Cinéfest Sudbury has a number of additions to the high-calibre Canadian feature films slated to appear at the 25th Anniversary edition of Cinéfest Sudbury International Film Festival.
“Diego Star" (Frederick Pelletier, Canada, 2013) — A cargo ship is stuck on the Canadian Saint Lawrence River for repairs. Traoré (Issaka Sawadogo), an Ivory Coast mechanic is unjustly accused of causing the damage. Far away from home and family, Traoré tries to offer friendship to Fanny (Chloé Bourgeois), a single mother who houses him to earn some money on the side. While the Canadian authorities investigate what really happened, the multicultural crew of the ship is housed with the local population. “Diego Star” is distributed by Mongrel Media and will be presented in the Features Canada programme.
“Empire of Dirt” (Peter Stebbings, Canada, 2012) — Single mother Lena (Cara Gee) struggles to escape the cycle of poverty. In a last-ditch attempt to save her daughter Peeka (Shay Eyre) from the streets, she returns home after 13 years and is forced to reconcile a lifelong legacy of hatred towards her mother (Jennifer Podemski) in an effort to give her daughter the roots she deserves. Learning to face their joined pasts and deal with the darkness that comes along with it, these women try to resolve their troubles and unite as a family. “Empire of Dirt” is distributed by Mongrel Media and will be presented in the Features Canada programme.
“Haunter” (Vincenzo Natali, Canada, 2013) — Lisa Johnson (Abigail Breslin) is one day shy of her 16th birthday. And she will be forever. She and her family are dead and doomed to repeat that fateful last day before they were all killed in 1985. Only Lisa has “woken up” and realizes what is going on. She starts to feel as if she is being haunted, but the “ghost” turns out to be Olivia (Eleanor Zichy), a very much alive girl who lives in the house in the present day with her own family. With her help, Lisa discovers that the house once belonged to a serial killer (Stephen McHattie). When he died, he became a Haunter - a powerful, evil spirit able to possess the living. “Haunter” is distributed by Entertainment One Films and will be presented in the Features Canada programme.
“Uvanga” (Marie-Helène Cousineau, Canada, 2013) — Anna (Marianne Farley) is nervous when she and her son, Tomas (Lukasi Forrest), arrive in the small, close-knit community of Igloolik in the Canadian Arctic. Anna had a short-lived affair with Tomas’ Inuk father when she worked in Igloolik. But Tomas, now 14 years old, was born and raised in his mother’s native city of Montreal and never knew much about his origins. For Tomas’s mother and Inuit family, the joy of his homecoming is mixed with memories of a brief and painful chapter in their shared history. “Uvanga” is distributed by Mongrel Media and will be presented in the Features Canada programme.
“Whitewash” (Emanuel Hoss-Demarais, Canada, 2013) — “Whitewash” is a dark drama which explores the brutality of winter and the power of the mind. Bruce (Thomas Haden Church) is lost. His wife has died and he lost his job. He is merely trying to survive a harsh Canadian winter when he meets Paul (Marc Labrèche) and only too late realizes the newcomer is more than he appears. When conflict leads to a death, Bruce finds himself even more isolated in the forests of Quebec, grappling with guilt and creating a prison from which he cannot escape. “Whitewash” is distributed by Entertainment One Films and will be presented in the Features Canada programme.
“Siddharth” (Richie Mehta, Canada, 2013) — After sending away his 12-year-old son Siddharth (Irfan Khan) for work, Mahendra (Rajesh Tailang) who is a chain-wallah who fixes broken zippers on the streets, is relieved — his financial burdens will be alleviated. To contribute to the family income, the boy is sent far away from home where a relative has a job for him. It seems like a dream come true to his father, but when Siddharth fails to return home, Mahendra learns he may have been taken by child-traffickers. With little resources and no connections, he travels across India in hopes of finding his son. “Siddharth” is distributed by A71 Productions and will be presented in the Indie-Can programme.
“Watermarks” (Jennier Maichwal, Canada, 2013) — Jennifer Maichwal (“Payback”, “Act of God”) reunites with celebrated landscape photographer Edward Burtynsky for “Watermark”, a visually arresting and enlightening film documenting our engineered manipulation of water, and the far-reaching repercussions of abusing this valuable resource. Burtynsky’s breathtaking landscape photography is at the forefront of the film, as Baichwal investigates the role that water plays in cultures and industries in North America, Iceland, Asia and India. From the Ogallala Aquifer’s centre pivot irrigation systems in the U.S., to the chemical water pollution caused by India’s leather-processing industry, “Watermarks” offers a vast exploration of water’s necessity in our global and economic survival while weaving together the various roles it plays in everyday life—and in environmental art. “Watermarks” is distributed by Mongrel Media and will be presented in the Indie-Can programme.
The 25th edition of Cinéfest Sudbury International Film Festival runs from Sept. 14-22, 2013.
For further information, please contact the Cinéfest Sudbury office at 705-688-1234, or visit www.cinefest.com. For more updates, find Cinéfest on Facebook and Twitter.