Close Up Films

Finding Fidel

In the fall of 1958 on the eve of the Cuban Revolution, a young Canadian cameraman set out to find Fidel Castro in the mountains of the Sierra Maestra. His goal was to interview the charismatic rebel leader, and make a name for himself as an international news cameraman and journalist. He was almost killed in the process, but he succeeded beyond his imagination. His name was Erik Durschmied, and Finding Fidel tells his extraordinary story as he returns to Cuba on the 50th anniversary of the Cuban Revolution.

Road to Baleya

Road to Baleya is a feature documentary set in Mali, West Africa, in which Canadian and Malian musicians come together on an extraordinary journey of musical collaboration, friendship, and discovery. Music producer and musician Lewis Melville travels to Mali offering free recording sessions and instruments to local musicians. The journey leads to the emotional return of griot and kora player Mansa Sissoko to his home village of Baleya, where music and cultural tradition hold the community together, but forces of change are just at the edge of the frame. More info...

Spirits of Havana

Hailed as one of the finest artists working in modern jazz, soprano sax player and flautist Jane Bunnett has earned a reputation as a brave musical explorer. That adventurous quality shines through in Spirits of Havana. Shot on location in Cuba, the documentary follows Bunnett as she travels across the island with her husband and musical partner, Larry Cramer, seeking out old friendships and creating new ones. More info...

StreetCity

StreetCity is a compelling verité feature documentary about life in an experimental housing project (called StreetCity) for homeless people on Toronto’s downtown east side. Bay Weyman follows StreetCity residents over six months to explore a microcosm of the homeless world: alcoholics, drug addicts, psychiatric survivors, the abused and the neglected. StreetCity lets residents tell their own stories of hope, struggle and resignation, creating a very personal, often humorous, yet disturbing portrait of homeless society. More info...

Return to Regent Park

Ten thousand people live in Toronto’s Regent Park, Canada’s first large-scale public housing project. Built in a spirit of post-WWII optimism that social problems could be corrected through urban renewal, Regent Park replaced a working-class neighbourhood with a modern, park-like community of apartment buildings. But, forty years later, it has become a paradigm of city planning failure. Within its confines, many residents feel as if they are under siege by an army of outsiders who are using the park as a haven for drugs, prostitution and violent crime. More info...

Mariposa: Under A Stormy Sky

A one-hour documentary special that celebrating the musical spirit of the Mariposa Festival, one of the oldest folk festivals in North America. The festival brings together a wide variety of performers who draw on traditional roots to explore new and exciting musical directions. The film features outstanding performances by country star Emmylou Harris, blues great Buddy Guy, super-producer (U2) and singer Daniel Lanois, and the powerful, uplifting singing and dancing of Mahlathini and the Mahotella Queens from Soweto, South Africa. More info...

Fiddleville

Come one, come all, big and small, to the 38th Annual Canadian Championship Fiddlers Contest. And in August of every year they do come to Shelburne, Ontario – Fiddleville! Fiddle music is at the heart of country music in Canada, with links to traditional Irish, Scottish, English and French music hundreds of years old. Fiddlevile is about this music and the people who play it. It is also a portrait of small town Ontario, as represented by the people of Shelburne who work behind the scenes to make the contest an annual success. More info...

Against Reason

A compelling portrait of Jack McClelland and his life’s work of developing Canadian writers, as he struggles during his final year as owner of McClelland & Stewart, one of Canada’s oldest publishing houses.

Jack McClelland has given away books by the thousands, and has shamelessly promoted his authors – even wearing a toga on a winter street to push sales. After years of financial turmoil, the head of McClelland & Stewart realized in 1985 that he was unable to continue as “master of his own house”. More info...

The Leahys: Music Most of All

An intimate portrait of “Canada’s foremost fiddling, step-dancing, singing family”, the Leahys of Lakefield, Ontario. The family of 11 children ranging in age from three to eighteen years old, perform music rooted in their Irish-Canadian heritage. From the stages of local country fairs and dance halls, to the recording studios of Toronto, their ability and ambition pushes the Leahys further down the road of professional country music and closer to their goal of fortune and fame. More info...

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