Canada Now 2017

Canada Now Film Festival
Canada Now
At Curzon Soho, London June 15-18, 2017
In Cinemas and On Demand from July 1, 2017

The best of new Canadian Cinema descended upon London on June 15th with the inaugural Canada Now film festival. Nine films played across four days at the Curzon Soho cinema, and then from July 1st (Canada Day), the films will begin a national tour of cinemas and become available on VOD.

Directed by Denis Villeneuve
Starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Sarah Gadon, Isabella Rossellini, Stephen R Hart, Jane Moffat and Mélanie Laurent

Please excuse the profanity, but Enemy is basically the biggest headfuck of recent cinema. “Chaos is order yet undeciphered” is a line from José Saramago’s The Double, the novel on which this movie is based. This is how Enemy begins and continues until the end credits roll.

Enemy is a film full of chaos, posing questions rather than delivering answers. While the tone and mood of the film are tensely atmospheric and psychologically thrilling, the meaning remains undeciphered for many of its audience. Imagery of spiders and webs are prominent throughout, allowing the audience to create their own metaphors and analyses, without ever being spoon-fed clarity… read more

Canada Now: Hello Destroyer
Hello Destroyer

Directed by Kevan Funk
Starring Jared Abrahamson, Kurt Max Runte, Joe Buffalo, Paul McGillion and Sara Canning

A junior hockey player’s life is shattered by an in-game act of violence. Desperate to find a means of reconciliation and a sense of identity, his personal journey ends up illuminating troubling systemic issues around violence.

Suicide is now the biggest killer of young men, and this film makes it easy to understand why. This is a definite ‘show don’t tell’ piece. It certainly challenged my long held suspicion that guys have it easier… read more

Koneline: Our Land Beautiful
Directed by Nettie Wild

Koneline: Our Land Beautiful premiered at the 2016 Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival, where it won the award for Best Canadian Documentary. It has also won the award for the ALFF 2016: Audience Choice for Best Canadian Documentary, and CSC Robert Brooks Award for Best Cinematography (Van Royko). The film garnered three Canadian Screen Award nominations at the 5th Canadian Screen Awards in 2017, for Best Feature Length Documentary, Best Cinematography in a Documentary and Best Editing in a Documentary.

Directed by Nettie Wild and produced by Betsy Carson Koneline explores the different lives of the Tahltan First Nations located in northern British Columbia, featuring interviews with the natives, miners, hunters, linesmen, geologists and tourists in Telegraph Creek; all filmed in front of a breathtaking backdrop… read more

Canada Now: maliglutit searchers
Maliglutit (Searchers)

Directed by: Zacharias Kunuk and Natar Ungalaaq
Starring Jonah Qunaq, Benjamin Kunuk, Joseph Uttak, Joey Sarpinak, Lucy Tulugarjuk, Jocelyne Immaroitok and Karen Ivalu

Nunavut, circa 1913. Kuanana returns from a caribou hunt to discover his wife and daughter kidnapped, and the rest of his family slaughtered. His father’s spirit helper, the loon Kallulik, sets him on course to overturn fate and reunite his family.

Based on John Ford’s 1956 western The Searchers, Maliglutit is a vast and impressive tale of revenge. Snow replaces desert, dogs replace horses, but makeshift camps, isolation, wilderness, rape and violence are still abound… read more

Canada Now: Nelly
Directed by Anne Émond
Starring Mylène Mackay, Mylia Corbeil-Gauvreau, Mickaël Gouin, Sylvie Drapeau, Catherine Brunet and Francis Leplay

Nelly is a compelling depiction of Borderline Personality Disorder inspired by the life and work of Canadian novelist Nelly Arcan. It’s a gorgeous, sensitive biopic that beautifully weaves make-believe and memoir, combining elements from Arcan’s life with elements from her books.

Nelly is a habitual liar, damaged, brilliant, insecure and dangerously vulnerable. Arcan was also all of those things as well as being an artist who was terrified of the critics, of getting older, and of not being desired as an artist or a woman any more. There are some soul-searching speeches here that are darkly unnerving… read more

Canada Now: Sleeping Giant
Sleeping Giant
Directed by Andrew Cividino
Starring Nick Serino, Reece Moffett, Jackson Martin, David Disher and Erika Brodzky

Sleeping Giant is filled with familiar tropes found in many coming-of-age films; but with masterful skill, director Andrew Cividino has produced a stylish, charming and empathetic debut feature.

There is a naturalistic element to Sleeping Giant which makes it stand apart from the typical ‘boys will be boys’ story. Newcomers Nick Serino and Reece Moffett are superb as Nate and Riley, the trouble-making cousins with matching Bieber hairstyles. You know from the opening scene that this film will not end well for at least one of the boys involved, as the cousins befriend the naive Adam (Jackson Martin), corrupting his innocence as they become fast friends over a summer spent in cottage country, Canada… read more

Canada Now - Weirdos
Directed by Bruce McDonald
Starring Dylan Authors, Julia Sarah Stone, Molly Parker, Allan Hawco, Cathy Jones and Rhys Bevan-John

This low-key, light on substance coming-of-age drama is not at all as weird as the title may suggest. Weirdos is the tale of two teens, hitchhiking across Nova Scotia in the summer of ’76. At the center of the story is Kit, a classic runaway teen wanting to go live with the mother who abandoned him. He sees and speaks to his spirit animal in the guise of Andy Warhol, who helps to guide him along the way – ok, that bit is quite weird. He’s also accompanied by his girlfriend Alice who’s desperate to consummate their relationship, in spite of obvious signs that Kit is gay… read more

Canada Now: Window Horses
Window Horses: The Poetic Epiphany of Rosie Ming
Directed by Ann Marie Fleming
Starring Sandra Oh, Nancy Kwan, Shohreh Aghdashloo, Camyar Chaichian, Omid Abtahi, Navid Negahban, Ellen Page and Don McKellar

Window Horses: The Poetic Epiphany of Rosie Ming is a poetic film about poetry, paternity and Persia.

Rosie is a young Canadian poet who is invited to perform at a Poetry Festival in Shiraz, Iran. However, her heart belongs to Paris as it’s all she ever seems to write about. Once in Iran, she learns of her Persian father who abandoned her as a child. She’s forced to confront not only her past, but also the nature of poetry itself and what it means to her… read more


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