Royal Ontario Museum welcomes Meryl Streep

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The Royal Ontario Museum welcomed Hollywood icon Meryl Streep to an evening event celebrating the new touring exhibit, “Vanity Fair Portraits: 1913-2008.” The museum was the only Canadian venue chosen to display the portraits. The exhibit, which marks the 95th anniversary of Vanity Fair, has already toured Europe and Australia and showcases 146 photos. The portraits range from Albert Einstein and Katharine Hepburn to Madonna and Ronald and Nancy Reagan.

Johanna Schneller, journalist with The Globe and Mail, engaged in an onstage conversation with Streep, who shared her experiences as a celebrated actress. The proceeds from the evening will be shared by the Institute of Contemporary Culture and the charities Kageno and SafeHands for Mothers.

Canadian Brands Offer Discount Plan
Three iconic Canadian brands—Cineplex, Indigo and Roots—are banding together to give their customers more value for their money. Every customer who spends over $40 in any one of these stores or locations will receive a coupon book worth up to $45, including a two-for-one adult admission coupon for Cineplex Entertainment theatres, $10 off a minimum purchase at Indigo/ Chapters and $25 off a $100 purchase at Roots outlets.
Another recent innovation at Cineplex is the creation of the new Telus Tuesdays, in which customers receive the new half-price movie combo that includes a movie, a regular popcorn and a regular soft drink for half the price.

In addition to the combo, Telus customers can win a Cineplex VIP card which gives the winner and his or her guest free movies for a year. And Scene members will also earn points for combo purchases or can choose to redeem Scene points for the Telus Tuesday combo.

Canadian Centre Launches Mentor Program
The celebrated Canadian Film Centre, brainchild of Hollywood filmmaker and proud Canadian Norman Jewison, announced a new training program for actors. The program, under the leadership of Emmy and Golden Globe-winning Canadian actor Kiefer Sutherland, will match young Canadian talent with mentors.

The first eight residents of the new program will have Canadian stars like Sarah Polley, and Susan Coyne as mentors for six months, with additional support from Advisory Board members Colm Feore and Martha Henry and other Canadian industry veterans.

Mother to Make Oscar Run
Xavier Dolan’s I Killed My Mother is taking a run at the Oscars. The acclaimed film has been submitted for consideration to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, putting it in the early running for the foreign-language prize along with some 96 other submissions from around the world.

The film, which has been collecting accolades on the festival circuit since its debut at Cannes last spring, was named by Telefilm Canada as the country’s official Oscar contender, picked fom among 18 eligible films. The drama charts the conflicted relationship of a teen boy and his mother.

Canada Supports Minority Web Initiatives
Last year, the Canadian government’s Heritage sector created the new Canadian Media Fund to help creative talent take advantage of opportunities happening with new technologies. Now, the Partnerships and Gateway Funds are being combined to form a new fund of CA$337.5 million, which will be made available to those who are looking to create content for web and mobile platforms.

The program will be open to those candidates from Aboriginal and ethno-cultural communities as well as official language minority communities and not-for-profit cultural organizations like archives, learning institutions and museums.

Online projects that can be supported include blogs, interactive timelines, community photos and stories, message boards and social networks—all tools meant to reflect the history of a particular community.

Cronenberg to Revive The Fly
Nearly a quarter of a century after directing Jeff Goldblum in The Fly, David Cronenberg plans to remake his horror classic for 20th Century Fox. Cronenberg’s breakout film about a scientist transformed by teleportation experiments was initially a remake of the 1958 Kurt Neumann’s sci-fi thriller.

Fox produced a sequel in 1989 without Cronenberg.

Cronenberg and composer Howard Shore, two-time Oscar winner for the Lord of the Rings series, produced The Fly as an opera which was performed in both Paris and Los Angeles in 2008.

Cronenberg has been working lately with more dramatic material such as A History of Violence and Eastern Promises. He is also working on a screen adaptation of novelist Don DeLillo’s Cosmopolis, with production in Toronto and New York City early next year, as well as the MGM action thriller The Matarese Circle, which is being shaped for Cronenberg to direct and will star Denzel Washington and Tom Cruise.

E-mail Canadian news items to Adina Lebo at mptac.ca@ca.inter.net.