Filmfest ready to raise the curtain

By Bob Peters
February 10, 2012

Aultsville Winter FilmfestTop-notch movies, plenty of food and lively discussion are lined up for next weekend, when Aultsville Theatre will host its annual film festival.

The three-day event, which doubles as a fundraiser for the venue, kicks off with a screening of Italian film Vincere on Friday, Feb. 17.

The rest of the weekend is packed with a total of six films of varying genres.

Saturday’s schedule begins with Academy Award-nominated The Tree of Life at 11 a.m., followed by Turkish film When We Leave in the early afternoon and France’s Potiche rounding out the evening. A gala reception for all weekend passholders will be held on the Aultsville stage afterwards.

On Sunday, a documentary called Cave of Forgotten Dreams will be shown prior to a luncheon for the movie buffs. Last on the agenda is the French project Women on the Sixth Floor, which will have English subtitles – as will the other foreign-language films.

“We have a really diverse assortment,” said Pam Maloney, the festival’s coordinator. “That’s what we try to do every year. We try to have to have a variety among the films so the people who come to the whole weekend go on a diverse journey.”

Maloney said she’s looking forward to watching everything on the program, but she’s most excited about the only one she’s already viewed: Vincere.

“It’s one of the best films I’ve ever seen,” she said.

The story follows the life of Italian dictator Benito Mussolini, but specifically how his climb up the ranks effected the woman he married as a young man.

“As he rose to power he shunned her completely and wouldn’t even recognize (their) child,” explained Maloney.

“It’s a really powerful story,” she added. “The way it evolves; it’s a gripping, amazing story about him as a young man and how his life progressed, and then it starts incorporating actual footage. It really makes it feel real.”

Maloney said she saw Vincere during the Toronto International Film Festival a couple of years ago, and was thrilled to be able to bring it to Cornwall.

“It really has not been seen in Canada,” she said. “We’re really, really lucky to have this.”

Maloney said she was also impressed when the local festival snagged A Cave of Dreams, which follows a filmmaker into recently discovered depths in south France with some of the oldest cave drawings ever found.

Probably the most well known in the lineup, the Tree of Life, is expected to be the most controversial.

“They’ll either love it, or not love it,” said Maloney. “It’ll be the piece to talk about.”

In contrast, the two French films are comedies to lighten up the weekend.

Besides the professional productions, local filmmakers will have their work up on the big screen at Aultsville Theatre. Prior to every feature film will be a Cornwall creation, completed by students or amateur directors.

Tickets for the entire weekend are $100 and are available at the Civic Complex Box Office (613 938-9400), while individual passes are available for $15 at the door. More information about each film and a full list of showtimes are online at

The above story was written in by Cheryl Brink and was published in the Cornwall Standard-Freeholder. The newspaper is available online at

Category: Arts and Entertainment