NIFF Programmer Tony Watts Scoops
two high-profile features from CANNES
Veteran programmer Tony Watts has gilded the upcoming first Niagara Integrated Film Festival in Ontario, Canada, with two high-profile features straight from the Cannes Film Festival.
Watts, Director of Programming for the inaugural NIFF (and the first director of programmes for the Toronto International Film Festival, back then known as Festival of Festivals), worked this year’s marketplace to land the acclaimed Four Corners directed by Ian Gabriel from South Africa, which will have an International Premiere at NIFF, and Cold In July a stunner by Jim Mickle, that makes its Canadian debut at NIFF.
Four Corners, was the official South African selection for Best Foreign Language Film at the 86th Academy Awards. A coming-of-age crime drama set amid South African gang culture, this raw and violent film touches on issues of love, loss, kinship, betrayal and redemption. Director Ian Gabriel will be a special guest at NIFF for this screening.
Cold In July is a 2014 American crime drama based on the cult novel of the same name by author Joe R. Lansdale. A breakthrough film for director/co-writer Jim Mickle, it was picked up for US theatrical distribution by IFC. Michael C. Hall, Sam Shepard, Don Johnson and Damici star in the tale of a man targeted for a revenge murder after he accidentally kills an unarmed intruder. But connecting the dots of his intended assassination leads him to a larger, murkier world of police corruption.
About Tony Watts: The programmer’s programmer, and a player in international film and television since the ‘70s, Watts’ credentials speak for themselves. The Director of Programmes for the inaugural Toronto Film Festival (Festival of Festivals) he has held executive positions with Premiere (the UK’s first satellite Pay TV channel), and with its successor Sky, Hong Kong-based Star movies and Sundance Channel International (where he reported directly to Sundance founder Robert Redford). In recent years, he’s been CEO of RTL Asia (the pay-TV arm of Europe’s largest broadcaster), and is CEO/Founder of The Festivals Channel – a subscription app movie service. Watts is considered one of the world’s leading experts on international film.
About NIFF: The Niagara Integrated Film Festival (NIFF) is a film festival that aims to shine a cinematic spotlight on the Niagara Region’s extraordinary beauty while showcasing top shelf independent films from across the world. NIFF is run by an expert team of film festival managers, led by Bill Marshall, Founder and Chair Emeritus of TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival), the world’s most successful public film festival. www.niagarafilmfest.com