City Living: Open Roof Festival

Last week we had the pleasure of checking out Bruce MacDonald’s Trigger, at the Open Roof Festival, Toronto’s best outdoor film and music series. Kicking off its sophomore season, the festival runs every Thursday until September 1 and treats Torontonians to a performance by a local indie band, followed by a cool film, all outside at the Amsterdam Brewery
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We really loved being able to bike to the venue, where the Toronto Cyclist Union provided complimentary valet bike parking. Festival goers can also enjoy various pints of Amsterdam beer (including the new 416 Urban Wheat beer), freshly popped popcorn or can bring their own snacks while watching the film.
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Many of the films have previously shown at some of the world’s most prestigious festivals including Sundance, Hot Docs and TIFF, and have not yet been commercially released in Canada. Next movie we’re uber stoked for? On August 11, ORF will play Conan O’Brien’s Can’t Stop, a documentary chronicling O’Brien’s life after losing his gig as the host of The Tonight Show. 
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Make sure to bring a sweater in case it cools down at night, grab a beer, and hang out at the Amsterdam Brewery while enjoying some good music and great films.
Tickets are available for $15 and can be purchased at 
Follow Open Roof Festival on Twitter at: @OpenRoofFest

PS: This week’s screening of Kick Ass is gonna be a good one too – and our own Matt Austin will be hosting the evening. In his wordsThe main actor, Aaron Johnston, will be a huge star by 2012. See him now.” See you there!
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TIFF’10: Meet Our Client: Allen Altman

With a talent for playing deep, brooding roles, complemented by characters ranging from comedic to dramatic, Montreal-raised Allen Altman is making a scene at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival. The dashing actor stars in Denis Villeneuve’s highly anticipated film, Incendies, and a Greg Atkins short titled Above The Knee.

Altman will also shine on the small screen this fall, with his recurring role on HBO Canada’s Living in your Car and Incendo Productions’ Wandering Eye. Prior to becoming an actor, Altman enjoyed a successful career as a model. He studied acting at Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute in New York City before relocating to Los Angeles to learn the Meisner Technique with Sandy Marshall, and later, at Warren Robertson’s Theatre Workshop.

Altman (who is bilingual) lives and works in Toronto, where he gardens and avidly practices Bikram yoga.


What do you do?
I am an actor, and I run an interior design company.

How long have you worked with rock-it promotions?
I met Debra about five years ago.

What do you love most about your job?
I am passionate about following my INSTINCT in everything. I also love the playfulness and discovery in acting, being able to live in the moment. Whether it’s drama or a comedy, it’s so rewarding to follow your heart. Over the years, I realized that the more you follow your voice, the greater the rewards.

What do you like the least about your profession/industry?
I am no bull, and raw, and have a hard time with superficiality and attitude. I try and stay focused on the work and the generous positive artists I collaborate with.   

What’s your next big goal?
I would love to do a movie with Bruce McDonald. He directed me in Living in Your Car and I found his honesty inspiring and his positivity contagious.

Why is PR important to you (and what you do professionally)?
Some projects are so rewarding and the storytelling is so epic that you want to shout it from the rooftop.
PR is the rooftop. When I read the script for Incendies, even before auditioning, I knew that it would be amazing, especially with Denis Villeneuve directing. I feel blessed to have worked on it and want celebrate that.

Any other thoughts you want to share about your public relations experience?

I love Debra Goldblatt, and Christina (Walters) and Lisa (Power). The gang at rock-it know what actors deal with and they make PR fun and effortless.  

A little more from the fourth floor:
Designer: Andy Warhol
Store: Home Depot
Book: Fallen by David Maine
Snack: Olives
Season: Seasons of love
Sexy: To me, honesty and the capacity to laugh at yourself are sexy.
Inspiration: The elements 
Drink: Water
Motto in two words: Fearless Creativity
Idea of perfect happiness: Always staying curious…
Indulgence: Green and Black’s’ Organic Ginger Black Chocolate 
Greatest achievement: Life