Oscars & Canadian Screen Awards [RECAP]

Earlier this month, I got a chance to attend the Canadian Screen Awards as a seat filler. CSA has been one of the events I have been wanting to be able to have a chance to go to. I am just glad I got to check it off my list for this year. It was also my first time being a seat filler. After watching Neil Patrick Harris host the Oscars and reference ‘seat fillers’ in the audience, it made me more excited that I was going to be able to do this at CSs. I definitely didn’t need to be on camera or be mentioned in anyway while I was at the CSA. I just wanted to be there to support Canadian films and TV. Having watched most of the shows or films or at least heard of them, it just felt like I needed to be part of this year’s CSA in some form. I got a chance to volunteer during Canadian Screen Week but CSA was the main thing for me. It was super fun and being around people I admire. I was super excited that both Orphan Black and Mommy took home lots of awards. By far my favorite Canadian TV Show and my favorite film of 2014! Definitely way better than Oscars! Although this year for Oscars, I went to the Oscars screening at TIFF Bell Lightbox. That was cool being in the Member’s Bell Media Lounge for the first time. I could have checked it out sooner as I’m a member. It was fun but very long due to the commercials. It was a lot of waiting but I did fil out an Oscar ballot for fun. Even though I have seen NPH done more amazing hostings (ex. Tony Awards), it was worth watching NPH hosting the Oscars even if there were jokes that really just did not work at all. There was not any real surprises on the winners for either award shows but glad I got to watch and be a part of both in some form!

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Spotlight in The Media: 30th Film Independent Spirit Awards Opening

Yesterday was the 30th Film Independent Spirit Awards hosted by Kristen Bell and Fred Fred Armisen. I love independent movies. I always seem to be drawn to them. That was why I was super excited that Kristen got to co host the awards! I haven’t gotten a chance to watch the entire award show yet but the opening Birdman spoof and the opening song are still my favorite parts.


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It’s Sunday! Oscars 2015. Plus Films I Still Need To Watch

It is finally Sunday February 22Academy Awards day.. Oscars 2015.. Hosted by Neil Patrick Harris!

When it comes to Oscars, I would normally be at home watching it live on my TV. However, since moving to Toronto, I can no longer watch it live on a TV. This time I wanted to at least attend a screening party or go somewhere to watch it live. I cannot recall what I did last year but I definitely did not watch it live. I am most excited this year since it is hosted by NPH and I have seen majority of the films nominated! Surprising majority either during TIFF or at regular screenings at TIFF Bell Lightbox.

Before my blog went down last week, I had a post drafted which lists all the films I still had to see. Luckily, the list was short and they were mainly remaining Foreign films nominees and all the documentary (short subject) nominees. Detailed list of all the films I still need to watch are below. Luckily, most I will be able to watch after the Oscars. Some of the ones listed I had hoped to watch last week (ex. Timbuktu) but I was just very busy.

Beyond The Lights
Glen Campbell.. I’ll Be
The Hobbit: The Battle of The Five Armies
Ida
Inherent Vice
The Judge
Maleficent
Mr. Turner
The Salt Of The Earth
Timbuktu
Unbroken
Winter Tales

I still not sure how I will be able to watch the ones nominated for Documentary (Short Subject). So those are listed below:

Crisis Hotline: Veterians Press 1
Joanna
Our Curse
The Reaper (La Parka)
White Earth

In terms of who I think should win or will win Oscars, I really do not expect any major surprises. I will do a recap posts after the Oscars air! View all the nominees here. I should be live tweeting tonight!

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Highlights from January

My blog was down for a few days but I didn’t realize until a couple days ago when I wanted to finally write another blog post. I am very certain my recap of the January events, theatre and films I saw were one of the post that were gone! I decided to rewrite a quick recap of my favorite theatre and films I saw last month. I normally try to see an even amount of theatre and films but last month I definitely saw a lot more theatre.

Once I arrived back in Toronto after coming back from a nice 2 week trip home in Vancouver, I did some volunteer shifts with Next Stage Theatre Festival again! I got to see 5 productions which include DINK, For A Good Time Call Kathy Blanchard, Big Shot, Mine and Pulse. I thought I saw more than I did last year but I saw exactly the same amount. They were all great but my favorites were definitely Big Shot and Mine! Big Shot took place in Vancouver around an incident at a skytrain station. The show being about Vancouver and the references only a Vancouverite would understand was one of the main reasons why it was my favorite. Also how this one man show was performed. Mine was also a favorite. Seeing how a romantic relationship between two women form and the way the story was told you find out what happens in their relationship. Honorable mention goes to Pulse! I got to be on stage at the end. I am just glad I was asked to do a two step if I have to do a dance solo, this could have ended up being a nightmare for me. Having seen Jasmyn Fyffe Dance last year with Jack Your Body I knew I could be expected to go on stage.

The rest of my theatre outings included: Nightwood Theatre‘s Her2, Canadian Stage‘s The Other Place, Tarragon Theatre‘s Waiting Room and Lungs, Mysteriously Yours Dinner Theatre‘s Getting Hitched: An Engagement Party directed by Alfred Hitchcock, Crows Theatre‘s The Seagull, Mirvish‘s Potted Potter & Booom. With all the serious, emotional and heartwarming plays I saw, of course I needed to spend one of my Sundays at the Comedy Bar seeing Sunday Night Live! My favorites were ones that hit me the most and reminded me of my childhood and growing up with my family (cancer, hospitals etc to name a few). That is why there is no surprise that it would be Her2, Waiting Room and The Seagull (which had an impressive sold out run)

Surprisingly the only film I watched last month was Golden Globe winner, Leviathan which is also the top contender for Best Foreign Picture at the Oscars

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Spotlight In The Media: The British Are Coming (Videos)

The Brits Are Coming.. During TIFF last year, I said to a friend, this is the year of the Brits! There was just so many amazing films which had Brit actors as the leads. I also cannot help but always loved British actors! These three short films that came out a couple weeks ago were spot on. Part of Vanity Fair’s Hollywood Issue! Plus so many of my favorite British actors are in them. The 3rd short is still my favorite.

Here’s a couple of behind the scenes videos.

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Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! 2015 is here! During NYE, I kept thinking back on everything I did in 2014 and I have done a lot. I definitely did not do a great job blogging about it here but I did on my social media and when I look back my calendar, I am amazed at how busy I managed to keep myself busy in Toronto. It may have had some little bumps on the road and challenges but I have to say it was definitely one of the best years I have had lately. From my most epic broadway bound trip to New York in the summer to TIFF and all the amazing shows and films I got to see, events and festivals I got to attend or work at. I even managed to survive being in Toronto for a year before heading home to Vancouver for the holidays. I am now only a week away before heading back to Toronto. I do feel like 2014 went by fast. I hope 2015 will be as great as 2014. I am definitely going to start keep better track of things including trying to blog more this year!

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My Must See October Released Movies

It is now almost mid October and more films that premiered at TIFF and other festivals is coming out this month or are now out in theatres. The following below are ones I am planning on seeing later this month or next month.

NOTE: I’ve seen most of these films so far now!


Gone Girl – October 3
Starring: Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, Neil Patrick Harris, Tyler Perry
Director: David Fincher
Writer: Gillian Flynn (novel & screenplay)
IMDB


The Good Lie – October 3
Starring Reese Witherspoon, Arnold Oceng, Ger Duany, Emmanuel Jal
Director: Philippe Falardeau
IMDB


Mommy – October 3
Starring Anne Dorval, Antoine-Olivier Pilon, Suzanne Clément
Director & Writer: Xavier Dolan
IMDB

NOTE: I’ve now seen this movie for the 2nd time! First time was during TIFF


The Tale Of Princess Kaguya – October 17 (at TIFF)
From Studio Ghibli
Director: Isao Takahata
IMDB


The Guest – October 17
Starring Dan Stevens, Maika Monroe
Director: Adam Wingard
IMDB


Birdman – October 24
Starring Michael Keaton, Emma Stone, Zach Galifianakis, Naomi Watts
Director: Alejandro González Iñárritu
IMDB

NOTE: The film premiered at NYFF! It’s on my must see list since it was not able to be shown at TIFF!


Laggies – October 24
Starring Keira Knightley, Chloe Grace Moretz, Sam Rockwell, Mark Webber
Director: Lynn Shelton
IMDB


Whiplash – October 24
Starring Miles Teller, J.K. Simmons, Paul Reiser, Melissa Benoist
Directed and Written by: Damien Chazelle
IMDB


Maps To The Stars – October 31
Starring Julianne Moore, Robert Pattinson, Mia Wasikowska, John Cusack
Directed by David Cronenberg
IMDB

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September Events [RECAP]

I was originally planning a lot more blog posts last month but they never happened. I started the month with my wifi acting up and I had stuff in my personal life. So, I just never found the time. I got swamp with events that I also kind of got lazy! Even though I may have been unmotivated and lazy online, I had such an amazing month of events and got to see more than I had originally anticipated at Toronto International Film Festival. Below is a quick recap of all the events, shows, etc that I managed to go to:

CFC BBQ Fundraiser
I got a chance to volunteer for CFC BBQ Fundraiser as part of the Raffles Team. I got to see so many local talent including famous ones. The highlight was seeing Jason Priestley!

Toronto International Film Festival (Sept 4-14)
Since I was free the entire festival, I made sure to attend as much as possible from the Street Festival, checking out stage door to see celebrities, check out red carpets and more! My main goal at the festival was to not only see more than I did last year but to see a variety. I pretty much focused my line up this year on festival buzz films, Canadian films, directorial debut films and of course, I got to see films with some of my favs (Jennifer Garner, Anna Kendrick, Jessica Chastain and Marion Cotillard). I attended 19 film screenings and one of them was a Canadian shorts program!

WIFT-T TIFF Reception
I got to volunteer for the reception again this year! Technically, this was my only ‘TIFF party’. It was nice to see more local talent I recognize.

Nightwood Theatre New Groundswell Festival
I got to volunteer for a couple of shifts for Nightwood Theatre’s New Groundswell Festival which was happening during TIFF. I was only able to see one of the readings but it was still great! I love to support female artists in the theatre community!

JFL42
I volunteered for JFL42 again! My goal at the festival was to see more comedy shows than I did last year and go to different venues. I managed to see:

– Headliner: Lena Duhnam followed by interview with Jian Ghomesi
– Nikki Glaser at Mod Club
– New Faces of Comedy at Comedy Bar
– Mike Birbiglia at Queen Elizabeth Theatre
– Paul F Thompkins at Queen Elizabeth Theatre
– Throwdown at Bad Dog Repertory Theatre

Ed Sheeran concert at Air Canada Centre
This was a birthday present to myself! Let’s just say! This was epic! The best concert I’ve been too!

Reel Asian Co Presentation screening: Moebius
I won tickets to see Moebius at The Royal.. Let’s just say I will remember this experience forever as the movie was freakin crazy lol.

ArtsVote
I volunteered for the ArtsVote at TIFF Bell Lightbox. My first time actually attending a mayoral debate or even really listening to one. I am not into politics but since living in Toronto for over a year, I need to pay more attention especially when it comes to the arts!

For more updates on what I attended in September, you can find pictures on my instagram @jasjwang. You can tweet me @jasjwang. Make sure to hashtag #JasmineGoesTo!

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New Place. New Adventure.

I have been living in my new place for two weeks now. I lived at my previous place for a year. What I like about moving to a new place is the different kinds of ‘adventure’ I will have every day. Different ways walking in Downtown Toronto. Getting familiar with the new area. Finding new places to go to. These small little things I do or will do everyday are just a good enough of an adventure for me! Yes, I really do want to travel outside of Toronto but this is a least better than nothing! However, I did do more traveling around the city during the move to my new plac. I like to keep my life interesting even by doing such small little things.

I have found different shortcuts to my place and to the main downtown core. I live by the water this time! So, I enjoy the fresh air and being close to majority of my favorite areas so far in Toronto. I love the waterfront trails heading towards Toronto West End area where High Park is. I have already attended various events around my area which included the Fort York outdoor film screenings which I mentioned in my previous post. I have frequently been going to TIFF Bell Lightbox even more! My main goal in my new area is to still make sure to at least walk an ‘hour’. I have noticed since I live so close to many of my favorite places I don’t walk as much as I should! I have no idea what my game plan is once winter officially hits though. I have a feeling I wouldn’t want to go out as much. Check out the list below of all the other events and attractions I went to this month:

CNE – I went on Thursday after 5pm when the tickets were cheaper. It ends tomorrow!

Spadina Museum – I visited this as I bought a weekly TTC pass. It is really like the Toronto version of Downton Abbey. I got to learn more about Toronto’s history at the same time!

Toronto Botanical Gardens – Also, visited here when I had the weekly TTC pass as well. It was nice to travel so far up and see more of Toronto’s nature! Love the gardens and the trails. I wish I had more time to look around more and walk further along the trail.

Shakespeare In High Park – I visited High Park twice this month and once was to finally see on of the Shakespeare in High Park show! Definitely reminded me of NY and their Shakespeare in The Park. High Park definitely has some similarities to Central Park too!

SummerWorks – I was able to see three shows this time! I bought a show pass!

Honorable Mentions:

Expressions of Brazil (on Harbourfront)
Taste Of Danforth – Greek Festival
Artfest at Distillery District

I also came across some other festivals and other events as I walked around downtown. Make sure to follow me on twitter and instagram for more interesting events in Toronto.

Make sure to check back tomorrow as I will have all the events I will be attending or working/volunteering at next month! I have a very busy month ahead!

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Upcoming: Toronto Summer Outdoor Film Screenings

Summer is slowly coming to an end and I am booking lots of my spare time this month attending a bunch of outdoor film screenings! Last week, I finally went to a TIFF In The Park screening (which is free). I saw one of my favorite film noirs, Sunset Boulevard (if not the best!) and also attended Open Roof Festival’s screening of 20 Feet From Stardom. Details on the outdoor screenings below and a couple more I am planning on attending this month!

TIFF In The Park – Their FREE outdoor screenings happen in David Pecaut Square. Although some of their outdoor screenings have taken place in other places around Toronto like Friday’s recent screening of Chocolat at Evergreen Brickworks. As a TIFF member, I am guaranteed a VIP seat. When I went last Wednesday, I received a free popcorn voucher and Bell hand santizer spray! I go to these film screenings not because I haven’t seen the movies before. Some I have and are some of my favorites! I just have free time and going to FREE film screenings is just a great way to kill time! Their upcoming film screenings for the remainder of the month that I will also be planning on going to:

August 6 – Pina
August 13 – A Star Is Born
August 20 – Who Framed Roger Rabbit?
August 27 – Pitch Perfect

Open Roof Festival – This is my first time attending the festival! I wanted to finally see 20 Feet To Stardom. I wasn’t able to see it at TIFF In The Park and I could have just watched the documentary on Netflix. However, I wanted to check out this festival and it was pretty cool! It takes place outside in the back of 99 Sudbury St with an upcoming local artist playing a few of his/her songs before the actual screening begins! Jill Godin played some of her few songs before the screening! She’s really talented! They have three more upcoming film screenings this month! Unfortunately, I won’t be going to them but their film screening line up have been pretty awesome! I would have gone to more in July if I had known sooner! It costs $15 but definitely worth it!

Scotiabank presents Summer Cinema @ Fort York – I read about the FREE summer screenings at Fort York on BlogTo. It will be super close to my new place! So, I was going to go to these screenings to see some classic films like The Breakfast Club (which I love)!! It kicks off this week! I have posted the full line up but I will most likely be going to the remaining 3!

August 5 – Jurassic Park
August 12 – The Breakfast Club
August 19 – Ghostbusters
August 26 – The Amazing Spiderman 2 ​

They hold VIP seats for the first 50 Scotiabank SCENE Debit and VISA cardholders and the first 300 people receive free popcorn! Woohoo!

There are a bunch of other outdoor screenings that have been happening this summer but they are a bit more further out from where I live or will soon be living!

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