If you’re not sure yet what to see, these are my suggestions – they’re not the ones with all the buzz, so you might miss them if you’re not reading carefully. If you’re the kind of person who wants to see the hidden gems, read on!
1) MOUNTAIN THIEF – I saw this film at its world premiere in San Francisco in March, and I fell totally in love. I don’t normally come to Heather with strong suggestions for programming but MOUNTAIN THIEF seemed to me to be the perfect festival film, and the director Gerry, who will be in Toronto to present the film, was so humble and charming. MOUNTAIN THIEF is a human drama set in the largest dumpsite town in the world, just outside of Manila. Gerry ran acting workshops for the town’s residents and eventually cast them in the film. Gerry is an occupational therapist by training, and his objective is to raise money through the project to be able to provide medical care for the kids he met there, and after you see the incredible work of the young actors, you can see why he is so inspired. MOUNTAIN THIEF is a great example of how film has the power to effect positive changes – and Gerry will be participating in a panel discussion as part of the Industry Series to talk more about his motivations and experiences making the film and working within the community in the Philippines. Playing Saturday at 5pm.
2. DOOMAN RIVER is about two boys who live on opposite sides of the river that separates North Korea from China. We have had a hard time finding support for this film because of the difficult subject matter but that is exactly what makes it so fascinating, as there are few works that portray life along the controversial border with North Korea. But DOOMAN RIVER, rather than being a story about politics, is above all a story about friendship. Director Zhang Lu reminds us that behind every political conflict are human beings wanting to lead peaceful lives with their family and friends. The boys acting is strong and the story-telling truly poetic. Playing Wednesday at 8:30pm.
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