Two new films about women artists open this weekend: Charlotte and All My Puny Sorrows.

Film review: All My Puny Sorrows

Michael McGowan's adaptation of Miriam Toews' novel marries a celebrated author with a filmmaker in his creative prime.

By Chris Knight, National Post                                     April 13, 2022


From left, Sarah Gadon and Alison Pill in All My Puny Sorrows.

There are two scenes in Michael McGowan’s adaptation of Manitoba author Miriam Toews’ All My Puny Sorrows that will likely stay with you long after the screening ends.

In one of them, sisters Elf (Sarah Gadon) and Yoli (Alison Pill) are sitting in a room in the psych ward of the hospital where Elf has been admitted after a suicide attempt. The two have a discussion about shame, its harms and benefits, and the way it can help give rise to great art. It’s a microcosm of drama, a little mini-movie in the midst of a larger story that is tinged with the dark hues of a family’s history with suicide, but also with lighter moments of grace and even humour.

Which brings us to the second unforgettable scene, in which Yoli has words with a stranger in the hospital’s parking garage, totally losing it, before running into her mother (Mare Winningham) inside the building. The comic coda to said scene is a complete corker.

All My Puny Sorrows focuses closely on the bond between the sisters – but it also encompasses the ways that religion tries (and sometimes fails) to provide comfort in times of stress.

McGowan, whose humane and humanistic stories include Saint Ralph, One Week and Still Mine, has a light touch with his adaptation.

All My Puny Sorrows is a mature and beautiful story, the union of a celebrated author with a filmmaker in his creative prime. It’s ultimately about the way grief sneaks up on us, the way death sneaks up on us and the way, sometimes, life and light sneak up on us. Try to be ready for those moments, it suggests. You can’t. But try.

5 stars out of 5

Watch All My Puny Sorrows Official Trailer

Film Review: 'Charlotte'

By Sherri Linden, Hollywood Reporter                                     Sept 17, 2021

Keira Knightley leads the voice cast of an animated feature that tells the story of German painter Charlotte Salomon, who was killed in Auschwitz but left behind an extraordinary body of work.


Scene from Charlotte, new animated biopic about the life of artist Charlotte Salomon.

Tracing the last 10 years in the brief life of German artist Charlotte Salomon, Charlotte deals head-on with depression and suicide as well as the Nazis’ genocidal war. Why use animation to tell such a harrowing story? In the hands of directors Eric Warin and Tahir Rana it’s the perfect choice. The 2D imagery, a potent representation of Salomon’s preferred medium, gouache, allows us to see the world from her inspired, painterly perspective.

Warin and Rana have made a film that is “based on a true story,” but more than that, is based on a work of art. The film is steeped in beauty at least as much as it is in sorrow, the dance of Mediterranean light a vibrant counterpoint to the creeping shadow of hatred and violence.

Salomon was in her 20s, and in exile from her native Berlin, when she felt death closing in. That time was running out for her she was certain — and so she raced to create a series of paintings to document her memories and experiences. Titled Life? Or Theatre? the collection consisted of more than a thousand visual vignettes on small sheets of paper, many of the scenes and portraits adorned with text (some consider it the first graphic novel). Salomon entrusted this fervent work to a friend; posthumously, it would be exhibited around the world, and today is housed in Amsterdam’s Jewish Historical Museum.

Salomon’s remarkable story of resilience and visionary talent has inspired plays, an opera, a documentary and a 1981 Dutch feature. Still, it’s surprising that she’s not more widely known. With its elegant style, affecting narrative and the vivid voice work of a mostly British cast, led by Keira Knightley (Marion Cotillard tops the French version), Charlotte could, in the right hands, bring Salomon’s work and biography to a wide international audience.

Watch the official trailer: Charlotte

New Films Opening this week!

2022 Winner 2 Canadian Screen Awards: Achievement in Editing & Music, Original Score!

Based on Miriam Toews' best-selling novel, All My Puny Sorrows unexpectedly infuses wry humor into this heart-wrenching story of two loving sisters: one a gifted pianist (Sarah Gadon) obsessed with ending her life, the other a struggling writer (Alison Pill) who, in wrestling with this decision, makes profound discoveries about herself.

No screenings currently scheduled.


"The genius of Charlotte, directed by Eric Warin and Tahir Rana, is to recognize that the best way to tell this story is through animation that can reproduce Salomon's quick expressionistic gouaches as it recounts her life." - Globe & Mail

Charlotte is an animated drama that tells the true story of Charlotte Salomon, a young German-Jewish painter who comes of age in Berlin on the eve of the Second World War. Fiercely imaginative and deeply gifted, she dreams of becoming an artist. Her first love applauds her talent, which emboldens her resolve.

No screenings currently scheduled.


500 rooms and thousands of daily visitors: the Medici’s treasure chamber containing icons from antiquity to the late Baroque period is a place full of (art) history. It survived two world wars but must now reinvent itself in order to remain an enduring audience magnet.

Backstage of the Uffizi Gallery built in 1561, one of the oldest museums in the world every task becomes a ritual. We meet the passionate staff of German director Eike Schmidt, his assistants, architects, custodians and the concierge. We witness sensitive negotiations with British artist Antony Gormley over the placement of one of his sculptures.

No screenings currently scheduled.


"The documentary from British writer-director Andrea Arnold conveys something similar to the splendor that radiates from the best of silent cinema." - Chicago Reader

Academy Award-winner Andrea Arnold returns with an intimate portrait of one dairy cow's life. The film highlights the beauty and challenges cows face, and their great service to us all.

No screenings currently scheduled.

Also Playing this Week


René Laloux's mesmerising psychedelic sci-fi animated feature won the Grand Prix at the 1973 Cannes Film Festival and is a landmark of European animation.

This animated tale follows the relationship between the small human-like Oms and their much larger blue-skinned oppressors, the Draags, who rule the planet of Ygam. While the Draags have long kept Oms as illiterate pets, this hierarchy shifts after an Om boy becomes educated, thanks to a young female Draag. This leads to an Om rebellion, which weakens the Draag control over their race.

No screenings currently scheduled.


'Marlene' centres on the case of Steven Truscott, a Canadian man who spent many years in prison after being wrongfully convicted of a murder he did not commit, through the eyes of his wife, who fought to exonerate him.

"Many years ago, Steven Truscott and Lynne Harper were classmates in the small town of Clinton, Ont. Her body was discovered on June 11. The next day, Steven Truscott — believed to be the last person to have seen Lynne Harper alive — was arrested for her murder; Truscott was eventually found guilty and sentenced to die by hanging. He was 14 years old.

No screenings currently scheduled.


When live music rocked Kitchener-Waterloo! Featuring Q&A with producer Betty Anne Keller

Rock This Town brings to life the exciting history of rock music concerts in KW from the 1960s & ‘70s. An insider’s look into the gritty reality of building the local live music scene. A 70-minute documentary featuring interviews with music business pros plus performances by today’s musicians. Rock stars come and go but live music is here to stay!

Select showtime to buy advanced tickets.

The science fiction horror classic, back on the big screen!


Get tickets to our 9:15PM show of Aliens (1986) here!

No screenings currently scheduled.


The essential-viewing sequel to the original science fiction classic!

Part of our April 26 Alien Day Double Feature!

Get tickets to our 7:00PM show of Alien (1979) here!

No screenings currently scheduled.


"Animated with devilish glee and full of deep characters, 'Jujutsu Kaisen O' is a thrilling high point in anime." - San Jose Mercury

When they were children, Rika Orimoto was killed in a traffic accident right before the eyes of her close friend, Yuta Okkotsu. Rika became an apparition, and Yuta longed for his own death after suffering under her curse, but the greatest Jujutsu sorcerer, Satoru Gojo, welcomed him into Jujutsu High.

No screenings currently scheduled.

The Zonta Film Festival (ZFF) showcases inspiring, powerful and thought-provoking films made by women. We are one of a limited number of film festivals in Canada that exclusively exhibits female filmmakers.

ALL proceeds will be donated to support local and global initiatives improving the lives of women and girls. In 2019 ZFF  was able contribute over $22,000 to local organizations and in 2021 our IWD event contributed over $20,000 to Zonta International projects. ZFF tickets are $15.00 per show.


2022 Zonta Films

Coming Soon


A young couple trying to reunite amid a city ravaged by a plague that turns its victims into deranged, bloodthirsty sadists.

The city of Taipei suddenly erupts into bloody chaos as ordinary people are compulsively driven to enact the most cruel and ghastly things they can imagine. Murder, torture, and mutilation are only the beginning... A young couple is pushed to the limits of sanity as they try to reunite amid the violence and depravity. The age of civility and order is no more.

No screenings currently scheduled.


The new feature film directed by Andrew Dominik, featuring Nick Cave & Warren Ellis, captures their exceptional creative relationship as they bring to life songs from albums Ghosteen and Carnage.

Shot on location in London & Brighton, THIS MUCH I KNOW TO BE TRUE captures Nick Cave and Warren Ellis’ exceptional creative relationship as they bring to life the songs from their last two studio albums, Ghosteen (Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds) and Carnage (Nick Cave & Warren Ellis).

No screenings currently scheduled.


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