Cinéfest Sudbury extends virtual screenings on Indigenous films; festival wraps Sunday

Festival’s Cinema Indigenized programming honours Canada’s first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

Oscar Isaac stars in The Card Counter, Cinefest's closing gala film. Focus Features

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The Cinéfest Sudbury International Film Festival says it extend its Cinema Indigenized programming to Canada’s first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.

The virtual screening window on films selected in the Cinema Indigenized Program will be extended until Sept. 30.

“A heartfelt thank you to the Indigenous filmmakers and Canadian distribution companies for partnering in this initiative,” Cinefest said in a release.

Available titles include Wildhood, Portraits From a Fire, Run Woman Run, Wochiigii lo End of the Peace, One of Ours, and Bootlegger.

The festival also announced that it is introducing a new Short Film Awards Program along with the previously announced Feature Film Awards Program this year.

All short films screening at this year’s edition of the Cinéfest Sudbury are eligible for consideration.

Filmmakers will get the chance to win up to $1,500 in the categories Outstanding Short Film, Outstanding Emerging Canadian Short Filmmaker, or Outstanding Animated Short.

Meanwhile, the in-person portion of the festival continues this weekend and wraps up  Sunday.  For the full schedule and tickets, visit

Individual tickets cost $12.50 each for virtual and in-theatre screenings. Hybrid 10-packs are available for $100.


The galas include:


  • SATURDAY NIGHT GALA (7 p.m.) – Sponsored by Cineplex. Night Raiders (Danis Goulet, Canada/New Zealand, 2021). It is the near future. A military occupation controls disenfranchised cities in post-war North America. Children are property of the State, sent to academies that aim to indoctrinate them and establish undying allegiance to the nation. To escape this fate, a desperate Cree woman named Niska (Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers) has spent years hiding in the deep wilderness with her daughter. After her daughter suffers a serious injury, their need for medicine forces them to return to the city, and Niska’s daughter is soon taken away by the State. Determined to get her back, Niska joins an underground band of vigilantes who are making plans to infiltrate a State children’s academy.


  • SATURDAY NIGHT GALA (9:30 p.m.) One Second (Zhang Yimou, China/Hong Kong, 2021.) Based on the novel by Yan Geling, One Second centers on rural Chinese village during the Cultural Revolution that comes together to restore a destroyed film reel. A prisoner in a remote farmland (ZhangYi) escapes from a labour camp to catch a film. He risks everything in his search for a stolen film reel in which his long-lost daughter appears – for one second. Soon he encounters a homeless female vagabond (LiXiaochuan), an orphaned girl haunted by her own terrible loss who is scheming to steal the reel away, and a film projectionist named Mr. Movie (FanWei).


  • CLOSING NIGHT GALA (Sunday, 7 p.m.) – The Card Counter (Paul Schrader, USA/UK/China, 2021.) Redemption is the long game in Paul Schrader’s The Card Counter. Told with Schrader’s trademark cinematic intensity, the revenge thriller tells the story of an ex-military interrogator turned gambler haunted by the ghosts of his past. William Tell (Oscar Isaac), now a casino gambler, runs into Cirk (Tye Sheridan) an angry young man looking for revenge on a military colonel. As part of the revenge scheme, Tell and Cirk try to break into the World Series of Poker, with help from financier La Linda (Tiffany Haddish). However, it’s not long before Cirk’s erratic behavior drags Tell into the darkness of his past.

Twitter: @SudburyStar