From Stage to Silver Screen: Atlantic Canada Rocks
September is a jam-packed month for arts and entertainment in the city. We’ve only just wrapped up our coverage of SummerSonic and we’re already looking ahead to another jam-packed week with the Atantic Film Festival (AFF).
Perhaps what’s most exciting about AFF is the wonderful collection of homegrown talent that will be showcased during this year’s festival. From Atlantic Canadian actors, writers, directors, and producers, to “local” settings, storylines, and themes – the best of Atlantic Canadian film is here and it’s sure to wow the masses.
To highlight just a couple of our picks within the broad array of talent, "The Disappeared" is high on our list. A film by Halifax novelist, screenwriter and director, Shandi Mitchell, this story of six East Coast men who are lost at sea is sure to evoke the classic Atlantic Canadian themes of despair, entrapment and the struggle for survival in the face of the mighty and often malevolent Atlantic Ocean. An inside source also tells me that the cast (particularly Ryan Doucette) is beyond amazing.
Another film that is sure to make waves is Seth Smith’s "Lowlife". This film tells the story of two individuals who are caught up in an unconventional addiction to strangely sexualized starfish. Sounds weird, right? But admit it. You’re intrigued. It’s actually been described as “the most original feature debut in East Coast cinematic history”. We’re so intrigued by it’s weirdness, that you just might see us there. Stay tuned.
Three's a charm - "Roaming", by filmmaker Michael Ray Fox, was filmed and is set in Halifax and stars accomplished local actors and artists Cory Bowles (of Trailer Park Boys' fame) and Daniel Lillford. The film takes "an unflinching view of living - and eventually triumphing - as an autistic person today." The film features Rhys Bevan-John in the leading role.
There is also a fantastic series of Atlantic Shorts that will be screening throughout the festival's entirety - this is a great way to see a range of films from regional filmmakers and always a very popular at the AFF. Check them out September 16 -18.
For the most up-to-date festival schedules and ticket information, visit the AFF website. There’s also a great printed program kicking around town that is a wonderful tool to use when planning your itinerary for the week...not to mention a fantastic Atlantic Film Festival App! This is sure to be very useful to us smartphone fans.
Conveniently enough, the buzz within the city's art scene doesn't stop there. Halifax's beloved Neptune Theatre has just begin its 50th season and is celebrating with a street party on Saturday, September 15 (11 a.m. to 8 p.m.). The portion of Argyle St. between Blowers and Prince will be full of fun stuff including public theatre performances, live music and songwriters' circles on two outdoor stages (added bonus: free cake!) You can also catch street performances from the Halifax Circus from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. Check out the complete schedule for all the details.
In case you still have some free time to fill this weekend, here are some suggestions:
Between AFF and our previous recommendation of Kathleen Edwards (with special guest Molly Rankin at the Rebecca Cohn Auditorium), Friday is likely covered. But if you’re looking for a dance party, check out Scientists of Sound at the Seahorse. Good times are pretty much a guarantee.
Once you're done at the Neptune Street Party, roll on down Argyle Street to The Foggy Goggle for $1.50 off Keith’s jugs and $2 off their delicious nacho dip. From there, keep rolling to The Carelton for some rock-n-roll with their fabulous house band, The Carletones.
Get out and enjoy some fresh air and free tunes at the On the Boardwalk Concert Series, every Sunday at 2 p.m. (until October 7) on the Halifax waterfront near the Visitor Information Centre.