FIN Atlantic International Film Festival announces this year’s line-up

2019 festival will feature over 120 film screenings and special events in Halifax from September 12-19

The 2019 FIN Atlantic International Film Festival opened with the debut feature film from Halifax filmmaker Heather Young.
The 2019 FIN Atlantic International Film Festival opened with the debut feature film from Halifax filmmaker Heather Young.

In a media release, the FIN Atlantic International Film Festival announced its full program for 2019. This year’s festival will feature over 120 film screenings and special events to be presented over eight days in Halifax from September 12-19.

The festival will open on September 12 with Murmur. The debut feature film from award-winning Halifax filmmaker Heather Young, it is the story of a woman grappling with alcohol dependence and loneliness, struggling to find a way to ease the pain. Starring a cast of Nova Scotian non-professional actors, many of whom are playing themselves in the film, Young has crafted a quiet and contemplative movie about aging and the human-animal connection.

Closing the festival on September 19 is the black-and-white shot film The Lighthouse, starring Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson. Director Robert Eggers chose Nova Scotia’s Yarmouth and Cape Forchu as the locations for this tale of two men stationed on an offshore lighthouse for four weeks in the late 1890s. Over the course of the time they spend together, they descend into a maelstrom of terror and madness.

“The Atlantic International Film Festival has always been about discovery of awesome films from around the world, and wow are we setting the bar this year,” says Wayne Carter, executive director in the media release. “From the astounding opener Murmur, the debut feature from Halifax filmmaker Heather Young to the locally shot bonafide Oscar contender The Lighthouse as the closer, we are giving audiences the opportunity to travel around the world through film and back again with some of the best movies this year.”

In addition to the festival’s opening and closing night films, this year’s gala presentations lineup will once again feature screenings twice per night, including two Atlantic Canada films. In Assholes: A Theory, documentary filmmaker John Walker explores assholes and what makes them tick, and in Conviction, directors Nance Ackerman, Ariella Pahlke, and Teresa MacInnes, investigate alternatives to prison through the eyes of women behind bars.

Others in the gala presentations program include François Girard’s The Song of Names, Atom Egoyan’s Guest of Honour, and François Ozon’s Grâce à Dieu (By the Grace of God).

Additional highlights over the festival week are the the shorts program, with nine short films from Atlantic Canadian filmmakers, and the special presentations line-up of award-winning films including the Palme d’Or winning black comedy Parasite (Gisaengchung), and the Cannes Jury Prize-winner Les Misérables.

Music also plays a big part at this year’s festival with films about Gordon Lightfoot, INXS lead singer Michael Hutchene, the band Swans, and a profile of Linda Ronstadt.

Not for the faint-of-heart, the festival’s extreme program returns with Brazil’s Bachurau, a wild riff on the “spaghetti western”, and Alejandro Landes’ Monos, the story of guerilla warfare child soldiers.

The film festival also partners with the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia (AGNS) this year with two documentaries from Althea Thauberger, who will be the subject of an exhibit at the AGNS this fall. As well, this year’s restored program features four films directed by innovative filmmaker Agnès Varda, complementing the screening of the documentary Varda by Agnès.

Alongside the films, the 2019 Atlantic International Film Festival includes a number of special events and parties, and will play host to delegates from more than twenty countries with a series of networking events and panel discussions with industry leaders.

The 2019 Atlantic International Film runs September 12-19 with film screenings at the Cineplex Park Lane Theatre (5657 Spring Garden Rd, Halifax). Tickets are available now online at or through the Dalhousie Arts Centre Box Office. The festival box office opens on September 3 in the Park Lane Mall.