Kunuk's northern tale to open Atlantic Film Festival
The 26th Atlantic Film Festival opens Thursday evening in Halifax with The Journals of Knud Rasmussen and an opening night street party downtown.
The new movie from Zacharias Kunuk, director of Atanarjuat The Fast Runner, received a warm reception last week at its southern Canadian premiere in Toronto.
The film, based on the journals of a Danish explorer, is the story of one of the last great shamans of the Canadian North.
It is the first of 223 movies to be screened in Halifax this year, the largest lineup of films to date at the festival.
The party on Argyle Street is expected to attract more than 3,000 revellers for an evening of Acadian music.
There are 11 gala presentations planned over the next 10 days, including Mary Walsh's Young Triffie's Been Made Away With on Friday evening.
Walsh's film, starring RÃ©my Girard, Andrea Martin and Colin Mochrie, follows a gormless young ranger investigating the murder of a young woman who washes up on a Newfoundland beach in 1946.
Friday's festivities include an alfresco screening of the 1939 classic The Wizard of Oz on Citadel Hill.
Among the other highly anticipated galas are:
- Sarah Polley's Away from Her, starring Julie Christie and Gordon Pinsent, about an elderly couple confronting Alzheimer's.
- DÃ©livrez-Moi, a film from Denis Chouinard about a woman trying to rebuild relations with her daughter after being imprisoned for killing her lover.
- Snow Cake, a Canadian-British production that premiered in Berlin earlier this year about an autistic woman played by Sigourney Weaver who befriends a lonely man played by Alan Rickman.
- Strangers with Candy, a film about an unlikely stripper, which is already playing in cinemas.
- Congorama, Philippe Falardeau's film about an inventor who travels to Quebec looking for his family.
- Brothers of the Head, a film about Siamese twins on a quest for rock 'n' roll fame.
The festival includes documentaries, industry panels and discussions with filmmakers and musical talent including Broken Social Scene's Brendan Canning.
The Atlantic Film Festival closes on Sept. 23 with After the Wedding, from the Danish director Susanne Bier.