Glasgow Film Festival 2017: True North: New Canadian Cinema

Glasgow Film Festival celebrates Canada's 150th Anniversary of Confederation with a focus on their national cinema!

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Glasgow Film Festival 2017: True North: New Canadian Cinema
About Glasgow Film Festival 2017: True North: New Canadian Cinema

What images does Canada bring to your mind? Strapping Mounties and sticky sweet maple syrup? The mighty roar of Niagara and the plaintive caress of a Leonard Cohen song? Vast landscapes and ancient cultures? A Margaret Atwood novel? In 2017, Canada celebrates the 150th Anniversary of Confederation and Glasgow Film Festival is proud to join in those festivities with a focus on the great diversity of talent currently found in their national cinema. There are films that challenge the country’s cherished institutions, look back with warm affection on the summer of 1976 and display all the dazzling possibilities of animated storytelling. You can even step back in time and marvel at hipster Toronto in the late 1950s with a rare screening of Sidney J Furie’s trailblazing milestone A Cool Sound From Hell, one of many extraordinary visions from Canada.

Angry Inuk

GFT / Thu 23 (18.15) & Fri 24 Feb (11.00)
Canadian film of the year, Alethea Arnaquq-Baril’s controversial documentary is a brave study on the seal hunting ban and the detriment it brings upon the Inuit community. Millions are invested in the prohibition of seal hunting, with the cause garnering support from a number of high-profile individuals. However, the majority of Inuits depend on seal hunting for their livelihood, as the demanding environment is unfit for any other form of commerce. An enlightening experience that raises many uncomfortable questions about the consequences of banning such an industry.

True North: New Canadian Cinema / Director Alethea Arnaquq-Baril
Canada 2016, 1h22m, English and Inuktitut with English subtitles, N/C 15+ Thanks to the National Film Board of Canada

Below Her Mouth

GFT / Sat 18 (20.45) & Sun 19 Feb (11.00)
Written, directed and shot entirely with an all female production crew, April Mullen’s bold, uninhibited drama Below Her Mouth is a true rarity in its portrayal of women in film. When two women, Jasmine (Natalie Krill) and Dallas (Erika Linder), unexpectedly begin a passionate love affair, Jasmine is forced to confront the profound truth with her fiancé Rile (Sebastian Pigott). An assured and powerful film exploring the all-encompassing nature of attraction.

True North: New Canadian Cinema / Director April Mullen Cast Natalie Krill, Erika Linder, Sebastian Pigott
Canada 2016, 1h32m, N/C 18+ Thanks to Elle Driver

Boundaries (Pays)

CCA / Mon 20 (20.45) & Tue 21 Feb (13.15)
Québécois filmmaker Chloé Robichaud’s wry second feature follows three women involved in complex negotiations between local politicians and companies seeking to exploit the natural resources on the fictional island of Besco. President Danielle Richard (Macha Grenon), American facilitator Emily (Emily VanCamp) and idealistic federal deputy Felixe (Nathalie Doummar) fight vested interests, fraying tempers, bruising male chauvinism and a powerful sense of guilt over their neglected private lives in an insightful ensemble drama. Whoever convinced us that we could have it all?

True North: New Canadian Cinema / Director Chloé Robichaud Cast Macha Grenon, Emily VanCamp, Nathalie Doummar
Canada 2016, 1h40m, French with English subtitles, N/C 15+ Thanks to Indie Sales

Celtic Soul

GFT / Sun 26 Feb (16.00)
Multi-talented Canadian star Jay Baruchel (Goon, How to Train Your Dragon) has developed a mutual appreciation for Celtic with Fox Sports commentator Eoin O’Callaghan. The two men take to the road, trading quips and determined to trace Baruchel’s maternal roots in Ireland. Then comes the fun part, as they head to Glasgow for a chance to watch their beloved Celtic in action and experience a little slice of Paradise. Both men prove to be great company in this snappy, extremely entertaining documentary from the director of Shatner’s World.

True North: New Canadian Cinema / Director Michael McNamara
Canada 2016, 1h26m, N/C 15+ Thanks to Markham Street Films

A Cool Sound from Hell

GFT / Sat 25 Feb (13.30)
Long before an international career that includes The Ipcress File and Lady Sings the Blues, Torontoborn Sidney J Furie was one of the pioneering directors of independent Canadian cinema. His second black and white feature is a Canadian relative of the French nouvelle vague, as bored, middleclass youth Charlie (Anthony Ray, the son of director Nicholas Ray) has a chance encounter with femme-fatale Steve (Carolyn Dannibale) who draws him into a world of smoky night clubs, hot jazz and drugs. A fascinating vision of hipster Toronto from six decades ago.

True North: New Canadian Cinema / Director Sidney J Furie Cast Anthony Ray, Carolyn Dannibale, Madeleine Kronby,
Canada 1959, 1h12m, N/C 12+ Thanks to BFI National Archive

Crime Wave presented by Matchbox Cineclub

CCA / Thu 16 Feb (20.15)
Sitcom noir, or maybe Tex Avery splatter. Steven desperately wants to be a “colour crime movie writer”, but he can only write beginnings and endings - until an adoring fan befriends him. Through a series of adventures - and the intervention of the evil Dr Jolly - he finds the strength to go on. This is a rare opportunity to see John Paizs’ beloved and consummately Canadian cult classic, long unavailable in the UK. Screening is preceded by Springtime for Greenland (John Paizs, 1981) 25m.

True North: New Canadian Cinema / Director John Paizs Cast Eva Kovacs, John Paizs, Darrell Baran
Canada 1985, 1h20m, N/C 15+ Thanks to Matchbox Cineclub and Winnipeg Film Group

The Demons (Les Demons)

GFT / Wed 22 (20.15) & Thu 23 Feb (10.45)
Philippe Lesage’s strikingly composed coming-of-age tale The Demons is one of the most impressive Canadian films of the last few years. All the horrors of childhood, both chillingly real and vividly imagined, stalk the mind of sensitive 10 year-old Felix (newcomer Edouard Tremblay- Grenier). In the suburban Montreal of the late 1980s, his insecurity is not surprising, especially as he plays innocent bystander to the bitter tensions in his parents’ marriage. The nightmare then assumes an all too human shape in a psychologically acute, delicately handled film that marks Lesage as a name to watch.

True North: New Canadian Cinema / Director Philippe Lesage Cast Edouard Tremblay-Grenier, Pier-Luc Funk, Laurent
Lucas, Canada 2015, 1h58m, French with English subtitles, N/C 15+ Thanks to Be For Films

Hello Destroyer

GFT / Sat 25 (17.30) & Sun 26 Feb (13.25)
Ice hockey isn’t a matter of life and death for Canadians - it is so much more important than that. Tyson Burr (Jared Abrahamson) is a promising new recruit in the minor leagues. He enthusiastically embraces the macho culture of a sport that demands aggression and blind loyalty. When a bruising encounter leaves an opponent with life-changing injuries, Tyson becomes a pariah, ostracised by the very people who claimed to be like family. Kevin Funk’s uncompromising debut feature dares to question the national game and features a heartrending central performance from rising star Jared Abrahamson.

True North: New Canadian Cinema / Director Kevin Funk Cast Jared Abrahamson, Kurt Max Runte, Joe Dion Buffalo
Canada 2016, 1h50m, N/C 15+ Thanks to Tabula Dada Productions

Little Annie Rooney

GFT / Sat 18 (15.30) & Sun 19 Feb (13.30)
Who is the greatest Canadian star of them all? Ryan Gosling? Ellen Page? Not a chance. Toronto-born Mary Pickford was the biggest star in the world during the silent era. Fast becoming America’s Sweetheart, Pickford was also a shrewd businesswoman who helped to make Hollywood a global industry. The recently restored Little Annie Rooney finds her at the peak of her career as a “broth ofa brat ready to fight at the drop of a hat”. Plucky New York tomboy Annie will tackle any obstacle in her way when her beloved Joe (William Haines) becomes the suspect in a murder. Vintage fun from a very different era, with Mary Pickford at her comedic best.

True North: New Canadian Cinema / Director William Beaudine Cast Mary Pickford, William Haines, Walter James
USA 1925, 1h34m, N/C 8+ Thanks to The Mary Pickford Foundation

Old Stone (Lao Shi)

GFT / Mon 20 (18.00) & Tue 21 Feb (11.00)
Life is cheap and virtue is never rewarded in this thrilling debut feature from Chinese-Canadian director Johnny Ma. Every day is a struggle for taxi driver Lao Shi (Chen Gang). When a drunken passenger grabs his arm, the taxi swerves and hits a motorcyclist. A crowd gathers to observe but nobody wants to get involved. Shi takes the initiative and drives the victim to hospital but as he lapses into a coma it is Shi who becomes liable for all the medical expenses. A Dostoevskyan tale of crime and punishment that darkens into a nightmare vision of a society without conscience or compassion.

True North: New Canadian Cinema / Director Johnny Ma Cast Chen Gang, Nai An, Hongwei Wang
Canada / China 2016, 1h20m, Mandarin with English subtitles, N/C 15+ Thanks to Asian Shadows


GFT / Thu 16 (18.15) & Fri 17 Feb (10.45)
Veteran Canadian director Bruce McDonald (Roadkill, Hard Core Logo) reunites with awardwinning playwright and screenwriter Daniel MacIvor on this big-hearted coming of age drama. Handsomely shot in black and white and set during the July 4th weekend of 1976, Weirdos follows 15 year-old Kit (Dylan Authors) and his best friend Alice (Julia Sarah Stone) as they abandon small town life to hitchhike towards a brighter future. Life on the road becomes a journey of self-discovery filled with casual encounters, home truths and conversations with Kit’s “spirit animal” - Andy Warhol.

True North: New Canadian Cinema / Director Bruce McDonald Cast Dylan Authors, Julia Sarah Stone, Molly Parker
Canada 2016, 1h25m, N/C 15+ Thanks to Holdfast Pictures Inc


GFT / Sun 19 (18.15) & Mon 20 Feb (10.45)
Ashley McKenzie’s debut feature is the story of outcast homeless 20-somethings, Blaise and Vanessa, Cape Breton junkies on a methadone recovery program. Sleeping in tents, fighting with government bureaucrats, they survive primarily through the underground economy. They harass people to let them cut their grass with a rusty old mower. They both dream of moving on and away from themselves and their addiction, but despite Vanessa’s efforts Blaise becomes more self destructive. McKenzie’s film is stark and doesn’t romanticise the characters or their situation. An uncomfortable but compelling look at blighted lives.

True North: New Canadian Cinema / Director Ashley McKenzie Cast Andrew Gillis, Bhreagh MacNeil, Kyle M Hamilton
Canada 2016, 1h18m, N/C 15+ Thanks to Grassfire Films

Window Horses (The Poetic Persian Epiphany of Rosie Ming)

GFT / Fri 17 (18.30) & Sat 18 Feb (10.45)
Ann Marie Fleming’s lyrical, utterly captivating animated feature uses a wide range of styles to tell the story of Rosie Ming (voiced by the film’s executive producer Sandra Oh). Rosie is a young Canadian poet in Vancouver of Chinese and Persian descent. Her self-published book of poems earns her an invitation to a poetry festival in Shiraz, Iran. The life-changing experience opens her eyes to the world and brings a fresh perspective on the story of a father she thought had abandoned her. A heart-warmer that’s also an intelligent, effortlessly charming history lesson.

True North: New Canadian Cinema / Director Ann Marie Fleming Cast Ellen Page, Sandra Oh, Shohreh Aghdashloo
Canada 2016, 1h28m, N/C 12+ Thanks to National Film Board of Canada

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