Nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Film, this is a contemporary story imbued with the rich, tangy flavor of Celtic mysticism. Ben is a lousy big brother to six-year-old Saoirse – he’s resentful that she can’t (or won’t) speak, and can’t forgive that his mum died during childbirth. Their dad (voiced by Brendan Gleason) hasn’t gotten over it either, but still their life together on the lonely island where he’s a lighthouse keeper seems infinitely preferable to the conventional upbringing their gran has in mind for them, living with her in Dublin. What none of them understands is how fundamentally Saoirse is connected both to her mother, and to the sea… Dazzling kaleidoscopic imagery and a soulful approach make Song of the Sea a magical experience, recommended for all ages.
"A quite delightful piece of magical animation ... a bewitching, moving and often enchanting film." — Mark Adams, Hollywood Reporter
"Song of the Sea is a wonder to behold. This visually stunning animation masterwork, steeped in Irish myth, folklore and legend, so adroitly mixes the magical and the everyday that to watch it is to be wholly immersed in an enchanted world." — Kenneth Turan, LA Times
"If I had to recommend the best children’s film out there for all ages, this one, and The Tale of Princess Kaguya, would easily top the charts." — Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor
Told in fourteen fixed-angle, single shot, individual tableaus that parallel Christ’s journey to his own crucifixion,Stations… is both an indictment of fundamentalist faith and the articulation of an impressionable teen’s struggle to find her own path in life. Though from the outside Maria lives in the modern world, her family and her heart are faithful to a Catholic radicalism that requires sacrifice and devotion at every turn.
"This brilliant and subtle comedy about teenage martyrdom argues that extremism has no place in the modern world." David Jenkins, Little White Lies
"Passionate, generous, witty; Dietrich Bruggemann’s study of a fanatical Catholic family renews one’s faith in the power of slow art movies to change the world." London Evening Standard
Powerful music, a gripping story and a tragic end: Puccini’s ever-popular Tosca performed with a fabulous cast. Among the star singers in this revival are Angela Gheorghiu, Jonas Kaufmann and Bryn Terfel. Jonathan Kent’s detailed production draws to the full on the historical backdrop of Rome in 1800, an atmospheric backdrop to the love of the beautiful diva Tosca, the idealism of her lover Cavaradossi and the deadly, destructive obsession of the malevolent Chief of Police, Scarpia.
Richard Eyre’s produciton of Verdi’s masterpiece has been one of the most successful opera stagings in the long and celebrated history of the Royal Opera House. We present the original, definitive incarnation of that production, starring the incomparable Renee Fleming as the ill-fated courtesan Violetta, oppose Joseph Calleja as Alfredo and Thomas Hapson as his unyielding father.
Andrei Serban’s staging of Puccini’s final opera is a glorious pageant of rich colour, dance and drama. Turandot is a tale of disguised identities, riddles, ritual executions and powerful, triumphant love.
Paris in 1855, when the opera was first performed, provides the starting point for the interpretation by celebrated Norwegian born director Stefan Herheim. The opera ballet plays a significant role too, with Johann Kobborg choreographing for dancers from the Royal Ballet and Royal Danish Ballet. The story is set to impassioned and dramatic music, rich in showpiece arias and ensembles with striking choruses. Antonio Pappano conducts a world-class cast including Erwin Schrott, Bryan Hymel and Lianna Haroutounian in The Royal Opera’s first ever staging of Verdi’s grand opera.
A girl’s best friend is her dog in this exuberantly odd political parable from Hungary. When a new law places onerous taxes on the owners of mutts, the streets of Budapest start to fill up with abandoned dogs - including Hagen, beloved pet of 13-year-old Lili. While the child defies her father and the odds to try to track down her dog, Hagen suffers a series of grueling adventures involving various ill-intentioned individuals. "Fierce and beautiful." — The New York Times
“A fierce and beautiful Hungarian parable about a girl, her dog, and the uprising that’s sparked after they are separated ... When the dogs break free and run through the streets in White God, demolishing barriers and biting the hands that have hit them, the movie takes a leap into bold political metaphor, offering up a memorable image of the great unwashed gone (literally) barking mad.” — Manhola Dargis, The New York Times
“White God confirms Mundruczó’s position as one of Europe’s most exciting, unpredictable and technically competent directors. In a world where so many filmmakers seem to rework the same material over and over, he is a true wild card — a filmmaker with ‘un certain regard’ if ever there was one.” — Nick Roddick, Sight & Sound
“Thrillingly strange ... tense, stunningly staged set-pieces recall the uncanny power of Hitchcock’s The Birds [...] A risky shift toward the poetically aberrant that would not work if Mundruczo’s storytelling weren’t so rousing and emotionally purposeful — not to mention morally challenging, as man and dog are accorded equally flawed, vengeful psychologies in the film’s universe.” — Guy Lodge, Variety
Moderated by Greenpeace Canada’s Executive Director Joanna Kerr, this momentous event will feature Greenpeace International’s Executive Director Kumi Naidoo and other leading environmental/social justice change makers.
This will be an interactive evening of inspiration and dynamic discussion about the environment, social justice, the role of government and the power of community engagement. If our moment is now, what can we do to secure the planet for future generations?
Add your voice to the conversation and join us for an once-in-a-lifetime event.
Maryam is accepted into a university but can’t afford the fees. Her mother finds her a job as a maid in a five star hotel, where she herself works. Mother and daughter navigate the mundane politics and pettiness of their fellow workers until a big Bollywood star checks in. When his Rolex goes missing the hotel administration must interrogate the staff. As the most recent person hired, Maryam is a prime suspect. Funny and tragic in turn, the broad range of complex female characters working at the hotel result in a film that is filled with warmth, depth and desperation.
A family, including three young children, pack up and move to the remote wilderness of the Canadian North. For nine months they live in a small cabin. No road access, no electricity, no running water, no internet and not a single watch or clock. Set in the Yukon and filmed without an external crew, this is a thought provoking documentary that chronicles life’s natural unfolding when a family abandons the habits required in our time-based world.
Short films from Canada, Great Britain, Japan/Singapore/USA, Croatia, India, Venezuela.
Nathalie is a young Parisian woman who passionately enjoys life. She likes her job, adores hanging out with her colleagues, and is about to move in with the man she loves. But then, in a matter of a few minutes, everything changes. Marie Denarnaud convincingly captures Nathalie’s transformative experience. This is a powerful and thought-provoking film.
Preceded by the short: Through the Pane
When two young teenagers lose their mother to gang violence, they have to flee the only home they’ve ever known. A journalist reluctantly agrees to take them on the long drive to Mexico City, where they will catch a flight to Vancouver. On the road, sharing their remembered loss and encountering current fears, their wounds begin to heal and an unlikely new family emerges. Featuring the real siblings upon whom this moving story is based, the film accomplishes a rare and satisfying fusion between fiction and reality in a work that is surprisingly uplifting.
Since the late 1960s, many young women have disappeared or been found murdered along the 724-kilometre stretch of Highway 16 in northern British Columbia. Most of these women are from First Nations communities and are victims not only of murderous predators but of the systemic racism of governments that have shown little interest in apprehending their killers. The film not only movingly relates the personal stories of the victims and their families, but investigates how the legacy of colonialism contributed to their tragic fates — and how contemporary First Nations leaders are striving to change that legacy.
Women instrumentalists have made major contributions to American jazz, and this film captures many of the lost stories, from the early 1920s to the 1970s, including the development of numerous all-female jazz ensembles. Join Peggy Gilbert, Marian McPartland, Carline Ray, Quincy Jones, Jane Sager and many others in this important remembering of our musical past.
Preceded by short films: Chantarelle Rain (4 min), Entrain (7 min) and Glinda (10 min)
An honest, hard-working schoolteacher in a small Bulgarian town is driven to desperate measures to avoid financial ruin. This is an austere and well-composed film that builds dramatic tension through the main character’s shifting moral perspective. A disciplined performance by Margita Gosheva beautifully captures the specificity of time and place.
Preceded by the short film: Flash (Canada, 10 min)
A young woman on a bicycle, with a dangerous curiosity, takes an unexpected detour through a magical fantasy on her usual ride home from work.
Plus–sized and 30 years old, Lexie is a feisty Bed & Breakfast owner who desperately needs a date to her sister’s wedding. In small town Nova Scotia, that’s no easy task. When a handsome and charming guest arrives she thinks all her problems are solved. But she misreads the situation and is soon reeling, believing her romantic dream has slipped away, perhaps forever. After a series of funny mishaps and a reality check or two, Lexie opens her heart to see that love may be closer than she thought. The film is a romantic comedy as feisty as Lexie herself. It stars Australian actor Melissa Bergland (Winners & Losers) in a breakout role, and is based on the best selling novel by Lesley Crewe.
Preceded by short films: Happy and Gay; Bedbugs: A Musical Love Story.