Some of the most critically acclaimed films of 2016 are coming to Niagara through the Brock University Film Series.
With the Oscars just around the corner, there has been plenty of buzz about the recently nominated films, and one of the frontrunners stealing the spotlight is Barry Jenkins’ Moonlight.
Jenkins, the first black filmmaker nominated for an Academy Award for Best Director, Best Screenplay and Best Picture, based the film on Tarell Alvin McCraney’s short play, In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue. The film adaptation is about self-discovery and connection and follows the life of a young black man from childhood to adulthood as he navigates the dangers of drugs and violence in his rough Miami neighbourhood and his complex love for his best friend.
With eight Oscar nominations, a Golden Globe and three New York Film Critics Circle Awards, Moonlight is one of the highlights of the Brock University Film Series (BUFS) and will be shown Wednesday, Feb. 22 at the Pen Centre’s Landmark Theatre in St. Catharines.
BUFS is an ongoing project of Brock’s Department of Communication, Popular Culture and Film and has been bringing the best in international, independent and Canadian cinema to St. Catharines for more than 40 years.
Film professors Joan Nicks, Barry Grant and Jim Leach were among the early catalysts of BUFS in the ‘70s with their collection of foreign classical films, later mixing in current releases and partnering with the TIFF Film Circuit to showcase unique 35mm films on campus. With the shift to digital, BUFS now screens its films at Landmark Cinemas every Wednesday and is led by a committee of current Brock film professors Scott Henderson, Peter Lester and Anthony Kinik.
“BUFS provides the opportunity to see these critically acclaimed, award-winning films on the big screen in Niagara that you might not otherwise be able to see,” says film professor Scott Henderson. “It’s a chance to talk film and keep the vibe of film culture alive in Niagara.”
BUFS has a record for trailblazing.
French writer-director Mia Hansen-Løve’s film, Things to Come (2016), was screened during the BUFS fall season and the foreign film is now showing up on critics “Best of 2016” lists with multiple awards under its belt.
“BUFS allows people to uncover these films before they break,” says Henderson. “And this is one of the best line-ups we’ve ever had.”
The current BUFS season runs from January until April with 11 films being shown. The selection includes interesting, rich and diverse films from many different nations taking on many different issues. The series runs Wednesdays at 7 p.m. at the Landmark Theatre. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased by cash or cheque at the BUFS Box Office Table in the theatre lobby after 6 p.m. on screening nights. Season passes are available. Visit brocku.ca/bufs for more details.
Upcoming Oscar-nominated Films Featured in BUFS:
Wednesday, Feb. 8
The Salesman, Iranian thriller directed by Asghar Farhadi.
Oscar-nominated for the Best Foreign Language Film, received two awards at the Cannes Film Festival for Best Screenplay and Best Actor and was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Language Film.
Wednesday, Feb. 22
Moonlight, American drama written and directed by Barry Jenkins.
Nominated for eight Oscars, received a Golden Globe for Best Picture, Drama and three New York Film Critics Circle Awards.
Wednesday, Mar. 8
A Man Called Ove, Swedish comedy-drama written and directed by Hannes Holm.
Oscar-nominated for the Best Foreign Language Film and Best Makeup and Hairstyling and received two Swedish Guldbagge awards.
Wednesday, Mar. 22
Toni Erdmann, German comedy-drama directed, written and co-produced by Maren Ade.
Oscar-nominated for the Best Foreign Language Film, received the New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Foreign Film, received five awards at the European Film Awards and was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Language Film.