Ana Valine’s darkly comic drama centres on mother/daughter con artists who just can’t catch a break. Seen through the eyes of 16-year-old Sammie (Paloma Kwiatkowski)—who lives with her pill-popping, alcoholic mom Marlene (Suzanne Clément)—this bittersweet journey leads us through dysfunction, love and addiction, before culminating with an unusual deliverance for this compelling pair. Winner, Best Director, Leo Awards 2014.
Plus–sized and 30 years old, Lexie is a feisty Bed & Breakfast owner who desperately needs a date to her sister’s wedding. In small town Nova Scotia, that’s no easy task. When a handsome and charming guest arrives she thinks all her problems are solved. But she misreads the situation and is soon reeling, believing her romantic dream has slipped away, perhaps forever. After a series of funny mishaps and a reality check or two, Lexie opens her heart to see that love may be closer than she thought. The film is a romantic comedy as feisty as Lexie herself. It stars Australian actor Melissa Bergland (Winners & Losers) in a breakout role, and is based on the best selling novel by Lesley Crewe.
Preceded by short films: Happy and Gay; Bedbugs: A Musical Love Story.
Since the late 1960s, many young women have disappeared or been found murdered along the 724-kilometre stretch of Highway 16 in northern British Columbia. Most of these women are from First Nations communities and are victims not only of murderous predators but of the systemic racism of governments that have shown little interest in apprehending their killers. The film not only movingly relates the personal stories of the victims and their families, but investigates how the legacy of colonialism contributed to their tragic fates — and how contemporary First Nations leaders are striving to change that legacy.
A family, including three young children, pack up and move to the remote wilderness of the Canadian North. For nine months they live in a small cabin. No road access, no electricity, no running water, no internet and not a single watch or clock. Set in the Yukon and filmed without an external crew, this is a thought provoking documentary that chronicles life’s natural unfolding when a family abandons the habits required in our time-based world.
British Columbia’s marine ecosystem has collapsed. Fish farms were seen as a way to offset growing pressure on declining wild stocks, but one woman, marine biologist Alexandra Morton, noticed that diseases coming from fish farms were killing wild salmon. In this revealing documentary, filmmaker Scott Renyard links the crash of many fish species on Canada’s west coast to diseases spread from fish farms and shows how the loss in marine fish biomass has global implications.
A rare chance to revisit this singularly strange, radical environmental, aboriginal rights drama from the Polish filmmaker Ryszard Bugajski (Closed Circuit; The Interrogation). Graham Greene gives the performance of his career as Arthur, who is either a pissed-off warrior on a rampage against a mill encroaching on his people’s land, or a trickster spirit manifesting to teach an ineffectual liberal lawyer (Ron Lea) a lesson about the need for action - unless he’s both?
Imagine spending years in prison without being charged with a crime or knowing exactly what you’re accused of. A film about the human impact of the “War on Terror,” The Secret Trial 5 is a sobering examination of the Canadian government’s use of security certificates, a Kafkaesque tool that allows for indefinite detention without charges, based on evidence not revealed to the accused or their lawyers. Over the last decade, this rare and highly controversial device has been used to detain five men for nearly 30 years combined. To date, none has been charged with a crime or seen the evidence against them. Through the experience of the detainees and their families, the film raises poignant questions about the balance between security and liberty.
"Troubling and compelling ... As Canadians, we’re used to looking elsewhere in the world and shuddering at the lack of due process and respect for human rights. This film is bound to shake many of us out of that sense of smug complacency." — Bruce DeMara, The Star
Italy, Canada, France
The charismatic Giuseppe Marinoni has been making some of the most desirable bicycle frames in Canada for decades. A competitive cyclist in Italy in his youth, he decides, at age 75, to attempt a World Record for distance cycled in one hour for his age group. Giuseppe’s determination and perseverance lead him back to his native Italy for his training and, ultimately, his attempt at the record. This is a film not only for the spandex-and-helmet crowd but for anyone who believes that a man’s reach should exceed his grasp.