Canadian Drama Films

Canadian drama is part of a long legacy

Canadian drama films are primarily known because of the larger theater and festival scene that occurs every year in Canada. From the Edmonton International Fringe Festival to the Toronto International Film Festival, the Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Film Festival to the Blyth Theater Festival, Canada is known for film festivals. In fact, Canada has more fringe film festivals (alternative, non-mainstream films) than any other nation in the world.

The Start of Canadian Cinema

Early cinema from Canada began in the region around Niagra Falls in the late 1800's. The region was a strong breeding ground for film, what with its easy proximity to the United States. James Freer, often cited as the first Canadian filmmaker, produced numerous documentaries filmed in the area. Much of Canadian cinema centers around the idea of helping the citizens of Canada. Unfortunately, due to the close proximity with the United States, worldwide, Canada does not often receive the attention it deserves and is often lumped together with US cinema. However, Canada has many staples of its own right, such as the animation and documentaries produced by the National Film Board of Canada.

Canada, Drama and the Present Day

As a result of confluence between US films and Canadian films, Canada has really started to develop a niche in character driven dramas. The reasoning is mostly financial: Most Canadian production houses or individual producers will not have anywhere near the budget of an American powerhouse studio. As a result, Canada chooses not to compete with the country it is most associated with and instead has made its own footprint in dramatic fringe cinema. Most of the more successful Canadian drama films achieve more success on the fringe circuit and in art houses than on the large scale, the international scene. Many Canadian drama films mix one part art scene content, another part character-based cinema, and another part regional or national identity.

List of Canadian Drama Films

Popular dramatic films from Canada include:

  • 3 Needles
  • Eighteen
  • Les Ordres
  • The Accused
  • The Daytrippers
  • October 1970
  • Snow Cake
  • Rare Birds
  • Johnny Tootall
  • The Journals of Knud Rasmussen
  • The Adjuster
  • Suddenly Naked
  • Delirious and Lost
  • The Point
  • American Venus
  • Away from Her
  • Pissoir
  • La Donation
  • Head in the Clouds
  • Hustler White
  • Poor Boy's Game
  • Alien Thunder
  • Bad Company
  • Far Side of the Moon
  • Grizzly Falls
  • Being Julia
  • Dead Sleep Easy
  • Bordertown Cafe
  • Lies With Me
  • Chapter 27
  • Dance Me Outside
  • The Luck of Ginger Coffrey
  • The Sex of the Stars
  • Le Chat Dans Le Sac
  • Forever Mine
  • The Hanging Garden
  • Iodine
  • The Red Violin
  • Running
  • Sneaking Parts
  • Kissed
  • The Divine Ryans
  • The Grey Fox
  • Dragon Boys
  • The Climb
  • Dear Mr. Gacy

Canada also takes much pride in it's dramatic producers and directors including:

  • Charles Officer
  • Spencer Maybee
  • Erik Cimon
  • Ray Dumas
  • Annie Bradley
  • David Weaver
  • Helen Lee
  • Asghar Massombagi
  • Aubrey Nealon
  • Brad Peyton
  • Clement Virgo

A Final Thought

For those who are fans of Canadian cinema, drama isn't just a genre of movie; it is a way of life. Living a life much in accord with attending fringe festivals, art house previews and theater openings make up the center of the dramatic film scene in Canada. Though many may still lump the country in with the United States, Canada has made quite a name for itself in the world of cinema by taking the path not taken by other movie powerhouses like England. Though English drama films may be more well known, Canada's are often more known by the culture that dedicates itself to them.

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Canadian Drama Films