105 MINUTES | 2019 | USA | ENGLISH | CANADIAN PREMIERE
Blasting its way out of this year's Sundance Film Festival Midnight program, MOPE tells the tragic true story of Steve Driver (Nathan Stewart-Jarrett) and Tom Dong (Kelly Sry), bottom level performers in the porn industry who meet at a bukkake gig and become fast friends. Steven is ferociously driven to become a star in the industry, bringing Tom along to work for hardcore fetish director Eric (Brian Huskey), who's happy to employ them for any number of menial tasks and peculiar sex scenes. Steve's ambition and fragmenting mental state leads to a number of dubious career moves, and ultimately a shocking and disastrous conclusion.
Despite the outrageous nature of the business it portrays, MOPE is really about friendship and the misguided ambition of a mentally ill man grasping for acknowledgement. Stewart-Jarrett is firing on all cylinders in his cringy and heartbreaking portrayal of wannabe star Steve Driver, and director Lucas Heyne does us the courtesy of not sugar-coating grotesqueries of the industry while humanizing the real-life characters in this harrowing tale. Viewer discretion is STRONGLY advised.
Director: Lucas Heyne
Producers: Kelly Hayes, Danny Roth, Kern Saxton, BP Cooper, Dylan Vox, Elena Cristiean
Cinematographer: Bryan Koss
Editor: Kern Saxton
Cast: Nathan Stewart-Jarrett, Kelly Sry, Brian Huskey, Max Adler, David Arquette, Tonya Cornelisse
Content Warning: graphic sexual content, nudity, explicit sexual language, racial slurs, homophobic slurs, physical assault, weapons, mental illness, drinking, substance abuse, violence, blood, gore, death, racism, classism, sexism. Special Note: instances of real life footage used, including a non-graphic death on screen.
"Is Mope a “must see?” If you love movies that start off insane and ends even crazier, then yes, Mope is a must see in every way." - FilmThreat.com
THE INCIDENT AT TREASURY GARDENS
5 MINUTES | 2018 | AUSTRALIA | ENGLISH | TORONTO PREMIERE
Dir. Brendan J. Doyle
Two men plan a duel at Melbourne’s Treasury Gardens, but it doesn’t go as planned and instead unearths an astonishing tale of love and tragedy. THE INCIDENT AT TREASURY GARDENS is one of ten episodes of THE TWIST, an animated short-form documentary series that brings to life some of Australia’s most intriguing true crime stories.
Content Warning: mention of suicide intent/attempt, death.