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 .

Helga & Rendez-Vous

And our final 2 announcements for official selections at Pendance are Tinna Hrafnsdóttir‘s beautiful short from Iceland, Helga, and from Montreal, Jimmy Boutry‘s short film Rendez-Vous. The films will screen in-competition for Best Short, and Best Canadian Short respectively.

Congrats to our first 5 selections- we’ll be announcing our final program of 15 selections on December 1st. See you at Pendance 2017!

Fuzzy Logic Pictures – 2 selections

We love Fuzzy Logic Pictures. The studio screens twice at Pendance 2017- first with a special out-of-competition screening of the Live-action Oscar winner Curfew, starring Fátima Ptacek (Dora the Explorer, Before I Disappear) and Shawn Christensen (Sidney Hall, Before I disappear). Next, in competition, we’ll screen the wonderful Cul-de-Sac, a thriller by Damon Russell, starring Shawn and Phoebe Tonkin (Vampire Diaries), a brilliant pairing. Follow the films here; Curfew (short film) and Cul•de•Sac – short film.

‘A Gentle Night’ is the first official selection

Qiu Yang’s 2017 Cannes Palme d’Or winning short film ‘A Gentle Night’ is the first official selection of the Pendance Film Festival.

Overcome with grief after her 13 year old daughter goes missing, a desperate mother goes out to search for her daughter in this nameless Chinese city. The film is a visual masterpiece, and we cannot express how pleased we are to announce its’ inclusion in our festival.