2020 FILMS

Friday, February 14

The Fireflies Are Gone

Canada, 2018, 96 min, Subtitled, Drama | Guest in Attendance

Directed by Sébastien Pilote, Starring Karelle Tremblay

Rated PG

Summer is near and classes are coming to an end in a former industrial town on the end of a large bay. Léo, a young and disaffected girl, meets Steve, a reclusive guitarist. Léo lives with her mother and stepfather Paul, a populist radio show host who forced her father into exile up north. Sylvain, Léo’s father, is a dethroned union leader whom she greatly misses. A stranger in her own world, frustrated and angry, it is through her budding relationship with Steve, set to the rhythm of their guitar lessons, that she’ll be able to find some kind of comfort and ultimately take flight. A “beautifully crafted and emotionally effective drama” (Screen Daily), The Fireflies Are Gone won the award for Best Canadian Feature Film at the Toronto International Film Festival.


India, 2018, 99 min, Subtitled, Drama/Romance

Directed by Rohena Gera

Rated PG

Ratna works as domestic live-in help with Ashwin, a man from a wealthy family. Although Ashwin seems to have it all, Ratna can sense that he has given up on his dreams. Yet Ratna, who seems to have nothing, is full of hope, determined to reach her dream. As the worlds of Ratna and Ashwin move closer together, the barriers between them seem only more insurmountable. A thoughtful, heartfelt drama with a stunning performance by Tillotama Shome as Ratna, Sir presents a visually sumptuous portrait of contemporary India. After many years of working as a screenwriter and documentary director, Rohena Gera’s first narrative feature film premiered at Cannes and won the Audience Award at World Cinema Amsterdam.

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Saturday, February 15

The Guilty

Denmark, 2018, 85 min, Subtitled, Thriller/Drama

Directed by Gustav Möller

Rated R (MPAA)


Alarm dispatcher Asger Holm answers an emergency call from a kidnapped woman. When the call is suddenly disconnected, the search for the woman and her kidnapper begins. With the phone as his only tool, Asger enters a race against time to save her. But soon Holm realizes that he is dealing with much more than a kidnapping. A lean thriller of mounting intensity that unfolds in real time, The Guilty is a small miracle of a film that uses riveting dialogue and a stunning performance by Jakob Cedergren to propel the drama forward. Co-written and directed by Gustav Moller, The Guilty premiered at Sundance and was Denmark’s submission for Best Foreign Language Film at the 2019 Academy Awards.

The Dancing Dogs of Dombrova

Canada, 2018, 102 min, Absurdist Drama | Guests in Attendance

Directed/Produced by Zack Bernbaum, Starring Douglas Nyback

Not Rated


On a cold winter night, estranged siblings Aaron (Douglas Nyback) and Sarah Cotler (Katherine Fogler) arrive at an empty train station in Dombrova, Poland. With their only available ride being a silent Driver and her precocious son, they embark on a quest to fulfil their dying grandmother’s wish – find, dig up, and bring home the bones of her favourite childhood dog, Peter. Finding the dog’s remains is easier said than done, as Sarah and Aaron must navigate Dombrova’s wintry countryside and many colourful characters, all while dealing with their own demons and strained past. The Dancing Dogs of Dombrova was nominated for the Comedy Vanguard award at the Austin Film Festival and won Best Feature and Best Director awards at the Canadian Film Fest.

Echo in the Canyon

USA, 2018, 82 min, Music Documentary

Directed by Andrew Slater

Rated PG


Echo In The Canyon celebrates the explosion of popular music that came out of LA's Laurel Canyon in the mid-60s as folk went electric and The Byrds, The Beach Boys, Buffalo Springfield and The Mamas and the Papas gave birth to the California Sound. It was a moment (1965 to 1967) when bands came to LA to emulate The Beatles and Laurel Canyon emerged as a hotbed of creativity and collaboration for a new generation of musicians who would soon put an indelible stamp on the history of American popular music. Featuring Jakob Dylan and an all-star group of musicians, Echo in the Canyon uncovers never-before-heard personal details behind the bands and their songs and how that music continues to inspire today.

The Peanut Butter Falcon

USA, 2019, 97 min, Adventure/Comedy

Directed by Tyler Nilson and Michael Schwartz

Rated PG


With heart, laughs and one of the purest on-screen friendships this year, it is hard not to fall in love with The Peanut Butter Falcon. In this adventure story set in the world of a modern Mark Twain, Zak, a young man with Down syndrome, runs away from the nursing home where he lives to chase his dream of becoming a professional wrestler by attending the wrestling school of The Salt Water Redneck. Through circumstances beyond their control, Tyler, a small-time outlaw on the run, becomes Zak's unlikely coach and ally. Together they wind through deltas, elude capture, drink whisky, find God, catch fish, and convince Eleanor, a kind nursing home employee with a story of her own, to join them on their journey.

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Sunday, February 16

City Lights

USA, 1931, 87 min, Comedy/Romance | Introduction by Trond Trondsen

Directed by Charlie Chaplin

Rated G


The most cherished film by Charlie Chaplin is also his ultimate Little Tramp chronicle. The writer-director-star achieved new levels of grace, in both physical comedy and dramatic poignancy, with this silent tale of a lovable vagrant falling for a young blind woman who sells flowers on the street and mistakes him for a millionaire. Though this Depression-era smash was made after the advent of sound, Chaplin remained steadfast in his love for the expressive beauty of the pre-talkie form. The result was the epitome of his art and the crowning achievement of silent comedy. The Nordlys audience will be treated to an extended introduction by our own Honorary Professor of Classic Cinema, Dr. Trond Trondsen.

The Body Remembers When the World Broke Open

Canada, 2019, 105 min, Drama

Directed by Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers and Kathleen Hepburn

Rated 14A


When Áila encounters a young Indigenous woman, barefoot and crying in the rain on the side of a busy street, she soon discovers that this young woman, Rosie, has just escaped a violent assault at the hands of her boyfriend. Áila decides to bring Rosie home with her and over the course of the evening, the two navigate the aftermath of this traumatic event. Inspired by a very real and transformative moment in the co-director Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers' life, The Body Remembers When the World Broke Open weaves an intricately complex, while at the same time very simple, story of a chance encounter between two Indigenous women with drastically different lived experience, navigating the aftermath of domestic abuse. The film premiered at Berlinale and won Honourable Mention for Best Canadian Feature Film at TIFF.

The Farewell

USA/China, 2019, 100 min, Partial Subtitles, Comedy/Drama

Directed by Lulu Wang

Rated PG


A headstrong Chinese-American woman returns to China when her beloved grandmother is diagnosed with terminal cancer. Billi struggles with her family's decision to keep their matriarch in the dark about her own illness as they stage an impromptu wedding to see her one last time. As Billi navigates a minefield of family expectations, she finds there is a lot to celebrate: a chance to rediscover the country she left as a child, her grandmother’s wondrous spirit, and the ties that keep on binding even when so much goes unspoken. “A heartfelt celebration of both the way we perform family and the way we live it, masterfully interweaving a gently humorous depiction of the good lie in action with a richly moving story of how family can unite and strengthen us, often in spite of ourselves.” (Rose Theatre)

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