Once the actors and actresses of the Shaw give their final performance for the live theatre season, the stage doesn’t really go dark; it just showcases a different artistic medium: film. The annual and much anticipated Shaw Festival Film Series gets underway once again this December, showcasing not only several feature films, but also six different documentaries. This exciting event is done in partnership with The Film Circuit, which is a branch of the Toronto International Film Festival. The Shaw Film Series first began in 2005, and has been a growing success ever since.
FEATURE FILMS (SATURDAYS AT 3PM)
December 12: Brooklyn
Starring: Saoirse Ronan, Emory Cohen, Domhnall Gleeson, Jim Broadbent, Julie Waters
This historical drama takes place in 1950s Brooklyn, with Irish immigrant Eilis trying to navigate her way in a new city. She soon finds herself torn between her old life in Ireland and her new one in America.
December 19: Phoenix
Starring: Nina Hoss, Ronald Zehrfeld, Nina Kunzendorf, Michael Maertens
This subtitled film is about a survivor of the Holocaust who returns to Berlin after having facial reconstruction surgery for an injury sustained in the war. Her new face doesn’t look much like her old one, and because of this, when she seeks out her husband (who had thought she was dead), he doesn’t recognize her.
December 26: Testament of Youth
Starring: Alicia Vikander, Kit Harington, Emily Watson, Taron Egerton, Colin Morgan
This WW1 British drama follows Vera Brittain in her attempts to become a student at a college in Oxford. When war breaks out, her brother, fiancé and friends are all drafted. She soon joins the war effort as a nurse. This is based on the memoir of Vera Brittain.
January 2: Learning to Drive
Starring: Patricia Clarkson, Ben Kingsley, Jake Weber, Grace Gummer
This movie focuses on the unlikely friendship between Wendy, a writer, and Darwan, a taxi driver, as he teachers her how to drive.
January 9: Wild Tales
Starring: Ricardo Darin, Oscar Martinez, Leonardo Sbaraglia, Erica Rivas
This Argentine-Spanish film is actually comprised of six standalone shorts, which are tied by two common themes: violence and vengeance.
January 16: Suffragette
Starring: Carey Mulligan, Helena Bonham-Carter, Brendan Gleeson, Anne-Marie Duff, Meryl Streep
This historical drama tells the story of how a girl, working in a laundry, gets involved in the cause of the Suffragettes. It highlights some of the struggles these woman went through to achieve the right to vote.
February 6: The Second Mother
Starring: Regina Case, Michel Joelsas, Camila Mardila
This Brazilian drama focuses on a housemaid, Val, who has been working for the same high-class family for several years. When she originally took the job, it meant she had to leave her daughter, Jessica, with her grandmother. 13 years later, Jessica comes to live with her, and it’s not quite as easy as she is expecting.
February 13: Steve Jobs
Starring: Michael Fassbender, Kate Winslet, Seth Rogan, Jeff Daniels
This movie tells the story of Steve Jobs and his rise to become the CEO of Apple. This movie is based on a biography written about Jobs.
February 20: The Danish Girl
Starring: Eddie Redmayne, Alicia Vikander, Ben Whishaw, Amber Heard
This movie is the biographical tale of Lili Elbe, one of the first known recipients of gender reassignment surgery.
January 23: Mr. Holmes
Starring: Ian McKellen, Laura Linney, Hiroyuki Sanada, Milo Parker
This crime/drama/mystery film follows Sherlock Holmes as a 93-year-old man trying to solve his final case, as his mind is starting to fail him.
DOCUMENTARIES (FRIDAYS AT 6PM)
January 1: Iris
This film tells the story of Iris Apfil, a prominent figure on the New York fashion scene for several decades now. She is now 93 years old and continues to live a life full of enthusiasm, glamour and work that she loves.
January 8: Meru
This story tells the tale of an attempt of three people (Conrad Anker, Jimmy Chin, Renan Ozturk) to climb “Shark’s Fin”, a 4000-foot wall in the Meru peak of the Indian Himalayas.
January 15: Amy
This documentary film depicts the life and death of Amy Winehouse. The movie features interviews with several long-term friends and members of Amy’s family. It also includes extensive unseen footage.
January 22: Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief
This documentary focuses on the history of Scientology and it’s founder L.Ron Hubbard. It also delves into the involvement of celebrities in the church and several stories of the ex-members.
January 29: Listen to Me Marlon
This film documents the life of iconic actor Marlon Brando. It was compiled through private audiotapes that the actor recorded at home, in business meetings, during hypnosis, in therapy and during press interviews.
February 12: He Named Me Malala
This documentary features young Pakistani and activist Malala Yousafzai who was targeted by the Taliban, shot in the head and left wounded. She was targeted because she spoke out about the education rights of girls. She emerged as a leading advocate for children’s rights and the youngest ever Nobel Peace Prize Laureate.
General admission: $12
Pass for all 12-feature films: $124
Stocking stuffer for 9 feature films: $95
Documentary pass for all six documentaries: $60
For information on purchasing tickets, etc., Please visit shawfest.com or call 1-800-511-7429. Tickets can be purchased in advance or the day of.