The 31st Vancouver Queer Film Festival (VQFF) opens this Thursday, August 15th at the Vancouver Playhouse with the Canadian Premiere of Leon Le’s Song Lang (Vietnam/U.S.A.), Le’s first feature is set in the richly imagined and dilapidated streets of 1990’s Saigon. Song Lang is a tribute to the golden age of c?i l??ng (a form of modern Vietnamese folk opera), a queer romance and gangster film that stars Vietnamese popstar, Isaac.
VQFF’s Closing Gala Film is the Canadian Premiere of a positive, feel-good LGBTQ comedy from Italy, An Almost Ordinary Summer (Italy) by Simone Godano. The film pays homage to the entertaining romantic comedies of Nancy Meyers, about two aging patriarchs who bring their two very different families together on vacation to announce their engagement.
In between, VQFF welcomes more than 100 films from 27 countries, plus a series of Festival Spotlights including Coming Into Our Own: Youth Spotlight, Queer Kinship, A Higher Power, and projecting brilliance: a two-spirit showcase.
Curated by Artistic Director, Anoushka Ratnarajah, VQFF is Vancouver’s second largest film festival and the largest queer arts event in Western Canada. Presented by Out On Screen, the Festival runs August 15-25, 2019 at various venues throughout the city, for more information and tickets visit queerfilmfestival.ca
Another month wraps up and the August long-weekend is packed with loads of entertainment in these picks of the week
Cinema: Vancouver Civic Theatres are presenting free outdoor Wednesday evening cinema at šx???ex?n Xwtl’a7shn (formerly QET Plaza) outside the Queen Elizabeth Theatre, tonight the 2019 live action Dumbo starts at dusk.
Stars: The 2019 season of Theatre Under The Stars presents the entertaining musicals Mamma Mia! and Disney’s Newsies on alternating nights until August 17th.
Gallery: This Friday Vancouver Art Gallery presents Pride at the Gallery, a night of creativity, fun and connection in celebration of LGBTQ2+, with added programming on top of regular admission.
Gig: Friday, August 2 the Vancouver Convention Centre launches Summer Sounds on Jack Poole Plaza, a music experience from The New Shackeltons, taking place from 3:00 PM until 6:00 PM, with more performancer schedule each Friday, August
Fireworks: The 2019 Honda Celebration of Light continues tonight, with plenty of entertainment to enjoy before Canada brings light to the skies above English Bay.
Repertory: The third play, Superior Donuts, in the Ensemble Theatre Company’s 7th Annual Repertory Festival opens this week, with the trio of plays in repertoire at the Jericho Art Centre until August 16th.
Bach: Early Music Vancouver brings the Vancouver Bach Festival to Christ Church Cathedral and Chan Centre for Performing Arts until August 9th. This week featured performances include; Part II of Bach Complete Brandenburg Concertos with Les Boréades tonight, Faure Requiem with Vancouver Bach Choir on Aug 1st, and Bach Cantatas with Les Boréades on Aug 2nd.
Parade: Everyone loves a parade, and the Vancouver Pride Parade, on Sunday August 4th promises to be one of the most colourful and lively parades of the year.
Pride: The Vancouver Pride Sunset Beach Festival is your destination for entertainment, food trucks, beer garden, vendors, dancing, and more after the Parade or come earlier and get your place to enjoy the entertainment all day
Art: The Vancouver Art Gallery dives into its permanent collection to present Robert Rauschenberg 1965–1980, an exhibition of important but rarely seen works by the prolific twentieth-century American artist, until October
Bard: The 30th season of Bard on the Beach is underway at Vanier Park with Taming of the Shrew and Shakespeare in Love playing in repertoire through the summer on the Mainstage, and All’s Well That Ends Well on now at the Howard Family Stage.
Blooms: The second Chilliwack Sunflower Festival opens August 1st with a total of 20 acres of flowers, bringing colour to the Fraser Valley community
Korean: The 18th Annual Korean Festival fills Swangard Stadium in Burnaby with Korean culture, food and arts, on Saturday August 3rd from 10am to 8pm
Arts: Harmony Arts Festival fills the West Vancouver Waterfront from Ambleside Pier to John Lawson Park, with a line-up of entertainment from August 2nd to 11th with scores of music, arts, film and food events, much of it free.
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.
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
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
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.”
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.
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.
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)
The China Broadcasting Film Symphony Orchestra (CBFSO), brings the sounds of movies to The Orpheum Theatre on January 12th for one night only.
The Canada-China Culture Development Association presents an evening of cinematic masterpieces. Cinema In Concert find the internationally-renowned CBFSO, led by acclaimed conductor Pang Ka Pang, performing dramatic scores from Oscar-winning films, while iconic scenes are projected above them. One of China’s oldest and finest symphony orchestras, the 80-member ensemble will bring life to film scores of five Academy Award winning composers, including Braveheart, Casablanca, Jurassic World, Legends of the Fall, and Pirates of the Caribbean, as well as works from China’s cinema.
Since forming in 1949, the CBFS Orchestra has performed and recorded music of nearly 2,000 films, TV dramas and documentaries. First touring abroad in 1992, the orchestra has now performed in more than 40 countries on five continents, working closely with renowned conductors, composers, dancers and performers.
During its performance at The Orpheum, the 80-piece orchestra will perform with special guest soloists from the local Vancouver music community, including the 100-member local community choral group, the Vancouver Folk Song and Dance Troupe.
Cinema in Concert with the China Broadcasting Film Symphony Orchestra takes place Friday, January 12, 2018 at 8pm at The Orpheum Theatre in Vancouver. Tickets are on sale at ticketstonight.ca