Huge things are expected of Marvel’s long-awaited BLACK PANTHER and with just another week to go till release, Toronto Fans were treated to a celebratory Canadian Premiere for the Ryan Coogler-directed Film. Fans queued hours for a chance at rush tickets to the event graced by none other than star Danai Gurira, known best for her work on AMC’s acclaimed series The Walking Dead as Michonne.
The groundbreaking Blockbuster comes with raves based on its Los Angeles Premiere last week and members of the Cast were just in South Korea to promote the Film too.
BLACK PANTHER is set in a technologically-advanced African nation called Wakanda, where upon the death of his father, T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) rises to the throne as a successor king. He summons the help of the warriors Dora Milaje led by Okoye (Danai Gurira), his estranged wife Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o), mother Ramonda (Angela Bassett) and sister Shuri (LetitiaWright), among others to defend what he is due by birthright. Unexpected challengers surface suddenly to overthrow him, also threatening to cause chaos in the world with weapons made from a precious element native to Wakanda called Vibranium.
We ask a dazzling Gurira dressed in black and gold, about being approached by Coogler who admittedly had never seen The Walking Dead when reaching out to her.
Gurira: “He had seen me in a Movie that was same time as Fruitvale Station at Sundance and that Movie was called The Mother of George. So it was from that quiet Indie he became interested in working with me. This came to pass and he wrote a role with me in mind. As an Actor, nothing really tops that because I had so much respect for him. I was just so proud of him, this young man who came out of grad school and made this type of an impact. He’s so humble, so sweet, such a good guy.”.
One of the greatest things about BLACKPANTHER is its element of humour and often we see its characters are aware of the world beyond Wakanda. Likewise, Gurira’s Okoye keeps Boseman‘s T’Challa in-check when he struggles. We ask her about her experience working with the Film’s leading man.
Gurira: “He’s such a fantastic quintessential leading man. He really helms things with a quiet, calm energy that just allows everyone to feel valued and connected to him. He’s an astounding collaborator and he respects people’s thoughts and opinions. He’s a deep thinker and a great writer and storyteller himself. Working with him is really easy.”
Gurira tells us the toughest part about getting into Okoye‘s headspace.
Gurira: “I’m not as much a traditionalist as she is, I’m more a modernist. I loved that about her and I understood it, but it wasn’t where I come from. But really this let me connect more deeply with the essence to really what Wakanda speaks to, which is African self-determination. That to me is something I totally can latch-on to, this idea of a nation that has never been colonized and a need to protect that. That I could connect to.”.
Hover left and right to see photos of Gurira on tonight’s Carpet:
The Canadian Premiere saw local talent like Kardinal Offishall, Jazz Cartier, Pree and Arkells come out to show their support. We had the pleasure of speaking to Kardinal Offishall, Priya and Arkells about what BLACK PANTHER means to them.
Kardinal Offishall: “I think since the time I was a kid, the possibility that there could be something that took place – even though it’s fictional – in a world dominated by people of colour, used to be unbelievable. It’s not a Movie that is going to be limited to people of colour as the story is universal. It’s just going to be amazing for everyone to watch this Movie. I think positive imagery that shows people who look like me in a different light, these are all things that are super-necessary, especially for the time we’re living in.”.
Offishall admits he has heard Soundtrack (out Friday, February 9, 2018 via Universal Music Canada) single All the Stars by Kendrick Lamar and SZA, thus far and gives a vote of confidence, stating “Kendrick having a hand in forming what it’s gonna sound like, I’m sure sonically it’s gonna be incredible.”.
Arkells: “Normally when we’re invited to these things, we’re on the road. On Twitter I saw last week people were going nuts about this Movie.”.
On their four JUNO nominations today, lead singer Max Kerman admits, “We planned on getting no JUNO nominations.”. The Band does plan to be in Vancouver for the Awards on Sunday, March 25, 2018 airing on CBC at 8:00 PM ET.
Also don’t forget to check-out the BLACKPANTHER EXPERIENCE as it tours Southern Ontario. It allows you to connect BLACKPANTHER to upcoming release AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR and witness Black Panther in marvelous AR Technology. Stops are as follows:
Winterlude Festival – February 9-11
Cineplex Cinemas Queensway and VIP – February 13
CN Tower – February 17 & 18
Cineplex Cinemas Scarborough – February 20
Taking place tonight at the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts, the fourth annual Canadian Screen Awards fêted the very best in both Television and Cinema this past year. Sweeping in the Film categories including Best Film, was Academy Award Nominee for Best Picture, ROOM, shot here in Toronto last winter and subsequently winning the Cadillac People’s Choice Award at TIFF 2015.
In addition to garnering Brie Larson her first Oscar victory last month, the American Actress won Best Film Actress tonight for her work in the Film Adaptation of Emma Donoghue’s best-selling novel, its screenplay also penned by the latter. Director Lenny Abrahamson and Donoghue herself also won in their respective categories.
Child Actor Jacob Tremblay stole the show, garnering a well-deserved victory for Best Film Actor for his portrayal of a child named Jack whom after living all his life isolated from the world with his Ma (Larson), is faced with the challenge of adapting to the real world after he manages to flee from his and his mother’s captor. He tells the Press Room with great pride that he will be displaying his award on his shelf alongside his Millennium Falcon. As we all know by now, he loves Star Wars.
I ask Tremblay what he has to say to Brie Larson whom he has navigated so successfully through Awards Season these past few months. He tells me, “I hope we can work together again”.
CBC Comedy Schitt’s Creek also dominated the Television categories with three wins tonight including Best TV Comedy Series, Best Actor (Eugene Levy) and Actress (Catherine O’Hara) in a TV Comedy. O’Hara and Levy both agree that the Canadian Screen Awards should be given an official nickname of the “Candies” for phonetic and sentimental reasons. The name pays tribute to their SCTV Co-Star John Candy, a Canadian icon who left us far too soon.
Orphan Black also once again was recognized tonight, its upcoming season having wrapped in Toronto just recently. Its star Tatiana Maslany won Best Actress in a TV Drama Series, but unfortunately was busy at the SXSW Festival promoting her new Film with partner Tom Cullen this weekend. Her Co-Star Ari Millen was honoured with Best Actor in a TV Drama Series.
Complete list of winners announced tonight:
Best Comedy Series Schitt’s Creek CBC (CBC)
(Not A Real Company Productions Inc.) Eugene Levy, Daniel Levy, Andrew Barnsley, Fred Levy, Ben Feigin, Mike Short, Kevin White, Colin Brunton
Best Dramatic Series Sponsor | Innovate By Day
19-2 Bravo! (Bell Media) (Sphere Media Plus, Echo Media) Jocelyn Deschenes, Virginia Rankin, Bruce M. Smith, Luc Chatelain, Greg Phillips, Saralo MacGregor, Jesse McKeown
Best International Drama Vikings History Channel Canada (Shaw Media) (Take 5 Productions) Sheila Hockin, John Weber, Michael Hirst, Morgan O’Sullivan, James Flynn, Alan Gasmer, Sherry Marsh, Bill Goddard
Best Performance by an Actor in a Continuing Leading Comedic Role Schitt’s Creek – Carl’s Funeral CBC (CBC) Eugene Levy
Best Performance by an Actor in a Continuing Leading Dramatic Role Orphan Black – Newer Elements of Our Defence Space (Bell Media) Ari Millen
Best Performance by an Actress in a Continuing Leading Comedic Role Schitt’s Creek – Don’t Worry, It’s His Sister CBC (CBC) Catherine O’Hara
Best Performance by an Actress in a Continuing Leading Dramatic Role Orphan Black – Certain Agony of the Battlefield Space (Bell Media) Tatiana Maslany
Best Performance in a Variety or Sketch Comedy Program or Series (Individual or Ensemble) Sunnyside – Top Hat City (Rogers Media) Kathleen Phillips, Pat Thornton, Patrice Goodman, Kevin Vidal, Alice Moran, Rob Norman, Norm Macdonald
Best TV Movie or Limited Series Sponsor | Entertainment One The Book of Negroes CBC (CBC) (Entertainment One, Conquering Lion Pictures, Out of Africa Entertainment) Damon D’Oliveira, Clement Virgo, Margaret O’Brien, Carrie Stein, Lance Samuels, Bill Niven, Michael Levine
Achievement in Art Direction / Production Design | Meilleure direction artistique Ethan Tobman, Mary Kirkland – Room
Achievement in Costume Design | Meilleurs costumes Joanne Hansen – Beeba Boys
Achievement in Direction | Meilleure réalisation Sponsor | Commanditaire | Pinewood Toronto Studios Lenny Abrahamson – Room
Achievement in Editing | Meilleur montage Sponsor | Commanditaire | The PostMan Post-Production Studio Nathan Nugent – Room
Achievement in Make-Up | Meilleurs maquillages Sponsor | Commanditaire | M●A●C Cosmetics Sid Armour, Jennifer Gould – Room
Achievement in Music – Original Score | Meilleure musique originale Michael Brook – Brooklyn
Achievement in Music – Original Song | Meilleure chanson originale Sponsor | Commanditaire | Slaight Music Jenny Salgado, André Courcy – Scratch – A Hip-opera | Scratch – Un Hip-Opéra – “C’est aujourd’hui que je sors”
Achievement in Overall Sound | Meilleur son d’ensemble Sponsor | Commanditaire | Deluxe Toronto Lou Solakofski, Ian Rankin, Joe Morrow, Russ Dyck, Graham Rogers, James Bastable, André Azoubel, Don White, Jack Hereen – Hyena Road
Achievement in Sound Editing | Meilleur montage sonore Jane Tattersall, David McCallum, Martin Gwynn Jones, Barry Gilmore, David Evans, Dave Rose, Brennan Mercer, Ed Douglas, Kevin Banks, Goro Koyama, Andy Malcolm – Hyena Road
Achievement in Visual Effects | Meilleurs effets visuels Phil Jones, Sarah Wormsbecher, Eric Doiron, Anthony DeChellis, Lon Molnar, Geoff D.E. Scott, Nathan Larouche, Mark Fordham – Hyena Road
Adapted Screenplay | Meilleure adaptation Emma Donoghue – Room
Best Animated Short | Meilleur court métrage d’animation The Ballad Of Immortal Joe – Hector Herrera, Pazit Cahlon
Best Cinematography in a Feature Length Documentary | Meilleures images dans un long métrage documentaire Sponsor | Commanditaire | Sony of Canada Arnaud Bouquet – Last of the Elephant Men
Best Editing in a Feature Length Documentary | Meilleur montage dans un long métrage documentaire James Scott – How to Change the World
Best Live Action Short Drama | Meilleur court métrage dramatique She Stoops To Conquer – Zack Russell, Marianna Khoury
Best Motion Picture | Meilleur film Room – David Gross, Ed Guiney
Best Short Documentary | Meilleur court métrage documentaire Sponsor | Commanditaire | Hot Docs Bacon & God’s Wrath – Sol Friedman
Original Screenplay | Meilleur scénario Benjamin August – Remember
Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role | Interprétation masculine dans un premier rôle Jacob Tremblay – Room
Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role | Interprétation masculine dans un rôle de soutien Nick Serino – Sleeping Giant
Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role | Interprétation féminine dans un premier rôle Brie Larson – Room
Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role | Interprétation féminine dans un rôle de soutien Joan Allen – Room
Ted Rogers Best Feature Length Documentary | Meilleur long métrage documentaire Ted Rogers Hurt – Peter Gentile, Alan Zweig
See our Snaps of the Talent on the Red Carpet tonight:
Amidst all the pre-Festival bustle, the Stars of brand-new Comedy DR. CABBIE kicked-off what surely will be a Parade of Stars in Toronto these next couple weeks! Drawing a large crowd of Supporters tonight along Richmond Street at Scotiabank Theatre, the new Film produced by Bollywood Legend Salman Khan and made in Toronto, is set to hit theatres late September.
In support of the night, several of the Cast and Crew graced the festive Red Carpet including Star/Writer Vinay Virmani, Kunal Nayyar (Big Bang Theory) and his lovely Wife Neha Kapur, Singer Karl Wolf, Rizwan Manji (Privileged), Newcomer Isabelle Kaif, Sangita Patel (Entertainment Tonight Canada), Rapper Kardinal Offishall, Viral Sensational Lilly “Wonderwoman” Singh, Executive Producer Ajay Virmani, Writers Manu Chopra & Ron Kennell, Director Jean-François Pouliot and several more.
Arriving fittingly in a Co-Op Cab, the Film’s three Leads Virmani, Nayyar and Kaif arrived to a warm reception from Fans, stopping to greet Fans along the barricades, a repeat of the fanfare seen outside Brampton SilverCity on Saturday night as a rumoured number of Fans in the thousands crowded for a glimpse of the Film’s Stars, namely its Megastar Producer Khan. Virmani was kind enough to greet the entire Red Carpet and especially took a moment out to thank us personally for our support for the Film. We’ve been keeping a tab on it since it began production here!
DR. CABBIE centers on a certified Physician named Dr. Deepak Chopra (Virmani) who moves to Canada, settling to make a living as a Cab Driver. After successfully delivering a baby in the back of his Cab, he decidedly turns it into a mobile Clinic.
See the funny Trailer:
eOne Films release DR. CABBIE on Friday, September 19, 2014.