Atlantic Film Festival!

A fervent flurry filled the Lord Nelson Hotel’s Georgian Lounge Tuesday morning. Filmmakers, actors, producers, supporters and media were reeled in to hear the line-up of this year’s Atlantic Film Festival (AFF). Local celeb sightings were reminders of striking films from last year’s event: Picnicface’s Bill Wood (Roller Town), director Michael Melski (Charlie Zone) and actor Gary Levert (Heart of Rhyme), to name a few.

September 13th to the 20th will mark the AFF’s 32nd year and the arrival of its new executive director, Wayne Carter, successor to Gregor Ash’s remarkable run. Carter opened Tuesday’s launch sharing that his love affair with films began in a small movie theatre in Miramichi. He added that the ‘filmtrack’ of our lives “takes us to another time and another place”.

When it came time to find out which of the 1,725 worldwide submissions were selected to appear on the festival’s big screens, among those announced were:

The Disappeared: Directed/written by Shandi Mitchell, the Atlantic Gala film tells the tale of six men struggling to survive in the middle of the North Atlantic after the demise of their fishing vessel. The film was shot off the coast of Lunenburg. Cast members will be present at the premiere.

The Angel’s Share: Directed by the acclaimed Ken Loach, the film won a Jury Prize at Cannes this year. The Opening Gala selection follows a young criminal from Glasgow who has a “nose” for whiskey and he and his mates attempt to channel this prowess for financial gain.

War Witch (Rebelle): Directed by Kim Nguyen from Quebec, the film takes place in sub-Saharan Africa and focuses on a teen girl, who was abducted by the rebel army, talking to her unborn child. The lead actress, 15-year old Rachel Mwanza, won Best Actress at both the Tribeca and Berlin Film Festivals. (War Witch also won Best Film at Tribeca).

This is just a snippet of the many short and feature films from around the region and globe highlighting this year’s AFF. From animation, gore and drama to documentary and LGBT themes, there is literally a film for every taste.

Visit the AFF website http://atlantic.festivalgenius.com/2012/ to check out the film listings, order tickets online and learn more about special events. You can also find out about the annual Strategic Partners and Music & Image conferences and events that take place during the festival. ~ Michelle Brunet

The AFF’s Park Lane Box Office will open its doors on August 30th.