The festival opens with an incredibly strong debut local feature by Nicole Dorsey whose talent is on full display from beginning to end. Masterful cross-cutting is the operating principle of this thrilling drama which comes to us fresh from accolades at TIFF. We follow the parallel lives of a young woman suffering from adolescent restlessness and a not-so-young man’s struggle with his demons. We know it is only a matter of time before their worlds collide. The film is an elegant study of suspense, a superbly paced exercise in character and plot development. Dorsey directs with incredible confidence. Her two leads must have felt pretty comfortable in her hands because they perform their roles with utter conviction. Shot in Newfoundland, Black Conflux captures the intimacy and attendant claustrophobia of small-town life. This is a gripping, flawlessly executed drama you will never forget.