by Quincy Thomas
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The Poppy Jasper International Film Festival(PJIFF) announced today its full film lineup for its 2022 edition. This year’s hybrid festival will run from Wednesday, April 6 to Wednesday, April 13 and will feature both in-person and virtual screenings and events.

The complete PJIFF program includes features from around the world including Australia, Italy, Iran and Mexico among others. The festival will showcase a combination of documentary and narrative films including Australia’sGravel Road that follows the life of Jay Minning, singer-songwriter of the band the Desert Starks, based in the remote area of Tjuntjuntjara, Australia; Italy’s Il Grand Bolero that follows the story of a cynical mid-aged pipe organ cleaner struggling to control her attraction to her new 20-year-old assistant during Rome’s COVID-19 lockdown; and Juliet Landau’s feature film debut A Place Among the Dead among others. The full lineup also includes over 100 short films from 30 different countries.

The festival will also feature panel discussions with industry leaders to discuss an array of subjects including women in film, the film industry, and visual effects with more to be announced at a later date.
Adhering to PJIFF’s mission of supporting independent filmmakers and its local community, the festival will also include a Youth and Student Festival Day showcasing student films from across the world on April 6, Mexico Day, featuring films from the country as well as panel discussions on the industry and Latino representation in the industry on April 11, LGBTQ+ Day highlighting the work of LGBTQ+ filmmakers and stories on April 12, and Iran Day, spotlighting some of the best films from the country including PJIFF alumni Javad Daraei’s Metamorphosis in the Slaughterhouse on April 13.

“We are excited to bring these compelling and inspiring stories to our community, celebrating the beauty and power of film and welcome back audiences for PJIFF 2022,” said Festival Director Mattie Scariot.

On Thursday, April 7 the festival will host a special celebration, the “Poppy Bash!”, to premiere the song “Believe” inspired by the festival and its mission. The night will include a special live performance of the song by its composers, GRAMMY Award winner Randy Spendlove, President of Worldwide Publishing and Music at Paramount, along with multi-platinum artist Polo Jones and other local musicians. The event will be co-hosted by Jayson Stebbins and Drag Queen Alina Malletti Galore.

The festival will offer in person and virtual screening in accordance with CDC guidelines and is closely following any health-related precautions to protect the public and the community.

Tickets and passes are now available on PJIFF’s website here with a special super early bird price available until February 20th.


Addict Named Hal:

When Amy is sent unwillingly to a halfway house by her mom, she thinks she is different from everyone else – until Hal, a heroin addict returning to the house from jail, convinces her to give recovery a try. But Amy soon learns that her drinking won’t just disappear, and she may have a bigger problem than she thought. This film explores the everyday struggles, joys, and horrors of getting clean. Dir Lane Michael Stanley. Cast Natalie L’Amoreaux, Ray A. Roberts II, Donato de Luca, and Daniela Vidaurre.

A Place Among the Dead:

The film uses the vampire genre to explore the repercussions of growing up under the sway of narcissism and psychological abuse. In this revealing, terrifying, entirely scripted meld of fact, fiction, and the fantastical actress/filmmaker “Jules” driven by the demons of her past embarks on a journey at the potential cost of everything she knows and loves. Dir Juliet Landau. Cast Juliet Landau, Gary Oldman, Robert Patrick, Ron Perlman, Lance Henriksen, Anne Rice, Charlaine Harris and Janet Chamberlain.

Honest Days:

An unsuccessful actress rethinks her motherhood. Dir Ulises Pérez Mancilla. Cast Stephanie Salas, Arturo de la Rosa, and Alberto Santiago.

Human Resources:

After starting a job at an eerie hardware store, Sam Coleman uncovers a shocking mystery involving a missing employee. With the help of Sarah, a cynical coworker, Sam plunges into the dark corners of the store and is forced to confront the terrifying forces that lurk just behind the walls. Dir Branden Swope. Cast Hugh McCrae Jr., Anthony Candell, Sarah Jose, Tim Misuradze, and Michael Krammerer.

The Grand Bolero:

During the Covid-19 lockdown in Italy, Roxanne, a gruff mid aged pipe organ restorer struggles to control her obsessive attraction to her new 20-year-old mute assistant. Dir Gabriele Fabbro. Cast Lidia Vitale, Ludovica Mancini, Marcello Mariani and Filippo Prandi.


In the Slaughterhouse
Shadi is a little girl that her parents have been accused of murdering a girl in the village and villagers killed her parents to seek revenge. Her uncle adopts her and now Shadi must face the problems that people of the village caused them. Dir. Javad Daraei.


Eternal Harvest:

In 2017, 10-year-old La Yang found a small American bomb on the roadside in Laos. She thought it was a ball, but when she threw it, it exploded, killing her instantly and injuring 12 others. Half a century after the US waged history’s largest bombing campaign, an estimated 80 million unexploded bombs remain in the Laotian soil today, killing more than 20,000 civilians since the end of the war. A retired school principal from Wisconsin named Jim Harris, works on the ground in Laos to remove old bombs. Through the intersecting stories of Laotian families, clearance workers, government authorities and Harris’ team. Eternal Harvest traces the failures of US foreign policy to clean up America’s postwar mess in Laos and it underscores the urgent need for more funding. Dir Jerry Refern and Karen Coates.

Fireflies Patagonia:

In March 2020 25 riders took on Fireflies Patagonia, the most gruelling multi-day charity gravel social bike ride in the world to raise money for cancer. Over the 1000 km cycle journey across the harsh terrain, we hear about their motivations, their own battles with cancer and see friendship blossom. Dir Jay Creagh.

Gravel Road:

In Australia’s remotest community of Tjuntjuntjara, live Jay Minning – a singer-songwriter and front man of the rock band the Desert Stars. As the band hit the road to head out on their first tour we see the trials and tribulations that beset them. From van trouble to smashed windows to navigating the infamous Gravel Road. On the journey Jay shares with us his passion for music, his inspiration and rare glimpse into his Indigenous way of life. Dir Tristan Pembeerton.

Navigating THRU:

Navigating THRU follows the journey of several women as they hike 2,200 miles along the Appalachian Trail. Dir Lindsay Taylor Jackson.


For Lor Sabourin, climbing is more than a sport; it’s a way of exploring identity and building resilience in the face of adversity. They/Them follows Lor a trans climber into the sandstone canons of Northern Arizona, on a journey to piece together one of the hardest and most inspiring routes of their life. By embracing the strength in vulnerability, Lor has found the space to thrive and build a climbing community that other like them can call home. Dir Blake McCord.

Vinyl Nation:

A documentary dig into the resurgence of vinyl record, the diversification of vinyl fans, and the connective power of music. Dir Kevin Smokler and Christopher Boone.

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