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Seventh annual Shaw Festival Film Series to screen acclaimed films and documentaries

Media Bulletin #8

Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, November 23, 2011…The Shaw Festival is pleased to announce its seventh annual Festival Film Series line-up. This year’s Festival Film Series will launch with the screening of Woody Allen’s unapologetic love letter to the City of Light, Midnight in Paris on December 3 at 3 p.m. Eight feature films have been confirmed to date for the Festival Film Series, with four additional titles pending. All feature films will be screened at the Festival Theatre on Saturdays at 3 p.m.

The Festival Film Series will also be accompanied by a six-film documentary series beginning January 6. Documentaries are scheduled to screen on Fridays at 5:30 p.m. at the Festival Theatre.

Tickets are $11 per film. A 12-film Festival Film Pass is available for $115, a nine-film “Stocking Stuffer” is available for films showing in the New Year for $90 and a Documentary Pass is available for $60. All prices include HST. Seating is general admission. Advance tickets are available and same day tickets can be purchased at the Shaw Festival Box Office or by calling 1-800-511-SHAW (7429) or locally at 905-468-2172.

The Shaw Festival Film Series is made possible through its partnership with Film Circuit, a division of the Toronto International Film Festival Group. Film Circuit assists groups in smaller centres gain access to Canadian and international films. All profits from the Festival Film Series benefit the Shaw Festival.

The Shaw gratefully acknowledges the many residents of Niagara-on-the-Lake and the Friends of the Festival Film Series who have made this initiative possible, particularly major sponsors John and Carol Walker.

The Shaw Festival Film Series is generously supported by advertising sponsor Sun Media Niagara

Festival Film Series Schedule:

Feature Film Series

December 3: 
Midnight in Paris   
U.S.A., Spain, 2011
Rating: PG
Runtime: 100 minutes

A frustrated American writer longing for the Paris of old is magically whisked away each night at midnight to encounters with some of the great artists and thinkers of the 20th century. Starring Owen Wilson, Rachel McAdams, Adrien Brody, Kathy Bates, Michael Sheen, Carla Bruni and Marion Cotillard. Directed by Woody Allen (Annie Hall, Stardust Memories, Match Point, Vicky Cristina Barcelona).

December 10:      
Sarah’s Key (Elle s’appelait Sarah)  
France, 2011
Rating: PG
Runtime: 113 minutes
Language: French, English

Sarah’s Key is the fictionalized account of the roundups in Paris that sentenced thousands of Jewish families to their deaths. Based on Tatiana de Rosnay’s bestselling novel of the same name, the film is a harrowing and profoundly moving tale about this terrible period in French history. Starring Kristin Scott Thomas, Mélusine Mayance, Niels Arestrup, Frédéric Pierrot, Michel Duchaussoy, Dominique Frot, Gisèle Casadesus, Aiden Quinn and Natasha Mashkevich. Directed by Gilles Paquet-Brenner (Les Jolies Choses (Pretty Things), Walled In, Gomez vs. Tavares).

December 17:      
U.S.A., 2010
Rating: 14A
Runtime: 99 minutes

As far as movie formulas go, cancer and comedy shouldn’t mix. But 50/50 defies these odds by finding the perfect balance of humour and honesty. Based loosely on the life of screenwriter Will Reiser, 50/50 is an original story about friendship, love, survival and finding humour in unlikely places. Adam is a 27-year old nice guy who’s been diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. Luckily, he doesn’t have to face this dark journey alone: by his side are his best friend, his doctor and a therapist-in-training. Starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen, Anna Kendrick, Bryce Dallas Howard and Anjelica Huston. Directed by Jonathan Levine (Shards, Love Bytes, All the Boys Love Mandy Lane, The Wackness).

December 31:      
The Trip 
U.K., 2011
Rating: NR
Runtime: 111 minutes

Take a sharply witty trip through the English countryside with two comedians as they eat, riff, jab and dissect adulthood, fatherhood, relationships, their careers and Michael Caine. Starring Steve Coogan, Rob Brydon and Claire Keelan. Directed by Michael Winterbottom (A Mighty Heart, Tristram Shandy). Coogan and Brydon reprise their fictionalized roles from 2005’s Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story for this hysterical road movie.

January 7:            
Jane Eyre  
U.K., 2011
Rating: PG
Runtime: 116 minutes
Language: English, French

This moving adaptation of Charlotte Brontë’s classic novel holds true to the traditional narrative, but is infused with a contemporary vitality and spirit creating a breathtakingly powerful lyrical work of art. After a bleak and miserable childhood, Jane Eyre escapes her past and is hired as a governess for a wealthy young ward. Living happily in her new position, she meets the master of the house, the abrupt and cold Edward Rochester. They form an unlikely friendship and soon young Jane finds herself falling in love with the troubled older gentleman. A wildly emotional story of romance, drama and dark secrets. Starring Mia Wasikowska, Michael Fassbender and Judi Dench. Directed by Cary Fukunaga (Sin Nombre).

January 14:          
Canada, 2011
Rating: 14A
Runtime: 109 minutes
Language: French

Inspired by the true story of a legendary bull who fathered hundreds of thousands of off­spring through artificial insemination, this colourful Québécois comedy follows a train wreck of a middle-aged man who’s just been informed that the sperm he once donated has fathered no less than 533 children, many of whom are now suing the clinic to determine the identity of their biological father, known only by the pseudonym Starbuck. Starring Patrick Huard, Antoine Bertrand, Julie le Breton.  Directed by Ken Scott (Sticky Fingers).

January 21:           
U.S.A, 2010
Rating: 14A
Runtime: 104 minutes

When his seventy-one-year-old father comes out of the closet, Oliver must explore the honesty of his own relationships. Beginners is a moving and at times hilarious portrait of family, love, loss and self-discovery that deftly juggles two chronologies of two major points in the life of its main character. Starring Ewan McGregor, Christopher Plummer and Mélanie Laurent. Directed by Mike Mills (Does Your Soul Have a Cold?, Thumbsucker).

January 28:          
The First Grader 
U.K., 2011
Rating: PG
Runtime: 98 minutes
Runner-up for the People’s Choice Award at the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival.

When the government of Kenya announces it will offer free primary education for the first time, eighty-four-year-old Kimani N’gan’ga Maruge shows up on the doorstep of a rural school ready for class. A member of the generation that liberated Kenya from British rule, fought for freedom and endured horrors at the hands of the colonizers, Maruge now only wants the education he never had the time or opportunity to obtain. A remarkable true story that speaks to the universal human desire to improve our lives by improving ourselves. Starring Naomie Harris and Oliver Musila Litondo. Directed by Justin Chadwick (The Other Boleyn Girl).

The feature films for the February 4, 11, 18 and 25 screenings will be confirmed at a later date.

Documentary Film Series

January 6:            
Bill Cunningham New York
U.S.A., France, 2010
Rating: PG
Runtime: 84 minutes

For decades, 80+ New York Times photographer Bill Cunningham, the Schwinn-riding cultural anthropologist, has been obsessively and inventively chronicling fashion trends and high society charity soirées for the Times Style section in his columns On the Street and Evening Hours. Documenting uptown fixtures, downtown eccentrics and everyone in between, Cunningham’s enormous body of work is more reliable than any catwalk as an expression of time, place and individual flair. A delicate, funny and often poignant portrait of a dedicated artist whose only wealth is his own humanity and unassuming grace. Featuring Bill Cunningham, Anna Wintour, Tom Wolfe, Brooke Astor, David Rockefeller and many others. Directed by Richard Press.

 January 13:          
The Topp Twins 
New Zealand, 2009
Rating: PG
Runtime: 84 minutes
Winner of the People’s Choice Award for Best Documentary at the 2009 Toronto International Film Festival.

A hilarious and heart-warming look at Jools and Lynda Toppare, one of New Zealand’s most cherished and charmingly irrepressible performing duos and the world’s only yodeling, lesbian, country-and-western-singing twins. Against the larger canvas of seismic social change in New Zealand, the sisters’ lives are traced over fifty years, from their humble beginnings on a small dairy farm to their present-day stage success through a compilation of interviews, performance footage, home videos and newsreel archives. Part biopic, part concert film, part comedy, The Topp Twins is a funny and insightful study of how we define our identities personally, culturally and nationally. Featuring Lynda Topp and Jools Topp. Directed by Leanne Pooley (Being Billy Apple).

January 20:          
U.S.A., 2011
Rating: PG
Runtime: 89 minutes

The richly textured and visually stunning film follows Buck Brannaman, a real-life “horse-whisperer”, from his abusive childhood to his phenomenally successful approach to horses. Possessing near magical abilities, Buck dramatically transforms horses – and people – with his understanding, compassion and respect. A truly American story about an unsung hero, Buck is about an ordinary man who has made an extraordinary life despite tremendous odds. Featuring Buck Brannaman and Robert Redford. Directed by Cindy Meehl.

February 3:          
Forks Over Knives
U.S.A., 2011
Rating: PG
Runtime: 90 minutes

Forks Over Knives examines the profound claim that most, if not all, of the degenerative diseases that afflict us can be controlled, or even reversed, by rejecting our present menu of animal-based and processed foods. Featuring Joey Aucoin, Neal Barnard and Gene Baur. Directed by Lee Fulkerson.

February 10:        
Page One: Inside The New York Times 
U.S.A., 2001
Rating: 14A
Runtime: 88 minutes

Join filmmaker Andrew Rossi as he goes behind-the-scenes inside the newsroom at The New York Times following journalists on the paper’s Media Desk — the department created to cover the transformation of the media industry. Featuring David Carr and Bruce Headlam. Directed by Andrew Rossi.

February 17:        
Project Nim  
U.K., U.S.A., 2011
Rating: PG
Runtime: 93 minutes

A provocative and surprisingly emotional saga documenting the extraordinary journey of Nim Chimpsky, a chimpanzee who in the 1970’s became the focus of a radical experiment aimed to prove that an ape could learn to communicate using sign language if reared and nurtured like a human child. Raising big questions about ethics, parenting strategies and what separates man from animal, the film follows Nim’s journey through human society, and the impact he makes on the people he meets along the way. Featuring Bob Angelini, Bern Cohen, Nim, Dr. Herb Terrace, Stephanie LaFarge, Reagan Leonard and Bob Ingersoll. Directed by James Marsh.


In the spirit of Bernard Shaw, the Shaw Festival provokes the mind and stirs the soul through a theatre experience so compelling that, year after year, ever-broadening groups of artists, audiences and supporters are drawn to our work in Niagara-on-the-Lake and beyond. 

Please visit our website at www.shawfest.com/news  for other Shaw Festival media releases. 

Images from the films featured during the 2012 Shaw Festival Film Series are available.
The Shaw Festival also has an image bank features 300 dpi photographs of the 2012 season handbook photo illustrations, members of the Ensemble, photographs of our theatres, Bernard Shaw and the town of Niagara-on-the-Lake. To access film publicity images or The Shaw’s image bank, please contact:

Odette Yazbeck 
Public Relations Director 
905-468-2153 or 1-800-657-1106 ext. 2222

Jenniffer Anand
Public Relations Coordinator
905-468-2153 or 1-800-657-1106 ext. 2224

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