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Oscar Shorts (Live Action)

Program Running Time 110 min.

Films in Program

Directed By: Various
(Various, 2013, 110 mins, Blu-ray Disc)

Each year the Vancity Theatre is proud to present the nominees for the Academy Award for Best Short Film in the Live Action and Animation categories. The nominated live action films are: Helium (Denmark, 23 min); The Voorman Problem (UK, 13 min); Avant Que De Tout Perder (France, 30 min); Aquel No Era Yo (Spain, 24 min); Do I Have to Take Care of Everything (Finalnd, 7 min).

Empire of Dirt

Program Running Time 99 min.

Films in Program

Directed By: Peter Stebbings
(Canada, 2013, 99 mins, DCP)

This affecting portrait of three generations of Cree women smacks of authenticity and truth. It’s a low-key movie about mother-daughter relationships and the way past mistakes have a way of cycling back round again no matter how hard you try to run away from them. 5 Canada Screen Awards Nominations: Best Film, Screenplay, Actress, Supporting Actress and Editing.

"Beautifully shot, newcomers Gee and Eyre are revelations, and the central theme of cultural pride is stirring and urgent." Glenn Sumi, Now Toronto

"Finely crafted… A trio of gorgeous performances from the three female leads…" Katherine Monk,


Program Running Time 87 min.

Films in Program

Directed By: Godfrey Reggio
(USA, 2013, 87 mins, DCP)

Thirty years after Koyaanisqatsi, Godfrey Reggio creates another stunning, wordless portrait of modern life. Presented by Steven Soderbergh, Visitors reveals humanity’s trancelike relationship with technology, which, when commandeered by extreme emotional states, produces massive effects far beyond the human species. The film is visceral, offering the audience an experience beyond information about the moment in which we live.

"Reggio’s film is an artistic and aesthetic achievement unlikely to be equaled in 2013, and perhaps the only film in recent memory which can proudly claim to be unlike anything else we have ever seen." Christopher Schobert, The Playlist

"Incredibly profound, unexpected and brave." Alison Murray, Filmmaker

Calypso Rose: The Lioness of the Jungle

(2011, 85 mins, Digital Betacam)
FEATURING Calypso Rose
Promotional partners: Consul Generals of Jamaica and Barbados and City of Vancouver. Live Calypso performance by renowned steel drum artist Kenrick Headley, to follow the screening.


An exuberant and inspiring ambassador for the Caribbean, Calypso Rose is the uncontested and much decorated diva of Calypso music. With more than 800 recorded songs, she continues to be a pioneer and champion of women’s rights, as she travels the world making music.

French-Cameroonian filmmaker Pascale Obolo spends four years with Calypso Rose on a very personal journey. Traveling to Paris, New York, Trinidad and Tobago and to her ancestral home in Africa, we learn more about Calypso Rose in each place, and the many faces and facets of her life. The daughter of an illiterate Trinidadian fisherman, Calypso Rose was one of ten children, who at the age of 9 was sent to live with relatives in Tobago. At 15 she wrote her first song and launched a career that took her to the top of the male-dominated calypso world. This creative film is not only about memory and the exchange and discovery of world cultures, but also about the journey of a remarkable woman, an Afro-Caribbean soul and an exemplary artist.

Promotional partners: Consul Generals of Jamaica and Barbados. Live Calypso performance by renowned steel drum artist Kenrick Headley, to follow the screening.

“An intimate portrait about the “Grande Dame” of Calypso… Reveals her personal story, her groundbreaking musical achievements, her commitment to defend women´s rights, her faith, her worries and fears and above all her strong love of life and people.” Bijan Tehrani, Cinema Without Borders

The Oscar Shorts 2014 (Animation)

(110 mins, Blu-ray Disc)
Classification: G - General


Each year the Vancity Theatre is proud to present the nominees for the Academy Award for Best Short Film in the Live Action and Animation categories.

The nominated best short animations are:

· Get a Horse! (Lauren MacMullan and Dorothy McKim, English, 6 min.) - Mickey Mouse and his friends are enjoying a wagon ride until Peg-Leg Pete shows up with plans to ruin their day.

· Mr. Hublot (Laurent Witz and Alexandre Espigares, Non-dialogue, 12 min.) - The eccentric, isolated Mr. Hublot finds his carefully ordered world disrupted by the arrival of Robot Pet.

· Feral (Daniel Sousa and Dan Golden, Non-dialogue, 12 min.) - A wild boy who has grown up in the woods is found by a hunter and returned to civilization.

· Possessions (Shuhei Morita, 14 min.) - A man seeking shelter from a storm in a dilapidated shrine encounters a series of household objects inhabited by goblin spirits.

These films will be supplemented with some of the best runners up, to bring the package to feature length.

· Room on the Broom (Max Land and Jan Lachauer, in English, 26 min.) - A genial witch and her cat are joined on their broom by several friends as they set off on an adventure.

Sweet Dreams

(2013, 83 mins, DCP)
Presented with the help of City of Vancouver


It sounds like a Hollywood feel-good movie. In the aftermath of genocide, a group of women get together and form a collective, Ingoma Nshya, the first women’s drumming group in the history of Rwanda (where the drum has always been a male domain).

Impressive enough, but this is where the dream turns sweet: founder member Kiki Kakase came to New York to participate in a theatre lab, and came across a store: Blue Marble Ice Cream. She had never tasted anything like it. "I want to open an ice cream shop in my home town," she announced. And remarkably, Blue Marble owners Jennie Dundas and Alexis Miesen agreed to come to Kigali and help introduce ice cream to Rwanda.

Mixing music with dessert, this doc proves there is always light at the end of the turnnel. But sibling filmmakers Lisa and Rob Fruchtman don’t shy away from the darkness either, whether it’s recollecting the horrors of the genocide twenty years ago, or showing the endemic poverty that makes even such an apparently simple enterprise as opening an ice-cream parlor a monumental challenge in this part of the world.

Post screening entertainment will be a drumming performance by women drummers led by Jacky Essombe.

Originally from Cameroon, Jacky Essombe grew up in Paris and now lives in Vancouver. She has toured in Canada, the United States and Europe with major recording artists and has appeared on television and radio in Canada and France. From 2006 to 2007 she was the host of a weekly television show on the French CBC TV channel called "A la Carte".

"It’s utterly rousing watching the women master their instruments and then push past the birth pains of their new business enterprise, and it’s completely wrenching as their individual backstories unfold. The vibrantly filmed Dreams (the Rwandan landscape is breathtaking) is a powerful entry in the list of documentaries charting the country’s rebirth, illustrating the unexpected ways the human spirit reinvents itself after enduring the unthinkable." Ernest Hardy, LA Weekly

"Wonderful… Moving… Engrossing. An affecting celebration of the human spirit. Contagious joy abounds." Anita Katz, San Francisco Examiner

"A movie that will bring you to tears." Deena Shanker, Village Voice

BlackStrathcona Project

(2014, 30 mins)
FEATURING Reese Alexander, Kevan Cameron, Bertha Clark, Marquisse du Monde, Carrie Gibson, Dana Matthews, Teeanna Munro, Adrian Neblett, Vanessa Richards, Storma Sire


From the early 1900s to the 1960s, the East Side neighbourhood of Strathcona was home to Vancouver’s first and only black community.

The ten video stories of the BlackStrathcona media project celebrate some of the remarkable people and places that made the community vibrant and unique.

Stories like Jimi and Nora, featuring musician Jimi Hendrix who as a boy lived in Strathcona with his grandmother in the late 1940s, and Vie’s Chicken and Steaks, featuring Vie Moore who ran a soul food haven on Union Street frequented by both locals and big name celebrities like Billie Holiday and Sammie Davis Jr.

The stories of BlackStrathcona can be accessed via the website or they can be experienced interactively by visiting the Strathcona neighbourhood. By using the website to display a map and by following markers, the video stories can be downloaded to a mobile device and viewed where the stories took place and where they were recorded.

Presented by Creative Cultural Collaborations Society in partnership with Vancouver Moving Theatre, the Arts Club, and City of Vancouver. This screening is sponsored by the Arts Club Theatre Company's production of Helen Lawrence where Hogan's Alley plays a central character.

When Moses Woke

DIR Seth-Adrian Harris / Canada, 2006, 48 min.

Winner of the Gemini Award for Best Direction of a Performing Arts Program, When Moses Woke is a dramatic masterpiece inspired by the collective experiences of Harriet Tubman and many Freedom Seekers who traveled to Canada through the Underground Railroad.

This debut film of writer, director, producer, Seth-Adrian Harris is the original upliftment of their journeys told through Afro-modern dance, poetic realism, and the music of resilience and triumph performed by Canada’s national treasure, Jackie Richardson. Through a weaving of dream sequences, we are taken on a great voyage with a woman named Moses whose spiritual awakening becomes the beacon of Hope for all seekers on the quest for freedom.

Seth-Adrian Harris – Biography (Short Form)

Seth-Adrian Harris is a passionate Jamaican-born filmmaker who grew up in Toronto and Vancouver, Canada. He uses poetry and media to inform, educate, entertain and engage the heart of every breath-making life force that knows there is much to discover in the power of the smallest existence. In 2006 he was the recipient of the Gemini Award for Best Direction of a Performing Arts Program from the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television for his television movie, When Moses Woke. His powerful documentary, Catatonia’s Incantations, won him the 2005 World Gold Medal for Best Health/Medical Promotion Program at the New York Festivals and in 2002 his film Back won the Vision Award for Best Direction at the Vancouver Videopoem Festival. When asked about his cinematic style, he replies that “filmmaking is the art of transformation.” Mr. Harris is a loving husband and father who lives and works in Toronto, Canada.

Tipping Points with Bernice Notenboom

(2013, 80 mins)
FEATURING Bernice Notenboom


Featuring special guest Bernice Notenboom

Q&A following the screening with Bernice Notenboom, climate journalist, professional adventurer and host of The Tipping Points.

The world’s climate systems are becoming unstable. One small change and they could pass the tipping point: a threshold that, when crossed, would have a devastating, irreversible impact on ecosystems around the globe. Are we too late to stop it?

In this six-part series, BC-based climate journalist and adventurer Bernice Notenboom heads to remote areas of the planet where climate systems may be nearing a tipping point. Each episode features a critical example, including:

• the collapse of the Greenland Ice Sheet

• the dieback of the Amazon Rainforest

• droughts and floods in Africa

• the rapid melt of the Alaskan Permafrost

• rising temperatures in the Southern Ocean, and

• the melting of the Himalayan Glaciers

Bernice joins leading international environmental scientists in the field as they examine evidence of ecosystems under threat: the soot-like substance covering Greenland’s glaciers; lakes that catch fire due to high levels of methane gas; islands in the south Pacific at risk of disappearing under the rising ocean.

In the episode Bernice will be sharing with us, Ice Sheets of Greenland, she finds out just what scientists on the ground are finding out about how fast the Greenland ice-sheet is melting and what effect this could have on the global ocean currents that drive our weather systems.

Understanding the potential domino effect of the Greenland ice sheet melt starts with an expedition to S10 camp where Professor Alun Hubbard and a team of researchers are conducting detailed measurement of the Greenland Ice-sheet. What is the Equilibrium line and why is this so important?

Bernice Notenboom is a climate journalist and professional adventurer. But that’s not all. Notenboom is more than just a fervent traveler who is passionate about fighting climate change. Her extreme expeditions are blazing a path by placing focus on the tipping points of the world’s climate.

She became the first woman on skis to reach the North and South Poles, as well as the Siberian ‘Pole of Cold’ and traversed Greenland’s ice cap in just one year. She climbed to the top of Mount Everest and kayaked 1000 km on the Niger River in the Sahara. She is a climate chaser, traveling to the world’s extreme regions, bringing global warming to the attention of world political leaders and business executives.

Presented in partnership with Knowledge Network

Arctic Defenders

(2013, 90 mins, DCP)
CAST John Walker Featuring: John Amagoalik, Oo Aqpik, Tagak Curley, Aaju Peter, Suzanna Singoorie & The Canadian Rangers
Discussion with filmmaker John Walker and special guests


The world’s polar regions are entering a new era of international exploration and exploitation due to climate change. Canada’s claim to her sovereignty over the north has never been more important than today. In 1999, Nunavut was established under an historic, comprehensive land claim agreement with the federal government that gave 33,000 Inuit special rights and benefits. The largest territorial re-visioning on Earth was finally established when the Government of Canada signed the agreement giving the Inuit dominion over the land.

The creation of Nunavut (meaning "Our Land") happened after 30 years of lobbying by visionary Inuit determined to redraw the political boundaries of Canada and negotiate provisions allowing them to be intimately involved in the governance of their territory. Canada had finally realized that without the Inuit claim to the land, its own sovereignty of the north would be questioned by an international community determined to gain access to the oil and mineral riches of the northern hemisphere.

John Walker’s film takes us on a journey to investigate the contemporary history of misguided attempts by the Canadian government to assert its sovereignty in the High Arctic and how a generation of radical Inuit changed the political landscape of Canada’s North. But it’s also an incredibly personal film, as it charts Walker’s return to lands he first explored as a wide-eyed teenager.

Rhymes For Young Ghouls

(2013, 88 mins, DCP)
CAST Kawennahere Devery Jacobs, Glen Gould, Brandon Oakes, Mark Antony Krupa, Roseanne Supernault


Revenge is a rite of passage in Jeff Barnaby’s audacious, genre-bending debut. The reigning "weed princess" of Red Crow reserve, teenage Aila (Kawennahere Devery Jacobs) communes with spirits as she plots against Popper (Mark Antony Krupa), the callous Indian Agent who’s tormented her community for generations. However, in order to exact her vengeance, she must infiltrate the residential school that looms ominously above the reserve and has become the stuff of ghost stories and nightmares for every Mi’kmaq child.

Courtesy of meticulous production design, Barnaby rigorously constructs a gritty 70s milieu that lends itself well to country noir flourishes that recall Winter’s Bone. But the moment you’re convinced you have a read on Ghouls, it unleashes its more surreal elements and begins to spin its own rich mythology. And while the druggy revenge fantasy that ensues owes a debt to exploitation films, it’s guided by its own idiosyncratic rhythms and fueled by a genuine sense of outrage over the horrors perpetrated during the residential school era.

Preceded by the short film The Magic Salmon (Andrew Struthers, 7 min)

"It’s a tough, gritty piece of work, long on the violence but invested with the poetic sensibility you find in a Cormac McCarthy novel or Tom Waits song… [It] marks the arrival of a genuine cinematic intelligence, one sensitive to life’s more intimate, tender, even spiritual moments yet not averse to slamming the sledgehammer as circumstances require."—James Adams, Globe and Mail

’Exhibiting a vivid eye for potent imagery and a striking sense of the downtrodden vitriol [Rhymes For Young Ghouls] is a tremendously rousing film that announces the arrival of an exciting new voice in Canadian cinema." Scott A Gray, exclaim

"It has been years, probably since Xavier Dolan emerged with I Killed My Mother, since a Canadian director has debuted with a movie as impressive as Jeff Barnaby and Rhymes for Young Ghouls." Marina Antunes, Row Three