Now in its sixth year, the Orcas Island Film Festival continues to bring brand new, celebrated cinema to island audiences.
The festival will run Oct. 10-14 and features 42 films that include 31 narrative features, eight documentaries and two shorts shown at three venues: Sea View Theatre and the main stage and the black box at Orcas Center. It also offers parties, panels and special events for film enthusiasts.
“I’m in love with every single film we are presenting,” said curator and co-director Carl Spence says. “There are films from all six major continents, six laugh-out-loud comedies and an even bigger crop of award-winning films from the world’s most important film events, including Cannes (Parasite), Berlin (Synonyms), and Sundance (Clemency). In addition, we will be presenting the two audience award-winning films from Toronto direct from their recent world premieres: ‘Jojo Rabbit’ and ‘The Cave.’”
A red carpet opening night soiree will kick off the five days of film on Thursday, Oct. 10, 4:30 p.m. at the Odd Fellows Hall. It is open to all pass holders along with ticket holders of the opening night film, which is Fernando Meirelles’ “The Two Popes” starring Anthony Hopkins and Jonathan Pryce as Pope Benedict and Pope Francis in a comedic tête-à-tête.
Thirty percent of the films this year are by women directors with 24 countries being represented. A number of actors are featured in multiple films, including Adam Driver (“Marriage Story” and “The Report”); Scarlett Johansson (“JoJo Rabbit” and “Marriage Story”); French actress Adele Haenel “Portrait of a Lady on Fire,” “Deerskin” and “The Trouble With You”); Lucas Hedges (“Honey Boy” and “Waves”).
Festival organizers say many of the international films will be strong contenders for Academy Awards, including Pedro Almodovar’s “Pain and Glory” starring Antonio Banderas; Bong Joon-Ho’s Cannes Palme d’or winning film “Parasite”; Karim Ainouz’s Cannes award-winning Brazilian melodrama “Invisible Life,” Corneliu Porumboiu’s Romanian noir crime thriller “The Whistlers.”
The festival will close with Marco Bellochio’s Italian mafioso epic “The Traitor.”
There will be a number of guest film makers in attendance: Levan Akin of Sweden’s Academy Award submission “And Then We Danced” (and this year’s recipient of the OIFF’s Vanguard Award); executive director Jean-Marc Valle; director Marie-Julie Dallaire; director Isaac Cherem; documentarian Josh Murphy; and screenwriter Leonie Sandercock.
OIFF was featured in The Seattle Times and The Stranger with glowing reviews. Its selected films here have garnered nine Academy Awards and a total of 57 Oscar and three Golden Globe nominations.
Many of the OIFF films were shown on Orcas prior to their official theatrical release.
For a complete schedule of events, the film line-up and ticket information, visit www.orcasfilmfest.com.
“I’m thrilled about this year’s films, and I can’t wait for the island to be humming with film lovers,” said OIFF co-director Donna Laslo.