Indie Film Review: Moon Point Opens in Toronto Feb 2-9

Update February 6 - Moonpoint Held Over

(Toronto – February 6, 2012) Who says Canadians don’t like indie films?

INDIECAN’s first release, Moon Point, directed by Sean Cisterna, opened this past weekend at AMC Y&D, to cheering fans, who helped make it one of the top 6 highest grossing films, out of 19, at the popular theatre venue. All to say, that Moon Point has now been brought back for a second week (to February 16).

“I’ve been saying all along that Canadian indie films matter,” says jubilant INDIECAN distributor Avi Federgreen, “ and in reality its been proven that Canadian films matter by the response to Moon Point this past weekend.”
directed by Sean Cisterna
starring: Nick McKinlay (Darryl), Paula Brancati (Kristin), Kyle Mac (Femur), Kristen Gutoskie (Sarah Cherry), Special Cameo Appearance by Christian Potenza

Opens One Week Run In Toronto
Beginning February 3, 2012
AMC  Yonge + Dundas - 10 Dundas St. E.

Q & A with filmmakers and cast
following evening screenings on Feb 3rd + Feb 4th
One Night Special Screening 
February 2, 2012 - 7:00PM
The Royal - 608 College St.
Q+A with filmmakers and cast

Post Screening Party  - 9:30PM
a number of bands from the film performing live
Revival - 783 College St.

I'm most often suspicious of films or books that are billed as 'quirky' - too often taken as a synonym for forced and superficial cool than any real sense of the whimsical, but Moon Point is an engaging film that actually lives up to its PR. It follows Darryl and friends in a kind of oddball road movie - slash - romcon - slash - coming of age story.

Femur is Darryl's wheelchair bound, engineering genius friend. He's devised a souped-up electric wheelchair just as Darryl comes to him with his plan to travel to Moon Point, a nearby town where Sarah Cherry, a hometown girl made good - and Darryl's grade school crush - is shooting a vampirish movie. Since neither has a driver's license, the wheelchair and its attached cart become their ticket to ride. Shortly after they set out down a gravel country road, they hook up with Kristin, a young lady on the run from her boyfriend and her past.

The premise is on the absurd side, and the opening scenes a bit clunky as they establish Darryl as the family's underachieving loser, stuck in his mother's house without gainful employment - or prospects - at 23, but big on philosophy, politics and other rationalizations. But just when you think the movie will sink into predictable mediocrity, it rises above it with a real and genuine sense of the unusual peopled with a host of eccentric characters (like Art Hindle in a banana suit) and unexpected moments like the creepy guy who stops to pick up Kristin roadside, "Can I see your feet?" he asks.

Flashbacks take us back to Darryl and Sarah Cherry as adorable preteen moppets, he earnest and in love, she as a precociously worldly child actress. There are funny scenes and the emotional points ring true too. In the present of the story, the three road warriors bond as they face a series of surreal adventures, but then break apart again just when I was expecting a Hollywood finish. The film's not afraid to show Darryl's flaws and weasely side while still making him sympathetic. It's sentimental without being syrupy or using unrealistic film clichés to save the day. I liked its understated charm and yes, it's quirkiness.

Sean Cisterna's feature is written by Robert Lazar, produced by Cisterna and Christian Potenza, and executive produced by Avi Federgreen.  The film also includes an assortment of popular Canadian actors in cameo roles, such as Art Hindle, Jayne Eastwood, Linda Kash, Laurie Elliott, Jessica Holmes and James Hartnett, just to name a few.

Moon Point played the festival circuit with great success, showing at the Anchorage International Film Festival, at Cinefest in Sudbury, Edmonton International Film Festival, Calgary International Film Festival, and the Film North Festival, where Moon Point won the People's Choice Award.

Moon Point is the first film to be distributed by INDIECAN ENTERTAINMENT, a new distribution company introduced in November by veteran film producer Avi Federgreen.