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"Take This Waltz" and "Roller Town" Among Galas at 31st Atlantic Film Festival

By Indiewire Staff | Indiewire August 23, 2011 at 8:54AM

The 31st annual Atlantic Film Festival in Halifax, Canada announced its lineup, which this year boasts 189 films and an array of events.
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The 31st annual Atlantic Film Festival in Halifax, Canada announced its lineup, which this year boasts 189 films and an array of events.

Andrew Bush's "Roller Town" will have its world premiere as the Opening Gala screening, and was described by the festival as "a slapstick parody of the late 1970’s roller skate movies filmed in Halifax." Thom Fitzgerald's "Cloudburst" and Sarah Polley's "Take this Waltz" will also have Gala screenings, while Mike Clattenburg's "Afghan Luke" will be the fest's closing Gala.

For more information, as well as a full schedule and tickets, go here here.

Full press release below:

(Halifax, NS) -- The 31st annual Atlantic Film Festival proudly launches its stellar program featuring 189 films, including a first-look at the international films of this festival season, a local program filled with Atlantic Canada’s top film-making talents and a fantastic line up of special events and parties over ten days in Halifax, September 15-24.

"See the films the world loves, especially the ones made right here in Atlantic Canada!" said Festival Director, Lia Rinaldo." One of the best things about this event is where we are located. We have a unique culture and a massive creative talent pool that we couldn’t be more proud to support. This year we've programmed with a wide demographic in mind, we are accessible and hope that film and movie goers of all ages find something to love."

Kicking off the festival is the Opening Gala screenings and world premiere of Roller Town at Park Lane and Oxford Theatres on Thursday, Sept. 15. Halifax-based comedy troupe Picnicface, star in their first big-screen debut, a slapstick parody of the late 1970’s roller skate movies filmed in Halifax. The film was directed by Halifax director, Andrew Bush.

Following Opening Night, the Atlantic Film Festival will present five more Gala screenings, including Atlantic Gala featuring the adventure film, Cloudburst directed by Halifax-based director, Thom Fitzgerald and starring Olympia Dukakis and Brenda Fricker and the Telefilm Canada Gala featuring Take this Waltz directed by Canadian director/actor, Sarah Polley. This love story features the powerhouse cast of Michelle Williams and Seth Rogen. The CBC Atlantic Shorts Gala presents nine short films, including works by Christian Sparkes (NL), Cory Bowles (NS), Joel MacKenzie (NS), Matt MacIsaac (NS), Harmony Wagner (PE), Jordan Canning (NL), Greg Jackson (NS), Zane Knisley (NS), and Michael Ray Fox (NS). The French-German Gala presents Pina, a 3D dance film by legendary filmmaker, Wim Wenders and the festival's Closing Gala presentation on Sept. 24 will be the comedy/adventure film, Afghan Luke by Halifax-based director, Mike Clattenburg. This film is Clattenburg’s first major big-screen project since his hit, Trailer Park Boys.

Filmgoers will want to be first in line to see films in the 2011 Rogers Special Presentations, featuring the newest big films in the industry. This year's lineup includes Charlie Zone, an urban kidnapping drama starring Glen Gould by Halifax-based director, Michael Melski; The Skin I Live In by Spanish filmmaker, Pedro Almodovar and starring Antonio Banderas; In Darkness, a true-to-life story set in World War II by Polish director, Agniezka Holland. This film has recently been submitted as an Oscar entry for Best Foreign Film at the Academy Awards. In addition, Take Shelter, recent winner of both the Critics Week Grand Prize and the SACD Award at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival, directed by Jeff Nichols will showcase along with Monsieur Lazhar about a middle-aged Algerian refugee in Canada by Quebec director, Philippe Falardeau; Café de flore, a highly anticipated era-spanning story about love, family and lovers by Quebec director, Jean-Marc Vallée; and Damsels in Distress, an Indie film about female college students by American director, Whit Stillman.

Throughout the event, the Atlantic Film Festival hosts several special events and parties to celebrate the movies, the people and the city of Halifax. One of the hottest parties of the year is the Opening Night Party, a night of fancy dress, music, refreshments and red carpets. This year’s bash will take place at Olympic Hall (2304 Hunter St.) from 9 p.m. - 1 a.m. Other featured events, include The Soundtracks & Stories Songwriters’ Circle and the Closing Gala Party. For a full schedule of activities not to be missed, visit: http://www.atlanticfilm.com/aff/

“The Atlantic Film Festival has spent 30 years presenting strong, curated programs to our audiences and providing the best environment we can to showcase the industry we support,” said Gregor Ash, Executive Director. “Our ticket prices, new communication platforms and packages ensure our festival is accessible to every audience, regardless of location. We want the movie-going public to know this festival is for them.”

In addition to the films, special events and parties, the event hosts international film and music professionals for its conference components, including Music & Image and Strategic Partners. Building on the strength of the East Coast’s musical talent, Music & Image is a four-day conference offering professional development opportunities, networking sessions and one-on-one business meetings with International music buyers in the film, TV, marketing and new media industries. To purchase tickets or a delegate pass, visit: http://www.atlanticfilm.com/industry/music-image

Strategic Partners is recognized as one of the world’s pre-eminent co-production markets: a one-of-a-kind event focusing on film, television and multiplatform projects from across Canada and around the world. This year, Strategic Partners will draw 200 international delegates – producers, financiers, broadcasters and industry players – for three days of business meetings, funding overview sessions, visionary panels and relaxed networking opportunities, with a spotlight on USA, Australia and South Africa.

ViewFinders, a five-day festival of film, video and media for youth ages three to 18 produced annually in April by the Atlantic Film Festival, will also have a strong presence at the event. ViewFinders offers special screenings of feature films, shorts and a gala screening all geared towards youth and families, some of which were created by youth.

Tickets for screenings, group tickets, merchandise, special events and parties along with ticket packages and passes go on sale this Friday, August 26 at 12 noon. Tickets will be available at the Festival Box Office in Park Lane Mall (5657 Spring Garden Road). For hours of operation, visit: http://www.atlanticfilm.com/aff/. Tickets are also available at all TicketPro outlets in Nova Scotia, including Video Difference (6086 Quinpool Road), by phone at 902-422-6965 / 1-888-968-9090 and online at: http://www.atlanticfilm.com/aff/

The Atlantic Film Festival boasts new social media channels this year. Receive the most up-to-date information, including sneak peaks and Festival highlights via FACEBOOK @atlanticfilmfestival and TWITTER @thefilmfest, dotMOBI. Also, don’t miss getting our new iPHONE APP.

Another way to be part of the action is by visiting the Festival Lounge located at Niche Supper Club (1505 Barrington Street), which is open from 12 noon to 12 midnight daily during the Festival. It is a place for the industry and the public to come together. Scheduled Q&A sessions with filmmakers, music performances along with other highlights will take place daily. For more info, visit: http://www.atlanticfilm.com/aff/

The Atlantic Film Festival wishes to acknowledge the continued support provided by the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) / Agence de promotion économique du Canada atlantique (APECA) and the Copyright Collective of Canada, as well as the ongoing contribution of Margaret & David Fountain and the Hansen-MacDonald Family.

About the Atlantic Film Festival
The Atlantic Film Festival, a not for profit organization, has grown exponentially since its official beginning in 1981 when films were screened in the LSPU Hall in St. John's, Newfoundland. The Atlantic Film Festival brings the cinematic world to Atlantic Canada and showcases the region’s ever-expanding film, TV and music culture to the world, in order to inspire, enrich, enlighten and entertain audiences everywhere. The Atlantic Film Festival produces Music & Image, Strategic Partners, ViewFinders: International Film Festival for Youth and the alFresco filmFesto.