Halifax Independent Filmmakers Festival returns June 9-12

The 16th annual event celebrating indie cinema is stuffed with must-see movies.

A still from opening night feature Island
Back with its first in-person slate since 2020, the Halifax Independent Filmmakers Festival is ready to make cinephiles's dreams come true from June 9-12. In a city under the heel of movie multiplexes, the annual event (run by the Atlantic Filmmakers Cooperative) always delivers a feast of art-house and DIY movies that critics are raving about—and you won't see anywhere else.

Opening night kicks off at the Light House Arts Centre (1800 Argyle Street) with a double bill featuring the latest by Martin Edralin (who has shown works at Sundance and TIFF), Islands. It's the story of a Filipino immigrant yearning for more while caring for his aging family in southern Ontario. Also on deck? The winner of TIFF 2021's
Best Canadian Feature, Rhayne Vermette’s Ste. Anne. The director's first feature, the cast is filled out with Vermette's real-life friends and family, tracing a woman's mysterious re-appearance after a four year absence.

A special late-night screening at Good Robot Brewing (2736 Robie Street) is fit for fans of haute horror: We're All Going To The World's Fair sees an internet-addicted, alienated teen fall deeper and deeper into dangerous rabbit holes online—with offline implications.

More films—including Canadian shorts, a retrospective of filmmaker Ryan Steel's work and feature films from around the world—can be found on the fest's full roster. All Canadian movies will also be streamable online for 48 hours after the in-person showing. Movies are free for students and fest passes are $35. Pass the popcorn!