PAST EVENTS CANBERRA
On November 13th and 14th 2015, the 10th Possible Worlds Film Festival brought a short season of new Canadian films to the National Library of Australia in Canberra, co-hosted with the High Commission of Canada.
Possible Worlds presents: The Good Lie
Dir: Philippe Falardeau, USA-Kenya-Canada, 2014, 110 min
Cast: Reese Witherspoon, Arnold Oceng, Kuoth Wiel
Orphaned by the Civil war in Sudan, a group of displaced boys must lead young survivors to safety. Years later, they are offered the chance to resettle in Kansas City, where they encounter a helpful if slightly unprepared employment counsellor (Oscar-winner Reese Witherspoon). Far from being simplistically rescued by a well-meaning white saviour, these “lost boys”, played with brio by gifted Sudanese actors, become the heroes of their own lives. Philippe Falardeau (Monsieur Lazhar) sensitively captures humour in the clash of cultures, alongside heartbreak and hope in the challenges of life in the West.
“A touching, generous-hearted movie that touches on immigrant experience with grace.” – The Hollywood Reporter
“Falardeau works in surprising levels of funny, winning, stirring detail.” – The Guardian
“It largely avoids mawkish sentimentality and casts a glow that is increasingly absent nowadays from films depicting international strife.” – The New York Times
Possible Worlds presents: Felix & Meira
Canberra premiere, with thanks to the Jewish International Film Festival
Dir: Maxime Giroux, Canada, 2014, 105 min, In French, English and Yiddish
Cast: Hadas Yaron, Martin Dubreuil, Luzer Twersky
Félix and Meira is a calling card for its young director, Maxime Giroux, one of Canada’s rising stars; a story of an unconventional romance between two people living vastly different realities mere blocks away from one another. Hasidic Jewish wife and mother Meira (Hadas Yaron) and Félix (Martin Dubreuil) meet in a local bakery in Montreal’s Mile End district. What starts as an innocent friendship becomes more serious as Felix opens Meira’s eyes to the world outside of her tight-knit Orthodox community. Giroux’s film is a poignant and touching tale of self-discovery set against the backdrops of Montreal, Brooklyn, and Venice, Italy.
Winner: Best Canadian Film, Toronto International Film Festival 2014
Winner: Best feature, best actor, best director, best screenplay, Whistler Film Festival 2014
Winner: Best Actress and Best Actor, Turin Film Festival 2014
Winner: Best film, Festival du Nouveau Cinema Montreal 2014
"Félix and Meira" appears to be a simple movie about fitting in, acceptance and sacrifice. Yet it's so elegant and poses many different sides that it's actually a very complex film with very complex characters.” – San Francisco Chronicle
“Though set in present-day Montreal, this tender romance unfolds like an episode from another century, paying the sort of careful attention to social boundaries you'd expect to find in a classic forbidden-love novel.” – Variety
Possible Worlds presents: The Amina Profile
Dir: Sophie Deraspe, Canada, 2015, 84 min, Documentary
In Montreal, Sandra is caught in an erotic and intellectual online romance with Amina, a Syrian-American woman living in Damascus. Amina is the author of the blog A Gay Girl in Damascus, a source for respected news media of on-the-ground stories of the Syrian uprising. But when Amina is seemingly abducted and Sandra begins a campaign to free her, no one—not even the US State Department—can find a trace of her. This modern love story shapeshifts into an international thriller as journalists and activists hunt for the real Amina... Superb storytelling and cinematic style turn this fascinating story of sexuality, identity, journalism, technology and politics into a true masterpiece of hybrid documentary cinema.
Official selection: Sundance Film Festival 2015
Winner: Special Jury Prize for Best Canadian Documentary, Hot Docs Film Festival 2015
“4 stars - Deraspe asks strong and urgent questions about the less savoury side of news consumption in a global internet age.” – Eye For Film
“A cautionary true story about online romance, gay rights and Middle Eastern politics, The Amina Profile is both topical and compelling. The Amina Profile is an absorbing, artfully assembled and timely reconstruction of a fascinating digital-age hoax.” – The Hollywood Reporter