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Old 04-25-2019, 10:25 PM   #9
Join Date: May 2000
Posts: 15,568
Default Re: TORONTO SUN-HOT DOCS-Lightfoot interview-Apr.4-2019

I met Martha Kehoe (Co-producer/director with Joan Tosoni) last July at Massey Hall when I sat beside the videographer for this documentary.. and today she provided me with a ticket for the premiere AND the second night it will be shown on Tuesday. Showings for the public will be in May in many cities across Canada. Late 2019 it will be on CBC TV in Canada and I believe will also be released online as well. I will get more info asap. I am SO looking forward to this wonderful event. Gordon will be doing a Q&A on Saturday after the film airs. There will also be refreshments, appetizers and LIVE music at a nearby location for attendees. I can't wait!! Premiere - Saturday April 27, 2019 - Toronto

Martha Kehoe is a writer, producer, and director who has worked on and created award-winning documentaries, series, and specials in multiple genres. Her early career focused on music, as she researched and wrote “Country Gold,” a documentary anthology of Canadian country and folk music, as well as produced the Juno Awards and “Canadian Idol” for several years. She worked as a producer, director, and writer on documentaries “Comedy Gold” and ““One Weekend.”

Joan Tosoni is a writer, producer and director who has worked in Canadian film and television production for over 30 years. She’s directed award-winning projects such as “Karen Kain: Dancing in the Moment,” “Kurt Browning: You Must Remember This,” and “Jonie Mitchell: Painting with Words and Music.” In 2016, she directed the Stratford Festival’s “King Lear,” which was shown at hundreds of theaters across Canada and the U.S. and awarded the Canadian Screen Award for Best Performing Arts Program.

“Gordon Lightfoot: If You Could Read My Mind” will premiere at the 2019 Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival on April 27.

W&H: Describe the film for us in your own words.

MK: “Gordon Lightfoot: If You Could Read My Mind” is an intimate look at singer-songwriter Gordon Lightfoot’s career and artistic output. We try to shed light on Lightfoot’s process, his impact as a cultural figure, and his musicality, while offering glimpses into his personal life and what has driven him to create.

JT: Through concert and archival footage, and through conversations with Gord and others, we wanted to explore the man behind the music that is so loved by so many.

W&H: What drew you to this story?

MK: Gordon Lightfoot was a ubiquitous presence during my childhood. In some ways he was the first Canadian star that resonated with me. I used to listen to his music. I remember sitting under a willow tree around the age of ten thinking about the song “If You Could Read My Mind” and wondering what it meant. Later I was privileged to meet and work with Gord on shows big and small over the years. It’s been a dream project for me and Joan for years basically.

JT: I have known and worked with Gordon Lightfoot for many years. Martha and I first worked together with him in the early ’90s on a documentary about the history of Canadian music, and since then a trust developed between us that allowed him to feel comfortable enough to have his story told.

I agree with something Steve Earle says in the film: “Gordon Lightfoot’s arguably the most important artist that Canadian music’s ever produced, in the mainstream or otherwise.”

W&H: What do you want people to think about when they are leaving the theater?

MK: I think we are hoping that people will appreciate Gordon for the great artist that he is. I hope they will think about his legacy and his unique place in Canadian cultural history and recognize that he has worked very hard on his craft. Something that Gordon offers up in the film is his honesty about some of the darker moments in his past, and I hope viewers recognize that he is on his own journey of acceptance.

Number one, of course, is that people will go home and either dust off their vinyl or tune into Lightfoot playlists on their streaming services!

JT: There is no doubt that Gordon’s memorable songs will be running through the minds of the audience after watching the documentary, but I hope they’ll also come away from the theater with more insight into what makes Gordon tick. For a somewhat inscrutable character, he was very generous with his time, and I believe he really tried to give us as honest a look at his “inner workings” as anyone has ever seen.

W&H: What was the biggest challenge in making the film?

MK: I think the biggest challenge making this film was giving up the idea of making the “definitive” film about Gordon Lightfoot. Because Gord has never consented to making a film like this before, Joan and I felt the weight of trying to do total justice to the man, the music, the career, and the Canadian icon. At a certain point we just had to accept that there are many possible films that could—or perhaps would—be made about Lightfoot and we were just going to make the one that we were making.

JT: Other than securing the financing, which was done with dedication by Insight Productions over the course of five years, I would say the biggest challenge was paring down the wealth of archival and interview material we had accumulated. Another film of the same length could be made with what was left on the cutting room floor, as they say.

W&H: How did you get your film funded? Share some insights into how you got the film made.

MK: We first proposed and developed this project almost six years ago. Our broadcaster CBC funded development, and we applied to funds after writing proposals and treatments, shooting some material, and creating a demo. We did pretty well and had significant support, but we couldn’t at that point close funding gaps. Basically, all parties were still onside, and CBC supported us through the years as we remounted and reapplied to the various funds.

JT: We got incredible support from the Rogers Documentary Fund, the Rogers Cable Network Fund, the Rogers Theatrical Documentary Program, the Telefilm Theatrical Documentary Program, and the Canada Media Fund. And, very importantly, we would not have been able to make the film without Gary Slaight of Slaight Communications Inc., who backed the film in a very significant way.

W&H: What inspired you to become a filmmaker?

MK: I grew up in a family of storytellers who loved music and movies, so I was always surrounded by enthusiasm for and awe of filmmaking. I came of age in a really great time for cinema, and I remember going to see films like “Chinatown” and “The Godfather” when I was probably too young and too impressionable! I loved epic films and quiet films, and I took Film Studies in university, where I was introduced to the concepts of semiotics and film analysis, and I just loved it all.

JT: I actually stumbled upon my first full-time job, which was as a secretary at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. At that time, it was a great training ground for all things film and television. The first time I ever stepped into a control room to watch a live show being broadcast, I said to myself, in the famous words of Tina Fey’s little daughter, “I want to go to there!”

I was trained and worked as an A.D. and then received a momentous offer from producer Les Pouliot to direct a very popular Canadian television series, “The Tommy Hunter Show,” which was also sold to and broadcast on The Nashville Network. I worked mostly on multi-camera programs, and then had the great good fortune to meet John Brunton of Insight Productions. At that company, I not only directed numerous multi-camera shows but was given the opportunity to tell stories with a more filmic, single-camera approach. That led to my collaboration with Martha on the two-part documentary “Country Gold.” I joined the Directors Guild of America and directed various shows throughout the years.

I consider it a great gift to have been given the opportunity to work not only in the excitement of “live television,” but to have learned the frustrations, joys, and satisfactions of conceiving a style and creating something memorable in the editing room!

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