Carpenter builds NXNE film program

When the 20th North By Northeast music, film and interactive festival hits on June 13, Beacher Cameron Carpenter will be there in the thick of things, just the way he likes it.

Cameron Carpenter PHOTO: Phil Brennan
Cameron Carpenter
PHOTO: Phil Brennan

While he’s worked for years in the music industry, working in public relations, A&R and other roles, Carpenter is also the film programming manager for NXNE, a role he said he’s taken up almost by chance.

“I’m a music guy who kind of fell into film,” he said.

While he’s not schooled in movies, Carpenter said the appeal of movies can be measured by the same test as great music – provoking an emotional reaction.

“I still can’t drop Trufault quotes or reference French New Wave films, but I’ve definitely developed an eye for it,” he said. “If I’m moved by a story, I figure others will be, too.”

For the first time, the film portion of NXNE is opening the festival, at the Bloor Hot Docs theatre.

“It’s one of the most beautiful theatres in the city,” said Carpenter.

The films are also no longer limited to music themes. While that made selection a longer process – applications jumped from an average of 150 to about 500 – Carpenter said the quality of the films at this year’s festival is higher than ever.

Carpenter grew up in the Beach – he wrote a music column for the Malvern school paper, mostly in order to get his hands on free records – and fell in love with the movies at the Fox. He said Beachers are likely to find at least a few films in the lineup that will appeal to whatever their sensibilities may be.

“If you’re a fan of the Fox and their programming, you’ll definitely find something to love,” he said.

Just a few of the highlights of the film program, according to Carpenter:

• Richard Linklater’s latest film Boyhood – NXNE will host the Canadian premiere of the movie.

• Born To Ruin – the world premiere of Toronto director’s Brendan McCarney. This is the third year running that a McCarney film has premiered at NXNE.

• Well Now You’re Here, There’s No Way Back: The Quiet Riot Movie – Carpenter said the film is one of the best music documentaries he’s seen, and the director will be on hand for the screening.

• La Voz Des Los Silenciados (The Voice of the Voiceless) – This will be the North American premiere of this modern-day silent film about a deaf teenager caught up in the world of immigrant trafficking.

For the full lineup, check out And if you happen to be checking out the music scene during the festival, keep an eye out for Carpenter.

“I’ll be out there every night looking for new bands.”

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