Helen du Toit, Festival & Artistic Director for Blue Mountain Film Festival (BMFF), today announced the programming for the second edition of the festival including the opening and closing presentations. Audiences will have a front-row seat to 24 films from 23 countries, including Canada, Chile, Finland, Germany, Indonesia, Iran, Japan, Poland, Spain, Tunisia, Ukraine and the United States. BMFF takes place June 1 to 4, 2023.
“Our goal for the second edition of the festival was to curate a lineup that delivers rich experiences and takes festival-goers on an inspired journey,” said Helen du Toit, Festival & Artistic Director. “We are incredibly fortunate to be able to share an abundance of outstanding and thought provoking films, each unique in its visual and narrative style that will delight and surprise audiences.”
This year’s festival will open with the charming Spanish comedy Two Many Chefs directed by Joaquín Mazón. This delicious fine dining comedy follows a young superstar chef in hot pursuit of his third Michelin star when his father Juan, who he had believed to be long dead, shows up— suffering from amnesia. Juan believes he is still living in the 1990s and has his own very particular ideas about how a restaurant should be run. Perfect for foodies who enjoy a side serving of belly laughs.
The festival will close with Pamfir, the stunning feature debut from Ukrainian director Dmytro Sukholytkyy-Sobchuk. Set in Western Ukraine and on the eve of a traditional carnival, Pamfir, a reformed smuggler, returns to his family after months of absence. But when his only son Nazar starts a fire in the local church, Pamfir has no other choice but to reconnect with his troubled past to pay his son’s debt. This breathtakingly raw, dynamic thriller is also a moving exploration of one man’s unwavering love for his family in the face of relentless corruption and violence.
The Festival will also offer a series of industry opportunities aimed at the Blue Mountain community, specifically for high school students, environmental thought leaders and enthusiasts, and local creatives in the screen-based industry. There will be a special screening of Nabil Ayouch’s Casablanca Beats with the lead actor Anas Basbousi in attendance for high school students, and a public screening of three-time Academy Award winner Oliver Stone’s Nuclear Now followed by a panel discussion with experts from the alternate energy sector.
The Festival’s lineup:
A Man by Kei Ishikawa
A mysterious, multi-layered drama centered around a quest to discover one man’s true identity.
Autobiography by Makbul Mubarak
A young man torn between loyalty and justice confronting the truth of his father figure that may destroy them both.
The film had its world premiere at the 2022 Venice International Film Festival in the Horizons program, where it won the FIPRESCI Award for Best Film. The film was selected for the 2022 Toronto International Film Festival.
Blackberry by Matt Johnson
Blackberry unravels the Canadian company’s chaotic rise to market dominance of the smartphone industry — before swiftly plummeting into obsolescence.
Blue Jean by Georgia Oakley
In 1988, Margaret Thatcher’s Conservative government is about to pass a UK law stigmatizing gays and lesbians, forcing Jean (Rosy McEwen) a gym teacher, to live a double life. The arrival of a new student catalyzes a crisis that will challenge Jean to her core.
This BAFTA-nominated film won the Venice Film Festival’s People’s Choice Award, as well as four British Independent Film Awards.
Bones of Crows by Marie Clements
An epic account of the life of Cree matriarch Aline Spears that spans generations, Marie Clements’ Bones of Crows is a powerful indictment of the abuse of Indigenous peoples as well as a stirring story of resilience and resistance.
Chile ’76 by Manuela Martelli
Carmen leads a quiet, privileged life until a request from her family priest draws her into dangerous territory during the Pinochet dictatorship in Chile. A gripping thriller meets a complex character study.
This film has been selected for a number of international film festivals including Cannes Film Festival – Directors’ Fortnight, San Sebastián International Film Festival and BFI London Film Festival.
Dalíland by Mary Harron
In 1973, a young gallery assistant goes on a wild adventure behind the scenes as he helps the aging genius Salvador Dali (Ben Kingsley) prepare for a big show in New York.
Deep Rising by Matthieu Rytz
Narrated by Jason Momoa, Deep Rising illuminates the vital relationship between the deep ocean and sustaining life on Earth – and the corporations and governments racing to exploit or protect its riches.
Fashioned Reimagined by Becky Hunter
Raised by activists in rural England, fashion designer Amy Powney from cult label Mother of Pearl is determined to make her new collection sustainable – from field to finished garment.
Fucking Bornholm by Anna Kazejak
A wickedly funny dark comedy about a vacation from hell critiques male insecurity and middle class entitlement.
Lac-Megantic: This Is Not an Accident by Phillipe Falardeau
Philippe Falardeau’s devastating and utterly compelling 4-part series about the Lac-Mégantic catastrophe lifts the veil on the impunity of the railway companies and the laissez-faire of the authorities.
My Sailor, My Love by Klaus Härö
A retired sea captain’s strained relationship with his adult daughter is further tested when he embarks on a new romance with the widowed housekeeper she sent to care for him.
Pamfir by Dmytro Sukholytkyy-Sobchuk
A man must choose between his unwavering love for his family and returning to the life of crime he had escaped in this powerful thriller from Ukraine. A stunning directorial debut from Ukrainian director Dmytro Sukholytkyy-Sobchuk.
This first feature premiered in The Directors Fortnight in Cannes.
Passages by Ira Sachs
A gay couple’s marriage is threatened when one of them sleeps with a woman in this erotic, beautifully shot drama with a stellar cast.
Silence of the Tides by Pieter-Rim de Kroon
A poetic film about the largest tidal wetland in the world, The Wadden Sea, Pieter-Rim De Kroon’s ‘Silence of the Tides’ is a hypnotizing big screen experience set against a backdrop of wind, water, mist and constantly changing light..
Smoke Sauna Sisterhood by Anna Hints
In the darkness of a smoke sauna, a group of Estonian women share their innermost secrets , washing off the shame trapped in their bodies to regain their strength.
Subtraction by Mani Haghighi
A married couple meet and proceed to have increasingly disturbing interactions with their doppelgängers in this Hitchcockian, Tehran-set thriller full of twists and turns.
This film had its world premiere at The Toronto International Film Festival.
The Beasts by Rodrigo Sorogoyen
Pitch perfect performances abound in this brilliant psychological thriller about a couple who become victims of a series of xenophobic attacks.
The Last Rider by Alex Holmes
The unbelievable story of cyclist Greg LeMond who came back from the brink of death after a hunting accident to win the closest race in the history of the Tour de France.
The Ordinaries by Sophie Linnenbaum
A whimsical satire follows Paula, a “supporting character” who must prove she deserves to be a lead.
The Quiet Migration by Malene Choi
An adopted Korean teenager struggles to find his place in rural Denmark in this tender exploration of otherness and belonging.
Two Many Chefs By Joaquín Mazón
In this delicious fine dining comedy a father comes back into his son’s life 30 years after disappearing… and believes no time has passed.
Under the Fig Trees by Erige Sehiri
In northwest Tunisia, workers pick the summer harvest. Throughout the day, the orchard becomes a theater of emotions in a beautifully observed portrait of a rural society.
Tunisia’s Oscar submission, the film had its world premiere at Directors’ Fortnight at Cannes Film Festival and has been part of the official selection in over 20+ festivals around the world.
BMFF runs from June 1 to June 4 and will also host a Creative Forum during the first three days of the festival. Individuals interested in attending are encouraged to book accommodations at Blue Mountain Resort early. Passes are available at Bluemtnfilmfest.ca.
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