Niagara Film Fest nabs Features at Cannes By Staff
(May 20, 2014 – Toronto, Ontario) It was only a week or so ago that we recieved news of a new film festival in southern Ontario. With incredible speed and enviable moxie, that festival`s veteran programmer, Tony Watts, has gilded the upcoming first Niagara Integrated Film Festival with two high-profile features straight from the Cannes Film Festival.
The Niagara Integrated Film Festival (NIFF) aims to shine a cinematic spotlight on the Niagara Region`s extraordinary beauty while showcasing top shelf independent films from across the world. NIFF is run by an expert team of film festival managers and led by Bill Marshall who was Founder and Chair Emeritus of the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF).
Tony Watts is known as the programmer’s programmer. He`s been a player in international film and television since the ‘70s, and his credentials speak for themselves. He was the Director of Programmes for the inaugural Festival of Festivals, which grew to become TIFF. He has held executive positions with Premiere (the UK’s first satellite Pay TV channel), and with its successor Sky, Hong Kong-based Star movies and Sundance Channel International (where he reported directly to Sundance founder Robert Redford). In recent years, he’s been CEO of RTL Asia (the pay-TV arm of Europe’s largest broadcaster), and is CEO/Founder of The Festivals Channel – a subscription app movie service. Watts is considered one of the world’s leading experts on international film.
So, it should comes as no great surprise that while attending Cannes he would make news. The two films he has scooped for the inaugural NIFF are Four Corners, which was the official South African selection for Best Foreign Language Film at the 86th Academy Awards, and Cold In July, a 2014 American crime drama based on the cult novel of the same name by author Joe R. Lansdale.
A breakthrough film for director/co-writer Jim Mickle, Cold In July was picked up for US theatrical distribution by IFC. The star of the hit TV series Dexter, Michael C. Hall joins Sam Shepard, Don Johnson and Nick Damici in this tale of a man targeted for a revenge murder after he accidentally kills an unarmed intruder. But connecting the dots of his intended assassination leads him to a larger, murkier world of police corruption.