Tag Archives: Festival

March 23

CFF 2017: Broken Mile

Waking up after a night of booze and drugs, Shaun (Francesco Filice) discovers that the girl he had been partying with the night before is dead. Fearful that he will be implicated in her death, and worried about his best friend Kenny’s (Patrick McFadden) reaction, since he was dating the deceased, Shaun does the only […]

March 22

Hot Docs Announces 2017 Slate

Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival announced its full film line-up for the upcoming 24th edition, April 27–May 7, at a press conference this morning at the Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema in Toronto. From 2,906 film submissions, this year’s slate will present 230 titles from 58 countries in 13 screening programs, with work by […]

March 05

TIRFF 2017: Handsome Devil

Writer-director John Butler’s Handsome Devil favorably compares to other boarding school coming-of-age dramas like School Ties and Dead Poet’s Society. Butler’s film packs more irreverence than those films, and has a kind of tongue-in-cheek sensibility, but a lot of the elements are the same. Much of the drama is focuses on a pair of roommates, […]

March 05

TIRFF 2017: Here Lies Mrs. Higgins

Daniel Holmwood’s black comedy Here Lies Mrs. Higgins follows two brothers from Ballyfeely as they try to move on with their lives after the death of their mother. Despite sharing similar physical features, the two men could not be more different. Tony (Kevin Buckley, who also co-wrote the film with Holmwood) is the older of […]

March 05

TIRFF 2017: The Flag

Declan Recks The Flag has aspirations of being a broad heist comedy, but never seems to get past its sitcom style premise. Returning to Ireland to bury his father, Harry Hambridge (Pat Shortt) discovers a letter from his late grandfather claiming a moment of heroics not normally associated with the family name. Believing his granddad […]

March 04

TIRFF 2017: How to Defuse a Bomb: The Project Children Story

Directed by Des Henderson and narrated by Liam Neeson, How to Defuse a Bomb: The Project Children Story is an effective documentary focusing on the Project Children charity. The charity was founded in 1975 by an Irish immigrant bomb squad policeman named Denis Mulcahy, with the intent of bringing Irish children to live with host […]

March 04

TIRFF 2017: The Nation Holds Its Breath

A short film from writer-director Kev Cahill, The Nation Holds Its Breath, brilliantly captures the vibe of anticipation in parallel moments: 1.) the most important football match in Irish history, the 1990 World Cup elimination match against Romania, and 2.) the tumultuous birth of the main character’s child. The wonderful juxtaposition of the countrywide hullabaloo […]

February 23

Provocative Tales Highlighted at Human Rights Watch Film Festival

TIFF® and Human Rights Watch co-present Toronto’s 14th annual Human Rights Watch Film Festival, with a poignant eight-film lineup that galvanizes an impassioned call for social change through extraordinary stories of struggle, survival and hope. Showcasing brave cinematic works at the forefront of the human rights movement, the festival presents documentary feature films from Afghanistan, […]

January 15

Canada’s Top Ten Film Festival: Angry Inuk

An Inuit community in Canada’s northern territories faces an interesting challenge. How can a culture, that prides itself on a patient and understated expression of anger, make themselves heard when their opponents are famous for a more aggressive approach? Canadian seal hunting has gotten a lot of media attention since the late 1970s thanks to […]

November 27

BITS 2016: The Sublet

Filmmakers John Ainslie (director/co-writer) and Alyson Richards (co-writer) give the venerable Haunting of Hill House formula a vigorous workout in The Sublet. Joanna (Tianna Nori) and Geoff (Mark Matechuk) move with their toddler son into a sublet apartment whose eccentric and reclusive sublessor they never meet. Joanna takes an instant dislike to her new home, frustrated by […]

November 25

BITS 2016: No Trespassing, What Do You See, The Jogger, Taking Possession

No Trespassing Sometimes the best films are the ones that let the audience do all the heavy lifting, such is the case with Charlie Lawton’s wonderful short film No Trespassing. Functioning without any dialogue, the film documents the harrowing plight of a girl (Sara Jackson) who becomes turned around in the woods when she and […]

November 24

BITS 2016: Streamer

Loneliness and the desire to be loved are two things that most of us can identify with at one point or another in our lives. Directors Jared Bratt and Vincent Pun’s Streamer takes these themes and explores the darkness that can spawn from them. By his own account Jared (played by Bratt) is a 28-year-old […]

November 23

BITS 2016: Holy Hell 

Horror and humor have often formed an uneasy alliance, taking many forms from subdued stomach-churning satire to outrageous gross-out comedy. With Holy Hell, writer/director/star Ryan LePlante delivers a specimen of the latter. LaPlante takes on the role of Father Augustus Bane, a mild-mannered priest in a bad neighborhood who does his best to live his life […]

November 22

BITS 2016: Capture Kill Release

Oh look! Another found-footage movie. Directed by Nick McAnulty and Brian Allan Stewart, Capture Kill Release follows a young couple played by—and named after—Jennifer Fraser and Farhang Ghajar as they document their plan to abduct, torture, and murder a completely random stranger, which is apparently Jen’s lifelong dream. Capture Kill Release doesn’t bring much to the […]

November 21

BITS 2016: 24X36: A Movie About Movie Posters

When you go the movie theatre, how much time do you spend looking at the movie posters that adorn the walls just outside the cinema your film is playing in? According to Kevin Burke’s documentary 24X36: A Movie About Movie Posters, nowadays, we barely spend time looking at them at all. Considering that media consumption […]

November 12

Reel Asian 2016: The Lockpicker

Writer/Director Randall Okita’s debut feature film, The Lockpicker, is a haunted coming of age character study focusing on the tumultuous life of a teenager named Hashi (Keigian Umi Tang). Hashi is an expert lockpicker, but is reeling from the recent death by suicide of a good friend of his. Coupled with a home life which […]

November 11

Reel Asian 2016: The Bacchus Lady

Bacchus ladies are elderly Korean prostitutes, a fact of which The Bacchus Lady kindly informs the viewer. We are introduced to So-young (Yeo-jeong Yoon), the titular bacchus lady, as she enters her doctor’s office and learns she has gonorrhea, which obviously is bad for her business. As she leaves the clinic, she happens on a […]

November 10

Reel Asian 2016: Mixed Match

If you are facing a life-threatening disease, finding a bone marrow match for donation may be life-saving, even a cure, but as we all know, people languish on lists waiting for matches and sometimes die before they ever find one. For people of mixed race, finding that match is so much harder, akin to finding […]

November 09

Reel Asian 2016: Apocalypse Child

Apocalypse Child is a wonderful film. Ford (Sid Lucero), like his beachside town of Baler, Philippines, loves to surf. The surfing craze in Baler apparently started after the crew filming part of Apocalypse Now left a surf board behind. Although Ford embraces his local pastime to the point where he wins almost every surfing competition […]

November 08

Reel Asian 2016: Seoul Station

Before his first live-action film Train to Busan, Yeon Sang-ho’s created Seoul Station, an animated, chaos-ridden zombie caper and prequel to the smash hit film of zombies on a train. In Seoul Station, parallel storylines take us on a treacherous journey. Passersby ignore an injured man when they realize he lives on the street, and […]