Friday, November 2, 2012

Local festival's week long offerings start Monday

The Windsor International Film Festival is coming up in a few days, and it launched with a spiffy new website. It’s a much cleaner and more professional looking site compared to the old and, shall we say, clanky look - bless its heart  -the previous one had.....Meanwhile this year's WIFF features 52 films (44 features) from eight countries running Thursday through Sunday. But there are preliminary events beginning Monday with the Short Film program, a juried night of films made by local and Michigan post-secondary students. Admission is only $5 or free to students.....Then on Tuesday it’s the famed 48-Hour FlickFest also only $5 admission, and which features short films made over a 48 hour period in October by local filmmakers.....The opening night film is the Canadian feature The World Before Her, a doc by Nisha Pahuja, which won best film awards at the Toronto Hot Docs and Tribeca festivals. It’s a sort of panoramic look at the role of women in India today. The closing film Sunday is Still, another Canadian movie by Michael McGowan and starring James Cromwell and Geneviève Bujold, about love and a sense of place versus government overreach.....In between are films running from  midday to midnight and beyond.....Among my picks are Ai Weiwei Never Sorry about the famed contemporary Chinese artist and activist, Quebec wunderkind Xavier Dolan’s Laurence Anyways, Michael Haneke’s Amour with Isabelle Huppert and Jean-Louis Trintignant, Malik Bendjelloul’s Searching for Sugarman, Sarah Polley’s Stories We Tell, Yaron Zilberman’s A Late Quartet (picture above) starring Philip Seymour Hoffman, Catherine Keener and Christopher Walken, from Denmark Thomas Vinterberg’s The Hunt, and Germany's Christian Petzold's film Barbara. Then there’s Jeff Dupre & Matthew Akers's doc Marina Abramovic-The Artist Is Present, and Quebec director Rafaël Ouellet’s acclaimed Camion.....There are 19 Canadian films. Five films from the overall list are ones that have been submitted for consideration for next year’s Oscars’ best foreign film......Some of WIFF’s offerings, like Searching for Sugarman, Detropia, The Intouchables, Samsara, The Queen of Versailles, 2 Days in New York, and The Imposter, have already been shown in the Detroit market. But this offers a second chance to see these films if you've missed them, right?.....Meanwhile, speaking of the US, the Detroit Film Theatre at the DIA has a WIFF connection. On Nov. 7 it will screen the same group of Canadian and US shorts that had been shown in Windsor. Otherwise all films will be screened at Windsor’s historic, venerable – and remodelled! - Capitol Theatre. For more information go to

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