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Halifax Independent Filmmakers Festival opens surreal window to the world

For the 13th year running, HIFF will bring some of the most highly anticipated and innovative films from around the globe to Halifax for a four-day celebration of cinema.

From June 12–15 at the Neptune Scotiabank Stage Theatre, the Halifax Independent Filmmakers Festival will present an electrifying programme of local and international features, filmmaker classes and Q&As, regional short films, expanded cinema and VR experiences.

This year, the festival’s international component will feature genre-bending work from artists in Greece, Chile, and the USA. On opening night, HIFF is thrilled to present La Casa Lobo (The Wolf House), a dark and daring stop-motion animation from Chilean filmmakers Joaquín Cociña and Cristóbal León. Fusing elements reminiscent of the Brothers Grimm and early David Lynch, The Wolf House is a visual marvel that pushes the boundaries of surrealistic storytelling. Filmmaker Joaquín Cociña will be in attendance for a Q&A following the screening on June 12 at 9 p.m. Across the Atlantic, Konstantina Kotzamani is one of the most exciting voices to emerge from the “Greek Weird Wave,” and HIFF will present a retrospective of experimental short films from her eerily beautiful world on Saturday, June 15.

Black Mother is the latest impressionistic documentary from New York filmmaker and photographer Khalik Allah. Shot over the course of years—and featuring a stunning collage of moving portraits and non-sync sound—Black Mother is Allah’s honest, unblinking rumination on Jamaica’s people and past. It will screen at HIFF on June 13 at 7 p.m., followed by a live Q&A with the filmmaker.

Two of Québec’s most exciting new features will screen at HIFF this year, including the Canadian Screen Awards’ 2019 Best Motion Picture Une Colonie (A Colony) by Geneviève Dulude-De Celles, and Répertoire des villes disparues (Ghost Town Anthology), the chilling small-town drama from celebrated director Denis Côté. These Canadian features will screen on Wednesday June 12 and Thursday June 13 respectively, and both directors will be in attendance to take questions after the films.

Since its inception, HIFF has showcased some of the region’s most talented and inspiring filmmakers through the Atlantic Auteurs program. That tradition will continue this year with a rich and diverse selection of 11 short films on Friday, June 14 at 9 p.m. This year’s lineup features emerging and established filmmakers working in analogue, animation, narrative, music videos, comedy, and experimental. See the full list of participating filmmakers here.

As a filmmakers’ festival, HIFF is dedicated to bringing the directors of the work it shows to Halifax. The team is passionate about creating an environment where creators and audiences can connect through its annual series of artist talks, workshops and hosted Q&As. HIFF also presents a number of professional development initiatives designed to assist local filmmakers by improving their skills and finding a larger audience at festivals around the world.

HIFF is produced by the Atlantic Filmmakers Cooperative with the generous support of the Canada Council for the Arts, the Department of Canadian Heritage, Telefilm Canada, the Province of Nova Scotia, the City of Halifax, and The Coast.

 

About Israel Ekanem

Israel Ekanem

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