FREE SPEECH TO CANCEL CULTURE; PROFILES IN CANADIAN COMEDY, 96min., Canada
Directed by William Davern
Ten veteran comedians and TV personalities share insightful, often hilarious tales of the comedy business and the shifting attitude(s) of audiences.
Get to know the filmmaker:
1. What motivated you to make this film?
I've been a touring stand up comic for 25 years. Am also a film school graduate and recipient of the Norman Jewison Award for a short drama now part of the National Film Board of Canada. Over the years, I made
several shorts including an unsold pilot for TV along with three 22 min
"Profiles" of the local comedy scene.
2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this film?
During the covid shutdown, many comics I worked with were available so I took the opportunity for interviews at my house. One criticism I've received is the doc "lacks diversity" but I approached others of various race and genders and only those who appeared in the doc were willing to participate.
(Covid made many of us paranoid, I'm sure you'll remember!)
3. How would you describe your film in two words!?
"Insightfully funny", maybe?
4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?
Biggest obstacle was mastering Adobe Premiere editing. I had about 10 hours of interviews to sift thru for a narrative structure. Plus I had to create lighting and sound as I am a one man production crew of this whole documentary.
5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?
Your audience feedback was GREAT! So refreshing and insightful to hear from those not directly involved in the comedy business. This is a huge PLUS for your festival as most others rarely give reviews of any nature.
6. When did you realize that you wanted to make films?
Have always been a film 'nerd" since my teen years and have amassed an embarrassingly large collection of posters, lobby cards and movie memorabilia.
7. What film have you seen the most in your life?
Hard to say what film. So many favorites so many times, I can recite most dialogue and even hum the music tracks!
8. What other elements of the festival experience can we and other festivals implement to satisfy you and help you further your filmmaking career?
I would love to have the film shown at a Toronto revue theatre with an audience. Back in Feb, 2023, I rented the "Westdale" theatre in Hamilton for a showing to the cast and others in the 'biz" as well as "event" social media advertising. On a snowy night, we had about 130 attend, loud laughs and a standing ovation. If you have any connections - let me know.
9. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway. How has your experiences been working on the festival platform site?
"FilmFreeway" has been so good at providing this network to so many festivals!
10. What is your favorite meal?
Chicken wings and beer, of course.
11. What is next for you? A new film?
At the moment, I'm researching the whole "distribution" mystery on how to get the doc 'seen". I thank you all so much for providing some clues and your inspiration has been overwhelming!