Halifax Independent Filmmakers Festival celebrates 15 years

This year's annual celebration of independent cinema streams online June 24–27 and includes a special 15th anniversary retrospective of some of the most memorable Atlantic shorts in HIFF history.

Canadian filmmaker Bruce LaBruce's Saint-Narcisse is one of the film's featured at this year's Halifax Independent Filmmakers Festival.
Canadian filmmaker Bruce LaBruce's Saint-Narcisse is one of the film's featured at this year's Halifax Independent Filmmakers Festival.

The Atlantic Filmmakers Cooperative goes online for the second year in a row, with the annual Halifax Independent Filmmakers Festival (HIFF) set to stream this month in a celebration of independent cinema from Atlantic Canada and beyond.

To celebrate its 15th anniversary in 2021, this year’s HIFF will present a special 15th Anniversary Retrospective, including some of the most memorable Atlantic shorts in HIFF history. Local filmmakers will also be represented in its Atlantic Auteurs Shorts Program.

The 2021 Halifax Independent Filmmakers Festival runs June 24-27. Visit hiff.ca for tickets and information.

In addition to the Retrospective and Atlantic Auteurs Shorts Program, here are three feature films we think you should not miss this year:

Saint-Narcisse

Set in 1972 Quebec, Saint-Narcisse struts between the sacred and the profane in a bizarre and provocative homage to the classic myth of Narcissus. Shot in the style of 1970s cult films by cinematographer Michel La Veaux, LaBruce’s latest film provides a cheeky and compelling commentary on the normalization of narcissism through a homecoming tale of sainthood, seduction, and redemption.

Mama, Mama, Mama

From Brazil comes Mama, Mama, Mama, an examination of grief through the eyes of Cleo, a young girl whose sister has just died in a tragic accident who spends her summer with her cousins as she watches her mother fall further and further into paralyzing grief. This feature debut from Argentinian director Sol Berruezo Pichon-Rivière was created by a cast and crew made up of women.

The American Sector

In this documentary feature, directors Courtney Stephens and Pacho Velez explore the lasting legacy of the Berlin Wall as the pair travels across America, visiting segments of the wall that were salvaged and shipped overseas to become public monuments, personal collectibles, corporate lobby decorations, and more.

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