FIN Atlantic International Film Festival announces
program for online festival, FIN Stream from September 17-24
(Halifax, NS) – FIN Atlantic International Film Festival today announced the program for its new online festival, FIN Stream. Featuring 114 films in 53 screenings along with other special events, the festival will be presented from Halifax and accessible virtually throughout Atlantic Canada, September 17 to 24.
“To say 2020 has been an unusual year would be an understatement and, back in January as we began plans for our 40th Anniversary celebratory Film Festival, we had no idea it would take the form it has. However, nothing inspires innovation and growth like challenge!” says Wayne Carter, FIN Executive Director.
“When I joined the Festival organization nine years ago, one of my long term goals was to develop a way for the Festival to reach out in a concrete fashion to both creators and audience beyond Halifax and the surrounding area – and in a truly ‘silver lining’ to this cloud we currently find ourselves under, here we are.”
The FIN Stream program includes a range of selections from local, national, and international filmmakers. Viewers have the opportunity to immerse themselves in other cultures and enjoy films from 22 countries in over 20 different languages.
At its core, though, FIN Stream is a celebration of Atlantic Canadian content and creativity.
This year’s online Gala Presentations lineup will feature screenings at 7 p.m. AT each night of the festival. Of the Festival’s eight Galas this year, five of those presentations include films from New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia and/or Prince Edward Island.
With 30 years of experience in film and theatre, Newfoundland actor and filmmaker Ruth Lawrence returns to the Festival with her feature directorial debut, Little Orphans. In it we see three sisters reunite in St. John’s for a wedding. The complicated web of relationships between the sisters and other family members is only illuminated by the wedding. Presented by RBC, the Gala streaming of Little Orphans starts on Friday, September 18 at 7 p.m. AT, with access available for 24 hours.
Directed by Governor General’s Award-winning director William D. MacGillivray, Under the Weather follows the month-long roller coaster ride experienced by Jenny, her husband Phil and their seventeen-year-old daughter Maggie as they help Jenny’s brother Joe on his final journey facing a terminal cancer diagnosis. The Gala streaming of Under The Weather starts on Saturday, September 19 at 7 p.m. AT, with access available for 24 hours.
Directed by Brannon Braga (Star Trek) and based on Clive Barker’s acclaimed horror anthology of the same name, Books of Blood was shot in Nova Scotia using the peerless talent of our film professionals. The film takes audiences on a journey into forbidden territory through three uncanny tales tangled in space and time. The Gala streaming of Books of Blood starts on Sunday, September 20, at 7 p.m. AT, with access available for 24 hours.
The Forbidden Reel from Halifax-born and University of King’s College-educated documentary filmmaker Ariel Nasr is the story of Afghanistan’s fearless and visionary moviemakers – and the films we almost never got to see. Nasr juxtaposes dramatic insider testimony with freshly restored images from Afghan Film’s extraordinary archive to craft a visually absorbing story of modern Afghanistan. The Gala streaming of The Forbidden Reel starts on Monday, September 21 at 7 p.m. AT, with access available for 24 hours.
Also included in the 2020 FIN Stream Gala Presentations is the Reel East Coast Shorts Gala. Presented by CBC, the Reel East Coast Shorts Gala features eight short films by an impressive cast of Atlantic Canadian filmmakers, including: Shane Colin Mountain with The Seventh Man; Gwydian Morris with Deadstick John; Latonia Hartery with The Death of Winter; Zyanya Barbara Juarez Arellano with I Met Death, Asked Her If She Was Mexican; Shane Pendergast with Song of the Stevedore; Arianna Martinez with Maya Eterna; Gia Milani with At the Back; and Jordan Canning & Howie Shia with 4 North A. Streaming of the Reel East Coast Shorts Gala starts on Wednesday, September 23 at 7 p.m. AT, with access available for 24 hours.
Rounding out the Festival’s Gala Presentations are, of course, the Opening and the Closing Night Gala Presentations and the French Gala.
The eagerly anticipated Opening Night Gala of FIN Stream 2020 is Falling, a Canada/UK production and the directorial debut from celebrated actor Viggo Mortensen. John Peterson, played by Mortensen, lives with his partner, Eric, and their daughter in California, far from the traditional rural life he left behind years ago. His father, Willis (Lance Henriksen), is a headstrong man from a bygone era, who lives alone on the isolated farm where John grew up. Willis’s mind is declining, so John brings him west, hoping he and his sister, Sarah (Laura Linney), can help their father find a home closer to them. The film explores the fractures and contrasts of a contemporary family, a journey from rage and resentment to acceptance and hard-won grace. The Opening Night Gala streaming of Falling starts Thursday, September 17 at 7 p.m. AT, with access available for 24 hours.
The Festival’s Closing Night Gala will be Another Round (Druk), directed by Thomas Vinterberg. Played by Festival favourite Mads Mikkelsen, Martin is a weary high school teacher who, along with three of his colleagues, embarks on an experiment to maintain a constant level of intoxication throughout the workday. If Churchill won WW2 in a heavy daze of alcohol, who knows what a few drops might do for them and their students? While initial results are positive, it becomes increasingly clear that some bold acts carry consequences. The Gala streaming of Another Round starts Thursday, September 24 at 7 p.m. AT, with access available for 24 hours.
This year’s French Gala is Martin Provost’s La Bonne Epouse (How to Be a Good Wife), starring Juliette Binoche as a woman who runs a housekeeping school in 1960s France. After her husband’s sudden death, she transforms the school under the backdrop of the sexual revolution. The Gala streaming of La Bonne Epouse starts Tuesday, September 22 at 7 p.m. AT, with access available for 24 hours.
Each one of FIN’s eight Gala screenings will be available for a 24-hour period, starting at 7 p.m. Atlantic and lasting until 6:59 p.m. the next day. Outside of those Gala screenings, the entirety of our FIN Stream program will be available for ticket purchase and screening any time during the eight days of the Festival.
This year’s Special Presentations lineup features the newest and most anticipated films of the year.
These include: Mary Wharton’s Jimmy Carter: Rock & Roll President, a fascinating documentary that explores Carter’s strong ties to musicians during his presidential election campaign. Adrian Noble’s Mrs. Lowry & Son, which depicts beloved British artist L.S. Lowry’s relationship with his mother, featuring outstanding performances from Vanessa Redgrave and Timothy Spall. Joel Bakan and Jennifer Abbot’s The New Corporation: The Unfortunately Necessary Sequel takes up where the original multi-award-winning film left off, taking stock and naming names in the face of spiraling inequality, climate change, and the hollowing out of democracy. In Aisling Chin-Yee and Chayse Joynt’s innovative and powerful No Ordinary Man, the life of jazz musician Billy Tipton is re-imagined and performed by trans artists as they collectively paint a portrait of an unlikely hero. Based on real life events, Clark Johnson’s Percy features an exceptional performance from Christopher Walken as Percy Schmeiser, a Canadian farmer who takes on a giant corporation after their GMOs interfere with his crops. In The Truffle Hunters, directed by Michael Dweck and Gregory Kershaw, a handful of Italian men, seventy or eighty years young, hunt for the rare and expensive white Alba truffle, which to date has resisted all efforts at cultivation. Last but not least, directed by April Mullen, Wander is an edge-of-your-seat conspiracy thriller starring Aaron Eckhart, Heather Graham and Tommy Lee Jones.
This year’s Features program includes many well-established filmmakers alongside new voices, with stories that will entertain and inspire. FIN is proud to present some fantastic Atlantic Canadian films, including Bone Cage, the feature directorial debut of Nova Scotian filmmaker Taylor Olson and based on the play by Catherine Bank; Queen of the Andes, the debut feature written and directed by New Brunswick’s Jillian Acreman; Wharf Rats from PEI’s Jason Arsenault; and Still the Water, a dramatic story of hockey and second chances from PEI director Susan Rodgers.
Other outstanding feature films that will be part of FIN Stream include, Black Bear directed by Lawrence Michael Levine and starring Aubrey Plaza, Christopher Abbot, and Sarah Gadon; the intense and dynamic Mogul Mowgli directed by Bassam Tariq and starring British rapper and actor Riz Ahmed; the marriage drama My Prince Edward, from Hong Kong director Yee-Lam Wong; By Those Hands That Lead Me, by Brazilian director João Côrtes; Radioactive from director Marjane Satrapi and starring Rosamund Pike; revenge thriller Girl directed by Chad Faust and starring Bella Thorne and Mickey Rourke; and more.
The FIN Stream Documentaries Program also showcases some amazing Atlantic Canadian talent. Darrell Varga’s Bread in the Bones explores the act of making bread and the impact that it has on virtually every aspect of our lives. Israel Ekanem’s Good Earth: The Pots and Passion of Walter Ostrom follows its subject’s life making and teaching ceramics. Other documentaries in the FIN Stream lineup include a range of Canadian projects: Champions by Helgi Piccinin; Citizen of Moria by Jawad Mir & Ahmad Ebrahimi; Nail in the Coffin: The Fall and Rise of Vampiro by Michael Paszt; Stateless by Michèle Stephenson; There’s No Place Like This Place, Anyplace by Lulu Wei, The Walrus and the Whistleblower by Nathalie Bibeau, and Wintopia by Mira Burt-Wintonick.
FIN’s international documentary slate includes such titles as Cured by Patrick Sammon and Bennett Singer; Kenny Scharf: When Worlds Collide by Max Basch and Malia Scharf; My Darling Vivian by Matt Riddlehoover, Our Time Machine by S. Leo Chiang and Yang Sun, Stray by Elizabeth Lo and Women in Blue by Deirdre Fishel.
Also included in this year’s line up are the ever-popular Short Film Programs, which flow across genres, filmmaking experience, and countries. FIN will present new work from past festival alumni, like The Unhappy Pioneers by Iain MacLeod, Disco Apocalypse by Kevin Hartford, Rage Monster by Sarah Gignac, and Calamus by Kenneth J. Harvey. FIN’s short film lineup also includes excellent short form documentaries like Waiting in the Street by Shane Pendergast, The Mad Scientist of Hubbards by Lucy Harnish & Feleshia Chandler, Queen of Chaos by Kaila Bolton, and many more.
Many of this year’s festival films focus on social and political issues, like Inceldom, or why are the angry men angry by Taylor Olson, Squealy Wheels by Alex Peeler & Christopher DeVanney, and Trust in the You of Now by Tracey Richard & Hyacinthe Raimbault, amongst several others. From the warm comforts of Roomies by Amy Trefry, to the artistic stylings of Bedtime by James MacSwain, to the futuristic comedy of Smartificial by Mark Palermo, FIN’s short film programming offers something for everyone.
Tickets for individual screenings and festival passes are ON SALE NOW through FIN’s online box office at finfestival.ca. The finfestival.ca website is the hub for all FIN Stream information, including our new interactive film listing system, FINpedia, featuring film synopses, full film information, and film trailers.
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