Attention film fans, the Grand River Film Festival begins tonight! Entering its fifth season, the festival continues to build an excellent reputation for supporting
local film culture and screening Canadian and international films.
The schedule for this year’s festival looks amazing! There is something for everyone, so be sure to attend at least three or four screenings. You will not regret it. After all, this only occurs once a year.
The festival kicks off tonight with the BMO Shorts competition. Now entering its fourth year, the competition is divided into three categories, Student, Open, and Waterloo Region. Film professionals will judge each short (ten minutes or less)and the winners will take home significant cash and prizes. As for local talent, Struan Sutherland’s “A Serious Talk” will be screened, and Lyndon Horsfall has two films accepted, both from his Posthuman web-series.
As for the open category, the schedule is as follows:
Below the Surface—Producer / Director Michael Martins
Hotel Alpha Mike –Producer Kyle Parry, Director Ryan Alexander
Jake Horton’s -Producer/Director Kevin Nikkel
Just Can’t Trust a Drunk Ninja -Producer/Director Greg Doble
Light -Producer/Director Emily Baxter
Night Moves -Producer/Director Peter Genoway
Stoned for Days –Producer Laura Milliken, Director James Kinistino
Survival – Producer Collin Chan, Director Johnny Chocolate
The Origin of Ocean Rabbit -Producer/Director Allison Davis
Make your way to the Princess Twin Cinema tonight for 7:00. Tickets are only $5, so bring your friends and family.
On Thursday, October 20, the fest continues with Vida Y Danza (2008) at
the Galaxy Cinema in Cambridge. This is a very special event because director Veronica Tennant will be attending the RBC Opening Gala and Reception.
Vida y Danza, Cuba, shot in Havana and Toronto over a two year period, gives access to the intensely vibrant world of the charismatic Lizt Alfonso. Her flamenco company and school, Lizt Alfonso: Dance Cuba, formed under the harshest of conditions during the demise of the Soviet Union in 1991, fuses a heady mix of dance styles, Spanish-Afro-Cuban rhythms, extraordinary dancers and fabulous musicians. The film documents the creative process resulting in the musical show VIDA! a metaphor for Cuba itself, and its triumphant debut in Toronto, at the inaugural Luminato Festival, 2007.
Friday, October 21 will be a big night, with four films screening. Music
from the Big House (2010) screens at Empire Theatres in Cambridge at 7:00, followed by Below New York (2010) at 9:00. The Princess Cinema will screen The Rowdyman (1972) at 7:00 and Servitude (2011) at 9:00.
The Friday Line-up:
Music From the Big House(2010)
Bruce McDonald and Erin Faith Young document musician Rita Chiarelli’s quest to locate the birthplace of the blues, a journey that leads her to Louisiana State Maximum Security Prison. While at Angola Prison—one of the bloodiest prisons in America—we witness a remarkable situation whereby prisoners are allowed to express themselves through music, which provides an escape from the harsh realities of incarceration.
Below New York (2010)
Below New York is a unique and stylized look at some of New York City’s finest subway performers, musicians and artists. The film draws the audience into the lives of these local performers, and demonstrates that their quest for a venue and sustenance adds a truly wonderful aesthetic to one of the greatest cities in the world.
The Rowdyman is a comedy written by Gorden Pinsent, who also stars in the film. The story involves Will Cole (Pinsent), a thirty-something who sees no reason to take life too seriously, but eventually, his hi-jinks bring about tragic consequences to those closest to him. The Rowdyman was filmed in and around Corner Brook and St. Johns, and many would consider it one of the best films made about life in Newfoundland.
Don’t miss this opportunity to see The Rowdyman on the big screen. It’s a
A group of frustrated waiters at a kitschy steakhouse take over their restaurant for one final, glorious, revenge-filled night when they discover they are all about to be fired.
After Friday’s films warm you up, sustain the feeling by watching the three films offered for your Saturday viewing pleasure. In Cambridge, there are two screenings, Small Town Murder Songs (2011) at Empire Theatres at 4:00, and be sure to catch Down the Road Again (2011) at 7:00. A closing gala and reception will be held at Cornerstone Inferiors. At the Princess Cinema in Waterloo, you will finally have the opportunity to watch Sounds Like a Revolution (2010).
More about Saturday’s line-up:
Small Town Murder Songs (2011)
A modern, gothic tale of crime and redemption about an aging police officer from a small Ontario Mennonite town who hides a violent past until a local murder upsets the calm of his newly reformed life.
Down the Road Again (2011)
In 1970, Joey and Pete left Nova Scotia to try life in the big city in the Canadian classic Goin’ Down the Road. Now, some forty years later, Joey has died, and Pete must fulfill his last wish: to take his ashes back to Cape Breton Island, along with a few other tasks on the way. Armed with a series of letters and an envelope
full of money, Pete heads back home.
Sounds Like a Revolution (2010)
Sounds Like a Revolution is a feature documentary about a whole new generation of activist musicians who are living proof that music is an important and powerful tool in the ongoing struggle for social change.