Surkhaab

Spotlight on Canadian Films - OCanFilmFest

Shot on location in Toronto and Chandigarh, Toronto-based writer/director Sanjay Talreja‘s feature film debut Surkhaab is described as “a week in the life of a human being trafficked.”

“Jeet, has spent her formative years training hard to become a state level Judo champion. The discipline required has made Jeet into a straight shooter, who is unafraid to say things as they are. Now, trying to adjust to a life after sports, she finds herself tackling the chauvinistic and corrupt world of a life in a village in Punjab… Although she has no trust in them, Jeet is forced to ask the help of the local hustler Balbir and his nephew Kuldeep. Through them she obtains a counterfeit visa to come to see her brother in Toronto.” – Surkhaab Press Kit

The film recently won Best Foreign Language Film and Best Director awards at the London International Film Festival, the Remi Platinum Award for Best Feature at the Houston World Fest and Best Producers at the Madrid Film Festival. Here’s the trailer.

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Incendies

Spotlight on Canadian Films - OCanFilmFest

“Nawal (Lubna Azabal), a dying Middle Eastern woman living in Montreal, leaves separate letters to her twin children to be read once she passes away. Jeanne (Mélissa Désormeaux-Poulin) is to deliver hers to the father the twins never knew, and Simon (Maxim Gaudette) is to give his to the brother they never knew they had. The siblings travel to the Middle East separately, where they each experience acts of brutality, uncover a startling family history, and have revelations about themselves.” – IMDB

Denis Villeneuve‘s Oscar-nominated adaptation of Wajdi Mouawad‘s play Incendies is available on YouTube and streaming on Netflix Canada.  Here’s the trailer.

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Diamond Tongues

Spotlight on Canadian Films - OCanFilmFest

Edith Welland dreams of being a successful actress but just can’t seem to make things happen. Things get worse when the ex-boyfriend she broke up with to focus on her career takes up acting on a whim and immediately books a leading role. When Edith can’t figure out what she’s doing wrong, she begins to do everything wrong. Set in Toronto, Diamond Tongues is a dramatic comedy about insecurity, uncertainty, unhealthy competition, and just about everything else between the lines. — NXNE

Directed by Pavan Moondi & Brian Robertson, the film stars Leah Goldstein (a.k.a. Leah Fay of the band July Talk).  The film is currently available on YouTube, on iTunes and Netflix Canada. Here’s  the trailer.

 

Anote’s Ark

Spotlight on Canadian Films - OCanFilmFest

Montreal filmmaker Matthieu Rytz‘s debut film Anote’s Ark details the plight of the tiny island nation Kiribati (formerly called Gilbert Islands), which is in danger of being engulfed by rising water levels or wiped out by patterns of extreme weather.

“The country will be drowned in the next 50 years, no matter the investments and agreements” states Rytz in his Kickstarter pitch for the film.  “Anote’s ark will be the first full-length shot in the Republic of Kiribati. I am so honored and I feel like I need to tell the story of this nation before it completely drown out.”

The film enjoys its world premiere at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival this week.

Here’s the trailer.

 

Backcountry

Spotlight on Canadian Films - OCanFilmFest

Based on a true story about an urban couple who go camping in the Canadian wilderness, writer/director Adam MacDonald‘s directorial feature film debut Backcountry is described as “a full blown, full blooded horror film about the apathy of nature and the folly of human resistance in the face of its violent shrug. There are no cartoonish, cross-eyed, cannibalistic hillbillies lurking in these deep, dangerous forests. There is simply the sheer panic of being swallowed by the unknown…and the very real possibility of being ripped to shreds by one very hungry bear.” — Fangoria

“[The movie] came to me when I was lying in a tent with my wife and I heard something large walking around at the crack of dawn. I was scared, and luckily for us, whatever it was walked away, and left me with an idea.” says Adam MadDonald about the film that was shot in 17 days in North Bay and Squamish, B.C.

Backcountry is now available on Netflix Canada.  Here’s the trailer.