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The Barrie Film Festival & The 88th Annual Oscars

29 February 2016


Congratulations to all nominated, and all winners at this year’s Academy Awards!


The Barrie Film Festival has always endeavoured to feature the most engaging and interesting films in Independent cinema, from Canada and around the world. Proudly associated with The Film Circuit, the Toronto International Film Festival’s outreach programme, we have access to an outstanding selection of film so it is not surprising that we often select Oscar nominated films to share with you. Following are 88th Annual Academy Award nominated films we’ve shown, or that we have coming up in the next couple of months.


During our 18th annual festival held in October 2015 we happily shared the loveable and playful Shaun the Sheep Movie, nominated for Best Animated Feature Film


Shaun is a clever, mischievous sheep who lives with his flock on Mossy Bottom Farm under the nominal supervision of The Farmer, and Bitzer, a well-meaning but ineffectual sheepdog. Despite Shaun’s best efforts, life on the farm has fallen into a bit of a rut, and Shaun concocts a cunning plan to have a day off. However, his plans backfire and events rapidly escalate out of control, with the mischief inadvertently leading to the hapless Farmer being taken away. With the flock’s help, Shaun must leave the farm for the first time and travel into the Big City in order to rescue his owner… and failure is not an option.


One of the best attended films during our recent Reel Stories Festival was Trumbo, starring Bryan Cranston in the Best Actor Nominated role of screenwriter Dalton Trumbo.



Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad) stars as prolific and embattled screenwriter Dalton Trumbo in this insightful and stirring drama about one of the most controversial chapters in Hollywood history. The author of scripts for such films as Kitty Foyle, Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo, and Our Vines Have Tender Grapes, Dalton Trumbo was among the highest paid scenarists of his time until he and other artists were jailed and blacklisted for their political beliefs. Trumbo recounts how Dalton used words and wit to win two Academy Awards and expose the absurdity and injustice of the blacklist, which entangled everyone from gossip columnist Hedda Hopper (Helen Mirren) to John Wayne, Kirk Douglas and Otto Preminger.


COMING UP! Oscar nominated films not to be missed… 


Theeb, nominated for Best Foreign Language Film and coming up March 2 and 3 for Screen One


Arabia, 1916. Theeb (Theeb means wolf in Arabic) lives with his Bedouin tribe in a forgotten corner of the Ottoman Empire. Having recently lost his father, it falls to Theeb’s brother, Hussein, to raise him. Hussein tries to teach Theeb the Bedouin way of life, but the young boy is more interested in mischief than mentorship. Their lives are interrupted with the arrival of a British Army Officer and his Guide on a mysterious mission. Unable to refuse help to his guests for fear of dishonouring his late father’s reputation, Hussein agrees to escort the pair to their destination, a water-well on the old pilgrimage route to Mecca. Fearful of losing his brother, Theeb chases after Hussein and embarks on a treacherous journey across the Arabian Desert. Since the outbreak of the First World War, this harsh terrain has become the hunting ground of Ottoman mercenaries, Arab revolutionaries and outcast Bedouin raiders. If Theeb is to survive he must quickly learn about adulthood, trust and betrayal. He must live up to the name his Father gave him.


Anomolisa, nominated for Best Animated Feature Film and coming up on March 17 for Dinner & Movie night.


Michael Stone (David Thewlis) is a successful motivational speaker with fans across the country, but inside him sits a knot of anxiety that renders much of his daily life meaningless. Everything and everyone just seems the same to him. But then Michael meets Lisa (Jennifer Jason Leigh) on a speaking-tour stop in Cincinnati. Lisa is an anomaly. Michael and Lisa begin with prickly, cautious conversations and then move towards love. But, unlike in a conventional Hollywood romance, that romantic arc is neither simple nor obvious. The love scene at the heart of Anomalisa should instantly rocket up the list of cinema’s greatest. It’s intimate, awkward, heartbreaking, and deeply erotic despite the fact that the lovers are made of felt. Returning to the themes of human connection and artistic creation that ran through his feature directorial debut, Synecdoche, New York, as well as his screenplays for Being John Malkovich, Adaptation, and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Kaufman delivers an even more insightful rumination on love here, one that finds its perfect expression in the fragility of the film team’s stop-motion figures. This is a beautiful, one-of-a-kind romance. –Cameron Bailey, TIFF 2015


Mustang, Best Foreign Language Film, coming up April 21 for Dinner & Movie


Five young sisters living in a coastal Turkish village on the Black Sea are placed under the tyrannical regime of traditional morality by their guardians, in the poignant, award-winning first feature by Turkish director Deniz Gamze Ergüven.

Mustang tells a straightforward story of female empowerment, but it’s the way it tells that story that makes it deserving of the accolades, including an Oscar nod for best foreign language film.” – Lenicka Cruz, The Atlantic