Next week's Port Moody Canadian Film Festival will kick off with one of the most internationally acclaimed movies to come out of Canada in recent memory.
Running from March 14 to 17, the annual festival gets underway with an opening night screening of War Witch, or Rebelle in French, a movie that cleaned up at last weekend's 2013 Canadian Screen Awards.
Having won 10 awards at the ceremony - including best picture and best director - the film follows the life of a young African girl who's forced into combat in the midst of a brutal civil war.
The festival features five other feature length movies, and short films from filmmakers across the nation.
"We offer an eclectic mix of different film genres that celebrate excellence in Canadian filmmaking," said Brad Williams, the festival's artistic director.
"We like to gather films and people from as close to home as possible. We try to encourage young and emerging filmmakers and give them an opportunity to show their work."
After the festival's debut screening on Thursday, March 14, a pair of French films will be featured at the Inlet Theatre one day later: the thriller/suspense film Liverpool gets going at 7 p.m., while All That You Possess will be screened at 9: 30 p.m.
The double bill on Saturday, March 16 will see elements of romance and drama featured in Take This
Waltz, while action and suspense are the names of the game in Blood Pressure.
The films will be screened at 7 and 9: 30 p.m., respectively.
Featuring Robert Pattinson and Juliette Binoche, the David Cronenberg film Cosmopolis will bookend the festivities at 7 p.m. on Sunday, March 17. A wrap party will follow the conclusion of Cosmopolis, starting at 9 p.m.
"The selection of the various films involves a balance between comedies, dramas and other genres. We always like to throw in at least one quirky film that pushes the envelope to make the whole event more festival-like," said Williams, who has the final say over which films make the cut at the festival.
"Quality is the first criteria I look for, which means [the movie] tells a story and it uses the art of film to enhance that story. You've got to tell a good story and use all the various skills involved to do that."
Advance ticket sales for the 13th annual festival begin on Saturday, March 9 and Sunday, March 10 between 1 and 4 p.m. in the Galleria at Port Moody City Hall.
Tickets will also be sold at the Inlet Theatre starting at 6 p.m. nightly during the festival.
Tickets for each show cost $7, plus an annual $5 society membership.
For more information, see www. pmfilm.ca.