February 17, 2014 7:05 pm
Updated: April 22, 2014 12:11 pm

Lost Mary Pickford film to be screened at inaugural Niagara fest

Mary Pickford and Owen Moore in a scene from 'Their First Misunderstanding.'


TORONTO — The co-founder of the world-renowned Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) is bringing his cinematic expertise to Ontario’s wine region this summer.

Bill Marshall is behind the Niagara Integrated Film Festival (NIFF), which will run June 19 to 22 at venues in Niagara-on-the-Lake and St. Catharines.

NIFF will feature about 100 screenings.

Among the highlights is Pickfair, a celebration of Toronto-born Hollywood icon Mary Pickford hosted by Christel Schmidt, author of Mary Pickford: Queen of the Movies.

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The program will feature the Canadian premiere of a restored version of Their First Misunderstanding, an 11-minute silent film released in 1911 that starred Pickford and her husband Owen Moore.

The film was believed lost forever until a copy was found in a New Hampshire barn in 2006.

Their First Misunderstanding will be accompanied by live orchestra and shown with Pickford classics like 1926’s Sparrows, 1919’s Daddy Long Legs and 1917’s Poor Little Rich Girl and Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm.

Danny Lennon will present a program of Canadian short films screened a month earlier at Cannes and Colin Geddes of TIFF’s popular Midnight Madness program will curate the Mondo Wacko program of edgy films.

Filmalicious will offer dinner and a movie at a local vineyard. Last year’s acclaimed wine documentary Red Obsession, narrated by Russell Crowe, and the 2012 doc More Than Honey will be screened.

The first NIFF, with a budget of around $1 million, has received some corporate support and funds from the city of St. Catharines. The festival also used crowd-sourcing site Indiegogo to raise funds.

Marshall, Dusty Cohl and Henk van der Kolk launched the Festival of Festivals — which became TIFF — in 1976. It attracted about 35,000 movie-goers in its inaugural year and has since become one of the biggest and most star-studded film festivals in the world.

Global Toronto is a sponsor of the Niagara Integrated Film Festival. For more information visit niff.co.

© 2014 Shaw Media

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