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This article was published 11/3/2019 (957 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
The wonders of nature can sometimes be exhilarating for hikers, but the wonders of the Alps weren’t the only reason filmmaker Morgan I.P. Fics was shouting in jubilation.
"I got the email and let out a scream of happiness, which I’m more than sure caught the attention of a few other hikers in the distance!" said Fics, 37, a former Winnipegger, whose film Tick Tock just won the best drama award at the Toronto Shorts International Film Festival.
He received the news Thursday while hiking in northern Italy on his honeymoon. His wife Amanda is an architect, and did the graphic design work for the film.
The Toronto Shorts fest hosted 75 films from 10 countries, and is known as a big stepping stone for film careers.
Tick Tock is about people being cogs in the modern corporate wheel, who are no longer being treated as real people. In the 15-minute film, character Justine Jason is tasked with the systematic resizing of a newly formed company, but when she fires company veteran Mitchell Lamb, he resorts to desperate measures — pushing her over a psychological tipping point.
"Jarret Wright, writer and producer, approached me with the script for Tick Tock in early 2017 and I was intrigued because it was very relevant for our time," Fics said. Fics and his group couldn’t get a government grant to make the film, so they had to find private funding.
The winning film was "the result of a small team of filmmaking talent consisting of novice and experienced individuals," Fics says.
Wright and Fics "make a solid team as business partners," Fics says. "We’ve started a small independent production company called WriteFix and are in pre-production for our first feature film, with other projects in the pipeline."
How did he make the climb? Fics says he got his start in Glenlawn Collegiate. "My creative writing and filmmaking desires were encouraged by my wonderful teachers there." Then he went to University of Winnipeg and York University in Toronto, where he received a master’s degree, specializing in screenwriting. His ultimate goal? To win a Canadian film award, and an Oscar.
MILKSMITH: "Cry For Joy Here!" is the sign new restaurant Milksmith is hanging over the pickup counter for handmade rolled ice cream and non-alcoholic craft beverages.
The old-fashioned ice cream and drinks parlour opened less than a month ago at 651 Corydon Ave. in the coldest February in years.
The place is packed day and night with people wanting cold ice cream and clouds of dry ice escaping from their drinks! Brrr!
"I always wanted to have a restaurant because my parents had one," says owner Siuleen Leibl, whose folks run Thanh Huong on Sargent Avenue. "I grew up in it. I was putting away dishes and chopsticks when I was eight years old."
She says Milksmith is meant to bring back a feeling of nostalgia for the days of soda parlours and soda jerks creating non-alcoholic drinks. These days they’re called "craft beverages" with sweet ingredients, but also include bitters, herbs, roots and spices.
Get this! They have rose-scented drinks and mango crush (an adult version of Orange Crush). Ice cream treats have names such as Gimme S’More, Riot Van, Naked Ernie, Nutty Monkey, Rocket Rose and Never Too Matcha!
Their hot pink menu cover screams out MADE YOU LICK. Leibl’s nephew writes the advertising slogans.
IT’S IN THE CARDS: People often comment on Susanne McCrea McGovern looking like a beautiful witch — not a scary one — thanks to her waist-length silver-grey hair and black clothing.
These days McCrea McGovern, who recently married Steve McGovern, the guitarist for the Pumps and Orphan, is catching everyone’s eye as she does card readings (by appointment only, emai email@example.com). She says she doesn’t have any problems with people opening up to her. "Most people are quite receptive, and they come to me with an open mind and an open heart," she says.
As for her appearance, McCrea McGovern has a confession. "I decided to own that and now call myself a witch because ever since I was little, young kids would say "Look Mommy, there’s a witch.’ None of my Celtic ancestry (Irish and Scottish mix) would have called themselves a witch because they used that term for 300 years to kill women.
"Actually, witches were just wise women, back in the day. They offered counsel and herbal medicines and conducted ceremonies," she says.
CONCERT FOR BILL: What can one person do? Musician and local music teacher Geoffrey Owen found out how much one person can do after he threw a concert recently with musical friends in a church.
Everybody’s little bit raised enough for 17 bags of groceries for West Broadway Community Ministries, along with a cheque for $2,262.63. Geoff did it in honour of his dad Bill Owen, who loved this particular cause. He died in 2017 at age 87.
Owen was joined by other musicians such as Chris Brett, Brian James and Jocelyn Thorvaldson, as well as a special appearance by Bishop Geoff Woodcroft, the new Anglican bishop of the diocese of Rupert’s Land, who is also a musician.
Got tips? Cool events happening in your world? Been rubbing shoulders with the stars? Email Maureen’s Tips at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Maureen Scurfield writes the Miss Lonelyhearts advice column.