Running June 18-21 the second annual Niagara Integrated Film Festival (NIFF) offers some fanciful choices about what to savor first – a chardonnay or a merlot, a documentary or a romantic comedy.
Set in the beautiful award-winning Niagara wine region of southern Ontario, NIFF appeals to many appetites with creative combinations of premiere film screenings, culinary presentations and winery visits.
The brainchild of Bill Marshall (co-founder and Chair Emeritus of the Toronto International Film Festival), NIFF provides film enthusiasts, foodies and wine lovers an opportunity to share their passions.
Building on its inaugural success, the 2015 NIFF delivers an expanded program that includes 22 narrative and eight documentary features from countries including the USA, UK, Canada, Germany, Costa Rica, Hungary, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania and Hong Kong. Out of the total lineup, four world and one North American premieres will be screened. In addition, 20 Canadian premieres are scheduled, including four Ontario films and 12 Niagara Region debuts.
An early kick-start to the Festival will be a June 14 screening of the Disney Pixar animated “Inside Out,” ahead of its wide theatrical release on June 19. Hot off its world premiere at Cannes, “Inside Out” combines the directing skills of Academy Award-winner Peter Docter (“Up”) with a voice cast that includes Amy Poehler, Bill Hader, Lewis Black, Mindy Kaling, and Phyllis Smith.
NIFF opening night gala features the Canadian premiere of “Testament of Youth,” a sweeping coming-of-age story set in World War I starring Alicia Vikander, Taron Egerton, Colin Morgan, Dominic West, Kit Harington and Emily Watson. It screens at the prestigious Peller Estates winery.
Foodies and film buffs will be hard-pressed to resist the documentary “For Grace,” the truly remarkable story of Curtis Duffy, an obsessive Chicago chef determined to get as many Michelin stars as possible.
Attendees can enhance their movie-going experience by taking in some of the Festival’s food and wine presentations. Filmalicious offers the ultimate dinner and movie experience, featuring world-class regional chefs and some of the region’s finest vintages, all enjoyed under the stars. Film Feast is a program that combines wine-and-food tasting with a short film festival experience. It includes transportation to and from each participating winery.
Wineries and venues for the Festival include Jackson-Triggs Niagara Estate, Peller Estates, Henry of Pelham Family Estate, Redstone, Southbrook Vineyards, Trius Winery at Hillebrand, Calamas Estate Winery, Angel’s Gate Winery, Tawse Winery, Pillitteri Estates Winery, Pondview Estate Winery, Konzelmann Estate Winery, Landmark Cinemas, Seneca Queen Theatre, and White Oaks Resort & Spa.
The accompanying video provides a sneak peek at several of the films screening during the festival. Visit NIFF online box office for ticket information and availability.
See you at the movies.