Screened as part of NZIFF 2006

Whole New Thing 2005

Directed by Amnon Buchbinder

A 13-year-old home-schooled genius falls in love, or thinks he does, with his gifted – and closeted – English teacher. “Consistently surprising ... a coming-of-age film that could become a Canadian classic.” — Now

Canada In English
92 minutes 35mm



Amnon Buchbinder
Daniel MacIvor


Christopher Ball


Angela Baker


David Buchbinder


Rebecca Jenkins
Robert Joy
Daniel MacIvor
Callum Keith Rennie
Aaron Webber
Kathryn MacLellan
Drew O’Hara
Hugh Thompson
Jackie Torrens


Toronto, Vancouver 2005


Whole New Thing is an oddball gem, beautifully acted from a quick-witted script delicately attuned to its misfit protagonists. Don, a gifted English teacher, is a closeted gay with a taste for anonymous sex. 13-year-old Emerson has been home-schooled in rural Nova Scotia by his counter-cultural parents, a ramrod Greenie dad and a mother whose earthy vivacity is tinged with restlessness. He’s written a fantasy novel to rival Tolkien but he’s not so hot at maths. Obliged to submit to the contemptible public school where ‘those who can’t, teach’, he zeroes in on the one person who might be his intellectual equal. A 13-year-old boy with a crush on him is exactly what this particular teacher does not need. Applying his parents’ liberal attitudes to sexuality and casual nudity, Emerson takes To Sir, With Love to dire lengths, but there’s wisdom and grace in the way writer/director Amnon Buchbinder and writer/actor Daniel McIvor apply the brakes to his premature acceleration into adulthood.

“Subtle and consistently surprising... Here’s a coming-of-age film that could become a Canadian classic.” — Now