Directed by KYLE RIDEOUT
Produced by JOSH EPSTEIN
Run Time: 86 minutes
Adventures in Public School
Friday, January 26th at 7pm
Adventures in Public School follows socially awkward Liam (Daniel Doheny), who has been homeschooled his entire life. When he falls in love with Anastasia, a popular one-legged girl (Siobhan Williams), he abandons his mother's (Judy Greer) suffocating love and enrolls in public school, getting a crash course in sex, drugs and social mayhem. TIFF named Adventures in Public School among its Top 10 Canadian Films for 2017 and we are thrilled to have it open our festival!
Brought to us by the same people who created Eadweard (RCFF 2016 opener), Adventures in Public School features an an original script co-written by Kyle Rideout and Josh Epstein. Epstein produced the film, with Adam Folk co-producing and Justine Whyte executive producing. Fernie-raised costume designer Flo Barrett did costume design for the film and we're looking forward to having her back as an RCFF special guest along with actress Siobhan Williams.
The film boasts a great ensemble cast — including Doheny, Williams, Andrew McNee (Grand Unified Theory), Grace Park, Russell Peters, and, especially, Greer in a tour-de-force
One of TIFF's Top 10 Canadian Films for 2017
1 Award & 2 Nominations to date including:
- Best Comedy Feature Film, Edmonton Film Festival 2017
- Nominated: Best Canadian Feature Film, TIFF 2017
- Nominated: Best BC Film, VIFF 2017
Ratings & Reviews:
- 100% Liked It (Rotten Tomatoes), 8.3 on IMDB.com
"The writing and direction of Public Schooled put a bright spin on high-school antics, and the ace cast makes the grade, led by Judy Greer's long-proven down-to-earth magic and the deft physical comedy of Daniel Doheny."
– Sheri Linden, Hollywood Reporter
"Greer proves a resourceful comedienne, as usual, and a colorful array of supporting characters are nicely turned. The film's biggest single asset, however, is newcomer Doheny..."
– Dennis Harvey, Variety
Follow on Facebook:
For more information on our special guests, Siobhan Williams and Flo Barrett along with our Opening Reception, click here.
Please join us for the Opening Reception at the Arts Station directly after the film for a complimentary drink, appetizers and door prizes. Tickets: $15 each or included in your Festival Pass.
Be sure to visit our new YouTube Channel to see interviews with actresses Judy Greer and Grace Park.
Saturday, January 27th at 7pm
Directed by MINA SHUM
CHENG PEI PEI
Scott Speedmanndie MacDowel
Run Time: 95 minutes
Language: ENGLISH, CANTONESE, MANDARIN W/ ENGLISH SUBTITLES
(English, Cantonese, Mandarin w/ English Subtitles) Vancouver based director Mina Shum directs an all-star cast — including Cheng Pei Pei, Sandra Oh, Tzi Ma, and Don McKellar — in her latest feature. Shum debuted her first feature back in 1994 with Double Happiness---which starred a then unknown Sandra Oh (read more and see an interview with Sandra here.)
In Meditation Park, devoted wife and mother, 60-year-old Maria Wang's (Cheng Pei Pei) life is altered when she discovers an orange thong in her husband's pants pocket, forcing her to confront how powerless she truly is. Her efforts to find out the truth send her on an unexpected journey of liberation.
Maria is as an elderly woman and a Chinese immigrant living in Vancouver, who never fully learned to speak English despite being in Canada for years and who has spent decades of devoted marriage dutifully excusing the prejudices and vices of her husband Bing (Tzi Ma). Whether he’s insisting that she never mention their estranged son or swilling his inexplicably preferred cocktail of red wine and Coca Cola, Maria chooses to focus on the considerable sacrifices he’s made for their family.
This all changes when she discovers another woman’s thong in his pocket (and handles the racy undergarment as if it were toxic waste), she’s no longer able to turn a blind eye to his indiscretions. Flushed out of her domestic sanctum, she engages in some unintentionally comic sleuthing that not only uncovers clues to Bing’s clandestine activities but also introduces her to new East Van communities and ultimately sets her on a course to self-discovery. Shum addresses the trauma and isolation of the immigration experience, as well as the challenges faced by second generation immigrants (Sandra Oh plays her daughter) because of their parents’ lasting trauma.
Ratings & Reviews:
7.9 rating on IMDB
4 Stars - "A powerful emotional force." - NOW Magazine
"A love letter to Asian moms everywhere." - CBC
"With warmth and humour, [Mina] Shum subtly addresses the trauma and isolation of the immigration experience, as well as the challenges faced by second generation immigrants because of their parents' lasting trauma."
– Alex Heeney, Seventh Row
"[Writer/Director Mina] 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 Toronto
"...Meditation Park is otherwise a complex film that hews with tenderness to Asian stereotypes in order to reflect back their often-obscured depths."
– Julia Cooper, Globe & Mail
Be sure to visit our new YouTube Channel to see an interview with director Mina Shum.
Breath *Western Canadian Premiere*
Saturday, January 27th at 9pm
COMING-OF-AGE SURFING DRAMA
Directed by SIMON BAKER
Adaptation by GERARD LEE
Based on novel by TIM WINTON
Australia (co-produced by Canadian company Autumn Productions)
Run Time: 115 minutes
For the first time ever, RCFF falls on the weekend of Australia Day (Jan. 26th) and this year we are looking forward to celebrating Australia's connection to Fernie by presenting Simon Baker's feature film directorial debut, Breath. Presented at Cannes 2017 and having enjoyed its Canadian Premiere at TIFF 2017, we are proud to offer our audience Breath's Western Canadian Premiere right here in Fernie for RCFF's 10th anniversary.
Breath is based on Tim Winton's award-winning and international bestselling novel set in mid-70s coastal Australia.
Two teenage boys, hungry for discovery, form an unlikely friendship with a mysterious older adventurer who pushes them to take risks that will have a lasting and profound impact on their lives.
Simon Baker, star of "The Mentalist," is the adventurer Sando, and Elizabeth Debicki portrays his wife Eva. Newcomers Samson Coulter and Ben Spence are the two teenagers — Pikelet and Loonie, respectively — while Richard Roxburgh and Rachael Blake are Mr. and Mrs. Pike.
Wondering about a Canadian Connection with this film? Breath was co-produced by Autumn Productions, based in Regina, Saskatchewan. In Canada it is distributed by Pacific Northwest Pictures based in Vancouver.
Simon Baker was born in Launceston, Tasmania, Australia. He is an award-winning actor in film and television. His credits as actor include episodes of The Guardian (01–04) and The Mentalist (08–15). Breath (17) is his feature directorial debut.
Ratings, Awards & Reviews:
8.6 on IMDB.com
2017 AACTA Trailblazer Award - Simon Baker
"There have been plenty of good surfing documentaries, but very few good dramas about the sport - a short list on which "Breath" instantly earns a prominent spot."
- Dennis Harvey, Variety
"Observed with warmth and sensitivity, this is a rewarding coming-of-age drama that features terrific performances from two young newcomers in the central roles."
David Rooney, Hollywood Reporter
"Like taking a dip in alluring yet choppy surf, as its characters do often, it's equally vivid and calm, swelling with emotion yet still in its approach."
Sarah Ward, Screen International
Visit our YouTube Channel to see interviews with director/actor Simon Baker.
Directed by MICHEL BARBEAU, GUYLAINE MAROIST & ERIC RUEL
Produced by PRODUCTIONS DE LA RUELLE
Run Time: 68 minutes
FRENCH & ENGLISH with English subtitles
Expo 67: Mission Impossible
Sunday, January 28th at 5pm
They said it couldn't be done! There was opposition every step of the way! And yet... on April 28, 1967 during Canada's Centennial, Montreal opened Expo '67 - the largest and most extraordinary International World's Fair in the history of Mankind.
March 1960 - Montreal loses its third bid to host the 1967 World's Fair by one vote to Moscow. Oct. 1962 - Russia withdraws, leaving Montreal less than 5 years to create and accomplish the colossal feat of building a site that normally took other cities 8 - 10 years to complete. The top computers of the day calculated opening day as October 1969. And yet...
This is the fascinating "behind the scene" story of this historical event thanks to unprecedented access to over 80,000 archived documents and uncensored accounts with interviews of a a few surviving members of the original Expo '67 team. Many of us will reminisce and be fiercely proud to be Canadian all over again.... Expo 67: Mission Impossible? - Watch it and be inspired!
Ratings & Reviews:
8.2 rating on IMDB; 4.5 Stars Toronto Star
"Canadians can be justifiably proud. But put the flags down and just watch an engrossing and well-executed documentary." - Bruce Demara, Toronto Star
5 Stars - "We like the quality of the research, the fast-paced editing, the dynamism(...) the pride displayed in the film".
- Normand Provencher
"A fantastic documentary."
- Stephane Garneau, Radio-Canada
Learn more about the film's directors, Guylaine Maroist and Eric Ruel here.
Hochelaga: Terre des Âmes
Sunday, January 28th at 7:30pm
FRENCH FEATURE & FINALE
Directed by FRANCOIS GIRARD
PAUL DOUCET (II)
GEORGE WAHIAKERON GILBERT
Run Time: 100 minutes
Language: FRENCH with English subtitles
A torrential rainstorm in the midst of a university football game opens a vast sinkhole in the playing field at Percival Molson Stadium in Montreal. Archaeologists excavate the site and unearth evidence of Hochelaga, the probable site where Jacques Cartier first met the Indigenous peoples in Quebec.
This epic drama by director Francois Girard (The Red Violin) spans 750 years of Montreal's rich history, and includes Indigenous battles prior to the arrival of Europeans (1267), the arrival and explorations of Jacques Cartier (1535), an outbreak of fever (1687), the Lower Canada Rebellion (1837), and pioneering discoveries made at the Neuro Institute (1944). Hochelaga: Land of Souls was Canada's official selection for the 2018 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. This powerful film has been lauded for its cinematography and its recognition of the different sociological nations that are part of Montreal's history.
Awards & Ratings:
7.2 on IMDB.com
3 Nominations to date including:
- Best Foreign Film at Palm Springs International Film Fest '18
- Golden Frog at Camerimage 2017
- Audience Award at AFI Fest 2017
"Hochelaga: Land of Souls is trickily structured and flamboyantly staged almost to a self-conscious fault, but nonetheless likewise rewards with a rich cinematic banquet."
– Dennis Harvey, Variety
"A spectacular and stunning achievement. It’s a sweeping and essential offering for Canadian film at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival with its epic scope, impressive scale, and artistic merit."
– Pat Mullen, Cinemablographer