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Next Big Thing: Three picks to prepare for National Canadian Film Day

Leah Fay Goldstein, centre, is shown in a scene from "Diamond Tongues" in this undated handout photo. Canada's arts scene, and the dreamers stuck within it, are the focus of "Diamond Tongues." The film is fuelled by its quick-witted script, but the real surprise comes from newcomer Leah Fay Goldstein, who is both charming and sympathetic in the lead role.
Image Credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Mongrel Media, Emma McIntyre
April 17, 2016 - 7:00 AM

The weekly Next Big Thing column highlights what's bubbling under the surface in entertainment with a look at rising stars in the world of music, as well as standout TV shows, movies and web series that would be a shame to overlook.

In recognition of National Canadian Film Day on Wednesday, we're taking a look at three standout homegrown films that might've slipped under your radar.

SHAME FOR FAME

Canada's arts scene, and the dreamers stuck within it, are the focus of "Diamond Tongues."

The dark comedy follows Edith, a young actress with big aspirations, who takes increasingly desperate measures in the hopes of making them a reality.

It's a uniquely Canadian spin on the struggling artist story with a soundtrack flavoured by tracks from local indie rock favourites like Broken Social Scene and Islands.

There are even a couple of celebrity cameos that keep things interesting, including one from George Stroumboulopoulos, who winds up the subject of Edith's sexually-charged fame fantasy.

The film is fuelled by its quick-witted script, but the real surprise comes from newcomer Leah Fay Goldstein, who is both charming and sympathetic in the lead role.

"Diamond Tongues" is available on Netflix and on demand.

YOUTH UNDER PRESSURE

Quebec's turbulent past is the setting for "Corbo," a drama tracking the formative days of the FLQ.

At the centre is Jean Corbo, a teenager caught in a culture clash, which leads him down a path from pro-independence supporter to radicalist.

The Quebecois film works on one level as a historical dramatization and on another as an understated political thriller.

"Corbo" was in the running for three Canadian Screen Awards last month: best picture, supporting actor for Tony Nardi and costume design.

You can see the film on demand.

DRUMMERS' ODYSSEY

Some of the music industry's most renowned percussionists descend on rural Ontario in the documentary "A Drummer's Dream."

And while you may not know them by name, these guys have backed up the likes of legendary musicians Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie and Carlos Santana.

Together, they're sharing some of their knowledge with a group of teens gathered at a summer drum camp, but the film quickly veers into a more intellectual conversation about where they find inspiration.

All of that talk eventually takes a backseat for a showcase of sound, as the musicians step up to their drum kits to show off their jaw-dropping skills.

The film is available on Netflix and for rent on the National Film Board's website.

Follow @dfriend on Twitter.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2016
The Canadian Press

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