Film, Food and Wine in a Splendid Setting
the 2nd Annual
Niagara Integrated Film Festival
June 18-21, 2015
ANNOUNCING FULL FESTIVAL LINEUP
The 2nd Annual Niagara Integrated Film Festival (NIFF) ushers in this summer’s cinema scene with a stellar line-up of films, running June 18-21 in the Niagara region. Film buffs, foodies and wine lovers will mingle with the ‘film set’ in the beautiful, award-winning wine region of Ontario, to enjoy amazing film programs, paired with seductive culinary experiences and winery visits.
Building on its success from its inaugural year, this year’s expanded programming ranges from tender coming-of-age stories, light-hearted comedies, and special screenings to gripping dramas and documentaries. NIFF will showcase 22 narrative and eight documentary features, from countries including: the USA, UK, Canada, Germany, Costa Rica, Hungary, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania and Hong Kong. Out of the total lineup, four world and one North American premieres will be screened. In addition, 20 Canadian premieres are scheduled, including four Ontario films and 12 Niagara Region debuts.
“As this Festival grows, we are realizing a dream is coming true,” said NIFF Founder and CEO Bill Marshall, “Niagara Region offers Festival goers a unique, exquisite backdrop for an unparalleled cultural experience. We have been working hard to deliver a thoughtful program that will entertain, provoke and entice with world-class cinema including some homegrown works from Niagara’s very own film industry.”
“We’re thrilled that our Founding Signature Sponsors RBC, and Ralota Technologies are back, as well as our government partners Ontario Tourism, the Ontario Trillium Foundation, the Niagara Region, and the City of St. Catharines,” says President and NIFF Co-Founder Sari Ruda. “Of course, NIFF would not be the unique, sensational experience it is, if not for our wonderful winery and venue partners giving Festival-goers a chance to enjoy some world-class food and wine experiences in gorgeous and relaxed facilities. Their participation is a demonstration of faith in our future and reinforces that the Festival is indeed a successful annual event.”
FESTIVAL LAUNCH AND GALA
An early kick-start to the Festival will be the exciting screening of the DISNEY•PIXAR
film Inside Out on June 14. Hot off its hugely successful world premiere at Cannes, Inside Out combines the directing skills of Peter Docter, the Academy Award-winning director of Up, with a voice cast that includes Amy Poehler, Bill Hader, Lewis Black, Mindy Kaling, and Phyllis Smith, just to name a few.
NIFF leads off with the Canadian Premiere Testament of Youth as the Opening Night GALA, a sweeping coming-of-age story set in World War I screens at the prestigious Peller Estates winery, with UK-based director James Kent in attendance.
Also screening is the Canadian Premiere of Diary of a Teenage Girl, an adaptation of Phoebe Gloeckner’s 2002 “hybrid” words-and-pictures novel, set during the San Francisco hippie era, a distinctive debut film from first-time feature director, Marielle Heller. The film stars Kristen Wiig, Bel Powley, Christopher Meloni, and Alexander Skarsgård.
SOME HIGHLIGHTS AND PROGRAMS
Showcasing a myriad of talented newcomers and illustrious veterans like Blythe Danner, Patrick Stewart, Mickey Rourke, Emma Roberts, Jason Schwartzman, Cobie Smulders, Sam Elliott, Mindy Kaling, Bill Hader, Diane Lane, Enrico Colantoni, Gabriel Hogan, and Tara Spencer-Nairn, NIFF will also prominently feature local filmmakers in the Niagara Rises Program.
Foodies and film buffs will be hard-pressed to resist the documentaries: For Grace, directed by Mark Helenowski and Kevin Pang, the truly remarkable story of an obsessive Chicago chef—Curtis Duffy– determined to get as many Michelin stars he can; as well as director Willemiek Kluijfhout’s Sergio Herman, Fucking Perfect, which was a hit at the Culinary Cinema section of this year’s Berlin Film Festival.
Winner of a special jury prize at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, Advantageous is a sci-fi tale full of stunning futuristic visuals and amazing performances by Jacqueline Kim, James Urbaniak, and Freya Adams, smartly directed by Jennifer Phang.
The Falling – Maisie Williams stars in this atmospheric film about a girls’ school and hysterical faintings.
Based on Annie M. G. Schmidt’s popular children’s book, and directed by established Dutch filmmaker Tim Oliehoek, The Amazing Wiplala is the tale of a 10cm tall little creature that comes from a country where everyone can do magic. Dubbed in English, this whimsical treat will surely be enjoyed by the whole family.
Making its Canadian Premiere at NIFF, is the hilarious romcom People, Places, Things directed by James C. Strouse, who coaxes great performances from a stellar cast that includes one of New Zealand’s funniest actors, Jemaine Clement.
Director Kris Swanberg draws from her own experience as a teacher to tell a delightfully honest story of pregnancy in Unexpected, where a teacher and student find themselves pregnant at the same time. Starring Cobie Smulders, Gail Bean and Elizabeth McGovern.
A funny and bizarre documentary set in 1980’s Romania, Chuck Norris vs Communism tells the unexpected story of how smuggled Chuck Norris VHS movies helped Romanians escape their stark communist reality.
Look out for great Polish actor Daniel Olbrychski in the film Fanciful, making its Canadian debut at NIFF. This star has made more than 150 European films, and is best known this side of the Atlantic for sharing the screen with Angelina Jolie in Salt.
Blythe Danner gives one of her best performances in years as a widow in her 70s in the bittersweet I’ll See You In My Dreams, directed by Brett Haley.
Patrick Stewart turns in a great performance as Tobias Powell, a dance instructor at Juilliard, in Match, also a Canadian Premiere at the Festival. Carla Gugino –who plays his student working on her dance dissertation— is also one-to-watch for in this drama directed by Stephen Belber.
Best of Enemies is a documentary about the legendary series of nationally televised debates in 1968 between two great public intellectuals, the liberal Gore Vidal and the conservative William F. Buckley Jr.
The Colossal Failure of the Modern Relationship – romance and wine are both uncorked in this film shot entirely in the Niagara region.
The Hotel Dieu – a teen bromance and romance are gently unfurled in this film shot in the area with about 75% local cast & crew.
Touted as one of the most thought provoking music documentaries of 2015, in Station to Station, a train travels 4,000 miles across North America with a group of artists and musicians who collaborate on recordings, artworks, films and ten “happenings” across the USA. Directed by Doug Aitken, this compelling doc is also set to have its Canadian Premiere at NIFF.
For music lovers wanting more, Festival Express is a classic music documentary compiled from footage from the Grateful Dead’s -2015 also marks the 50th anniversary of the band’s formation- Canadian train tour in 1970, along with performances from Janis Joplin, Buddy Guy, The Band and The Flying Burrito Brothers.
MORE FESTIVAL DELIGHTS
Attendees can enhance their movie-going experience by taking in some of the Festival’s other premier programming. Filmalicious offers a heavenly marriage of gastronomy and cinema –the ultimate dinner and movie experience— featuring world-class regional chefs and some of the region’s finest vintages, all enjoyed under the stars. Film Feast is a program that combines a wine-and-food pairing tasting with a short film festival experience. Film Feast includes transportation to and from each winery.
The Niagara Integrated Film Festival rolls in great food, fine wines, and excellent films into one fabulous experience. Full details available at NiagaraFilmFest.com
The Board, staff and volunteers of NIFF would like to gratefully acknowledge our Sponsors and Partners for their support and contributions.
Signature Sponsors: RBC, Ralota Technologies
Corporate Sponsors: First Ontario Performing Arts Centre, Coventry Transportation, Brightworks, White Oakes Resort & Spa
Government Partners: Ontario Tourism, Ontario Trillium Foundation, Niagara Region, City of St. Catharines, Foodland Ontario, Telefilm Canada, Ontario Media Development Corporation.
Media Sponsors: Cineplex Media, EZ Rock 105.7, 97.7 HTZ-FM, Newstalk 610 CKTB, The Standard, Niagara Falls Review, The Tribune, National Post, Star 102.5, The Wine Ladies.com, Proud FM 103.9
Wineries & Venues: Jackson-Triggs Niagara Estate, Peller Estates, Henry of Pelham Family Estate, Redstone, Southbrook Vineyards, Trius Winery at Hillebrand, Calamas Estate Winery, Angel’s Gate Winery,
Tawse Winery, Pillitteri Estates Winery, Pondview Estate Winery, Konzelmann Estate Winery, Landmark Cinemas, Seneca Queen Theatre, White Oakes Resort & Spa
BOX OFFICE INFO
Opening Night – $175 (includes dinner reception/post-film Q&A)
Ultimate Gala Experience – $175 (includes dinner reception/post-film Q&A)
Full Filmalicious Experience – $159 (includes dinner reception)
Gala / Filmalicious Screening Ticket – $29 (film and glass of wine)
Film Feast – $105
Theatre Screening Ticket – $12.50 (adult); $10 (student/senior)
All Tickets can be purchased online at www.niagarafilmfest.com or by calling 1-800-656-0713
Founded by Bill Marshall (Founder and Chair Emeritus of the Toronto International Film Festival – TIFF), NIFF is a registered Canadian charity, who produces and operates an annual film festival for the purpose of educating and advancing the public’s understanding and appreciation of film, in the heart of the premier hospitality of the Niagara Wine Region.