The sixth season of Reel on the River begins Sept. 12 with In A Better World, the 2010 Academy Award winner for Best Foreign Language Film.
Choosing the best foreign film to open the series is no coincidence. Organizers chose the 2009 winner The Secret in Their Eyes to open last fall’s series.
In A Better World tells the story of a Danish physician working in war-torn Africa, confronted with a steady stream of tragedy and loss. The film raises essential questions about human instincts and our interpretation of telling right from wrong.
It’s the first of five films that will be played at Mission’s Cineplex SilverCity between September and November on select Monday evenings.
Organizer Beverly James said the inspiration for a mini-film fest came from a family-run cinema in Mission that played Monday night films that wouldn’t ordinarily be shown in Hollywood-themed movie theatres. When the cinema closed, she and her friends wanted to bring back a taste of that experience.
“That was the spark that got us looking around to see how we could bring in some mildly alternative films,” she said.
The group came across Film Circuit, an offshoot of the Toronto International Film Festival, which supplies films to nearly 200 small communities across Canada.
James and friends said Film Circuit provides between 40 and 50 films from which to choose.
“That’s the hardest part because there’s a lot of good films out there. And what’s a good film is pretty subjective.”
The main goal is to pick a blend of Canadian, foreign and independent films to Mission for each series.
On Sept. 26, Reel on the River will play Cave of Forgotten Dreams, the brilliant documentarian Werner Herzog’s latest exploration of ancient artwork in 30,000-year-old caves.
Then Oct. 17 features the hilarious British comedy West is West, the sequel to East is East, a story about the Khan family moving back to rural Pakistan from Salford.
On Halloween night, the Reel will screen Beginners, starring Canadian Christopher Plummer and Scotland’s Ewan McGregor in a comedy portrait about family, love, loss, and self-discovery.
The final film on Nov. 7, The First Grader, is an inspiring tale based on a true story about an 84-year-old illiterate man in Kenya who decides he wants to go to the first grade.
Reel on the River is a local non-profit organization. Any leftover funds are donated to the Culture Kids Fund, giving disadvantaged children a chance to explore and experience the arts. The fund is administered by the parks, recreation and cultural department.
A series pass for all five films is $35, and tickets at the door are $10 for each film. All screenings take place on Mondays at 7 p.m. at the SilverCity at the Junction.
Series passes are on sale at Shoppers Drug Mart and Murdoch’s Book Shoppe in Mission and at The Reach in Abbotsford.
For more information about Reel on the River visit www.reelontheriver.com or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.