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CINEFEST DURHAM returns for another season of bringing quality Canadian and international films to Durham Region since 1995

When: September 27, October 25, November 29, at 7pm. Where: Cineplex Odeon Oshawa, 1351 Grandview Street North Tickets: $10, cash only at the door

Upcoming Films

Faces, Places/Visages, Villages Wednesday, January 24, 2018 at 7PM Directors: Agnes Varda, JR France, 2017 89 minutes French with English subtitles
A treasure of global cinema, Agnès Varda makes films alive with curiosity and playfulness. Now in her eighties, she remains the world's most youthful filmmaker. Her latest nonfiction film is an inspired collaboration with JR, the mysterious French street artist. Like many of Varda's works, Faces Places is a kind of travelogue in which the wonder of each locale visited is only as potent as the populace whose existence affects it. Their plan is simple: Varda and JR roam from place to place in JR's truck, which is decorated to resemble a camera. In each place they visit, they meet people — coal miners, cheese makers, a Herculean farmer — and JR creates immense monochromatic portraits of them. Our endearing duo then affixes these portraits to various edifices all over town, quite literally, merging faces with places. The landscape Varda and JR traverse becomes a visual record of their encounters. “ A delightful, artful road trip.” Peter Howell, Toronto Star View the trailer here
Loving Vincent Wednesday, February 28 at 7PM Directors: Dorota Kobiela, Hugh Welchman Cast: Douglas Booth, Chris O'Dowd, Saoirse Ronan United Kingdom/Poland 94 minutes English
The world's first fully oil-painted animated feature film, Loving Vincent brings the art of Vincent van Gogh to life to recount the life story of this most mysterious, mythical and tragic of great painters. Shot first as a live-action film, acted by a sterling cast and then painted over frame by frame with oils, Loving Vincent is simply an extraordinary cinematic achievement. This unexpected murder mystery follows in the aftermath of van Gogh's death in July 1890. Armand Roulin , the son of an Arles postman, is instructed by his father to deliver a newly discovered letter to Vincent's brother, Theo, who had supported the painter emotionally and financially. Making his journey from Paris and then to Auvers-sur-Oise, the northern French town where Vincent died, Armand encounters various people (many subjects from famous van Gogh paintings) who provide contradictory anecdotes about the painter's death, suggesting it may not have been a suicide after all. The artist's intoxicating colours and thick, vibrant brushstrokes come to life in jaw-dropping detail, making this a film best seen on the big screen. The film took more than six years to complete, with about 125 artists diligently hand-painting over 65,000 frames. With the van Gogh Museum in the Netherlands, the ultimate authority on the artist, officially endorsing the film, this will be the most visually stunning and magical film you will see this year. “A visually arresting and worthy tribute to a genius.” Bruce Demara, Toronto Star View the trailer here
The Other Side of Hope Wednesday, March 28 at 7PM Director: Aki Kaurismaki Cast: Sherwin Haji, Sakari Kuosmanen, Kati Outinen 2017, Finland/Germany 100 minutes Finnish, English, Arabic, Swedish with English subtitles
Returning with his first feature in six years since his Film Circuit art-house favourite Le Havre , Finnish master Aki Kaurismäki delivers what can be considered the second chapter of his Port Cities Trilogy. The Other Side of Hope unerringly paints the unlikely bond between a Syrian refugee and a middle-aged menswear salesman turned restauranteur, in Kaurismäki's distinctive anachronistic, yet tonally rich style. Khaled worked as a mechanic in Aleppo before fleeing in a coal ship container and accidently landing on the shores of Helsinki. He emerges from his hiding place covered head to toe in black dust, an alien in an unfamiliar town. Wikstrom, deeply unsatisfied with his life, leaves his prickly, alcoholic wife and offloads his remaining stock of men's shirts to fund a career change. After taking a risk at a high-stakes poker game, Wikstrom is presented with a new breath of life that eventually connects and collides both men in an unpredictable friendship. Winner of the Silver Bear for Best Director at this year's Berlinale, The Other Side of Hope demonstrates the height of Kaurismäki's auteurial form. Deftly mixing tragedy and wry humour, Kaurismäki builds a story of an unlikely community coming together under difficult circumstances. This idiosyncratic fable on the refugee crisis could not be more humane and timely. “A deeply humane film, as well as a quietly hilarious one.” Dave Calhoun, Time Out View the trailer here
Meditation Park Wednesday, April 25 at 7PM Director: Mina Shum Cast: Cheng Pei Pei, Tzi Ma, Sandra Oh, Don McKellar Canada, 2017 94 minutes English, Cantonese, Mandarin with English subtitles
In Meditation Park, Mina Shum returns to the themes that propelled her early work. The film opens with Maria (Cheng Pei Pei; Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) hosting a birthday celebration for her workaholic accountant husband, Bing. Maria reveres Bing and remains in awe of the sacrifices he has made for the family, so much so that she even respects his insistence that she not speak to their son after a long-ago slight. But when she finds evidence that Bing may not be the perfect person she believes him to be, she's forced to consider her world in a radically different light. Maria embarks on a journey of self-discovery by engaging with the world around her, something Bing has always discouraged. She befriends a group of local eccentrics and a rather shady neighbour. Maria soon realizes that people's lives are much more complicated than Bing has led her to believe. Shum exhibits genuine compassion with her insight into the experiences of first-generation immigrant women (including showing how men control their wives by discouraging them from social interaction and learning other languages). Meditation Park is a charming and generous film, boasting fine performances by its leads and great support by Don McKellar, Liane Balaban, and the phenomenal Sandra Oh, as Maria's daughter. “Shum mines her favourite theme — immigrant experience in Canada — in what seems at first to be a gentle slice of life but eventually develops a powerful emotional force.” Susan G. Cole, Now Magazine View the trailer here
C'est la vie! Wednesday, May 30 at 7PM Directors: Oliver Nakache, Eric Toledano Cast: Jean-Pierre Bacri, Jean-Paul Rouve, Gilles Lellouche, Vincent Macaigne, Suzanne Clement France, 2017 115 minutes French with English subtitles
This effervescent comedy from celebrated French directing duo Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano (The Intouchables) invites us to an opulent château to attend a très extravagant wedding, where the groom is an obnoxious tyrant, the band is at war with the organizers and the chief planner is looking for the exit. Max is a battle-weary veteran of the wedding-planning racket. His latest and last gig is a hell of a fête, involving stuffy period costumes for the caterers, a vain, hyper sensitive singer who thinks he's a Gallic James Brown and a morose, micromanaging groom determined to make Max's night as miserable as possible. But what makes the affair too bitter to endure is that Max's colleague and ostensible girlfriend, Joisette, seems to have written him off, coolly going about her professional duties while openly flirting with a much younger server. It's going to be a very long night, especially once the groom's aerial serenade gets underway. An ensemble work brimming with offbeat, lovable characters and hilarious set pieces, C'est la vie! is a fiendishly smart, sprawling comedy as only the French do it. You will be laughing all the way down the aisle. “This is an expertly assembled, tartly played and hugely enjoyable romp.” Boyd van Hoeij, Hollywood Reporter View the trailer here
Sponsored by the Friends of the Library, Film Circuit, presented by TIFF, and its sponsors and supporters. For more information about Film Circuit and to view a full list of their sponsors and supporters, please visit Email: to receive reminders before each showing.
Call 905-579-6111 ext. 5251 Cinefestdurham