Corporations draft them, politicians fake them, some families even post them on the fridge. Core values. It's what we look for when it comes to finding the cream of Toronto's moving picture scene. This year the top 10 locals embodied what this city does best.
1 SOOK-YIN LEE
Lee accepted a part in John Cameron Mitchell 's sweet hardcore movie, Shortbus , took on the CBC brass when they tried to block her from doing it, then gave a terrific performance that ran from risky soul-baring to wild physical comedy. And this isn't even her day job. Toronto core value: courage.
2 JENNIFER BAICHWAL
Baichwal's documentaries have always been shaped by both precision and heart. In Manufactured Landscapes , her best yet, she finds her own path through China and the visions of two powerful men - subject Ed Burtynsky and cinematographer Peter Mettler . Toronto core value: wide-open curiosity.
3 ROBERTO ARIGANELLO
Ariganello's drowning death came as a shock to the indie film community, especially the heroes who've never seen the inside of a Telefilm office. As executive director at film co-op LIFT , he charmed, hectored and seduced this city into keeping personal filmmaking alive. Toronto core value: DIY.
4 REG HARKEMA, DON McKELLAR and TRACY WRIGHT
With Monkey Warfare , Harkema gave McKellar and Wright the chance to do their best sustained film work together. They gave him their decades of Kensington cred. Harkema's BC punk-radical energy found the perfect match in Wright-McKellar's force field of wry. Toronto core value: dialectic.
5 ALISON KOBAYASHI
Kobayashi is the future of Toronto filmmaking, so it makes sense that she hails from the suburbs. Still a student at U of T Mississauga, her short mash-ups of Cindy Sherman dress-up, heartbreaking confession and cut-and-paste sexuality are already winning prizes, including the Bill Huffman Award for Excellence in Studio Practice and a prize at the Reel Asian festival. Toronto core value: drop-dead cool.
6 DANIS GOULET
This year the ImagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival officially eclipsed Sundance as North America's most important event for aboriginal filmmaking, if not the world's. Goulet and her team serve up the activist and the avant-garde with equal intelligence. Toronto core value: world-class kick-ass.
7 ADONIS HUGGINS
At Regent Park Focus , Huggins arms kids with video cameras. The grassroots, one-youth-at-a-time approach puts media power in neighbourhood hands, opening up the possibility of future careers as filmmakers, TV journalists or starving artists. Toronto core value: asymmetrical warfare.
8 JOHN HAZEN, DAN PEEL and CARLOS HERRERA
The partners at Theatre D Digital expanded their operations from the Regent Cinema on Mt. Pleasant to take over the Royal on College, which was shuttered earlier this year. Daytime post-production work drives their business, but their Royal rescue means you can still see a movie on College at night, courtesy of former TIFF programmer Stacey Donen . Toronto core value: humanism with a capitalist face.
9 MICHELE PEARSON CLARKE
A Trinidadian-Canadian dyke penetrates the sacred space of a black men's barber shop. "I recognize myself in them," she muses. Clarke's short video Black Men And Me makes a great companion piece to David Findlay's Gender, Lace And Glass from over a decade ago. It also establishes her as one of the city's most promising image makers. Toronto core value: queer sophistication.
10 ELLEN PAGE
She still rocks. This was the year both Hard Candy and X-Men: The Last Stand hit theatres, confirming Page as the most intensely expressive actor of her generation. Number 10 only because she's been hanging around this list forever. Toronto core value: introversion.