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Local Stars Shine in 27th Atlantic Film Festival Line-up

Studded throughout 10 days of film & music celebrations at this year’s 27th Atlantic Film Festival, September 13-22, 2007, will be local film luminaries like director/writer Chaz Thorne, producer Michael Donovan, actress Ellen Page, musician Buck 65 and more.

"We are proud of the international success attained by our regional filmmakers, actors and musicians, and excited about their prominence during this year’s Festival," said Gregor Ash, Executive Director. "The Festival has always been about showcasing Atlantic Canada as well as bringing the best in Canadian and international talent to Halifax, but this year we are thrilled to see the bar raised higher than ever before.

The NBC Universal Canada Opening Gala, announced earlier this month, will be Shake Hands with The Devil a dramatization from Halifax-based Oscar®-winning producer Michael Donovan, and multi-award-winning producer Laszlo Barna. The Opening Gala screening will take place on Thursday, September 13, 6:30 PM at the Oxford Theatre. Opening film screenings will also be held the same night at 7 PM at Park Lane 8 and 7:05 PM at Park Lane 7. Tickets to the Opening Night film are $15.00.

Following the film, the Festival will again close several blocks of historic Argyle Street in Halifax to host the biggest and most anticipated street party in Atlantic Canada at its red-carpet NBC Universal Canada Opening Night Party. The celebration welcomes over 3,000 guests, and global yet local hip-hop icon Buck 65 will headline the entertainment with Heavy Blinkers opening. Tickets to the Opening Night Party are $25.

Closing the Festival on September 22 will be the Empire Theatres Closing Gala screening of Michael Clayton, written and directed by Tony Gilroy, the screenwriter behind The Bourne Identity films, and starring George Clooney, Sidney Pollack and Tilda Swinton. Clayton, played by Clooney is an in-house “fixer” at one of the largest corporate law firms in New York. Though burned out and hardly content with his job as a fixer, his divorce and mounting debt leave Clayton inextricably tied to the firm. But when a case the firm was sure to win is sabotaged, Clayton faces the biggest challenge of his career and his life.

At the Marquee Club on Saturday, September 22nd the Empire Theatres Closing Night Gala Party will feature live performances by Nathan Wiley (PE) and Hey Rosetta (NL). Tickets to the Closing Gala Party are $25.

There are eleven Galas and eight special presentations featured over the 10-days of this year's Festival. From Halifax native Chaz Thorne there is Just Buried the CBC Atlantic Gala, as well as the Telefilm Canada Gala presentation of A Poor Boy’s Game, which Thorne wrote & produced; Peter Greenaway who will be the featured guest at the Academy Luncheon also brings Nightwatching, as this year’s International Gala; the Consulate General of France - French Gala features Angel; the IFC Late Shift Gala, gory Teeth; Francois Girard’s exquisitely filmed Silk is the Star! Canadian Gala; Control, the Anniversary Gala Film sponsored by EastLink is the dramatic profile of Ian Curtis, the enigmatic lead singer of Joy Division; and the Empire Theatres ViewFinders Red-Carpet Gala is the delightful animation Max & Co.

Rogers Presents: A Series of Special Presentations include The Stone Angel based on the Margaret Laurence novel and featuring local actor Ellen Page who also stars in the innovative Tracey Fragments. Fugitive Pieces, the much-anticipated adaptation of the bestseller by Anne Michaels, Lust, Caution, Emotional Arithmetic, The Hottest State, Reservation Road and the sure to be popular The Jane Austen Book Club make up this series. Tickets to all Festival Gala screenings and Special Presentations are $15.

This year’s Inspired Industry Sessions, a series of panels, discussions, master classes and live musical performances that make up the Inspired Script, Inspired Doc and Inspired Music programs, will offer some unique film & music experiences. Hosted this year by Mike Clattenburg, the Academy Luncheon will feature special guest star; filmmaker, artist & writer, Peter Greenaway.

Inspired Script will bring The ACTRA Studio with Gordon Pinsent where this popular Canadian actor will provide some insight into the trials and triumphs of acting.

The Inspired Doc screenings at the AFF feature facilitated Q&A sessions with the filmmakers Albert Maysles and AJ Schnack after the screenings as well as, new this year, next day Inspired Doc Breakfasts where a smaller audience can listen to and ask of the filmmakers. Docs screened include Gimme Shelter, The Devil Came on Horseback, and Kurt Cobain About a Son.

Highlighting this year’s Inspired Music program is the 10 X 10 Project with Norwood Cheek where 10 filmmakers are paired with 10 artists/bands and over 4 days these teams will each create a music video. All videos will be screened at the Anniversary Gala Music & Image Showcase on Friday, September 21st. And this year’s What’s the Score? Composition Master Class will feature Mychael Danna, who will also participate in SOCAN/GCFC Keynote Conversation.

Live musical performances at the Seahorse Tavern in Halifax offer local artists the opportunity to showcase their work to filmmakers attending the Festival. On Thursday, September 20th is the Star! Canadian Gala Music & Image Showcase I showcasing artists Rose Cousins (PE), Blair Harvey (NL), Jessica Rhaye (NB) and David Myles (NS). The Anniversary Gala Music & Image Showcase II on Friday, September 21st, will showcase Timothy Chaisson (PE), Mark Bragg (NL), The Divorcees (NB) and MIR (NS). Several of these artists and others are featured on the Festival’s compilation CD: Music & Image Take 3. Tickets to the Showcases are $10 and can be purchased both in advance and at the door. Copies of the CD can be obtained by contacting communications@atlanticfilm.com.

From September 15-17 the AFFA’s Strategic Partners will hold its 10th anniversary of this renowned business forum recognized as one of the world’s top co-production markets that last year helped initiate an estimated $181 million in deals. This year’s SP spotlight is on France, along with anchor countries the UK, the USA and Canada, and will also welcome delegates from South Africa, Ghana, Australia, The Netherlands, Scotland, Wales and Brazil. This year’s Opening Keynote will feature Le Bureau’s Bertrand Faivre. This year’s panels include Tiers of Joy, financing while holding your vision; Decoding Babel, creative development across international borders; and Tech-tonic Shifts, winning case studies from the multi-platform universe. New this year are the Provincial Buzz Sessions, designed to introduce producers to the intricacies and shadings of competitive tax credits, crews, locations and talent across Canada.

This year ViewFinders @ The AFF, films for a family, youth and class audiences, will cover four days of the Festival from Wednesday, September 19 to Saturday, September 22nd culminating in the ViewFinders Gala on Saturday which in addition to screening the family animation feature Max & Co., will also screen for the first time the Pitch for Production film Sidewalks, Pockets & Piggybanks which was produced by a team of students selected at last April’s ViewFinders: International Film Festival for Youth. The ViewFinder’s 2008 Movie, Animation and Green Screen Challenges will also be launched at ViewFinders @ The AFF with winners from last year’s Challenges screened throughout the VF @ AFF film program.

On Friday, September 7 the Festival will present Film on the Hill, sponsored by the Spring Garden Business Association. This year filmgoers were able to vote for their favourite animated family feature from a selection of five to be screened on Citadel Hill: Finding Nemo, Ice Age, Monsters Inc., Chicken Run and Spirited Away.

And teeing off again this year on Monday, September 17th, at Glen Arbour Golf Club is the 4th Annual Gerd Kurz Memorial Golf Tournament. Celebrating the life of AFF sponsor and film industry supporter Gerd Kurz, the golf tournament is open to the public. For registration information contact sales@atlanticfilm.com.

The 27th Atlantic Film Festival takes place September 13-22, 2007, in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

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