HIFF celebrates a decade of flicks
|By Mark Arike - Staff Writer | October 6, 2016
It’s a big year for the Haliburton International Film Festival (HIFF).
In November, volunteers will roll out the red carpet for moviegoers at the 10th annual event.
Eight internationally acclaimed films will hit the big screen, and afterwards, a gala will be held to celebrate its growth and success over the years.
“We’re just really thrilled with how it’s grown,” said HIFF committee member Marci Mandel.
HIFF always takes place on the first weekend in November at the Northern Lights Performing Arts Pavilion in Haliburton. This year’s festival runs from Nov. 4-6.
It launched a year after Those Other Movies, a local non-profit organization that operates as part of Film Circuit. With more than 170 Film Circuit locations in the
country, it acts as the Toronto International Film Festival’s outreach program.
A committee of seven HIFF volunteers gets together and selects the movies that will be screened. It’s a process they embark on a year before the event.
“I think our experience in selecting the movies has been honed a little bit over the years,” said committee member Lisa Kerr. “I think we have a good idea of what people want to see.”
Last year’s festival nearly sold out and they expect to sell 200 passes this year.
“The only other seats that will be available will be at the door—but there won’t be very many,” Kerr points out.
Some films, such as the award-winning Dheepan, are hard-hitting, emotional and timely given current world events. The 2015 French crime drama tells the story of three Tamil refugees who flee the civil war-ravaged Sri Lanka and enter France to rebuild their lives.
There are two thrillers in the lineup, including River. It features Rossif Sutherland (Kiefer Sutherland’s brother) who plays a doctor in Laos and finds himself wrapped up in a murder and rape case.
“It’s intense,” she said.
The festival will open on a lighter note with Weirdos, a coming-of-age comedy set in the 1970s. The Canadian film was shot in black and white.
A special addition to this year’s festival is a veterans’ series, entitled The Veterans of Haliburton County produced by The Highlander, which is one of the many sponsors.
In the past, special guests have been invited to speak at screenings. They tend to be involved with the films, such as producers. But special guests have yet to be confirmed for this year.
Passes, which are still available, can be purchased for $40. Tickets for one screening are $10 at the door (if available).
“We want as many people as possible to participate,” said Kerr.
“It’s always a party.”
To reserve a pass, call Carol McClennan at 705-286-2644 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
More information is available online at haliburton-movies.com.
MARK ARIKE is a reporter for The Highlander.