Canadian Images line-up showcases films that focus near and far
Above photo from OCCUPY LOVE (Canada | Dir: Velcrow Ripper)
Vancouver, BC (September 5th, 2012) – Travel the world with a uniquely Canadian perspective at the Vancouver International Film Festival!
The festival’s Canadian Images section is a pillar of the overall VIFF 2012 program. This year's eclectic line-up includes feature films lensed in India, Africa and the Middle East, while the documentaries probe even further afield, taking viewers to the moon and beyond—into the fourth dimension... time.
Opening the Canadian Images program is Mike Clattenburg’s MOVING DAY, a raucous comedy set in Halifax and starring Will Sasso and Canada’s Sweetheart, Gabrielle Miller. Atlantic Canada features prominently in the program this year, with three more films from Nova Scotia: Michael Melski’s crime drama CHARLIE ZONE and two superb feature directorial debuts: Jason Buxton’s BLACKBIRD, and Shandi Mitchell’s THE DISAPPEARED.
“Atlantic Canadian filmmakers are really coming into their own, as these four very different, but very strong films demonstrate,” says Terry McEvoy, Canadian Images Programmer. “In fact, I was impressed across the board with the quality and diversity of Canadian films this year.”
Quebec and Ontario contribute significantly to the program, from Kim Nguyen’s stunning war tale REBELLE to Andy Keen’s riotous concert doc BOBCAYGEON, featuring Canuck darlings the Tragically Hip. Also from Ontario, Nisha Pahuja's THE WORLD BEFORE HER, garnered Best Documentary Feature at the Tribeca Film Festival and Best Canadian Documentary at this year’s Hot Docs. The best of BC this year includes feature films directed by Mark Sawers, Katrin Bowen and Bruce Sweeney. On the documentary side, Nimisha Mukerji’s revealing BLOOD RELATIVE and Julia Ivanova’s moving look at international adoption, HIGH FIVE: AN ADOPTION SAGA are original and insightful.
“This year's selection of films reflects the curiosity, intelligence and passion of Canadian filmmakers and their distinctive worldview. With a wide range of subject matter and points of view, there's something for everyone,” says McEvoy.
Prizes available to Canadian filmmakers at the Vancouver International Film Festival include the $10,000 Prize for Best Canadian Feature Film, the $2,000 Prize for Most Promising Director of a Canadian Short Film, and the Rogers People’s Choice Award.
The Canadian Images opening celebration on September 28th, 2012 is sponsored by landmark Vancouver restaurant CinCin.
Canadian Images Program Statistics
780 Canadian submissions
63 Films in Canadian Images
28 Feature-length (15 dramatic, 13 documentary)
35 Short & mid-length
21 BC Productions (7 features, 14 shorts)
CANADIAN FILMS AT VIFF 2012
CANADIAN IMAGES OPENING FILM
MOVING DAY Mike Clattenburg, NS
Hilarious and heartwarming, Mike Clattenburg’s film tells the story of four working-class stiffs. Our hero (Will Sasso), is a put-upon father with dreams of something bigger...
CANADIAN IMAGES SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS
ANTIVIRAL Brandon Cronenberg, ON
Brandon Cronenberg's (yes, son of that Cronenberg) debut is set in a dystopian near future in which obsession with celebrity has reached such neurotic levels that fans get themselves injected with viruses and diseases that once lived inside their idols... Amazingly controlled and confident for a first film, Antiviral marks Cronenberg the younger as one to watch.
LAURENCE ANYWAYS Xavier Dolan, QC
Director Xavier Dolan (I Killed My Mother, VIFF 09) delivers a stunning love story set in 90's Montreal. Over a decade, transsexual Laurence (Melvil Poupaud) and his girlfriend Fred (Suzanne Clément) struggle to hold on to each other. Rendered with Dolan's irresistible panache, this is an epic tale about love and identity.
CANADIAN IMAGES PROGRAM
BECOMING REDWOOD Jesse James Miller, BC
In this light-hearted tale set in the 60s, Jesse James Miller (Uganda Rising, VIFF '06) introduces us to the tumultuous world of 11-year-old Redwood, who is only one shot away from defeating Jack Nicklaus at the Masters, freeing his father from jail and reuniting his parents forever. Or so he thinks.
BESTIAIRE Denis Côté, QC
Director Denis Côté weaves together beautiful, haunting and disquieting images in this filmic essay. Close, lingering observations of animals in an open-air zoo are both heavy with emotion and intriguing to watch. The result is a fascinating meditation on nature, civilization and human perception.
BLACKBIRD Jason Buxton, ON/NS
Jason Buxton's film concerns a troubled teen, Sean Randall, who is falsely accused of planning a Columbine shooting scenario. Sean's only hope is to overcome his dark image and prove his innocence to both his unlikely love and to his community.
BLOOD RELATIVE Nimisha Mukerji, BC
Director Nimisha Mukerji's (65_RedRoses, VIFF 09) documentary follows an activist fighting to save two young adults dying from Thalassemia, a rare blood disease. Suffering stunted growth and without access to medication, they remain trapped in the bodies of children. Chronicling one man's battle, the film exposes modern India's broken healthcare system.
BOBCAYGEON Andy Keen, ON
Director Andy Keen shot a movie once, in somebody's hometown. The Tragically Hip wrote a song about that town, and it became an anthem. This well-paced Tragically Hip concert film brings you to the farmer's field in Ontario cottage country where everybody sings along...
CAMERA SHY Mark Sawers, BC
A skewed reflection on public and private life, Mark Sawers' black comedy features a corrupt Vancouver city councillor, the rare psychological disorder he’s been diagnosed with, and a mysterious cameraman who won’t leave him alone.
CAMION Rafaël Ouellet, QC
Rafaël Ouellet’s exquisite film, set in rural Quebec, follows a veteran truck driver named Germain. After the tragedy that ends his career, Germain's sons join him at their family home. They share a familial malaise of loss, but, quietly, hope arrives. Winner, Best Director, Karlovy Vary 2012.
THE CARBON RUSH Amy Miller, ON
Director Amy Miller investigates threatened ways of life in Panama, India and Honduras, exposing projects that claim to be sustainable and purport to offer innovative solutions to climate change, but seem to create more problems than they solve. Preceded by UNINTERRUPTED Nettie Wild, BC A meditation on clean, flowing water and the fish that inhabit it.
CHARLIE ZONE Michael Melski, NS
A dockworker and part-time pro street fighter is contracted to rescue a drug addict from her life of degradation. His actions will unleash murder, torture and betrayal in director Michael Melski's gripping Halifax crime drama.
CRIMES OF MIKE RECKET Bruce Sweeney, BC
Bruce Sweeney’s (Dirty) moody mystery is a rich, moving thriller in which character psychology and suspense are seamlessly merged. Watch for very strong performances from Vancouver’s Gabrielle Rose and Nicholas Lea.
THE DISAPPEARED Shandi Mitchell, NS
Six men in two rowboats. The middle of the ocean. Limited food and drink, no bearings, the threat of slow death. From this spare premise director Shandi Mitchell has crafted a superb film. Lost at sea, the hearts of men are in conflict with implacable, indifferent nature.
THE END OF TIME Peter Mettler, ON
In the years since the transcendental epic Gambling, Gods and LSD (2002), Swiss-Canadian filmmaker Peter Mettler has once again travelled the world amassing mind-blowing images and sensations, which take form in this meditation on a subject we experience daily but rarely take the time to ponder: time itself.
HIGH FIVE: AN ADOPTION SAGA Julia Ivanova, BC
After their plans to adopt a baby are thwarted, Cathy and Martin decide to adopt five Ukrainian siblings--at any cost. The real journey begins when, after several years, they succeed. Director Julia Ivanova confronts the complicated aftermath of an international adoption in this moving documentary.
I AM NOT A ROCK STAR Bobbi Jo Hart, QC
At an age when most people are clueless and carefree, talented young Marika Bournaki was embarking on a prestigious career as a concert pianist. But was this wunderkind truly born to perform? Director Bobbi Jo Hart follows Marika over eight years of adventure and self-discovery.
IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER Terry Miles / Kristine Cofsky, BC
Suspended in post-adolescence, twenty-something Sarah alternates between hedonism and ennui. Urged on by her newlywed sister, Sarah awakens to the possibility that life could be different. Directors Terry Miles (A Night For Dying Tigers, VIFF 10) and Kristine Cofsky achieve a pitch-perfect portrait of a quarter-life crisis.
IN SEARCH OF BLIND JOE DEATH: THE SAGA OF JOHN FAHEY James Cullingham, ON
James Cullingham's compelling biographical documentary expresses the "blind" vision and phenomenal talent of the steel-string guitar virtuoso and iconoclast John Fahey. Pete Townshend calls him the folk guitar equivalent of William Burroughs or Charles Bukowski. You decide.
INCH’ALLAH Anaïs Barbeau-Lavalette, QC
Director Anaïs Barbeau-Lavalette and the producers of Incendies and Monsieur Lazar take on the extremely sensitive emotional and political landscape known variously as Israel, Palestine or the Holy Land. Évelyne Brochu as Chloé captures the torment of deeply conflicted sympathies and loyalties as we follow her vertiginous moral thrill ride.
THE LAST WHITE KNIGHT Paul Saltzman, ON
In 1965, Paul Saltzman drove to Mississippi and, after joining the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee as a civil rights worker, was assaulted by a young KKK member. In this film, director Saltzman returns to find the Klansman and assess the state of the integrated South.
LIVERPOOL Manon Briand, QC
Manon Briand mixes 60s style with Internet-era activism in this romantic comedy/thriller about Émilie, a coat-check wallflower in a popular nightclub, and Thomas, a computer nerd hampered by an inability to interact in the real world...
LUNARCY! Simon Ennis, ON
What do you see when you look at the Moon? A man? A woman? A business opportunity? An outpost for future space exploration? Or the portent of all that’s sinister? Simon Ennis documents humanity’s always fascinating, and often bizarre and hilarious, obsession with our lunar neighbour.
OCCUPY LOVE Velcrow Ripper, ON
In early 2011, inspired by the massive demonstration in New York City, people the world over came together to demand an inclusive redistribution of social and economic power. Going straight to the heart of the Occupy movement, Velcrow Ripper's hopeful documentary chronicles this global paradigm shift.
RANDOM ACTS OF ROMANCE Katrin Bowen, BC
Katrin Bowen (Amazon Falls, VIFF 2010) returns with a feature comedy about the crazy and obsessive behaviours that spring from that thing called love. The story is punctuated by moments of uncomfortably illuminating hilarity, as characters confront the brittleness of relationships.
REBELLE Kim Nguyen, QC
Rachel Mwanza plays Komona, a young African girl forced to wage war as a child soldier. In the midst of inconceivable violence and hatred, Komona finds comfort in an albino boy she calls Magicien. Kim Nguyen directs this heartfelt and enthralling drama about the remarkable endurance of the human spirit. Winner, Best Narrative Feature, Best Actress, Tribeca 2012, Best Actress, Berlin 2012.
WE WERE CHILDREN Timothy Wolochatiuk, MB
Timothy Wolochatiuk’s film explores not just the individual experiences of children forced into Aboriginal residential schools but also the impact that the schools have had on the lives of survivors and Aboriginals as a whole.
THE WORLD BEFORE HER Nisha Pahuja, ON
This energetic doc follows two young Indian women: a Hindu fundamentalist and a beauty pageant contestant. While each vies for her place in a male-dominated society, both are circumscribed by the very life-paths that claim to liberate them. Director Nisha Pahuja asks: What does the future hold? Winner, Best Documentary Feature, Tribeca; Best Canadian Documentary, Hot Docs.
CANADIAN FEATURE FILMS IN OTHER VIFF PROGRAMS
MIDNIGHT’S CHILDREN Deepa Mehta, Canada/India (VIFF OPENING GALA FILM)
Salman Rushdie did not just give Canada's Deepa Mehta (Water) permission to adapt his epic novel—he wrote the screenplay and supplied the first-person narration! The story of Muslim and Hindu babies—born at midnight on Aug. 15, 1947, the day of India's independence from Great Britain—switched at birth conjures images and characters as rich and unforgettable as India herself.
CITY LENS: 60s VANCOUVER BY NIGHT & DAY – VANCOUVER ARCHIVAL FILM PROGRAM John Fuller, Ron Kelly, BC (SPECIAL PRESENTATION)
Videomatica's Graham X Peat pulls four films from the CBC Vancouver vault. Each mirroring the grit and glory of our city, with imaginative visions when darkness falls, fuelled by jazz and neon: The Seeds, PNE Midway, The Outcast, and City Patterns—in glorious black & white!
THE GRUB-STAKE REVISITED Nell Shipman, Canada (SPECIAL PRESENTATION)
Has something like this ever been done before? Take Canadian legend Nell Shipman's silent Klondike adventure film The Grub-Stake, create dialogue completely taken from the works of William Shakespeare and write a new musical score. And then have a cast of actors and musicians speak the words and play the notes as live accompaniment to the film! First performed at the Available Light Film Festival in Whitehorse, Yukon, this is truly a Special Presentation.
MY FATHER AND THE MAN IN BLACK Jonathan Holiff, ON (SPECIAL PRESENTATION)
This documentary mines new territory as director Jonathan Holiff reflects on his father--the manager of, and the man behind, Johnny Cash. Estranged from him for some 20 years, Holiff navigates the missing decades in the life of the father he never really knew and the musical legend he understood even less.
FRANCINE Brian M. Cassidy, Melanie Shatzky, USA/Canada (CINEMA OF OUR TIME)
Newly released from prison, Francine (the restrained yet devastating Melissa Leo) remains isolated and detached, incapable of easing back into society. Brian M. Cassidy and Melanie Shatzky craft "a minimalist, image-based character study that is almost impossibly fragile and yet emotionally robust... Raw, intimate and observed with penetrating acuity."—Hollywood Reporter
GREATEST HITS Nicolás Pereda, Mexico/Canada (CINEMA OF OUR TIME)
Returning to the home he abandoned 15 years earlier, Emilio is met by scorn and resentment from his wife and son. Having frequently centred his minimalist films on Mexico’s many fatherless families, Nicolás Pereda now ambitiously and inventively explores how a household's delicate equilibrium is destroyed when one of these men comes crawling back.
PERSISTENCE OF VISION Kevin Schreck, USA/UK/Canada (ARTS AND LETTERS)
Stupendous! After toiling on his masterpiece The Thief and the Cobbler for 28 years, top British animator Richard Williams—famous for Who Framed Roger Rabbit--saw it wrested from his control and savagely recut. Pairing unreleased scenes from Williams' virtuoso fairytale with horror stories of creativity falling prey to commerce, Kevin Schreck takes us inside "the greatest animated film never made."
REVOLUTION Rob Stewart, ON (GARDEN IN THE SEA)
The true-life adventure of Rob Stewart, this follow-up to his acclaimed Sharkwater takes him through 15 countries over four years, where he'll discover that it's not only sharks that are in grave danger—it's our oceans and, indeed, humanity itself.
SURVIVAL PRAYER Benjamin Greené, USA/Canada (GARDEN IN THE SEA)
As Haida Gwaii's residents strive to harvest sufficient food for winter, Benjamin Greené celebrates their sacred relationship with the land and praises their vital environmental stewardship. Rhythmic and reverential, Greené's film gradually assumes the form of a ceremonial prayer: poetic, lilting and magical. With Nangchen Shorts, three new short films by Bari Pearlman documenting life in Tibet—at elevation 14,000 feet.
CANADIAN IMAGES SHORT FILM PROGRAMS
BREAK EVEN Calamity meets tragedy meets comedy in these often hilarious, always enlightening shorts. Includes BAREFOOT (Danis Goulet, ON), PEACH JUICE (Brian Lye, Callum Paterson, Nathan Gillis, BC), OMG (Siobhan Devin, BC), LIAR (Adam Garnet Jones, ON), FIRST SNOW (Michaël Lalancette, QC), CANOEJACKED (Jonathan Williams, ON), HOLLOW BONES (José Lourenço, ON), WITH JEFF (Marie-Ève Juste, QC) and THE WORST DAY EVER (Sophie Jarvis, BC).
BREAKING POINT In this stunning lineup of shorts, a host of heroes must abandon their comfort zones. Includes FROST (Jeremy Ball, ON), WINTERGREEN (Joëlle Desjardins Paquette, QC), MY LITTLE UNDERGROUND (Elise Simard, QC), FACE DIVIDED (Adriano Valentini, QC), BINNER (Jay Fox, Steven Deneault, BC), FLUTTER (Philip Riccio, ON), and CORVUS (Darcy van Poelgeest, BC).
CLEAN BREAK Individuality takes centre stage as our protagonists march to the beat of their own dreams. Includes HERD LEADER (Chloé Robichaud, QC), PIRANDELLO (Bojan Bodruzic, BC), A RED GIRL’S REASONING (Elle-Maija Tailfeathers, BC), THE FRAME WITH ADRIENNE CLARKSON (Nadia Litz, ON), A+ (Nobu Adilman, ON), TO SCALE (Ken Tsui, BC), BIG MOUTH (Andrea Dorfman, NS), ASSEMBLY (Jenn Strom, BC), and LEAF (Kevan Funk, BC).
HEARTBREAK Take a journey into the infinite--and intricate--depths of the human heart in this beautiful collection of shorts. Includes BROKEN HEART SYNDROME (Dusty Mancinelli, ON), YELLOW FISH (Andrew Cividino, ON), THE SUN DOESN’T SHINE (Xavier Beauchesne-Rondeau, QC), WHERE ARE THE DOLLS? (Cassandra Nicolaou, ON), FLOAT (Juan Riedinger, BC), PORDIS (Adrian Buitenhuis, BC), EDMOND WAS A DONKEY (Franck Dion, QC), and LATE (Jason Goode, BC).
The Vancouver International Film Festival acknowledges the generous support of Telefilm Canada and major corporate partners Rogers Communications and Fidelity Investments.
Vancouver International Film Festival | VIFF 2012
September 27 - October 12, 2012 | Film Info: 604.683.FILM (3456) | VIFF Office: 604.685.0260