October 5, 1985|
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Nirvanna the Band the Show
Matt Johnson is a Canadian actor and filmmaker. He is known for his independent feature films, including The Dirties (2013), which won Best Narrative Feature at the Slamdance Film Festival, and Operation Avalanche (2016), which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival.
2007–2009: Early work
2013–2014: The Dirties
Johnson achieved widespread critical acclaim in Canada with his first feature film The Dirties, which won Best Narrative Feature at the Slamdance Film Festival. He was a Canadian Screen Award nominee for Best Editing at the 2nd Canadian Screen Awards in 2014 for The Dirties,
The film had a production budget of $10,000. After finishing production, an additional $45,000 was needed to secure licensing rights for the music used in the film. All the film's financing came "out of pocket."
2016: Operation Avalanche
Operation Avalanche premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. Johnson had received an offer to premiere the film at the Toronto International Film Festival but declined, reasoning that the film would be lost in the large number of films shown there. Lionsgate released it in the US on September 16, 2016. He was nominated for Best Director at the 5th Canadian Screen Awards in 2017 for his work on Operation Avalanche.
Rotten Tomatoes, a review aggregator, reports that 69% of 51 surveyed critics gave the film a positive review; the average rating is 6.4/10. Metacritic rated it 69/100 score based on 18 reviews. Peter Debruge of Variety wrote, "Matt Johnson and Owen Williams' wild, borderline-illegal stunt delivers big time on its crazy premise." John DeFore of The Hollywood Reporter called it a "likeable if not always convincing fantasy that gets much mileage from its period feel". Anthony Kaufman of Screen Daily wrote that the film "comes across more as a rambling lark than a tightly conceived film".
2016–present: Nirvanna the Band the Show
Nirvanna the Band the Show was re-mastered and re-launched at the Toronto International Film Festival and subsequently as a television series on Viceland in fall 2016. The show stars the duo as "Nirvanna the Band," two hapless lifelong best friends and roommates, who engage in a series of complex publicity stunts around their home city of Toronto in the hopes of landing a gig at The Rivoli, despite the fact that they have never actually written or recorded a single song, nor taken any other steps to get their band ready.
- "Why Matt Johnson is taking Operation Avalanche to Sundance instead of TIFF". Now. January 21, 2016. Retrieved June 1, 2016.
- "How Operation Avalanche director Matt Johnson boldly infiltrated NASA". The Globe and Mail. December 31, 2015. Retrieved June 1, 2016.
- "Toronto through the eyes of Nirvana The Band The Show's Jay McCarrol and Matt Johnson". blogTO. April 6, 2010. Retrieved June 20, 2016.
- "The Dirties: A bravura debut for an up-and-coming Canadian filmmaker". The Globe and Mail. October 4, 2013. Retrieved June 26, 2016.
- Godfrey, Alex (June 2, 2014). "The Dirties director Matt Johnson on fame and high-school shootings". The Guardian. Retrieved June 1, 2016.
- Hanna, Beth. "Canadian Screen Award Nominations Include Villeneuve's 'Enemy,' Dolan's 'Tom at the Farm' and More | IndieWire". www.indiewire.com. Retrieved 2017-02-22.
- "Interview with Matt Johnson, Director of 'The Dirties'". Indiewire. September 5, 2013.
- "BLOOD IN THE HALLWAY: AN INTERVIEW WITH THE DIRTIES DIRECTOR MATT JOHNSON AND PRODUCER EVAN MORGAN". Toronto Film Scene. October 3, 2012.
- "MATTHEW JOHNSON Director of THE DIRTIES: Exclusive Sarasota Film Festival Interview". March 30, 2013.
- "How Operation Avalanche director Matt Johnson boldly infiltrated NASA". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 29 June 2018.
- Murthi, Vikram (2016-07-21). "'Operation Avalanche' Trailer: Alt-History Doc Goes Behind-The-Scenes of Faking the Moon Landing". IndieWire. Retrieved 2016-09-25.
- "Matt Johnson | Achievement in Direction | Canadian Screen Awards". Academy.ca. 2017-01-13. Retrieved 2017-02-22.
- "Operation Avalanche (2016)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2017-01-06.
- "Operation Avalanche". Metacritic. Retrieved 2017-01-06.
- Debruge, Peter (2016-01-29). "Sundance Film Review: 'Operation Avalanche'". Variety. Retrieved 2016-05-15.
- DeFore, John (2016-01-22). "'Operation Avalanche': Sundance Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2016-05-15.
- Kaufman, Anthony (2016-01-23). "'Operation Avalanche': Sundance Review". Screen Daily. Retrieved 2017-06-29.
- "Nirvanna the Band the Show is back – but this time it's bigger and on proper TV". Now. June 6, 2016. Retrieved August 12, 2016.
- "TIFF 2016 announces its Canadian lineup, including films from Xavier Dolan, Deepa Mehta, Bruce McDonald". National Post. August 3, 2016. Retrieved August 12, 2016.
- "Nirvanna the Band the Show is back – but this time it's bigger and on proper TV". Now Magazine. June 6, 2016. Retrieved September 12, 2016.