Preview: Grand River Film Festival

Where Tech Meets Indie

For its 11th year, the Grand River Film Festival (GRFF) have adopted a #WhereTechMeetsIndie theme. From October 25-28, documentaries exploring nerd culture from a female perspective will be screened alongside recent indie releases starring the late great Harry Dean Stanton. Here’s what to expect.


Oct 25: She Started It

This documentary follows five women over two years that are pursuing their start-up dreams, following them as they build teams, pitch VCs, fail and start again. Successful women like investor Joanne Wilson, White House CTO Megan Smith and Facebook’s first female engineer, Ruchi Sangvi, share their perspectives as She Started It also explores some of the roots behind female under representation in entrepreneurship. Following the screening, a Voltera co-founder Katarina Ilic, Artemis President and founder Kristina McDougall, Penta Medical CEO Alexa Roeper and Borealis Wind founder Daniela Roeper will take part in a Women in Tech KW panel moderated by Shopify Plus producer Katie Jane Parkes. The short film, Final Exam, precedes the screening.
Oct 25, 7pm, $15. Shopify, 57 Erb Street W, Waterloo. Tickets.


Oct 26: Geek Girls

Montreal based filmmaker Gina Hara explores nerd culture from a female perspective delving into “a world of cute dresses, professional gamers, fame names and death threats.” She follows 11 women in Japan, Hungary, USA and Canada such as NASA rocket scientist Dr. Anita Sengupta, social media maven Jamie Broadnax and Canada’s ‘smartest person’/professional gamer Stephanie Harvey as they balance the thrill of being in a likeminded community with the ostracization within that community that exists for women. Following the film, Hara will have a post-screening Q&A session. The short film, What About Shelley, precedes.
Oct 26, 7pm, $15. TheMuseum, 10 King Street W, Kitchener. Tickets.


Oct 26: Lost in Paris

Filmmakers Donique Abel and Fiona Gordon bring their whimsical style to this charming film about a small town Canadian librarian and strangely seductive homeless man “finding love while lost in the City of Lights.” Academy Award nominee Emmanuelle Riva co-stars. The short film, André the Anti-Giant, precedes.
Oct 26, 7.30pm, $15. Galaxy Cinemas (Cambridge Centre), 355 Hespeler Road, Cambridge. Tickets.


Oct 27: 11th Grand River Film Festival Industry Event

Panels for this year’s industry event include Financing and Digital Marketing 101 (on how to get the money to make content and using social media to build an audience) and Content Creation in KW (on how to thrive in the media industry while being based in Waterloo Region and how to incorporate the latest technologies).

Shopify Studios’ Head of Development Colin McRae will give a keynote speech discussing his past work at MuchMusic, Bell Media, The Score and VICE Media, as well as the impact of evolving technologies had on his career. The Industry Event caps off with a screening of the MCAP Shorts program and a reception.
Oct 27, 1-6pm, $15. Communitech,151 Charles Street W #100, Kitchener. Tickets.


Oct 27: Reengineering Sam

Six-time Emmy Award winning filmmaker Brian Malone follows the startling journey of Sam Schmidt, a former IndyCar “Rookie of the Year” who suffers a horrific crash that leaves him a quadriplegic. However, a dedicated group using groundbreaking adaptive technologies help build Schmidt a car that he is able to drive using only his head, allowing him to return to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Following the film, Malone will participate in a Q&A session. The short film, Sahil, precedes.
Oct 27, 7pm, $15. Tannery Event Centre, Communitech, 151 Charles Street W #100, Kitchener. Tickets.


Oct 28: Integral Man

Renowned mathematician Jim Stewart spent “a decade and a small fortune” building the house of his dreams. Called Integral House, Stewart’s home is a reflection of his obssession with cruves and music. Located in Toronto Rosedale neighborhood, the home is regarded as one of the city’s finest performance spaces, hosting concerts by Grammy nominated soprano Measha Brueggergosman. Landscape designer Joseph Clement’s debut film has been praised as an impressive work of art itself documenting Stewart and his beloved home. Following the film, former University of Waterloo School of Architecture director and award-winning architectural advisor Larry Wayne Richards will take part in a Q&A screening. The short film, Happy Face Hill, precedes.
Oct 28, 1pm, $15. University of Waterloo School of Architecture, 7 Melville Street W, Cambridge. Tickets.


Oct 28: Lucky

The late Harry Dean Stanton gets a chance to step into the spotlight starring as a 90 year old atheist who embarks on a spiritual journey. The veteran character actor who memorably appeared in Paris, Texas and Twin Peaks co-stars with David Lynch in the directorial debut from actor John Carroll Lynch (Fargo, American Horror Story). The short film, Drift, precedes.
Oct 28, 3pm, $15. University of Waterloo School of Architecture, 7 Melville Street W, Cambridge. Tickets.


Oct 28: Riverhead

Award-winning filmmaker Justin Oakley taps into his rural Newfoundland roots for this arthouse drama about two feuding families whose rivalries are renewed by the return of one of the sons from prison. The film features an all-local cast of Lawrence Barry (Maudie), Stephen Lust (Cast No Shadow) and Des Walsh (Random Passage). Following the film, Oakley will take part in a Q&A session. The short film, Break Room, precedes.
Oct 28, 7pm, $15.University of Waterloo School of Architecture, 7 Melville Street W, Cambridge. Tickets.