Saturday, February 6, 2021

Hemp for the Homeless 2021

 



We did it! With all your help after my fundraising plea in December, my Hemp for the Homeless project raised close to $3500 - THANK YOU!!! We took the 150 Hemp Help Kits we assembled and brought them over to a crucial downtown shelter serving the primarily Native community of homeless people in and around Cabot Square across from the Old Forum. The experience was an eye-opening one, as you’ll see from our new video. There is great need out on the streets these days and we witnessed it first-hand.
Please watch my brand new 3-minute short film on the project here: https://youtu.be/7BKw_kbn__M

My daughter and Hemp for the Homeless volunteer,
 Lulu Soiferman

The Hemp Help Kits we assembled were filled with functional and nutritious hemp goods sent up to Montreal from hemp companies the world over. This included: Hemp face masks, soap, hand sanitizer, thick socks, hulled hemp seeds, hemp-oatmeal cookies, energy bars, a letter explaining the contents of the bag and the environmental and health benefits of hemp, and of course a reusable hemp tote bag.

Oatmeal-hemp cookies by Rustique Montreal

Special note: The incredible oatmeal-hemp cookies
Rustique
Pie Kitchen in St-Henri made for our kits were so crazy good that they are now also available for you to purchase from Rustique. And… for every single one of those beauties Rustique sells from now until the end of February, they will donate one cookie to Resilience Montreal! So, order up... www.tinyurl.com/RustiqueHemp

The contents of one of the Hemp Help Kits
 shared with clients of Resilience Montreal

If this ‘philhempthropic’ project I founded in 2007 strikes a chord and you are in a position to help support future Hemp Help Kit giveaways, please donate at our freshly updated web page: http://www.ezrasoiferman.com/hemp-for-the-homeless .

You can also donate directly to Resilience Montreal's GoFundMe page here: https://gofund.me/78c3d331 This week, Hemp for the Homeless donated $1006 of additional donations we received to this great cause.
Thank you to my team of fellow volunteers who helped film the new video, take photos, pack and deliver the Hemp Help Kits and gave me so much support along the way:
Gregg Silver, Lulu Soiferman and

Handing out Hemp Help Kits to a client of
 Resilience Montreal

Thank you to our 30+ partner hemp companies over the years for all the help and all the hemp!
Our magnificent partners this year are:


Some of the functional and nutritious hemp goods 
included in the Hemp Help Kits

Finally, thank you to my fellow hemp believers around the world. You have taught me so much and inspire me constantly with your love for this plant and your infinite stream of original ways to use it.

If there’s one message that drives our mission, it is that this incredibly versatile and planet-friendly plant can do so much good. #hempcanhelp
Love to all from Montreal. Truly.
-Ez
Ezra Soiferman
Montreal, Quebec

Friday, January 15, 2021

"It's the Winter Again"

 

Watch the short film by clicking HERE.

I made a fun new short film called "It's the Winter Again". 

I filmed this action-packed sledding film in January 2021 at Murray Hill Park in Westmount, Quebec, a neighbourhood in Montreal, Canada. I used to toboggan at this hill as a kid and it was nice to return there with my daughter (who makes a cameo at 33 seconds into the film, jumping up and down) to enjoy the slope. 

The short features a song I wrote, sang and recorded back in 1999. 

You can watch the 49-second film by clicking HERE

CBC-Montreal's Debra Arbec introduces "It's the Winter Again"

The film premiered on January 14th on CBC-Montreal's 6 o'clock newscast, hosted by Debra Arbec. You can watch the short clip of the news segment featuring the film by clicking HERE

Enjoy the short!

Ez

 


Friday, January 3, 2020

The Ezra Burger kicks off new Hemp for the Homeless documentary

The Ezra Burger at Hello 123 on Monkland Ave. in Montreal
Hello, Friends!

I am thrilled to announce that a burger has been named after me.

Wait, what?!

That's right, a juicy new vegan hempburger, called The Ezra Burger, is now officially on offer at the popular new vegan comfort food restaurant Hello 123 at their beautiful, plant-filled Monkland location in Montreal.


And, get this... the burger was featured on the front page of today's Montreal Gazette and called "To die for..." by renowned columnist Bill Brownstein! (Read his article here.)

More good news... $1 from each Ezra Burger sold goes to my Hemp for the Homeless project (founded in 2007) which brings functional and nutritious hemp goods to people experiencing homelessness.

Click image above to watch the brand new Hemp for the Homeless short film 

But wait... there's more good news:

Today also marks the release of my brand new short documentary about the history of Hemp for the Homeless and the long, strange trip the project has taken over the years.

This 'philhempthropic' project is supported by Canopy Growth, Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps and 35+ other incredibly generous hemp companies.

You can learn more about The Ezra Burger and the Hemp for the Homeless project it helps support at my official website, EzraSoiferman.com. The new film can be viewed there too. Enjoy!

Stay hempy, stay happy and try an Ezra Burger soon!

Ez

Ez and a little friend


Saturday, November 2, 2019

Halloween 2.0 (A very short film by Ez)

Watch the short "Halloween 2.0" by clicking here or image above 
Booyehkasha!, it's the 2nd day of Halloween?!

T’was the second day of Halloween in Montreal (the Mayor cancelled trick-or-treating on October 31st due to bad weather and related safety issues) and as I left my power-outage-riddled NDG home on November 1st to brave a fierce windstorm, I got an idea to try to take the silliest selfie of my life and make a movie about it too.

So, voila! I present: "Halloween 2.0"! (Click to watch)

-Ez

Street Stream - New short film

Click image above, or HERE, to watch "Street Stream"
Hello Friends & Strangers,

I was walking up the block on a beautiful fall day in Montreal and spotted a stream of water flowing down the street. I followed the drifting leaves to see where they were going. The way they coupled together and also drifted alone downstream reminded me of people, especially parents swimming with children. 

Here is the short film that resulted from that adventure. It's only a minute and a half long, so I hope you'll watch. If you like it, please share it with leaf-minded friends. 

Special thanks to the band The Mammals for their kind permission to use an excerpt from their powerful song "My Baby Drinks Water" as the soundtrack to this film. Explore more of their music if you like their vibe and message as much as I do. 

Here's to water and all it brings to our planet,

Ez

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Behind-the-Scenes on The Dark Crystal Set!

Dark Crystal director Louis Leterrier (left) and a Skeksis (right) on set in London (photo by Ezra S.)
A year ago, almost to the day, my 9-year-old daughter Lulu and I were lucky enough to be on set of the brand new Netflix series The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance (trailer), produced by Netflix and The Jim Henson Company. The series is based on, and serves as a prequel to,  Jim Henson's groundbreaking 1982 feature film The Dark Crystal.

I'd been invited to the set by my old NYU classmate Louis Leterrier who executive produced and directed the new series alongside executive producer Lisa Henson, Jim's daughter. I decided to grab the opportunity (and grab my daughter!) and fly off to London as soon as I could.

Lisa, Lulu and Louis. Kermit too! (Photo by Ezra S.) 
We absolutely loved the day we spent on set with Louis, Lisa, the puppeteers, and crew, and we're thrilled to share our new 6-minute video with you today!

You can watch our video here on YouTube (click here)  If you like it, please share it with a friend!

The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance, the epic 10-episode series, premiered on Netflix on August 30th. There's a terrific 82-minute behind-the-scenes doc on Netflix too ("The Crystal Calls").

All the best from me n' Lulu,

Ez

Ez, Lulu and Louis on set at Langley Studios in London 

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

"Sandulé on Screen" - New, very short film!

Sandulé Bobaru, busker, watch my new short here
Surprise new summer short!

Meet Sandulé Bobaru, accordionist, music teacher and busker who plays up on my awesome local high street, Monkland Avenue in Montreal’s leafy NDG.

Enjoy this new, very short film I whipped up called “Sandulé on Screen”. You can read the backstory on this film there too.

Watch the film by clicking HERE.

Regards to all from Montreal,

Ez

Thursday, July 4, 2019

"Ecuadoria" - A new 'music photeo' by Ez

(Click image above to watch "Ecuadoria" on YouTube)

I just spent an unforgettable week touring and photographing in Ecuador. It was my first time there and I'm pretty sure it won't be my last. 

Enjoy the sort 'music photeo' I made featuring buskers Julio Herrera (vocals/guitar) and Diego Gonzales (percussion) playing Julio's spirited, rag-tag love song "Si Tu No Estas Que Hago".  

The video, "Ecuadoria" (3 mins) features their impromptu musical performance, filmed in Quito, as well as a selection of my favourite shots from my trip in a few locations in Ecuador. 

An English translation of the lyrics can be found in the video description at YouTube at the above link.

Diego (Lt; percussion) and Julio (Rt; guitar/vocals), after singing the song for me on the streets of Quito, Ecuador

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Goodbye, Harry Rosen

Dr. Harry Rosen, 2016
Tomorrow (11/18/18) is the funeral for my friend Harry Rosen.  Dr. Rosen, who died on Thursday at the age of 89, was Emeritus Professor at the McGill Faculty of Dentistry, a pioneer in prosthodontics and a celebrated and immensely talented and driven sculptor.


It was a privilege to document Harry's sculptures over the past ten years through photographs. What fascinated me most about Harry was how he seemed to be built of the very same stones he found, moved, chipped, ground, molded, cast, set, donated, showed and shared. Like his sculptures, this gentle giant of a man was unshakeable and unmistakeable. A rock-solid mensch.

Delores and Harry Rosen
My sincere condolences to Harry’s wife Delores, his entire family and his many friends, fans, students and colleagues.

You can view a gallery of images I took of Harry at work up at his family cottage in Lake Patrick, QC, and the many sculptures he donated to institutions around Montreal here:
http://www.ezrasoiferman.com/harryrosen/


The funeral is Sunday, November 18th at 1pm at Paperman’s in Montreal. You can read the beautiful death notice his family wrote here:
https://www.paperman.com/en/funerals/2018-11-18-dr--harry--rosen

To learn more about Harry’s career and his sculptures, please visit:
http://www.drharryrosen.ca



Friday, April 13, 2018

Hemp for the Homeless - Denver, 2018

Dropping off the 50 Hemp for the Homeless Kits at Denver Homeless Out Loud with Cici and Adam from HoodLamb Colorado and the Hemp for the Homeless team. 
It's my birthday today, April 13th, so I thought I'd share some very exciting news and a few photos. 

Last weekend, I attended the NoCo Hemp Expo in Loveland, Colorado. I went down on behalf of Tweed, Canada's - and the world's - largest cannabis company, which recently hired me on as a business development consultant as a followup to my artist's residency there. 


Mario, Marc, Ez, Gregg - The Hemp for the Homeless team about to pack up 50  'Hemp Help Kits' at NoCo. (Photo by Lauren Brown -- Click pic for Bigger Version)
While I was at NoCo (the biggest hemp industry event in the USA), I organized another round of my HEMP FOR THE HOMELESS project (started in 2007) which collects functional and nutritious hemp products from hemp companies and creates 'Hemp Help Kits' for folks in need. 


Nancy Metcalf and Lauren Stansbury of Dr. Bronner's 
With the help of 20 generous corporate sponsors this year, me and my hemp/filmmaker buddies Gregg SilverMarc Ostrick, and Mario Hamelin, gathered enough awesome hemp products at NoCo to fill 50 hemp tote bags for Denver Homeless Out Loud which does incredible advocacy for Denver's 7,000+ homeless residents. 


Contents of a Hemp Help Kit (click pic for bigger view)
DHOL was thrilled to receive our kits and we were so happy to share. The feedback from the folks they support has been incredible. 
A recipient of one of the kits, outside Denver Homeless Out Loud
Gregg Silver (right) giving out a Hemp Help Kit 

I am so grateful to everyone, especially Gregg Silver who inspired me to kick this project back into gear last year at NoCo 2017 and go full steam into it this year. 
Me, up on stage at NoCo, talking about the project


Stay tuned for a short film about Hemp for the Homeless coming this Spring and for more related initiatives in the future. 
Jourdan Samel (L) and Ari Sherman (R) of Evo Hemp, a Hemp for the Homeless sponsor 
If you have a hemp company and want to help support the project, please contact me via EzraSoiferman.com

HUGE THANKS to all our Hemp for the Homeless Sponsors for the following amazing, donated hemp goods:
Dr. Bronner's - Soap, skin balm, hand sanitizer, lip balm
Tweed - Travel & accommodations
HoodLamb Colorado (aka HoodLab) - Hoodies and T-shirts
EnviroTextiles - Long-sleeve shirts, socks, rope
Hemptopia - Tote bags, T-shirts, socks
Chiefton Supply Co. - Hoodies
Satori Movement - Socks
Palmetto Harmony - Skin care products
Evo Hemp - Nutritious snack bars
Hemptique - Hemp rope
Hemp Way Foods - Hulled hemp seeds
Nutracis - Hulled hemp seeds
DoxMix - Toasted hemp seeds
Me and Summer Star Haeske of EnviroTextilesa Hemp for the Homeless sponsor
SPECIAL THANKS to our education, outreach and bonus material contributors: 
NoCo Hemp Expo
Denver Relief Consulting
Vote Hemp
Hemp History Week
Norie Criswell of Hemp The Earth Clothing
Straight Hemp
Abaka Hemp Clothing
Lauren Brown Consulting

CiCi Dunn of Hoodlamb Colorado with clothing distributed as part of the project.
Thanks for reading this and for believing in the tremendous versatility of hemp to better our world and to inspire change. 

Love to all from Montreal.
-Ez

Monday, December 18, 2017

How my Leonard Cohen photo went a little viral...

"Leonard Snowin'" by Ezra Soiferman 
Though my films and photos are regularly shown online and on TV, it's rare for a project of mine to take off as quickly and widely as has happened with my shot "Leonard Snowin'" over the past few days. 

So, I thought I'd share a behind-the-scenes peek at this little adventure with you...

I'd known throughout the Fall, that it would be fun to photograph the evocative and much-talked-about Leonard Cohen mural overlooking Crescent St. during a snowfall. 

So, this past Wednesday, during Montreal's first storm of the season, I zipped through the Musée des beaux arts (located a block and a half away from the mural), hustling from floor to floor and window to window, snapping various vantages of the new mural painted by artists EL_MAC and Gene Pendon and produced by MU, the city's foremost mural collective. The 18-storey-tall work is based on a touching photo taken by Leonard's daughter Lorca. 

When I was done shooting, I turned around to leave and my place at the atrium window was quickly taken by a couple of wide-eyed twenty-somethings who stared out at the mural and revelled in it. 

I told them what I was doing and asked if I could take a photo of them in silhouette with the mural and snowstorm as a backdrop. They kindly obliged and in a quick moment, I had captured the shot above. I knew right away it was a bit of a keeper. When I showed it to them on the screen of my camera, they agreed. 

The rest of this tale is a bit of a blur, but I'll try to recount it here...

I excitedly trotted down the infamous deep-depth steps of the museum, noticing how the nearby guard was far better at his trot than I was at mine. He had his down to a science, making him appear to descend in a way somewhere halfway between a pro hockey player and ballerina. I estimated that those kooky staircase were either his favourite part of the job or a complete nightmare that he had opted to master rather than succumb to. 

Either way, he hopped off the staircase at the café floor and I continued bumbling down the steps carefully clutching my camera thinking to myself, "please don't let me wipe out and accidentally hurl my camera down the atrium onto the installation that looks like a giant hand grenade. I'll never get that Leonard shot again."  

On my way out of the building intact, I showed the photo to the woman taking tickets at the front door and simultaneously tested my idea for the "Leonard Snowin'" title on her. Her eyes lit up and she gave me an enthusiastic "Wow!" I took that as a good sign. Always trust the gatekeeper's intuition, they say, so I did, further confident in the shot, and left the museum, braving my way back out into the sideways-blowing snow.   

I found my car, hopped inside, cranked the heat and emailed the photo to the twenty-somethings featured in it. I then hit the gas, skidded out of the snowbank and crossed town past stranded accordion-buses wrapped around telephone poles, back to my neck of the wintry woods. 

Early the next morning, with the snow still falling, I uploaded the shot to my Facebook page and Instagram page and watched as interest in it mounted unusually quickly. Within an hour, I was contacted by the Musée and asked by them for permission to feature the shot on their Instagram page. Total honour and another good sign.

I then watched as the photo got even more attention, now from complete strangers and not just my own loyal Facebook friends who were still generously piling on the likes. Later in the afternoon, a popular Leonard Cohen fan page had reposted the image and its members were excitedly chattering about it and how much they missed the grand bard. I further shared with them the story of when I happened to meet Mr. Cohen under strange circumstances

By now, my iPhone was gingerly buzzing with Facebook and Instagram alerts and comments. This was kinda cool to see, though a bit unnerving due to the volume of dings and buzzes. 

The next morning was when the nutsola-ness really kicked into overdrive. 

I awoke to learn that Sony Music Canada had just reposted my original Facebook post, referring to the photo as 'stunning.' They had placed it right smack dab on their official Leonard Cohen Facebook page. This is when my iPhone lit up like a proverbial Christmas tree and began buzzing and flashing non-stop. For hours and hours. And hours. 2 full days of craziness. 

As I write this a few days later, the snowstorm and Facebook-storm have fairly subsided and the tally is in: The photo now has more than 10,000 likes and 1500 shares on Facebook. I'm also pleased to say that it has also become the Musée des beaux arts' Instagram post with the most likes in the 5-year history of their Instagram page. 

I'm INCREDIBLY grateful for all the interest in "Leonard Snowin'" and I'd like to thank everyone who liked, commented on and shared the image. Facebookers around the world are still sharing it as I write this. Thank you! The feedback and support means so much, and the way this all happened was a total thrill. 

Big thanks to the folks who appear in the shot too. You guys rock. I'd especially like to thank the Musée des beaux arts, Sony Music Canada, MU, the supremely talented mural artists, and especially Leonard who's looking down from on high with that awesome smile. You are the true star of this whole escapade. We miss you. 

As a 'mural-themed' bonus, here's "The Walls of Montreal", a short video I made for my Tweed residency, about the murals of my hometown:

Click image to play "The Walls of Montreal

Best to all from Montreal!

-Ez 

Ezra Soiferman
Filmmaker & photographer

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Rustique Salée - First customer

New Rustique Salée mini-pies
This Tuesday, I went for a few heavenly, creamy, desserty pies at Rustique on Notre-Dame West near de Courcelle. Been a very fave spot of mine since they opened a few years back and warmed Montreal’s heart and sweet tooth.


Cashier Jess told me a little secret that they were opening Rustique Salée right next door the next morning. Savoury take-out pies in the same flakey, buttery crusts. Be still my eating heart.


So, I showed up there the next morning, five minutes before the doors were unlocked and got my wish... I was the very first customer at Montreal’s newest outstanding eatery. Big honour.


Scarfed down three gorgeous mini-pies in the car as soon as I left. Incredible stuff.


Congrats to Ryan Bloom, Chef Ali, Sophie, Judith, Melissa, Jess and the entire team of sweet and savoury pie geniuses at Rustique. Home run outta the gate (or outta the oven, as it were).


Go pie! Go yum! Go Montreal food!

-Ez

Friday, November 10, 2017

My new short: "The One To Dream"

(Click image to watch the video)

New short film out today! Using Kat Goldman's stellar tune “The One To Dream”, I created a ‘music photeo’ that tells the tale of a wayward piece of hemp rope in search of... something more. Enjoy!

Kat, based in Toronto, is one of Canada’s very finest voices, and a dear friend. Plus, she survived being pinned under a car that crashed through a bagel shop window. True story. I’m honoured to have been given her blessing to create this short video and thrilled share it with you all today!

Pick up Kat’s brand new CD "The Workingman’s Blues" here or listen on Spotify and iTunes.

Support awesome Canadian music and dig hemp rope movie stars.

Hope you like the new short film and can help share it with friends, young or old, you think might love it.  Thanks!

There's hope in this rope. Do knot let 'em tell you otherwise.

-Ez

P.S. The hemp rope dude in the video... his name is Xoosher.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Goodbye, Gord


In 1992, as a freshman college student in NYC, I caught a glimpse of a Village Voice ad for a show by The Tragically Hip taking place in the East Village. 

Knowing how big the Hip were in Canada at the time, I figured the venue would be a fairly big one. When I arrived, I discovered that it was a tiny, second-floor walk-up club that could hold no more than 150 people or so. There were no more than 25 people there for that show. 

I stood there, in awe, snapping photos of the shvitzing, screaming Gord Downie performing exuberantly, tormentedly, and at times quite contentedly, as if to a packed stadium. Here are a few of those shots from the front row, dug up from my archives and shared here for the first time, in honour of Gord's passing. 



My condolences to his friends families and to my fellow longtime fans. Another legend gone. More music and memories to revisit. 

Enjoy the photos above. 

Rock on and on, Gord. 

Love to all,

Ez