BUFFY SAINT-MARIE: CARRY IT ON (Whistler Film Fest 2022) – Review by Marina Antunes

While much of the material covered by Madison Thomas is not new to Buffy Saint-Marie fans, the documentary offers a wealth of insight for fans and non-fans alike; fans will appreciate the artist speaking about her life and career in her own voice, while others will learn a little more about Saint-Marie and hopefully understand why she is such an essential part of cultural history.

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SOFT-SPOKEN WEEPY CULT CHILD (WFF 2022) – Review by Marina Antunes

Hope is your typical 16-year-old: confident one moment, shy the next, experienced in some things and not so much in others. Unlike your average teen, she’s also at a crossroads when it comes to her living arrangement. Her grandmother, with whom she’s been living with for some time, is dying of cancer and Hope is left with limited options. It’s either social services or she reunites with her mother, the same mother who abandoned her to pursue life with a cult. For reasons unknown to everyone, she opts for option two.

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MEDUSA – Review by Marina Antunes

A group of young women wearing white masks, roam the streets of Rio tracking down other women they feel are “sinful,” and assaulting them until they renounce, on camera and live-streamed onto social media, their evil ways and embrace Jesus. In her second feature film Medusa, writer/director Anita Rocha da Silveira marries the rise of religious vigor with observations on obsession, the perils of social media, peer pressure and, perhaps most troubling (always) how young women interact in groups.

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PRESS PLAY – Review by Marina Antunes

Press Play is a story of coming to terms with loss. Music-related time-travel is an interesting device that leads to character growth and ultimate acceptance of grief and working through it in a healthy way. While it’s not re-writing the book on either the romance or time-travel genres, director Greg Björkman’s debut feature is a lovely drama about relationships and how sometimes, the only way to move on is to let go. It also happens to feature a pair of memorable performances from two leads on the brink of stardom.

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Greg Björkman on PRESS PLAY, Finding the Perfect Cast and Music – Marina Antunes interviews

The story of a couple who find love only for it to be “paused” by trauma, Press Play spans the gamut of emotions, and is kept wonderfully grounded by Clara Rugaard and Lewis Pullman, a pair of up-and-coming stars who breathe life into their compelling characters. Director Greg Björkman recently shared some insights into his feature film debut, including his unconventional break into the industry, working with a writing partner, and finding the perfect cast to bring the story to life.

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QUEENPINS – Review by Marina Antunes

For some, couponing is a thrill. For others it’s a necessity. For Connie Kaminski and her best friend Jojo Johnson, it’s a multi-million dollar business enterprise. Written and directed by the husband and wife team of Aron Gaudet and Gita Pullapilly, Queenpins stars Kristen Bell as Connie, a former Olympian and suburban housewife who finds solace in couponing and stockpiling, while Kirby Howell-Baptiste is Jojo, the victim of identity fraud whose life has been so badly damaged by said fraud that she’s been forced to move back into her mother’s home and is trying to make a name for herself as a YouTube star.

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SAVAGE STATE – Review by Marina Antunes

French writer/director David Perrault’s Savage State is a gorgeously realized drama about a family living in Missouri at the onset of the Civil War. Determined to follow Napoleon’s orders to remain neutral in the battle, and with rising tensions and violence in the city, the family patriarch hires a guide to escort the family to the East coast so they can flee to Paris.

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Lindsey Morgan on SKYLINES, Sci-fi and Soaps – Marina Antunes interviews

Actress Lindsey Morgan is best known for her turn on TV’s long-running The 100 but the fan favourite is not only concentrating on TV. Skylines, the third instalment in writer/director Liam O’Donnell’s ongoing sci-fi saga, stars Morgan as Rose, an ass-kicking badass who is charged with taking the fight to the alien planet in hopes of saving what’s left of humanity. While quite different from Morgan’s previous roles, Skylines gave the actress the opportunity to mix her passion for kickboxing, something she had been pursuing on her own, with acting; not to mention the opportunity to lead a cast of international stars.

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