This is a list of all of GFF’s 2019 Feature Films! For browsing all of GFF’s 2019 Films, also check out:
- Complete Alphabetical Film List
- Short Films Series
- Film Series Page
- ‘Cinema Outside the Box’ Special Events Page
A Colony (Une colonie)
dir. Geneviève Dulude-De Celles
2018 | Canada | 102 mins
Mylia, a timid 12-year-old, must leave her little sister and native countryside to enter high school. Lost in this new hostile environment, she meets Jacinthe, who introduces her to teenage rituals and absurdities, and Jimmy, a fierce young Abenaki boy from the neighbouring reserve, whom she secretly befriends. Together, they will trace the contours of a new life in the age of first times.
dir. Gabriela Pichler
2018 | Sweden | 102 min.
A sleepy Swedish province hopes to lure a discount store chain by hiring a pompous commercial director to document their town’s worthiness, but two bright, brash high school girls from immigrant families use their cellphones and selfie sticks to tell the real story.
dir. Nadine Labaki
2018 | Lebanon / France / United States | 126 min
After running away from his negligent parents, committing a violent crime and being sentenced to five years in jail, a hardened, streetwise 12-year-old Lebanese boy sues his parents in protest of the life they have given him.
The Deposit, The (Tryggð)
dir. Ásthildur Kjartansdóttir
2019| Iceland | 90 mins | PG
When investigative journalist Gisella becomes bankrupt, she decides to rent out her spare bedrooms to two immigrant women, seeing a way out of debt and potential material for her next writing piece. The arrangement begins well for all parties but gradually her tenants begin to threaten Gisella’s control of the house, her morals and her sanity.
dir. Gabriel Abrantes & Daniel Schmidt
2018| Portugal / France / Brazil | 92 mins | 14A
Diamantino, the world’s premiere soccer star loses his special touch and ends his career in disgrace. Searching for a new purpose, the international icon sets out on a delirious odyssey where he confronts neo-fascism, the refugee crisis, genetic modification, and the hunt for the source of genius.
dir. Kent Jones
2018| USA | 92 mins | PG
For Diane, everyone else comes first. Generous but with little patience for self-pity, she spends her days checking in on sick friends, volunteering at her local soup kitchen, and trying valiantly to save her troubled, drug-addicted adult son from himself. But beneath her relentless routine of self-sacrifice, Diane is fighting a desperate internal battle, haunted by past mistakes which threaten to tear her increasingly chaotic world apart.
dir. João Miller Guerra & Filipa Reis
2018| Portugal / Brazil / Cape Verde Islands | 92 mins | PG
After coming into a little money, slacker Rastafarian Djon África traces his roots to the islands of Cape Verde in search of the father he never knew. With vague information about some relatives who live on the islands, he sets off to track them down. But soon, the locals and their ways—especially the consumption of grogue, a powerful local liquor—weaken his resolve, and he begins to give himself over to the island’s rhythms.
Edge of the Knife (Sgaawaay K’uuna)
dir. Gwaii Edenshaw / Helen Haig-Brown
2018 | Canada | 100 min.
In the 19th-century, two large families gather for their annual fishing retreat on the island of Haida Gwaii. Adiits’ii, a charming nobleman, accidentally causes the death of his friend Kwa’s son and hastens into the wilderness. Adiits’ii is tormented by what he has done and spirals into insanity, becoming Gaagiixid, a supernatural being crazed by hunger. He unexpectedly survives the winter, and at next year’s gathering, the families try to convert Gaagiixid back to Adiitst’ii.
dir. Danielle Sturk
2018 | Manitoba | 44 mins | G
*FILMMAKER IN ATTENDANCE!!
Danielle Sturk crafts a whimsical documentary history of her family’s St. Boniface truck stop diner, El Toro, located between Canada Packers and the Union Stockyards in the 1960s and 70s. The film rebuilds the walls, stools, and atmosphere of the restaurant, recreating a surreal, rich, and imaginative world, evoking a lost time and place through the lens of memory, nostalgia and love.
dir. Jazmin Mozaffari
2018 | Canada | 93 min.
Lou and Chantal plan to get out of their desolate town and move far away. When Chantal’s ex-boyfriend violates her during a night of partying, the girls decide to exact their revenge. The consequences of their actions are devastating, threatening their chances of leaving. The more Lou fights to save her friendship and hold onto her dreams, the more she spins out of control as she realizes that freedom will come at a high cost.
The Fireflies are Gone
dir. Sébastien Pilote
2019| Canada | 96 mins | PG
With high school ending, the disaffected Le?o dreams of escape. She feels stuck in her small Que?be?cois town. The easiest target for her frustrations is her stepdad, a local talk-radio celebrity on the wrong side of a political divide that forced her union-organizing father out of town. Enter Steve, an older metal-head who still lives in his mother’s basement. As their relationship grows over the summer, feelings linger beneath the surface, and Le?o must decide how to express her deep desire for something more.
dir. Waad Al-Kateab & Edward Watts
2019 | United States / United Kingdom / Syria | 100 min.
For Sama is both an intimate and epic journey into the female experience of war. A love letter from a young mother to her daughter, the film tells the story of Waad al-Kateab’s life through five years of the uprising in Aleppo, Syria. Her camera captures incredible stories of loss, laughter and survival as Waad wrestles with an impossible choice– flee to protect her daughter’s life or stay and continue the struggle for freedom.
Gods of Molenbeek
dir. Reetta Huhtanen
2019 | Finland | 73 min.
The district of Molenbeek in Brussels has become world-famous as a center of jihadism, but for six-year-old Aatos and his friend Amine it’s home and a place for them to dream. Here they search for spiders, fly magic carpets and also ponder life’s big questions. Is there a God, and if so who are they? Gods of Molenbeek is a whimsical portrait of childhood friendship, inquiry and the creation of meaning in a chaotic time.
dir. Mike Maryniuk
2018 | Manitoba | 68 mins | PG
*FILMMAKER IN ATTENDANCE!!
The Goose is a mute young man who attempts to regain his voice and escape his oppressive surroundings with the help of The Travel Agent. The Goose must traverse a gauntlet of miscommunication, small town bravado and snowbird weirdos to achieve his goal. He meets The Escape Artist in the hospital and they hatch a plot to migrate to Arizona, where The Goose can receive voice therapy and The Escape Artist can escape winter’s clutches.
dir. Penny Lane
2019 | United States | 95 min.
*FILMMAKER IN ATTENDANCE!!
With unprecedented access, Hail Satan? traces the rise of The Satanic Temple: only six years old and already one of the most controversial religious movements in American history. The Temple and its enigmatic leader Lucien Greaves are calling for a Satanic revolution to save the nation’s soul. But are they for real?
The Hottest August
dir. Brett Story
2019 | Canada/United States | 94 min.
Future generations will ask this question: What were we doing while the planet burned? The Hottest August attempts to answer the question during one sweltering month in 2017, New York City’s hottest August in recorded history. A portrait of collective anxiety, the film seeks out New Yorkers from each of the boroughs recording conversations on everything but climate change. In an increasingly uncertain world, threats appear to arise from everywhere other than a warming planet.
In My Blood It Runs
dir. Maya Newell
2019 | Australia | 90 min.
Ten-year-old Dujuan is a healer, hunter and proud Arrernte boy who speaks three languages. He lives in Alice Springs, Australia where 100% of the children in juvenile detention centres are Indigenous. His personality and charm are infectious. Yet he’s failing at school and his family is facing increasing scrutiny from the police as he travels perilously close to incarceration. In this stunning observational documentary, traditional culture and colonial ideas clash as Dujuan’s future is held in the balance.
Into Invisible Light
dir. Shelagh Carter
2018 | Canada | 99 mins | PG
*FILMMAKER IN ATTENDANCE!!
Confronted by odd directive from her late husband’s estate, Helena Grayson is inspired to reawaken a long-buried desire to write. When she’s unexpectedly drawn into an encounter with an old flame she is further challenged to explore her creative voice. Conceived under the sway of both love and art Into Invisible Light is a story of forgiveness, second chances and the revitalizing power of art.
dir. Liza Mandelup2019 | United States | 99 min.
*FILMMAKER IN ATTENDANCE!!
In rural Tennessee, 16-year-old Austyn Tester attempts to ride a wave of social-media fueled optimism to become the next big internet crush.Teen girls all over the world tune into online “boy broadcasts” like Tester’s, hoping that their fave heartthrobs might actually interact with them online for a minute or two—or more for the right price. But Tester’s earnestness sets him apart, peering wide-eyed into his laptop camera and professing unconditional love and support to his female fans. In return, he asks for fame and a better life for his family. Will Tester’s open heart give him celebrity status and a chance to escape from his dead-end town, or is this new ecosystem built for failure and exploitation?
Killing Patient Zero
dir. Laurie Lynd
2019 | Canada | 100 min
The Stonewall riots and the gay liberation movement ushered in a new era of freedom but it also signalled the beginning of an impending epidemic of AIDS. Gaetan Dugas was a gay French-Canadian flight attendant who offered to help early scientific research into the origins of AIDS. An unfortunate series of events followed and he would be vilified as Patient Zero, the man who gave us AIDS.
dir. Iván Osnovikoff & Bettina Perut
2018| Chile / Germany | 78 mins | PG
Chola and Football are a couple of street dogs that live in the Los Reyes skatepark in Santiago, Chile. A microcosm is organized around them composed of things, animals and young adolescents in conflict with an adult world that they reject but are expected to enter. In this whimsical and poignant documentary the directors artfully build a story through quiet observation and inquiry placing Chola and Football at the centre of a skatepark drama.
dir. Claudia Sparrow
2019 | United States | 88 min.
An Indigenous woman from the Peruvian Andes who cannot read or write, stands up to one of the largest gold producers in the world, US-based Newmont Mining Corporation, who has claimed ownership of her land in order to expand its multi-billion dollar gold mine. In this David vs Goliath story we witness Máxima’s courage as she fights back to protect the one thing worth more than gold: the land and its ability to sustain her and her community.
dir. Luke Lorentzen
2019 | USA / Mexico | 90 mins | 14A
In Mexico City’s wealthiest neighborhoods, the Ochoa family runs a private ambulance competing with other for-profit EMTs for patients in need of urgent help. As the Ochoas try to make a living in this fraught industry they struggle to keep their dire finances from compromising the people in their care.
dir. Shireen Seno
2019 | Philippines | 90 mins | PG
Eight-year-old Yael is shy and ill at ease. She prefers writing letters over performing dances for her applauding Filipino family. She listens endlessly to the cassette tapes recorded by her father, who is spending years working away from home. Her uncle, a rock star, acts as something of a surrogate father. When she hears an advertisement for a pen that will give her a ‘wonderful life’, she decides to spend all her savings on it.
nîpawistamâsowin: We Will Stand Up
dir. Tasha Hubbard
2019 | Canada | 98 min.
When Colten Boushie died from a gunshot to the back of his head after entering Gerald Stanley’s rural property with his friends, the Cree man’s death captured international attention. Sensitively directed by Tasha Hubbard, nîpawistamâsowin: We Will Stand Up weaves a profound narrative encompassing the filmmaker’s own adoption, the stark history of colonialism on the Prairies, and a vision of a future where Indigenous children can live safely on their homelands.
One Child Nation
dir. Lynn Zhang & Nanfu Wang
2019 | China/United States | 85 min.
China’s one child policy has led to unthinkable human rights violations. Director Nanfu Wang digs fearlessly into her own personal life, weaving her experience as a new mother and the firsthand accounts of her family members with testimony from both victims and perpetrators. She fearlessly uncovers how government propaganda brainwashed and terrorized people into committing criminal acts against their own friends and family. The film is a revelatory and essential record of China’s chilling social experiment.
Recorder: The Marion Stokes Project
dir. Matt Wolf
2019 | USA | 87 mins | PG
Marion Stokes was secretly recording television 24 hours a day for 30 years amassing 70,000 personal VHS tapes. As television networks were disposing their archives into the trash she was storing everything that was said and shown on television. This film skillfuly digs into the inner world of a radical Communist who would eventually pay the price for dedicating her life to this visionary and maddening project.
The Seer and the Unseen
dir. Sara Dosa
2019| USA/Iceland | 88 mins | G
Amid Iceland’s majestic wilderness, a lava field of ecological importance is about to be demolished by the largest bulldozer in the country. Standing in front of that bulldozer is Ragga, environmentalist and celebrated “seer” into the invisible realm of elves. This film explores the hidden forces that shape our visible worlds and transform our natural landscapes.
Silence is a Falling Body
dir. Agustina Comedi
2017| Argentina | 75 mins | PG
Jaime recorded everything, even his own death. His daughter Agustina delves into her father’s past via his collection of old VHS and 8mm home footage discovering a man who went to great lengths to keep his sexuality a secret. It was the 1980s in Argentina and homosexuality was still taboo. Agustina compassionately asks, what was it like for her father to live a lie?
dir. Joanna Hogg
2019| UK / USA | 120 mins | 14A
A shy but ambitious film student (Honor Swinton Byrne) begins to find her voice as an artist while navigating a turbulent courtship with a charismatic but untrustworthy man. She defies her protective mother (Tilda Swinton) and concerned friends as she slips deeper and deeper into an intense, emotionally fraught relationship that comes dangerously close to destroying her dreams.
dir. László Nemes
2018| Hungary / France | 144 mins | 14A
Set in Budapest in 1913, when the city was considered to be at the heart of Europe. 20-year-old Irisz arrives in the Hungarian capital after spending her younger years in an orphanage, hoping to work as a milliner in the legendary hat store that belonged to her late parents. She is suddenly confronted with her past and starts searching for answers about her family before stumbling upon dark secrets.
There Are No Fakes
dir. Jamie Kastner
2018| Canada | 114 mins | PG
*FILMMAKER IN ATTENDANCE!!
When the authenticity of a $20,000 painting by Canadian Indigenous art legend, Norval Morriseau, gets called into question it unravels an ominous art forgery ring that stretches across Ontario. Owner Kevin Hearn soon discovers some very unsettling truths about his painting and the authenticity of 3000 Morriseau paintings collectively worth $30 million. A story with wild and surprising twists and turns, this documentary considers questions of cultural appropriation, exploitation and an artist caught between two worlds.
Urban Eclipse: Rising Tides of Kekekoziibii (Shoal Lake 40)
dir. Jesse Green & Vanda Fleury-Green
2019 | Manitoba | 77 mins
*FILMMAKERS IN ATTENDANCE!!
The Shoal Lake aqueduct is a major artery piping drinking water to homes in Winnipeg. But its history speaks to a dirty truth for Kekekoziibii, the Shoal Lake 40 First Nation who was displaced, isolated and robbed of its own drinking water. Filmmaker Jesse Green travels back to his home community interviewing people about the impacts of the aqueduct in the 100 years since it was built.
When the Storm Fades
dir. Sean Devlin
2018| Canada | 81 mins | PG
A Filipino family reenacts their own experiences of resolutely rebuilding their homes and lives in the wake of the devastation wrought by 2013’s Hurricane Yolanda. Not helping matters are two ineffectual Canadian foreign aid workers who aren’t quite the white saviours they fancy themselves to be.
Woman at War (Kona fer í stríð)
dir. Benedikt Erlingsson
2019 | Iceland/France/Ukraine | 101 mins | PG
Halla, a woman in her forties, declares war on the local aluminum industry to prevent it from disfiguring her country. She risks all she has to protect the highlands of Iceland, but the situation could change with the unexpected arrival of a small orphan in her life.