Canadian Film Fest - 3 Women to Watch

I was recently featured as one of three women to watch at Canadian Film Fest on SHE DOES THE CITY.

http://www.shedoesthecity.com/qa-with-women-of-canadian-film-fest

This week at The Royal, Canadian Film Fest focuses on fresh voices in Canadian cinema. Three women – Deanne Foley (co-writer/director of Relative Happiness), Mars Horodyski (co-writer/director of Ben’s at Home) and Kelly McCormack (writer/actress of Barn Wedding) will be attending their screenings at the festival. You can also catch Kelly McCormack at the panel ‘Making it as an Actor: The Actresses Speak‘.

Find out more here. Canadian Film Fest runs March 25-28 2015 at The Royal (608 College Street). 

MARS HORODYSKI
Director/co-writer of Ben’s At Home

 

Ben’s At Home is a topical and comedic look at today’s wired generation. The film follows the newly 30 and single Ben who is heartbroken and cynical after his girlfriend dumps him. He makes the unusual decision to never leave his house again.

What actor or actress would you like to work with and why?

Canada has such amazing talent and we were really lucky to bring some outstanding (and funny!) people together for Ben’s at Home. Of course I definitely want to work with my partner in crime Dan Abramovici again (who co-wrote and stars in Ben’s at Home). He’s extremely talented and I think you’ll be seeing a lot more of him on the big screen in the near future. Another Canadian I would love to work with is Tatiana Maslany! I think she’s brilliant. Dan and I have written a new script called You Have Feet in Your Shoes and she is our dream choice for the female lead.

Who inspires you?

I’m really inspired by indie filmmakers such as Lynn Shelton and the Duplass Brothers who have taken their careers into their own hands and made their films by any means possible. I think it’s important to stop waiting for someone to give you a chance and create opportunities for yourself. Canada’s very own Ingrid Veninger is also a great example of this. Her 1K feature film challenge inspired us to start thinking about how we could make a film on a micro-budget and the end result was Ben’s at Home. 

What is the best career advice you’ve received?

Always say yes.

I think I remember Tina Fey writing about this too. You never know where one meeting or unexpected job will lead you. Ben’s at Home was a big leap of faith but it has led us to so many wonderful and unexpected opportunities. We are currently working with Back Alley Film Productions/Muse Entertainment (Durham County/Bomb Girls) on a web series based on the film. I never could have expected that our little indie film could have opened up so many doors for us.

 

 

Channeling Big Lebowski in LA

It's been a busy past week. Lots of meetings with great people who are hopefully going to help us get the next feature off the ground. We're staying at Dan's place in Hollywood. A little house that happens to be the same house that The Dude crashes his car into in The Big Lebowski. I think it's a good omen and am riding that wave. Glad to be away from Toronto for a while. Apparently it's been the worst winter in 120 years. Off to Miami on Wednesday and hoping to be back in sunny LA in April. Need to keep the momentum going.

New Screenplay makes Top Ten Finals at Cinequest

We just got back from the Cinequest Film Festival in San Jose where our new screenplay "You Have Feet in Your Shoes" was selected as a Top Ten Finalist. The festival was great. They really take good care of you with lots of happy hours and opportunities to connect with other filmmakers. San Jose was also a really cool place. A fun dense city centre with lots going on. We ended up going to see Anthony Jeselnik at the Improv which is apparently the oldest comedy venue in the country.

Hope to be back at this festival with the new film!

"Ben's at Home" at LA Comedy Fest

We had a wonderful West Coast Premiere on April 30th at LA Comedy Fest. Dan Abramovici, Jessica Embro and I were able to attend. There was a great turnout at the screening followed by a Q&A. Lots of laughs! It was great to explore some of the neighbourhoods in LA and then a bit of R&R in a friend's swanky Bevery Hills pad.

Now we're off to Seattle where "Ben's at Home" plays Opening Night at The Seattle True Independent Film Festival.

 

 

"Ben's at Home" wins Gold Remi for Best Comedy

We had an amazing World Premiere screening on Thursday. Full house and the film was projected in a beautiful AMC theatre. Best way to kick off a premiere. Things got even better when we were awarded with a Gold Remi for Best Comedy! I am so proud of everyone who was a part of this film and helped make it happen. Here's to a great start to our festival run.

 

 

"Ben's at Home" World Premiere at Worldfest Houston International Film Festival

I'm excited to announce our World Premiere in Houston! Myself, Dan Abramovici and our editor Mike Reisacher will be attending to represent the team. We are also up for a few awards - fingers crossed! I had a lot of fun last time I attended this festival with my CFC short "Spoonfed" which won a Gold Remi. Looking forward to the trip to NASA and the Regatta :) Houston -- we're ready for you.

RBC Online Shorts

Dan and I are working on a series of online comedy shorts for RBC that will be launching in the next few months. We are working with forward thinking ad agency Kuration headed by Peter Coish. We had a lot of fun writing these followed by an ambitious two day shoot. They are very funny and shareable. The goal was to create something that people would watch. That wasn't brand heavy but could still be sponsored by RBC.

Oh.. and we got to shoot one with a bunch of puppies. So yeah. Totally worth it.

CFC TV Teaser "Swan Song"

This is my fourth year doing the TV Teasers and it never stops being fun. I had a chance to work with incredibly talented writer Fiona Highet (who is now writing for Saving Hope). She wrote a really tight teaser pilot about a woman who lives in an senior's residence and pretends to be senile so she can stay. I had a chance to work with amazing actor Kate Lynch (Meatballs, Lost Girl). It was a real treat! As always DP James Klopko gave us an amazing look and brought the story to life.

The film was very well received at the screening and I hope that it gets picked up :)

CFC In Development "Work It"

I had the pleasure of working with writer Nikki Saltz on her CFC In Development piece "Work It". It was a hilarious script and my first time shooting a very intimate scene. As always it was fast paced and fun. I had a chance to work with amazing DP Colin Akoon aswell as super talented actors Rachael Dolan and James Hawksley.

"The Next Step" Mall Tour

After a great shoot in Calgary for the "Chance to Dance Contest" with Stacey Tookey, I was approached by Family Channel & Temple Street Productions to direct a short doc for "The Next Step" Mall Tour. It was a crazy experience - I did not expect to see so many screaming tweens in one space. Lots of fun as we tried to capture all the excitement and special moments with the fans.

The video is online here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ImZwh8eJOU

"The Next Step - Chance to Dance Contest"

I just got back from Calgary after an amazing shoot for Family Channel & Temple Street Productions. They had launched a contest to bring award winning choreographer Stacey Tookey (So You Think You Can Dance) to work with the winning dance studio for two days. I was asked to direct a short doc that covered the experience.

We ended up in a small town in Calgary - Okotoks - at the Alberta Dance Academy. It was a really fun shoot. The dancers were so touched to have this unique opportunity and Stacey was incredible to watch. I'm really proud of how this film turned out.

You can see the short doc here:

http://www.family.ca/video/#video=5211

Baby Brain Short Film

I had a wonderful shoot this past weekend for "Baby Brain" - a short film written but the lovely & talented Anna Hardwick (who also stars in the film). We had a great team including producers Priya Rao & Nicole Bergot. I had a chance to work with one of my favourite DPs James Klopko who really helped give the film a distinct look. Cast included the hilarious Jonathan Gould and Jennifer Waiser whose funny antics kept us laughing the whole shoot.

Baby Brain...
While trying to decide how to handle a surprise pregnancy, Isabel sets out to silence the pesky voices in her head, who've suddenly come to life in human form.

 

CFC TV Teaser - Little Girl Found

I had a wonderful shoot this past week for one of the CFC TV Teasers - Tamara Moulin's "Little Girl Lost". I had the opportunity to work with super talented DP Daniel Grant and an amazing production design team led by Zosia Mackenzie. The short basically consisted of a single slow dolly shot scanning various items of a girl's room and playing up the mystery aspect of the teaser.

CFC In Development - "Forced Fantasy"

I had a chance to direct one of the CFC writer's pieces again this year. A fun video game themed comedy by John Titley called "Forced Fantasy". It was a very ambitious nigh shoot with a location move - all in under 5 hours. Our DP Ian Macmillan was a pleasure to work with and made it all happen for us. Cast included Dan Beirne, Matt Murray, Greg Calderone and Amy Groening.

Ben's at Home in Post-Production

After an intense eleven day shoot, my first feature film "Ben's at Home" is in post-production.

Stay up to date with all the action at www.BensAtHome.com

and check out our trailer:

Directed by Mars Horodyski

Starring Dan Abramovici, Jess Embro, Craig Brown, Jim Annan, Rob Baker, David Reale, Inessa Frantowski, Kimberley-Sue Murray, Katie Bowes, and Schnitzel The Dog as Schnitzel.

Produced by Anneli Ekborn, Mars Horodyski, and Dan Abramovici

Written by Mars Horodyski and Dan Abramovici

Director Of Photography Walter Pacifico

Line Producer Sarah Hansen

Edited by Mike Reisacher

Music by Freedom Or Death