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Acquisitions – Foreign Films

Down the Hatchet: Strand Take Advice from Pat Mills’ “Guidance”

We can coin this as a double Toronto Int. Film Festival acquisitions kind of day for the Strand Releasing folks — according to Variety, they’ve used their hallway pass to add Canuck comedy Guidance to their slate. Having received positive buzz from the fest, Pat Mills’ feature debut will likely be released this year.

Gist: A closeted former child actor, out of work and alcoholic, fakes his resume and gets a job as a high school guidance counsellor, where he thrives giving terrible advice.

Worth Noting: Pulling from his own bio, Mills was a child actor who got slimed on “You Can’t Do That on Television. So did Alanis Morissette.

Do We Care?: Our Nicholas Bell reviewed Guidance at TIFF last year and graded it with a handsome ★★★½ note calling it “a dark hearted comedy that gets a lot of traction from exaggerated, inappropriate behavior draping its endearing core“.

Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist, and critic at IONCINEMA.com, established in 2000. A regular at Sundance, Cannes, and Venice, Eric holds a BFA in film studies from the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013, he served on the narrative competition jury at the SXSW Film Festival. He was an associate producer on Mark Jackson’s "This Teacher" (2018 LA Film Festival, 2018 BFI London). In 2022, he was a New Flesh Juror for Best First Feature at the Fantasia International Film Festival. Current top films for 2023 include The Zone of Interest (Glazer), Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell (Pham Thien An), Totem (Lila Avilés), La Chimera (Alice Rohrwacher), All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt (Raven Jackson).

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