‘The Replacement’ makes its Canadian Premiere at Pendance 2019

Ever wondered what you might have become had you done things differently? Ever wish you could clone yourself and just change small things with each of them? Maybe one would be a lawyer? Another a crack addict? Maybe… one might become president.

That’s the idea behind this revolutionary and brilliant film ‘The Replacement’, our latest selection to Pendance 2019.

This is one of the most technically complex, and mind-blowing films I’ve probably ever seen given the limitations of the budget. Sean’s a world-class director, having worked on a zillion projects.

Synopsis: Election night, 2036: As clones roam among us, a disgruntled janitor must confront reality when one of his clones is elected President of the United States.

Country: USA


‘Fake News’ will have its North American premiere at Pendance 2019


How far are we willing to go for fame, followers, likes, clicks, and relevance in 2018? However far you’re willing to go, one Youtuber is willing to go even further.

Katsimiris approaches this film with a nuanced discipline which is clear from the first frame. The film works well for many reasons; performances, cinematography, smart writing etc. But the film as a whole works because it is the result of much thought and research into its dark and disturbing subject matter.

There’s something unfiltered and almost vintage about ‘Fake News’. It’s unapologetically real and puts the mirror not only to the lead character but to all of us.

Who are we? What are we becoming?

Synopsis: A Youtuber and her partner have gotten their hands on an anonymous video which shows the disturbing rape of a white woman by two masked men. The means by which they got this video is a bit more complicated.


Country: Greece


‘Botanica’ is coming to Pendance 2019

Botanica is edgy and very original filmmaking. It takes a look at the relationship between a couple unable to conceive a child, growing old and unsatisfied until one of them decides to make the ultimate sacrifice.

Synopsis: A garden-center employee fears his possible infertility and realizes that sometimes you have to swallow your pride to let love overcome.


Country: the Netherlands


Announcing our 9th Official Selection, ‘On My Own’

Announcing our ninth Official selection to Pendance 2019.


‘ON MY OWN’ (Mogu Sam) by one of the brightest young Yugoslavian filmmakers, Nikola Polic will have its North American premiere at Pendance this winter.


This film is so methodically paced in its slow-burning execution. It’s current and yet timeless. It’s uncomfortable, satisfying, compellingly human, heartbreaking, and above all else, honest. Not everyone will understand it immediately–but if you give this film your full attention, it’s the type of film that you’ll carry with you for the rest of your life.


Synopsis: Stimulated by a series of seemingly irrelevant events, Marko finally confronts himself.


Country: Serbia



‘All These Creatures’ is the Seventh Official Selection

All these Creatures, the 2018 Palme D’Or winner at Cannes, is cinema at the height of its powers. Everything is maximized for complete emotional impact. The acting is brutally honest, the writing perhaps even more so. It’s the type of film that stays with you for months or years, and perhaps shifts your awareness of yourself and life as a whole so dramatically that it becomes a life-changing experience altogether.

This isn’t merely a film about a father and son, domestic violence, or mental illness. This is a film about the essence of life, struggle, and the pursuit of happiness.


Synopsis: An adolescent boy attempts to untangle his memories of a mysterious infestation, the unravelling of his father, and the little creatures inside us all.


Country: Australia



We present our sixth official selection, ‘Delay’ By Ali Asgari

This film is about questions. Hard questions. It’s the type of film we’ve come to expect from Asgari and Samadi, the dynamic writing duo behind ‘Delay’ and a handful of other masterful works from Iran over the last four years.


Asgari is an accomplished and special director. His film ‘The Silence’ which he co-directed with Farnoosh Samadi won the Palme D’Or at Cannes in 2016. His short ‘The Baby’ premiered in competition at Venice Film Festival in 2014. And It was at Venice in 2017, that his film ‘Disappearance’ won the Orizzonti award.


His films have screened at more than 700 festivals around the world, from tiff, to Berlin, and won more than 160 international awards.


Asgari was born in Tehran but completed his schooling in Italy. Both influences are clearly present in his entire body of work, which has been focussed on themes such as abuse of power, and equality.
We’re honoured to bring this film to Pendance in 2019. It’s an important film, and it’ll spark important debates long after the credits roll.


Synopsis: As his flight is delayed, a father tends to his young children at the airport awaiting their delayed departure. When his son needs to use the washroom, the father briefly leaves his young daughter in the care of a stranger.


Country: Iran


‘Aria’ is the first selection of Pendance 2019


We are officially announcing ARIA directed by Myrsini Aristidou as the first selection of Pendance 2019.

A big hit at Sundance 2018 and the Venice Film Festival, we’re excited to have this timely and masterful short as part of our festival this year. Generously supported by the Spike Lee Production film, ARIA is one of the most human, and important films you’ll likely see in your life.


17-year-old Aria’s father promises to take her on her first driving lesson after work. When he leaves an illegal immigrant in her care and decides to go gambling with his friends instead, Aria steals the car and decides to go on a joyride. What could go wrong?

Country: Cyprus, France


Announcing the fifth and final nominee – Tsuki

Announcing the fifth and final nominee for best picture at Pendance…this touching Colombian short, Tsuki, by Mauricio Leiva-Cock. Tsuki made its world premiere at Palm Springs and will make its Canadian premiere at Pendance.

When the family’s pet rabbit goes missing, a young boy goes to extreme lengths to ensure the safety of their beloved family dog Tsuki. Written by my favorite Canadian director Mark Raso (Copenhagen, Kodachrome, Under) this film is a great representation of the work he, Mauricio, Mauro and David are doing over at Fidelio Pictures.

We patterned a lot of what we’re trying to do at Pensare based on examples we saw at Fidelio and Fuzzy Logic. I’m so proud that at our first festival, we have a chance to feature both studios twice (Damon’s Cul-de-Sac, Shawn’s Curfew, and Mauro’s A World for Raul)

Qiu Yang’s Director Statement on ‘A Gentle Night’

A Gentle Night is nominated for Best Picture at Pendance, and won the Palme d’Or at Cannes in 2017. Qiu explains his vision and concept below.

Qiu Yang’s Director Statement on ‘A Gentle Night’

As a filmmaker, I’m always interested in looking for inspiration and characters from real life. The story of the film comes from a seemingly mundane local news:

A young girl suddenly went missing, few days later, more girls disappeared from the same area. However, after about two weeks, all the missing girls just walked back home, from nowhere, with no explanation.

I was fascinated by this report, and mostly by what was not on the page. The news just stayed with me, for days. Why would the girls go missing, what happened to them, and what did the family do after the girls went missing?

Then I incorporated the motif I always explore: the traditional Chinese ideology. In Confucianism, we have five sacred figures that we are supposed to worship, “Sky, earth, sovereign, father and teacher.” In nowhere does it mention anything about women or children. And this is what shaped the undertone of our society for thousands of years.

So, I was curious to explore, what would happen, when an ordinary Chinese woman, with her daughter missing, decides to go against all these ideology undertones? After all the centuries went by, are we Chinese really different from the past?

Meet Clara Lezama, director of ‘Emma’

Meet Clara Lezama, a 23 year old filmmaker from Montevideo, Uruguay. Her short, Emma, won best #shortfilm at both FIEC and the Festival Piriápolis de Película.

Emma is a #suspense thriller about a woman (Chiara Hourcade) who while escaping something, winds up at a hotel. Once there, everything she sees only serves to heighten her paranoia. It’s a#davidlynch meets #hitchcock meets#guillermodeltoro effort resulting in claustrophobic #masterpiece.

There are very few filmmakers who could have pulled off a film like this- much less at 21 on a 4 day shoot without government funding.

#pendancefilmfestival salutes the #brilliant #film .