A must see film Astronaut with Richard Dreyfus on now in theaters across Canada!
A wonderful interview on the World Poetry Cafe, CFRO, 100.5 FM with the talented Shelagh McLeod! Calling in at 1: 30 pm PST July 18, to announce the opening of her new film Astronaut, She spoke about her idea for the film and the message behind it.
I loved the film since it showed that it is important to follow your dreams no matter what age and the importance of the support of family and friends. It gave me hope. Richard Dreyfus was great in the film, bringing a mixture of mischievousness and seriousness to his part.
Synopsis : “When lonely widower Angus moves into a retirement home, his life seems over; he feels worthless and alone. But Angus’s long extinguished dream is reignited when an exciting national competition is announced. The prize? One golden ticket for a trip to space! Way past the age limit, he doesn’t have a chance. But spurred on by his grandson, Angus fudges his birth date, and enters the competition. Against all odds, he must battle against prejudice, ill health, and time, to win the ticket and take the trip of his dreams.
It is our dearest wish that this story will offer a vision of hope and provide an uplifting message to families universally: that if we support one another, we can all achieve our seemingly impossible dreams regardless of our age and, in so doing, make our own metaphorical journey to the stars.
Astronaut is a deeply personal story, and one that I feel is timely and I hope will resonate with a universal audience. Because we are all on a one-way journey – and what if we could, at our bleakest moment, perhaps the end of our life, take the trip of our dreams and have another go?”
Source: Shelagh McLeod and TARO PR.
Astronaut! Written and directed by Shelagh McLeod.
STARRING: Richard Dreyfus, Lyriq Bent, Krista Bridges, Colm Feore, Richie Lawerence, Graham Greene
Shelagh McLeod : Writer/Director/Producer. Shelagh McLeod was born in Vancouver. After training as an actress her first film role was in Jacques Demy’s Lady Oscar. She played Jean, in Dennis Potter’s Cream in my Coffee and went on to become a leading actress in film and TV in the UK, Canada, and the US. She embarked on the three year film and writing programme at Kingston University, graduating with First Class Honours in 2013 and received her MA in 2015. McLeod produced and directed three award winning short films, including the ghost story David Rose (2011) and the poignant and emotional Run (2012/13.) Run was nominated for best short and screened at Vancouver, Berlin 11 mm short kicks, Asia, and San Jose Film Festivals. McLeod was awarded Best Female Director for The Great Escape (2017) and her feature screenplay NEXUS was shortlisted for the Sundance Screenwriters Lab.
Ariadne’s Notes: On July 18, at 1:10 pm PST, The World Poetry Cafe Radio Show, CFR0 100.5 FM welcomed the well known poet, Joseph A. Dandurand to the show for a fascinating interview of poems and stories about his life. He treated us to his newest collection of poems soon to be published.
VANCOUVER, B.C. – Poet, playwright, archaeologist Joseph A. Dandurand was named the 2019 Indigenous storyteller in residence at the Vancouver Public Library.
Director of the Kwantlen Cultural Center, Joseph A. Dandurand brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to his role as a storyteller. A member of Kwantlen First Nation located on the Fraser River, Dandurand has been a storyteller since he was a young man. His talent and passion for words and sharing stories has followed him through the many journeys of his life.
An accomplished poet, playwright, researcher, archaeologist and proud father of three children, Dandurand received a Diploma in Performing Arts from Algonquin College and studied theatre and direction at the University of Ottawa. He has produced several plays for adults and youth, including works as the Playwright-in-Residence for the Museum of Civilization in Hull in 1995 and a radio script, St. Mary’s, produced by CBC Radio in 1999.
He is also the author of twelve books of poetry, including I Want (Leaf Press, 2015), Hear and Foretell (Bookland Press, 2015) and The Rumor (Bookland Press, 2018). His latest title, SH:LAM (The Doctor), will be released by Mawenzi Press in April 2019.
“I love to tell our story, the Kwantlen story,” says Dandurand, who combines teaching with storytelling as a means to share history and cultural knowledge with the hundreds of children and adults who visit the Kwantlen Cultural Center each year. “It is an honour to share my knowledge with anyone who wishes to learn about our people and other River People who have made their home along the Fraser.”
“In the end I hope that I have shared a glimpse of who I am and who the Kwantlen people are. I hope that I have made you laugh and that I have created images for you to take home and share with your family,” says Dandurand.
The World Poetry Ambassador AMITA SANGHVI from Oman, phoned in and hosted from Oman on World Poetry Poetry Cafe, CFRO 1005.FM, June 13th 2019 ; the poet Ali Mehdi who was keen on peace and was a poet and a wonderful short story writer.
This is the first in the series of the World Poetry Ambassador whose goal is to introduce poets from Oman to the world . World Poetry Canada International hopes that other W.P.C. ambassadors will do the same in their different countries. Also, at the Vancouver, BC Coop Radio Station were: Ariadne Sawyer, MA, host and producer , host Dr. Diego Bastinutti. super tech, Victor Schwartzman and special volunteer, Sharon Rowe.
Ali Mehdi juggled in many roles as a poet, a columnist and a prolific blogger and writer. He initiated several blog sites that were very popular among his generation; there sites were:
Sleepless in Muscat
Oman Community Blog
A Secret Arabian Journal
Pens of Passion
Gonu Relief Blog
Hope of Islam
Ali Mehdi published three collections of his poetry: Rapidly Blue (2002), Wondrous World (2005) and his posthumous book, ‘In the Dimmest of Light’ (2008) and numerous columns and articles on his blog sites, the online edition of the Times of Oman, Oman Daily Observer, The Week and Sultan Qaboos University’s Horizon.
On reading ‘Wondrous World’ I had this initial impression/ reflection on his poems.
Amidst cathartic out-pour of thoughts and wishes, I have found and collected the ‘real gems’, those words and phrases, lyrical images and metaphors, that capture and represent the mindful philosophical Ali.
The jewel collection which I am editing and will soon be published, will contain edited poetry from all his three books, re-edited for impact. The essence of his poetry has its impact in brevity; where each poem hammers and echoes universal feelings and invaluable meaning. These priceless ‘jewels’ I have gathered and edited his poems from across his entire works. Here are a few:
In the eye of Death,
In the eye of Death.
I’m not that kind of a person,
Although I try to be
That kind of man-
To look upon danger,
To move on, again.
Its out of place,
Not so super manly.
Upon her smile,
In love I stumble,
In her eyes
To be a Superman,
My heart tries.
Ali Mehdi (C) All rights reserved.
“These are but a glimpse of his heart and mind; his short stories are worth a whole new article that I will come up with in the near future.
To Ali, writing was an integral ingredient of his survival kit.
Ali held a BA with honors, from Luton University in collaboration with Majan University College in Muscat majoring in Business Administration (Tourism).
Prof. Gargi Chugh, (Senior Quality Expert at OAAA and Honorary President of the Indian International Cambridge School Management Committee) who taught him in Majan college, recalls Ali wistfully:
“I remember Ali as a very gentle, lost in his thoughts kind of a student. He was always good with words and a charmer always!!! I still remember his lovely smile.”
Following this degree, he joined a professional diploma course in Insurance at the College of Banking and Financial Studies but was often interrupted due to illness.
Ali traveled not only in the depths of his soul, but also extensively throughout the World and enjoyed learning from and about other individuals and cultures; this precisely makes him so suitable a poet to be introduced on the WORLD POETRY CANADA Forum as the first voice of Oman, writing poetry in English.
Ali was an amicable, sociable, affable and transparent individual. He loathed hypocrisy and sought fulfillment in open-minded, down-to-earth and truthful exchange of thoughts and feelings.
Sadly, his soul-searching expeditions had to come to an end when he succumbed to his illness, on his hospital bed on June 21st 2008, among family.
Ali Mehdi left a legacy of a young courageous daring individual and an articulate poet and columnist who sought to reach out with an earnest desire to change the World and reintroduce sincerity and truthfulness in our lives and relationships. That was his never ending desire and quest. He touched the lives of many with his openness, sincerity, dedication and noble selflessness. He kept reminding us of his fighting attributes by often saying that he managed to “snatch success out of the jaws of defeat.”
A person is his thoughts and words. Ali Mehdi is always among us with his thoughts and words questioning, seeking, consoling, sharing deep concerns, deeper uncertainties and deepest fears that bind all humanity.
A poet lives on, forever.
His thoughts and words are universal and at once deeply personal, and this in itself make his poetry so connectable to every soul, every reader.”
By AMITA SANGHVI
(M.A., M. PHIL, B.ED FROM MUMBAI UNIVERSITY, INDIA, AND M.A. (TESOL) FROM UNIVERSITY OF LANCASTER, UK)
POET AND FACULTY AT SULTAN QABOOS UNIVERSITY, MUSCAT, OMAN