Dundas-raised filmmaker screens second feature at Westdale Theatre

News Oct 04, 2019 by Craig Campbell Dundas Star News

The seeds of a career in film were firmly planted for Cyrus Baetz while he was growing up in the Valley Town.

From elementary school, to a part-time job and in his spare time, much of his life began revolving around the arts of acting, writing and directing at a young age. Now Baetz returns from his new home in Brooklyn, N.Y. to screen his second feature film Speak Your Mind at the Westdale Theatre as part of the Hamilton Film Festival on Nov. 8 at 7 p.m.

“The Westdale was extremely formative in my love for cinema,” Baetz stated in an email. “The theatre had a vintage movie palace feel, and the programming was stellar … there was always something interesting to see growing up.”

To screen his second feature film in the renovated and restored theatre is “without exaggeration, a dream come true.

“It will be extremely surreal to sit and watch it play on that screen.”

Baetz, the son of retired McMaster University engineering professor Brian and former Dundas town councillor Rashne, recalled his dad driving him to Westdale to see The Fountain, a 2006 release written and directed by Darren Aronofsky starring Hugh Jackman and Rachel Weisz.

“I was so enamoured and enthralled that I insisted on going back the next night to see it again,” Baetz said. “So when he understandably declined to chauffeur me, I hiked all the way to Westdale and back to see it a second time.”

Baetz said I, his followup to 2016’s The Layover — both of which screened at the Toronto Independent Film Festival, is audience-friendly and entertaining, will make you laugh, pull at your heartstrings and also keep the audience on edge.

“It’s not just meant to be an entertaining romp, it’s meant to be thought-provoking,” he said.

Speak Your Mind is the story of an actor who invests in a new acting method by saying everything he thinks.

The Layover won Best Feature Film and Audience Award at the 2016 TIFF.

Baetz wrote and directed both feature films, as well as writing and directing the short Blue Collar Buddha and directing the short Primal Therapy, all since 2016. He’s also acted in his films, but his growing priority is writing and directing.

He attended Dundas Central, Dundas District and Parkside schools — graduating high school in 2008.

Baetz remembers his Dundas Central school teacher Sheila Ashcroft-Shupe instilling a great love for dramatic arts and encouraging him to pursue his gift.

“That always stuck with me and helped me believe in myself in that area,” Baetz said

Ashcroft-Shupe said she was honoured to be remembered that way by Baetz, and noted she already has tickets for the Nov. 8 screening.

“Cyrus was a creative and original student who enjoyed challenging himself academically and in the arts. His self confidence allowed him to push limits all the time in the arts,” she said.

Baetz said he often shot “time travel epics and spaghetti westerns” with friends Stephane and Shane Senecal-Tremblay in their family’s “incredibly labyrinthine Victorian house on Melville Street” which was often rented out by television and film production companies.

“Seeing Dundas often used as a location for big productions helped make the industry never feel too far out of reach,” Baetz said.

Before the end of high school, he was working at Dundas’ Blockbuster Video, getting an opportunity to study and discuss film and further developing his love for the art form.

“They allowed 10 free rentals a week for employees and I took full advantage, devouring multiple films a day,” Baetz said. “I was also the primary “active seller” on the floor … and I got to talk movies and make recommendations all day and loved every bit of it.”

After high school, Baetz studied public relations and took an intensive summer film studies certificate program at Ryerson University in Toronto.

Dundas-raised filmmaker screens second feature at Westdale Theatre

Baetz developed skills growing up in the Valley Town

News Oct 04, 2019 by Craig Campbell Dundas Star News

The seeds of a career in film were firmly planted for Cyrus Baetz while he was growing up in the Valley Town.

From elementary school, to a part-time job and in his spare time, much of his life began revolving around the arts of acting, writing and directing at a young age. Now Baetz returns from his new home in Brooklyn, N.Y. to screen his second feature film Speak Your Mind at the Westdale Theatre as part of the Hamilton Film Festival on Nov. 8 at 7 p.m.

“The Westdale was extremely formative in my love for cinema,” Baetz stated in an email. “The theatre had a vintage movie palace feel, and the programming was stellar … there was always something interesting to see growing up.”

To screen his second feature film in the renovated and restored theatre is “without exaggeration, a dream come true.

“It will be extremely surreal to sit and watch it play on that screen.”

Baetz, the son of retired McMaster University engineering professor Brian and former Dundas town councillor Rashne, recalled his dad driving him to Westdale to see The Fountain, a 2006 release written and directed by Darren Aronofsky starring Hugh Jackman and Rachel Weisz.

“I was so enamoured and enthralled that I insisted on going back the next night to see it again,” Baetz said. “So when he understandably declined to chauffeur me, I hiked all the way to Westdale and back to see it a second time.”

Baetz said I, his followup to 2016’s The Layover — both of which screened at the Toronto Independent Film Festival, is audience-friendly and entertaining, will make you laugh, pull at your heartstrings and also keep the audience on edge.

“It’s not just meant to be an entertaining romp, it’s meant to be thought-provoking,” he said.

Speak Your Mind is the story of an actor who invests in a new acting method by saying everything he thinks.

The Layover won Best Feature Film and Audience Award at the 2016 TIFF.

Baetz wrote and directed both feature films, as well as writing and directing the short Blue Collar Buddha and directing the short Primal Therapy, all since 2016. He’s also acted in his films, but his growing priority is writing and directing.

He attended Dundas Central, Dundas District and Parkside schools — graduating high school in 2008.

Baetz remembers his Dundas Central school teacher Sheila Ashcroft-Shupe instilling a great love for dramatic arts and encouraging him to pursue his gift.

“That always stuck with me and helped me believe in myself in that area,” Baetz said

Ashcroft-Shupe said she was honoured to be remembered that way by Baetz, and noted she already has tickets for the Nov. 8 screening.

“Cyrus was a creative and original student who enjoyed challenging himself academically and in the arts. His self confidence allowed him to push limits all the time in the arts,” she said.

Baetz said he often shot “time travel epics and spaghetti westerns” with friends Stephane and Shane Senecal-Tremblay in their family’s “incredibly labyrinthine Victorian house on Melville Street” which was often rented out by television and film production companies.

“Seeing Dundas often used as a location for big productions helped make the industry never feel too far out of reach,” Baetz said.

Before the end of high school, he was working at Dundas’ Blockbuster Video, getting an opportunity to study and discuss film and further developing his love for the art form.

“They allowed 10 free rentals a week for employees and I took full advantage, devouring multiple films a day,” Baetz said. “I was also the primary “active seller” on the floor … and I got to talk movies and make recommendations all day and loved every bit of it.”

After high school, Baetz studied public relations and took an intensive summer film studies certificate program at Ryerson University in Toronto.

Dundas-raised filmmaker screens second feature at Westdale Theatre

Baetz developed skills growing up in the Valley Town

News Oct 04, 2019 by Craig Campbell Dundas Star News

The seeds of a career in film were firmly planted for Cyrus Baetz while he was growing up in the Valley Town.

From elementary school, to a part-time job and in his spare time, much of his life began revolving around the arts of acting, writing and directing at a young age. Now Baetz returns from his new home in Brooklyn, N.Y. to screen his second feature film Speak Your Mind at the Westdale Theatre as part of the Hamilton Film Festival on Nov. 8 at 7 p.m.

“The Westdale was extremely formative in my love for cinema,” Baetz stated in an email. “The theatre had a vintage movie palace feel, and the programming was stellar … there was always something interesting to see growing up.”

To screen his second feature film in the renovated and restored theatre is “without exaggeration, a dream come true.

“It will be extremely surreal to sit and watch it play on that screen.”

Baetz, the son of retired McMaster University engineering professor Brian and former Dundas town councillor Rashne, recalled his dad driving him to Westdale to see The Fountain, a 2006 release written and directed by Darren Aronofsky starring Hugh Jackman and Rachel Weisz.

“I was so enamoured and enthralled that I insisted on going back the next night to see it again,” Baetz said. “So when he understandably declined to chauffeur me, I hiked all the way to Westdale and back to see it a second time.”

Baetz said I, his followup to 2016’s The Layover — both of which screened at the Toronto Independent Film Festival, is audience-friendly and entertaining, will make you laugh, pull at your heartstrings and also keep the audience on edge.

“It’s not just meant to be an entertaining romp, it’s meant to be thought-provoking,” he said.

Speak Your Mind is the story of an actor who invests in a new acting method by saying everything he thinks.

The Layover won Best Feature Film and Audience Award at the 2016 TIFF.

Baetz wrote and directed both feature films, as well as writing and directing the short Blue Collar Buddha and directing the short Primal Therapy, all since 2016. He’s also acted in his films, but his growing priority is writing and directing.

He attended Dundas Central, Dundas District and Parkside schools — graduating high school in 2008.

Baetz remembers his Dundas Central school teacher Sheila Ashcroft-Shupe instilling a great love for dramatic arts and encouraging him to pursue his gift.

“That always stuck with me and helped me believe in myself in that area,” Baetz said

Ashcroft-Shupe said she was honoured to be remembered that way by Baetz, and noted she already has tickets for the Nov. 8 screening.

“Cyrus was a creative and original student who enjoyed challenging himself academically and in the arts. His self confidence allowed him to push limits all the time in the arts,” she said.

Baetz said he often shot “time travel epics and spaghetti westerns” with friends Stephane and Shane Senecal-Tremblay in their family’s “incredibly labyrinthine Victorian house on Melville Street” which was often rented out by television and film production companies.

“Seeing Dundas often used as a location for big productions helped make the industry never feel too far out of reach,” Baetz said.

Before the end of high school, he was working at Dundas’ Blockbuster Video, getting an opportunity to study and discuss film and further developing his love for the art form.

“They allowed 10 free rentals a week for employees and I took full advantage, devouring multiple films a day,” Baetz said. “I was also the primary “active seller” on the floor … and I got to talk movies and make recommendations all day and loved every bit of it.”

After high school, Baetz studied public relations and took an intensive summer film studies certificate program at Ryerson University in Toronto.