BEST BC FILM
B.C. EMERGING FILMMAKER AWARD
Preview, Promote, Vote! September from noon on Sept. 12 to noon on Sept. 24
As part of our BC Spotlight program, VIFF 2015 is excited to present 11 films from our own creative backyard. In advance of the festival, the #mustseeBC campaign invites audiences to preview trailers, promote BC filmmakers across social networks and VOTE! on the Audience Must See Award.
The winner of the Audience Must See Award will have a red carpet screening at the Vancity Theatre.
Films in this Series
Think Pan’s Labyrinth meets Carnivale and you’ll still be unprepared for this astonishing debut from Done Four Productions and director Nicholas Humphries. In this Dust Bowl-era reimagining of The Little Mermaid, an amphibious siren (Katelyn Mager) falls prey to a nefarious benefactor (Game of Thrones’ Iwan Rheon) and ends up in a magical turf war. Sumptuous production design and sinister storytelling conjure a seductive fantasy world.
An “intertidal artist” ambitiously crafts a memorial out of the marine debris from the great East Japan earthquake and tsunami that washes ashore in Tofino.
With a mesmerizing Michael Eklund starring as photographer Eadweard Muybridge, Kyle Rideout crafts a complex and compelling portrait of the man who’d be immortalized as both the godfather of cinema and the last American to receive a justifiable homicide verdict (for killing his wife’s lover). As fascinations distort into obsessions, Rideout skilfully employs techniques indebted to the infamous pioneer to convey Muybridge’s psychological unravelling.
What would it be like to live alongside one of the shapers of human events, in their youth, before they’ve transformed history? In Fiona Rayher and Damien Gillis’ documentary, we follow Caleb Behn, a young Dene lawyer locked in a battle with the oil and gas industry. He may become one of this generation’s great leaders—if he can discover how to reconcile the fractures within himself, his community and the world around him through the blending of the modern tools of law with ancient wisdom.
In his compelling drama/documentary hybrid, Sasha Snow explores the complexities of Grant Hadwin, a logging engineer who chainsawed down a 300-year-old sacred tree on Haida Gwaii as a protest against rampant logging in the area. Inspired by John Vaillant’s Governor General’s Award-winning book, The Golden Spruce, Snow focusses on the more mysterious elements of Hadwin’s story and fate, crafting “[a] gorgeously photographed, compulsively watchable, sympathetic doc…”—Globe & Mail
VIFF favourite Charles Wilkinson (Oil Sands Karaoke) returns with a visually stunning paean to breathtaking Haida Gwaii and the spirited people who populate it. The natural beauty of this culturally rich archipelago has served as a backdrop for tragedies such as outbreaks of smallpox and the exploitation of natural resources. And yet, the Haida Nation remains undaunted, preparing for a showdown over the Northern Gateway pipeline and planning for a more sustainable future.
Arriving in Story, Arkansas (pop. 89), Joni and Wes realize they’re not in L.A. anymore. There to settle their estranged father’s estate, they’ve arrived on Decoration Weekend, when locals celebrate their dearly departed. As a clearer picture of their father emerges, decisions become less obvious. This affecting dramedy from Nicolas Citton (That Burning Feeling’s screenwriter) is a bittersweet celebration of community and family.
More than four decades after Montreal’s infamous Sir George Williams Affair was sparked by allegations of faculty discrimination against black students, Ninth Floor reopens the file on a watershed moment in Canadian race-relations and one of the most contested episodes in the nation’s history. Making an audacious foray into nonfiction, writer and director Mina Shum (Double Happiness) engages the original protagonists in a compassionate cinematic exercise of reckoning and redemption.
In a world where women procreate asexually, male babies have become passé and an entire gender faces extinction… What’s a guy to do? Well, the youngest man alive (Patrick Gilmore), who toils as a housekeeper for a West Vancouver all-female family, is unaware that he’s about to become a key player in a battle for survival. Camera Shy’s Mark Sawers is at the height of his satirical powers with this wry speculative mockumentary.
After his terminally ill daughter (Olivia Martin) claims to have had a past life as an astronaut, a Christian teacher (Charlie Carrick) experiences a profound crisis of faith. Obsessively seeking answers, he risks his marriage and his remaining days with his child to determine whether she’s lived before… and might live again. Reflective and provocative, Connor Gaston’s debut is one of the year’s most unique Canadian features.
If you can’t take the nudity and coarse language, stay out of Salam Kahil’s deli. The moment Lewis Bennett’s fascinating documentary takes us inside the shop, the hilariously crass Salam lets fly with a barrage of profane insults and ribald anecdotes. As he rewrites his own history on a whim, we’re left to wonder how an irascible Lebanese male escort actually ended up in Surrey serving the largest sandwiches known to man. With humour and humanity, Bennett unearths the truth.
Jordan Paterson’s involving docudrama delves into a little-known chapter of Canadian history. During World War I, 140,000 indentured Chinese labourers were secretly transported from Vancouver to Halifax in locked trains and then shipped to the Western Front to dig trenches and clear the dead. Through intrepid research, interviews, rotoscoped animation and re-enactments, Paterson backs Voltaire’s assertion that “history is nothing but a pack of tricks we play upon the dead.”