Festival Update #3: HIFF Begins today!


It’s opening night of the 2018 Halifax Independent Filmmakers Festival! The festival begins with a diverse selection of Canadian films, including the thought-provoking visual feast All You Can Eat Buddha at 7pm. At 9pm Atlantic Auteurs Program One showcases short films by Atlantic Canadian filmmakers, which were chosen by a peer jury from over 100 submissions.

HIFF wouldn’t be HIFF without the word “filmmaker” in the title, and we’ve brought All You Can Eat Buddha director Ian Lagarde to Halifax to present his film and participate in a Q&A following the screening. Several of the filmmakers behind Atlantic Auteurs will also be in attendance and joining us for the opening night reception afterwards.


7:00 PM Feature: All You Can Eat Buddha

9:00 PM Shorts: Atlantic Auteurs Program One

10:00 PM Opening Night Reception 

All of today’s screenings take place at Neptune Scotiabank Stage Theatre, 1593 Argyle Street, Halifax



All You Can Eat Buddha by Ian Lagarde
Vacation comes early this year in the form of Ian Lagarde’s debut feature,All You Can Eat Buddha, which takes place on a sunny all-inclusive island resort. Ludovic Berthillot stars as Mike, a guest at El Palacio who arrives alone and plans on an indefinite stay. He plods around in paradise, sates his senses with buffet food and gaudy entertainment, but something isn’t quite right in this unsettling utopia. Though the film was shot in Cuba, the fictional setting remains nameless and Lagarde’s script and direction conjure an eerie reality out of inscrutable performances and slick, hallucinatory visuals. Somewhere between cosmic comedy and Dharmic dream, All You Can Eat Buddha is an absurd and thought-provoking rumination on spirituality and consumption that is both recognizable and repellent in equal measure.


Atlantic Auteurs - Program One
This program showcases recent work by well-known names in the film community paired with exciting offerings from new local voices. Halifax treasure James MacSwain strikes again with his fresh 16mm animation The Red Purse based on a story from the Halifax Explosion and shot in James’ unmistakable charming style. After the success of her feature film Werewolf, Ashley McKenzie returns to HIFF with a meditative journey through a Cape Breton waterfall in Martha Brook Falls. Todd Fraser continues his process-based experiments using both DV camera and 16mm hand-processed film in the surprisingly funny it’s good to go see different areas. A bold new voice that stands out is Petra O’Toole with Madár, an understated documentary evoking big questions as an elderly woman attempts to rescue a dying bird.

Please join us after Atlantic Auteurs Program One for a reception. Enjoy some tasty refreshments from Good Robot and Vandal Doughnuts and toast the amazing local talent participating in this year’s festival!


PASSES: Pre-ordered HIFF Festival Passes will be available for pick up in the lobby of the Neptune's Scotiabank Stage Theatre up to 60 minutes before each showtime. Passes will also be available for sale at the door.

TICKETS: Tickets can be purchased online at any time for $10, or at the box office 60 minutes prior to each showtime for $12.


TOTE BAGS: This year we have HIFF tote bags available for $10. They’ll be on sale in the Neptune lobby prior to or in between screenings. We also have a few vintage HIFF t-shirts available for $10.

CONCESSION: As has come to be expected at HIFF, we’ll be offering free popcorn in the lobby at Neptune. Good Robot Brewing will be a special HIFF feature at Neptune’s bar. New this year: you’re allowed to bring your drinks into the theatre with you!

DISCOUNTS: HIFF pass holders get discounts at the following establishments during HIFF:

World Tea House- 15% off
Dee Dee’s Ice Cream- 10% off
Seven Bays Bouldering- $2 espresso drink // $5 bouldering

SOCIAL MEDIA: You are welcome and encouraged to post about HIFF on social media. Please use hashtag #HIFF2018 and tag us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. If you would like to post a photo which includes the face of another person, please ask that person before posting.

VENUE ACCESSIBILITY: Neptune's Scotiabank Stage Theatre has wheelchair accessible entrances, seating, and gendered washrooms.If you have any other accessibility related questions or if you'd like to pre-arrange assistance, do not hesitate to call the Neptune Box Office at(902) 429-7070.

SAFER SPACES: The Atlantic Filmmakers Cooperative (AFCOOP) and Halifax Independent Filmmakers Festival (HIFF) Safer Space policy is intended to help create a supportive, non-threatening environment at HIFF 2018.  AFCOOP is currently undergoing an extensive review of our processes and Code of Conduct, and in the interim will operate in accordance to this policy.

AFCOOP wants to ensure our visitors, members, and staff feel safe, welcome, and comfortable in our spaces, on our film sets, and at our events. We require a respectful environment at all times, and will not tolerate discrimination or harassment in any form. This includes but is not limited to: racism, sexism, ableism, transphobia, queerphobia, homophobia, sizeism, ageism, xenophobia, sexual harassment, or violence of any kind.

We encourage anyone who experiences or witness violations of this policy to speak with identified safe volunteers or AFCOOP staff (identified by wearing safe buttons) who will address the situation, and provide support and further resources. We are striving to be survivor oriented and our response will be to support the survivor.

If you are found violating our policy, you may be asked to leave the space. If this should happen, we ask that you respect our policy and self-exclude yourself from the event. It is AFCOOPs responsibility to follow up with persons involved in an incident, and an appointment can be made with our director Martha Cooley or a board member after the festival is over.

We understand that survivors may have hesitation about attending public events or visiting our spaces, if so please feel free to contact Ruby Boutilier (Safer Spaces Committee chair and board member) rubysue241@gmail.com and we will make every effort to support your participation.

About HIFF: HIFF is a boutique festival dedicated to showcasing bold, innovative film and media art from the Atlantic region and around the world. The festival includes screenings, receptions, celluloid installations and one-on-one meetings between local filmmakers and guest programmers from Canadian and International festivals.

HIFF is produced by the Atlantic Filmmakers Cooperative with the generous support of The Province of Nova Scotia, Arts Nova Scotia, Canada Council for the Arts, Canada Department of Heritage, City of Halifax, Telefilm Canada, Screen Nova Scotia, The Coast, and NSCAD University.

ABOUT AFCOOP: Established in 1974 the Atlantic Filmmakers Cooperative (AFCOOP) is a non-profit, community organization dedicated to supporting the production and presentation of independent film and moving image-based work in a collaborative, learning environment.

AFCOOP operates with generous support from the Canada Council for the Arts, the Province of Nova Scotia and the City of Halifax.