Ana Valine’s darkly comic drama centres on mother/daughter con artists who just can’t catch a break. Seen through the eyes of 16-year-old Sammie (Paloma Kwiatkowski)—who lives with her pill-popping, alcoholic mom Marlene (Suzanne Clément)—this bittersweet journey leads us through dysfunction, love and addiction, before culminating with an unusual deliverance for this compelling pair. Winner, Best Director, Leo Awards 2014.
We are thrilled to offer this coveted gala spot to the winner of the #mustseeBC competition, where audiences will have the power to tell us which film they want to see at this exciting event. Check out mustseebc.viff.org for details!
Love. Grief. Shock. Denial. Sleeplessness. Bubble bath. Masturbation. Pop Tart. Bootie. Rejection. Weeping. Awkward. Life’s a bitch.
The past is open to re-interpretation in this irreverent selection of short films. Be it personal histories or matters of historical record, deeply entrenched attitudes or well known passages of scripture, nothing is particularly sacred here. Featured films: Day 40, Jutra, Luk’Luk’i: Mother, Mynarski Death Plummet, Not Indian Enough, Righteous, Tigerbomb! and The Weatherman and the Shadowboxer
After a couple discovers a supernatural phenomenon in their backyard, their relationship takes an unexpected turn.
Companionship can be a funny thing… Or a tragic thing… Or an unsettling thing… These short films tell the stories of characters who are tormented by affairs of the heart, hopelessly entangled with one another or left yearning for such complications (be they romantic or otherwise). Featured films: The Acting Teacher, Burnt Grass, Dead Hearts, Hard Card, Hole, Howard & Jean, Life’s a Bitch and Withering Heights
An abstract exploration of ephemerality and recycling.
Director Ricardo Troggi (1981) delights with this hilarious and sometimes caustic souvenir of his own life when he was 17 years old. Jean-Carl Boucher plays young Ricardo as a cockeyed Quixote, fearlessly tilting at the repressive tyranny of everyday adolescence. Inspired by a surreal vision, he’s on a quirky quest that involves raging hormones, family drama and petty crime.
The inciting incidents in this riveting collection of inventive short films aren’t for the faint of heart or closed of mind. Industrial accidents, infestations and impending invasions set into motion reincarnation, revolution and musical numbers. Featured films: Bedbugs: A Musical Love Story, Bengal Light, Cutaway, The Hearing, Just Living, Kreb, Pour Retourner, Third Page from the Sun and What Doesn’t Kill You
Maybe location isn’t quite everything in these short films but it’s certainly integral. A haunted lighthouse, eerie acoustics lab and sleepy prairie community are but some of the atmospheric environments that these compelling stories immerse us in. Featured films: Bison, Broken Face, Chamber Drama, Eclissi, Fallow, Lifers, Light and Sleeping Giant
Director Julia Kwan documents the pivotal changes affecting the culture and economy of Vancouver’s Chinatown, one of the oldest in North America. With humour and sympathy, Kwan introduces us to residents who see their way of living eroding and to others who welcome the transition, including real estate consultant Bob Rennie.
In the crackpot mosaic that is Montréal in 1966, Jean Corbo, an idealistic 16-year-old, befriends two far-left political activists and joins the FLQ (Liberation Front of Québec), an underground movement determined to spark a socialist revolution and Québec’s separation from Canada. Director Mathieu Denis brings the true and tragic story of a decisive moment in Canadian history into sharp focus.
A woman confronts her cousin, who’s been telling people that she isn’t actually First Nations.
Acclaimed filmmaker Thomas Burstyn (This Way of Life) turns his inquisitive camera on his aunt and uncle: Yolanda Sonnabend, a London artist who resides in decaying splendor, and Joseph Sonnabend, an esteemed AIDS physician who’s returned to a house he hates and sister he can’t relate to. The enthralling result is a film about family relations, fractured sibling love, gender, art, science, diaspora and legacy—and the uncomfortable role of the filmmaker as voyeur, confidant, family.
Best known as the drummer for Vancouver-based We Are the City, Andrew Huculiak makes his directorial debut with this beautiful, atmospheric film shot in Norway and inspired by the band’s latest album. It stars newcomer Dagny Backer Johnsen as a young woman who, after enduring a catastrophic event, loses herself in memories of the people who loved her most.