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East Coast

Film from the Edge

Film-from-the-Edge_The-Social-Shift-3The Social Shift

The FIN Festival puts the spotlight on east coast filmmaking talents

By: Trevor J. Adams


For cinephiles, September 13 to 20 is the best week of the year in Halifax. FIN Atlantic International Film Festival returns to the city with myriad screenings and special events. Billed as “an eight-day celebration of film, media, and music from around the world,” FIN makes Halifax a must-visit destination for industry insiders. 

As one of Canada’s Big Four film festivals, FIN screens many films that are likely to be darlings of the festival circuit, but the focus on East Coast talents and productions is what makes this event truly unique. Unless otherwise noted, gala screenings are at Cineplex Theatres at Park Lane on Spring Garden Road.

Just Be Gemma


September 13
Opening Night Gala at the Dalhousie Arts Centre Splinters by Thom Fitzgerald (Nova Scotia). A winner of over two dozen international awards, Fitzgerald adapts the Lee-Anne Poole play Splinters.

September 14
An Audience of Chairs by Deanne Foley (Newfoundland). The story of a gifted woman struggling to cope with mental illness and reconnect with her estranged children. Adapted from the award-winning Joan Clark novel of the same name.

Immaculate Memories

September 15
Hopeless Romantic by Deanne Foley, Megan Wennberg, Latonia Hartery, Stephanie Clattenburg, Martine Blue, Ruth Lawrence (Nova Scotia, Newfoundland). An ensemble of directors offer a wry and funny subversion of the predictable rom-com genre.

September 16
Reel East Coast Shorts Gala. Nine films representing all four Atlantic Provinces. 

The Girls of Meru

September 16
G. Patrick Condon’s Incredible Violence by G. Patrick Condon (Newfoundland). “A hack filmmaker wastes the money lent to him by a mysterious organization, and so has to take matters into his own hands by locking a cast of actors in a house and becoming the villain in his own slasher movie.” —IMDB

September 17
Love, Scott by Laura Marie Wayne (Nova Scotia). The journey of a young gay musician who is attacked and left paralyzed from the waist down. Described as an “intimate and visually evocative window into the queer experience.”

The Capital Project

And this is just a small selection of what FIN has to offer. Other highlights include the special presentation Halloween Party by Nova Scotian Jay Dahl, the feature Pogey Beach by Jeremy Larter of Prince Edward Island, and the “Cinema 902” series, featuring Nova Scotian productions like Aliens with Knives (Struan Sutherland, Nicole Steeves), Creepy Crawling (Chelsea Comeau), and The Last Divide (DIllon Garland).

For even more on FIN and festival events, surf to finfestival.ca.

Musical collaborations

By Trevor J. Adams

Rising stars and beloved veterans join forces for a fiery month of music in Halifax.

This month Symphony Nova Scotia’s new season is going full swing, seeing some remarkable collaborations between local stars and touring talents. The excitement begins on October 2 and 3, as hip-hop artist Buck 65 (AKA CBC Radio host Rich Terfry) returns home to Nova Scotia. The Symphony promises fans “a mind-blowing mash-up of symphonic electronic hip-hop.” The Dalhousie Arts Centre on University Avenue hosts the show.

Buck 65

Buck 65

Up next, the Symphony welcomes back Giora Schmidt. This concert is a must for classical purists. The violin virtuoso has wowed audiences on previous visits with his classical mastery. This time, he turns his considerable talents to Sibelius, marking the 150th anniversary of the conductor’s birth with an in-depth exploration of his music. See him on October 15 at the Dalhousie Arts Centre and on October 18 at Alderney Landing—where the Halifax Transit ferries dock—in Dartmouth.

On October 23 and 24, the Symphony returns to the Dalhousie Arts Centre for one of its most popular concerts of the year: the Halifax Pop Explosion collaboration. This year, it shares the stage with indie rocker and Halifax native Rich Aucoin. A critically acclaimed master of indie rock, indie pop, and experimental music, Aucoin is sure to take audiences on an unforgettable trip.

Giora Schmidt

Giora Schmidt

And that concert is just a taste of what the Halifax Pop Explosion offers. Running from October 20 to 24, the festival celebrates the best in alt and indie music, with accomplished veterans sharing stages with rising stars.

Rich Aucoin. Photo: Vanessa Heins

Rich Aucoin. Photo: Vanessa Heins

Venues include public spaces like Government House and Saint Matthew’s United Church, plus traditional nightspots The Carleton, The Marquee Ballroom on Gottingen Street, the Seahorse Tavern on Gottingen Street, Gus’ Pub on North Street, the Company House on Gottingen Street, Olympic Community Centre on Hunter Street, and Reflections Cabaret on Sackville Street.

With 150 performers at 15 different venues around the city, this is the East Coast’s biggest celebration of alternative music. This year’s lineup includes Travi$ Scott, Purity Ring, Stars, The Dillinger Escape Plan, Black Tiger Sex Machine, and many others.

Leonie Rettig

Leonie Rettig

And on October 29, the Symphony wraps up its busy month with another gem for true classical aficionados. Hailed by Symphony Nova Scotia’s Maestro Bernhard Gueller as “an extremely talented, wonderful player,” German virtuoso pianist Leonie Rettig makes her Canadian debut with Ravel’s breathtaking Piano Concerto in G, a fantastically colourful work famed for its brilliant melodies and heartbreaking slow movement. Then, the orchestra performs Beethoven’s Second Symphony, brimming with energy and temperament. See her at the Dalhousie Arts Centre.

Hot Dates: Atlantic Film Festival

September 15 to 24: The Atlantic Film Festival attracts top actors, directors and producers, but still has a casual East Coast vibe. It showcases some of the best international, Canadian and Atlantic Canadian films, while featuring some of the best musical talent the region has to offer.