Arguably a big problem in Canadian film (and TV) is simply exposure -- getting the stuff out there and distributed, and getting it publicized and noticed. Not only do good things get overlooked but, equally, it means bad things don't get a proper deconstructing (a filmmaker never has to admit any artistic short comings in their work simply because it never got a chance to fail).
As someone who tries to keep an eye on what's going on in the biz, one of the things I'll do is sometimes just randomly look up a Canadian actor on the IMDB to see what it is they've appeared in over the last few years. And I'm constantly amazed to come upon listings for movies -- and even TV series -- that not only have I never heard of, but feature no comments or ratings from anyone else. Leading me to suspect the production must have failed to secure much distribution -- if any!
One of the reasons I write and blog about Canadian movies and TV shows -- both here and elsewhere over the years -- is in large part because I'm just trying to do my part to keep the ball in the air, so to speak. To keep the conversation going. A lot of what I write is to encourage responses.
Granted, a lot of comments I receive tend to be about how I'm an idiot or a know-nothing. Or TV pundits assuring me they have ten years of experience and so know more about the topic than I do (essentially that I'm just a jumped up amateur -- which, y'know, is basically true). Still, my bruised ego aside, that's probably better than no response at all. Sometimes people will agree with me by focusing on one particular thread of an argument I'm trying to make and ignoring what they don't like. (I'm not on Facebook or Twitter so my ability to engage in back-and-forth conversations is limited.)
Increasingly these days there's the argument that the great democratic experiment that is online conversations and comments sections is proving decidedly problematic at best, bringing out a lot of negative elements: Trolls and worse. But still, one can live in hope.
What this relates to is the idea that online articles and posts can be a chance to share information -- not just a single writer (such as moi) blathering away.
So getting back to my opening thought, what sort of venues are there (online or print) that are good resources for knowing what's going on in Canadian film and TV?
There's the First Weekend Club -- a website which promotes newly released Canadian movies, complete with slick commercial trailers that I'm guessing rarely make it to TV. It's entirely about the promotion, with no comments options I think.
There's TV, Eh? -- a website I've mentioned many times before, which acts as a hub for news and articles about Canadian TV. It encourages comments, though it's maybe not the venue for heavy debates (I've had my knuckles rapped once or twice). But unarguably an essential resource.
There's Eye on Canada -- a site covering film and TV both, with trailers, promos, and links. I literally just discovered this site while drafting my post!
Do you have a particular go-to site for Canadian film and TV news? Or simply places that provide interesting or thoughtful commentary? At one point Canadian actors Omari Newton & Luvia Petersen were doing an irregular podcast called The Visible Minority Report which specifically tried to delve into weighty topics about race and gender representation (in a lively, fun, accessible way) with interviews (the Facebook page is more current).
I tend to find that even when googling Canadian entertainment news, sometimes sites that promote themselves as "Canadian" -- still mainly focus on Hollywood.
Personally I think sites like TV, Eh?, First Weekend Club and Eye on Canada that focus on Canadian productions are good, at least for people specifically looking for that topic. But equally one could argue that means the only people visiting them are already keen for the theme. So maybe a preferred venue is a more mainstream newspaper or website that include Canadian coverage next to the more obvious Hollywood stuff.
But what's your preferred way to keep abreast of these things or to feed a Canadian film/TV biz fix? The sites I've mentioned? Twitter? Youtube? Just googling your favourite actor to see what they're up to?
It's all about the conversation.
MORE ON HUFFPOST: