CONTEST: Vancouver Queer Film Fest 2018

The Vancouver Queer Film Festival has released its lineup for the 30th Anniversary edition of the festival, taking place August 9-19.  Over the 11-day festival, more than 70 films from 15 countries will be featured, along with 11 visiting filmmakers, 27 local directors and numerous local performing artists, in addition to parties and talkback sessions & seminars. Festival passes and tickets are now on sale online.

“Our 30th year is the perfect time to reflect on how queer cinema has evolved,” says Co-Artistic Director Amber Dawn. “We now see queer, trans, and two-spirit themed films routinely winning awards and gaining wide viewership. Even with this recognition, there are still so many stories to be told and so many innovative possibilities for media-based storytelling. You’ll only get a chance to see groundbreaking stories like these at festivals like Vancouver Queer Film Festival.”

Curated by Co-Artistic Directors Anoushka Ratnarajah and Amber Dawn, Vancouver Queer Film Festival (VQFF) 2018 opens at the Vancouver Playhouse with Malaysian-born writer and director Yen Tan’s 1985, featuring an acclaimed cast including Cory Michael Smith, Michael Chiklis, Virginia Madsen, and Jamie Chung.

Alaska Is A Drag

This year’s VQFF Centrepiece Gala Film is from LA-based comedian, writer and actress Vivian Bang, who co-wrote and stars in, White Rabbit. In this comedy that premiered at Sundance Film Festival, Vivian Bang plays a Korean-American performance artist who tries to remain dedicated to her art and struggles to pay the bills by doing odd jobs on “TaskRabbit”.  The 2018 Youth Gala Film is Shaz Bennett’s debut feature film, Alaska Is A Drag, a

fish out of water story about life in a small Alaska cannery town.

Festival favourites The Coast is Queer and Troublemakers return, and new this year is The Coast is Genderqueer – VQFF’s first short film program that showcases local transgender, genderfluid, and non-binary stories. As well, Festival Programmer Justin Ducharme curates Indigiqueer Shorts from Turtle Island and Aotearoa, a collection of two-spirit films that subvert colonial constructs of Indigiqueer bodies and sexual agency.

The Miseducation of Cameron Post

VQFF 2018 wraps up August 19th, with the Closing Gala Film The Miseducation of Cameron Post, the sophomore feature from Desiree Akhavan and 2018 Grand Jury Prize for U.S. Drama at Sundance Film Festival.  Based on the novel of the same name and set in the early ‘90s, the film follows high school senior Cameron Post, who is caught in a small-town scandal when she’s discovered having a secret relationship with her best friend. Deemed a sinner, Cameron is sent by her conservative aunt and guardian to a Christian conversion therapy camp called ‘Promises’.

Festival program guides are now available at Festival venues as well as Little Sister’s Book & Art Emporium and Black Dog Video. The complete Festival lineup can also be viewed online at www.queerfilmfestival.ca.

Full ticketing details, including pricing, can be found at www.queerfilmfestival.ca/tickets.

CONTEST:
Vancouver Queer Film Festival has graciously offered a lucky reader, a 6 pack of tickets for your oppertunity to attend Vancouver’s second largest film festival

To enter:

Leave a comment below telling us the person who you would take along with you to be your VQFF #Festie  (1 entry)

Tweet the Following & Tag your #Festie (1 entry) :

RT to #Win : Me & my #festie want to win tickets to @QueerFilmFest via @jminter http://ow.ly/hMOk30kPedM #VQFF2018 #contest

Contest entries will be accepted until Noon on Monday July 30, 2018. One winner will be chosen at random.

28th Annual Harmony Arts Festival opens August 3rd

As it enters its 28th year, Harmony Arts Festival in West Vancouver keeps going from strength to strength.  Surrounding the Ambleside Waterfront from Ambleside Pier to John Lawson Park, the festival fills the calendar from August 3rd to 12th with over 150 music, arts, film and food events, much of it free!

Highlights of the festival events include;

ARTS:

Indigenous Exhibition: A new feature in the festival, the Indigenous Exhibition, celebrates Indigenous artists and communities, while honouring the tradition of gathering and sharing. The exhibition is inspired by West Vancouver’s origins on the traditional and unceded territories of the Coast Salish People, in particular, the Squamish, Tsleil-Waututh, and Musqueam First Nations. Opening at Ambleside Landing August 3rd, with a traditional welcome ceremony, the program invites visitors to learn about Indigenous culture through an exploration of 30 artists in an authentic marketplace and art exhibition.
Indigenous Exhibition runs August 2 – 12, daily until 9pm

ArtSpeaks: Expand your knowledge with over 20 artist talks, demonstrations, workshops, hands-on classes and more. Offered in two waterfront tents near the Ferry Building Gallery. Select artists will also showcase their works as part of the Harmony Showcase Exhibition, held in the Silk Purse Arts Centre. For fashion enthusiasts, the Slow Clothes Fashion Show, takes place on Wednesday, August 8 at 2 p.m. on the John Lawson Stage.
Art Speaks opens August 3–12: 12 – 9p.m.

Art Beat: Discover more than 40 artists showcasing their works on the Ambleside and Dundarave beat as you local shops and restaurants together with West Vancouver’s vibrant waterfront. A street celebration takes place on August 4, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. ?Art Beat opens August 3–12, store hours

Fresh St. Market Art Market: Argyle Street is filled with a diverse array of juried products including ceramics, glass, jewellery, leather, painting, photography, textiles and wood, the Fresh St. Market Art Market is the place to find incredible gifts and one-of-a-kind artistic treasures. Meet artists and artisans who display awe-inspiring works in a row of white tents.
Fresh St. Market Art Market runs August 3–6 and August 10–12, times vary

A complete list of participating vendors can be found at  harmonyarts.ca/art/art-market

MUSIC:
Four Stages to choose from to suit your musical tastes.

ONNI Group Sunset Concerts evenings at John Lawson Park features Buckman Coe, Sara Jane Scouten, Jane Mortiffee & Friends, The Paperboys and more

Jim Byrnes

Parc Retirement Living Garden Concerts at Millennium Park, feature Jim Byrnes, The Adam Woodall Band, Coco Jafro, plus tribute bands The Hip Show, and Eagle Eyes, to name just a few.

Seniors’ Series
, finds Dal Richards Orchestra (August 5), The Bruce James Orchestra – Vancouver’s Big Band (August 6) and The Beauty Shop Dolls (August 12) playing afternoons at John Lawson Park

Live Music at The Silk Purse
 has live jazz and classic sounds in the afternoons August 8, 9 & 10

FILM:?

Outdoor Cinema

Following the ONNI Group Sunset Concerts John Lawson Park becomes an outdoor cinema, with free nightly screenings of award-winning films starting at 9pm.
This year’s line-up includes award-winning films like The Greatest Showman, Coco, Beatlejuice, My Fair Lady, Rocky, Wonder Woman and more.

FOOD:
Every good festival offers good food and Harmony Arts Festival doesn’t disappoint with a hearty selection of its own.

Artisan Eats
, a collection of food trucks at John Lawson Park.

The Park Royal Beachside Patio
finds a pop-up version of Feast The Neighbourhood Table to Argyle Street.

The RE/MAX Waterfront Lounge
features a pop-up Salt & Earth Oyster Bar offering dining alongside the Parc Retirement Living Garden Stage.

Ambleside Pier

Harmony Arts Festival also offers three special ticketed events:

?Indigenous Feast: at Ambleside Landing August 7th, 6pm is a brand new event with a traditional indigenous menu from Salmon & Bannock, accompanied by a performance by Murray Porter.

8th Annual Best of the West:
on Ambleside Pier August 8th, 7-9pm is a tasty curated evening featuring a dozen local restaurants paired with wineries celebrating the best of BC.

3rd Annual Mixology Night on the Pier
: on the Ambleside Pier August 9, 7:30-9:30pm welcomes eight of Metro Vancouver’s top mixologists competing to create the best cocktail as voted by the attendees.

With so much to keep young and old entertained from day time to evening, it’s not surprising to see why Harmony Arts Festival has kept visitors returning year after year. ?There’s sure to be something for your whole family to enjoy at Harmony Arts Festival.
Visit harmonyarts.ca for a full list of events and times.

EVO Summer Cinema returns to Stanley Park for 2018

Celebrating its 10th Anniversary,  EVO Summer Cinema outdoor movie series returns to Second Beach in Stanley Park. Tuesday nights from July 3 to August 21, 2018, the the Grand Lawn at Ceperley Field will turn into a free public cinema.  

Seating is free, on a first-come, first-seated basis, for up to 5000 people around the meadow. So bring a blanket (or buy one from the Fresh-Air Cinema Snack Bar) and join in the fun.  Step it up a notch and move your movie date night to one of 200 Reserved VIP Gold Circle Seats, available in a Adirondack cottage-chair placed in the front row of the cinema. Book ahead or take the chance on rush seats being released the Monday prior to the film.

Why not make it dinner and a movie? Packages with a three-course meal from one of the West-End’s many restaurants + VIP Gold Circle seating are also available.

Bike Valet is onsite for those who peddle to the park. Food trucks and pre-show activities keep patrons entertained while waiting for the films to begin, at dusk.

New this year, the EVO Summer Cinema Marketplace brings a selection of carefully curated local artisans and vendors to the cinema meadow each week.

The 2018 EVO Summer Cinema line-up of fan favourite flicks is:
(note movies begin after sunset, times are approximate)

The Princess Bride 
Tuesday, July 3
98 minutes
Sunset: 9:20pm

Stand By Me
Tuesday, July 10
89 minutes
Sunset: 9:15pm

The Lion King
Tuesday, July 17
89 minutes
Sunset: 9:10pm

Mean Girls
Tuesday, July 24
97 minutes
Sunset: 9:05pm

Spice World
Tuesday, July 31
93 minutes
Sunset: 8:55pm

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
Tuesday, August 7
108 minutes
Sunset: 8:45pm

Grease
Tuesday, August 14
110 minutes
Sunset: 8:30pm

Titanic
Tuesday, August 21
195 minutes
Sunset: 8:20pm

See you at the cinema!

Summer Cinema Line up 2018 from FreshAirCinema Video Production on Vimeo.

Out On Screen Celebrates VQFF’s 30th Birthday

This summer, Out On Screen presents the 30th annual Vancouver Queer Film Festival (VQFF), Thursday, August 9th to Sunday, August 19th. This year’s Festival, presented by RBC, will take place at various theatres around Vancouver.  The 2018 Festival theme is “To the moon and back, 30 years of uplifting queer stories

To kick off the 30th Anniversary celebrations Out on Screen is hosting a community birthday party, sponsored by Vancity, on Saturday, June 2nd at The Imperial on Main Street at 8:00pm. The party for the LGBT2Q+ community and allies will pay tribute to the last three decades of uplifting queer stories at the Vancouver Queer Film Festival. The Festival gets nostalgic and will be turning back time to dance the night away to hits from the 80’s, 90’s and 2000’s, and enjoy performances inspired by each decade from talented local artists Maiden China, Shay Dior, and Indigenous burlesque troupe Virago Nation.

“The value of queer film as a transformational art medium is just as critical today as it was 30 years ago,” says Executive Director Stephanie Goodwin. “The Festival is a place for the LGBT2Q+ community to call home as well as an important platform for films that queer the narrative, that illuminate and celebrate LGBT2Q+ lives in all their dimensions and complexity.”

“2018 has proven to be an incredible year for queer cinema, breaking out of familiar stories and into mainstream box office success,” adds Co-Artistic Director Anoushka Ratnarajah. “We are seeing queer filmmakers taking aesthetic and narrative risks, creating art that pushes boundaries, and takes audiences into new queer territories. I feel very fortunate to be witnessing the artistry, intelligence, and courage of queer film today.”

Celebrating the best in independent queer cinema, the Vancouver Queer Film Festival is Vancouver’s second largest film festival and the largest queer arts event in Western Canada. For the full line-up of the VQFF films, classes, lectures, panels and more visit queerfilmfestival.ca

2018 DOXA Festival Closes With Awards Presentation

As the 2018 DOXA Documentary Film Festival came to a close last Sunday night, the annual DOXA Awards were announced in advance of the Festival’s closing night screening.

Four juried awards were presented to the following;

The Feature Documentary Award :  Mercedes Dominioni’s The Creator of Universes.

Of the winning film, jury members Tom Charity, Steffanie Ling and Anoushka Ratnarajah stated: “We celebrate Mercedes Dominioni’s patient and caring The Creator of Universes, a layered, captivating film built around a unique collaboration between the filmmaker’s teenage brother Juan, and their grandmother Rosa. This is a film of extraordinary formal creativity balancing Juan’s dramatic home movie/Telenovela footage (often very funny) with a sense of real life spilling over the edges. Dominioni’s love for these characters is simply transmitted.” 

Honourable Mention: Shevaun Mizrahi’s Distant Constellations “A poetic portrait of the inhabitants of an old people’s home in Turkey remarkable for its intimacy, humour and cinematography.”

The Colin Low Award for Canadian Documentary : Laura Bari’s Primas.

Jury members Ana Carruzales, Kelly Maxwell, and Susi Porter-Bopp said of the film: “Primas is a timely cinematic tale that travels beyond survival, walking the audience through the inconceivable with artistic sensibility, gently amplifying the voices of these courageous, unforgettable cousins. Filmmaker Laura Bari’s empathetic camera fiercely refuses to shy away from a heinous reality that is still so sadly relevant for young women. With poetic, sublime and rough imagery on its edges, Bari sheds a triumphant light by capturing the beautiful spirit of our Primas.”

Honourable Mention: Simon Plouffe’s Those Who Come Will Hear, for its evocative and unique representation of the languages, speakers, and context in Northern Quebec.  

The Nigel Moore Award for Youth Programming : Bing Liu’s Minding the Gap.

The jury of Steven Hawkins, Jacob Saltzberg, Tegan Dobson, Anna Hetherington, and Maya Biderman stated: “The film follows a group of three young men who bond together through friendship and skateboarding to escape violent families in a small town. Bing has an acute ability to extract raw emotions from his friends. He portrays the cruel cycles of domestic violence, and shows the ongoing dynamic effects these have on all the relationships surrounding them. This allows him to paint a picture of harsh realities that would otherwise be masked by society’s policing of machismo ideals. This is an important film for adolescents and parents alike to see, and therefore a clear choice to receive this award. Congratulations, Bing.”

Honourable Mention: Jules Koostachin & Rick Miller’s Butterfly Monument, “Equal parts a memorial to Shannen Koostachin, and a spotlight on the importance of her advocacy work. It shows the impact one young life can have on both a cause and community, and reminds us that spirit is transcendent.”

The Short Documentary Award : Paloma Martinez’s Cristanto Street.

Jury members Michelle Mason, Tony Massil, and Sonia Medel awarded the prize “for exposing the collateral social damage of contemporary racism and land cartels with surprising tenderness and hope. On a little street in San Francisco, Paloma Martinez captured the beauty of community and the true meaning of home in a powerful short with global implications.”

Honourable Mention: Michelle Latimer’s Nuuca for “its quiet urgency and artfulness in a timely meditation on land, tying the violent nature of resource extraction to the exploitation of indigenous women.” 

For more details about the award winning documentaries and jurist biographies, visit doxafestival.ca/festival-awards.
Return next spring for more great documentary films from around the world at DOXA 2019.

2018 DOXA line-up keeps it real

In an age of “fake news” the 2018 DOXA Documentary Film Festival celebrates those filmmakers who take the time to research and document real life and get to the bottom of the story without a script or teleprompter.  The DOXA 2018 program screens radical and transformative ideas through music, art, and the power of people working together to create and share solutions. 

The 93 films in the festival this year, including 9 world premiers and 13 Canadian premiers, cover activism, politics, disability rights, women’s rights, family life, music and so much more to keep you stimulated and intrigued.

The Rankin File

With municipal elections just around the corner, DOXA opens the Festival with the world premiere of Teresa Alfeld’s The Rankin File: Legacy of a Radical. Vancouver lawyer, city councilor, housing activist, and legendary firebrand Harry Rankin left a long shadow in the city, but some of his most passionate battles are still being fought. Another rebel closes out the Festival, with Kusama – Infinity, a celebration of fearless spirit and passionate determination. Yayoi Kasuma battled her way to the top of the art world. But her struggle took a highly personal toll. 

Kusama – Infinity

Double Spotlight features Press Play and Quietude respectively explore the revolutionary power of music, and the subtle strength of silence and close observation. Guest Curated Programs grapple with some of the most challenging issues from the rise of the rightwing (Embedded with Extremists curated by Geoff Dembicki) to environmental crises facing Tibetan China (From Our Eyes curated by Yi Cui). 2018 DOXA also welcomes the fourth edition of French French, featuring a special program dedicated to the work of legendary cineaste Alain Cavalier. 

Cornerstone programs Justice Forum and Rated Y for Youth are back for 2018, with a remarkable collection of work that tackles the most intractable issues of the day (climate change, censorship, Indigenous language revitalization, reproductive rights and technologies) with intelligence, thought, and a fierce dedication to the art of documentary cinema. With an expanded Industry Day, artist talks, panel discussions, and parties, there is something for everyone in the 2018 DOXA Festival – lovers, fighters, and organizers.  

DOXA Documentary Film Festival runs May 3 –13, 2018. Tickets are available online at doxafestival.ca.

Maple Ridge Festival of BC Film Opening

As The Oscars celebrated global cinema this week, the second Maple Ridge Festival of BC Film is gearing up to celebrate our home grown film community. From Friday, March 23 to Sunday March 25, 2018 the ACT Arts Centre and The Ridge Film Studios, with the support of the City of Maple Ridge, highlight films created right here in British Columbia.  

The ACT Arts Centre’s Acting Executive Director, Philip Hartwick, says, “As an addition to our programming that includes our Golden Ears Movie Series, we are thrilled to once again present the Maple Ridge Festival of BC Film in partnership with The Ridge Film Studios and the City of Maple Ridge. Through this festival, we are able to not only bring more film to the heart of our community, but high caliber, domestically-made films too. We are proud to be able to support our local film industry in this unique way.”

Feature Film: Drone

The Ridge Studios’ John Wittmayer adds, “The Ridge Studios supports a talented and thriving local film community. We are very pleased to collaborate with The ACT Arts Centre and introduce these remarkable films to the public. It’s important to create a strong Canadian film industry.”

Lino Siracusa, Manager of Economic Development with the City of Maple Ridge, states, “Maple Ridge is regarded as a film friendly community, and this is reflected in the high volume of movies and series that are shot here every year. The film industry provides employment to over 600 Maple Ridge residents. In addition, the wages, which total over $24 million, and services procured by production companies help support local businesses. 

Short Film: Cypher

The Maple Ridge Festival of BC Film contributes to the City’s film profile by showcasing some of these exceptional productions filmed in Maple Ridge.”

The Maple Ridge Festival of BC Film kicks off with an Opening Reception on Friday, March 23 at 6:30pm and features a total of six shorts, four feature films, and one documentary over the course of three days.

CONTEST: This contest is now closed, thank you to those who entered. Thanks to The Festival, who have generously offered a pair of tickets to readers, you can win your way to the Opening Reception on Friday, March 23rd, at The ACT Arts Centre, 11944 Haney Place, Maple Ridge.

To enter:

Leave a comment below telling us the person who would be your date to the The Maple Ridge Festival of BC Film Opening Reception (1 entry)

Follow @jminter & tweet the Following (1 entry) :

RT to Enter to #Win a pair of tickets to the #OpeningReception of Maple Ridge Festival of #BCFilm at @MapleRidgeACT via @jminter http://ow.ly/fBkE30iM4SP #contest #FilmFest

Contest entries will be accepted until Noon on Monday, March 12, 2018.  One winner will be chosen at random.