Greetings ladies and gentlemen!
I welcome you all to the first time I entertain an audience outside of my own blog. For those non-acquainted with me (most of you), my name is Roger Newhook. Hailing from gorgeous downtown St. John’s, I spend most of my time watching movies, entertaining my dog, watching more movies, and then writing about them here. It’s still a work in progress so I apologize if it’s a little rough around the edges.
The occasion that brings me to the Signal? Why the 13th Annual Nickel Independent Film Festival of course!
I’ve been kindly asked to cover this event for this lovely blog and I’m incredibly excited to hang out with you guys for the next couple of weeks.
For any of you not versed in the Newfoundland independent film circuit, here’s a rundown of the Nickel Film Festival. It started back in 2001 by prominent St. John’s filmmaker Roger Maunder. Conceived from the idea of showcasing Newfoundland’s independent film culture, and named after the province’s first movie theater, Roger gave us all the Nickel Film Festival.
Spanning for 5 days and nights during the third week of June (this year landing on the 18th-22nd), it introduces local talent through nightly screenings at the LSPU hall in downtown St. John’s. It also gives the opportunity to further immerse those interested in the field with film-making workshops, hosted by event staff and supporters, during the days.
Since it’s beginning the festival has grown to include not only local talent, but short films and filmmakers from around the world. This year the festival has a healthy selection of local material, but also showcases talent from the rest of Canada, the US, Ireland, Sweden, Spain, China and Afghanistan. Needless to say, it’s expanding.
So with it’s origin behind us, let’s look to the future.
With opening night just around the corner I could sit here and detail everything you need to know going in. What movies are playing, who made them, what I think, and so on.
If you can only attend one or two nights then don’t fret, any of the five will be sure to entertain! After spending the past couple of days sifting through the selection, I feel confident in saying that this festival is great at spreading the love. With the exception of the Late Night Horror Show, which any horror fans should attend, there is no nightly theme or order. You can stop by any night and get a diverse set of films made locally and from abroad.
The regular shows start at 8:00PM, with the horror show starting 10:30PM on night 3. If you want to do a little mingling with some of the talent involved, then head down to the LSPU hall (located at 3 Victoria St.) a little early. What you’ll quickly come to love about the Nickel is the warm and open nature of it. There is a lot of work that goes into this humble festival and a lot of that comes from the organizer’s love of the industry and our local talent. The people working there will greet you with a smile, have a chat, and provide a laugh or two I’m sure.
I’m happy to say I’ll be hitting up each and every night and reporting my thoughts as the festival progresses. I have taken the week off work so I’ll be posting here as often as my train of thought and fingers will let me. I’m picking up a case of redbull and expecting a few late nights to make sure you’re all kept up to date.
The action all kicks off tonight at The Levee with the return of The Nickel Launch Party. No cover, drinks, dancing, and music courtesy of One Power guarantee a good time.
What I leave you fine people with today, is a quick rundown of the ten films I’m most excited about and a little synopsis why. I list these in no particular order and I am by no means saying that I’m not excited for the rest of the lineup. Last year I was pleasantly surprised by some of the films I saw that I knew nothing about. One of the great things about a festival like this is being almost forced to go in blind. There’s a certain pleasure in being part of a group that gets to see a film for the first time.
Without further delay here’s the top ten films that pander to my own personal taste in film playing this year:
1)The Last Supper (Night 3) – short with the promise of great dialogue.
2)Desperate Scribbles (Night 4) – another short thriller with the opportunity to be dialogue heavy.
3)Better People (Night 2) – not so much anticipating this one as I’ve already seen it online a while ago, but extremely excited to see it on the big screen at the hall regardless. I’m expecting a very warm reception for this one.
4)Buzkashi Boys (Night 5)- Oscar nominated for best live action short film. Looks visually stunning.
5)Survivor Type (Night 3 Horror Show) – adaptation of a Stephen King story that has won a few awards in the film festival circuit.
6)Life Doesn’t Frighten Me (Night 5) – starring the great Gordon Pinsent. Looks to be a fun, coming of age comedy in the style of Moonrise Kingdom and Little Miss Sunshine.
7)One More Song (Night 1) – incredibly intriguing concept. Expecting a great score from local musician Ian Foster.
8)Animation Hotline (Night 1) – deftly original. Holds the possibility to be quite hilarious.
9)Boys From County Hell (Night 3 Horror Show) – looks pleasantly dark with a hint of humor wrapped in an Irish accent.
10)Final View (Night 4) – shot in almost one full take. I’m a sucker for long shots.
So there you have it. I’ll see next week how these all pan out. But until then you can visit The Nickel’s website, Facebook and Twitter pages at the links below. I’ve also included a link to my own Twitter page as well. I’ll be tweeting throughout the week so be sure to follow me there.
Otherwise, I’ll hopefully see you all Tuesday for opening night!
The Nickel Homepage
The Nickel Facebook Page
The Nickel Twitter Page
My own personal Twitter Page