Arts & Culture September 6, 2016

5 Reasons to check out Halifax’s Atlantic International Film Festival

Summer is coming to a close, and fall is right around the corner. But there is no need to be sad – fall is a great time for festivals in Halifax! One of my favourites is the Atlantic Film Festival, which runs this year from September 15-22. There is a ton of variety to suit every taste; here are a few reasons why I love to check out the Atlantic Film Festival:

  1. See your favourite movie stars in a new light

Sure, blockbusters are great but sometimes I tire of explosions and cheesy dialogue and crave a deeper, emotional story and performance. Believe it or not, your favourite celebrities do more than remakes and set box-office records. They also make small-budget, artsy, independent films that most people never hear about.

See some of today’s biggest stars, such as Rachel Weisz, Adam Driver, Kristen Stewart, Marion Cotillard, Kate Winslet, and Michael Fassbender as you have (probably) never seen them before.

2. Get to know local talent before they make it big

The AFF is a wonderful opportunity for Atlantic Canadian filmmakers to share and grow support for their projects. Don’t miss the Sunday Night Gala: Reel East Coast Shorts on September 18 for films by directors from Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, PEI and Newfoundland, as well as the much-anticipated “Weirdo”, written by NS playwright, Daniel MacIvor, starring Allan Hawco and Molly Parker.

When these talented locals nab their Oscar noms, you can say you were an early-adopter!

3. View countless fascinating documentaries

With a huge number of docs on varying subjects screening, this is a great opportunity to educate yourself about a fascinating true story. I’m personally looking forward to Theatre of Life and Perfume Wars, but if those aren’t your cup of tea, you can see docs on subjects as varied as the Indian women’s national boxing team, polar bears near the North Pole, and Celtic musician, Ashley MacIsaac.

4. Brush up on local history

I believe the saying is, “in order to know where you’re going, you have to know where you’ve been”. Learn where we have been by viewing films that focus on Atlantic history and traditions. Subjects include Maud Lewis, life in remote outports, small town living in the 1970’s, and a massive offensive by the Newfoundland Regiment in WWI.

5. Enjoy a full East Coast artistic experience

The festival celebrates not only fantastic films, but music too. The Marquee transforms into the Festival Music House Atlantic, featuring concerts by local favourites like the Joel Plaskett Emergency!, Amelia Curran and Paper Lions.

I see the AFF as an opportunity to see films that wouldn’t otherwise come to theatres in the area, or soon-to-be hits before they are more widely released.

Expand your mind this September and check out the Atlantic Film Festival!