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Picks for every personality 

With over 200 films screening over 10 days, there's something for everyone at this year's Atlantic Film Fest. Use our personal character guide to make your picks.

Tickets are $9 students/$10, unless otherwise stated. Special packages available from


... The romantic fool
Your bosom heaves at the sight of a lacy petticoat. You can sustain yourself for at least a week on a longing look, or the news of someone else's break-up.

What young lady wouldn't want An Education from Peter Sarsgaard? Set in 1961 London, with a script from Nick Hornby, early reviews are promising a break-out performance from Carey Mulligan. I feel like I know Sook-Yin Lee really well, considering how many times I've seen her naked on screen. This time she's clothed and behind the camera directing Year of the Carnivore, about a young woman's attempts to build up her sexual confidence to win the indie guy of her dreams.

Lesbian romance Drool proves that love can come knocking on your door at any time, even schilling cosmetics. Broken Embraces isn't really a romance (more about jealousy), but you always feel the love when Pedro Almodavar directs Peneope Cruz. And how delicious will Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky's passionate affair be, with all those violins and amazing dresses? If you smell smoke, it's just Jane Campion's smoldering romance Bright Star, about the romance between 19th-century poet John Keats and Fanny Brawne, or Love and Savagery, a love story set in 1960s rural Newfoundland. I'm going to suggest that romantics skip Lars von Trier's Antichrist, starring Charlotte Gainsbourg and Willem Dafoe as a couple who punish themselves after the death of their child, and Chloe, Atom Egoyan's latest about a woman (Julianne Moore) who suspects infidelity by her husband (Liam Neeson).

Love and Savagery (Atlantic Gala, Sept 18, 7pm, Oxford, $15). Bright Star (Sept 18, 9:30pm, Oxford, $15). Drool (Sept 19, 7:15pm, Park Lane 3). Broken Embraces (Sept 21, 9:30pm, Oxford, $15. Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky (Sept 23, 9:30pm, Oxford, $15. Chloe (Sept 24, 7pm, Oxford, $15. An Education (Sept 25, 7pm, Park Lane 8). Year of the Carnivore (Sept 25, 9:20pm, Park Lane 8).Antichrist (Sept 25, 9:30pm, Oxford, $15)

... The loser
No offense, but you make Seth Rogen look like Don Draper. Really,you're such a loser that there are only a few movies here for you(just kidding).

The king of the losers you want to win, Ricky Gervais writes, directs and stars in The Invention of Lying, as the first man who discovers lying and uses it to get what he wants. All big-L loser Robert Mutt needs to succeed in You Might As Well Live is money, a lady and a championship ring.

Although he's grown a bit older, you might recognize George Hardy from the fine film Troll 2. The cult favourite's explosive popularity is the subject of the late-night doc, Best Worst Movie. Will it be as much fun as my friends' Troll 2 reenactments? Early reports scream yes.

Best Worst Movie (Sept 19, 11:59pm, Oxford). The Invention of Lying (Sept 23, 7pm, Oxford). You Might as Well Live (Sept 24, 9:35pm, Park Lane)

... The realist
Your philosophy: why make shit up when the real world is so dramatic?

Jennifer Baichwal (Manufactured Landscapes) returns with another gorgeous-looking doc, Act of God, this time about people who have been hit by lightning. Big River Man is John Maringouin's Herzogian tale, following Martin Strel, a boozing, Slovenian world-record-holding endurance swimmer, about to take on the Amazon river. Expect a crowd of knitted scarves for Handmade Nation, which documents the popularity of America's crafty DIY movement.

8, a UNESCO omnibus film, presents the world-changing visions of eight directors, including Jane Campion, Wim Wenders, Gael García Bernal and Gus Van Sant. Although dramatic reenactments can kill, Paris 1919, inspired by Margaret MacMillan's book, apparently uses historical footage and reenactments in a compelling way to review the events that led to the founding of the United Nations. Closer to home, Halifax filmmaker Mathew Welsh draws portraits of West Africans in The Exchange-Six Faces of Gambia (Atlantic Shorts I).

Fig Trees is an experimental opera on AIDS activism by John Greyson---in the news recently for pulling another film out of TIFF in protest of that festival's spotlight on Tel Aviv---featuring South Africa's Zackie Achmat, who started a treatment strike, refusing to take anti-retrovirals until they were accessible to all South Africans.

The Delian Mode is a biographical short film about British electronic artist Delia Derbyshire, famous for the classic Doctor Who theme. Don't miss the train that keeps a rollin': Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison promises rare footage of that famous day in American music history.

Act of God (Sept 18, 7pm, Park Lane 8). The Delian Mode (Shorts III, Sept 19, 2pm, Park Lane 8). The Exchange-Six Faces of Gambia (Atlantic Shorts I, Sept 20, noon, Park Lane 8). 8 (Sept 21, 7pm, Oxford). Big River Man (Sept 22, 7:05pm, Park Lane 7). Paris 1919 (Sept 22, 7:15pm, Park Lane 3). Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison (Sept 23, 7:10pm, Park Lane 4). Fig Trees (Sept 23, 9:35pm, Park Lane 3). Handmade Nation (Sept 24, 9:30pm, Park Lane 4)

...The dead head
Check your pulse. Your immortal soul is flourishing and the blood oozing through your veins is as cold as, uh, death.

If zombie curling is your sport, hurry hard to Deadspiel (Shorts VIII). Jazzed for the afterlife? Stephen MacHattie (Pontypool) stars in the short The Deaths of Chet Baker, which imagines the famous trumpeter's last hours before he fell out a window (Shorts 1). Benjamin Steven's New Blood sucks the life out of gothic romance (Atlantic Shorts Gala). If a film's scary enough for Jason Eisener, it's gory enough for you, horror boy. At Sundance this year, Eisener's Treevenge played on the same line-up as the Norwegian Nazi zombie bloodbath, Dead Snow.

Vampires? Really? Lucky for you, no sparkly skin and moppish hair around these parts. I always knew something was off with Ethan Hawke, who plays a troubled vampire in Daybreakers, about the race to find a plasma replacement for all those hungry fangers. Brit-com send-up Lesbian Vampire Killers has more bite than Bill (that's for you True Blood Eric fans), and Rob Stefaniuk's Suck proves what many of us already knew: the music industry is filled with bloodsuckers. Featuring an insane number of vampish cameos from Henry Rollins, Iggy Pop, Moby, Carole Pope and more.

The Deaths of Chet Baker (Shorts 1, 7:05pm, Sept 18, Park Lane 7). Daybreakers (Sept 18, 11:59pm, Oxford). New Blood (Atlantic Shorts Gala, Sept 22, 7pm, Oxford, $15). Lesbian Vampire Killers (Sept 23, 11:59pm, Oxford). Deadspiel (Shorts VIII, Sept 24, 9:25pm, Park Lane 7). Suck (September 25, 7pm, Oxford, $15). Dead Snow (Sept 25, 11:59pm, Oxford)

... The family guy
You believe blood is thick, but you still prefer to spend time with other people's families rather than your own.

Count your blessings: Halifax filmmaker Nanci Ackerman follows young Isaiah and his family, struggling with poverty in rural Nova Scotia, for the doc Four Feet Up (Atlantic Shorts II). Doug Karr puts his KGB-spying, Hollywood-producing grandpa in the hotseat in his mini-doc Ten for Grandpa (Shorts V).

Perhaps this year's slow-burning Frozen River, Amreeka, a story about a Palestinian single mom who moves her family to the US just prior to the Iraq war, is winning praise for its humour and joy. Young Quebec film darling Xavier Dolan writes, directs and stars in an updated adolescent angst tale, I Killed My Mother/J'ai tué ma mére. Dilip Mehta co-wrote the script to Cooking with Stella with his famous sister Deepa, starring Don McKellar as the chef-husband of a Canadian diplomat (Lisa Ray), who learns a few things from their cook.

A late addition to the fest, Rebecca Miller's The Private Lives of Pippa Lee stars Robin Wright Penn as a model wife/mom adjusting to small town life after moving from New York with her much-older husband (Alan Arkin).

I Killed My Mother (Sept 18, 9:35pm, Park Lane). Cooking with Stella (Sept 19, 7pm, Oxford, $15). Ten for Grandpa (Shorts V, Sept 19, 7:05pm Park Lane 7). Amreeka (Sept 19, 7:10pm, Park Lane). Four Feet Up (Atlantic Shorts II, Sept 20, 2pm, Park Lane) The Private Lives of Pippa Lee (Sept 22, 9:30pm, Oxford, $15)

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