15 Jan THE MODERN MIX
Curated by the millennials on the festival staff, this is a list for all of the 20/30-somethings who want to watch good films but are overwhelmed by the vast selection.
We got you.
Akilla Brown’s life has been dictated by his gang involvement. As a teen dealer in Brooklyn and now running his own marijuana operation in Toronto, it’s business as usual until an armed robbery makes a routine deal go sideways. Akilla’s survival skills save his own life while he makes a split-second decision to help one of the teenage thieves, a Jamaican boy named Sheppard. With both of their lives in peril, Sheppard’s nascent role in organized crime forces Akilla to confront his own history, seeing a chance to help the teen boy escape a life he couldn’t. Poet-musician-actor Saul Williams brings a restrained resilience to Akilla’s character, embodying a lifetime of navigating a criminal underworld but never losing his humanity. Weaving a crime thriller with a coming-of-age story, award-winning filmmaker Charles Officer deftly upends genre conventions with this fictional drama that addresses very real cycles of violence that have impacted generations.
Are robots going to take over the world and replace humans? Will your microwave be your best friend in the future? Or your worst enemy?
Have you ever asked yourself these questions? If so, keep reading. If not, keep reading.
iHuman, is a documentary thriller that explores the most powerful and far-reaching technology of our time – Artificial Intelligence. With a unique access to pioneers at the frontline of the AI revolution, it explores opportunities and challenges that it can bring and its impact on the global community. How is AI changing our lives? What role will play in the future?
iHuman will give you real chills and perhaps encourage taking that technology-free weekend to the cabin you have always dreamt of.
Games People Play (Seurapeli)
Director Jenni Toivoniemi makes her feature film debut with a bittersweet comedy about a group of thirtysomething friends regressing to their teenage selves during a reunion weekend.
An old group of friends gathers at an idyllic seaside villa to celebrate a surprise birthday party for Mitzi – just like they used to do as teenagers. The weekend starts ominously when Mitzi, who is the dramatic focal point of the group, does not respond well to the surprise. Old rituals and new revelations rise to the surface making the group of friends reassess their past, their present and drink more Kossu (Finnish liquor).
Games People Play, featuring a brilliant cast ensemble including Laura Birn (also in this year’s Helen, Netflix’s The Innocents) and Christian Hillborg (Fleabag), is a delicious mix of delight and darkness resulting in a perfect heartwarming satire. If you are into strong characters and full-of-heart raw humour, you will love this film. Kippis!
Journey to Utopia
Journey to Utopia, a heartwarming and brutally honest documentary, follows the footsteps of a family that gambles everything and decides to join the fight for the climate, but the reality of establishing the sustainable planned community turns out to be more difficult than anticipated.
Erlend Mo (the film’s director) lives the Scandinavian dream with his opera singer wife and three children on an idyllic farm in Norway. They are educated, open-minded and try to live as sustainable a life as they can. But that’s not enough. With feelings of climate emergency growing, they make a decision to take their sustainable life up a notch and move to a brand-new self-sufficient organic farming co-operative in Denmark called “Permatopia.”
As the challenges and sacrifices required for this new life add up, the Mo family’s unity and idealism are pushed to their breaking points. Will they be able to pull through it all together, and still find hope for a better future?
Danielle is different things to many people. To her parents, she’s still their dependent as they fund her way through a gender studies degree. To Maya, she’s an ex-girlfriend from high school with unresolved feelings. In their “mutually beneficial” relationship, well-established sugar daddy Max thinks he’s helping pay her way through law school. As Danielle meanders her way into adulthood, all of these separate identities have co-existed without much difficulty. But one afternoon as she attends shiva with her parents, her worlds collide in this wonderfully dark comedy. Drawing upon her background in Toronto’s Jewish community, Emma Seligman wrote and directed her debut feature based on her award-winning short film. Authentic characters ground the film, avoiding a set-up and punchline plot. Setting the sequence of events at a sombre occasion keeps the tension simmering as Danielle anxiously navigates from one awkward encounter to another, mining the misery for maximum laughs.
If 2020 were a movie it would be Skyfire.
From the director of Lara Croft: Tomb Raider and Con Air, we bring you Skyfire – a Chinese disaster action mega-production.
Tianhuo Island, located in the world-famous Pacific Rim volcanic belt, is as beautiful as a paradise.
The idyllic location almost makes people forget that it’s in the area also infamously called the “Ring of Fire.” When the volcano erupts, the fate of the people on the island is in the hands of a geologist and her father.
The film has Jason Isaacs (Harry Potter series, Peter Pan, The Death of Stalin), Chinese superstars and is filled with action shots. So, get yourself some popcorn, maybe a good drink or two and enjoy some giant explosions. Because what else is there to do in life?
Miriam’s summer visit to her younger sister and brother-in-law’s remote cabin in the woods is a predictable set-up for a slasher flick, but this is anything but a generic genre film. The seemingly bucolic vacation home becomes subsumed by the forest’s shadows and overcast skies, as an act of sexual violence leads to the breakdown of already strained relationships. Madeleine Sims-Fewer’s credits as producer, writer and co-director give her creative control over the film’s every meticulous detail, culminating with her captivating performance as a woman driven to protect her sibling and gain control of her life at any cost. Andrea Boccadoro’s brooding score and Adam Crosby’s calculated cinematography, consisting of macrophotography contrasted with unsettling landscapes, make it impossible to look away, no matter how graphic and horrifying things become. Her collaborators rise to Sim-Fewer’s level of commitment, making for a riveting examination of personal boundaries and our capacity for retribution.