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Shaw Festival Announces 2008 Festival Film Series Schedule

Media Bulletin #15

Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, November 10, 2008 … Building on the success of the last three years, the Shaw Festival is pleased to announce its continuing partnership with The Film Circuit, a branch of the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), to bring acclaimed contemporary films to the Festival Theatre during the winter months. Beginning December 6, 2008, some of the most celebrated feature films of the year will be screened on Saturdays at 3:00 pm. Nine films have been confirmed to date for the series, with four additional titles to follow in the coming weeks.
For the second year, the Festival Film Series will be accompanied by a documentary mini-series featuring six films. The documentaries will be screened in the Festival Theatre on Wednesdays at 5:30 pm.

TIFF’s very successful Film Circuit programme assists groups in smaller centres to gain access to Canadian and international films. Providing service and support to volunteers in communities that wish to build film series and showcase films not otherwise locally available, the Film Circuit has benefited over 170 local groups across Canada. All profits from the Festival Film Series will benefit the Shaw Festival.

Tickets are $10 per person. A 13-film Festival Film Pass is available for $119 per person, or a ten-film “Stocking Stuffer” for $89. A Festival Documentary Pass is $54. To purchase tickets, please visit the Shaw Festival Box Office in person, or call locally 905-468-2172 or toll-free 1-800-511-SHAW (7429).

The Shaw gratefully acknowledges the many residents of Niagara-on-the-Lake who have made this initiative possible, particularly Major Sponsors John and Carol Walker.

With the support of The Standard – Osprey Niagara Publishing Group

Festival Film Series Schedule

Feature Series:

December 6
The Visitor Rating: PG-13
In The Visitor, the sophomore feature from director Thomas McCarthy, professor and lonely widower Walter Vale reluctantly goes into New York City for a conference, where he finds an undocumented couple living in his long-vacant Manhattan pied-à-terre.

December 13
The Band’s Visit Rating: PG-13
In director Eran Kolirin’s debut feature, a uniformed Egyptian police band becomes lost in rural Israel on their way to a concert. They unexpectedly encounter not only tensions and friendships with the townspeople who take them in for the night, but valuable lessons as well.

December 20
Amal Rating: 14A
In chaotic New Delhi, an aged and irascible man, seemingly homeless, cheats everyone he meets. When Amal, an auto-rickshaw wallah, allows him to dodge his fare, both are affected in a way that has far-reaching consequences. An ambitious and heartfelt debut from Richie Mehta.

December 27
The Wackness Rating: R
Luke (Josh Peck) is a teenage pot dealer who trades weed for sessions with a therapist, Dr. Squires (Sir Ben Kingsley). Squires is an unlikely role model, but the two forge a friendship. Written and directed by Jonathan Levine and propelled by an exuberant hip hop score, The Wackness is a funny, offbeat tale of two lost souls stumbling towards maturity.

January 3
The Counterfeiters Rating: R Director Stefan Ruzowitzky recounts a Nazi scheme that involved toppling foreign economies and fuelling the German war effort with counterfeit pounds and dollars. The men forced to craft all that money were imprisoned Jews who just happened to be bankers, printers and a few forgers. In return, they were offered a chance to live the high life while fellow prisoners starved.

January 10
Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Rating: PG-13
In Woody Allen’s latest film the stunning city of Barcelona is the setting for the romantic adventures of two American girls, Vicky and Cristina. When they meet a flamboyant artist and his beautiful but insane ex-wife, the results can only be described as chaotic.

January 17
Happy Go Lucky Rating: R
From UK director Mike Leigh comes the story of Poppy, a London schoolteacher whose optimism exasperates those around her. When her bike is stolen, she enthusiastically signs up for driving lessons with Scott, who turns out to be her nemesis — a fuming, uptight cynic.

January 31
I Served the King of England Rating: R
Jirí Menzel directs this larger-than-life black comedy which tells the rags-to-riches story of amoral everyman Jan Dite, who schemes his way up the hospitality ladder through the grand halls and hotels (not to mention bedrooms) of thirties Prague.

February 21
Tell No One Not rated
A pediatrician, still devastated by the murder of his wife eight years ago, receives an anonymous email containing a link to real time video of his wife standing in a crowd. Is she still alive? And why does she instruct him to ‘tell no one’? A gripping thriller from director Guillaume Canet.

January 24 and February 7, 14 and 28 titles to be announced.

Documentary Series:
January 14
Young@Heart Rating: PG-13
For over 25 years, the Young@Heart Chorus has entertained audiences with punk, rock and rhythm-and-blues songs. Of course, the age of most rock ‘n’ rollers isn’t eighty years young! Stephen Walker’s documentary offers the kind of wisdom that can only be cultivated with age.

January 21
Man on Wire Rating: PG-13
James Marsh’s look at tightrope walker Philippe Petit’s daring, but illegal, high-wire routine performed between New York City’s World Trade Center twin towers in 1974, in what some consider “the artistic crime of the century.”

January 28
Religulous Rating: R
Larry Charles (BORAT, “Curb Your Enthusiasm”) directs Religulous, which follows political humourist and author Bill Maher as he travels around the globe interviewing people about God and religion. Maher brings his characteristic honesty and wit to an unusual spiritual journey.

February 4
Up the Yangtze Not rated
The Three Gorges Dam, gargantuan and hotly contested symbol of the Chinese economic miracle, provides the epic and unsettling backdrop for Up the Yangtze, a disquieting feature documentary by director Yung Chang on life inside the 21st-century Chinese dream.

February 11
Roman Polanski Wanted and Desired Not rated
In 1977, director Roman Polanski was charged with giving drugs to and having sex with a 13-year-old girl. Eleven months later, having pled guilty to one count, he fled to Europe before sentencing. Marina Zenovich’s film examines the public scandal and the private tragedy which led to his flight.

February 18
Flow: For the Love of Water Not rated
Irena Salina’s documentary investigates what experts call the most important political and environmental issue of the 21st century – The World Water Crisis. Salina builds a case against the growing privatization of the world’s dwindling fresh water supply.

Please visit our website at news.shawfest.com for other Shaw Festival media releases.
For more information, or to download images from our image bank to accompany this release, members of the media may contact:
Odette Yazbeck
Public Relations Director
905-468-2153 or
1-800-657-1106 ext. 222
odette@shawfest.com

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