by Malcolm Parry, May 3rd 2012
OPENING CREDITS: Flashback to Hollywood, Feb. 5, 1919. Movie director D.W. Griffith and actors Charles Chaplin, Douglas Fair-banks and Mary Pickford launch a collaborative studio they call United Artists. Flash forward to Gastown, May 5, 2012. Canadian director Michelle Ouellet and actors Nicholas Carella and Ali Liebert produce a sequel called Sociable Films. In fact, it was 2011 when the three established “an artist-driven philosophy, where artists’ resources and talents are pooled.” But the “friendraiser” party in Carrall Street Nelson The Seagull restaurant Saturday will bring together many pals and moviebiz colleagues the trio plans to further develop.
Some will appear or help make the feature film Afterparty, executive-produced by actress Yolanda Jes-sel, which will be shot over six consecutive weekends beginning June 9. That schedule will enable Liebert, who is jetting back and forth to L.A., to complete her parts in three movies and be in Toronto Aug. 7 for second-season shooting of the CBC television series Bomb Girls.
Nor are longtime pros Carella and Ouellet sitting on their hands. They completed the final sound mix Sun-day of the “long short” This Feels Nice, a love story of two gay men that was shot on film, not digitally. They’ve also completed two of a 12-episode comedy-sci-fi web series called The True Heroines, which Ouellet says is about “three 1950s women with invisibility, super speed and super strength.” They’re also portrayed in earlier roles as 1940s cabaret performers.
Sociable Films is modelled somewhat on the 1999-founded Toronto band Broken Social Scene. That ensemble varied its lineup and style greatly for a dozen years while featuring many otherwise-solo performers and those from other bands. Whether Sociable Films will last as long is anybody’s guess. Ninety-one years later, though, United Artists still exists, albeit as an MGM subsidiary, and may make movies again.