The Festival also announced Alberta Music Seen for this year’s Showcase Alberta, a celebration of the power of the music video as an art form featuring 10 music videos produced in Alberta, screening at Studio Bell, Home of the National Music Centre on September 26, followed by more music at the King Eddy. Showcase Alberta is a three-year tradition at the festival. Past screening events have included HEARTLAND and WYNONNA EARP.
3 FACES directed by Jafar Panahi
A popular Iranian actress Behnaz Jafari (playing herself) is upset when she sees a video made by a provincial girl asking for her help. In the video, the young girl claims her family is not letting her pursue an acting dream. She’s distraught that Jafari has ignored her previous pleas. Jafari asks director Jafar Panahi (playing himself as well) to accompany her to the girl’s village. The two take a road journey to a northwestern part of Iran and encounter some surprises along the way.
ALL THESE CREATURES directed by Charles Williams
An adolescent boy attempts to untangle his memories of a mysterious infestation, the unravelling of his father, and the little creatures inside us all. A short from Australia.
ASH IS THE PUREST WHITE directed by Jia Zhang-Ke
Qiao (an outstanding Zhao Tao) and her gangster boyfriend Bin (Liao Fan) are a formidable duo who oversee the local criminal network in Datong. When a fight with a rival gang places Bin in danger, Qiao fires a gun to protect him resulting in five years of prison time. After she is released, Qiao goes to look for Bin hoping to continue their relationship. A perceptive depiction of the Chinese landscape, both social and economical, over the course of two decades.
CLIMAX directed by Gaspar Noé
A troupe of young dancers gathers in a remote and empty school building to rehearse. Shot by Noé himself, the troupe begins an all-night celebration that turns nightmarish as the dancers discover they’ve been pounding cups of sangria laced with potent LSD. Tracking their journey from jubilation to chaos and full-fledged anarchy, Noé observes crushes, rivalries, and violence amid a collective psychedelic meltdown. Starring Sofia Boutella (ATOMIC BLONDE) and a cast of professional dancers, CLIMAX is Noé’s most brazen and visionary statement yet.
COLLETTE directed by Wash Westmoreland
Based on the real life story about the famous French writer Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette, the film depicts her bold attempt to get her voice heard. Colette (Keira Knightley) is transported from the French countryside to Paris after she marries Willy (Dominic West), a successful Parisian writer. Colette quickly finds her footing while Willy is losing his. When Willy is struggling to pay his bills, he convinces Colette to ghostwrite a novel for him. Her novel about a country girl named Claudine becomes an instant hit, resulting in multiple subsequent Claudine novels. Willy gets all the acclaim yet the real author Colette remains in the shadows, forcing her to fight for creative ownership of her works.
THE DRIVER IS RED directed by Randall Christopher
Set in Argentina 1960, this true crime documentary follows the story of secret agent Zvi Aharoni as he hunted down one of the highest-ranking Nazi war criminals on the run. This will be the Canadian Premiere for this American short film.
THE HUMMINGBIRD PROJECT directed by Kim Nguyen
In this epic tale of humanity versus corporate greed, director of Academy Award nominated WAR WITCH, Kim Nguyen exposes the ruthless edge of our increasingly digital world. Cousins from New York, Vincent (Jesse Eisenberg) and Anton (Alexander Skarsgård) are players in the high- stakes game of High Frequency Trading, where winning is measured in milliseconds. Their dream? To build a bre-optic cable in a straight line between Kansas and New Jersey, making them millions. But nothing is straightforward for this awed pair, and together they push each other and everyone around them to the breaking point on their quixotic adventure.
SHARKWATER: EXTINCTION directed by Rob Stewart
Director Rob Stewart was dedicated to sharing his love and admiration for a misunderstood animal, and died in a scuba incident while filming. Criss-crossing the oceans, his third and final film is a thrilling expose of a multi-billion dollar industry tied to black markets and criminal activity. This inspiring posthumous follow-up to the award-winning SHARKWATER is a passionate plea about the dire need to address our relationship with nature and change our consumer habits before it’s too late.
SHOPLIFTERS directed by Hirokazu Kore-Eda
Winner of this year’s prestigious Palme d’Or at Cannes. During one of their shoplifting sessions, Osamu and his son come across a young girl Yuri freezing in the cold. Although Osamu’s wife Nobuyo is reluctant to add another member to a struggling household, she agrees after learning of Yuri’s hardships. When Yuri’s family report her as missing, Osamu and his family’s bonds are tested.
THROUGH BLACK SPRUCE directed by Don McKellar
The disappearance of a young Cree woman named Suzanne Bird triggers events in two worlds: the remote Northern Ontario town she fled years ago, and the big city where she became a successful model. Up north, her uncle Will clashes with a local drug dealer who’s looking for Suzanne, and believes Will knows her whereabouts. Meanwhile, her fiercely independent twin sister Annie travels to Toronto to retrace her sibling’s footsteps… and finds herself drawn into the seductively glamorous life Suzanne left behind. Starring Tantoo Cardinal, Brandon Oakes, Graham Greene and Tanaya Beatty, THROUGH BLACK SPRUCE is the story of a family fractured by tragedy, and held together by love.
TRANSIT directed by Christian Petzold
Georg, a German refugee, evades the German troops in Paris and escapes to Marseille. At the port city, he awaits to secure a life saving spot on a ship to North America. Georg doesn’t have a visa, but through a case of mistaken identity he can leave for Mexico by using papers belonging to a writer named Weidel. Things get complicated when Weidel’s mysterious wife Marie shows up. Georg falls for Marie and is forced to make a tough decision.
UNDER THE SILVER LAKE directed by David Robert Mitchell
Sam (Andrew Garfield) finds a mysterious woman swimming in his apartment’s pool one night. The next morning, she disappears. Sam sets off across LA to find her, and along the way he uncovers a conspiracy far more bizarre. A dream cast populates this dream-like thriller, including Andrew Garfield (THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN, THE SOCIAL NETWORK), Topher Grace (BLACKKKLANSMAN, “That 70’s Show”), Sydney Sweeney (“The Handmaid’s Tale,” “Sharp Objects”), Jimmi Simpson (“Westworld,” “Black Mirror”) and Riley Keough (LOGAN LUCKY, IT COMES AT NIGHT).
WHAT THEY HAD directed by Elizabeth Chomko
When her Alzheimer’s-suffering mother, Ruth, wanders into a blizzard on Christmas Eve, Bridget Ertz travels back to her hometown to help her brother convince their father to put Ruth in a nursing home and face the end of their life-long love affair. Starring Hilary Swank, Michael Shannon, Robert Forster, Blythe Danner, Taissa Farmiga and Josh Lucas.
THE WILD PEAR TREE directed by Nuri Bilge Ceylan
After completing university, Sinan needs to write an additional exam to become a teacher like his father Idris, but Sinan’s dream is to publish his novel. It doesn’t take long for him to have some run-ins with locals who want their debts paid, a by-product of his father’s gambling habits that almost sank the family. The irony is that Sinan may have to take on a debt himself in order to get his novel published.