This morning the Canadian Film Fest (CFF) announced its 2019 lineup. Now in its 13th year, CFF exclusively showcases Canadian talent by offering short and feature-length films. This year’s festival runs March 19-23 and offers nine features and 28 shorts. Shane Belcourt’s Red Rover and closes with Jaren Hayman’s documentary This is North Preston.
My favourite part of the CFF is the industry series. CFF is all about fostering homegrown talent and their industry series offer opportunities to learn about the industry from established professionals – they also make for great networking opportunities. No matter what area of the business you want to break into, CFF’s industry series has you covered. I’ve attended panels on casting, financing, and even emerging technology. Whether you set your sites on producing a web series or becoming a showrunner for the next great Netflix show, you’re going to want to attend CFF’s industry series.
Here’s a rundown of Canadian Film Fest’s 2019 feature film slate:
Running Time: 100 min.
Director: Shane Belcourt
Synopsis: After feeling he has nothing left to live for on earth, a lonely geologist tries to qualify for a one-way mission to Mars with the help of an offbeat musician who is just as lost as he is.
NOSE TO TAIL
Running Time: 90 min.
Director: Jesse Zigelstein
Synopsis: Nose to Tail stars Aaron Abrams as a talented but abrasive chef struggling mightily with his personal demons and the relentless pressures of running a high-end restaurant in downtown Toronto. Over the course of one increasingly frantic day and night, he faces a rash of private trials and professional tribulations in a desperate bid to beat the odds and save the business that he’s sacrificed virtually everything in his life to build.
ALONE ACROSS THE ARCTIC
Running Time: 86 min.
Director: Francis Luta
Synopsis: Explorer Adam Shoalts sets out to cross the Canadian Arctic in a race against time that will last 4 months, 4000 kilometers, no firearm, on foot and by canoe. He is the first to do this expedition in one season, alone.
WOLVES UNLEASHED – AGAINST ALL ODDS
Running Time: 86 min.
Director: Andrew Simpson
Synopsis: Wolves Unleashed – Against All Odds, is the next film in the award-winning series that follows world-renowned animal trainer, Andrew Simpson. This time his journey takes him to China, where he and his team are given the difficult task of raising and training wild Mongolian wolves, for the Chinese blockbuster film ‘Wolf Totem.’
THE DANCING DOGS OF DOMBROVA
Running Time: 102 min.
Director: Zack Bernbaum
Synopsis: On a cold winter night, estranged siblings Sarah and Aaron arrive in Dombrova, Poland. With their only available ride being a silent Driver, they embark on a quest to fulfil their dying grandmother’s wish: find, dig up, and bring home the bones of her favourite childhood dog, Peter. Finding the dog’s remains is easier said than done, as they not only have to face their own issues, but the many obstacles and eccentric characters Dombrova throws their way.
Running Time: 85 min.
Genre: Dark Comedy
Director: Gord Rand
Synopsis: Two couples. Two secrets. Too much booze. Adapted from the hit play, Pond Life is the story of a doctor, his wife and the pregnancy announcement party that goes down the tubes. Dick and Sandy want tonight to go well. Their guests, Richard and Daisy, want to destroy everything they see. After a night of taunts, put-downs, mind-games and clandestine business meetings, Sandy is left to question everything she has come to accept – and takes drastic measures to change it.
Running Time: 93 min.
Director: Thomas Michael
Synopsis: Widowed mother Claire moves her teenage daughter, Sarah, from Chicago to the small town of Mattawa for a fresh start. She is overjoyed when Sarah makes the varsity basketball team. But after “Initiation Night,” Claire’s daughter vanishes. Claire begins a frantic search for Sarah and encounters a less than helpful response from the town. Suspecting she isn’t being told the whole story and with the clock ticking, Claire will stop at nothing to uncover the truth behind her daughter’s disappearance.
Running Time: 90 min.
Director: Rama Rau
Synopsis: Natalie is an unpredictable tale of survival that follows the journey of an unlikely teenaged truck stop prostitute pulled from her ruthless and manipulative boyfriend-pimp and forced back into foster care where she discovers there might be more to life than the hand she’s been dealt.
THIS IS NORTH PRESTON
Running Time: 75 min.
Director: Jaren Hayman
Synopsis: The largest black community in the country started as a safe haven for escaped slaves but recently has been labeled as one of the biggest hubs of pimping and human trafficking in the nation. This Is North Preston illustrates how the town of 4,000 has dealt with generations of pimp culture, economic struggle, limited government resources, violence, and constant systemic racism through the eyes of community members, pimps, politicians, trafficking victims and police who have hope for a brighter future.
ABOUT THE CANADIAN FILM FEST:
The Canadian Film Fest (CFF) is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to supporting Canadian independent films and cultivating emerging and established filmmaking talent. Film-loving audiences come to enjoy a diverse selection of 100% Canadian film screenings (features & shorts) and filmmakers flock to the CFF’s various industry events to take advantage of essential networking opportunities. CFF’s mission is to celebrate the art of cinematic storytelling by showcasing Canadian films and filmmakers.
The 13th edition of CFF will take place March 19-23 at Cineplex’s Scotiabank Theatre in Toronto. Tickets can be purchased at canfilmfest.ca.