The Angel’s Share, a comedy by British director Ken Loach that won the jury prize at the Cannes Film Festival, will open the Atlantic Film Festival this September.
The whisky-heist story was announced as the opening gala to be screened Sept. 13 in Halifax, as the festival released its 2012 lineup on Tuesday.
Shot in Scotland, the film follows a young offender (Paul Brannigan) who combines forces with three friends in an effort to lift enough whisky to give him a new start in life.
The Atlantic festival brings prize-winning films from festivals around the world to Halifax, but also aims to shine a light on Atlantic Canadian filmmakers.
Nova Scotia director Shandi Mitchell
Sea tale The Disappeared by Halifax novelist and first-time director Shandi Mitchell has scored a gala premiere. Mitchell is author of Under This Unbroken Sky.
Billy Campbell and Shawn Doyle star in her film, the story of six east coast men lost at sea in two dories who struggle to survive with the help of an ancient compass, their own brawny arms and their wits.
The Canadian gala will be Midnight’s Children, Deepa Mehta’s hotly anticipated film based on the Salman Rushdie novel about children who begin their lives just as India gets its independence.
More Atlantic talent will be on display in the short film program, which includes works by Mark O’Brien, Jordan Canning and Christian Sparkes of Newfoundland and Mike Clattenburg, Andrew MacCormack and Lara Cassidy of Nova Scotia.
Closing film is costume drama
The festival's closing gala is costume drama, A Royal Affair by Danish director Nikolaj Arcel, which won best actor and best screenplay awards at the 2012 Berlin International Film Festival. Set in Danish Royal Court during the 18th century, the film tells the true story of freethinking doctor played by Mads Mikkelsen, who convinces mad King Christian VII to pass legislation freeing the peasantry and loosening censorship.
Among the other high-profile films coming to Halifax:
- Holy Motors by Léos Carax of France.
- Inch'Allah by Anaïs Barbeau-Lavalette of Canada.
- Inescapable by Ruba Nadda of Canada.
- Love is All You Need by Susanne Bier of Denmark.
- Antiviral by Brandon Cronenberg of Canada.
- Amour by Michael Haneke of France.
- The Hunt by Thomas Vinterberg of Denmark.
- Rust & Bone by Jacques Audiard of France.
The Atlantic Film Festival is scheduled for Sept. 13 to 20.