Apr 19, 2016

By Christine Ross

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Two Canadian movies have been selected to be part of the Directors’ Fortnight at the Cannes Film Festival next month.

Organizers chose “Two Lovers and a Bear” by Montrealer Kim Nguyen and “Mean Dreams” by Toronto’s Nathan Morlando to screen at the prestigious independent series that runs parallel to the festival.

Nguyen’s fifth feature film, which stars Dane DeHaan and Tatiana Maslany, deals with two young tormented souls in a small town near the North Pole who fall in love and decide to strike out to find inner peace.
“Mean Dreams” is a thriller about a 15-year-old boy who steals a bag of drug money and runs away with the girl he loves while her corrupt cop father hunts them down.

Nguyen, who was nominated for an Oscar in 2012 for his critically acclaimed child-soldier drama “Rebelle” (“War Witch”), told a news conference Tuesday about the challenges of filming in Timmins, Ont., and Nunavut.

“This was a story that we absolutely decided we had to do in the Arctic,” Nguyen said, adding green screens and studio settings wouldn’t do.
That meant dealing with wild weather: temperatures sometimes dipped to between -40 C and -50 C with very high winds.

“It came to the point where my makeup artist would literally grab my shoulder and say ‘you have 30 seconds’,” Nguyen said. He also described a scene — a sort of homage to water skiing — that featured Maslany skiing on the ice and being pulled by a snowmobile.

The festival runs May 11-22.

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