The brain trust behind Those Other Movies (TOM), the Haliburton International Film Festival (HIFF) and Doc(k) Day will soon be hitting the road for Sudbury and Toronto as they scour the fall film circuit for movies to elicit laughs, tears, and thought-provoking moments for local audiences.
But before they start the car, TOM will present their first autumn offering Sept. 14, with showings at 4:15 and 7:15 p.m. at the Northern Lights Performing Arts Pavilion.
The Miracle Club stars Maggie Smith, Kathy Bates, and Laura Linney. Set in 1967 Ireland, the dramedy is about three Irish women, best friends from a somewhat insulated Catholic Dublin suburb of Ballygar, who travel to the shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes in France, each with her own miracle for which to pray.
Spokeswoman Tammy Rea said, “we’re very happy that we’re starting with what we see as a classic kind of TOM movie.”
After that, the ladies will head out on the circuit. They traditionally shop their films at Cinefest in Sudbury (Sept. 16-24) and the Toronto International Film Festival (Sept. 7-17). Their finds will round out TOM offerings, on the second Thursday in September, October, January, March and May; HIFF Nov. 3-5; and Doc(k) Day April 13.
The second TOM movie is Oct. 12. Jules stars Ben Kingsley and Jane Curtain. Kingsley plays Milton, a man who lives a quiet life of routine in a small western Pennsylvania town, until he finds his day upended when a UFO and its extra-terrestrial passenger crash land in his backyard.
Rea said the film is like “E.T. for seniors.”
After the Sept. 14 screening, they head north for Cinefest. With their VIP passes, it will be a blur of non-stop film watching. “We barely even have time to eat,” Rea said, as they pop in and out of the Cineplex showings.
HIFF returns this fall after a four-year hiatus, thanks to COVID.
“It’s really hard to think of how long ago it’s been since we’ve had something, because it would have been 2019,” Rea said.
While nothing is firmed up, they are talking to documentarian Matt Finlin about The Movie Man, about Keith Stata and the iconic Highlands Cinema. They are also chatting with Haliburton native Kate Campbell, who attended the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year.
Once they pick the remaining TOM films and the eight for HIFF, they will turn their attention to Doc(k) Day and the four films in the spring.
Rea said in light of COVID and the passing of Lisa Kerr, they considered not restarting.
“But we just feel there’s still a need for people to get together, to see and experience. That’s why we’re looking for the positive stories to bring. Things you just aren’t going to find on Netflix or Prime. We’re trying to find the ones you haven’t, and won’t see. We hope to bring back lots of laughs, a few tears, a few touching moments and make you think.”