Toronto Film

This Week in Film: Award Winners from Around the World, Our Green Schools, The First Grader, Good Neighbours, Badlands, The New World

TUESDAY MAY 31ST / WSFF: AWARD WINNERS FROM AROUND THE WORLD / BLOOR CINEMA / 7PM
To kick off the Worldwide Short Film Festival, come to the Bloor Cinema tonight for the opening night gala, Award Winners from Around the World. Always one of the strongest programs at the festival, it features shorts such as The Lost Thing (Oscar Winner for Best Animated Short Film) about a boy who finds a lost 'creature' and tries to find it a home. Also, Lipsett Diaries which impressed last year as an animated fictional biography of experimental filmmaker Arthur Lipsett and You Too! a film about tensions when a bus holding both Tutsi's and Hutu's gets stopped at a checkpoint. Tickets are $20 and include access to the opening night party afterwards (19+!) buy your tickets here.

WEDNESDAY JUNE 1ST / OUR GREEN SCHOOLS / REVUE CINEMA / 7PM
Co-presented with the Planet in Focus Film Festival, Our Green Schools is a film program made up of selections created by high school students from the Toronto District School Board. Environmentalism and activism is shown through the eyes of the next generation and their views toward the implementations of green initiatives and sustainability in their schools. Following the shorts will be the film Never Lose Sight, a Planet in Focus film from 2010 about environmental challenges in Nunavut. Admission is free.

THURSDAY JUNE 2ND / THE FIRST GRADER / CUMBERLAND CINEMA / 7PM & 9:30
Runner-up for the Audience Award at TIFF last year (the award that went to The King's Speech) The First Grader really hits the mark. Based on a true story of an 84 year old Kenyan who pursued literacy, the film follows Maruge, a former freedom fighter who lost his family in the Mau Mau Uprising and his teacher Jane, a young educated Kenyan who bends all the rules to try and teach him with her students. Flashbacks of torture, love and pain are all embedded in Maruge's life and history and have a tendency to cause him to externalize his trauma, that and his tribal history make it all the harder for Jane to continue teaching him. Definitely worth a watch, the film has multiple screening times. Tickets are $12 and can be bought at the cinema or online.

FRIDAY JUNE 3RD / GOOD NEIGHBOURS / TIFF BELL LIGHTBOX / 7:10PM
Jacob Tierney (The Trotsky) returns with another film starring Jay Baruchel but in a different vein of humour all together, a black comedy with a touch of film noir. Neighbours are pushed against each other, politically and otherwise as a serial killer stalks the Notre Dame de Grace neighbourhood in the winter of the 2nd Quebec referendum. Tensions are high on multiple levels as acquaintances, already uneasy friends, are forced to figure out who, if anybody, they can trust. Jacob Tierney will be in attendance for the 7:10pm screening, but there are multiple screening times and dates online. Tickets are $12 and can be purchased at the cinema or online.

SATURDAY JUNE 4TH / BADLANDS / TIFF BELL LIGHTBOX / 5PM
The film that started it all, Badlands, plays like a Bonnie & Clyde/Romeo & Juliet tragic romance, with a detached air of carnage. Our handsome early-twenties antagonist Kit, is a morally skewed lad who gussies himself up as James Dean to impress fifteen year old Holly. When her father objects to their relationship, they 'take care' of him and pursue a crime spree together until the bitter end. Their adventure is framed between Holly's fawning recollections of their crimes and Kit's continuous acts of violence, an unwholesome combination to say the least. Tickets are $12 and can be bought at the cinema or online.

SUNDAY JUNE 5TH / THE NEW WORLD / TIFF BELL LIGHTBOX / 7:30PM
Yet another Malick film rounds out the week, with his wistful retelling of the founding of Jamestown through the relationship of John Smith and Pocahontas. The story is one that is well known, but Malick infuses it with a level of sensual quality, both physical and spiritual, as we witness the romance between the two very different lovers. But as John Smith eventually sails away, we remain as observers as Pocahontas develops into a grown woman and bears witness to the the incredible changes in her world, especially her final voyage to Europe. Tickets are $12 and can be bought at the cinema or online.


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