October film festivals roundup: ImagineNative and Macedonian fests make waves

Here's the latest in our ongoing series of the month's smaller film fest offerings

There are those who believe the fall festival cycle begins and ends with TIFF. They are delusional. Toronto practically shudders under the weight of fall film festivals in fact, there are so many in the month of October that we’ll be posting one of these roundups every week. It’s ridiculous, right? Here’s what gets underway this week.

ImagineNative Film + Media Arts Festival


When: October 17 to 21

Where: After kicking off its 19th edition with an opening night gala at the Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema (504 Bloor West) the celebration of Indigenous on-screen storytelling moves into the TIFF Bell Lightbox (350 King West) for the rest of its run.

What’s playing: That opening gala, Darlene Naponse’s Falls Around Her (October 17, 7 pm, Hot Docs), stars Tantoo Cardinal as an Anishinaabe musician who returns home to Northern Ontario other options include Angelique’s Isle (October 18, 12:45 pm, TIFF Bell Lightbox 2), which stars Julia Jones and Charlie Carrick as a couple struggling to survive on Lake Superior during the 1845 copper rush, and Larissa Behrendt’s documentary After The Apology (October 20, 12:15 pm, TIFF Bell Lightbox 3), about the lasting impact of residential schools on Indigenous culture. The closing gala, Gwaai Edenshaw and Helen Haig-Brown’s period thriller Edge Of The Knife (October 21, 7 pm, TIFF Bell Lightbox 2), is the first film produced in the Haida language. And the short film programs are always strong: check out The Witching Hour (October 19, 11 pm, TIFF Bell Lightbox 3) to discover some new voices… and see what gives them the creeps.

See NOW’s interview with imagineNATIVE’s artistic director Jason Ryle here

Macedonian Film Festival


When: October 19 to 21

Where: Carlton Cinema, 20 Carlton

What’s playing: The 13th annual MFF opens with Gjorce Stavreski’s Secret Ingredient (October 19, 7 pm repeats October 21, 3 pm), a comedy about a mechanic (Blagoj Veselinov) whose attempts to help his father cope with the pain of terminal cancer snowball into a complicated faith-healing scam – and the baking of a cake that’s effectively one giant pot brownie. (I’m not sure this is as relevant to the legal-marijuana situation as the festival’s marketing material would have you believe, but it’s a good movie so whatever.) And make sure to check out Bikini Moon (October 20, 7 pm), which stars Billions’ Condola Rashad as a troubled young woman who falls in with a crew of documentary filmmakers in New York. Writer/director Milcho Manchevski brings the same understanding of repressed trauma and fractured psyches that informed his Oscar-nominated Before The Rain to this smaller, tighter project, adding a meta-textual layer that puts us further off-balance.

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