Welcome to the second post highlighting the films the Cinetopia team thinks are “DO NOT MISS” at this year’s festival.

This time, we’ll hear from Makenzie Peecook, Cinetopia programming committee member and Conference Manager for Art House Convergence.

DO NOT MISS – Makenzie’s recommendations

Hey there, my name is Makenzie Peecook and this is my fifth year programming for Cinetopia Film Festival. Over the past few years of helping to select titles for this festival I have come to realize a few things about my own taste and the films I seek out that might be good to note here, with examples from Cinetopias long-gone. I tend to gravitate to:

  1. Tender, fully-realized portrayals of women (i.e. Columbus from 2017 and Madeline’s Madeline from 2018)
  2. Weirdo genre films (remember that time in 2016 we played The Lure, a Polish disco vampire/mermaid film? Like that!)
  3. Films that remind you how beautiful life can be and make you want to jubilantly hoist your fist to the sky (i.e. David Byrne’s Contemporary Color from 2016 or the Oscar-nominated Boy and the World from 2015).
Now onto this year! Below are my top picks for Cinetopia 2019:

To The Stars — A life-changing friendship blossoms between two young women in 1960s god-fearing Oklahoma in this gorgeous black-and-white, atmospheric drama from the Sundance Film Festival. To The Stars plays Monday, May 13th at 7:00pm at the State Theatre (that’s tonight!).

In Fabric —The most delightful screening I had at the last Toronto International Film Festival was this London-based homage to 1970s Italian horror where the monster is a beautiful red dress from a witch-owned department store that kills the people who wear it and which co-stars Brienne of Tarth from Game of Thrones. So much fun! In Fabric plays Friday, May 17th at 10:15pm at Angell Hall and Saturday, May 18th at 7:45pm at the Emagine Royal Oak. Tickets can be purchased here.

The Sharks — It’s rare that a movie lets a teen girl’s sexual awakening be as twisted and mean as this bold Uruguayan title from Sundance. It also has an incredible 80s-synth score! The Sharks plays Friday, May 17th at 4:30pm at the Emagine Royal Oak. Tickets can be purchased here.

The Farewell — A heartfelt film about family and life that’s so full of laughs and tears that it made me call my grandmother as I walked out of the Sundance screening. Awkwafina and newcomer writer-director Lulu Wang are both absolutely stars to watch. The Farewell plays Thursday, May 16th at 6:30pm at the Emagine Royal Oak. Tickets can be purchased here.

Check out the full schedule of films here

Check out the festival guide here

Buy a second weekend pass here