5 films that inspired the breakout director of Sleeping Giant

Andrew Cividino's Sleeping Giant finally hits theatres this Friday after nearly a year of winning awards left and right on the festival circuit.

Canadian Screen Award nominee Andrew Cividino names his cinematic influences

Thunder Bay filmmaker Andrew Cividino, in plaid, with actors Jack Martin, Nick Serino and Reece Moffat took their film Sleeping Giant to the Cannes Film Festival. (Teryl Brouillette/Roundstone Communications)

Since Andrew Cividino's Sleeping Giant made its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival last May, it has racked up quite the haul of accolades. The film won major prizes at the Toronto International Film Festival and Vancouver International Film Festival and was nominated for four Canadian Screen Awards, including best picture and best director — and it hasn't even been officially released yet. That finally changes this Friday, when Giant begins to hit cinemas across the country (find out when it's coming to your city here).

Following three young boys (Jackson Martin, Reece Moffett and Canadian Screen Award winner Nick Serino) spending a summer together in an isolated cottage community in Northern Ontario, the stylish coming-of-age drama is impressively Cividino's first time directing a feature film. So CBC Arts reached out to the Thunder Bay, Ont. native to ask about what films might have influenced — directly or indirectly — his freshman effort. Here's the five he chose, with explanations care of Cividino himself.

Fish Tank (Andrea Arnold, 2009)

"Andrea Arnold's film sizzles with the anger and vulnerability of a socially isolated 15 year old girl growing up in East London. Incredibly authentic performances and a balance between naturalism and strong storytelling make it a must-see (and a huge influence of mine)."

Let The Right One In (Tomas Alfredson, 2008)

"Young love is never easy but it's harder for Oskar when he falls for an ageless vampire trapped in the body of a 12 year old girl. Set in a small Scandinavian town in the dark of winter, this film is touching, scary as hell, and draws a surprisingly complex relationship between its young characters.

Battle Royale (Kinji Fukasaku, 2000)

"The REAL Hunger Games, the film follows a group Japanese students who are pitted against each other in a winner-takes-all fight to the death on a remote island. Battle Royale has all of the cliques, broken hearts, and shifting alliances of adolescence set in a world filled with uzis, crossbows, and hand grenades. It's the best."

Picnic at Hanging Rock (Peter Weir, 1975)

"The setting and tone of this Australian supernatural Victorian coming-of-age film make it unlike anything else you've ever seen. It's not the most accessible film but it's the kind of movie that stays with you for days".

The Graduate (Mike Nichols, 1967)

"This classic was released in 1967, but it still resonates today as we millennials stare into the abyss of life after school. Seduction, Hoffman, Simon & Garfunkel. What's not to love?"

Sleeping Giant. Directed by Andrew Cividino. 89 min. Opens Fri, Apr. 8. 

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