Kingston Canadian Film Fest Announces 2019 Line-up

By Pat Mullen

The Kingston Canadian Film Festival (KCFF) has announced its line-up for 2019. This year’s festival kicks off with Alison Reid’s The Woman Who Loves Giraffes, which tells the amazing story of Dr. Anne Innis Dagg, a pioneering zoologist who delivered ground-breaking research on giraffes at a time when no scientist—man or woman—was studying animals in the wild. The doc opens KCFF on Thursday, February 28. (Read more about The Woman Who Loves Giraffes in the feature Smitten by Giraffes.)

KCFF, the world’s largest festival devoted exclusively to Canadian films, features several documentaries this year with a mix of festival hits and hidden gems. POV is proud to support the festival by co-presenting the screenings of Grant Baldwin’s outdoor adventure This Mountain Life. The film is the thrilling account of people fuelled and inspired by the call of the wild, including mother-daughter duo Tania and Martina Halik as they trek BC’s Coastal Mountains.

The festival also includes Jennifer Baichwal, Edward Burtynsky, and Nick de Pencier’s Anthropocene: The Human Epoch, which recently won the Rogers Award for Best Canadian Feature from the Toronto Film Critics Association. Director Nick de Pencier will attend the festival. KCFF welcomes back Academy Award winner Brigitte Berman, who will be in Kingston to present her engaging new documentary Hugh Hefner’s After Dark: Speaking Out in America. The doc won the audience award for Best Canadian Feature at the Whistler Film Festival in December.

KCFF’s doc slate highlights many female filmmakers as well. In addition to Reid, Baichwal, and Berman, the festival features several stories by and about women including Christy Garland’s What Walaa Wants, about a young Palestinian woman who overcomes adversity to join the police force, and Danae Elon’s A Sister’s Song, an intimate portrait of two sisters who reunite in a Jerusalem monastery. Astra Taylor’s What is Democracy?, meanwhile, adds to the festival’s spectrum of films that situate Canadian perspectives within global conversations.

On the local front, KCFF highlights include the anthology film Who is Bruce Kauffman?, a collaboration between multiple directors that features artists such as Alyssa Cooper and Steven Heighton paying tribute to the writer. Affairs of the Heart: The Life and Music of Marjan Mozetich, directed by Jamie Day Fleck, profiles the acclaimed composer and professor from Queen’s University’s music department. Director Rob Lindsay, finally, gives bank robber turned Governor General’s Award winning author Roger Caron the doc treatment in Go Boy! Memories of a Life Behind Bars.

Dramatic features at KCFF include Canada’s Oscar submission Family First and Denys Arcand’s excellent satire The Fall of the American Empire. The festival also features several notable Indigenous stories with the Tantoo Cardinal showpiece Falls Around Her and the landmark Haida film Edge of the Knife. This year’s festival runs February 28 to March 3.

Get the full line-up here. Tickets are now on sale!