Our story begins here with our heroes–Liz, Paul, and Heidi–driving into the Canadian tundra with only one prize in mind: the North by Northeast Music/Film/Interactive Conference. After many hours of the blazing, Canadian sun, and the humid Michigan air attempting to diminish their morale, they finally passed through the gates of Toronto, and found rest in their Airbnb host’s apartment, who was also coincidently named Paul.

Because I’m not sure if I can keep up this story time, I’m going to just tell you how it’s been. First of all, I love Toronto, and I know that Liz and Paul do to. Even upon entering the city, all of us were immediately experiencing sensory-overload, and spent the next hour in near-silence to take in the city. We walked around Chinatown, and headed towards Kensington Market before our host for the week let us into the apartment. After meandering, we finally made our way to the National Film Board of Canada (NFB), where we watched the beginning of the NXNE Film Festival.

The 8:00pm lineup for Monday, June 11th was as follows:

  1. Come On – Preacher’s Sun (Canadian Premiere)
  2. Happily Dysfunctional: The Story of Transistor 66 Records
  3. Going Deaf For Nothing – The Story of A Rock N’ Roll Band (World Premiere)

The main film I wanted to see was “The Story of Transistor 66 Records”, which Liz and Paul were also interested in, above the others. The first film was a music video of “Come On” by Preacher’s Sun, which you can watch here:

My favorite film out of these was “Happily Dysfunctional: The Story of Transistor 66 Records,” personally. It was well filmed, the story seems really unusual for record companies, and it kind of left you with this hopeful feeling that maybe there is a future where music is produced by people who want to serve the music community, not profit from it. The director of the film, Steve Ward, was there as well, and seemed like a cool chap. If you want more insight, here’s an interview with the director. He also said that the owner of Transistor 66, Art MacIntyre, wanted this film to just be available to people, and not necessarily make a profit off of it, so that other people could see that this exists. We’ll see if that happens, but either way, here’s the trailer for it:

The last film, “Going Deaf For Nothing,” was a story of a failed band called the Magnolia Thunderfinger, who was a technically amazing band that stayed together for 10 years, but never wanted to sign with a record label, and never wanted to compromise the standards it had given itself. Here’s the trailer for that:

The next day, Tuesday June 12th, was basically the workshop day for the NXNEi, the interactive portion of the conference (which I’m so excited to check out tomorrow, by the way), so we decided to sleep in, lounge around, and figure out our respective schedules for the rest of the week (which we’re all still trying to figure out). After listening to around 700 bands, Liz and I decided to check out some comic book stores while Paul went record shopping, after which we all made our way to the NFB again.

Tonight, the main event for us were the Disposable Film Festival 2012 Competitive Shorts, which you can watch via the previous link. The idea of the Disposable Film Festival was very intriguing, and the brain child of Dr. Carlton Evans. The idea is that anyone can make a film if they have the creativity and the gumption, and these films prove it. All of the films in this program were created with low-quality video equipment, but all of the films are entertaining, and enjoyable to watch, and many of them very moving. Whether you know how to make films or not, they encourage anyone to send in a work that they have made. If you’re interested, here’s the film that won the competition, although I HIGHLY encourage you to watch all of them:

Les Ongles (The Nails) from Disposable Film Festival on Vimeo.

Stay tuned for more updates about the festival! This is just the beginning!