Eight locally produced feature films to screen at VIFF 2019
Eight locally produced narrative and documentary feature films will screen at the 2019 Vancouver International Film Festival.
The 38th edition of VIFF kicks off on September 26 – and last Thursday, the city’s biggest film fest offered a first glimpse at the titles it’s programmed as part of its popular BC Spotlight series.
The list includes work from some of our province’s most acclaimed emerging and established filmmakers: Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers (C̓əsnaʔəm: The City Before the City), Kathleen Hepburn (Never Steady, Never Still), Anthony Shim (two x 4), Andrew Huculiak (Violent), Ying Wang, Julia Ivanova (Limit is the Sky), Harry Cepka, and Charles Wilkinson (Vancouver: No Fixed Address) – as well as award-winning filmmaker Marie Clements (The Road Forward) with her first narrative feature.
The eight films are part of a programming stream of located produced fare called Sea to Sky. Vancouver plays an integral role in Tailfeathers and Hepburn’s The Body Remembers When the World Broke Open (which had its world premiere last February at the venerable Berlin International Film Festival and tells the story of a chance encounter between two Indigenous women with drastically different lived experiences, navigating the aftermath of domestic abuse), as well as in Shim’s deeply moving drama Daughter starring John Cassini and Teagan Vincze.
The Okanagan takes centre stage in Ash, Huculiak’s much-anticipated follow-up to 2014’s Violent, and it doubles as the Middle East in Clements’ Red Snow. Two locally produced documentaries examine the devotion demanded of parents: Wang’s The World Is Bright and Ivanova’s My Dads, My Moms and Me. Cepka’s RAF – which will have its world premiere at the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival before its hometown screenings – is a story of friendship at first sight starring Grace Glowicki and Jesse Stanley – and VIFF favourite Wilkinson returns with Haida Modern, a portrait of the world-renowned artist Robert Davidson.
Thursday’s press release also included a list of Canadian films that will populate the True North stream:
The Acrobat (dir Rodrigue Jean) - World Premiere
And the Birds Rained Down (dir Louise Archambault)
Assholes: A Theory (dir John Walker)
A Brother's Love (dir Monia Chokri)
Castle in the Ground (dir Joey Klein)
Clifton Hill (dir Albert Shin)
Conviction (dirs Nance Ackerman, Ariella Pahlke, Teresa MacInnes)
Cranks (dir Ryan McKenna)
Easy Land (dir Sanja Živković)
Jordan River Anderson, The Messenger (dir Alanis Obomsawin)
L.A. Tea Time (dir Sophie Bédard Marcotte)
One Day in the Life of Noah Piugattuk (dir Zacharias Kunuk)
Symphony in Aquamarine (dir Dan Popa)
To Live to Sing (dir Johnny Ma)
When We Walk (dir Jason DaSilva)
White Lie (dirs Yonah Lewis and Calvin Thomas)
According to VIFF’s press release, “Canadian feature films at this year’s VIFF celebrate an expanded range of voices, perspectives, and narratives relating to the diverse experiences that make up the fabric of modern Canada. The Canadian program includes 12 first narrative features from Canadian filmmakers, and almost 50 per cent of the filmmakers are women.”
“Through the collaborative Canadian programming model, we’ve crafted a program that reflects the myriad realities of life in this country, with some inspired surrealities thrown in for good measure,” said Curtis Woloschuk, VIFF’s Associate Director of Programming who leads VIFF’s Canadian programming team. “While VIFF’s Sea to Sky and True North streams will once again be rich with discoveries, the films found there will also impart a kaleidoscopic take on this place we call home and the people that populate it.”
The 38th Vancouver International Film Festival runs September 26 to October 11 at venues across the city. The full line-up for the 2019 edition will be announced at a press conference on September 4; the program will be online the next day. Watch this space for additional coverage.
Pictured above: A still from ‘The Body Remembers When the World Broke Open’