The best week for film geeks is upon us. Features, shorts, movies you may never get to see anywhere but here, amazing panels and workshops.

This 5-day festival of well-curated events is well underway. Now that the weekend is upon us, be sure to check out  their website for the full schedule as you make your weekend plans.

Bernie Langille Wants to Know Who Killed Bernie Langille
Catch it at Saturday Afternoon Shorts
LSPU Hall, 3-4:30

Imagine if you were named after your grandfather. And that grandfather was murdered. And that murder was never solved. You’d be awfully curious what happened to him, wouldn’t you?

That’s the basis for the short film Bernie Langille Wants to Know Who Killed Bernie Langille. In addition to its intriguing premise, the film employs an innovative style to tell the story: a set of miniatures.

“The idea to use miniature sets for Bernie Langille came to me 6 years ago, when I was doing a documentary for CBC about a group of Maritime artists who work in miniature,” says filmmaker Jackie Torrens.

“As soon as I saw their creations, I thought it would be amazing to use miniatures for documentary reenactment, only it had to be the right kind of story – in other words, a subversive story that would play against the idea of miniatures as the domain of dollhouse play.”

She says that when she came across Bernie Langille Jr.’s story, she knew she’d finally found the right story for the idea.

“The use of miniatures fit for a number of reasons: the story takes place in 1968 and so we can recreate the past exactly. The story also takes place in part at CFB Shearwater, and building our own tiny military base took away the problem of real-life access.”

As well, there are multiple accounts of what happened the night Bernie Langille Sr. died, and they could alter their miniature sets to reflect those differing versions.

“But most of all, the use of miniatures fit because Bernie Langille Jr. never met his grandfather, the man he’s named after who died 15 years before he was born – so the use of miniatures provides an odd, surreal atmosphere to a strange family story that feels like a dark fairytale.”

The Heat: A Kitchen (R)evolution
Friday Night’s Late Feature
9:30-11pm @ The LSPU Hall

Provincially and globally abroad, food culture is enjoying a revolution. People are rebuilding their relationship with food, cuisine, and where it all comes from. But the industry itself? Mega room for change.

“You don’t have to be a foodie to appreciate this highly watchable film that opened Hot Docs this year,” says the SJIWFF website. “Canadian filmmaker Maya Gallus turns her lens on a number of female chefs who struggle not only to keep their establishments thriving, but also just to survive in a male-dominated industry that largely caters (no pun intended) to bad boys with knives.”

Spanning the globe, Gallus has found eight women who are articulate, clear, and passionate about the culinary paths they have chosen, from high-end Michelin-starred restaurants to more popular bistro/diner venues. Each has withstood the heat of the kitchen to carve out a successful career, but not without a sizable helping of sacrifice.

The timing of the documentary’s film festival circuit comes hot on the heels of #MeToo.

As the SJIWFF website says, “Alarming examples of bad chef behaviour (we see you Mario Batali) have recently emerged to discourage even the most aspiring female chef from donning an apron, but despite a culture long known for its toxic ingredients, these women persist in stirring the pot. We’ll have what they’re having!”

Love, Scott
Saturday Evening Feature
7-8:30PM @ The LSPU Hall

Many of us remember the horrible hate crime that left a young Nova Scotian musician paralyzed. And the stunning tale of his surprising forgiveness and the message that followed.

Scott Jones was paralyzed from the waist down after a brutal homophobic attack. “The brutality of the experience led him to assess his identity as a gay man and ponder the heaviest of questions about his life and purpose,” reads promotional material for the film.

“Director Laura Marie Wayne gives us an intimate, tender portrait of Scott’s journey over several years, taking us along on his quest to make sense of what happened to him and go forward with acceptance and meaning. It is impossible not to be drawn into Scott’s story, so open and expansive is his relationship with the camera and, thereby, with us.”

Fresh from a successful festival run, Love, Scott has been picking up all the best prizes along the way. “You will see why almost immediately,” promises SJIWFF. “This is one of the most moving, beautiful docs we have ever seen.”

Stick around for a Q&A with director Laura Marie Wayne after the screening.