For opening night of our Reel Weekend Film Festival, we have chosen Peanut Butter Falcon, a sweet and wonderful film for all ages. Zak, who is Down Syndrome, is obsessed with wrestling — the movie title is his chosen wrestling name — and escapes his care facility, determined to get to wrestling school. By happenstance, he befriends a troubled soul (Shia LaBouef), they develop a heartfelt connection and undertake an eventful journey to make Zak’s dream a reality.
Runs Friday, Nov. 1 at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, Nov. 3 at 10:30 a.m. Come early Friday (6:30) for opening night refreshments and prizes.
Based on the book, The Spy Who Tried to Stop a War, Official Secrets is a movie about actual events where Katherine Gun (Keira Knightley), a British government communications employee, risked everything for her own sense of morality. She blew the whistle on a top secret memo exposing a US/UK spy operation to secure UN authorization for the Iraq invasion in 2003. It highlights the ethical dilemmas facing intelligence employees. Runs Saturday, Nov. 2, 10:30 a.m., and Sunday, Nov. 3 at 7:30 p.m.
Honeyland is a powerful documentary featuring a female beekeeper in Macedonia whose lifestyle and livelihood is disrupted by the arrival of new neighbours who decide they, too, will keep bees and sell honey. Tension is created when her neighbour disregards her approach to stewardship and imperils both bee colonies. Can she save the bees and restore the natural balance? A gorgeous film about a vanishing way of life and an unforgettable testament to one extraordinary woman’s resilience. Runs Saturday, Nov. 2 at 1:30 p.m.
Brittany Runs a Marathon was voted the Audience Favourite at the Sundance Film Festival. It’s an inspirational story, based on true events, about a woman nearing 30, with a terribly destructive lifestyle. When forced to make positive changes, she decides to train for the New York City Marathon. It’s a great story about life and accomplishment and feeling good from within. Runs Saturday, Nov. 2 at 3:30 p.m.
In Pain and Glory, acclaimed Spanish Director Pedro Almodovar uses the power of art to heal the past, with a semi-autobiographical look back at his life from his perspective as an older man tormented by physical ailments and emotional scars. It features career-best acting by Antonio Banderas (Best Actor award at Cannes) as fictional alter-ego filmmaker Salvador Mallo who reflects on how filmmaking got him through all his pains: growing up in the 60s, discovering he’s gay, coping with a difficult breakup, caring for his mother before her death. Runs Saturday, Nov. 2 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 3 at 3:30 p.m.
Our final film is Echo in the Canyon, a documentary that is essential viewing for music fans. In the 1960s, like-minded songwriters and performers moved to the area of LA known as Laurel Canyon. It emerged as a hotbed of unparalleled creativity and connectivity for a new generation of artists who would put an indelible stamp on the history of American popular music. It features never-before-heard personal details behind the bands and their songs and looks at how their music continues to inspire today. Sun. Nov. 3 1:30.
All Reel Weekend Film Festival movies show at the Salmar Classic. For more information, visit shuswapfilm.net.