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Awards & Distinctions:

Rex Tasker Documentary Award at The Atlantic Film Festival

Top Jury Award for Documentary at the University Film and Video Associations Juried Screenings

Hot Pick at The Hot Docs Documentary Film Festival

Hot Pick at The Atlantic Film Festival 

Short-Listed (but not chosen) for Canada’s top Ten Films of 2007


CBC’s Documentary Channel 2008-2011, Canada

Educational Distribution:

McNabb and Connolly 2008-2011

Festivals & Screenings

Hot Docs  2007, Toronto

The Canadian Film Institute, 2007, Ottawa

The Rhode Island International Film Festival, 2008, Providence

Festivaletteratura (Italy) 2007, Mantova

Voices From the Water Film Festival, Bangalore, India, 2008

Poetry Film: Mythology and Celebration, (20 min. Version) London, 2009

Between a Rock and a Hard Place:  Contemporary Screening from Atlantic Canada, Winnipeg, 2009

University Film and Video Associations Juried Screenings, 2007, Denton, TX

The Atlantic Film Festival, 2007, Halifax

Slightly North of Boston Film Festival (SNOB) 2008, Manchester, NH

Indie Cinema Series, 2007, York University, Toronto

The Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival, 2008, Ithaca, NY


Scouts are Cancelled is an intriguing documentary on the life of Nova Scotia-born writer and poet John Stiles. Stiles once worked as a telemarketer in Toronto and used colorful voices and accents while speaking to customers on the phone. He later used those voice characters in his open-mike readings and garnered a cult following, which led to two published books. This film, from director John Scott, was chosen as a "Hot Pick" at both the Hot Docs Documentary Festival and the Atlantic Film Festival and was a critiques choice for the Globe and Mail, The Toronto Star, Now Magazine, and Eyewear. So far it has won two documentary awards and played eleven festival and Curated screenings. The Atlantic Film Festival called it "... one of the best contemporary literary documentaries of the last decade."


JOHN STILES is a poet, novelist, and filmmaker. He is the author of two collections of poetry, SCOUTS ARE CANCELLED, CREAMSICLE STICKS SHIVS and, a novel, THE INSOLENT BOY, published by Insomniac Press. Originally from Port Williams, Nova Scotia, Stiles currently lives in London, England.

Charles Austin, Composer

Ariella Pahlke, Associate Producer

Ed Tracy, Associate Producer

Rob Todd, Sound Mixer

“It’s Brilliant.”  

Glenn Sumi, Now Toronto.

“It's a literary portrait you won't soon forget.”

Henrietta Walmark, The Globe and Mail

“Scouts Are Cancelled is … one of the best filmed poetry books ever …”  

Todd Swift, Eyewear.

“… one of the best literary biographies I’ve ever seen.”

Ron Foley-MacDonald, Infomonkey

“A stylized look at the life of a man who thrives on chaos …”

Jason Buchanon, &

“… a moving portrait of a significant voice on the Canadian literary scene.”

Rob Mclennan, Ottawa Poetry Newsletter

“Watching John Stiles … is like watching someone lost in a trance.  He squeezes his eyes shut, channels the voices of his speakers and loudly emits sounds of growling dogs, wailing sirens and non-verbal whoops of joy and despair.”  

Geoff Pevere, The Toronto Star

“…utterly absorbing … A fascinating portrait of a fascinating subject.”

The Canadian Film Institute.

“Scouts Are Cancelled is one the best contemporary literary biographies of the last decade.”

The Atlantic Film Festival

Scouts are Cancelled