Blue Mountain Village, Southern Ontario’s premier four-season destination announced Blue Mountain Film Festival (BMFF), led by Festival & Artistic Director, Helen du Toit, returns to the Blue Mountain Village Conference Centre from June 1-4, 2023. Once again, BMFF invites film-lovers and filmmakers to connect, be inspired and escape into the idyllic mountains to enjoy the very best in international and Canadian cinema. Early bird tickets are available by visiting the BMFF website.
Recently awarded the Best New Festival by Festival & Events Ontario, BMFF plans to showcase 25 feature films from around the world for its film-loving public, with a showcase on Ontario-based productions. Joining du Toit in the programming of this year’s lineup is veteran film curator Penelope Bartlett, most recently the Director of Programming for the Criterion Channel. Both du Toit and Bartlett previously worked together at the Palm Springs International Film Festival.
“When the opportunity to work with Helen on BMFF came up, it was an immediate ‘yes!,” said Penelope Bartlett. “There are few events more special than an intimate film festival where people come together to bask in the best of cinema. Similar to Telluride, I love that BMFF is set in a locale which encourages community, discovery and that the patrons have a huge appetite and appreciation for international film. I am delighted to join the team this year.”
Additionally, BMFF welcomes back industry professionals for a second year of the Creative Forum, which includes 6 Industry Sessions over 2 days. The inaugural conference last year hosted some of the industry’s most sought-after leaders including Patricia Rozema, Jennifer Baichwal, Dan Bekerman, Shant Joshi, Jane Tattersall, Sheila Hockin, Karen Harnish, Phillip Barker, Elisa Sauvé, Nyla Innuksuk, Danny Iron, and Allison Black.
“Watching BMFF launch into the welcoming arms of the public and industry last year will always be a special highlight of my career. Penny and I are currently deep in programming to bring audiences a vibrant new edition and we can’t wait to share it with our patrons and peers,” said Helen du Toit, Festival & Artistic Director. “The locals and visitors who come to escape into the magic of the film festival are deeply curious about culture and storytelling from around the world. You don’t need to spend too much time in the Blue Mountain area before realizing what a majestic place it is, from the location to the community – we couldn’t ask for a more enthusiastic locale to showcase the BMFF 2nd edition.”
Working with the Blue Mountain Village team and Marni Moreau, Director of Partnerships, duToit plans to grow BMFF’s sponsorship and community support. This year’s sponsors include Blue Mountain Village, Blue Mountain Resort, Bruce Grey Simcoe, Town of The Blue Mountains, Directors Guild of Canada (Ontario), Telefilm Canada, Film Finances Canada, Sutton Entertainment, Urban Post, Grey County, Simcoe County, Tatham Engineering, Primont Homes, and Mountain Life Magazine.
About the Blue Mountain Village
Between the foot of the Niagara Escarpment’s scenic Blue Mountains and the rugged shores and crystal-clear waters of Georgian Bay, the picturesque Blue Mountain Village is Southern Ontario’s premier four-season destination. A cobblestoned pedestrian village framed by turn-of-the-century Ontario architecture, the Village offers a wide variety of family accommodations, award-winning festivals and events, over 50 unique shops and restaurants, Iwa Spa, and much more. For a complete listing of Village events, please visit www.bluemountainvillage.ca
About Blue Mountain Resort
Blue Mountain Resort is Ontario’s largest mountain resort. Winter at the Resort boasts 43 ski and snowboard trails across 365 skiable acres, enhanced by a world-class snowmaking system. Summer months offer a variety of activities including golfing at Monterra Golf, playing on the attractions in the Adventure Park, and hiking or biking in the 30km trail network in the Explore Park. At the base of the Mountain, guests can enjoy a stay in one of the 1,000 luxury accommodation units in the pedestrian Village. With 53,000 square feet of state-of-the-art conference space, Blue Mountain caters year-round to groups and special events. Blue Mountain is owned by Alterra Mountain Company. Visit www.bluemountain.ca for more information.
For more information on Blue Mountain Film Festival visit bluemtnfilmfest.ca.
Running from June 1-5, 2022, the first ever BLUE MOUNTAIN FILM FESTIVAL have announced their programming lineup. The Festival will showcase 25 films from 25 countries, including Canada, China, Chile, Bolivia, Uruguay, Sweden, Israel, France, Saudi Arabia, Malta, Australia, Germany, and the United States.
The Film Festival will open with Aboriginal Horror SLASH/BACK and close with FIRE OF LOVE, a tale of of two people pursuing a life-long obsession. Sundance Award-winning Documentary NAVALNY also will surface at the Festival.
The Albanian Virgin by Bujar Alimani
Luana’s arranged marriage to the initially charming Flamur quickly sours when his Machiavellian nature is revealed. Defending his daughter’s honour, Erion ends up dead — leaving his daughter Luana in the midst of a blood-feud that forces a daunting choice.
Barakat by Amy Japhta
In this warm, funny South African family drama, Amy Jephta focuses on a Muslim widow gearing up to tell her four grown sons that she has fallen in love again, with a non-believer.
Blind Ambition by Warwick Ross & Robert Coe
Competing for their native Zimbabwe at the World Wine Blind Tasting Championship, four economic refugees show that opportunity is all.
Carmen by Valerie Buhagiar
Abruptly homeless after dedicating her life to looking after her brother, a Catholic priest, Maltese spinster Carmen (Natasha McElhone) assumes his place in the confessional box, dispensing subversive advice to the surprised supplicants in this whimsical feminist romance.
Casablanca Beats l Haut et Fort by Nabil Ayouch
Inspired by filmmaker Nabil Ayouch’s experience of opening a creative arts centre for youth in a Casablanca ghetto, this punchy, propulsive drama fuses music, drama and realism to potent effect.
Nominations include the Palme d’Or from Festival de Cannes 2021 and Best Foreign Language Film from Palm Springs International Film Festival 2022.
Costa Brava Lebanon by Mounia Akl
A family living in isolation off the grid is dismayed when the government annexes the adjoining land to put in a landfill. This impressively nuanced, novelistic drama subtly reveals the bonds and tensions within the family unit.
Notable awards include the NETPAC Award from TIFF 2021 and the FIPRESCI International Critics Prize from El Gouna Film Festival 2021.
Everybody Hates Johan l Alle Hater Johan by Hallvar Witzø
After years away in the US as a technician blaster, Johan returns to his rural childhood home in Norway in hopes of reconciling with Solovar, who still bears the scars from their old escapades. The entire town is set against him but the towering Johan is determined to build a life for himself.
Farha by Darin J. Sallam
A 14-year-old girl is swept up in the Israeli invasion of Palestine in 1948. Darin J Sallam’s memorable feature debut demonstrates how a narrow focus can still reveal deep truths.
Nominations include the New Voices/New Visions Grand Jury Prize from Palm Springs International Film Festival 2022 and the Dragon Award from Göteborg Film Festival 2022.
Fire of Love by Sara Dosa
French volcanologists Katia and Maurice Krafft share an all-consuming love for lava and the earth from which it spews. Sarah Dosa’s stunning doc memorializes two eccentric Alsatians traveling the planet in hot pursuit of their shared lifelong obsession: volcanoes.
Forest for the Trees by Rita Leistner
Canadian photographer-filmmaker Rita Leistner turns her lens on the denizens of a tree planting camp in BC to explore what it is that brings men and women such as herself to commit to this grueling, lonely and isolated work.
Gagarine by Fanny Liatard & Jérémy Trouilh
Inspired by the youth they met while interviewing the inhabitants of a condemned apartment block in the suburbs of Paris, Fanny Liatard and Jérémy Trouilh cook up an audacious magical realist fable about creative resistance – with a killer soundtrack.
The film was selected for the 2020 Cannes Film Festival and also won Best First Film from the Lumière Awards 2022.
Greener Pastures l שאיפה לחיים by Assaf Abiri & Matan Guggenheim
In this delightfully cranky Israeli comedy, 75-year-old Dov belatedly embarks on a life of crime, monetizing seniors’ medical marijuana supplies on the black market.
Nominated for 12 Israeli Academy Awards.
Into the Weeds by Jennifer Baichwal
The latest environmental documentary from Canadian director Jennifer Baichwal (Anthropocene; Manufactured Landscapes) is a lucid and damning courtroom drama detailing the case for damages brought by a school groundsman against agrochemical giant Monsanto.
This film opened this year’s Hot Docs Festival.
Last Film Show by Pan Nalin
When the magic of movies conquers nine-year young Samay’s heart; he moves heaven and earth in pursuit of his 35mm dreams unaware of heartbreaking times that await him. Set in India.
Navalny by Daniel Roher
Enthralling and intimate, NAVALNY unfolds with the pace of a thriller as it follows Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny in his quest to identify the men who poisoned him in August 2020. Through Roher’s extraordinary access to the investigation, this fly-on-the-wall documentary is also a study of a man intent on reform who will not be cowed by anything, including his own poisoning.
Notable awards include both the 2022 Sundance Film Festival Audience Award in the U.S. Documentary competition and the fan-selected Festival Favorite Award.
Nelly & Nadine by Magnus Gertten
In this transfixing, beautifully crafted documentary Magnus Gertten gently reveals an exceptionally resonant love story between two remarkable women who met in a German concentration camp in 1944.
Official Competition l Competencia Oficial by Mariano Cohn and Gaston Dupart Penelope Cruz, Antonio Banderas and Oscar Martinez have a ball sending up the pretensions and hugely fragile egos of movie folk in this sharply funny film biz satire.
Slash/Back by Nyla Innuksuk
When a group of Inuk adolescent girls have a close encounter with an undead polar bear it’s the signal that their town is in desperate danger… Genuinely thrilling, Nyla Innuksuk’s endearing teen chiller is a ton of fun.
Our Home l Utama by Alejandro Loayza Grisi
High in the Bolivian Andes, a llama farmer confronts his own mortality and the impending death of an ancient way of life.
Phantom of the Open by Craig Roberts
Mark Rylance stars as cheeky underdog Maurice Flitcroft, who entered the British Open in 1976 despite never having played a full round of golf before. This cheerful comedy hits the sweet spot.
Plaza Catedral by Abner Benaim
This compelling Panamanian thriller zeroes in on an unhappy, middle-aged divorcee and the desperate street kid who shows up at her door bleeding from a bullet wound. In helping him, she opens herself up to a world of trouble.
With our inaugural secret screening we invite you to take a flier and trust our programmers to serve up something special. This movie could come from anywhere, but we promise it’s something we love. And just as we’re keeping you dark about this evening’s entertainment, we ask you to keep a secret. Yes, that’s right, there’s only one rule at the Secret Screening club… You don’t talk about the Secret Screening.
The Strong Ones l Los Fuertes by Omar Zúñiga Hidalgo
Visiting family in a foggy Chilean fishing village for a few days before his relocation to Montreal, Lucas meets Antonio. Flirtation quickly escalates into a full blown affair, but can these two men see a future together?
Notable awards include the Best Foreign Language Film from Florida Film Critics Circle Awards 2020 and Best Feature from OUTshine Film Festival 2020.
A Tale of Love and Desire l Une Histoire D’Amour et de Désir by Leyla Bouzid
Leyla Bouzid’s sensuous, sensitive film traces a lexicon of longing in the story of two classmates at the Sorbonne, Ahmed and Farah, who fall in love with each other and with the words of the ancient Arabic poets they’re studying.
Notable nominations include Best Screenplay from Lumières Awards 2022 and the Dragon Award from Göteborg Film Festival 2022.
We Are Living Things by Antonio Tibaldi
This defiantly unpredictable indie keeps us guessing as two illegal immigrants – one from Mexico, the other from China – bond over aliens of a different type entirely.
Great news! Just announced today is a brand-new Film Festival in The Blue Mountains, just two hours outside Toronto! Blue Mountain Film Festival (BMFF) will be led by veteran film executive, Helen du Toit in the role of Executive & Artistic Director.
Toit for many years served as Artistic Director at the Palm Springs Film Festival.
Sponsored by all-seasons Blue Mountain Resort, BMFF invites film-lovers and filmmakers to connect, be inspired and escape into the mountains to enjoy the very best in international and Canadian cinema.
The Festival will take place June 1-5, 2022 at the Blue Mountain Village Conference Centre with programming details to come in the new year. For now, we know they plan to premiere 25 films from around the globe, with a focus on Ontario productions.
Details can be found at www.bluemtnfilmfest.ca.
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