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Women in Film and TV Festival: Girl From God's Country

Program Running Time 66 min.

Mar 08 02:00 pm

Films in Program

Directed By: Karen Day
(USA, 2015, 66 mins, DCP)

An important pioneer, Nell Shipman challenged what it was to be both a woman and a filmmaker in the early 20th century. Leaving the safety of the Hollywood studios, she ventured into the wilderness to make stories of her own. While in Idaho she wrote, produced, directed, and starred in at least 25 independent silent films. And yet, she is now all but forgotten, a fate not uncommon for many women filmmakers. In this documentary, Nell’s story is paralleled with the stories of others, highlighting their immense but largely hidden legacy. + Panel Discussion

WIFTV: Awards Ceremony & Closing Party

(400 mins)


Mar 13 07:00 pm

VIWIFF is pleased to present the following ‘best of the festival’ awards: IATSE Feature Film; WIFTV Documentary; FINALE Short; DGC Direction; UBCP/ACTRA Performance; SIM DIGITAL Cinematography; CCE Editing; UBC CREATIVE WRITING Screenplay

Presented by Matrix Production Services, these awards are given to the top three BC short films in the festival.

The International Screenplay Competition Best Screenplay Award will be presented as well as the winners of the From the Dark Side Genre Script Competition. All Awards are chosen by an independent jury of industry professionals.

The Ceremony will be followed by a party.

Celebrate great films by women!

Refreshments Served/ Cash Bar

WIFTV: When Giants Fall

(2015, 78 mins, DCP)


Mar 13 03:00 pm

Witness the magnificence of the African elephant and experience the gentle souls that lie within their awesome grey bulk. They roamed all of Africa a century ago, but now are left with tiny parcels of land and nowhere to run as they face extinction. These charismatic giants are under constant threat by fierce and unrelenting human predators from the worldwide yet illegal ivory trade. The documentary examines and exposes the elephant poaching crisis in Zimbabwe and Tanzania, including the militarization of the anti-poaching response. Revealing painful truths, this documentary not only points to the damage humanity is inflicting upon both elephants and itself, but furthers the discussion regarding the possibility of conservation and sustainability.

There will be a panel discussion after the screening.

Preceded by the short films:

Sniff! The Art of Air Tasting

Directed by: Sandra Ignagni, BC (5 min)

There are many ways to explore your surroundings, and tasting the air is one of them. Join Alex Grünefelder as he explains the theory, practice and purpose of this important environmental awareness.

Norma’s Story

Directed by: Alex Hawley, Ontario (5 min)

Recalling her childhood in the fifties, Norma Kassi allows us a glimpse into the life of the Vuntut Gwitchin people, while warning of the consequences of today’s environmental crisis.

WIFTV: Brides

(2015, 93 mins, DCP)


Mar 12 08:30 pm

Nutsa, a young mother, lives with her two children in the suburbs of Tblisi in Georgia. Her partner Goga is in prison. They, along with other prison couples, must “officially” marry to gain visiting rights. But the routine of prison visits begins to change the meaning of their separated lives. The stress becomes unbearable, and even the conjugal visit acts to reinforce the bars between them. This is an austere yet compelling film where the characters are captured with sensitivity and compassion.

The film had its world premiere at the 64th Berlin International Film Festival in the Panorama where it won the 3rd Place Panorama Audience Award. It has also been selected for the official competition at the Tribeca Film Festival. The lead performer, Mari Kitia, received the Special Jury Prize for Best Actress at the Sarajevo Film festival, and the movie was given 3 awards at the Scarborough Worldwide Film Festival, including the Outstanding Directorial Achievement Award.

WIFTV: Kinderwald

(2015, 87 mins)


Mar 12 06:00 pm

A quietly lyrical film filled with genuine suspense, Kinderwald is set in 1854 Pennsylvania. Flora, her two children and her dead husband’s brother, John, have arrived to homestead. When the young boys disappear without a trace, the neighboring community first helps, seeking them in the surrounding landscape. However, it isn’t long before suspicions arise, and the young couple must search for the boys alone. Troubling interferences and a brutal attack from criminal elements lead to a trial of faith for both Flora and John, which the film explores with a realism that steps beyond the real.

With its stunning cinematography and perfectly calibrated performances, this film is a festival favourite. It has been featured in the Slamdance Film Festival, and received the Special Jury Prize for Cinematography and Production Design from the Napa Valley Film Festival.

Preceded by the short film:


Directed by: Maja Aro, BC (12 min) World Premiere

Set during the Cariboo gold rush, two prospectors – a young man passing through and a shootout survivor on the verge of death – share a critical conversation. The film, based on the story by Michael Erickson, combines strong cinematography with moving and powerful performances delivered by local performers Ian and Keenan Tracey, who deliver a well crafted story about regret and redemption.

WIFTV: Compelling Characters (short films)

(97 mins)


Mar 12 03:30 pm


Directed by: Shannon Kohli & Michelle Brezinski, BC (10 min)

The black plague rolls across Europe, prompting desperate measures to stop the contagion. One woman refuses to abide by these laws, trying to prolong the last moments of her husband’s life. This film has been recognized for excellence in production values and its compelling story.


Directed by: Myrsini Aristidou, Cyprus (13 min) BC Premiere

Seeking attention, a little girl shows up at her father’s workplace. Barely speaking, they manage to convey a tenuous yet special and caring relationship. A selection at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival, the film has been recognized as “astutely observed, ultimately heart-rending.”


Directed by: Sandra-Jessica Koban, France (20 min) World Premiere

Five men in a halfway house are about to rejoin society after their periods of incarceration. With poignant sensitivity and strong performances, the film captures the almost insurmountable challenges they face, as they try to prove their readiness for the outside world.

Ransack Saccage

Directed by: Jean-Christophe J. Lamontagne, Quebec (14 min)

BC Premiere

Loïc is the newcomer in his gang of adolescent delinquents. What will he do when he discovers the house they are robbing is not completely empty? The film convincingly portrays a difficult social dynamic, while managing to find an up-beat ending.


Directed by: Una Gunjak, Croatia (15 min) Canadian Premiere

Selma decides to save the life of her birthday present, a chicken, by setting it free. In 1993, in Sarajevo, this naïve idealism may cost the 6-year-old Selma her life. Realistic, harsh and beautiful at the same time, the film portrays family bonding in extreme circumstances.

Rebel (Bihttoš)

Directed by: Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers, BC (14 min)

This is a moving, engaged, and unconventional documentary exploring the complex relationship between a father and daughter. Through animation, re-enactments, and archival photos, writer/director E. Tailfeathers (Blackfoot & Saami) delves into the dissolution of her parents’ mythic love story, showing how it has coloured her perception of love in her adult life.


Directed by: Stella Kyriakopoulos, Greece (11 min) Canadian Premiere

A mother and daughter spend the day travelling through the city. An emotionally powerful and heart wrenching film about love and choices, the film has won several awards, and was nominated for the Short Film Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival.

WIFTV: Perspectives (short films)

(87 mins)


Mar 12 12:00 pm

Short films followed by a panel discussion with the filmmakers and special guests

The Fast

Directed by: Doreen Manuel, BC (24 min)

Filmmaker Doreen Manuel initiates a fasting ceremony to connect with her heritage, then shares the story of her father and renowned First Nations leader, George Manuel. The film portrays the spirituality, tradition and history of the Secwepemc and Ktunuxa people, documenting an historic struggle for their rights.

The Girl, Whose Shadow Reflects the Moon

Directed by: Walaa Al Alawi, Jordan (5 min) BC Premiere

A moving and personal account from Walaa, a Syrian girl who escaped the civil war. She constructs an expressionistic narrative with thoughtfulness, visual sensitivity, and hope.

Hands Up

Directed by: Zinhle Essamuah, USA (28 min) Canadian Premiere

This film is a documentary seeking the meanings, messages and truths of Ferguson, Missouri, following the shooting death of Michael Brown. Zinhle Essamnah narrates her directorial debut with sincerity and an inquisitive openness.

Sáapreye: Children of the Bamboo Cane

Directed by: Rita González (29 min) Venezuela

North American Premiere

Dwindling down to a small group does not stop the Sáapreye people from caring for their traditions and rituals. The elder of the group, 120-year-old Mama Shuta, attempts to teach the younger generations while recalling tales of pre-colonial life.

WIFTV: End of Days, Inc.

(2015, 82 mins, DCP)
BC Premiere


Mar 11 09:30 pm

Under the guise of a farewell party with cash bonuses to come, a group of unenthusiastic employees is tricked into working all night for a company closing shop. Between work breaks filled with bizarre, childish and completely mandatory party games, the employees begin to realize that their work is having catastrophic consequences on the outside world.  As the bribes turn into threats, and when quitting is no longer an option, will this smorgasbord of antiheroes have what it takes to save the world?

This delightfully bizarre and genre-bending comedy comes with strong performances and memorable production design.

WIFTV: Crushed

(2015, 111 mins)


Mar 11 06:30 pm

Her father’s death brings Elliot back to the family home and business, a 100-year-old vineyard on the brink of bankruptcy. Here, she unravels the mystery of his death by facing her own traumatic past. The film explores themes of loss, memory, and renewal, while paralleling the disintegration of a family with the corporate abuse of a landscape.

This “environmental thriller” has been enthusiastically received by juries and audiences alike, screening at the Montreal, Napa Valley and Melbourne Underground film festivals.

WIFTV: 70% Dark (short films)

(99 mins)


Mar 11 04:00 pm

Chaos Management

Directed by: Michelle Muldoon, BC (3 min) Canadian Premiere

An exhausted professional deals with an early morning distraction in her own unique way. What seems an innocuous beginning transforms into the revelations of a surprising character.


Directed by: Karen Nielsen, BC (10 min) BC Premiere

Screened at festivals around the world, this BC film shows us a disturbing glimpse of a post-apocalyptic landscape. When a stranger joins a young girl and her dog, the child’s fierce will and strategy to survive are revealed.

Shear the Sheep

Directed by: Eli Berg, USA (4 min) World Premiere

She is beautiful, adventurous, and everything you could ever want to be. Most of all, she is a psycho who targets bearded men and confounds the detectives pursuing her. A dark and funny play on appearances.


Directed by: Beatriz M. Calleja, Spain (15 min)

Being alone is not a problem for Lucia, but is the passion for her hobby, bug collecting, spiralling out of control? This is a sinister look at childhood obsession achieved through imaginative production and sound design.


Directed by: Karen Lam, BC (10 min)

Sometimes the line between the mundane and the impossible is invisible… yet easy to cross. On the opening night of his new art gallery, Hank crosses that line with horrifying consequences. Prepare to sit on the edge of your seat as you enjoy this new work, winner of the Best Short Award at The Blood in the Snow Canadian Film Festival.

The Cursed Days

Directed by: Emilija Gasic, Serbia (16 min) Canadian Premiere

When an 18th century Serbian village faces invasion from the Turks, father and eldest son leave the family home and go off to war. The rejoicing is brief when the son returns without the father. This film builds suspense in a world riddled with superstition and fear, and the daughter is forced to flee.


Directed by: Kat Threlkeld, Ontario (18 min)

Abigail, a beautiful and well-adjusted model, is bitten by an unknown creature during a seaside photoshoot. In the days that follow, her very being unravels as she undergoes an unwanted metamorphosis. An unrestrained and powerful performance reveals the spine-chilling change.


Directed by: Victoria Angell, BC (6 min) World Premiere

In this eerie drama we witness a young girl conversing with a demon. She realizes too late that demons don’t negotiate, and must endure the bloody consequences of her own revenge.


Directed by: Jennifer Campbell, BC (17 min) BC Premiere

Amelia is a self-employed house cleaner struggling with a work injury. As the unrelenting stress on body and mind continues, the line between reality and delusion blurs. With nowhere to go and no one to turn to, she descends into a spiral of self medication and alcohol abuse. Worthy winner of several awards, this accomplished film reveals the dark trajectory of a character in decline.