Now heading into its ninth year, the Possible Worlds U.S & Canadian Film Festival has announced the line-up for its festival in August, including a surprising showing of Australian actors, an appearance from the Air Sex World Championships and as ever, lashings of indie cinema.
Kicking off on the 7th of August with the world premiere of Ricardo Trogi’s 1987, a Québécois coming-of-age comedy, the festival will feature eighteen films in total – nine Canadian films, and nine American films.
The indie festival circuit films are out in full force, including this year’s Sundance-winner, Mike Cahill’s I Origins, which stars Brit Marling and Michael Pitt as molecular biologists who make a groundbreaking discovery, and John Magary’s SXSW favourite The Mend, starring Josh Lucas as an unstable sibling to a dysfunctional family.
Those who missed Xavier Dolan’s Tom at the Farm during the Sydney Film Festival will get a second chance, and Cannes’ Critics Week winner The Auction, directed by Sebastien Pilote, will get its Australian premiere.
All up we’ll see thirteen Australian premieres, and three Australian actors in starring roles – Callan McAuliffe in Aron Gauet and Gita Pullapilly’s Beneath the Harvest Sky, Kodi Smit-McPhee in post-apocalyptic Western Young Ones, and Australian-born American-based Paul Eenhoorn in buddy-comedy Land Ho!, another Sundance hit.
Friday Night Lights fans should look out for The Grand Seduction, which stars Taylor Kitsch and the always-wonderful Brendan Gleeson, and anyone who managed to catch Robert Lepage’s nine-hour stage show Lipsynch at the Sydney Festival in 2009 keep an eye out for his screen adaptation, Tripytch (which clocks in at a modest ninety minutes).
This year’s documentaries include the eye-catching Air Sex: The Movie, which follows the Air Sex World Championships, in which competitors mime sexual acts on stage. At the other end of the tonal spectrum is Larry Weinstein and Drew Taylor’s Our Man In Tehran, or as it’s been dubbed, “the real Argo”, which explores the truth behind the events of the Iranian hostage crisis of 1979 and the rescue of the six American diplomats. The festival also includes Alan Zweig When Jews Were Funny, chronicling the history of Jewish comedians, and Dave Regos and Kris Kaczor’s Divide in Concord, which follows eighty-four year-old woman’s attempts to have plastic bottles of water banned from the town.
Festival director Mathieu Ravier has said that the festival “focuses on discoveries; on introducing new films to Australian audiences”, and aims to “showcase the vibrant visions of independent filmmakers working outside Hollywood”. This year’s line-up certainly lives up to the mission statement, presenting a truly independent festival with a broad range of high buzz and unfamiliar titles. Following on from the headliner-packed Sydney Film Festival, and crossing over with the equally well-stocked Melbourne Film Festival, Possible Worlds should give audiences a glimpse into the current indie landscape, particularly those smaller films that don’t quite make it onto the main stage of the festival circuit.
This years jury members for Best American and Best Canadian Film have also been announced, including our managing editor Conor Bateman on the jury for Best Canadian Film. This means he will not be reviewing any films at the festival this year but will still oversee our coverage.
Best American Film jury: Luke Goodsell, Jim Poe and Larin Sullivan
Best Canadian Film jury: Steve Jaggi, Conor Bateman and Alicia Emery