VIWIFF: Last Woman Standing

(Canada, 2013, 120 mins)
CAST Mary Spencer, Ariane Fortin


Last Woman Standing follows world champion boxers and former friends, Ariane Fortin and Mary Spencer, as they fight for an Olympic dream that can only belong to one.

In 2012, the Olympic Games included women’s boxing for the first time in history. But only three weight categories would be admitted – men have ten. To compete for their Olympic dream, Fortin and Spencer were forced to move into the same weight class to fight for a single spot to represent Canada, effectively ending their friendship and beginning a fierce rivalry.

Juliet Lammers’ and Lorraine Price’s debut feature documentary film keeps you on the edge of your seat, and that’s not just because of the boxing matches. The behind-the-scenes access by the filmmakers ­- who are themselves boxers - over the course of several years, is remarkable. The dramatic tension in this real-life boxing saga between a boxing warrior queen and the defiant underdog is explosive and contagious, even if you don’t care about sports. In short: this film will knock you out.

Preceded by: A Little Elbow Room (Maureen David, 13 min, Canada)

Step outside of the Vancity Theatre, turn left on Davie Street and you’ll see The Elbow Room Cafe, a small breakfast joint where the rule of the coffee pot is “get your ass up,” and every customer regardless of age or gender is called “girl.” Patrick Savoie and his partner Bryan Searle built this successful business on an unusual form of customer service: treating customers like crap. Part small business owner, part insult-comic, Savoie is known for slinging barbs as much as for slinging pancakes.

Mavreen David’s first documentary short is an intimate look at the history of this famously unique place, and the quirky man who has made it infamous. It’s not all caustic insults and rampant abuse - the diner has raised over $67,000 for AIDS charities. This isn’t just a story about the café, it’s a story about love, commitment, and the evolution of Vancouver’s LGBTQ2S community. This delightful short will tickle you, move you, enlighten you, and most certainly make you want to visit The Elbow Room for some eggs…with a side of snark.