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Sudbury Indie Cinema reopens to in-person screenings as COVID restrictions loosen

Indie movie house comes ‘flying out of the gate with an eclectic range of awards-season official selections and critic’s picks’

Sudbury Indie Cinema says it’s coming “flying out of the gate with an eclectic range of awards-season official selections and critic’s picks” following COVID-19 restrictions being loosened Tuesday.

The region’s only art house cinema opened its doors to in-theatre screenings Feb. 16 for the first time since Dec. 22.

“It’s been a long eight weeks, but we have stayed productive and positive, while doing our part to bend the curve down,” said the Indie’s lead programmer, Beth Mairs. 

The cinema moved into virtual screenings once it became apparent that movie theatres in the region would not be permitted to re-open mid-January either.

One of the usual impacts of how the pandemic has affected the movie theatre business is that while cinemas in most major cities in Canada and the U.S. have been closed for nearly a year, smaller centres with art house cinemas like Sudbury have been in the enviable position of offering their local fans the year’s top films on the big screen, while major metropolises such as Toronto, New York, and Montreal have had to settle for virtual screenings of the same titles only.     

Now that the green light has been given, the cinema has pulled together a schedule of film programming for the big screen which is sure to delight the film-lovers nearby (and make envious film-lovers from afar.)

On the big screen @ the Indie:

  • Sound of Metal:  Lead actor Riz Ahmed continues to rack up the accolades and improve his Oscar potential for his stunning performance as a heavy metal drummer who is losing his hearing. Nominated for a Golden Globe as Best Actor in a Motion Picture Drama and having already won Best Actor category at the Independent Spirit Awards, this is really a must-see.     
  • Another Round: Four friends, all middle-aged high school teachers, test a theory that they will improve their lives by maintaining a constant level of alcohol in their blood. This Danish dramedy swept the European Film Awards taking best film, best actor, and best director. It’s also a Golden Globe nominee for Best Motion Picture-Foreign Language. Last week, it was announced to have made the Oscar shortlist for Best International Feature.
  • Supernova: Oscar winner Colin Firth and former nominee Stanley Tucci, a pair familiar to the awards circuit, could make a splash for their work in Supernova opening exclusively @ the Indie this Thursday. The actors play a couple coping with one’s dementia diagnosis by taking a RV road-trip across England.
  • Collective: Shortlisted for an Academy Award for two categories: Best Documentary Feature and Best International Feature Film. Beginning with the deadly fire in 2015 at the Bucharest nightclub Colectiv, this riveting doc follows investigative journalists as they track and unravel widespread corruption in the Romanian healthcare system.
  • Dear Comrades: Russia’s official submission to the Academy Awards is set in the provincial town in the south of the USSR, 1962. Lyudmila, a devout Communist Party official, is a scourge of anything she perceives as anti-Soviet sentiment. Together with other local Party officials, she is taken by surprise by a strike at the local factory, in which her own daughter is taking part.
  • Preparation to be Together for an Unknown Period of Time: Hungary’s official submission to the Academy Awards. Márta, a 40-year-old neurosurgeon, falls in love. She leaves her shining American career behind and returns to Budapest to start a new life with the man. She waits for him in vain at the Liberty Bridge – he does not appear at the rendezvous. Márta starts to search for him desperately, but when she finally finds him, the love of her life claims that they have never met before. The New York Time calls this a “simmering portrait of obsession.”
  • Some Kind of Heaven: A 2020 American documentary about The Villages, Florida- the world's largest retirement community.  Marking the directorial feature debut of Lance Oppenheim, the film is a stylized portrait of four residents living within the Villages struggling to find happiness and meaning in life's final chapters. Some Kind Of Heaven is a nice distraction from the other tragic and dark documentaries we’re used to seeing at award time. Oppenheim presents a hopeful future for the latter years of life.
  • My Little Sister: Switzerland’s official submission to the Academy Awards. Lisa, once a brilliant playwright, no longer writes. She lives with her family in Switzerland, but her heart remains in Berlin, beating in time with that of her twin brother Sven, the famous theatre actor. Since Sven has been suffering from an aggressive type of leukaemia, the relationship between them has become even closer. 

“Its somewhat eerie to hear from a distributor that they don’t have any lobby movie posters printed because we are literally the only theatre in Canada playing their title on the big screen,” explains Mairs. 

"The strain on film distributors is very palpable. How best to release films, especially major films, when only 30-40 per cent of movie theatres are open across Canada and the majority of those theatres typically book Hollywood fare: its a dilemma, to put it mildly.  On the positive, we in Sudbury, with our lower COVID numbers, have joined a very small elite group of cinemas with the ability to bring the year's best- no actually the world’s best- cinema to our communities  The films we open over the next 2 weeks are a great example of that.” 

For March, Sudbury Indie Cinema has also secured the very Oscar-buzzy Promising Young Woman (4 Golden Globe nominations) and festival favourite Minari-nominated for Best Foreign Language Feature at the Golden Globes and 10 critic’s choice award nominations including best picture.

For more information on Sudbury Indie Cinema, including showtimes, prices, and location, visit or call 705-674-0000.