Reelheart Film Festival

5 films to watch at the ReelHeART Film Festival

The ReelHeART International Film Festival, now in its 6th season, is often described an "open festival." Defined as anti-niche, the idea is to embrace a variety of genres and filmmakers. As such, the films that make up the festival docket might be short or long, dramatic or documentary based, just as long as they meet the organizers standards of quality. But because the festival is so open-ended, it can be difficult to choose what to watch. Here are five recommendations from the 2011 ReelHeART Festival.

Music of the Brain (June 21, 9:30pm at Innis Town Hall)

Long ago, I dubbed the "Mozart Effect" nothing more than marketing hype (newsflash: listening to Mozart doesn't make kids smarter), but I still think the way the brain processes music is a fascinating subject. This documentary covers the connection between our brains and what we listen to by discussing the science behind sound, talent, and yes, the infamous Mozart Effect.

Wings of Silver: The Vi Cowden Story (June 22, 7:15pm at Innis Town Hall)

Okay, so some of the music in the trailer sounds a bit like a PBS public service announcement, but educational merit aside, Wings of Silver is a great doc. I've heard numerous stories of women stepping up to the call of duty during WWII, but this film provides an opportunity to hear them first-hand through a series of interviews and archival footage.

Unitards (June 24, 7:15pm at Innis Town Hall)

My latest guilty pleasure? Unitards. I'll be honest, the movie is loaded with cheesy, over-acted scenes, but those awkward moments are really part of the appeal. The film is about a group of social misfits charged with bringing spirit back to their apathetic high school. After some deliberation, they stumble upon the idea of creating a boy's dance squad called the Unitards. This is their (hilarious) story.

Ije - The Journey (June 24, 9:30pm at Innis Town Hall)

Ije is the story of Anya, a Nigerian woman who grew up believing in the so-called American Dream. After moving to Hollywood as an adult, however, things aren't as pretty as she had imagined. Anya marries a rich and powerful man but gets tied up with drugs and is ultimately accused of his murder. Her sister flies to America, and together, they take on the American legal system in a fight for Anya's innocence.

How I Got Lost (June 25, 6:30pm at Innis Town Hall)

How I Got Lost, the official closing night selection, is like a coming of age movie for adults. The film follows two best friends who have already come of age but are still figuring out what they're doing in life. After dealing with heartbreak, death, and hitting rock bottom, both men have to push each other forward. How I Got Lost is character-based film that explores personal experiences most will viewers will relate to in some way.

ReelHeART International Film Festival runs until June 25 at Innis College and Southern Accent Restaurant. Individual tickets are $10 ($7 with a student card) and can be purchased on the ReelHeART website. Passes are also available. Lead still from How I Got Lost.

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