SWIFF launches film series in Sarnia

Director Hirokazu Kore-eda holds the Palme d'Or for the film 'Shoplifters' following the awards ceremony at the 71st international film festival, Cannes, southern France, in May, 2018. Arthur Mola / /Invision/AP

Share Adjust Comment Print

The South Western International Film Festival (SWIFF) is branching out.

The film and music festival held each fall in Sarnia is launching a film series with three screenings over the coming months at the downtown Imperial Theatre, including a Feb. 28 showing of the Oscar-nominated Japanese film, Shoplifters.

“We wanted to engage the community and our audience on a year-round basis,” festival founder Ravi Srinivasan said about the film series known as SWIFF Selects.

“We heard from a lot of people who were coming to the festival every November, asking about putting on more films throughout the year.”

Srinivasan said they worked with the theatre to offer a series featuring films that didn’t make it into the festival’s lineup.

As well as the Feb. 28 screening, SWIFF Selects will show films April 4 and May 23.

“We’re doing three to start with – a trial run to see how it goes,” Srinivasan said.

Tickets to the screenings are $15 each and can be purchased from the theatre box office or the festival website, www.swiff.ca.

Shoplifters, by Hirokazu Kore-eda, is nominated for a Best Foreign-Language Oscar.

“It’s funny, beautiful story about family and belonging,” Srinivasan said.

“It’s really refreshing and highlights the importance of support systems and having a support network of family around you to get through the hard times.”

After premiering at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival, Shoplifters won its top prize and went on to receive more than 20 awards around the world.

The Japanese-language film, with English subtitles, hasn’t been released yet to steaming services so the Sarnia showing is

“a bit of an exclusive screening,” Ravi said.

SWIFF is still finalizing films for the April and May screenings, he said.

“We’re hoping to bring other films that are nominated for Academy Awards that haven’t made it to Sarnia yet.”

Srinivasan, who works for the Toronto International Film Festival and founded SWIFF, grew up in Corunna.

This past November’s festival was a success and is set to returned to downtown Sarnia in November, he said.

“We’re celebrating our fifth anniversary, which is really exciting.”

pmorden@postmedia.com

IF YOU GO

What: SWIFF Selects Sarnia film series launches with screening of Shoplifters, by Japanese filmmaker Hirozku Kore-eda.

Where: Sarnia’s Imperial Theatre.

When: Feb. 28, 7:30 p.m.

Details: Tickets, $15, are available from the Imperial box office or the festival website, www.swiff.ca.

Comments