Brian Towie/Metro Toronto
Afficionados and makers of Canadian independent film should be thanking their lucky stars for people like Geoff Morrison. He’s given them an outlet for their work.
A producer for MuchMusic’s New Music show by day, Morrison, 27, is the co-founder of FilmCan.org, a not-for-profit online forum where visitors can sample and discuss the latest in Canadian cinema and new media and read articles written by filmmakers and reviewers alike.
Launched in September 2004, the website now boasts at least 1,000 hits a month and a brand new distribution arm, where visitors can buy feature-length movies and director interviews via podcast for relatively little money ($8.88 per bundle). Costs go to filmmakers and the upkeep of the site.
“We’re not just any old blog,” Morrison says. “We’re the foremost resource out there for Canadian film culture.
We really like the idea of supporting it because it needs it. Not much attention is being paid to these artists. This voice needs to be out there.”
Along with being co-founder, the Queen’s University film grad writes in-depth reviews of lesser-known work (with an admitted promotional bias), with insight from the creators themselves. He also organizes FilmCan events (which have been frequented by the likes of Canadian musicians Wayne Petti of Cuff The Duke and Ben Gunning of Local Rabbits fame) where he learned the invaluable skill of networking.
“Networking takes up most of my time on this project,” Morrison said.
“All of us work in different facets of media, and it’s crazy the amount of contacts we’ve made; publicists, arts community names and filmmakers. Being able to gain access has been the main reason this has been successful.”
Morrison’s plans for the immediate future include a FilmCan promotional event happening next month during the Toronto International Film Festival, with details to be hammered out at a later date.
In the meantime, Morrison wants to garner more of a focus on his labour of love.
“I like being involved in it. I love film and I have no plans to stop,” he says. “It’s only going to continue to grow.
We’re hoping it can get bigger and attract more attention.”