DRIFF reveals fall lineup of films in Whitby, Ajax and Oshawa

Published September 8, 2022 at 2:38 pm

After two years of online and drive-in screenings only, The Durham Region International Film Festival (DRIFF) returns to venues across Durham September 29 to October 1, offering three days of curated in-person programming from around the globe with a focus on Canadian and Durham Region productions. This will be followed by a week of virtual screenings on a soon-to-be unveiled DRIFF On-Demand platform to be revealed September 21.

DRIFF offers affordable $10 tickets for each of four in-person programmes over the three days of the festival. A limited number of day passes for the final day at the Biltmore Theatre in Oshawa will be available for only $15 while supplies last. The pass includes a foley workshop, a behind-the-scenes industry panel, a homegrown shorts programme, a feature presentation with a preceding short film, and the awards ceremony.

“We’re very excited to finally be able to offer a variety of in-person film events at venues across the region,” said Greg Murphy, DRIFF Chair. “This year we’re adding new industry panels and workshops that are designed to engage a diverse network of audiences, filmmakers, and collaborators through a shared love of film.”

Day 1 kicks off at the Centennial Building in Whitby with the GTA premiere of STAY THE NIGHT (Canada), a warm and engaging romantic drama directed by Renuka Jeyapalan (Kim’s Convenience, Workin’ Moms, Ginny and Georgia) about the very single Grace who is prompted by a failed work opportunity to pursue a one-night stand with a stranger. It turns out he’s an on-the-outs professional athlete with a problem of his own and the two develop a connection neither of them expected. The short film BLIND SPOTS (Germany) will precede the opening night feature.

Day 2 will take place at the St. Francis Centre For Community, Arts & Culture in Ajax and offers a panel discussion with industry experts involved in the filmmaking process followed by the screening of a short film and the Canadian premiere of BULLDOG (Germany). The drama follows 21-year-old Bruno who lives in Spain with his mother Toni, who is only fifteen years older than her son. The suffocating and excessively close relationship with his mother is defining for him. When his mother starts a relationship with Hannah and she moves into the bungalow they share, Bruno finds himself in a crisis and has to decide between his own life and his relationship with his mother.

Day 3 will offer a full day of film festivities at the Biltmore Theatre in Oshawa. The afternoon programme will include an interactive experience where participants can learn how everyday items are used to enhance the auditory experience of a movie during a special foley workshop. The second behind-the-scenes opportunity is an industry panel presentation from five insiders showcasing their magical contributions.

Another peek behind the curtain will follow the screening of a selection of homegrown shorts from Ontario filmmakers. The audience will have the opportunity to ask those special guests questions about the making of their films.

The evening programme will follow at 7:00 p.m. with the short MOVIE THEATRES: LIGHTS AND SOUND (Canada) preceding the GTA premiere of REVIVAL69: The Concert that Rocked the World (Canada). The documentary, directed by Ron Chapman (Who the F**K is Arthur Fogel, The Poet of Havana, The Forbidden Shore), transports viewers back to Toronto’s Varsity Stadium in 1969, when a gutsy and visionary pair of concert promoters barely out of their teens, tries to create a festival featuring the original rock and roll bands from the 1950s. The concert was almost cancelled, until a last minute request to John Lennon and Yoko Ono saved the festival, turning it into “the second most important event in rock & roll history.” The film features appearances by John Lennon, Eric Clapton, Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis, Bo Diddley, Gene Vincent, The Doors, and Alice Cooper. The night will conclude with a Q&A with industry insiders, the awards ceremony, drinks and nibbles.

A panel of independent judges will award cash prizes to four films in the following categories during the awards ceremony: Best Student Film, Best Short Film, Best Feature Film, and Best Regional Film. The film winning the People’s Choice Award will be announced on driff.ca and on DRIFF’s social media platforms (@catchthedriff) following the completion of the virtual screenings on October 9.

Tickets and program information are available now at driff.ca.

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