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THE MAN WHO SOLD HIS SKIN
Sam Ali, a young, sensitive and impulsive Syrian, left his country for Lebanon to escape the war. To be able to travel to Europe and live with the love of his life, he accepts to have his back tattooed by one of the World’s most sulfurous contemporary artist. Turning his own body into a prestigious piece of art, Sam will however come to realize that his decision might actually mean anything but freedom.
FRANCESCO takes an unsparing look at the most pressing issues of the 21st Century; economic stratification, race and gender inequality, the climate crisis, xenophobia and others; while shining a light on the challenges and consequences that have led us to this moment in time. As we embark on this journey, with Pope Francis as our guide, we discover a leader who demonstrates a tremendous amount of humility, wisdom and generosity towards all, and whose ideals can help us build a bridge to a better future to thrive as a global community.
FRANCESCO is not a biographical film about Pope Francis in the traditional sense. Rather, the documentary provides a glimpse into his work addressing so many issues of today; climate change, immigration, peace and religious tolerance, the LGBTQ+ community, gender and identity justice, health, and economic equality. As a result, we are given an example of leadership that provides hope and inspiration during one of the most unprecedented moments in our lives
THE RACE TO SAVE THE WORLD
The Race To Save The World is a climate change film like no other. Instead of focusing on paralyzing facts and numbers this inspiring feature takes a unique approach by following passionate activists, ages 15-72, who are in the trenches fighting for a livable future. These brave climate warriors put their lives on the line to push for change, regardless of the personal cost. Emmy award-winning filmmaker Joe Gantz brings an urgent and intimate portrait of the protests, arrests, courtroom drama and family turmoil these activists endure as they single mindedly focus their attention on the goal of creating a more sustainable world for future generations. The Race To Save The World is an inspiring and energizing call-to-action to quit waiting on the sidelines and make our voices heard.
MY WONDERFUL WANDA
Winner of awards at Tribeca and Vancouver, MY WONDERFUL WANDA is a delightful satire of the haves and the have-nots set against the backdrop of a gorgeous lakeside villa in Switzerland. At the story’s center is Wanda a Polish caretaker who has left her own small children in Poland to look after Josef the stroke-ridden patriarch of the wealthy Wegmeister-Gloor dynasty. Wanda is adept in navigating the tricky family dynamics between the two grown (if still childish) offspring and the elegant if controlling matriarch Elsa, along with the sporadic intervention of animals stuffed or alive. But an unexpected turn of events turns everything upside down. While MY WONDERFUL WANDA exposes present-day realities of class injustice, thanks to writer-director Bettina Oberli’s empathetic lens, it is never less than a very human comedy.
2021 Oscar Nominated Short Films
This exclusive release features the year’s most spectacular short films. Each nominee is released in one of three distinct feature-length compilations according to their category of nomination: Live Action, Animation or Documentary. The release ensures the greatest number of viewers can see all the nominees before the ceremony, while providing short filmmakers with an unprecedented opportunity to commercialize their movies.
ANIMATED SHORTS (Running Time: 99 minutes)
Burrow – Madeline Sharafian and Michael Capbarat (USA)
Genius Loci – Adrien Mérigeau and Amaury Ovise (France)
Opera – Erick Oh (USA)
If Anything Happens I Love You – Will McCormack and Michael Govier (USA)
Yes-People – Gísli Darri Halldórsson and Arnar Gunnarsson (Iceland)
PLUS A SELECTION OF ADDITIONAL ANIMATED SHORTS (from the AMPAS shortlist):
The Snail and the Whale (UK/Germany)
To Gerard (USA)
LIVE ACTION SHORTS (Running Time: 130 minutes)
The Present – Farah Nabulsi (Palestine)
Feeling Through – Doug Roland and Susan Ruzenski (USA)
Two Distant Strangers – Travon Free and Martin Desmond Roe (USA)
White Eye – Tomer Shushan and Shira Hochman (Israel)
The Letter Room – Elvira Lind and Sofia Sondervan (USA)
DOCUMENTARY SHORTS (Running Time: 136 minutes)
A Love Song for Latasha – Sophia Nahli Allison and Janice Duncan (USA)
Do Not Split – Anders Hammer and Charlotte Cook (USA/Norway)
Hunger Ward – Skye Fitzgerald and Michael Scheuerman (USA)
Colette – Anthony Giacchino and Alice Doyard (France/Germany/USA)
A Concerto Is a Conversation – Ben Proudfoot and Kris Bowers (USA)
MALNI – TOWARDS THE OCEAN TOWARDS THE SHORE
Hopinka’s poetic debut feature, MALNI (pronounced moth-nee), follows Sweetwater Sahme and Jordan Mercier as they wander through their surrounding nature in the Pacific Northwest, contemplating their contrasting viewpoints on the afterlife, rebirth, and the place in-between. Spoken mostly in the Chinuk Wawa language, their stories take a departure from the Chinookan people’s circular origin-of-death myth, probing questions about humanity’s place both on earth and in other worlds
“It rivals in visual and linguistic beauty any new art I’ve seen in some time.” – Holland Cotter, The New York Times
“Stunning. Hopinka’s use of color in MALNI is nothing short of astonishing.” – Vikram Murthi, RogerEbert.com
“Rapturous. Feels like a richly woven ghost story.” – Ela Bittencourt, Hyperallergic
THE OUTSIDE STORY
Brian Tyree Henry takes on his first big screen lead role as Charles Young, a broken-hearted video editor. Perceiving a betrayal of trust as a sign his girlfriend Isha (Sonequa Martin-Green) is leaving him, Charles preemptively blows up his relationship and sequesters himself at home. The fates do not comply and Charles locks himself out of his apartment. Stumbling into a transformational, timely odyssey exploring his community, Charles meets a dynamic ensemble of previously avoided neighbors (including Sunita Mani, Olivia Edward and Asia Kate Dillon) who show him everyone’s got issues and it never helps to keep them all locked up.
Two girls grow up as best friends in a Quebec Innu community. While Mikuan has a loving family, Shaniss is picking up the pieces of her shattered childhood. As children, they promised each other to stick together no matter what. But as they’re about to turn 17, their friendship is shaken when Mikuan falls for a white boy, and starts dreaming of leaving the reserve that is now too small for her dreams.
Adapted from Naomi Fontaine’s acclaimed novel Kuessipan, Myriam Verreault’s first narrative feature was co-written with the novel’s First Nation Canadian author Naomi Fontaine. Kuessipan means “your turn” in the Innu language, a title chosen to mark the notion that it is the Innu people’s turn to tell their story.
“The Innu voice is ever present, which is so important as it offers a glimpse into their lives without a Colonial perspective. It’s a feature that, while seemingly an obvious advantage, is hardly ever utilized for similar films. It means that audiences can enter the world in a respectful manner – which isn’t to say the film shies away from the issues, but it does mean that those issues are approached in a confident and dignified way” writes Joel Kalkopf in his review for Switch.
Kuessipan had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival and received multiple awards in Canada and beyond including the Best Director Award at the Windsor International Film Festival and the Quebec City International Film Festival.
Directed by Myriam Verreault, Canada, 2019, 117min, Drama, Montagnais, French, English w/English subtitles
THIS IS NOT A BURIAL, IT’S A RESURRECTION
Deserving comparison with the work of Pedro Costa, Andrei Tarkovsky, and Souleymane Cissé, This Is Not a Burial marks the introduction of a major filmmaker and the final powerhouse performance of a remarkable actress.
Berlin-based Mosotho filmmaker Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese’s devastating and hypnotic This Is Not a Burial, It’s a Resurrection is already one of the most esteemed African films ever to hit the international festival circuit, earning the Special Jury Prize for Visionary Filmmaking at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival, before taking home Best Actress, Best Director, and Best Cinematography at Africa’s Academy Awards. The late Mary Twala Mhlongo, recognizable from Beyoncé’s blockbuster musical Black Is King, gives a heartbreaking career-capping performance as Mantoa, an 80-year-old woman who has lived in a small Lesotho village for her entire life
KEEP AN EYE OUT
The latest deranged delight by French absurdist Quentin Dupieux, Keep An Eye Out is a breakneck-paced cop comedy that packs more laughs into its 73 breezy minutes than some filmmakers manage in their entire careers.
Belgian funnyman Benoît Poelvoorde (Man Bites Dog) is Commissaire Buran, a good, bad cop interrogating Fugain, (Grégoire Ludig), an average Joe who discovered a dead body outside his apartment building. As the film begins, Fugain must, on an empty stomach, explain how and why he happened to leave home seven times in one night before coming across a corpse in a puddle of blood. Since he’s the investigation’s only suspect, Fugain’s anxiety is already sky-high when Buran leaves him alone with Philippe, a one-eyed rookie cop with bizarre speech patterns and a few minutes to live. Bloody, batshit hijinks ensue, and before long, we’re in Buñuel territory.
Between the opening sequence, when a man in just red briefs conducts a philharmonic orchestra in the open air, and the triple-meta denouement, Dupieux’s whip-smart script disregards audience expectations, the fourth wall, and the laws of time and space. You’ll never look at a protractor or an oyster the same way again.