It’s the time of year film buffs live for: FIN, the region’s biggest celebration of cinema, is touching down at Cineplex Park Lane from Sep 15-22, showing a smattering of local features, buzzy international indie numbers and full-on Oscar bait. With hundreds of films on show, there’s no shortage of excellence you can view—but a divide-and-conquer strategy can help make sure you’re making the most of your time at the movies. Here, a handful of the can’t-miss screenings for you to bookmark (and buy tickets for):
One of the buzziest Canadian movies of the year, Brother traces the fates of two siblings in early 1990s Scarborough as a life-altering mystery unfolds. Set against the backdrop of the era’s rich hip hop output, the movie explores the power of music—as well as the power of community and the bond between family. Based on David Chariandy’s award-winning novel and adapted by lauded filmmaker Clement Virgo, this is the movie that kicks off FIN 2022 at the opening night gala.
Thu Sep 15, 7pm, tickets and details here
Atlantic Shorts Program 1
A smattering of shorts from a collection of local filmmakers at all points in their careers, this screening includes a film by Michelle Sylliboy and others that re-imagines the Treaty Relationship as a liminal space of creation. It also features the short Freedom, a documentary by Team Coast’s own Kaija Jussinoja about one woman’s experience witnessing her home country of Ukraine be invaded while she’s on the other side of the globe.
Fri Sep 16, 6pm, also available to stream online through FIN’s online portal, tickets and details here
Bernie Langille Wants to Know What Happened To Bernie Langille
Halifax screenwriter-director Jackie Torrens turns her unflinching eye on intergenerational trauma in this documentary that sees a grandson delving into the mysterious circumstances of his grandfather’s death. Torrens’ decision to use miniature sets to take the audience back to the late 1960s feels both innovative and true to the early roots of the doc genre—and provides the perfect way for the story to unfold.
Fri Sep 16, 7pm, also available to stream through FIN’s online portal, tickets and details here
Tara Thorne’s feature film debut is one part feminist wish fulfillment and one part warning shot: As Wally becomes consumed by rage, empathy and a feeling she can’t name, she secretly sets out to patrol the streets at night, attacking abusive men on behalf of the survivors who can’t. The flick was funded through Telefilm’s prestigious Talent to Watch program, and arrives at FIN after showing at the Inside Out and Fantasia festivals earlier this year.
Sat Sep 17, 9:30pm, also available to stream through FIN’s online portal, tickets and details here
The Ice Walk
Lennox Island First Nation is the outpost of an outpost, the dot off the coast of Prince Edward Island where the Mi’kmaq people were forced to settle. Here, director
Eliza Knockwood documents the little-known and treacherous ice walk connecting the two places in winter, asking if the nearby settlers are being performative or if they truly want reconciliation as they make the difficult journey.
Sun Sep 18, 4pm, also available to stream through FIN’s online portal, tickets and details here
The Works of Margaret Perry
One of the first women filmmakers in Nova Scotia (actually, one of the first filmmakers here, full-stop), Margaret Perry’s legacy is restored at FIN 2022, thanks to a new archive of her work. This screening, then, acts as a sort-of greatest hits for the documentary and tourism filmmaker, showing shorts from the 1940s, ’50s and ’60s on everything from Annapolis Valley apples to a profile of 13 local artists.
Tue Sep 20, 6:10pm, tickets and details here
Queens of the Qing Dynasty
The hotly anticipated follow-up feature from Cape Breton auteur Ashley McKenzie (who ascended the world of film with her 2016 feature debut, Werewolf, getting praise from Variety, The Criterion Channel and The New Yorker along the way) arrives at FIN after showing at TIFF and the Berlin Film Festival. The movie charts the unlikely bond between a neurodiverse teen and an international student volunteering at the local hospital where the teen is a patient.
Wed Sep 21, 7pm, tickets and details here
Halifax writer-director Koumbie knows her debut feature is going to get people talking, but that’s entirely the point: When a friend group has to reckon with the realization that one of their own is a potential abuser, no one knows how to handle the news—but they do know they need to confront him about it.
Thu Sep 22, 6:30pm, also available to stream through FIN’s online portal, tickets and details here
A big-league Hollywood cast—Rooney Mara, Claire Foy, Frances McDormand—team up with Oscar-nominated Canadian director Sarah Polley to tell the story of a Mennonite community’s #MeToo reckoning. Based on Miriam Toews’s book of the same title, this one is bound to be a buzzy movie this fall. Catching it at FIN means seeing it first.
Thu Sep 22, 7pm, tickets and details here
A promposal gone wrong leads high-schooler Max into the arms of religion—and, just maybe triggers the apocalypse. The feature debut of Halifax filmmaker Kevin Hartford, this flick is dry and devastatingly funny—and is a veritable who’s who of local actors, thanks to the sprawling cast.
Thu Sep 22, 9:30pm, also available to stream through FIN’s online portal, tickets and details here