Atlantic Film Festival – 2016 Full Program

A Sweet Release...

Posted: August 24, 2016

(Halifax, NS) - The 36th annual Atlantic Film Festival announces its full festival program, featuring over 225 films and a full slate of special events, to be presented over eight days in Halifax, September 15-22.

"This year we are delivering as your curator of epic and unforgettable stories across the spectrum of every taste like never before. Audiences flock to film festivals to be moved, challenged, shaken and stirred and this year’s program guarantees all of that and beyond”, said Wayne Carter, Executive Director.

aff2016 atlantic features for twitter

Adding to the already impressive list of previously announced Gala Presentations – Opening Night Gala Maudie (Sept. 15), Friday Night Gala Weirdos (Sept. 16), Sunday Night Gala: Reel East Coast Shorts (Sept. 18), and Wednesday Night Gala Perfume War (Sept. 21) – are the exciting announcements of four additional Gala Presentations to complete the 2016 program.

The Saturday Night Gala presentation on Sept. 17 will be American Honey, written and directed by Andrea Arnold (Wasp, Red Road).

AMERICAN HONEY by Andrea Arnold will screen at AFF2016

The film follows Star (Sasha Lane), a teenage girl from a troubled home, who runs away with a travelling sales crew selling magazine subscriptions door to door. Finding her feet in this gang of teenagers, one of whom is Jake (Shia LaBeouf), she soon gets into the group's lifestyle of hard-partying nights, law-bending days and young love.

Candid, bold and powerful, with an almost non-stop music track ranging from rap to ballad, American Honey is an engrossing and exhilarating coming-of-age film that examines frayed youth with surprising depth. American Honey is produced by Film4, Parts & Labor, Maven Pictures, and the British Film Institute, and is distributed in Canada by Elevation Pictures.

Theatre of Life, from director Peter Svatek, is the Atlantic Film Festival Monday Night Gala on Sept. 19 – and also part of this year’s inaugural NFB Showcase.

THEATRE OF LIFE director Peter Svatek will screen at AFF2016

For Expo Milano 2015, renowned chef Massimo Bottura, whose Osteria Francescana was named world’s best restaurant in 2016, invited 60 of his international confrères to join him in transforming food destined for the dumpster into delicious and nutritious meals for Italy’s hungriest residents.

A visual feast in itself, Theatre of Life puts a human face on its powerful message of social justice while raising awareness about the enormous environmental impact of food waste. Theatre of Life is produced by Triplex Films and The National Film Board of Canada.

This year’s Tuesday Night Gala: Français will be Xavier Dolan’s Juste la fin du monde (It’s Only the End of the World), winner of the Grand Prix at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival.

Juste la fin du monde (It’s Only the End of the World) by Xavier Dolan will screen at AFF2016

After 12 years of absence, a writer goes back to his hometown, planning on announcing his upcoming death to his family. As resentment soon rewrites the course of the afternoon, fits and feuds unfold, fuelled by bitterness and fear, while all attempts of empathy are sabotaged by people’s incapacity to listen, and love.

Produced by Sons Of Manual and MK Productions, Juste la fin du monde is distributed in Canada by Entertainment One.

The Festival's Closing Night Gala presentation on Thursday, Sept. 22 will be Manchester by the Sea, written and directed by Academy Award® nominated filmmaker, Kenneth Lonergan (You Can Count on Me).

MANCHESTER BY THE SEA a Kenneth Lonergan film will screen at AFF2016

When his older brother dies, Lee (Casey Affleck) is granted custody of his teenage nephew (Lucas Hedges). As they both adjust to their new lives, Lee struggles with the many ghosts of his past, including his estranged ex-wife Randi (Michelle Williams) who makes her way in and out of his past and present.

Produced by K Period Media, Manchester by the Sea is distributed in Canada by Mongrel Media.

Featuring the newest and most anticipated films of the year, moviegoers will want to be first in line to see the twelve films comprising the 2016 Special Presentations, sponsored by Cineplex Events. Savour the sights and sounds of soon to be award-winning films:

Denial, recounting Deborah E. Listadt’s (Rachael Weisz) legal battle for historical truth against Holocaust denier David Irving (Timothy Spall); The Dressmaker, an Australian revenge comedy-drama starring Kate Winslet and Liam Hemsworth; Elle, a French psychological thriller directed by Paul Verhoeven and starring Isabelle Huppert; Gimme Danger, Jim Jarmusch’s affectionate tribute to Iggy Pop and The Stooges; The Handmaiden (Agassi), a South Korean erotic psychological thriller from writer-director Park Chan-wook; I, Daniel Blake, the latest Palme d’or prize-winner from celebrated filmmaker Ken Loach; Julieta, based on three short stories by Alice Munro and brought to the screen by Pedro Almodóvar; Mean Dreams, a coming-of-age thriller from writer-director Nathan Morlando and starring Bill Paxton; Patterson, Jim Jarmusch’s tale of a bus driver poet played by Adam Driver; Personal Shopper, a ghost story set in the fashion underworld of Paris starring Kristen Stewart; Toni Erdmann, a German comedy-drama written and directed by Maren Ade; and Trespass Against Us, following a family living on the wrong side of the law in provincial England, and starring Michael Fassbender and Brendan Gleeson.

Two new film programs are being announced this year. The first being Restored! which focuses on a new film preservation each year. The 2016 selection offers Multiple Maniacs, John Waters’ gloriously grotesque, unavailable-for-decades second feature, made in 1970 on a shoestring budget in Baltimore.

The second is the inaugural NFB Showcase, celebrating our nations oldest and most celebrated film institution with a suite of screenings highlighting their latest productions. Featured documentaries are Angry Inuk (Alethea Arnaquq-Baril), Bluefin (John Hopkins), Gun Runners (Anjali Nayar), The Gift (Niobe Thompson), and We Can’t Make the Same Mistake Twice (Alanis Obomsawin), along with nine additional films in a NFB Shorts program.

Rounding out this year’s complete AFF program is a top-tier line up of features and documentaries from Canada and throughout the world. Viewers will delight in a wide range of films, including Canadian films: Below Her Mouth, First Round Down, Hello Destroyer, Old Stone, Two Lovers and a Bear, Unless and Window Horses; international award-winners: L’Avenir (France/Germany), Land of Mine (Denmark/Germany), A Man Called Ove (Sweden), The Salesman (Iran/France) and Transpecos (USA); and Canadian Premieres of international titles: Crosscurrent (China), Moon Dogs (UK), Papa: Hemingway in Cuba (USA/Canada), and She Remembers He Forgets (Hong Kong), among many more.

Select documentaries include: the rotoscoped recount of America’s first mass school shooting, Tower; a look at champion show chicken breeders in Chicken People; a wide ranging musical celebration of Austin City Limits in A Song for You; a gripping, psychological thriller, and winner of a Special Jury Prize at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival, Kate Plays Christine; and Dilip Mehta’s profile of porn star turned Bollywood star, Sunny Leone, in Mostly Sunny; among many other captivating and enlightening titles.

The Atlantic Film Festival will once again feature French language films from Canada in partnership with Quebec Cinema, including feature films Boris sans Béatrice (Denis Côté), King Dave (Daniel Grou) and Les Mauvaises Herbes (Louis Bélanger), along with nine short films in Courts métrages. All films in the Quebec Cinema program are in French with English Subtitles.

Also included in this year’s line up are Short Film Programs, featuring both a Canadian and international selection, and the Festival’s popular ViewFinders: Films for Youth program.

The 2016 Festival will host several one-of-a kind special events and parties to celebrate the movies, the people and the city of Halifax. In addition to the Opening Night Party is the return of the Festival Music House Atlantic presented by Radio Starmaker Fund. The night will feature a stellar line up, including performances by award winning East Coast artists Paper Lions (PEI), Amelia Curran (NL) and Joel Plaskett (NS).

Strategic Partners plan for 2016

One of the world’s most established co-production/co-financing markets, Strategic Partners is a one-stop shop for projects looking for partners and will take place as part of the 36th Atlantic Film Festival, Sept 15-17. A global trendsetter, the event attracts producers whose projects represent fresh and innovative ways to tell stories, across all platforms. Priority is given to projects considered to have both commercial and international appeal. Strategic Partners provides a full agenda of 25 minute, pre-scheduled 1-2-1 meetings with investors/broadcasters/distributors/sales agents, participation in investor and co-production focused roundtable sessions, cutting edge panels and visionary keynote speakers. The event’s two-day linear program is designed to provide unparalleled access to international co-production/ co-financing possibilities. All of this happens under one roof, set against the backdrop of the Atlantic Film Festival and the vibrant, coastal city of Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Featured sessions include Opening Keynote speaker, Producer of The Last King of Scotland, The Constant Gardener and A Most Wanted Man, Andrea Calderwood (Potboiler Productions, UK), as well as a conversation with Nordic Broadcasters, Liselott Forsman (YLE, Finland) and Lars Hermann (DR, Denmark). In addition there will be two panel discussions. On Day 1, International industry leaders across existing and new financing and distribution platforms will explore the shift in how feature film is treated as a medium, and how audience viewing habits have triggered an adjustment in how content is financed and distributed. The second topic will consider television’s role in a world whose borders are disappearing as fast as SVOD’s proliferate. What are the identifiable trends across the globe? The intersection of domestic vs. international audience appeal and the producer’s ability to harness opportunities for content export are on the front line of this discussion.


Strategic Partners is financed with the support of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, Telefilm Canada as the Presenting Partner and Signature Partners, Bell Media, and CTV. Gold Partners include: Canada Media Fund, Canadian Media Production Association and Super Channel. Strategic Partners is a convergence of talent and innovation, producing tangible results. For more information, visit:

“As the annual meeting place for the industry on Canada’s East Coast, the Atlantic Film Festival’s programming is known for its memorable narratives, drawing on a tradition of storytelling. The Festival is also a place where deals are made. The Government of Canada’s support, through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, is focused on attracting international investment to the film and digital media sector through the Strategic Partners initiative. Wishing you continued success in this 36th edition,” said the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for ACOA.

The Atlantic Film Festival is very pleased to announce a new partnership with a new ticketing service provider in 2016, Vendini. For the first time, the Atlantic Film Festival will be using the online ticketing services of Vendini, whose mission is to simplify the business of live events. The San Francisco headquartered company also has offices in Vancouver and Montreal.

"We are delighted to be the Atlantic Film Festival's choice for simplifying the online sale of tickets for this exciting, multi-faceted event," said Keith Goldberg, Chief Revenue Officer of Vendini. "The range of choice in films, parties, discussions and gala presentations presents a terrific opportunity for the Festival attendees to enjoy a rich set of options that can be easily navigated with Vendini's user friendly ticketing solutions, and is sure to create many loyal festival fans in the process."

2016 Atlantic Film Festival Full Program press releaseTickets for all screenings and special events along with all Festival passes are on sale today, August 24 at 3 p.m.

Tickets are available online at Please note that online tickets can be purchased by credit card only. Tickets will be available at the Festival Box Office in Park Lane Mall (5657 Spring Garden Road) beginning September 6th at noon. For hours of operation, visit:

A limited amount of tickets for the Opening Night Gala Film are currently available through The Dalhousie Arts Centre Box Office (6101 University Ave.), by phone at 1-800-874-1669 and online at Tickets for the Opening Night Party are available at or at the Festival Box Office (opening at 12 noon, September 6th).

Receive the most up-to-date information, including sneak peeks and Festival highlights at our website:, our Facebook page: /atlanticfilmfestival, Twitter account: /thefilmfest and Instagram account: thefilmfest.

“The key ingredients of the Atlantic Film Festival are always the generous support of our sponsors and donors and the incredible efforts put forth by our staff and volunteers,” added Carter. “Nothing makes us happier than seeing audiences sharing the experience of movie magic.”

The Atlantic Film Festival would like to thank Bell Media, CTV, Telefilm Canada, the Canada Media Fund, CBC, ACOA, Cineplex Events, the NFB, Quebec Cinema, RBC, The Lord Nelson Hotel, Vendini, and all of its partners, sponsors and suppliers.



About the Atlantic Film Festival

The Atlantic Film Festival (AFF) is an eight-day celebration of film, media and music from around the world. It’s a festival that turns Halifax – a charming and historic coastal city – into an international Mecca for the arts, abuzz with filmmakers, industry types and film lovers. This year’s event celebrates 36 years of the Festival and takes place from September 15-22.

Offering a first-look at the best international films of the festival season, the Atlantic Film Festival is a champion of local filmmakers, committed to bridging the gap. We attract some of the biggest players in film, media and music from around the world. All of our film selections are chosen with our community in mind and our special events are designed to bring us all together. A not-for-profit organization, the Festival depends heavily upon its strong ties to the surrounding and thriving arts community.

Celebrating 36 years in 2016, the Atlantic Film Festival began as a tiny, grassroots operation in St. John’s, Newfoundland in 1981, relocating to Halifax the following year. Just three decades later, the Atlantic Film Festival has blossomed into one of Canada’s premier film festivals. Whether for industry folk, unabashed film lovers or curious onlookers, the Festival offers a slew of opportunities to engage the global film experience. Today’s Atlantic Film Festival is now a year-round celebration, growing beyond our eight-day cornerstone event in September to include: ViewFinders: Atlantic Film Festival for Youth, AFF Outdoor Film Experience, and Strategic Partners.

Receive the most up-to-date information about the Atlantic Film Festival and its Family of Programs, including sneak peeks and festival highlights online at our website:, our Facebook page: /atlanticfilmfestival, our Twitter account: /thefilmfest #AFF2016, our LinkedIn company page:, our Youtube channel: and our Instagram account: thefilmfest.


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