Deepa Mehta, Shandi Mitchell pics to get gala treatment in Halifax


Deepa Mehta’s Midnight’s Children and Halifax director Shandi Mitchell’s The Disappeared are to receive gala screenings at the Atlantic Film Festival, organizers said Tuesday.

Mehta’s epic drama about India’s transition to independence is transferring from Toronto, while Mitchell’s debut feature was filmed off the coast of Lunenberg, Nova Scotia, and stars Billy Campbell and Shawn Doyle.

Other Canadian titles to unspool in Halifax include Borderline, where doc maker Daniel Sekulich treks across North America to explore the aftermath of 9/11, and Paul-Emile d’Entremont’s Last Chance, about five asylum seekers who have come to Canada from their native countries to escape homophobic violence.

On the theatrical drama side, there’s Francois Fournier’s Gut Wrenching Fear, a French-language film about a Latin American prizefighter smuggled into Canada and who must overcome his fear, both inside and outside the ring, and Michael Ray’s Roaming, a first feature where Rhys Bevan-John stars as a high-functioning autistic video game developer.

Elsewhere, the CBC Atlantic Shorts Gala will feature 11 short films on Sept. 18 from a slew of Atlantic Canadian filmmakers, including Mark O’Brien, Andrea Dorfman , Mike Clattenburg, Andrew MacCormack, Christian Sparkes, Gwyneth Christoffel, Anne-Renee Dumont, Andrew Hines, Jordan Canning, Lara Cassidy and Glen Matthews.

Other Canadian titles in Halifax include Anaïs Barbeau-Lavalette’s Inch’Allah, Ruba Nadda’s Inescapable, and Brandon Cronenberg’s Antiviral.

“There are several emerging filmmakers at this year’s festival with a staggering 25 first-time features in our program, including five dramas from Halifax filmmakers alone,” festival director Lia Rinaldo said Tuesday in a statement.

The Atlantic Film Festival will open on September 13 with Ken Loach’s The Angels’ Share, before closing on Sept. 20 with A Royal Affair, by Danish director Nikolaj Arcel.

Photo: Director Shandi Mitchell shooting The Disappeared