September Festival Review – Take 2
by Ralph Lucas – Publisher
(September 12, 2022 – Toronto, ON) As mentioned in our September 6 article, this post continues our series looking at upcoming festivals often overshadowed by the rolling juggernaut that is the Toronto International Film Festival. In that first installment we looked at festival early in the month. Today we look at some other festivals between now and the end of the month.
While the Ottawa International Animation Festival is the largest of its kind in North America, not to be missed is the Montreal Stop Motion Film Festival that kicks of this Friday, September 16. There are 75 productions from almost 30 countries in the schedule, which is divided into several programs. Canadian productions are well represented and you can click here for a look at their schedule.
Cinéfest Sudbury starts on September 17. A few days ago we received an email about the festival looking for volunteers. We’re not sure if they’re still looking but they wanted a range of volunteers including Box Office, Photographer, Decorator, Host/Hostess, Technical Support, and Usher. As mentioned in our first article, the festival opens with the Canadian feature, Ashgrove, costarring Amanda Brugel and Jonas Chernick.
The 18th annual Montreal Black Film Festival kicks off on September 20 and runs to the 25th. It offers a full program of features and shorts in both documentary and fiction. Billed as the largest Black film festival in Canada, this year’s schedule offers 12 world premieres, 10 international premieres, 25 Canadian premieres and 9 Québec premieres. Held at the Cinéma Impérial, the opening night feature is the international premiere of Lovely Jackson (pictured above) from director Matt Waldeck (USA). There will be a Q&A session with the director and the subject of the film, Rickey Jackson. The film is the bold first-hand account of exonerated prisoner Rickey Jackson about the psychology of survival and the spiritual strength needed to resist 39 years of wrongful incarceration for a murder he did not commit.
OAIF, the Ottawa International Animation Festival is not only the largest of its kind in North America, it’s also the oldest. By the numbers, OAIF received a total of 2457 entries from 96 different countries. Of those, 62 short films, including Animated Series, and seven feature films were chosen for competition. There are five projects in the running for Best Virtual Reality (VR). Of special note this year is a look at “The Films of John Weldon.” Best-known as the animator and director of Log Driver’s Waltz, one of the all-time most popular Canadian animated films, his career brought an Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film in 1979 with Special Delivery, and a Palm d’Or nomination for To Be at Cannes in 1990.
The big three western Canada film festivals all launch toward the end of the month and carry over into October. These are the International festivals held in Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver.
Edmonton launches on September 22 with the Canadian feature Rosie. Rosie, played by Keris Hope Hill, is an Indigenous, English-speaking, sweet, and headstrong little girl and her mother has just died. A children’s services agent brings her to her only living relative, her Francophone aunt Frédèrique (Mélanie Bray). “Fred” doesn’t have a solid foundation on which to raise a child. She is unprepared — she’s working at an adult entertainment shop and threatened with eviction — and is at first unwilling to take on caring for her adopted sister’s young daughter. Director and writer Gail Maurice and Melanie Bray will be in attendance for the opening in Edmonton. EIFF runs until October 1 and there is much more information online.
The Calgary International Film Festival (CIFF) runs September 22 to October 2. Looking at some of the Canadian films at CIFF, we found director Sean Garrity’s End of Sex (pictured above), which looks at a couple feeling the pressure of parenting and adulthood who decide to send their kids to winter camp for the first time so that they can embark on a series of sexual adventures in an attempt to reinvigorate their relationship. Viking, from Stéphane Lafleur is also on the schedule. Film Correspondent Thom Ernst’s short take on the film described it as “a pseudo-science fiction that takes a sharp turn towards the absurd. The NFB short The Flying Sailor is also on the schedule.
VIFF, the Vancouver International Film Festival won’t release their festival guide until Thursday of this week. We’ll update this post at that time. Click here to see our list of September festivals. If you don’t see your festival listed, let us know right away, it’s free (this year). Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ralph Lucas is the founder and publisher of Northernstars.ca. He began writing about film and reviewing movies while in radio in Montreal in the mid-1970s.