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Mind-bend theatre


A shot from "The Act of Killing." Just a normal day at the falls. (Press photo)
A shot from “The Act of Killing.” Just a normal day at the falls. (Press photo)

Halloween was three weeks ago, but the desire to be frightened and disturbed never seems to die. From Nov. 21-24 the Outlier Film Festival will be fulfilling such desires through movies from all over the world, spanning across an array of outside-the-box genres, such as Horror-Pop, Doom Fantasy, and Psycho-Spiritual.

Matt Charlton, one of the festival’s organizers, said, “[We] have more interest in the strange and weird, rather than showing Friday the 13th for the 15th time in Halifax…We didn’t just want to book a bunch of mediocre horror movies.”

Many of the films explore bizarre, unique and disturbing themes. Charlton praises the documentary The Final Member, which revolves around the story of a man setting up a penis museum in Iceland. The museum features penises from various mammals, except it is yet to display a human penis.  The film focuses on two men, one from Iceland, the other from America, who compete to be the first human penis in the museum.

After much research and deliberating, the panel of organizers were able to develop a catalogue of films that they wished to share with the public. Charlton explained that “The first step was the most fun, which was just searching around on the internet trying to find interesting looking movies.” After compiling a list of interesting films, the organizers negotiated screening fees, decided on ratings and made decisions regarding promotion.

Promotion for the film festival has been done mostly online via Facebook and Twitter as well as their interactive website. Organizer Sandi Rankaduwa explained that, “it’s hard because our target audience might not be super tapped into traditional media…so hopefully news of the film festival will travel by word of mouth.”

With ambitions of developing Outlier into an annual event, Charlton said the “response has been excellent so far.” With films varying from “Pre-apocalyptic Comedies” to a character study of a man slowly turning into a zombie, Outlier is sure to have something for everyone. “Not every film will make people feel miserable,”says Rankaduwa.

“There isn’t much gore,” says Charlton. The unifying characteristic of all these films are the bizarre story lines and lack of a formulaic approach.

“With Outlier, since they’re smaller films and smaller budgets there’s the ability to explore the borders of film making,” says Charlton. In movies with larger budgets there is less freedom to deviate from the status quo. However, Outlier shows films that have taken the liberty to stray from cinematographic norm which will surely thrill lovers of the strange, fantastical, and obscure.

The Outlier film festival will take place Nov. 21 to 24 at the Bus Stop Theatre.


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