DOXA Documentary Film Festival reveals 2019 line-up.

This week, DOXA Documentary Film Festival, announced its 2019 festival line-up. Western Canada’s largest documentary Film Festival, returns to Vancouver for the 18th annual festival May 2 through May 12, 2019.  Committed to cultivating curiosity and critical thought, DOXA will bring 82 films (shorts and features) from across Canada and around the world, to Vancouver screens, representing some of the very best in contemporary documentary cinema. 

Because We Are Girls

On May 3, DOXA kicks off with Baljit Sangra’s courageous new film Because We Are Girlswhich celebrates the strength of sisterhood in the face of profound pain and trauma. Because We Are Girls tells the story of three sisters from a conservative Indo-Canadian family coming to terms with the sexual abuse they faced by an older relative beginning in their childhood years. Vancouver-based Sangra explores the impact of sexual abuse on a family, turning her empathetic lens on intimate moments as they process and heal. 

Postings From Home

On May 4, DOXA hosts a special live documentary presentation Postings From Home by Toronto-based filmmaker Kelly O’Brien. O’Brien has taken the collective sharing of one’s personal life — now habitual on social media — and combined it with the 20th-century tradition of a family slideshow to create an emotionally affecting live performance. 

nîpawistamâsowin: We Will Stand Up

The gala screening of nîpawistamâsowin: We Will Stand Up on May 8 marks the 10-year anniversary of DOXA’s Justice Forum, a series aimed at creating space for open dialogue. Few events in recent Canadian history have sparked as much media attention, outrage, and horror as the death of Colten Boushie, a young Cree man from the Red Pheasant First Nation who died after being shot in the head on Gerald Stanley’s farm. Indigenous filmmaker and scholar Tasha Hubbard goes beyond the headlines to present a detailed examination of race relations on the prairies. 

Closing the festival on May 11, Hepi Mita’s Merata: How Mum Decolonised the Screen is a tender posthumous tribute to his mother Merata Mita, the first M?ori woman — and one of the first Indigenous women in the world — to write and direct a narrative feature film. DOXA is exceptionally proud to close the festival with this extraordinary film about a visionary artist, activist and mother. 

Between these special features and events, DOXA 2019 packs its eleven days with curated collections, industry events, films, talk-backs, panels, parties and much more

DOXA Documentary Film Festival runs May 2–12, 2019, at The Vancouver Playhouse, VIFF’s Vancity Theatre, The Cinematheque, The Post at 750, Museum of Vancouver, SFU’s Goldcorp Centre for the Arts. Find the full DOXA line-up and purchase tickets online at doxafestival.ca

5 Picks for PuSh Festival 2019

Every winter the PuSh International Performing Arts Festival brings together the world of Arts and Performance. This year’s 15th Annual PuSh Festival runs January 17th – February 3rd, 2019 and tickets are selling fast.  Don’t wait, check out the line-up and book your shows now.

The 15th Anniversary festival kicks off January 17th at The Beaumont Studios with a performance by D’BI, the free Opening Night Party, features djs, dancing and pop-up performances by Vancouver’s Kimmortal & Immigrant Lessons.

“We launched in 2003 as a three-show series that drew 2,500 people to 21 performances at three Vancouver venues,” says Roxanne Duncan, PuSh Festival’s Interim Executive Director. “The inaugural festival opened a short two years later in 2005. Now as we prepare to celebrate our 15th anniversary, PuSh has welcomed more than 300,000 people to 366 productions from 30 countries.”

The opening performance Attractor by DanceNorth Australia,  January 18th & 19th at Vancouver Playhouse
The show begins with two musicians and eight dancers onstage. Indonesian duo Senyawa plays music spiced with ritual and folk idioms from their native country while choreographers Lucy Guerin and Gideon Obarzanek work with Dancenorth Australia and the band to create a wild experience: as the music builds in power, the dancers increase their abandon and pre-selected members of the audience join in.

Some other highlighted picks for PuSh Festival 2019 include:

Marginal Consort by Marginal Consort (Japan) : January 20 at Performance Works
Four musicians, play a multitude of instruments, create ambient, heavily manipulated music, far apart and fully independent of each other.

PALMYRA by Bertrand Lesca and Nasi Voutsas (France/UK) : January 22–24 at Performance Works
Named after a Syrian city that has changed hands several times during the current fighting, this show slowly builds to the level of violence, creating and sustaining moral ambiguity along the way.

salt. by Selina Thompson photo: Bryony Jackson

salt. by Selina Thompson (UK) : January 24–26 at Roundhouse Community Centre
In this performance Selina Thompson recounts her journey along one stretch of the Transatlantic Slave Triangle route by cargo ship.

Bicycle Thieves by Joelysa Pankanea (Canada) : January 26 & 27 at Performance Works
A special commission for Push Festival, composer and musical director Joelysa Pankanea guides a group of six musicians and four actors as they provide live musical and voice accompaniment to director Vittorio De Sica’s landmark 1948 neorealist film Bicycle Thieves.

These are but a few of the international performances scheduled for the 2019 PuSh International Performing Arts Festival. Visit pushfestival.ca to find the full festival schedule and book your tickets and Push Passes now.

 

The Full Light Of Day is coming

Even though we’re still in the peak of the holiday entertainment season, we’re taking a look ahead at what’s to come in the new year. Coming in January, Electric Company Theatre, in association with the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, presents the world premiere of a provocative new work, The Full Light of Day, at the Vancouver Playhouse.

The Full Light Of Day
photo: Don Lee

The new work from Siminovitch prize-winning playwright Daniel Brooks, is directed by Kim Collier. The Full Light of Day is a suspenseful and compelling hybrid of theatre and film in which a terminally ill woman confronts the choices that brought her family privilege; and then, takes a risk to secure their ultimate redemption. Utilizing 14 live-streaming cameras, state-of-the-art projections and film, The Full Light of Day immerses audiences in rich cinematic cityscapes, intimate inner lives, and invites them to reimagine the limitations of live theatre.

“Other than the weather, real estate may well be our country’s most frequently discussed topic. In this work, we dive deeper – and consider the consequences of a society grown obsessed with property and possession,” says Director Kim Collier, who, like playwright Brooks, is also a winner of theatre’s highest honour, the Siminovitch Prize. “Consequently, it raises questions about the very nature of land ownership. How can we own land? Land owns us. It is us. Paradoxically, by using live-streaming cameras and an enormous array of projection technologies, audiences will be able to feel an innately rich and intimate connection to our characters’ inner lives and truly experience that pang of self-recognition in the stories reflected onstage.”

The Full Light Of Day
photo: Don Lee

Complementing the stage production, Electric Company Theatre Co-Founder Kevin Kerr has created a collection of short films shot in 360° Virtual Reality. The works can be viewed separately from the theatre production or experienced at special installations located throughout the Vancouver Playhouse lobby. These films are told from the perspectives of individual characters, placing the viewer inside their actions and perceptions. The films will be available to the public for free viewing in the Playhouse lobby during the afternoons prior to performances of The Full Light of Day.

The Full Light of Day runs January 7 – 12, 2019 at The Vancouver Playhouse, 600 Hamilton Street. For showtimes and tickets visit electriccompanytheatre.com

Free Film Screening of Miscellaneous Productions “Monsters”

Vancouver’s MISCELLANEOUS Productions is a non-profit, charitable society using art as a path for social change and personal transformation in culturally and socially at-risk youth – empowering them to be fully participating citizens.

Monsters
pic Chris Randle

Last year, the company debuted, Monsters – an anti-racism, anti-bullying play with hip hop and World music and dance. Funding from Heritage Canada allowed for MISCELLANEOUS Productions to document the production on film, which is making its Vancouver debut November 8th. Screening in Canadian communities this fall, the film forms the basis of dialogues and performing arts workshops with/for culturally and socially inclusive multi-barriered youth.

Monsters is a transdisciplinary musical theatre work loosely based on Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. It explores how and why a community creates and supports a ‘monster’, how collusion functions, and how people are often attracted to individuals with loud, brash, forceful or aggressive personalities but are unaware of how incredibly damaging they can be.

Monsters premiered in October of 2017 at the Scotiabank Dance Centre. Following the Vancouver opening of Monsters, components of the production toured to Catalonia in November 2017.

Ghosts of Productions Past
pic: Chris Randle

On Thursday November 8th, MISCELLANEOUS Productions is holding a FREE screening for the Vancouver film premiere of Monsters, at The Annex, 823 Seymour Street.  The Monsters film screening will be preceded by MISCELLANEOUS Productions’ 5-minute short film, Ghosts of Productions Past. Making its World Premiere, the short is a new and nasty feminist satire of the whiteness of the Canadian theatre scene, #MeToo, #TimesUp and the recent disturbing events at various North American theatre companies.  

MISCELLANEOUS Productions’ Free Screening of Monster, with Ghosts of Productions Past, takes place November 8, 2018 at 7pm. Doors open at 6pm, admission is free but seating is limited.  Due to scenes of violence, the screening is not recommended for children 12 or under. 

VIFF 2018 is underway!

The Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF) is now on, lighting up screens around the city until October 12, 2018.

The 37th edition of VIFF brings hundreds of films from around the globe, and around the corner to Vancouver cinemas.  Award-winning Hollywood star-power rubs shoulders with independent local BC features, while foreign language films join the first feature told in the Haida language.

The Festival kicked off last night, September 27th with award-winning Canadian director Kim Nguyen’s The Hummingbird Project starring Jesse Eisenberg, Alexander Skarsgård, and Selma Hayek.   On October 12th, VIFF closes with Jason Reitman’s The Front Runner, starring Hugh Jackman, a biography chronicling the rise and fall of 1988 Presidential candidate Gary Hart.  In the weeks between opening and closing films; talkbacks, panels, special events, features, awards and much more fill out the Festival’s days and nights.

Some of the special presentations and features are:

The Old Man & the Gun – September 29 at The Centre
What may be Robert Redford’s final film, The Old Man & the Fun is based on the true story of Forrest Tucker (Redford), charting his escape from San Quentin at the age of 70 to an unprecedented string of heists that confounded authorities and enchanted the public. Also stars Sissy Spacek and Casey Affleck

Creator Talk: Michael Schur – September 30 at The Rio Theatre
A fascinating session with Michael Schur, one of comedy’s best TV writers (The Good Place, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, The Office).

Tribute Award: Jean Marc Vallée – October 2 at Vancouver Playhouse
Celebrate the accomplishments of Canadian filmmaker Jean-Marc Vallée (Big Little Lies, C.R.A.Z.Y.) with a screening of the premiere episode of the Vallée directed, Sharp Objects, starring Amy Adam.  An ‘in conversation with’ the Emmy winning director follows the screening.

BC Spotlight: SG?aawaay ?’uuna (Eng: Edge of the Knife) – October 3, 6:15pm  at Vancouver Playhouse
Filmed on Haida Gwaii, the first feature film spoken only in Haida dialects, and set in the 19th Century, Edge of the Knife tells a classic Haida story of the traumatized and stranded man transformed to Gaagiixiid, the wildman.

Sustainable Production Forum Keynote Speaker: Adrian Grenier – October 5 at Vancity Theatre
Dedicated to greening the film industry the two day Sustainable Production Forum gets underway with a keynote on the conference’s theme “Transforming Culture” from actor Adrian Grenier.

Bethune: The Making of a Hero – October 5, 6:00 pm  at Vancity Theatre
A special screening of the first Canadian/Chinese co-production, Phillip Borsos’s Bethune: The Making of a Hero stars Donald Sutherland in the title role of the Canadian Doctor renowned in China for bringing modern medicine to rural communities.

Boy Erased – October 6, 9:15pm at Vancouver Playhouse
Based on the memoir by Garrard Conley, Boy Erased is written and directed by Joel Edgerton, who also stars alongside Lucas Hedges, Nicole Kidman, Russell Crowe, and Edgerton, and follows the son of Baptist parents who is forced to take part in a gay conversion therapy program.

Vancouver International Film Festival runs September 27 – October 12, 2018 at various screens in downtown Vancouver.
Single Tickets and Ticket Packs are on sale online or in-person at the Vancity Theatre Box Office from $13 to $22. VIFF membership (from $2) is required to view any screening.

VQFF Opening Gala coming August 9th

The 2018 Vancouver Queer Film Festival (VQFF) kicks off on Thursday August 9th with a 7:00pm screening of Yen Tan’s critically-observed period piece, 1985, at the Vancouver Playhouse.

1985
photo: dutch rall

Director Tan’s fifth feature black & white film, 1985 follows Adrian, a closeted young man returning to his Texas hometown for Christmas during the first wave of the AIDS crisis. Burdened with an unspeakable tragedy in New York, Adrian reconnects with his brother and estranged childhood friend, as he struggles to divulge his dire circumstances to his religious parents. Under Tan’s emotional and poignant direction, 1985’s characters bring tension and a strained tenderness into every scene, creating a haunting elegy for a generation of gay men. 1985 stars Cory Michael Smith (Gotham), Michael Chiklis (The Commish), Virginia Madsen (Designated Survivor), Jamie Chung (The Gifted). Director Yen Tan will be in attendance, at the VQFF Opening Gala to introduce his film, as well as at the repeat screening August 10.

Following the opening screening the Festival really gets going with the Opening Gala Party, taking place under the stars at the šx???ex?n Xwtl’a7shn Plaza (QET Plaza). Attendees are encouraged to dress in black and white finery as an homage to Yen Tan’s stylistic choice for 1985, and will be treated to performances by contortionist Vixen Von Flex and dance troupe Coven, with beats from East Van DJs Body Party.

VQFF, Vancouver’s second largest film festival and the largest queer arts event in Western Canada runs August 9-19 at various venues throughout the city.  More than 70 films from 15 countries are featured at this year’s 30th anniversary Festival, along with 11 visiting filmmakers including guests from India, Philippines, United States, as well as numerous local directors and performing artists, in addition to parties and talkback sessions. The Vancouver Queer Film Festival is presented by Out On Screen, for more information and tickets visit queerfilmfestival.ca

CineFEST Live : Outdoor Pioneers In Cinema Film Series

There are plenty of summer blockbuster screenings but there’s another series of free outdoor films that deserves the attention of cinema buffs. The CineFEST Live : Pioneers In Cinema film series is a collaboration with Vancouver Biennale, screening every Monday, from July 30th to September 3rd at Leg In Boot Square.

Acoustic Anvil: A Small Weight to Forge the Sea Artist: Maskull Lasserre

Presented alongside the recently unveiled Biennale industry inspired installation, Acoustic Anvil: A Small Weight to Forge the Sea by Artist: Maskull Lasserre, these films highlight film pioneers from the industrial age, 1920 to 1940. Screenings are a mix of golden age films like John Ford’s Stagecoach starring John Wayne, or Charlie Chaplin’s Modern Times, and contemporary documentaries which help to explain how the pioneers influenced the current film landscape.

Two of the screenings, August 13 and August 27, are in conjunction with the Vancouver Asian Film Festival; which will also host its own outdoor screening, of celebrated director Mina Shum’s Meditation Park, at Dr Sun Yat-Sen Plaza on Saturday September 1st.

The films in the CineFEST Live: Pioneers In Cinema film series include: 

Monday, July 30, 2018: 
Yours Sincerely, Lois Weber (2017), 6min
The Women Who Run Hollywood (2015), 53min  

Monday, August 6, 2018:
Stagecoach (1939), 96min

Monday, August 13, 2018:
Finding Kukan (2016), 76min

Monday, August 20, 2018:
Lotte That Silhouette Girl (2018), 10min
The Adventures of Prince Achmed (1926), 66min


Monday, August 27, 2018:

Tyrus (2017), 79min 

Monday, September 3, 2018:
Modern Times
(1936), 87min


All outdoor film screenings are free of admission and start at 8:30pm (dusk), at Leg In Boot Square along the Seawall along from Granville Island, near Olympic Village Station.