Refocus Film Series screens Pioneer and Bad Fever
With its sixth event happening tonight, the Refocus Film Series is about more than just film screenings in Toronto — it's a whole community of people dedicated promoting and appreciating independent film come together. Refocus regularly offers free screenings of independent and international films that could benefit from broader local and North American exposure. The catch? In exchange for a free film, audience members are asked talk up the films with friends and family — which, you know, isn't much of a catch at all.
The group got going in September 2010, and with the exception its first event, all the screenings have taken place at Double Double Land in Kensington Market. The venue is a cozy multipurpose space that's great for this community-driven approach to showing films.
Indie and international films with limited release can be challenging to catch screenings of when they're not on offer via local festivals, so Refocus provides a great opportunity for cinephiles to see a few gems that one might otherwise miss. It's also a great opportunity to meet other film addicts! Past Refocus screenings have shown Ben Wheatley's Down Terrace, Aaron Katz's Cold Weather, Josh and Benny Safdie's Daddy Longlegs, Jody Lee Lipes and Henry Joost's NY Export: Opus Jazz, Lawrence Michael Levine's Gabi On The Roof In July, and Michael Tully's Septien.
So far all the films Refocus has screened have been Toronto premieres, and a few of them have even been Canadian premieres. This month's screening keeps up the trend with David Lowery's Pioneer, and Dustin Guy Defa's Bad Fever, which will both be making debuts. Pioneer was an Official Selection at Sundance Film Festival and the winner of SXSW Film's Best Narrative Short Award. The short is narrated by a father (Will Oldhamd) who tells a gripping bedtime story to his son.
Bad Fever was an Official Selection at SXSW Film and was edited in part by the aforementioned David Lowery. The movie follows a social misfit who dreams of being a stand-up comedian and passes his time mumbling potential skits into a tape recorder. The character's prattle is rarely humorous and at times it's downright disturbing. Rather than pushing towards the usual Hollywood resolution, however, the film threatens to leave the character in his doomed state perpetually. Bad Fever was also partially funded via Kickstarter — a growing trend in independent film — so keep an eye out for some donor recognition in the credits.
The sixth Refocus screening will take place at Double Double Land (209 Augusta Ave.) on Wednesday, August 31 at 8:30pm. That's tonight! Admission is free.
Still from Bad Fever
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