The odd realm of Frauke Finsterwalder’s Finsterworld

Finsterworld

Satire, surrealism, fairy tale, allegory, black comedy, and tragicomedy: many genres could describe Frauke Finsterwalder’s first film, Finsterworld. One genre can be ruled out for sure though: vérité.

When the Women in Film Festival committee decided to invite Finsterwalder’s film, our festival judges and volunteers struggled with how to summarize this incredibly complex debut film – you’ll have to see it for yourself to understand.  Continue reading

Movies to Watch with That Special Someone

Some say that rom-coms and dramas focused on love stories are the main reason we  go to the movies in the first place. If you’re looking for movies to watch on Date Night with your significant other, here are the best picks for a little romance.

As a side note, our judges and Festival Committee are especially pleased that this year’s line-up features several films which aren’t your “classic” boy-meets-girl stories–four of the seven films below have LGBTQ2S presences.

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Behind the bright façade – an African ménage à trois in Marie Kâ’s L’Autre Femme

 L'Autre FemmeWhat strikes one right away in this erotic tale written, directed and produced by Vancouver filmmaker Marie Kâ, are a wide pallet of bright colours and ubiquitous sunshine.

Clothing, interiors and street life really are that colourful in Dakar, the location for the story, said Kâ, who grew up in Senegal and studied film in France and the US. So much so that the set design and wardrobe teams did such a good job of setting up the shop window with some of the costumes that local women were coming onto the set to inquire about the clothes.

The story of Madeleine, who finds unconventional ways to get to terms with her husband’s new, young, second wife, did not strike Kâ as an unusual constellation.  Continue reading

Fun Facts: Michelle Thrush

Canadian actor Michelle Thrush is the subject of the eponymous short documentary directed by Shannon Kaplun and narrated by Adam Beach. Thrush, one of the stars of APTN’s Blackstone and CBC’s Arctic Air series, is especially unique among the Canadian film and television industry. Here are a few funny and interesting facts about what was going on behind the camera for Kaplun, and about Thrush herself:

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  • Michelle lived ‘off the grid’ with her two children for 2 years. They had to grow, hunt and collect their food and water.  In the winter they had enough solar power to watch 1 DVD! They had no cellular reception – a talent agent’s nightmare.
  • Kaplun says the three biggest challenges of making this film (and others in the Catch the Dream bio series) were geography, power, and communication–she had to work with four different male producers from three different cities and time zones in two different countries!
  • Did you know that lamas are fiercely protective?  They are gentle with children but drive off wild cats – the crew worked with three of them when shooting Michelle’s main interview at wildcat ranch near Calgary. You can see them in the credits, which Kaplun considers an especially fun memory making this documentary.
  • Thrush’s big screen debut was alongside Johnny Depp in Deadman from 1995.

Don’t miss the short documentary Michelle Thrush Sunday, March 9th 1:00-3:30 pm.

#Daretotell why you are interested in watching this film to win prizes in our social media contest.

Remembering the Homelands – Lisa Jackson’s How A People Live

Pristine waters in majestic fjords, lined by evergreen forests and a backdrop of snowcapped mountains. A bald eagle flies over treetops and a harbour seal peeks up from the waves.

To most B.C. citizens, these are not mere postcard pictures, but real memories that many of us, at least the lucky ones living near the coast, have experienced, travelling on one of the ferries. 

Jessie Hemphill

“Your identity derives from the place where you have roots, where your origin stories are. Everything comes from the land,” says Jessie Hemphill, a young aboriginal woman who joined filmmaker Lisa Jackson and her crew on a boat trip to the homelands of her nation, the Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw. Continue reading

Media Literacy x WIFTV: Things You Should Know

WIFTV works to raise the awareness about women involved in making TV programs and films, and coordinating opportunities for women to network and support one another. It should come as no surprise then that WIFTV has a big interest in the work of other people and organizations who are working to raise the profile of women in film, or helping to point out the obvious gender disparities in this industry. Groups, websites, and blogs focused on media literacy are a good place to start if you’re interested in learning more about the role of women in TV and film.

Ready to learn more about media literacy? Here are a few things you might want to check out.

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Fun Facts: 5 Ways 2 Die

A dark comedy about a man fumbling his several suicide attempts? How can a festival show such a film about such a serious topic? For our Festival Committee, the question was more like how could they not show this witty, funny short from Cyprus by Daina Papadaki. As it turns out, things were just as amusing behind the camera–here are a few fun facts about this must-see short:Image

  • Director Papadaki found selecting the most appropriate coffin for a funeral scene to be one of the most morbid things she has done in her filmmaking career! The solemnity was all for naught when there was a mix-up in the order: when the coffin arrived, not only were parts of it missing, but it was an open casket coffin with glass! The film’s art director, Lisa Tsouloupa had to scramble to transform the goofy purchase into the casket you see in the film.

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Behind the Scenes at VIWIFF 2014: Choosing the Festival Films

This year’s festival had over 500 submissions this year from around the world, yet the festival is only showing a total of 33 films. How did we come to choose these films? What made them stand out? Here’s a behind the scenes look at what a film goes through to get into the festival.

Submitting Films

For a film to be qualified for the festival, women must hold at least three key creative positions including: director, producer, cinematographer, lead actor, composer, editor, etc. It was fine of course for one woman to hold all three roles, but if the film even had two women involved in key creative positions, no matter how good it sounded, it did not qualify.

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