Annual Members Meeting

October 16, 2013

Annual Members Meeting

SIFF Members get the first opportunity to purchase Festival 2014 passes and ticket packages (at the lowest price of the season!), hear exciting insiders-only details about what's coming up at SIFF, and a sneak preview screening of Philomena starring Judi Dench and Steve Coogan.


5pm | Doors open
5pm - 7pm | Passes and Ticket Package Sale
7pm | Program begins

7:15pm | Screening begins


SIFF Cinema Uptown


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About the Film

In 1950s Ireland, Catholic authorities shamed thousands of "fallen" Irish women into giving their children up for adoption, with no hope of ever seeing them again. Philomena Lee was one of these women. Stephen Frears tells her story in his new heartfelt drama, adapted by Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope from a celebrated book by Martin Sixsmith.

After fifty years of fruitless searching for her son's whereabouts, Philomena solicits the help of recently unemployed - and unapologetically cynical - journalist Sixsmith. Initially, they find nothing but burnt documents and tight-lipped nuns at the Roscrea convent where Philomena spent these pivotal years. But just when they think all hope is lost, Sixsmith sparks up a conversation with a local pub owner, who reveals that the convent was in the baby business, selling them to Catholic American couples who could not have children of their own. This is how an unlikely duo embarks on a journey to Washington, DC in search of a grown man once known as baby Anthony.

Determined to be positive despite the answers that may lie ahead, Philomena shares stories from her past, savouring every moment of her American experience. While her quirks may test Sixmith's patience, he will ultimately prove her biggest supporter.

Showing us her softer side, Dame Judi Dench gives a tour-de-force performance as Philomena, one that is perfectly complemented by Steve Coogan as Sixsmith. True masters of their craft, Dench and Coogan have a natural chemistry onscreen, and their wry humour lifts the film's more sombre moments. Frears beautifully balances these competing tones, crafting a film that illustrates the complexity of the human character. While revealing some of the darkest deeds that the Catholic Church is capable of, Philomena also reminds us of one of its greatest virtues: forgiveness.

About the Director

Stephen Frears was born in Leicester, England. He embarked on a career as a director after studying law at Cambridge University. His films include My Beautiful Laundrette, Sammy and Rosie Get Laid, The Grifters, Dirty Pretty Things, Mrs. Henderson Presents, Tamara Drewe, Dangerous Liaisons, The Hi-Lo Country, High Fidelity, and The Queen.

  • Original Language Title: One Day Festival Pass Sale!