Tag Archives: Festival

May 24

Inside Out 2017: Bad Girl

Amy (Sara West) is a teenager, a “bad girl” who’s just returned home after some shadowy shenanigans to her adoptive parents who are willing to give her “one last chance.” They’re pretty sure she’s going to hate the new home they’ve bought in rural Australia and they’re right; she’s out the door and doing a […]

May 24

Inside Out 2017: Signature Move

Zaynab is a Pakistani-American immigration lawyer who is: a) learning wrestling moves from a former pro wrestler who went by the name Jolt; and b) keeping a new relationship with Alma secret from her conservative Muslim mother who doesn’t know she’s gay. “Mothers and daughters aren’t friends in our culture,” Zaynab tells Alma. “That’s a […]

May 24

Inside Out 2017: Mansfield 66/67

The documentary Mansfield 66/67 trades in the same camp as its iconic subject: “Blonde Bombshell” Jayne Mansfield. The film focuses on the last two years of the starlet’s life, reveling in the rumors that swirled and the legends that the papers saw fit to print. The film is built from celebrity interviews, discussions with cultural […]

May 23

Inside Out 2017: Free Cece

On one horrific night in June 2011, Cece McDonald was violently attacked while walking with her friends. Attempting to defend herself, Cece, a transgendered woman, accidentally stabbed one of her attackers. Her incarceration sparked an international outcry as it once again highlighted the injustice that the transgender community endure when it comes to the criminal […]

May 23

Inside Out 2017: Sebastian

James Fanizza writes, directs and stars in Sebastian but does not in fact play him. He plays Alex, the guy who meets Sebastian (Alex House) and initiates a fling – this despite that he has a boyfriend, a boyfriend who just happens to be Sebastian’s cousin. They both agree to feel bad about what they’re […]

May 23

Inside Out 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, […]

May 17

TJFF 2017: Mandala Beats, Harmonia

After another successful year, the 25th Toronto Jewish Film Festival wrapped up this past weekend. Over at In the Seats, I took a look at two films that played the festival: Harmonia and Mandala Beats . I have included the TJFF synopsis of both films and links to my reviews below: Mandala Beats TJFF synopsis: […]

May 02

Hot Docs 2017: Joshua: Teenager vs. Superpower

To say Joshua Wong is a remarkable individual would be an understatement. Already gracing the cover of Time magazine, as “the face of protest,” at age 18, he displayed a gift from a young age for sorting through complex issues and finding concrete solutions. Wong is living proof that a clear message and resilience can […]

May 02

Hot Docs 2017: Integral Man

Writer-director Joseph Clement’s subject for Integral Man is the modern renaissance man Jim Stewart.  Stewart is a brilliant concert-level violinist with a contagious passion for music, but he is also an accomplished teacher of mathematics.  Spurred on by some students who told him that his notes on the chalkboard were clearer than the textbook they […]

May 02

Hot Doc 2017: Birth of a Family

Tasha Hubbard’s Birth of a Family documents the first meeting of a family torn asunder by racist government policies, decades after their separation.  As infants, Betty Ann, Esther, Rosalie, and Ben were taken from their indigenous mother and placed into separate white homes across North America as part of Canada’s “Sixties Scoop”.  The story of […]

March 31

HRWFF 2017: Tickling Giants

Bassem Youssef has been called the “Egyptian Jon Stewart” for his popular brand of political satire. In a country where journalists are routinely jailed, or mysteriously go missing, for exercising free speech, the surgeon turned televised comedian is truly one of a kind. As Youssef points out in Sara Taksler’s charming and poignant documentary Tickling […]

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 […]