The Canadian tour of Aisling Walsh’s newest feature Maudie is set to continue, with news that the Irish/Canadian co-production will open the 2016 Calgary International Film Festival. Previously we announced that the film would world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, before opening the Atlantic Film Festival in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

The film is based on the life of Nova Scotia folk artist, Maud Lewis, and is an unlikely romance in which the reclusive Everett Lewis (Ethan Hawke) hires a fragile yet determined woman named Maudie (Sally Hawkins) to be his housekeeper. Maudie, bright-eyed but hunched with crippled hands, yearns to be independent, to live away from her protective family. She also yearns, passionately, to create art. Unexpectedly, Everett finds himself falling in love. Maudie charts Everett’s efforts to protect himself from being hurt, Maudie’s deep and abiding love for this difficult man and her surprising rise to fame as a folk painter.

Maudie is directed by Song for a Raggy Boy director Walsh and written by Sherry White (Crackie, Relative Happiness).The film shot in Canada with Guy Godfree as cinematographer. Post-production took place in Windmill Lane, with Stephen O’Connell as editor. Susan Mullen of Parallel Film Productions produces, alongside Small Shack Productions, and Painted House Films. Financing comes from the Irish Film Board/Bord Scannán na hÉireann, Mongrel Media, Telefilm Canada, Newfoundland Film Development Corporation, Ontario Media Development Corporation, The Harold Greenberg Fund, and Corner Piece Capital.

Last year Lenny Abrahamson’s Room played the festival, winning the Audience Award for Best Feature. Director Aisling Walsh and cast members Kari Matchett and Gabrielle Rose will attend the screening on September 21st. CIFF is a 12-day showcase of up to 200 multi-genre feature and short films from Canada and over 40 other countries, which play to an audience of over 35,000. The Opening Gala is the largest and highest profile event of the festival, which includes a red carpet, guests from the film, live entertainment, and a post-screening party.

The 17th Calgary International Film Festival runs September 21st to October 2nd.

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