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Film Festival Line-up (Posted On: Sunday, August 24, 2008)

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The Meaford International Film Festival is pleased to announce the program of movies and events for the 2008 Festival, to be held August 27 – 31, 2008 at Meaford Hall.

Five Nights, Five Films, Five Parties!

Our aim is to bring the best of the best to Meaford. We have a line-up of five great movies from around the world that have already been big hits at major international film festivals. We’ll have interviews with the film makers, and filmgoers will wrap up their evening by walking the red carpet to a great party in the big tent outside Meaford Hall.

We’re very excited about the five films we’ve chosen for the 2008 Festival.

The Opening Gala will be a presentation of Transsiberian.

This film premiered at Sundance Film Festival, January, 2008, and was the Panorama Special at the last Berlin International Film Festival and the Gala Presentation at the Edinburgh International Film Festival.

An American couple, Roy and Jessie, decide to take the long way home from their recent sojourn in Asia on the legendary Trans-Siberian Express train from Beijing to Moscow. On their way, they meet another couple from the West, Carlos and Abby, with whom they quickly form the familiar bond that often unites fellow travellers away from home.
When Roy accidentally gets separated from the group at a stopover, Jessie begins to realize that their compatriots aren’t exactly who or what they seem to be. The real danger begins to surface as a deceitful Russian detective and locals terrorize Jessie in this unforgettable journey.

Rated R, Director:  Brad Anderson
Starring: Woody Harrelson, Ben Kingsley, Eduardo Noriega, Emily Mortimer
Country: Germany, USA

Transsiberian will be shown on:
• Wednesday, August 27, 7:30 pm (Opening Gala)
• Thursday, August 28, 2:00 pm (Matinee)

Our second film is Gonzo: The life and work of Dr Hunter S Thompson.

This is a very new film, which was nominated for Grand Jury Prize at the recent 2008 Sundance Film Festival.

From Oscar-winning director Alex Gibney and producer Graydon Carter comes a probing look into the uncanny life of national treasure and gonzo journalism inventor Dr Hunter S Thompson.

A fast moving, wildly entertaining documentary with an iconic soundtrack, the film addresses the major touchstones in Thompson's life – his intense and ill-fated relationship with the Hell's Angels, his near-successful bid for the office of sheriff in Aspen in 1970, the notorious story behind the landmark Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, his deep involvement in Senator George McGovern's 1972 presidential campaign, and much more.
At his best he was braver, funnier and more ruthlessly honest than just about any other magazine writer, and Gonzo confirms his place in the great American parade of cranks, renegades and sages — that is, in the best, most disreputable corner of our literary pantheon.

Rated R
Director:  Alex Gibney

Narrated by Johnny Depp
Country: USA

Gonzo is being shown on:
• Thursday, August 28, 7:30 pm
• Friday, August 29, 2:00 pm (Matinee)

The third movie is Anytown USA.

This film won the prizes for Best Documentary at the Long Island Film Festival and for Best Documentary at the Minneapolis-St Paul International Film Festival. It was also an Official Selection at the Newport Beach Film Festival, the Atlanta Film Festival and the Woodstock Film Festival.

All politics is local in this hilarious burlesque of a documentary following a tightly-run mayoral race in the small town of Bogota, New Jersey. When the much-reviled -- and legally blind – Republican incumbent Steven Lonegan boldly announces he will run for re-election, the citizens of Bogota go on the offensive to unseat him.

Enter Democrat Fred Pesce, coaxed from retirement to share the ticket. With his health in question, and his politics compared to those of Tony Soprano, the field is wide open for sight-challenged town booster and former local football hero Dave Musikant to step in as a long-shot write-in independent candidate -- officially making it the only mayoral race in the nation where two of the three candidates are legally blind! Add to the mix the machinations of Jesse "The Body" Ventura`s campaign manager, and Anytown USA resonates as an all-too familiar look at the charade of partisan politics in an increasingly polarized nation.

Underneath the gritty story of local politics, there is a heartbreaking story that gives the film an emotional impact far beyond the purely

Any resemblance to political goings-on closer to Georgian Bay is, of course, entirely coincidental.
Director:  Kristian Fraga
Country: USA

Anytown USA is being shown on:
• Friday, August 29, 7:30 pm
• Saturday, August 30, 2:00 pm (Matinee)

Our Saturday night feature is Manufactured Landscapes, a documentary about the work of renowned Canadian photographer Ed Burtynsky.

This film won the Genie award for Best Canadian Documentary and the DDC Award, International competition, at the Festival International du cinéma documentaire, Nyon, Switzerland.

It won the REEL CURRENT AWARD at the Nashville Film Festival (NaFF), the Toronto City Award for Best Canadian Feature Film Winner at the Toronto International Film Festival, the Toronto Film Critics Association award for Best Feature Documentary & Best Canadian Film, and was an Official Selection at the Sundance Film Festival.

Manufactured Landscapes is a feature documentary on the work of internationally renowned artist Edward Burtynsky. The film follows him as he travels through China photographing the evidence and effects of that country’s massive industrial revolution.
The Three Gorges Dam, factory floors a kilometre long and the breathtaking scale of Shanghai’s urban renewal are subjects for his lens and our motion picture camera.
Shot in Super-16mm film, the documentary extends the narratives of Burtynsky’s photographs, meditating on the human impact on the planet without trying to reach simplistic judgements or reductive resolutions. In the process, it shifts our consciousness about the world and the way we live in it.

Director: Jennifer Baichwal
Country: Canada

Manufactured Landscapes will be shown on:
• Saturday, August 30, 7:30 pm
• Sunday, August 31, 2:00 pm (Matinee)

Our Closing Gala follows a tradition started last year – it is the film that won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film.

The Counterfeiters was also an Official Selection at the Telluride Film Festival and Toronto International Film Festival.

This is the true story of Salomon Sorowitsch, counterfeiter extraordinaire and bohemian. After getting imprisoned in a German concentration camp in 1944, he agrees to help the Nazis in an organized counterfeit operation set up to finance the war effort and destabilize Allied currencies.

It was the biggest counterfeit scam of all time. But the counterfeiters had a choice: if they cooperated with the Nazis, they had a chance to survive in a golden cage. If they sabotaged the operation, sure death awaited.

For The Counterfeiters, it was not only a question of saving their own lives, but also about saving their consciences as well.

Director:  Stefan Ruzowitzky
Country: Austria/Germany
Language: German with English subtitles

The Counterfeiters will be shown on Sunday, August 31, 7:30 pm (Closing Gala).

August 27, the opening day of the Festival, is also the exact 100th anniversary of the laying of the cornerstone of Meaford Hall in 1908. To mark the occasion, a special birthday cake will be cut by Mayor Francis Richardson at the gala party following Transsiberian.

We will have interviews and appearances by the film makers, and will announce specific guests at the Festival when final details have been finalized. However, we are pleased to announce that Ed Burtynsky, the subject of Manufactured Landscapes, will be present at the evening screening on Saturday, August 30, and has agreed to be interviewed on stage following the movie. Ed is a major Canadian artist, and his presence at the Festival is a great honour for us.

Parties will be held in the tent outside Meaford Hall – a ticket to the party includes food catered by local restaurants and caterers and a complimentary beverage. We’re pleased to announce that the following caterers will be looking after food at the parties in the big tent:
• reeds restaurant and bar
• The 100 Mile Market

Other caterers will be announced when arrangements have been finalized.

Ticket prices are very similar to last year, and are as follows:

• 1 film -  $20
• 1 film & party - $27.50
• All 5 films - $80
• All 5 films & parties - $100
• 10 tickets to a film - Get 2 tickets free
• 1 matinee - $12
• All 4 matinees - $40

All evening screenings start at 7:30 pm, and all matinees start at 2 pm. Films will be shown in the Meaford Hall Opera House.

The caterers are donating their time (and good food!) to the Film Festival, and we thank them for their contributions.

We’re also grateful to our financial sponsors, who include the Meaford Hall & Culture Foundation, Tourism Ontario, Bill’s ValuMart, Lora Bay and The Leeky Canoe. ScotiaBank has made a significant financial contribution to the cost of the projector. An event like the Film Festival could not be put on without the help of Paul Osborn and the staff at Meaford Hall, and we’re grateful for everything they do for us. And, of course, we have many volunteers who help out, and our deep thanks go to them.

For further information, go to our web site or call the Meaford Hall Box Office at 1.877.538.0364, or contact Leslie Bochna, the Marketing Coordinator at Meaford Hall.



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