A film festival for all audiences
|By Mark Arike - Staff Writer | October 26, 2015
With eight films set to hit the big screen, the ninth annual Haliburton International Film Festival (HIFF) will resonate with audiences from all walks of life.
"That's a lot [of movies]," said Marci Mandel, head of publicity for Those Other Movies, a non-profit organization which brings Canadian and international films to moviegoers.
This year's festival runs from Nov. 13-15 at the Northern Lights Performing Arts Pavilion in Haliburton.
The chosen films include everything from drama to comedy and documentaries. Several are in a foreign language with English subtitles. Some are suitable for families while others are a bit racier.
In order to come up with this year's lineup, Mandel and other members of Those Other Movies saw films shown at the Toronto International Film Festival and Cinefest in Sudbury.
The festival will open with What We Did On Our Holiday. Produced in the U.K., the film focuses on a couple going through a divorce whose three children end up revealing intimate details about their family.
When it comes to keeping a big secret under wraps from the rest of the family, they soon discover their children are their biggest liability.
Mandel said most years they show the Oscar winner for best foreign film. This year, the award went to Ida, a "moving and intimate drama about a young novitiate nun in 1960s Poland who, on the verge of taking her vows, discovers a dark family secret dating back to the terrible years of the Nazi occupation."
"It was highly reviewed and we're lucky that we got it," she said. "It's one of those films that if we had a real theatre it would have been shown."
A must-see for adults is Cloudburst. This film features a lesbian couple and their trials and tribulations.
"There's a lot of foul language but it ends so sweetly that we're showing it."
Other films include Mommy, Living Is Easy With Eyes Closed, This Changes Everything, Al Purdy Was Here, and Two Days, One Night.
Each year the committee tries to bring a guest speaker to the festival who is connected to one of the films. They are in the midst of negotiating to get someone involved with This Changes Everything.
One of the major highlights this year is the fact they have purchased a new projection system which will allow them to show each film in high definition.
"We bought a project years ago but have had issues with the darkness of it," explained Mandel. "We couldn't hook it up to our HD system."
The organization, which is comprised of volunteers, had funds set aside in the bank to make the purchase. The money has been raised through ticket sales from previous events and the support of several sponsors, she said.
Mandel hopes this year's lineup not only entertains audiences but connects with them on a deeper level.
"It's what movies do to us ... we sit in a dark room and something happens. It's kind of like sitting around the campfire in the old days—it's storytelling."
Festival passes can be purchased for $40 or you can purchase an individual movie ticket at the door before the show for $10. For more information, visit haliburton-movies.com, or call Carol at 705-286-2644 or Lisa at 705-286-3696.
MARK ARIKE is a reporter for The Highlander.