2017 FIN: Atlantic International Film Festival

A Sweet Release...

Posted: September 16, 2017

FIN: Atlantic International Film Festival announces its full program today, featuring over 120 film screenings and a full slate of special events, to be presented over eight days in Halifax, September 14-21.

"As Atlantic Canada’s curator of epic and unforgettable stories this year’s program delivers like never before. Incredible regional films sit alongside some of the best the screens of the world have to offer to ensure our audiences are going to be wowed in a major way”, said Wayne Carter, Executive Director.

The Opening Night Gala returns to the Dalhousie Arts Centre’s Rebecca Cohn Auditorium on Thursday, September 14 at 7 p.m. This year’s Opening Night Gala is part of the Movie Nights Across Canada initiative.  A project by Canadian Heritage and Telefilm Canada, Movie Nights Across Canada is a cross-country tour celebrating past, present and emerging Canadian talent – those in front and behind the camera – who make our country’s screen-based industry world-famous. Each Movie Nights Across Canada event happens in partnership with its host province, cultural agencies and private sector sponsors. The screenings welcome a diverse audience of cultural, business and community leaders.

Long Time Running, by celebrated documentary filmmakers Jennifer Baichwal and Nicholas de Pencier, is this year’s Opening Night Gala presentation.

Long Time Running follows The Tragically Hip’s iconic 2016 Man Machine Poem Tour across Canada and the final concert in their hometown of Kingston, after the band’s announcement that lead singer Gord Downie was diagnosed with incurable brain cancer. For a generation, The Hip, more than any other band in this country, have given us a kind of national soundtrack: we have taken their music and woven it into what it means to be Canadian. The Man Machine Poem Tour provided a collective moment for all of us to celebrate, appreciate, mourn and reflect. Long Time Running captures that moment in all its complexity and freezes it in time.

Following the Opening Night Gala film presentation is the FIN: Atlantic International Film Festival’s “Movie Nights Across Canada” Opening Night Celebration. Penned as one of Halifax’s ‘most anticipated parties of the year’, this red-carpet event will take place at the Via Rail Halifax Train Station on Thursday, Sept. 14, starting at 9 p.m.

The Festival's Closing Night Gala, presented by the Lord Nelson Hotel on Thursday, Sept. 21 at 7 p.m., will be Call Me by Your Name.

Written and directed by Luca Guadagnino (A Bigger Splash) the film is set in the north of Italy in the summer of 1983. Elio Perlman (Timothée Chalamet), a precocious 17-year-old American-Italian boy spends his days in his family’s 17th century villa transcribing and playing classical music, reading, and flirting with his friend Marzia (Esther Garrel). One day, Oliver (Armie Hammer), a charming American scholar working on his doctorate, arrives as the annual summer intern tasked with helping Elio’s father. Amid the sun-drenched splendor of the setting, Elio and Oliver discover the heady beauty of awakening desire over the course of a summer that will alter their lives forever.

Following the Closing Night Gala film presentation, the Festival’s time honoured Closing Night Party will take place at The Lord Nelson Hotel starting at 9 p.m.

In addition to the Festival’s Opening and Closing Nights, this year’s Gala Presentations lineup will feature both 6:30pm and 9:30pm screenings. Featured in the 6:30 p.m. Gala Presentations are Atlantic Canadian productions, The Child Remains (Michael Melski) and Black Cop (Cory Bowles), along with an impressive international slate, including Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool (Paul McGuigan) and BPM (Beats Per Minute) (Robin Campillo).

Also included in the 6:30 p.m. Gala Presentations are two short film programs: The Reel East Coast Shorts Gala, presented by CBC, features nine short films on Sunday, Sept. 17. The evening will feature works by an impressive cast of Atlantic Canadian filmmakers, including: Gwyneth Christoffel (Torture by Sound); Amy Bourgaize (Chiaroscuro); Kevin Fraser (Invading Giants); Daniel Boos (Thug); Dominic Fegan (Roller Skates and Hand Grenades); Nicole Steeves & Struan Sutherland (Dogged); Wanda Nolan (Crocuses); Andrew Coll (Duet); and Adam Perry (A Blessing from the Sea).

The From Away Gala will feature a screening of 10 finalists from the From Away Post Secondary Competition on Tuesday, Sept. 19. Presented in partnership with Canadian Heritage/Canada150, Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier21, RBC, Bell Media/CTV Atlantic, the National Film Board of Canada and Telefilm Canada, From Away is a film competition for Atlantic Canadian post-secondary students, produced by the Atlantic International Film Festival as part of Canada’s 150th anniversary of Confederation. Post-secondary student filmmakers were asked to examine, explore or celebrate Canada as home as both a concrete and abstract space - a landscape, a person, a feeling, a memory - through the medium of film. A reception will follow the From Away Gala film presentation at Pier 21 on Tuesday, Sept. 19 starting at 8 p.m.

New to this year’s Festival is a series of Gala Presentations starting at 9:30 p.m. from Sept. 15-20. East Coast talent is represented in Room for Rent (Matthew Atkinson) and starring Halifax’s own Mark Little (Mr. D, Rollertown), along with Seth Smith’s elevated horror, The Crescent. Some of the year’s most anticipated films of the year will be presented, including Mary Shelly (Haifaa Al-Mansour), Rebel in the Rye (Danny Strong); Borg/McEnroe (Janus Metz) and Happy End (Michael Haneke).

Featuring the newest and most anticipated films of the year, moviegoers will want to be first in line to see the 2017 Special Presentations lineup, sponsored by Cineplex Events. Savour the sights and sounds of soon to be award-winning films: The Breadwinner, a moving animated feature set in Afghanistan from director Nora Twomey (The Secret of Kells); Breathe, the directorial debut of Andy Serkis (The Lord of the Rings) and starring Andrew Garfield (Hacksaw Ridge) and Claire Foy (The Crown).

C’est la vie from directors Olivier Nakache & Eric Toledano (The Intouchables); A Fantastic Woman by Sebastián Lelio (Gloria); Human Flow, an epic documentary from celebrated artist & activist Ai Weiwei; Indian Horse, directed by Stephen S. Campell and based on the bestseller by Richard Wagamese; Loveless (Nelyubov), the Cannes Jury Prize winner from Russia’s Andrey Zvyagintsev (Leviathan); Loving Vincent, the world’s first fully painted animated feature about the death of Vincent van Gogh; Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down the White House, starring Liam Neeson as the man who was revealed to be “Deep Throat”; Novitiate, written and directed by Margaret Betts and starring Oscar winning actress Melissa Leo (The Fighter).

Racer and the Jailbird (Le Fidèle), from director Michaël R. Roskam (The Drop); Radiance (Hikari), from Japanese director Naomi Kawase; Stronger, from director David Gordon Green (George Washington) and starring Jake Gyllenhaal (Nightcrawler); and Tulipani, Love, Honour and a Bicycle, a romantic comedy set in Italy from Dutch director Mike van Diem.

FIN: Atlantic International Film Festival is also proud to announce the presentation of three films in celebration of Telefilm Canada’s 50th Anniversary. Screenings of the following films will be presented free of charge: Life Classes (William D. MacGillivray, 1988); The Sweet Hereafter (Atom Egoyan, 1997); and Manufactured Landscapes (Jennifer Baichwal, 2006).

Atlantic Canadian productions are well represented in both the Features and Documentaries programs. The Features Program includes: Studio Black! (Cory Bowles, Juanita Peters, Koumbie); Suck It Up (Jordan Canning); and You Ruined Our Life! (Iain MacLeod), while the Documentaries Program offers: Beerocracy (Alex Veitinghoff, Shauna Chase); Body Language Decoded (Geoff D’Eon); Free Reins (Jackie Torrens); The Girls of St. Mary’s (Christine McLean); Here Right Now (Amanda Gallagher); High Hopes: The Business of Majrijuana (Donna Davies); I Heard the Birch Tree Whisper in the Night and The Drinking Life (Kenneth J. Harvey); In the Waves (Jacquelyn Mills); Modified (Aube Giroux); Play Your Gender (Stephanie Clattenburg); A Scattering of Stars (Kent Martin); Sickboy (Andrew MacCormack); Small Town Show Biz: 2 Dreams From A Harbourtown (Jackie Torrens); and Zachary Richard, Cajun Heart (Phil Comeau).

Rounding out this year’s complete program is a top-tier line up of features and documentaries from Canada and around the world. Viewers will delight in a wide range of films such as: Canadian films, Ava (Sadaf Foroughi), Don’t Talk to Irene (Pat Mills), Gregoire (Cody Bown), Hollow in the Land (Scooter Corkle), Never Steady, Never Still (Kathleen Hepburn), Porcupine Lake (Ingrid Veninger) and Sweet Virginia (Jamie M. Dagg). International acclaimed titles include, God’s Own Country (UK), Have a Nice Day (Hao ji le) (China), In Syria (Insyriated) (Belgium), The Other Side of Hope (Toivon tuolla puolen) (Finland/Germany), Song of Granite (Canada/Ireland), The Rider (USA) and Viceroy’s House (UK/India/Sweden).

Select Canadian documentaries include: A Better Man (Attiya Khan, Lawrence Jackman); Mermaids (Ali Weinstein); Our People Will Be Healed (Alanis Obomsawin); State of Exception (Jason O’Hara). And the international documentary slate includes such titles as: All the Wild Horses (UK); The Workers Cup (UK); Faces Places (Visages, villages) (France); and Take Every Wave: The Life of Laird Hamilton (USA).

The Festival is excited to include two documentaries that focus on the Halifax Explosion of 1917. These include, Linda Campbell’s Halifax Explosion: The Deaf Experience, filmed in American Sign Language (ASL) and Maritimes Sign Language (MSL) with open English captions and Jennifer Adcock’s The Halifax Explosion, developed with consideration for the visually impaired.

This year’s Festival will also include a series of Relaxed Screenings. In association with Autism Nova Scotia, these screenings will include adjusted lighting and sound for the audience, along with a designated quiet area that provides a welcoming atmosphere to the disability community.

Also included in this year’s lineup are the Short Film Programs, featuring both a Canadian and international selections.

The 2017 Atlantic International Film 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 returning Festival Music House Atlantic, presented by Radio Starmaker Fund, and the 37th Atlantic Film Festival Awards Reception, honoring the amazing talents of Atlantic Canadian film industry professionals, presented in partnership with the Linda Joy Media Arts Society.

Strategic Partners, a one-of-a-kind event focusing on film, television, and digital fiction projects, from across Canada and around the world, will take place as part of FIN: Atlantic International Film Festival, Sept. 14-16. Each year, top Canadian and international industry players, including producers, investors, sales agents, funding agencies, broadcasters and distributors are selected to attend. Recognized as one of the world’s pre-eminent co-production markets and celebrating its 20th year, Strategic Partners 2017 is shining the spotlight brightly on the Nordic Countries and the USA. Offering close to 1,000 pre-scheduled 1-2-1 meetings, co-production focused roundtable sessions, cutting edge panels, visionary keynote speakers, screenings and receptions as well as the popular Nova Scotia Lobster Dinner By the Sea, Strategic Partners delivers the best in Maritime hospitality.

Keynote speakers for Strategic Partners 2017 include, Opening Keynote: Los Angeles based Producer, Stephanie Allain (Hustle and Flow, Dear White People) hosted by Jennifer Holness, Producer, Hungry Eyes Film and Television (Shoot the Messenger, Guns). Kicking off Saturday, participants will hear from Hanne Palmquist, Commissioning Editor, VP Original Programming, HBO Nordic, hosted by Dan Bekerman, Producer, Scythia Films (The Witch, Red Lights).

The 2017 SP program will also include two panel discussions throughout the two-day market: Friday’s panel will look at strategies for future focused, globally relevant financing plans; and Saturday’s will explore new market realities in deal-making and distribution. The panel discussions are stacked with some of the entertainment industry’s most influential leaders who are equipped with the knowledge and experience necessary to lead spirited discussions which will pique our curiosity, and inject new life into the conversations we have on the ground at Strategic Partners.

Financed with the support of Presenting Partner, Telefilm Canada; Signature Partner, Bell Media & CTV; Platinum Partner: Nova Scotia Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage and Gold Partners, 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: finfestival.ca/strategic-partners.

Tickets for screenings and special events along with ticket packages, group tickets and passes are on sale TODAY, August 16 at 1 p.m.

Tickets will be available online at finfestival.ca. Tickets will also be available at the Festival Box Office in Park Lane Mall (5657 Spring Garden Road) beginning Tuesday, September 5. For hours of operation, visit: finfestival.ca.

Tickets for the Opening Night Film will be available through the Dalhousie Arts Centre Box Office (6101 University Ave.), by phone at 1-800-874-1669 and online at dal.ca/dept/arts-centre or finfestival.ca. Tickets for the Opening Night Party will be available at finfestival.ca, or at the Festival Box Office.

Receive the most up-to-date information, including sneak peeks and Festival highlights at our website: finfestival.ca, our Facebook page: /atlanticinternationalfilmfestival, Twitter account: /thefilmfest Instagram account: thefilmfest. and YouTube channel: youtube.com/user/atlanticfilmdotcom.

"The key ingredients of everything we do here at FIN is always the incredible support we receive from our sponsors and when you mix that with top-drawer efforts from our staff and volunteers you have the mixture for magic," added Carter. "We pride ourselves on producing events that are open and accessible to everyone."


About FIN: Atlantic International Film Festival

FIN: Atlantic International Film Festival is an eight-day celebration of film, media and music from around the world. It’s a festival that turns Halifax into an international mecca for the arts, abuzz with movie lovers and filmmakers alike. Discover a variety of local, national and international films that explore all corners of life, culture, entertainment and the global human experience. A champion of local filmmakers, 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 began as a tiny, grassroots operation in St. John’s, Newfoundland in 1981, relocating to Halifax the following year. Just three decades later, the 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 through the celebration of film.

Today’s FIN: Atlantic International Film Festival is now a year-round celebration, growing beyond our cornerstone event in September to include: ViewFinders: Atlantic Film Festival for Youth, the Outdoor Film Experience, and Strategic Partners.


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