NXNE 2012: Must-Watch Films

The NXNE fest finally hit the streets of Toronto on June 11th, promising 7 days of amazing bands (780+ of them!), fantastic films and great interactive workshops. The full list and schedule can be found at NXNE.com

From the massive list, The Arts Scene has selected some of the must-watch films of the fest, from June 13th on, that offer truly amazing stories.

1. Irvine Welsh’s Ecstasy

Directed by Rob Heydon, Ecstasy is a twisted romantic comedy, written by acclaimed Trainspotting writer Irvine Welsh, that follows the relationship between Lloyd (Adam Sinclair), a drug-smuggler, and his new love interest Heather (Kristin Kreuk). Set around a world of clubbing, drugs and lies, the film focuses on Lloyd and his inner conflict to come to terms with his new found love. The film also features Billy Boyd from the Lord of the Rings trilogy.  Ecstasy is a follow up to Welsh’s first book Trainspotting, which grossed over $72 million.

Screening: June 14th @ 7:00pm  – Royal Cinema. Irvine Welsh will be in attendance for a post-screening Q&A



2. Down: Indie Rock in the PRC

The Chinese music scene is something most of us have a general idea of. Down, directed by Andrew Field and Jud Willmont, hopes to shine a light upon the indie rock music scene in China, while visiting themes of youthful alienation, freedom of expression and the universal common-denominator that music has become in society. The film celebrates its Canadian Premiere at NXNE.

Screening: June 14th @ 12:30pm – National Film Board. Andrew Field & Jon Cambell (Chinese rock expert) in attendance for a post-screening Q&A



3. Inside The Perfect Circle: The Odyssey of Joel Thome

Directed by Chris Pepino, Inside The Perfect Circle is a new documentary about Grammy Award winner and Pulitzer Prize nominated composer Joel Thome, best known for his collaboration with Frank Zappa. This documentary hopes to showcase Thome’s dedication to music and how he relied on music even in difficult times, especially when he suffered a stroke that left part of his body paralyzed. The documentary has its World Premiere at NXNE and to make the whole occasion sweet, Joel Thome will be in attendance!

Screening: June 15 @ 2:30pm – National Film Board. Chris Pepino, Martha Mooke & Joel Thome in attendance for a post-screening Q&A



4. My Father and the Man in Black

Johnny Cash cannot be talked about enough. This time though, the conversation is quite different. My Father and the Man in Black explores the relationship between Johnny Cash and his former manager Saul Holiff. Written & directed by Jonathan Holiff, Saul’s son, the film has been developed from over 60 hours of audio, all found in a locker that Jonathan discovered six months after his fathers death. This film brings first hand evidence to the screen and is likely to change the way we understand the Johnny Cash as we know him. The documentary celebrates its Canadian Premiere at NXNE.

Screening: June 15th @ 7:00pm – Toronto Underground Cinema. Jonathan Holiff in attendance for a post-screening Q&A



5. The Ballad of Hugh 

Justin Bieber might need to move aside for Hugh Oliver, an 82-year old Toronto-resident and music underdog who is still competes head-on in a youth-obsessed entertainment scene. The film highlights the journey of this poet, musician, novelist and sculptor who, for much of his life, has looked for that big break. Hugh puts age into perspective and teaches us that age is never a barrier. This heart-warming film is a definite watch at NXNE, where it celebrates its World Premiere.

Screening: June 16 @ 3:00pm – National Film Board.