Love and Savagery and The Trailer Park Boys

Romantic drama from John N. Smith takes gala slot at AFF. Also on tap, a 'featurette' by local hero Thom Fitzgerald

The 29th Atlantic Film Festival has announced the slate for the Atlantic Canadian Film Program, this year’s collection of regional features and shorts.

The Friday, Sept. 18th Atlantic Gala Presentation screening at the Oxford Theatre in Halifax is Love and Savagery, John N. Smith’s romantic drama starring Allan Hawco and Sarah Greene. Shot in Ireland and Newfoundland, produced by Morag Productions and Park Ex Pictures in Canada and Subotica Entertainment in Ireland, the film will be distributed by Mongrel Media.

The opening-night feature on Thursday, Sept. 17 will be Trailer Park Boys: Countdown to Liquor Day, Mike Clattenburg’s sequel to the film version of his popular Showcase TV series.

Other Atlantic features to be screened over the 10-day festival include first features from Newfoundland writer/director/actor Sherry White, the gritty drama Crackie, and Grown Up Movie Star from White’s creative colleague and fellow Newfoundlander, writer/director Adriana Maggs.

‘They’ve worked together and they’re good friends,’ says festival director Lia Rinaldo. ‘But they have two distinct voices and stories.’

Nathan Fielder’s Love and Cameras in America is screening, as is Jiggers, the feature-turned-web-series from Prince Edward Island’s Adam Perry. Documentaries include the Tulku, produced through the National Film Board and directed by Gesar Mukpo, and Here I Am — Denny Doherty and The Mamas and the Papas from Paul Ledoux.

The AFF will have 10 separate programs of Atlantic short films this year. The CBC Atlantic Shorts Gala, taking place Sept. 22, will include Conscript by Jacob Owens, Date with the Dead by Justin Madol and Super Science by Joel MacKenzie.

Also included will be Thom Fitzgerald’s The Gospel According to the Blues — what Rinaldo calls a ‘featurette’ –an adaptation of George Boyd’s play Gideon’s Blues.

The NBC Universal Canada Opening Night Party, with 3,000 typically in attendance, has been moved this year from its previous Argyle Street locale to the floor of the Metro Centre. ‘Fear of the weather’ is what brought it indoors, says Rinaldo. ‘We’ve been incredibly lucky for years out in the street.’ Live music at the event will be provided by Hamilton, ON’s The Arkells and Newfoundland’s The Novaks.

The AFF runs Sept. 17-26 in Halifax.