The 2011 Canadian International Film Festival (CIFF) returns to Vancouver to screen indie films including over 25 international productions, including 8 Canadian films. The festival will be held Saturday, April 2, to Sunday April 3, 2011, at Edgewater Casino’s Stadium Club Theatre.
This year’s highlights include Fallen Before Falling, a film which follows a successful actress as she moves to her ‘safe place’ at an abandoned farm to face her fears, all while her mental state is questionable. Behind Your Eyes is a gritty story about a couple kidnapped and held hostage that turns into a fight for their lives against their mysterious abductor. Empty days are given new hope, but when the calls abruptly end a devastated Anna is compelled to surprising action to fill the unbearable void in The Secret Friend. Veteran actress Viola Harris (Deconstructing Harry, 1997) gives an indelible performance alongside Siobhan Fallon (Men in Black, 1997) in this poignant and subtly playful story. Finally, Seducing Charlie Barker is a dark satire of the Manhattan entertainment industry in which a gifted actor begins his fall from grace as he encounters a chameleon-like social climber.
Last year, the CIFF Grand Jury Award-winning film was Peaceful Kingdom (USA), with Gangster Exchange (Canada) picking up the accolade for Best of Canada.
2011 Official Selections
Seducing Charlie Barker – Amy Glazer
Dark satire of the Manhattan entertainment industry in which a gifted actor (Charlie Barker) begins his fall from grace as he encounters a chameleon-like social climber.
Behind Your Eyes – Clint Lien
Young couple, Erika and Steven, embark on a weekend retreat to meet Steven’s parents. When the couple is kidnapped and held hostage, it’s a fight for their lives against their mysterious abductor. As he tortures and teases them, secrets from the past emerge and change everything. When Erika escapes, the film plunges the viewer further into uncharted territory and unyielding mayhem.
The Secret Friend – Flavio Alves
A phone call can be a lifeline. A reclusive, elderly widow lives in quiet desperation following her husband’s death until she begins receiving daily phone calls from a silent stranger. At first Anna finds the calls intrusive, but as the calls continue unabated Anna finds herself waiting for her phone to ring with growing anticipation prompting her to reach out to her silent prankster.
Flint Creek – Christopher Hall
1813, Western New York. A young settler on the war-torn Niagara Frontier witnesses a war crime deep in the wilderness and must decide whether he will put his life at risk and help an unlikely friend.
Kanowna – Chris Richards-Scully
Kanowna, Western Australian Goldfields, 1902, a lawman does the unforgivable and fathers a child to a Japanese prostitute.
Blindfold – Teace Snyder
A ten-year-old-girl is subpoenaed for giving a controversial presentation about 9/11 to her class, and her widower father must confront both his, and her feelings, about the loss of their mother and wife in the attack. from the brink of disaster?
Come Together…A Beatles Tribute – Steve Ison & John Scofield
If music is the universal language, then the songs of the Beatles are its Rosetta Stone. The Fab Four no loner exist, but their musical legacy lives on through an estimated 8,000 ‘look-alike-sound-alike’
Land without Shadows – Raimonda Skeryte
After the death of her ex-boyfriend, Eponine decides to go back to the place of memories, Coney Island. On a bench, she reads a letter full of love, written by her ex-boyfriend’s mother, Sally. Paul, a young photographer looking for new images didn’t miss that moment and decides to go see her.
Paperman – Richard Kelly
A lone man’s quest to find his true love in a busy paper metropolis. Will he find the Papergirl he hopes for?
Fallen Before Falling – James Dubbeldam
Anastasia, a successful actor, moves to her ‘safe place’ at an abandoned farm, to face her fears and deal with her problems. All while her mental state is questionable.
Timothy and the World of Tomorrow – Daniel Labossiere
Timothy is a curious boy with his sights set on becoming the next Neil Armstrong and blasting off to the moon. His dreams are sharply contrasted with his strict upbringing and overbearing mother, who will stop at nothing to prevent Timothy from reaching his dreams, and fostering a friendship with Sunjit, a Sikh boy living next door.
Punky Pets: International Icon – Charles Unger
The Punky Pets are eight, animated, ethnically diverse, animal characters from around the world that have dreams of becoming big rock stars. They come from vastly different countries to qualify for the grand prize at the International Icon music competition.
Unfortunate Fate – Marc-Andre Miron
Struggling to regain control of his life, Zack finds that having someone looking over you at all times isn’t necessarily a good thing.
Clemency – Joseph Albanese
The newly elected governor, based on the testimony of a forensic psychologist at Poe’s murder trial and the testimony convinced the governor that Poe deserved psychiatric care rather than death. Many are outraged by the governor’s act of leniency. A reporter confronts a sadistic killer who takes her on a terrifying thrill ride she will never forget.
Collectables – Jacob Proctor
A man who cleans rubbish from the side of a railway line discovers something out of the ordinary amongst the usual garbage. A young woman left for dead. His quiet and ordered life is shattered when the woman regains consciousness in the man’s works hut.
Mashed – Adam Fisher
Doomed to sit at the dinner table until his plate is clean, little Trevor reaches to the depths of his imagination to overcome the dreaded potato monster and his evil minions.
Alex and the Ghosts – Eric Warin
Alex and the Ghosts is a story of childhood magic and wonderment around a legendary hockey team, uniting past and present, reaching out to the youthful hearts of sport fans of all ages.
Trio – Danny Aiello III
Jess and her two best friends go out for a night on the town, where Jess finds herself haunted by a mysterious Bag Lady. This just serves to remind her of the one thing she can never seem to let go of… Him. How do you live when love won’t die?
The Pizza Miracle – Tony Grisoni
A paesano digs for eels on the mud flats. The Madonna appears and forbids him to kill any more forcing him to decide between Heaven’s commands or the needs of his family.
Quiet at Dawn – Rob Blackie
A WW1 soldier has to watch over another soldier whom he falsely accused of desertion and whom will executed at dawn for cowardice.
Corrupted Scene Behind the Stage – Ivan Mena Tinoco
Everyone of us has a part that we don’t share with anyone. The stage and the backstage as a metaphor of our personalities are reflected in this mysterious approach to the video.
Artillerie Lourde (Heavy Weaponry) – Guillaume Falardeau
One day in the life of two careless and emotionally detached city cops.
The Shoes Maketh The Man – Tarek Sursock
An ambitious but misguided accountant hurries to sign-on his next important client. His materialistic values are going to be put to the test as he makes his way through the concrete jungle of Beverly Hills.
Shuffle – Garrett Bennett
A killer with a change of heart must play one last hand of poker with the mob boss that raised him within a criminal house of cards.
Two spies meet to exchange information of vital importance but one spy has different motives.
David and Goliath – George Zaverdas
Based on a true story, David a Jewish resistance fighter flees for his life as he is being hunted by Nazi soldiers and is saved by a ferocious German Shepherd, who ultimately becomes his savior.
Abeo – Graham Nolte
In a world where the quality of television sitcoms are sinking lower than Miley Cyrus’s cleavage line, Ronan Abeo, a sitcom writer himself, is growing more disillusioned from the erroneous and soulless work. His distaste for the material only deepens with time, but unfortunately for him, it is already too late.
The Girl Who Cried Pearls – Pascal Trottier
After saving a mysterious girl who cries valuable pearls, a man estranged from his family resorts to drastic means to reunite with his terminally ill child.