This week’s roundup of what’s shooting around town includes a sci-fi production and two espionage TV series that are wrapping up.
But for those of you who are interested in a simpler way to spot the stars, we’ve got a solution for you and it’s spelled V-I-F-F.
So first up, we have the Netflix TV drama series Altered Carbon got underway shooting its first season on September 28. Production continues until June 20.
The 10-episode series is based on the 2002 cyberpunk novel of the same name by Richard K. Morgan. The story is set in the 25th century in which human consciousness has been digitized and can be uploaded or downloaded from bodies.
Swedish actor Joel Kinnaman (Suicide Squad, RoboCop) stars as Takeshi Kovacs, a soldier who is downloaded and hired to solve a murder.
The cast also includes Renée Elise Goldsberry, James Purefoy, Martha Higareda, Dichen Lachman, and Leonardo Nam.
It’ll be the first major production to be shot at the brand new Skydance Studios in Surrey that opened on September 20.
Production of Season 2 on the Vancouver-based spy thriller TV series The Romeo Section is wrapping up on October 12, just after it premieres on Wednesday (October 5) at 9 p.m. on CBC.
Here’s a brief summary of what viewer can look forward to in this sexy and cerebral season of Canadian espionage.
Wolfgang McGee (Andrew Airlie) has to conduct a covert investigation into an alleged terrorist incident.
Meanwhile, Rufus (Juan Riedinger) tries to enter Vancouver’s heroin market by using his connection with the Red Mountain Triad.
Lily (Jemmy Chen), on the other hand, has to prevent herself from being discovered as a double agent, as she is recruited by the Intelligence Service while being an agent for the People’s Republic of China.
Also wrapping up next week is Season 4 of the police drama TV series Rogue, on October 15.
This Canadian-British coproduction stars Cole Hauser as ex-military intelligence officer Ethan Kelly, who goes searching for a National Security Agency contractor named Mia (Ashley Green) who he has fallen for and finds himself wading into the realm of the Russian mafia and government espionage.
Meanwhile, if you’re not into trying to hunt down film productions or spotting stars around town, there’s an easier way to do the same: attend the Vancouver International Film Festival.
Although the festival started on September 29, there are still a whole slew of opportunities to catch guest appearances by stars and film industry bigwigs at screenings, talks, special events, and parties before it wraps up on October 14.
Canadian screen star Tatiana Maslany and director Joey Klein appeared at the festival on October 1 for the screening of The Other Half at the Vancouver Playhouse.
On the same day, Maslany participated in a talk about her career, which includes starring on the sci-fi TV series Orphan Black.
Speaking of homegrown talent, two indigenous filmmakers from Canada are also making a splash at the festival.
Director Zacharias Kunuk, who rose to critical acclaim with his film Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner, is in town with another Arctic-based dramatic feature, Maliglutit (Searchers).
He’ll be at the screening being held at 6 p.m. on Tuesday (October 4) at the Centre.
Abenaki Nation director Alanis Obomsawin will appear at the 5:30 p.m. screening of We Can’t Make the Same Mistake Twice on Thursday (October 6) at SFU Goldcorp Centre.
This documentary follows the nine-year-long Supreme Court of Canada case addressing how First Nations children have been systematically discriminated against in child welfare services.
Then on Friday (October 7), X-Files creator Chris Carter will be honoured at a Greater Vancouver Board of Trade luncheon for his contributions to the B.C. film industry with the Industry Builder Award.
In particular, he’s being recognized for sustainable film industry practices on the revival X-Files TV series shot here in 2015 and broadcast in 2016.
That six-part series will be screened in a marathon run at Vancity Theatre, starting at 9 p.m., with an introduction by Carter himself.
He’ll also deliver the keynote speech at VIFF’s Sustainable Production Forum at Vancity Theatre on the same day.
On a poignant note, famed local singer-songwriter John Mann of the Vancouver-based band Spirit of the West and director Pete McCormack will be in attendance for the 5:30 p.m. screening of the documentary Spirit Unforgettable on Saturday (October 8) at the Centre for Performing Arts.
Comprised of interviews and archival footage, the film details Mann’s struggle with early onset Alzheimer’s.
Meanwhile, an unrelated McCormack, Eric McCormack of Will & Grace fame, will be walking the red carpet at the 6:30 p.m. screening of The Architect on October 11 at the Vancouver Playhouse.
Readers of this column may remember that McCormack shooting episodes of the new sci-fi TV series Travelers here in Vancouver earlier this year.
Of course, there’s plenty more to check out at VIFF (visit their website for full details) to keep you busy until we check back in with you again with more news from Hollywood North.