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It’s official: Mr. Howe rocks!

This article was posted original on SooToday on by David Helwig. reposted with permission.


Bill Howe’s classes at St. Mary’s College cleaned up in the First Annual Shadows of the Mind Film Festival Video Competition, winning every award in the elementary/secondary category.

Here’s the news release announcing the winners:

And the winners are…

Sault Ste. Marie, ON – Algoma International Films, in conjunction with the Shadows of the Mind Film Festival is happy to announce the winners to the 1st annual video competition.

In the Open category, Chris Nash received the 1st place award for his film Hawaii. Chris is a former Sault Ste. Marie resident now studying at York University.


Don Cole took 2nd place with Words. Don is a former resident of Menominee in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and now a resident of Boston Massachusetts.

3rd place went to Louise Bradford for her film Full Circle. Louise is a former resident of the Sault now living in Gatineau Quebec.

In the Elementary/Secondary school category, 1st place went to Kevin Parry for Slice, 2nd place to John Reid-Hryszkiewicz and Adam Proulx for Buy Another Day and 3rd place went to Michael Babcock for Gone for Good.

Honourable mention also went to the John Reid-Hryszkiewicz and Adam Proulx for their second entry, Mimo.

All winners from the Elementary/Secondary category were from St. Mary’s College and are students of Bill Howe.

Screenings of these films will be held February 26, 2005 at the Art Gallery of Algoma starting at Noon.

The film festival runs from February 23–27 2005.

For more information please phone (705) 256.2226 or (705) 759-0458 or visit

This year’s festival is being proudly presented by Scotiabank.

Five local screenings planned for ‘Looking for Angelina’

This article was posted original on SooToday on by David Helwig. reposted with permission.



Looking for Angelina to be featured at the Shadows Film Festival

Sault Ste. Marie, ON – The movie Looking for Angelina that was filmed in Sault Ste. Marie during the summer of 2004 will be featured as part of the Shadows of the Mind film festival.

Looking for Angelina is the true story of Angelina Napolitano, an Italian woman sentenced to death in 1911 for murdering her husband with an axe, as he lay asleep on Easter Sunday.

Angelina is a young immigrant woman caught in a life she does not want and is the unlikely heroine at the focal point of a worldwide media frenzy.


Looking for Angelina is the eye-opening true story of one woman’s struggle and an ever more relevant source of fascination in the media-obsessed society we live in today.

Due to the anticipated high demand to view the locally filmed movie, five showings have been scheduled.

They are February 23 at 8 p.m., February 24 at 2 p.m., February 25 at 1:30 p.m., February 26 at 7 p.m. and February 27 at 9 p.m.

All films are at Galaxy Cinemas.

Tickets go on sale Tuesday February 8, 2005.

Please call 256-2226 or 759-0458 for more information.

Another highlight of the sixth annual film festival is the first annual Algoma International Film Video Competition.

This year’s festival is being proudly presented by Scotiabank.

The film festival runs from February 23–27.

Individual movies are $8 or a full pass is $90.

Tickets are available at the door but seating is limited.

Polly Hill takes film festival video award

This article was posted original on SooToday on by David Helwig. reposted with permission.


A short video by Saultite Polly Hill has taken first prize in a video contest associated with the Shadows of the Mind Film Festival.

Hill’s four-minute video, We All Belong, addresses the myths and realities of mental illness by portraying local pychiatric consumers and survivors.

It received the top prize in this year’s We All Belong video contest, established by the Northeast Mental Health Public Education Campaign.

Second prize went to Out of Sight, Out of Mind – No More, a 24-minute production by Steve McLennan filed at the Dreamcatchers Drop-In Centre in Burks Falls.

Those two videos, plus two others, will be shown at the Art Gallery of Algoma at noon today (Saturday).

Meanwhile, the popular Shadows of the Mind Film Festival continues today and Sunday at Galaxy Cinemas at Station Mall.

Organized by a coalition of local health organizations, the festival presents films that deal with the facts and mythologies surrounding mental health and addictions issues.

For film information, schedules and prices, please click here.

Festival organizers have issued the following news release:

Director Laura Sky to attend showing of her documentary

Sault Ste. Marie, ON – The Shadows of the Mind Film Festival is pleased to announce that Director Laura Sky will attend the debut of her documentary video Crisis Call (previously titled Our Best Interests at Heart) on Saturday February 22, at 1:30 at the Art Gallery of Algoma.

Thursday night’s opening night film The Annihilation of Fish was a complete sell out. The documentary Bowling for Columbine also completely sold out.

Tickets are selling quickly for all movies. Don’t be disappointed. Get your tickets early.

For a complete schedule listing of show times, please visit

Crisis Call was inspired by the story of Edmond Yu, a psychiatric survivor in crisis who was shot and killed by Toronto police after a 1997 altercation on a city transit bus.

This unique feature-length documentary asks the question: are there alternatives to the use of force, especially lethal force when police deal with people experiencing a mental health crisis?

Award-winning producer-director Laura Sky looks for answers from police, psychiatric survivors, mental health workers and members of the legal system who’ve been involved in such interventions.

Crisis Call documents their candid, often compelling stories as they challenge the current system and search for solutions to this critical issue. The film festival runs February 20 – 23, 2003. Individual movies are $6.00. Tickets are available at the door but seating is limited. For advance tickets, please call 256-2226 or 759-0458. For more information on the festival, check out our website at


Among those sharing their experiences in Crisis Call:

Detective Constable Andria Cowan, one of three police officers involved in the shooting of Edmund Yu. Cowan, who has never before spoken publicly about that tragic event, offers a vivid, very personal account of the shooting and its aftermath.

She admits “it changed how I do policing when I deal with emotionally disturbed people.” Later on, we witness Cowan and her partner responding to an EDP (Emotionally Disturbed Person) call.

Cowan diffuses a tense situation involving a distraught woman, but is frustrated in finding shelter for her. “I have the authority under the Mental Health Act to make an assessment to take someone’s liberty away, states Cowan, “but I don’t have the authority to do an assessment to bring them to a place where they can get help.”

Katherine Yu, who hopes that her brother Edmond’s death was not in vain: “There’s a whole bunch of people out there who might be in a similar situation as Edmond… They deserve a chance to survive.”

Stella Montour, an Aboriginal woman who tells the heartbreaking story of how she was sexually assaulted in a psychiatric facility – and how police ignored her crisis.

Shaun Davis, a young man who, in a full-blown psychotic state triggered by a prescription medication overdose, forced a bus off the highway near Thunder Bay in 2000. A passenger later died as a result. A woman who sat near Davis describes that frightening bus ride and in an exclusive interview, Davis recalls how police responded to his plea for help before the tragedy.

Michael Arruda, a former prison guard and now a police constable tours the Montreal Detention Centre (also known as Bordeaux), revealing the disturbing conditions inside the jail’s psychiatric unit.

The Honourable Mr. Justice Edward F. Ormston, Mental Health Diversion Court, Toronto region who notes,” 25-35% of the prison population suffers from a major mental illnesss…. Jail is the only place that’s open to the homeless mentally ill person 24 hours a day.”

Sergeant Alan McKenzie, Thunder Bay ETU (Emergency Task Unit) who states “….we’ve now learned through a hard lesson that people who are psychiatric survivors in crisis are, in fact in crisis, not criminals.”

Viewers meet Sergeant McKenzie during an ETU training exercise. The scenario: a desperate woman is threatening to kill herself. The ETU arrives armed with riot shields and high-powered rifles — but they also have trained negotiators and less lethal weapons which fire rubber bullets.

The exercise ends successfully with a negotiated surrender, but a paradoxical question remains: are survivors traumatized by encounters with military-like ETU’s, or do ETU’s represent a de-escalation of force, since they offer a range of response options for police?

Crisis Call was researched, written, produced and directed by Laura Sky.

“In making this film, I searched out and documented events that most people never see or hear about.” notes Sky. “Crisis Call addresses a largely unrecognized, but critical social issue: what happens when the boundaries between policing and mental health care disappear and cops become the new frontline health care workers?” Sky spent two and a half years intensively researching Crisis Call.

She worked with many psychiatric consumer/survivors, survivor advocacy groups, and mental health crisis teams such as Hamilton’s COAST program and Vancouver’s Car 87.

Sky also worked with two police training programs and five police forces, spending many hours on overnight patrols with police.

This is Sky’s sixth feature-length documentary focusing on a topical health care issue. Sky’s career spans three decades and 27 documentaries. Her body of work includes Working Like Crazy, seen on TVOntario and other educational networks, and How Can We Love You? the acclaimed documentary on breast cancer which has visited more than 50 communities since its 2001 launch.

This production was funded by the Law Foundation of Ontario, the National Crime Prevention Partnership Program, the Henry White Kinnear Foundation, the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, the Laidlaw Foundation, the RBC Foundation and the Jackman Foundation.

Produced by Sky Works Charitable Foundation, Crisis Call will tour across the country with community premieres and workshops.

For more information, contact Sky Works at (416) 536-6581 or

How a $20,000 baseball cap saved a Genie-winning film

This article was posted original on SooToday on by David Helwig. reposted with permission.


Ten minutes into William Phillips’ film Treed Murray is a scene in which a hot dog vendor can be seen wearing a Movie Network (TMN) hat.

“For that, we got $20,000,” the director told a sharp-eyed Saultite who spotted the logo during a Saturday-night screening at the Shadows of the Mind Film Festival.

Challenged as to whether it was a product placement, Phillips (shown above) confirmed that the TMN hat capped a deal that kept the $1.2 million Canadian production alive at a time when its future was in doubt.

TMN had already committed to pay for broadcast rights to the drama, but agreed to chip in additional cash for product placement to ensure the film was completed, he said.

When another observant Saultite enquired about the fictional brand of cigarettes preferred by the film’s main character, Phillips explained that tobacco manufacturers aren’t at all interested in paying to have their products used by someone who also uses crack cocaine and prostitutes.

Treed Murray, the story of a belligerent ad executive cornered in a tree by an angry street gang, is Phillips’ first feature-length film.


At this month’s Genie Awards, it won twice, for achievement in overall sound and for achievement in sound editing. Treed Murray was nominated for three other Genies, including best picture.

Phillips portrayed his protagonist (actor David Hewlett) as a man as deeply flawed as the young hoodlums who harrass him in a Toronto park.

“We’re all flawed. We’re all the same,” he said during a post-screening question-and-answer period at Station Mall’s Galaxy Cinema.

The concept, six characters and a tree in a park, was specifically designed to keep costs down.

It turned out to be more costly than expected because a stunt co-ordinator was needed for each of the 10 days that Hewlett spent being filmed on a tree branch, Phillips told

In addition to the film-festival circuit, Phillips’ film has been screened commercially in Victoria, Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal.

Additional screenings are being considered in Calgary and on the East Coast, he said.

The Shadows of the Mind Film Festival is organized by a coalition of local agencies. It offers films that touch on the facts and mythologies surrounding mental health and addictions.

For full information about the festival, click on the SooToday logo at the top left of this screen and them click on the Shadows of the Mind link.

In a surprise development, organizers announced Saturday night that they’re adding a second screening of Julien Temple’s Pandaemonium, which was shown in connection with a gala opening on Thursday night.

The second screening will be 7 p.m. Sunday at the Galaxy Cinemas.

Film festival kicks off

This article was posted original on SooToday on by: David Helwig, rereposted with permission.



Mike O’Shea of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health and Judy Miller of Sault Area Hospitals were among those celebrating the Thursday-night kickoff of the Shadows of the Mind Film Festival.

The four-day event began with a screening of Julien Temple’s historical drama Pandaemonium, followed by a gala reception at the Holiday Inn ballroom.

The event is organized by a coalition of local agencies. It offers films that touch on the facts and mythologies surrounding mental health and addictions.


This is the third annual Shadows of the Mind Festival and this year’s highlights include Saturday’s 7 p.m. screening of Treed Murray, followed by a question-and-answer session with director William Phillips. That film portrays an encounter between a charismatic advertising executive and an urban youth gang.

For full information about the festival, click on the SooToday logo at the top left of this screen and them click on the Shadows of the Mind link.

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