), Julia Kwan (Vancouver), Gary Burns (Calgary), Charles Binamé (Montréal), Don McKellar (Toronto), Patricia Rozema (Sarnia), and Thom Fitzgerald (Halifax). It seems that each filmmaker will be creating a full length feature that will then be compiled for special presentation under the My Canada banner.
The films will premiere in Vancouver in 2010 before going on the road on a cross-country tour. I have a feeling Colleen’s right on this one: seems to me this is a tie into the Vancouver 2010 Olympics.
I’m not convinced any of the films will be as magical as Maddin’s but it’s exciting to see a film initiative that celebrates Canada from coast to coast. The added fact that some of Canada’s biggest exports are involved helps a fair bit. Here’s hoping that My Winnipeg is also included in the special screenings. It wouldn’t be the same without the film that started it all!