The Canada Now festival returns to the UK this spring, with nine films to be screened in London between April 24 and 28 before they embark on a national tour.
Among the films screening this year is Edge Of The Knife (SGaawaay K’uuna) - a film shot in the highly endangered Haida language of British Colombia, which is only spoken fluently by about 20 people in the world.
The festival will open with coming-of-age drama Giant Little Ones and will close with documentary Prosecuting Evil, which tells the story of Benjamin Ferencz, the last surviving Nuremberg prosecutor and life-long human rights activist. It will also feature a live performance of Daniel Cockburn's How Not To Watch A Movie.
Janice Charette, high commissioner for Canada to the UK, said: “We are pleased to be able to bring a unique selection of Canadian films to the UK through Canada Now. Our film industry has a wealth of talent, and I am sure that these movies will entertain and engage cinema lovers across the UK”
The full programme is below. Tickets are on sale from the official site.
(Akash Sherman – 106 mins)
The story of Isaac Bruno, an astronomer consumed by the search for life beyond Earth. Convinced that the universe is a dark and lonely place, Isaac meets Clara, an artist who shares his fascination for the wonders of space. Their unlikely collaboration leads to a deep connection, and a profound scientific discovery.
Edge Of The Knife
(Gwaai Edenshaw and Helen Haig-Brown – 100 mins) Haida Gwaii, 1800s: At a seasonal fishing camp two families endure conflict between the nobleman Adiits’ii and his best friend Kwa. After Adiits’ii causes the accidental death of Kwa’s son, he flees into the rainforest, descending into madness and transforming into Gaagiixid – “the Wildman”. Can he be rescued?
For Those Who Don't Read Me
(Yan Giroux – 107 mins)
All his life, Yves dedicated himself to poetry, carrying his suitcase to any couch that would welcome him. When he storms into Dyane's life, a graphic designer who falls for his charms, her son Marc immediately disapproves of this eccentric stranger in his mother's bed. But the studious teenager soon finds Yves' rebel ways contagious and begins to explore his own artistic side. Loosely based on the life and work of the late Quebec poet Yves Boisvert (1950- 2012).
Giant Little Ones
(Keith Behrman – 93 mins)
Franky Winter (Josh Wiggins) and Ballas Kohl (Darren Mann) have been best friends since childhood. They are high school royalty: handsome, stars of the swim team and popular with girls. They live a perfect teenage life – until the night of Franky's epic 17th birthday party, when Franky and Ballas are involved in an unexpected incident that changes their lives forever.
Hugh Hefner's After Dark: Speaking Out In America
(Brigitte Berman – 101 mins)
The freedom to speak out, to freely express one’s individual ideas, and to be accepted for being different resonates at the heart of this documentary that features the most cutting-edge personalities, open and frank dialogue about pressing social concerns, and the most captivating performances from Hugh Hefner’s landmark TV series, Playboy’s Penthouse (one season, 1959-1960) and Playboy After Dark (two seasons, 1968-1970).
(Patricia Rozema – 91 mins)
A look into the conflicted psyche of Cassandra Haywood - a fiercely independent millennial woman. Cass is a single writer who lives by her own rules. She’s also a bit of a disaster. Following the sudden death of her mother, Elaine (Maev Beaty) she finds herself in crisis. This movie makes that invisible conflict visible: Cassandra (Amy Nostbakken and Norah Sadava) battles it out while figuring out what to say at her mother’s funeral.
(Barry Avrich – 83 mins)
The story of Ben Ferencz—the last surviving Nuremberg prosecutor and lifelong advocate of “law not war.” After witnessing Nazi concentration camps shortly after liberation, Ferencz became lead prosecutor in the Einsatzgruppen case at Nuremberg, which has been called the biggest murder trial in history. He was 27 years old and it was his first trial. Ferencz went on to advocate for restitution for Jewish victims of the Holocaust and later for the establishment of the International Criminal Court. His fight for justice for victims of atrocity crimes continues today.
The Fireflies Are Gone
(Sébastian Pilote – 96 mins)
The sleepy town where Léo lives doesn’t offer her much chance of self-fulfilment. Extricating herself from her mother’s influence and her constricting environment isn’t easy for the frustrated young woman, yet happiness might be close at hand. Named Best Canadian Film at the 2018 Toronto Film Festival.
Through Black Spruce
(Don McKellar – 111 mins) The story of a young Cree woman whose disappearance triggers events in two worlds: in Moosonee, the remote Northern Ontario community she fled years ago, and Toronto, where she modelled before vanishing. Her twin sister, at home hunting moose in the North but a fish out of water in the city, reluctantly heads south to retrace her sister’s steps. The two worlds collide when the fallout from the missing woman's troubled life comes to a violent head, back in Moosonee.
See the line-up from last year's festival here