Jeff Whittaker has been a trusted communications advisor at the highest levels of government and industry. Now, no one wants his advice. Unemployed at fifty-five, Whittaker volunteers at the Jamieson International Documentary Film Festival, where greater value is placed on his clean driving record than his strategic marketing expertise. He’s assigned to chauffer one of the festival’s biggest draws—Margaret “Terror” Torrance, a Hollywood star at the top of her game and the bottom of most casting lists. She’s promoting Red Carpet, her first film as a producer—a blistering tell-all on the film industry’s historical marginalization of women. The film has landed her on industry blacklists and may yet land her in court if she dares speak about the incident that drove her to make it. Torrance is financially and emotionally spent, and in desperate need of allies. Is Whittaker someone she can take into her confidence?

The Cutting Room captures the spirited encounter between two people facing the second acts of their lives. It’s a powerful affirmation of friendship’s sturdy bonds, a study of the entropy of middle age, the maddening sleights of memory, and the limits of trust.


Seven Days to Say Goodbye

Tom Garvey is an Ottawa communications executive on the verge of retirement—a career fixer with a quick lip and a life that begins to unravel. He celebrates his sixty-fourth birthday by being mugged, finding his apartment ransacked and his daughter kidnapped. The ransom? He has seven days to find a man he hasn’t had contact with in nearly forty years. If Garvey fails or contacts the police, his daughter dies. The man to be found is William Everett (Billy) Gibbon, Garvey’s closest childhood friend who fell out of touch after high school and was convicted in a grim criminal case that traumatized the small town where his family had moved. But now Gibbon has resurfaced, and Garvey is forced to discover what happened to the man and confront his guilt about a relationship neglected and lost. Garvey enlists support from an unlikely team: an Afghan war veteran and reluctant love interest who struggles with PTSD, and a former Syrian cop trying to make ends meet in Canada as a security guard. Yet Garvey’s daughter is no damsel in distress. As her father stumbles through efforts to secure her release, she makes escape her own priority. What Tom Garvey lacks in investigative skill he makes up for in mulish tenacity—a quality he’ll need as he gets under the skin of mob families throughout Canada’s national capital region.