My Gay Toronto - Bellini's 8 1/2


by Paul Bellini

I first met the talented screenwriter Kate Schlemmer when the two of us were hired to write on Cirque du Soleil’s first attempt at a TV show, back in 2000. We were whisked off to Montreal and locked in a boardroom with a bunch of clowns and told to come up with ideas. Sets were designed, casting took place, money was spent, when all of a sudden it occurred to Cirque du Soleil that maybe their stage magic wouldn’t look so good on TV, where magic is done digitally. So we were sent packing back to Ontario.

Kate and I have kept in touch over the years. She’s an awesome cook, so it was always a treat to be invited to her place, where she lives with her handsome partner, film director Carl Laudan. A few years back, they made their first feature together, a drama called Sheltered Life. Now they are back with a new project, a delightful comedy called The Death and Life of Carl Naardlinger.

Naard, as we call it, is based on a series of coincidences. A man wakes up to find out that a man with the same name as he is missing and presumed dead, and it unleashes a series of hilarious events. The filmmakers have had the good sense to hire some of this country’s best comic talents, like Matt Baram, Mark Forward, Grace Lynn Kung, Ryan Hughes and myself. Yes, I get to play a jolly baker. Being a Method actor, I’ve already started baking cakes.

Cameras will roll this summer, so in order to facilitate that magic moment, Kate and Carl have just launched an Indiegogo campaign to help raise funds. Check out the FB page, where you can see interviews with the principles as well as script pages and other funny stuff. Then check out the Indiegogo page, where you can contribute and receive not just our eternal thanks, but cool merchandise as well.
See you in the theatres next year!