Every once and a while you get to say 'Hey! Cool beans!' about something that's going on in the Canadian Film and TV industry... this is one of those times.
With over 300 stops and 40,000 served, REEL Canada -- a traveling film festival that brings the very best of Canadian Films to High Schools all across the country -- is about as cool beans as you get these days.
I remember when I was growing up how long it took me to wrap my head around the idea that I was 'Canadian' instead of 'American'... let alone what that meant.
Even longer to get past the old stereotype that 'Canadian Films are crap'.
And yet some of the best movie-going experiences I've had in the last couple years have been watching great Canadian Films in the cinema; playing 'find the showtime' with some real gems like 'One Week' and 'The Wild Hunt' and 'The Trotsky'.
(Also: Ginger Snaps and Ginger Snaps: Unleashed, two of my all-time favourite Horror flicks, are Canadian!)
To think that there's a group of people out there who've made it their mission to cross the country and share fantastic films like these with our next-gen -- who probably didn't even know there was a such thing as 'Canadian Film' -- is pretty great.
To imagine that even a fraction of those students might end up being inspired to create by a film that they might not have seen otherwise is just... electrifying.
I've long been a proponent that we Canadians should stop with the whole 'aww-shucks/tall-poppy-syndrome' mentality, that we should get out there and be damned proud of what we can accomplish -- and that's why I'm absolutely pleased as punch to support REEL Canada.
And hopefully you will too.
You see, a Toronto Philanthropist has put forth a rather amazing offer: They'll donate $50,000 toward the program if REEL Canada can match it with donations from across the country.
So if you go to www.reelcanada.com right now and toss them some cash, your donation is, essentially, doubled.
Can't argue with that.
Please check out their website, see what they're about and -- if you agree with their mission -- donate generously.