Hey all! I am proud to be sponsoring a BOXING GALA (streamlined by renowned Boxing coach Daniel Guerin) that will take place on February 11, 2017 (7:30PM) at Billings, High School in Chateauguay (210 MCLEOD, Châteauguay, QC J6J 2H4). I will of course be there in person.
The purpose of the show (with over 7 exhibition fights already locked in) is to showcase to young people (hence why the event is set within a High School) that Boxing is a positive path to take in terms of one’s life as it builds discipline, self esteem, encourages healthy eating habits and reaching top notch physical condition. And it’s also a fun and exciting sport to be a part of.
You can also expect CONTESTS to take place during the event with cool prizes, like a pair of Boxing gloves autographed by former IBF middleweight Champion DAVID LEMIEUX and Boxing Brand RIVAL t-shirts, among other things. The tickets for the events are 15$ in advance and 20$ at the door. You want to attend, E-MAIL ME. If you want to donate some coin to help us finance the event please do so via the BOXING GALA PAYPAL (email@example.com). Anybody that donates 12$ or more will get an autographed THE SHELTER Postcard (see it below) from yours truly sent your way by mail as a THANK YOU.
In closing; in my opinion, events like these are important. They can actually make a dent (no matter how small) in terms of guiding the next generation in the right direction and providing them with the “tools” to make a the world a better place down the road. Last I checked we freaking need it which is why I am involved in this and investing my coin. Cheers to you all and God bless! JF
Looking back at 2015, all I remember off hand are two things: 1- Greg Plitt died out of no where on January 17 of 2015 (a man who helped me get back on track via his site/videos years ago. His passing prompted me to go back to his site and once again he helped a lot this year) and my film THE SHELTER, which took over the bulk of my thoughts and efforts. The film resulted in some positive things like cool festival runs, positive reviews, meeting new people, making new contacts and new opportunities arising.
Work hard – play hard. Always.
It also came with its fair share of hardships (that I will go into when all is said and done some day – I may write a book ) and some trial by fire i.e. gaining further knowledge as to the current state of the film market through my mistakes. Shelter aside, I actually had to look back at my 2015 pictures to remind me of what else I did that year and yeah, I had yet another groovy year of doing what makes me happy: training, nature, my friends, traveling and challenging myself.
Top of my head here are some of my favorite personal moments of 2015!
Tackled one of the biggest mountains I have ever scaled. What a rush. I want more!
My dad got hit with larynx cancer early this year. I was sure he was a goner, but the man fought (respect) and with the help of our support, he prevailed. Happy to still have him around.
In Paris, France with the Dead Shadows cast/crew for an autograph session. It was so cool to see everybody again, to be in Paris, a city that I love, and to spend time with the Cholewa clan aka awesome people.
The Shelter had its world premiere at Frightfest in the UK and we got lots of solid reviews out of it. It was a great moment to share with exec producer/buddy Berge Garabedian, Seeing old friends (Richard Cosgrove!) and drinking Trooper Ale were also big pluses :)
Spent even more time at the lake house. Can’t go wrong when your time is all about nature, training, reading, exploring, writing and the water.
Although the Sitges Film Festival The Shelter screening didn’t go as well as I wanted it to for varied reasons (image problems on our DCP being one of them), I got to hang with my brother Mike Hostench, hit some fly parties, appreciated the setting once again, had fun with Rurik Salle and met new great peeps like Julien Seri and Pascal Sid. VIVA SITGES!
Eric Red and I worked on the same set together for the first time time since 100 Feet. This time I did second unit directing/camera work and took on set pics. Without going into details; the war that was this set solidified my brotherhood with Eric. And for that and the experience – I was grateful…
Streamlining The Shelter, which is a film that addresses spirituality or lack of, has been responsible for an evolution in my own spiritual path. Hence after Sitges, I spend a week in Barcelona with my bro Gonzalo. We wound up having a pilgrimage of sorts and I found it very rewarding.
I was very happy to see The Shelter screen at the prestigious A Night of Horror Film Festival in Australia. The crowd dug it and star Michael Pare won a career achievement award for his work in the film. Twas a good ending for The Shelter in 2015
At Greg Plitt’s place of death. It was very important for me to pay respect. He inspired/motivated me so much all year, it was the least I could do. It took hours to find the exact spot of his passing. Was worth it. RIP Legend.
In terms of negatives, I’m not one to dwell on those cause, well, what will that achieve? Nothing. I’ll just say that the odd energy around The Shelter gave me a run for my patience, maximum effort often led to maximum frustrations as opposed to results and knives stabbed in my back here and a severe “misjudgement of character on my part” there should be noted… nothing new at this point, people are people. Lastly, my 14 year old dog is on her way out (going deaf, blind and very old) it’s coming and I am bracing myself… such is life.
My dog Toby can’t swim alone anymore…she’s too old. I still have her work-out though. Use it or lose it.
I feel very positive in terms of 2016 though (just got back from a stay in the wilderness – that always sets me right)! The Shelter will screen at a handful of Festivals and will lock distribution, am pumped to get my next film The Prize off the ground, I’m starting boxing again (after dealing with a stubborn tennis elbow in 2015 that got in my way, I finally healed it), I’ll be part of handful of exciting projects (as a writer and actor), already have some traveling on the horizon, mother nature is always in my plans and I will focus on awakening by creative side again, specially when it comes to writing for myself. Producing The Shelter in 2015 kind of numbed by creative juices, I won’t let that happen this year. That’s it in a nutshell! Welcome to 2016 people! I leave you with my 2016 National Anthem:
The clock is ticking down, almost there, we start shooting BILLY TRIGGER in a bit more than a week. This is an exciting time for me for many reasons. First, it’s a script I’ve been trying to get off the ground for 5 years, so am pretty stoked to see it finally come to life. Moreover it’s the most ambitious role I’ve ever tackled on a physical standpoint. Been training hard the past months, not to bulk up or even look ripped (although am getting there on the latter), but to build endurance which I will need big time for this particular shoot. I feel ready. I’ve been taking the rust off my kicks (am green belt Taekwondo, but that was along time ago), my upper body skills are well greased (went back to boxing this year, so all good ) and am learning new things in fight rehearsals (MMA type of fighting). Oh and am finally off book in terms of my lines. Bases = covered.
I say this all the time, I’ll say it again here. Making a film is the equivalent of going to war. You got a first in command, his right hand man and his soldiers. All with one singular goal in common; to take down the fort. But making a film with a low budget, especially one like this one; that is filled with action scenes and has a lot of locations; is the equivalent of going to war with popguns. It will be a challenge but I feel well surrounded and am counting down the days till we charge, can’t look back and will fight till it’s in the can. Godspeed Billy Trigger team! Let’s do this!
NOTE TO SELF: Stock up on painkillers, ice packs, Red Bull and protein bars, I will need them.