The official days of summer are just around the corner and there so much to see and do! The second annual Niagara Integrated Film Festival (NIFF) is one that should be on your radar and will be rolling out the red carpet June 19 to 21st.
If you love film, wine and food then you’ll definitely want to plan ahead. This film festival in the gorgeous Niagara Wine Region brings world class films to a setting that we simply cannot get in the big city. It’s the perfect escape for the weekend with the various hotels and inns located in the picturesque Niagara-on-the-Lake.
Located only about an hour and half away, the vineyards play host to a stellar line up of films. Some Canadian premieres are slated to be filmed and there’s truly something for everyone. Many of the award-winning wineries will play host to screenings and offer event like FILMALICIOUS where you are invited to enjoy the ultimate dinner and movie night! Set against the backdrop of the beautiful vineyards you’ll be treated to films under the stars. FILMALICIOUS evenings include special celebrity appearances or entertainment.
I had a chance to join in the media preview for NIFF’s FILM FEAST last week to get a sampling of this unique afternoon program that offers a guided bus tour to some of the participating wineries. This program offers screenings from NIFF’s short film selection selected from ‘Canada’s Not Short on Talent” films — these films were chosen to represent Canada at the annual presentation of the counntry’s best at the Cannes Film Festival in France. I had a few favourites within this program that had us touring the beautiful vineyards of Pondview Winery, Konzelmann Estate Winery, and Pilliteri Estate Winery on this media tour. A particular favourite short screened included The Timekeeper (directed by Scott Weber) is a wonderful and thought-provoking film that explores what we do with our time if we “spend” time like we do with our money. Also included in the tour, guests are treated to sample a flight of vintage wines and incredible hors d’oeuvres. FILM FEAST tours run daily during the festival (pick up from White Oaks Resorts) and is perfect if you like films that are hidden gems. I would encourage you to book this early as it will probably sell out! It’s a perfect afternoon outing if you can’t commit to a weekend away.
Peller Estates hosts several galas including a full gala presentation (with dinner) of the powerful film Testament of Youth ( directed by James Kent) – a story of love, war and remembrance based on the First World War memoir by Vera Brittain which has become the classic testimony of that war from a woman’s point of view. Stars Emily Watson, Hayley Atwell, Taron Egerton, Kit Harington, Alicia Vikader, an Dominic West.
Documentary For Grace (directed by Mark Helenowski, Kevin Pang) will screen (also available as full Filmalicious with dinner at Peller Estates). The film follows Curtis Duffy, one of the country’s most reowned chefs who is building his dream restaurant at the worse time of his personal life. Already the recipient of two coveted stars from the Michelin Guide, Duffy has ambitions for his Chicago restaurant Grace but his focus on his career has affected other aspects in life including family.
For full listing of films and events please visit niagarafilmfest.com
Here’s the trailer for For Grace…