Willson Oakville Film Festival announce film lineup for 2016

Posted on May 19, 2016

The Willson Oakville Film Festival, Oakville’s first and only independent film festival, is proud to announce the lineup for its third annual film festival, June 24-26, in Oakville, Ontario.

“The film lineup is exciting! It promises to entertain, amuse, inspire, educate and even thrill. Something for everyone!” Says title sponsor Peter Willson of Willson International.

A select lineup of Canadian and international films, documentaries and shorts will be showcased at this year’s event, hosted again by veteran critic and columnist, Rob Salem.

Here are the major highlights:

Rob Salem Festival Host Announces 2016 Film Schedule
Rob Salem Festival Host Announces 2016 Film Schedule

The Willson Oakville Film Festival is proud to announce the 2016 Friday night Canadian Premiere of MANHATTAN NOCTURNE ( MANHATTAN NIGHT), based on the book by acclaimed author Colin Harrison, on 24th June at 8pm, at OAKVILLE CENTRE FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS (OCPA). The screening will be attended by Director Brian DeCubellis. Based on Harrison's acclaimed novel Manhattan Nocturne (a New York Times Notable Book of the Year), MANHATTAN NOCTURNE tells the story of Porter Wren (Adrien Brody), a New York City tabloid writer with an appetite for scandal. On the beat he sells murder, tragedy and anything that passes for the truth. At home he is a model family man, devoted to his loving wife (Jennifer Beals). But when a seductive stranger (Yvonne Strahovski) asks him to dig into the unsolved murder of her filmmaker husband Simon (Campbell Scott), he can't resist. A modern film noir, we follow Porter as he is drawn into a very nasty case of sexual obsession and blackmail - one that threatens his job, his marriage, and his life. The screening will be followed by a VIP Gala party.

Executive Director Wendy Donnan & Rob Salem unveil 2016 lineup
Executive Director Wendy Donnan & Rob Salem unveil 2016 lineup

We are also proud to announce the CANADIAN PREMIERE of James Franco’s MEMORIA, one of the best films ever made in the “troubled teen” genre. Based on Franco’s “Palo Alto Stories” and “A California Childhood”, the film tells the tale of a young boy struggling to find his place in the world. Stars: Sam Dillon (Boyhood), and Thomas Mann (Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, Blood Father and Kong: Skull Island). One of directors Nina Ljeti or Vladimir de Fontenay will attend the screening. MEMORIA screens at OCPA Saturday, 25 June, at 8pm. The film will screen with the NORTH AMERICAN premiere of Serbian director Marco Jocic’s suspenseful short film, NIGHT LINE.
The festival continues into the weekend of the 25th and 26th of June, at the Oakville’s Film Festival premiere venue, Film.Ca Cinemas in Oakville. The stellar Canadian film lineup includes the Canadian Premiere of the comedic action-heist film SCRATCH, with Director Maninder Channa in attendance. And don’t miss the Ontario Premiere of Nova Scotian Jesse Harley’s highly-rated psychological thriller, LURE, as well as the regional premiere of Brian Stockton’s hilarious mid-life crisis comedy, THE SABBATICAL, with Stockton and actress Laura Abramsen (Lucy), present for a Q&A following the screening. Award-winning Quebec director Philippe LeSage’s haunting masterpiece, THE DEMONS, an extraordinary examination of childhood fears and nightmarish realities, will also screen with the director present for a Q&A following the film. We are also proud to screen THE PEOPLE GARDEN, starring Quebec’s multi-talented Francois Arnaud, Ernest Hemingway’s great-granddaughter, Dree Hemingway, and Pamela Anderson. Cast and crew will be in attendance for a Q&A following the film, which is directed and written by Nadia Litz. NAVIN RAMASWARAN’s riveting thriller, CHASING VALENTINE, will also screen with director and cast present for a Q&A. Finally, the festival will screen the hilarious middle-age male buddy film, A LEGACY OF WHINING, from Burnaby, British Columbia writer and producer ROSS MUNRO, which stars Munro and Robert David Duncan from The Esteem Coach.

Lisa Lightbourn-Lay & Rhonda-Marie Avery from 8% No Limit
Lisa Lightbourn-Lay & Rhonda-Marie Avery from 8% No Limit

The festival also features two exceptional, Canadian one-hour documentaries which deal with overcoming disabilities and reaching for the stars. The exceptional local documentary, 8% NO LIMIT follows courageous, Mississauga-based blind runner Rhonda Marie, as she faces dangers at every turn on a twenty-day run on Canada’s Bruce Trail on the Niagara Escarpment. Director Lisa Lightbourn- Lay and Rhonda Marie will be present for a Q&A. Screening with the film will be the regional premiere of the riveting documentary, THE FLYING STARS, which tells the tale of Bornor, an amputee soccer star in Sierra Leone attempting to cope with the trauma he suffered during the civil war. Writer Allan Tong will be present for a Q&A following the film. And White Pine Pictures brilliant documentary, PAINTED LAND: IN SEARCH OF THE GROUP OF SEVEN, will screen with conservationists and explorers from the film Joanie and Gary McGuffin, and Michael Burth, present for a Q&A.

"Something for everyone! Says title sponsor Peter Willson
"Something for everyone! Says title sponsor Peter Willson

And on the international front, viewers will appreciate SOMM: INTO THE BOTTLE, the follow-up to the award-winning wine documentary SOMM, directed by Jason Wise, which continues the often amusing story of astounding expertise and the world’s favourite beverage.

The International film lineup features many CANADIAN PREMIERES, including the award-winning South African film, DIS EK ANA (IT’S ME ANNA), which tells a heart-wrenching story of familial child abuse, based on the best-selling novel of the same name. The film is directed by international Emmy award-winning South African Sara Blecher. Well-known South African actress, Charlene Brouwer, is planning to be present for the screening, along with Palama Productions Producer, Niel van Deventer. Also screening is first-time Arizona director John Foley’s incredible film, RUNNERS, which looks at the seedy world of drug-running, where local inner-city track runners are used to transport drugs. The film was made for less than $100,000. Coach Archie Miles intervenes to save talented kids from a life of crime. And don’t miss the hilarious and heart-warming Australian family film about a dog and his eccentric owner who save an island of penguins, ODDBALL, directed by Stuart McDonald, and starring Alan Tudyk, Sarah Snook, and Terry Camilleri. The French black comedy, LOLO, tells the story of the complicated relationship between a mother, her son, and her boyfriend. Oscar-nominee and actress Julia Delpy directs. And bipolar disorder is added to the list of themes, with the critically-acclaimed regional premiere of A LIGHT BENEATH THEIR FEET directed by Valerie Weiss and starring Taryn Maning from Orange is the New Black. A panel discussion on bipolar disorder, with recognized experts, follows the screening. And finally, a panel discussion on violence against women in Asian communities follows the screening of Angry Indian Goddesses, India’s first, female buddy film, which tackles the dark theme of violence against women in India.

For information on the award-winning shorts accompanying the films, please check the website at www.offa.ca.

2016 Willson Oakville Festival of Film Schedule at Film.Ca Cinemas
• 12:30 pm A Light Beneath Their Feet
• 1:00 p.m. SOMM: into the Bottle (Documentary)
• 3:30 p.m. A Legacy of Whining (Ontario Premiere)
• 4:00 p.m. Oddball
• 6:30 p.m. Lure
• 9:30 p.m. Scratch
• 7:00 p.m. Angry Indian Goddesses
• 10:00 p.m. Chasing Valentine

SUNDAY JUNE 26, 2106:
• 12:30 p.m. Double Doc Special: Flying Stars (Regional Premier) & 8% No Limit (Canadian Premiere
• 1:00 p.m. Painted Land: in Search of the Group of Seven
• 3:30 p.m. The Demons
• 3:30 p.m. LOLO
• 6:00 p.m. The People Garden
• 6:30 p.m. The Sabbatical
• 9:00 p.m. It’s Me Anna (Dis Ek Ana)
• 9:30 p.m. Runners

The OFFA 2016 Team: Festival Host Rob Salem spent 20 of his 37 years at the Toronto Star as a film critic. Before that he was an entertainment columnist and reporter for the Oakville Journal Record (sharing a desk with the now bestselling mystery writer Linwood Barclay). Salem was the founding director of two of his own film festivals in the 1990s, the B Festival and the Cult Film and Video Festival, and was the host of Salem's Lot on the Drive-In Classics channel. He is currently a Humber College professor and a pop culture commentator on TV, radio and online.

“I was honoured and delighted to be asked back to host for the second year,” Salem says. “We had such a fabulous time last summer, with such an impressive selection of films. Looking at this year’s excellent and eclectic line-up, I eagerly anticipate an even better time for all. I look forward to seeing you all again.”

OFFA Executive Director and Programming Director, Wendy Donnan is thrilled to be curating the programming for the 2016 festival : “I am so excited about this year’s programming! We had close to two thousand entries this year for eighteen film and documentary spots, and 30 short spots, so it was difficult to decide given the quality and depth of themes of films from around the world. We have a great lineup of Canadian films and documentaries, many Canadian premieres, and some amazing international films that are also Canadian premieres. This festival includes programming that has an impact on people’s lives, with meaningful themes that are not easy to forget. “
Artistic director Judah Hernandez is very passionate about film in the community and for Oakville at large; “As appreciation and consciousness of our presence grows in the GTA and beyond, not only do I feel a personal triumph but a collective victory for the town of Oakville. We all stand on the edge of a unique opportunity to be a part of a wonderful film community that engages on a much deeper level that your average trip to the movies. When patrons of our festival walk out of the theatre feeling changed by what they have seen and wanting more of this interactive experience out of a film, we know we are doing something right."

Visit www.offa.ca to buy tickets, or email us at contact@offa.ca,
or call us at 647-557-2210.

Adult Single tickets are $15, kids tickets are $10, and Gala Premiere tickets are available for $30.

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