A decade of independents’ days

The Halifax Independent Filmmakers Festival hits 10 years.

A vibrant landscape from Thursday’s Atlantic shorts.
A vibrant landscape from Thursday’s Atlantic shorts.

Born from a wish to celebrate both local films and the creators behind them, the Halifax Independent Filmmakers Festival is entering its tenth year of decidedly independent, hyper-local programming. Originally a one or two day affair, HIFF has grown to five days of features, short films and receptions. Still, the festival aims to stay true to its core values and uniquely small size: Alongside screenings at the North Street Church, film buffs will have a chance to interact with many of the weekend's filmmakers at Q&A sessions and parties.

"Our goal with HIFF is not so much growth as it is development and refinement," says Martha Cooley, executive director of the Atlantic Filmmakers' Cooperative, the organization behind HIFF. "We plan to stay small and fiercely independent in order to continue to serve the community of filmmakers around the Atlantic Filmmakers' Cooperative."

The weekend will feature documentarian Laura Israel's Don't Blink: Robert Frank; 88:88, the debut feature from Toronto-based Isiah Medina; and Quebec's Marie-Eve Juste, whose complete short works will be screened before a Q&A on Thursday, June 9.

In addition to a slew of visiting filmmakers, the festival continues to place importance on its Atlantic shorts programs—what Colley calls the "heart and soul" of the festival. The Atlantic Auteurs screening on Thursday will showcase new works from local filmmakers. Screenings of note include Tim Tracey's stop-motion Data Mine, and I Am Coming To Paris To Kill You from the multi-talented musician and filmmaker Seth Smith.

Halifax Independent Filmmakers Festival
Thursday, June 9-Sunday, June 12
North Street Church, 5657 North Street
most screenings $7

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