The 6th Annual Wakefield International Film Festival (WIFF), screens at the Wakefield Centre February 7th to March 1st, 2015, and continues its tradition of offering the best in current international documentary film – with a distinctly Canadian flavour this year. WIFF takes place over four weekends.
– Scene from “Next Goal Wins”
The first weekend of WIFF 2015, February 7 & 8, filmmaker Marie-Hélène Cousineau will be present to speak with filmgoers about her film Sol (2014), co-directed with Susan Avingaq. The film investigates the suspicious death in custody of 26-year-old Inuk actor and musician Solomon Tapatiaq Uyarasak, and the alarming youth suicide rate in the Arctic region. Best Canadian Feature, 2014 Rencontres Internationales du Documentaire de Montréal (RIDM). “Thoughtful, moving and beautifully rendered…” (Jason Anderson, Toronto Star) The other film that weekend, sponsored by the Wakefield General Store, is the remarkable Next Goal Wins (2014). From the UK and directed by Mike Brett and Steve Jamison, this movie tracks the ‘worst soccer team in World Cup history,’ American Samoa, and their drive, with maverick Dutch coach Thomas Rongen, to win a game. (Best Documentary, British Independent Film Awards, 2014) “… this hilarious documentary is a big-hearted delight.” (Andy Lea, Daily Star)
February 14 & 15 bring two intense political docs to the festival. The Secret Trial 5 (2014), a Canadian film directed by Amar Wala, is an exploration of Canada’s shadowy, controversial ‘security certificate,’ and the five men who have spent nearly 30 combined years in our prisons, with no charges brought against them and no access to the information that has damned them to this treatment. “A Kafkaesque nightmare brought to life.” (Simon Houpt, Globe and Mail) (Top Ten Audience Favourite, Hot Docs, 2014) The Green Prince (2014) a Germany/UK/Israel film directed by Nadav Schirman, tells the remarkable story of an unprecedented partnership between two sworn enemies – the son of a Hamas leader and the Shin Bet agent who risked his career to protect him. A tense psychological thriller of a documentary. (Best Documentary, World Cinema, Sundance 2014) “A harrowing tale of intrigue and betrayal, but also one of a friendship that survives despite extraordinary circumstances.” (Bruce Demara, Toronto Star)
– Scene from “Keep on Keep’in On”
February 21 & 22 offers two very different films. The latest from Alanis Obomsawin – who visited WIFF in 2013 – is Trick or Treaty (2014), an examination of the scattered history of Aboriginal/Canadian relations, seen through the lens of Treaty 9 – wherein sovereignty of the land may or may not have been relinquished. Particularly topical in the context of awarenessraising
efforts such as Idle No More. “…truly proves Obomsawin a master of the art form… the urgency of the film is palpable.” (Patrick Mullen, POV Magazine) “Absolutely essential viewing.” (Nadya Domingo, Toronto Film Scene) Sponsored by Mtre Geneviève Parent. On an entirely different tack, Keep On Keepin’ On (2014) an American film directed by Alan Hicks, is a personal and affecting story of jazz trumpeter Clark Terry, mentor to Miles Davis and Quincy Jones, and his latest protégé, the blind pianist Justin Kauflin. “Not just one of the year’s best documentaries, it’s one of the year’s best pictures, period.” (Pete Hammond, Movieline) (Best New Documentary Director & Audience Award, Tribeca Film Festival, 2014)
And finally, the last weekend of WIFF, February 28 and March 1, WIFF offers some ruminations about where we are and what it all means, albeit in very different theme and manner. Yukon director Suzanne Crocker will speak with festival filmgoers about her film, All the Time in the World (2014). Over nine months, Crocker filmed her family – husband, three children and three pets – living off the grid, with no electricity and no access to society, in an experiment aimed at disconnecting from hectic, technology-laden lives in order to reconnect with each other and our natural environment. (Best of Festival, Wild & Scenic Film Festival; Audience Choice Award, Vancouver International Film Festival); Sponsored by CPAWS. Another Canadian film, The Price We Pay (2014), directed by Harold Crooks and sponsored at WIFF by Bean Fair and Wakefield Ensemble/Earth Day, exposes how offshore tax havens and the tech giants of the “cloud” economy are eroding democratic society. An essential primer in the widening gap between the rich and poor and corporate responsibility. “… a complex, nuanced film about a complex, nuanced situation… one of the strongest docs of the year, one that’s both timely and highly provocative.” (Jason Gorber, twitchfilm.com) Best Canadian Documentary, Vancouver Film Critics Circle Awards, 2014)
The philosophy of the small, growing festival that is WIFF is to promote discussion of its films’ themes and concerns, and the 2015 festival will offer many opportunities for its audiences to do just that.
As mentioned, two filmmakers, Marie-Hélène Cousineau and Suzanne Crocker, are visiting the festival to take part in Q & As following each of the two screenings of their films. Panel discussions are also being organized and will be announced as they are finalized. And the relaxed, convivial atmosphere always promotes conversation. Visiting filmmakers, experts and audience members alike always remark on the unique opportunity WIFF provides for intelligent dialogue.
The 6th Annual Wakefield International Film Festival runs from February 7 – March 1, 2015 at the Wakefield Centre, 38 Valley Drive, in Wakefield, QC, a lovely 20-minute drive from Ottawa. Films screen each Saturday and Sunday night at 4pm and 7:30pm. Tickets and pricing information for all WIFF 2015 screenings are available at: www.wakefieldfilmfest.ca.]]>
On February 13 and 14, the closing weekend of Winterlude, Lansdowne Park will host the first-ever Winter Brewfest. Event organizers and partners encourage lovers of craft beer and fine food to come out and sample a rich palette of flavours in a unique setting right next to the Rideau Canal Skateway.
An offshoot of the highly successful Festibière de Gatineau, the Winter Brewfest invites visitors from both sides of the Ottawa River to enjoy signature products from a score of microbreweries, including Beau’s All Natural Brewing, Beyond the Pale Brewing, Whiprsnapr, Dominion City Brewing, Kichesippi Beer Co., Cassel Brewery, Big Rig Brewery and Bicycle Craft Brewery.
Food service by LOCAL Public Eatery in Lansdowne Park will complement the alchemical fare created by the region’s passionate brewers. Cask beers, hot beer served outdoors, and taffy on snow will also be on the menu, along with live music by DJ Kid SL, DJ Illo and Xander Situ.
The Winter Beerfest proudly acknowledges its partners the City of Ottawa, Winterlude, LOCAL Public Eatery, Metro News, JUMP! 106.9, boom 99.7, and Ontario’s microbreweries, and cordially invites the region’s craft beer lovers to come and worship at the altar of pleasure in a warm, hospitable setting—if nothing else, it’s a great way to keep from freezing at this time of year!
“We’re extremely proud to partner with the CHEO Foundation on a special fundraiser,” said Winter Beerfest and Festibière de Gatineau president Mario D’Eer. “At each of the three Brewfest sessions we’ll be selling off a ‘dream keg’ donated by a local brewery, and 100% of the proceeds will go to the Foundation.”
Advance tickets are now on sale for $20 (tax included) through the Winter Brewfest website at www.brewfest.ca. Ticket price includes admission to one session and the official festival glass. Check the website for the full schedule of sessions and other activities. For ages 19+. On-site parking available.]]>
Robert Rooney announced this morning that the Wakefield International Film Festival (WIFF) will host the directors of two of the eight films being screened during the 2015 fest, February 7th – March 1st, 2015.
Rooney, Artistic Director of the popular documentary film festival, has programmed one of these filmmakers for the opening weekend and one for the closing weekend – nice bracketing for a festival that is continuing to grow steadily into this, its 6th season. The Festival has a philosophical dedication to promoting discussion and involvement in its films’ issues. The Q & A discourse with these award-winning filmmakers continues this tradition.
Over the first weekend of WIFF 2015, February 7 & 8, filmmaker Marie-Hélène Cousineau will be present to speak with filmgoers about her film Sol (2014), co-directed with Susan Avingaq. The film investigates the suspicious death in custody of 26-year-old Inuk actor and musician Solomon Tapatiaq Uyarasak, and the alarming youth suicide rate in the Arctic region. Sol was awarded Best Canadian Feature at the 2014 Rencontres Internationales du Documentaire de Montréal (RIDM). Marie-Hélène Cousineau first arrived in Igloolik, Nunavut in 1990, where she quickly became an integral part in the development of women’s video. In 1991, she founded Tarriaksuk Video Centre with Zacharias Kunuk and Norman Cohn, and established Arnait Video Productions with Mary Kunuk and Madeline Ivalu. She still produces and directs videos for Arnait Video Productions, including this film. She will be present after both the Saturday February 7th screening at 7:30pm and the Sunday February 8th show at 4pm, to discuss Sol with the WIFF audience.
The last weekend of WIFF, February 28 and March 1, sees Yukon director Suzanne Crocker speaking with festival filmgoers. Her film, All the Time in the World (2014), charts her family’s search for a new perspective. Over nine months, Crocker filmed her family – husband, three children and three pets – living off the grid, with no electricity and no access to society, in an experiment aimed at disconnecting from hectic, technology-laden lives in order to reconnect with each other and our natural environment. Suzanne Crocker switched careers from rural family physician to filmmaker in 2009. This very personal—and yet somehow universal—film is her directing debut. It received the Audience Award for Best Canadian Documentary at the Vancouver International Film Festival last fall. Crocker will speak with the audience on February 28 after the 7:30pm show and on March 1 after the 4pm show.
The 6th Annual Wakefield International Film Festival runs from February 7 – March 1, 2015 at the Wakefield Centre, 38 Valley Drive, in Wakefield, QC. Films screen each Saturday and Sunday night at 4pm and 7:30pm. Tickets for all WIFF 2015 screenings are now available at the website: www.wakefieldfilmfest.ca – watch for the full season press release later this week.]]>
Built around the increasingly popular concept of a house concert, Sounds Simple is designed to feel as warm and comfortable as you’d expect a house concert to be with the added bonus of a café menu that offers a delicious selection of sweet and savoury crepes, chocolate confections, hot chocolate, premium teas and coffee.
A Thing For Chocolate opened one year ago in a converted house in Wellington West. Omar Fares, the owner and chef, imagined a friendly café where he knew his customers by name, customers who would return time and time again and one day, they could enjoy live music performances right there in the café. That time has come!
RedLeaf Music, an Ottawa music management company, has put together a weekly music series featuring solo acoustic artists from Ottawa and around the province. Partnering with local community builders the Ottawa Grassroots Festival and CKCU 93.1 FM, the series promises to inspire and delight attendees while creating the opportunity for many new friendships to grow.
Arrive early to secure a seat. No reservations accepted.
Sounds Simple is a “pass the hat” event. No tickets or cover charge.
What: A weekly live performance music series featuring solo acoustic musicians
Who: RedLeaf Music, Ottawa Grassroots Festival, CKCU, A Thing For Chocolate
When: 7 – 9 pm, Thursdays beginning January 22, 2015
Where: A Thing for Chocolate, 1262 Wellington St. West, Ottawa]]>