Divorce Photographer – Shooting WRAPPED!

Thrilled to say that last Saturday night, we wrapped shooting my short film Divorce Photographer!

This has been a pet project I’ve been preparing forever – writing, rewriting, grant applications, meetings. All this work to turn this little seed of an idea into a fully fledged film. It was an intense three day shoot but our cast and crew gave it their all and made it happen.

I took a peek at the footage on Sat night and it’s looking fantastic – now we’re moving into post production. I’m grateful to everyone who has supported me so far and excited to see it all come together in the editing room!


Queen of Clubs Now Online


Last week was another busy week as I attended both the Female Eye Film Festival, and Breakthroughs Film Festival. Both events were huge successes… on Friday night, my short film Queen of Clubs played to a sold out crowd before the feature film Beat Down by director Deanne Foley. Beat Down drew a crowd and rightfully so – it’s a hilarious film about an eighteen year old girl who only wants to wrestle like her dad once did – but he’s doing everything he can to stop her from getting sucked into that world. It was an honor to screen before this film and alongside two other really great short films – Bill, Please! and Lady Bare Knuckles. It was a solid program overall.

On Saturday night I was at the inaugural Breakthroughs Film Festival, hosted by Octavia Films. They are a new not-for-profit in Toronto and focus on fostering female filmmakers under age 30. 12 short films, including my film BODYMAX screened that night, and they were all very strong. It was also great to see such a variety of genres and styles.

So, because it’s now done it’s festival run, I’m officially releasing Queen of Clubs online. We made this film in spring 2011 as part of the 24-hour Toronto Film Challenge.
I apologize for the long wait, but finally I can share it with you, an online audience!

If you haven’t already seen it, also check out BODYMAX which recently won first place at the 48-hour Toronto Film Challenge just recently.

Finally, a big thank you to both festivals for screening my films! Hosting a film festival of any size is no small feat, and it’s great to know there is so much support out there. I hope to do it again next year!


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Screenings This Week!

Queen of Clubs TEASER from Christine Buijs on Vimeo.

Just a quick post for now – I’m about to head off and register for the Female Eye Film Festival which kicks off today in Toronto. Later this week one of my films will be screening and this is officially my first time in a film fest!

The Female Eye film fest celebrates films created by – yup you guessed it – female filmmakers. There are also lots of free panels. More info is on their website:


And in some interesting timing, the Breakthroughs Film Fest, which features short films directed by women under 30, is happening Saturday night! There really aren’t enough initiatives for women in this category who are emerging and building experience, so kudos to the Breakthroughs team for the work they’re doing.

I’d love it if you could come out and support me, and other young female filmmakers and check out the screenings! Here is all the info:

QUEEN OF CLUBS screening as part of the

6:30pm – 8:30pm
Carlton Cinema
20 Carlton Street at Yonge
Tickets $10 at the door
Festival link: http://www.femaleeyefilmfestival.com/program-events/feff-program-2012/

BODYMAX screening as part of the

The Projection Booth
1035 Gerrard Street East
Tickets $15 at the door
Our film will be in competition so it’s up for awards!
Festival link: http://www.octaviafilms.com/breakthroughs/


Finally, one last plug – this week I saw an amazing theatre production called The Loyalists put on by my friends over at Single Thread Theatre Company. Based on the War of 1812, audience members not only watch but actually participate in a story where the town of York (Toronto) has been occupied by American troops, and attempt to resist the occupation and take back their land. This production is unlike your usual sit in a theatre and watch show… you get to actually participate and are given tasks and can roam around and take in one of many possible storylines. It’s the type of show you can see more than once, and has been getting great reviews from audience members and critics. Check it out while you still have the chance – it will be an experience to remember. It closes Friday night. Tickets and info are on the Single Thread website:


The Worldwide Short Film Fest and I: Goin’ Steady

Opening night

Jean-Marc Vallee Master Class

Well, it’s that time of year… summer has started, and the Worldwide Short Film Fest was hosted last week from June 5-10 here in Toronto. Last year I attended for the first time, took in as many screenings and symposium events as I could with my do-it-all combo pass, and came away inspired and encouraged. I had a great time so it only made sense to do it again!

Wow… what a fantastic event. My last five days have been jam packed with symposium events, screenings, and parties. I am exhausted today but it’s all been well worth it!

This year was a bit different, because I got to actually participate in the festival because my short film script was accepted into the Working Lab. I submitted to this in early May and just got the notice on May 18th that my script had been selected, and I was really excited. Along with two other writers, we sat down with industry mentor John Galway from the Harold Greenburg fund, and gave each other feedback. This was hugely valuable for me for many reasons… because I’ve been so busy with shooting and directing, I haven’t had many outlets lately for writing, so it was nice to just focus on the writing for once. It’s also always a great idea to test your script with actors or writers so that any holes or issues can be figured out before you spend lots of money on getting it made! I got lots of valuable feedback and also some inspiration and advice as far as getting it made, which is my next step.

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Upcoming Screenings (and BodyMax wins Best Picture!)

Lots of great news all around lately! I’m happy to announce that BODYMAX won Best Picture at the Toronto 48-hour Film Challenge, along with Best Editing and Best Sound. For coverage of the event, check out the video below by Film Army, who interviewed us post-awards!


If you missed BodyMax, it will be screening again in competition as part of the very first Breakthroughs Film Festival hosted by Octavia Films. The Breakthroughs Festival is aimed at showcasing short films by young women under 30 – and I think it’s great to finally have a niche festival for this. This screening will happen June 23rd.

In a nice bit of timing, my other short film from last year, Queen of Clubs, will be screening at the Female Eye Film Festival on June 22nd as part of the Canadian Shorts and Feature presentation. June is a big month for female-focused film festivals!

Finally, my last bit of good news is that I’ve been selected to participate in the Worldwide Short Film Festival’s WORKING LAB. I’m really excited about this one - I attended the Worldwide Short Film Fest last year and had a blast and learned a lot by going to the symposium events, so I’m really happy to actually get to be a part of the festival this year. Basically, it means that along with two other writers, I’ll have a new short film script workshopped by an industry mentor, John Galway from the Harold Greenburg Fund, who will help provide feedback and advice on pushing it forward to fruition. This is a private workshop event rather than a public reading, so unfortunately I can’t invite people along to watch, but I’ll share details on that project as it materializes more.

As a side note, if you’re an aspiring filmmaker I highly recommend getting the $170 do-it-all-combo pass for the WSFF which gets to admission to all symposium events and screenings – it’s really not that much money considering all the education you can get! Get it here: WSFF Box Office

And, if you’re a female filmmaker under 30 working on short film projects and need some funding, check out the initiatives by Octavia Films – we also recently got awarded a grant for another short film project called Second Honeymoon. They’re a new not-for-profit organization doing great things: Octavia Films

So without further ado, here are all the details for the upcoming screenings, I hope to see you there!

BODYMAX at the Breakthroughs Film Festival
Saturday June 23, 2012 from 7:30-11:00 PM

at The Projection Booth
1035 Gerard Street East
Tickets are $15 at the door or can be reserved in advance by emailing breakthroughsfestival@octaviafilms.com, or calling Brian Carver at 416-554-3639

There is also a Facebook Event link HERE

QUEEN OF CLUBS at the Female Eye Film Festival

Carlton Cinema
20 Carlton Street

Bill Please, dir. Jessica Han. When a bill comes between two friends, they go to lengths to make sure the other doesn’t get to pay for it. (TP, 2011, Comedy, 3 min. Burnaby, BC)

Queen of Clubs, dir. Christine Buijs. In a post-apocalyptic world, playing cards are used as insignias and characters scrounge together what they can to survive. A drifter arrives in an abandoned city and seeks vengeance for the death of his wife, family and tribe. (WP, Drama, 4 min, Toronto, ON)

Lady Bare Knuckles, dir. Madison Cawker. Elizabeth Stokes is a Regency girl who has to make the ultimate choice between a gentility marriage and her one great secret; she moonlights as a no holds barred bare-knuckle boxer. (WP, Drama,15 min, Courtice, ON)

FEATURE PRESENTATION: Beat Down, dir. Deanne Foley. Beat Down is an irreverent comedy about wrestling, family and following your dreams no matter how painful that can sometimes be. Fran Whiteway (Marthe Bernard, Republic of Doyle) is eighteen and a real firecracker. More than anything else, Fran dreams of becoming a professional wrestler. Her single-father Whitey (Robb Wells, Trailer Park Boys) is a former-pro (known as White Lightning in the ring) is dead set against Fran wrestling. Fran is determined though and when Whitey’s old rival Dark Thunder (Tony Nappo, Saw II) comes to town, she runs away to join his tour. Whitey is devastated and while he tries to get his daughter back, Fran learns the ropes of the wrestling game and of life itself. (WP, Drama, 01 hr : 32 min, St. John’s, NL)