The Allan King Film Festival: TVO celebrates a master filmmaker Sunday April 26 to Friday May 1 2009

    A retrospective of acclaimed Canadian filmmaker Allan King's work and a
    five-minute documentary from the winner of the Allan King Film Festival

    "I've had the privilege of getting paid to make films about all the major
    questions of life - personal, social - that have perplexed me."
                                                                  -Allan King

    TORONTO, April 3 /CNW/ - From Sunday April 26 to Friday May 1, TVO
presents a retrospective of the work of master filmmaker Allan King. King's
renowned, often controversial films explore the complex and bittersweet
psychological and sociological aspects of the human condition. They tackle
challenging subjects such as emotionally disturbed children, marriage
conflict, and the fear and dignity of dying. The opening night also features
Actuality: The Art and Life of Allan King, a portrait of this great filmmaker
commissioned by TVO. Allan King hosts the festival, introducing each of the
films, with a discussion of their themes and anecdotes about the making of
each film.

    Viewers can watch the following Allan King films during the festival.

    -   Skidrow
    -   Rickshaw
    -   Warrendale - first aired on TVO
    -   A Married Couple
    -   Who Has Seen the Wind
    -   Empz 4 Life - commissioned by TVO
    -   Dying at Grace - commissioned by TVO

    Broadcast dates, times and descriptions follow.
    During the weeklong festival, viewers can go online to
for additional behind-the-scenes features, such as an interview with A Married
Couple's Antoinette some 40 years after the film was made, as well as
additional insights from Allan King.
    In addition to presenting King's films, TVO wanted aspiring filmmakers to
demonstrate how they can work within the documentary form. So TVO created the
Allan King Film Festival Contest, inviting filmmakers to create a five-minute
film. The jury (which includes Allan King) has shortlisted three finalists
from the 72 submissions, and now it's time for documentary fans, especially,
and Allan King's fans, to have their say. Through Thursday April 9 at 12 noon
they can go online to to view and vote on the films. The
winning film will have its world broadcast premiere on TVO during the Allan
King Festival, and the lucky filmmaker will receive an industry pass to Hot
Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival, North America's largest
documentary festival.

    Schedule: The Allan King Film Festival on TVO

    Sunday April 26: Opening night triple bill:

    9 pm Skidrow (1956, 37 min., 16 mm, b&w)
    Exploring the lives of several homeless men and revealing how their pasts
    explain some of the reasons why they've turned to booze and survival on
    the streets of Vancouver's Lower East Side.

    9:40 pm Rickshaw (1960, 28 min., 16 mm, b&w)
    In Rickshaw, we meet Ram, a 16-year-old who moves from a small village to
    pull a rickshaw in Calcutta, India. The film deals with the endless cycle
    of poverty as father teaches son the trade. Lighter moments include Ram's
    first sighting of the big the city and the silent yet loving bond between
    father and son.

    Skidrow and Rickshaw are early examples of King's work, both employing
    "voice-of-God" narration.

    10:30 pm Actuality: The Art and Life of Allan King
    A definitive portrait of this great filmmaker. King's career spans 50
    years, during which time he has challenged the conventions of the
    documentary art form. In the documentary we see King still at work, and
    still challenging the viewer. The film looks back at pivotal moments,
    seamlessly weaving together interviews with King, images and passages
    from his major works (1956-2006), and a cinéma-vérité look at his film
    Memory for Max, Ida and Company, a TVO co-production.

    Monday April 27

    10 pm Warrendale (1967, 101 min., 16 mm, b&w)
    A controversial film about troubled kids. The staff at Warrendale use
    "holding" in an effort to have kids talk through their complex emotions.
    Warrendale is one of King's most renowned films. Even though it was
    produced for the CBC back in 1967, it was shelved due to disturbing
    content, and King released it theatrically. TVO was the first to
    broadcast the film, on Human Edge in 1997.

    Tuesday April 28

    9 pm A Married Couple (1970, 97 min., 16 mm, colour)
    A raw exploration of a marriage in freefall. In an effort to salvage
    their marriage, a middle-class couple opens the door to their home to
    expose the complex dynamics inherent in coupledom.

    Wednesday April 29

    10 pm Who Has Seen the Wind (1977, 100 min., 35 mm, colour)
    One of King's most personal dramas. The film chronicles a young boy's
    coming of age in a small Canadian prairie town during the Depression.

    Thursday April 30

    9 pm Empz 4 Life (2006, 112 min., colour)
    Brian Henry has been to jail and reformed. Now he works with at-risk
    youth. Racial stereotyping and the threat of violence and jail block
    these kids at every turn. Mathematician John Mighton helps them discover
    how brilliant they can be and gives them hope.

    Friday May 1

    9 pm Dying at Grace (2003, 148 min., video, colour)
    A highly respectful, brave and emotional "actuality drama" about five
    patients dying in the palliative care unit of the Salvation Army Toronto
    Grace Health Centre. This film is difficult to watch yet reassuring in
    the loving way family and friends gather to witness the intimacy of

    For more information on the Allan King Film Festival, visit

    About TVO

    TVO is Ontario's public educational media organization and a trusted
source of interactive educational content that informs, inspires and
stimulates curiosity and thought. TVO's vision is to empower people to be
engaged citizens of Ontario through educational media. For more information,

    Where to find TVO

    Cable channel 2 (channel may vary in some areas), Bell TV channel 265,
Star Choice channel 353.

For further information:

For further information: Media contacts: Anne Rubenstein, TVO
Communications, (416) 484-2881,; Angela Garde, TVO
Communications, (416) 484-2600 ext. 2305,

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