The IFI Stranger Than Fiction 2012 kicked off on Thursday evening with the Gala Festival Opening sold-out screening of The Imposter. A packed cinema was treated to a documentary that perfectly encapsulated the title of this festival. Director Bart Layton was in attendance at the screening to give the audience an insight into this bizarre, fascinating story.
The first 5 minutes of the film tell how 13 year-old Nicholas Barclay disappeared from his family home in San Antonio, Texas in 1994. Three and a half years later, he is found curled up in a telephone box on a rainy night in Spain and is reunited with his family.
Best not to say anymore about what follows, but gobsmacking would seem an appropriate way to describe the unfolding extraordinary events of this Twilight Zone story of fact.
Layton has skillfully constructed a documentary that pulls the audience right into the eye of the storm and challenges their conceptions of truth and willingness to believe. Employing interviews, home movies, news archives and a series of dramatic reenactments, the film is a chilling tale of phenomenal proportions that is guaranteed to leave jaws on the floor as the outlandish series of events take shape and mould this brain-scrunching story.
If you missed it last night, the good news is it opens for an extended run in the IFI from next Friday, 24th August. Believe me you don’t want to miss it.
And as for IFI Stranger Than Fiction 2012, if The Imposter is a taste of things to come, we’re in for a wallop of a feast.
IFI Stranger Than Fiction 2012 continues today:
14:30 – DOCUMENTARY DISCUSSION – FREE EVENT
Film Ireland Commissioning Editor is joined by Bart Layton (The Imposter) and Paul Duane (Very Extremely Dangerous) for a discussion about all things documentary.
18:30 – 5 BROKEN CAMERAS
This year’s Audience Award winner at Sheffield Doc/Fest, 5 Broken Cameras, co-directed by Palestinian citizen Emad Burnat and Israeli citizen Guy Davidi, chronicles a five-year period in the former’s hometown of Bil’in, a small Palestinian village in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.
20:30 – ONE MILE AWAY (Irish Premiere) – One of the protagonists will attend
Penny Woolcock returns to the site of her 2009 fictional feature film, 1 Day, for this powerful documentary about fueding gangs in Birmingham, the city with the highest level of gun crime in Britain.
Keep an eye on filmireland.net for coverage of the festival as it happens.