A Different Drummer: Celebrating Eccentrics

for the love of oddballs

A Different Drummer: Celebrating Eccentrics

A new Documentary from John Zaritsky


World Premiere – Vancouver International Film Festival

Wednesday October 8


The Rio (1660 E Broadway, Vancouver)

John Zaritsky will attend the premiere,

along with Laura-Kay Prophet and her duck


2nd Screening | October 10 |1:15pm

SFU Woodwards  (149 W. Hastings Street)

“Are they the eccentrics? Or are we?”

A cave-dweller who hasn’t used money since the ’90s, but runs an Internet blog out of a public library. A “duck lady.” The monk-robe-wearing president of a Martin Van Buren fan cub. The inventor of a “bra warmer.”  And then there’s Lord Toby Jug, a former member of Britain’s pranksterish Monster Raving Loony Party, who wants to eliminate January and February because they’re too cold.

These are just some of the subjects of John Zaritsky’s A Different Drummer: Celebrating Eccentrics – a globe-trotting close-up of people who flout convention in the most colourful ways, and seem healthier and happier for it than the rest of us.

An admitted oddball himself, Zaritsky is an acclaimed and admired documentary filmmaker who has won more than 40 awards for films on some dire subjects. And yet he is not averse to injecting levity into the gravity (as with his Genie-nominated Leave Them Laughing, about a dying comedian).

A Different Drummer is interspersed with the observations of Dr. David Weeks, a Scottish clinical neuropsychologist and psychotherapist who spent 10 years studying more than 1,000 eccentrics  – culminating in a book titled Eccentrics: A Study of Sanity and Strangeness.

Dr. Week’s conclusion: “I am exhilarated in their company, by their ideas and their creativity. I am far more outgoing, self-confident and rebellious than I once was.”

Kris Kristofferson’s observation that, “freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose,” is embodied by the likes of Daniel Suelo – a former Peace Corps worker who went to Ecuador and then put his last $30 in a phone booth in Pennsylvania and walked away into the canyons of Utah – and Vancouver’s “Duck Lady” Laura-Kay Prophet (who, fortune-telling duck in hand, gives out what little money she can raise to the homeless).

“People talk about freedom all the time,” says Zaritsky, “yet how many of us ever dare to step outside the boundaries of our own ‘normal’ existence for fear of what other people might think?

“Eccentrics travel a brave path and have such original minds that they cannot be conformed,” he says. “They relish being free to be themselves.”

A Different Drummer is directed by John Zaritsky, who won an Academy Award for his documentary Just Another Missing Kid, and whose body of work includes acclaimed films like Born In Africa, Romeo And Juliet in Sarajevo, Suicide Tourist, and the science/medical documentary Do You Really Want To Know. Zaritsky was honoured this past spring at the Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival with a retrospective.

A Different Drummer is produced by Anne Pick and William Spahic of Real To Reel productions. It is produced in association with Super Channel and documentary Channel and with the participation of Canada Media Fund, Ontario Media Development Corporation, Telefilm Canada, and Rogers Telefund.  A Different Drummer will be distributed by Blue Ant Media.

About Real To Reel Productions
Established in 1986, REAL TO REEL PRODUCTIONS INC. is a small, highly respected, award-winning Canadian independent specializing in factual series, documentaries, docu-dramas, and more recently 3D feature and multi-platform new media content. Regardless of format or whether the subject matter focuses on social issues, history, science, wildlife, lifestyle or the arts, Real To Reel, helmed by husband and wife team Anne Pick and Bill Spahic, promises engaging storytelling, strong characters and high production values.  Their latest documentary ANIMISM: PEOPLE WHO LOVE OBJECTS was launched at MIP and has already sold to the US, Europe, Japan, Israel and  premiered on Global Television in Canada. They are in pre-production on a feature documentary with CBC’s documentary channel on the worst drug scandal in history. Past award winning productions include: Out in the Cold series (Discovery Canada); Iris Chang: the Rape of Nanking (History Television & Cinema release in Asia); The Prince of Pot: the U.S. vs Marc Emery (CBC Newsworld) now available on iTunes; Yours Al a performance drama starring actor Gordon Pinsent (CBC); Ronnie Hawkins – Still Alive and Kickin’ (CTV) and Ryan’s Well (Vision) recently updated after 10 years by popular demand and re-released in both English and Spanish. Visit www.r2r.ca for trailers, filmography and bios.