Meet us in Berlin

logo_smallNatasha from Filmoption will be available at the EFM Berlin to answer your questions regarding territories available.

Here’s where to reach her:

The Canada Sales Desk (MGB, #113, tel: +49 (0)30 246 497 412)
While in Berlin from Feb. 3 to Feb. 12 you can also call her French cell at:  0 336 65 19 94 52

The Baby Formula will screen with German sub-titles at the following times:

Sat 07/02/2009 11:30 Cinemaxx Studio 17
Mon 09/02/2009  13:15 Cinemaxx Studio 17

We look forward to seeing you there!


What a Trip



Erwin Houtenbrink is our latest hero. He programmed The Baby Formula to the 38th International Film Festival Rotterdam – one of the most prestigious film festivals in the world. Maybe straight fathers should really be considered one of our key marketing demographics because they sure step up to the plate when it comes to standing up for us. He said, “I simply loved the film. It just worked for me. I just about cried. Well, I did.”

Thanks Erwin. As a result of your invitation, Alison and I got to spend time meeting denise_evelyn1with industry pros and filmmakers from around the world. Our sold out screenings had our best audience reactions so far and prompted immediate sales inquiries. We’ve got good vibes going into the European Film Market Berlin.

Speaking of good vibes… we hitched at train to Amsterdam for a day. I love that town – there’s so much to see and do. You can walk the historic 12th century streets to the Rijksmuseum, see a live sex show, visit Anne Frank House, or a coffee shop, or the maybe the famous the Van Gogh Museum. You can even go to some places twice. The best thing would be to hook up with our friend Denise and her girlfriend Evelijn. Their tour begins with laughs then there’s Indonesian food and then it ends with laughs.

Filmoption International Reps TBF in Berlin

natasha rybinaWe are thrilled to announce THE BABY FORMULA will be represented for International Sales by Natasha Rybina of Filmoption International!  The EFM in Berlin will be her first market with the film. Screening Info is below.

Natasha Rybina  
Head of Sales and Acquisitions, Feature Films
Filmoption International Inc.
T: (514) 931-6180 ext.283

EFM Screening Info:

The Baby Formula 07.02. 11:30 CinemaxX Studio 17 

The Baby Formula 09.02. 13:15 CinemaxX Studio 17

Rotterdam Invitation!


Official Screening Dates in Rotterdam:

Saturday January 24th, 15:45,  Pathè  

Sunday January 25th 13:00, Pathè  

Thursday January 29th, 20:15. Lantaren 2

We spent the full day on Monday travelling home from Whister. I woke up Tuesday morning in a grog which disappeared the instant I saw the email from the Rotterdam International Film Festival inviting The Baby Formula to participate.  Yeah!

Turkey Basters hot in Whistler


Angela Vint (star), Paul Zimic (producer), Stephen Adams (producer), Richard Beattie (writer)

turkeybasterGet a load of Zimic. When he came up with the idea of using turkey basters as our give-away marketing gift, I thought he was kidding. I was wrong. Paul distributed a few Baby Formula turkey basters around various tables at the festival and people kept picking them up. It’s not even near thanksgiving!

The festival was a great time. Especially reuniting with our star, Angela Vint , our writer, Richard Beattie and one of our producers, Steve Adams who all live in Vancouver now. We shared a condo with a hot tub, not to mention a bottle of scotch– life is good.

The tribute to Donald Sutherland was another highlight. What an incredible body of work. He was head of the Borsos jury which also included Sturla Gunnarsson and Patricia Rozema. We were honoured to be one of the 6 nominees. In the end, Jim Donovan’s Three Seasons received the award.

The Pope & Torino FF, Italy

dsc020072What Architecture! Walking around Torino with its miles of archways and ancient buildings was amazing. So was showing a film about gay women having babies using a stem cell process in a country where The Pope lives. As usual, the people that saw The Baby Formula loved it, but the audiences were definitely smaller than the ones we had in Germany. We were told that religion and the Pope were to blame. I’d wish I had his number. I would have invited him. That would have made for a lively Q & A.

Sold Out Screenings in Germany

oh_mannheim3Thursday Nov 6th was a surreal day.  Paul, Cheryl and I woke up at the beautiful Steigenberger Hotel, Mannheim in our jet lagged haze, and headed for Heidelberg where The Baby Formula was the opening night film of the Mannheim Heidelberg International Film Festival. We went down to the lobby at the designated time and boarded a bus with some very well dressed film festival guests. Or so we thought. It wasn’t until the bus stopped that we realized we were with the wrong group of people on the wrong bus. After a few minutes of shear panic, Cheryl managed to hail us a cab, and we were able to make it to the screening in time. What an event it was. A huge tent with over 600 seats was erected in University Square – the screening was sold out with an amazing audience that included local politicians.dsc01570

We had four more screenings on subsequent days that were either sold out or packed, and we were frankly floored by the audience reaction. Any worry we had that the humour would be lost in the translation and the subtitling was put totally to rest.

The Q & A’s at this festival are a big part of the experience. They are usually done in an adjoining room right after the screenings, and most of the moderators are journalists. Rudiger Suchsland and Joy Guthardt handled most of our Q & A’s, however Dr Josef Schnelle did the one on opening night. I love that guy. A question from the audience prompted him to declare “I’m not gay and I love this film.” That was music to my ears. I have always believed The Baby Formula would appeal to an audience beyond our GLBT crowd. For years we have willingly and easily empathised, laughed and cried with heterosexual characters in film. It makes me so happy to discover that we have reached a day and age where the reverse is also happening.

Director of the festival, Dr Michael Kotz and his wife Daniela Kotz were welcoming hosts, whose true love of film and support of new filmmakers permeated the festival. When we asked if we could stay longer than expected, they approved without hestiation. The staff couldn’t have been warmer: Alex, Gitta, Rebecca, Gudula, technical Paul….we have fond memories of them all.

During the Mannheim Meetings, it was great to connect with fellow Canadians Elizabeth Yake and Shirley Vercruysse. It was also a treat to finally get to see Borderline, the other Canadian film screening at the festival. Congrats to Roger Frappier and director, Lyne Charlebois who weren’t able to attend the festival, but took home some well deserved awards.

On a sad note: Monday November 10th, my family called and told me that my Uncle Bern passed away. He was eighty-one. I’d seen him a week earlier, and wasn’t surprised by the call. I’m so thankful that he went peacefully at home.  In order to encourage me not to interrupt our trip, my Mom and sister scheduled his memorial service on Nov 28th after we get are scheduled to get home. Bern will be missed.

Right now, Paul has gone back to Canada to take care of business. Cheryl and I are in Italy looking forward to tonight, the opening night of the Torino Film Festival!

The Baby Formula to Open 57th Mannheim-Heidelberg Festival!

Beautiful Heidelberg

Beautiful Heidelberg

This should be a lot of fun. The Baby Formula’s international premiere will take place in Official Competition at the Mannheim-Heidelberg Festival in Germany. We are very proud and honoured to be chosen as the Opening Night Film. Hopefully TBF will set the tone for what promises to be an entertaining programme assembled by Daniela Koetz and directed by Dr. Michael Koetz. We’re heading out on Nov 5 for a week in Germany and then Ali will stay in Europe to introduce The Baby Formula at our next festival… to be announced shortly.

More to come.


Sudbury Cinefest and Paul’s Sperm Count

Thursday morning, the day after the NY whirlwind, Paul and I hit the 400 northbound to Cinefest Sudbury. After checking in to the hotel, we headed to the Media Suite where we were greeted by Melanie who opened up the fridge and offered us a beer. This was our kind of town. Heather Campbell, Cinefest’s Guest Relations Coordinator had set up an interview for us, so Paul and I sipped our beers and admired our poster while we waited for Sudbury Star journalist, Laura Bradley to arrive. 

Laura was easy to talk to. I told her about the stem cell science in The Baby Formula, and how it was originally developed as a fertility treatment for men with low sperm counts. Paul was the only man in the room at the time, so I subconsciously pointed to him as I described it. Paul gave the Laura an “Alison is off her rocker” type look. “My sperm count is quite fine”, he insisted “don’t make me prove it”.   Of course that interaction was too tempting for Laura: Paul’s sperm count was mentioned in her article the next day.

After the interview, Heather drove us, along with Charles Martin Smith, to the Silver City Cinemas to see his gala film, Stone of Destiny.  Charlie and I had worked on a few films together: him as an actor and me as a stunt performer, so it was great to be together as fellow filmmakers. Of course our film is on a whole different scale than Charlie’s so I looked up to him and all he’d accomplished. We did a live feed together on the 6PM CTV local news before savoring his inspirational film.

Friday night was The Baby Formula screening, and again we were privileged to be surrounded by friends. Dan Lyon from Telefilm who was responsible for our completion funding was there along with Chad Maker and Kirk Comrie, our graphic’s guys from Agency 71. (Their partner Marc Kelsey was absent due to the birth of his baby – there’s a lot of that going around).  Robin Smith from Kinosmith was also there continuing to be a huge support.

Cinefest Sudbury has a reputation for having great audiences, and we now understand why. They laughed heartily throughout, even in places we’d never heard laughter before (good places), and were totally generous with their kudos.

The rest of our time in Sudbury was spent seeing a few films (most notably Michael McGowan’s thoroughly enjoyable One Week), and hopping from party to party to party.  The finale of all parties was the Saturday night Pit Party.  We were bussed into an open mine pit where there were tents, booze, food and a band. At midnight everyone went outside to experience the dumping of the slag. In response to our cheers of encouragement, a train on a nearby ridge poured it’s red hot molten slag down a hill, lighting up the night. A uniquely Canadian film festival experience. 

Next on the list: Mannheim Heidelberg FF, Germany, where The Baby Formula is the opening film!

Day Trip to New York

Wed morning, 5AM, Sept 17. We’re at the airport checking in for our flight to NY on the automatic kiosk. It tells us to wait for help. The attendant checks Paul’s passport. It expired 2 weeks ago.  “You can’t fly to the US without a valid passport”, she says. What!?  We were both in shock. Paul tried to sweet talk her: “this is the most important day of my life, my film is part of the Canada Showreel at Independent Film Week, I have to be there” – but she wasn’t budging. 

I went into solution mode: rifled through Paul’s stuff and got some of his business cards and our pitch document for The Baby Formula television series. Selling is Paul’s territory, not at all my forte, but I didn’t have a choice. I had to give it a shot alone.  Indicative of our totally different, but totally complimentary styles, Paul went into his own solution mode. He insisted on speaking to a customs agent, and softly but firmly attempted to talk his way onto the flight. No go. All the customs guy could offer was “ better drive across the border and get a flight out of Buffalo. You can still drive across without a passport.”  Nice.  Fat chance of making our 11AM screening that way.

Instead we headed to another terminal and got tickets with Air Canada. This time Paul got a boarding pass, and we got all the way to customs before his expired passport was noticed. We were both sweating. Paul was taken into a separate room, while I stood stranded by the x-ray machines not knowing what was going on. After fingerprints, paperwork, and heaven knows what else, in his true ‘horseshoes’ fashion, Paul emerged with permission to board the plane.

After the flight, we took a cab to West 23rd St and walked into the Chelsea Clearview Cinema to see the smiling faces of Brigitte Hubmann and Anne Frank from Telefilm.  Ours was the first clipreel of six new films they’d chosen to present at IFW. We basked in the audience laughter during our clipreel; the positive response was palpable. Paul and I fielded some great offers from film festivals across the States and then walked down to the MTV building on Broadway to meet with John Baldasare, Manager of Acquisitions and Coproductions.

The MTV station, Logo is currently airing my short film, Succubus and John was eager to see its feature length sequel, The Baby Formula. We had a great chat with him, handed off a screener, and then headed to our final meeting with a producer pal of Paul’s. After that there was time for a quick beer before hopping in a cab back to the airport and home.

What a day.