ADDITIONAL MARQUEE SCREENINGS:
CINEFIX: FILM SCHOOL’D LIVE – THE GREAT CANADIAN COMEDY INVASION
Synopsis: Covering everything film from what it all means, to who,what, when, where and why things get made... all with animation and a laissez faire attitude. Because history already happened, so what's the rush? A live multimedia presentation from one of the most influential group of film geeks on the internet, Cinefix debuts their popular series live and on stage for the first time ever, here at the St. Lawrence International Film Festival. Prepare to be ‘school’d’ on the way comedy has poured over our northern border like fast moving molasses.
IN THE SHADOW OF WAR (North American Premiere, Sweden/Croatia/Bosnia and Herzegovina/UK)
Directors: Georgia and Sophie Scott
Synopsis: Four teens struggle to survive a war that ended nearly twenty years ago. Like thousands of other children born at the end of the war in Bosnia, they have grown up in orphanages or live with parents suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. In the Shadow of War follows them as they grapple with turning 18 - coming to terms with how they were conceived, healing mental and physical scars and attempting to rebuild broken relationships. The physical conflict is over - but its psychological impact continues. Can they break the cycle of violence?
UNLEASHED: A DOG DANCING STORY (Ontario Premiere), Canada
Director: Justin Turcotte
Synopsis: An amateur Dog Dancing Troupe (yes, that’s a thing) plans a gala full-length theatrical live performance. The performers (and their dogs) face challenges along the way but overcome them in this uplifting story about love between man and dog and our innate desire to perform. The group spends over two years realizing their first time director’s vision as they write scripts, build sets, raise funds and rehearse to the point of exhaustion. As tension mounts and hurdles pile on, the resolve of these spirited women and their dogs is constantly tested.
The Film Frontieré section brings together films from all over the world, in languages other than English, with a special emphasis on films that push boundaries of genre and content.
THE BREAK-IN (New York Premiere), Sweden
Writer/Director: Marcus Ovnell
Cast: Jenny Lampa, Lukas Loughran, and Richard Ulfsäter
Synopsis: A married couple on the verge of falling apart finds a reason to work together when someone breaks into their house and they accidentally kill him. Only, like every relationship, the situation is way more complicated than that, as each of them is intimately connected to the dead body they’ve hidden in a chest in the garage. A slow burn drama with nuanced performances and maddening tension.
BRIGHT NIGHT (NACHTHELLE) (East Coast Premiere), Germany
Writer/Director: Florian Gottschick
Co-Writer: Carsten Happe
Cast: Anna Grisebach, Benno Fürmann, Vladimir Burlakov, and Kai Ivo Baulitz
Synopsis: A drama with a supernatural edge, this genre-crossing gem finds two couples visiting a home from their past, and sexual tension that brings out the worst in each other. Long-buried grudges resurface and it seems unlikely the couples will return intact. Faced with an outcome that will upset their delicate balance of happiness, the world offers them a bizarre opportunity to correct it.
LISTOPAD (New York Premiere), USA/Czech Republic/Slovakia
Writer/Director: Gary Griffin
Co-Writer: Arnost Lustig
Cast: Filip Cíl, Filip Tomsa, David Novotný, Pavel Richta, and Igor Bares
Synopsis: Three teenage boys crossing borders to exchange records over the iron curtain find themselves on the front line of the ‘Velvet Revolution’ of 1989. An artist, a hockey player and a music trader survive the last gasps of Communism in Prague. Based on true stories, this true ‘Beyond Borders’ selection was made by a US director after a career of work in Eastern Europe.
PRINCESS (East Coast Premiere), Israel
Writer/Director: Tali Shalom-Ezer
Cast: Ori Pfeffer, Shira Haas, Keren Mor, and Adar Zohar-Hanetz
Synopsis: In this disturbing breakout from Sundance, 12-year-old Adar engages in dangerous role-play with her stepfather, until she meets Alan, a boy from the streets who strangely resembles her. When she brings him into their family, her dark journey from childhood to adolescence reaches its breaking point. Sometimes the fantasy is just as disquieting as reality.
The Write/Rec section focuses on great stories told without the benefit of huge budgets, films that went from great script to fully-realized film outside of the studio system, rough edges and all.
THE LAST TREASURE HUNT (East Coast Premiere), USA
Director: Patrick Biesemans
Writers: Kate Murdoch & Casey Nelson
Cast: Kate Murdoch, Casey Nelson, Jeff Grace, and Charles Hoyes
Synopsis: Two estranged siblings find they must work together to unlock the secrets of their father’s will, the final act of an eccentric man who raised his children on treasure hunts. A heartfelt, family adventure story filmed on Fisher’s Island NY, writers Murdoch and Nelson star as Lucy and Oliver who have to put years of differences aside to get their inheritance.
LOST CONQUEST (New York Premiere), USA
Director: Mike Scholtz
Synopsis: In this not-quite-ready-for-the-History-Channel film, a documentarian interviews locals in Minnesota desperate to prove the Vikings made it all the way to the land of 10,000 lakes in their original conquest of the Americas. Armed with runestones and swords of spurious origin, these believers connect their heritage with history, whether or not the facts line up. Producer and Cinematographer Michael Pickering will be in attendance. Bring your horned helmets!
THE NYMPHETS (East Coast Premiere), USA
Writer/Director: Gary Gardner (in attendance)
Cast: Kip Pardue, Jordan Lane Price, Annabelle, and Dexter-Jones
Synopsis: Joe, in a Good Samaritan moment, comes to the ‘rescue’ of two (very young) girls who have had an ID confiscated by a bouncer. When Brittany and Allyson come home with him, he must be pretty sure he’s getting laid – but things like that don’t really work out for a guy like Joe. Fantasy turns to frustration as the girls play with their new toy, from titillation to torture. As the night wears on, they seem to challenge each other on how far they can push Joe, revealing his deepest secrets and insecurities and unraveling his life.
SOLEDAD (East Coast Premiere), USA
Writer/Directors: Wayne Mitchell & Eduardo Maytorena
Cast: Jesse Celedon, Montana Gillis, and Chase Austin
Synopsis: A lonely limousine driver’s isolated existence is interrupted after he comes to the aid of his female passenger. Victor saves Raquel’s prom night when her rich boyfriend Preston takes their celebrations a little too far in the limo back seat. Striking up an odd friendship, Victor tries to give her some good memories of the evening, but Preston is not about to let this low-class driver get the best of him.