Inaugural From Our Dark Side genre writing competition announces top five winners

DarkSide-websiteVampires, werewolves, zombies, space travel, ghosts and suspense– Oh my! Women know their genre. Women In Film + Television Vancouver’s (WIFTV) inaugural #FromOurDarkSide genre writing competition has received over 250 imaginative film concept submissions written by Canadian women. The national English-language competition seeks to discover the best in Canadian women-driven Genre Film ideas.

“We were blown away by the sheer number of applications from across the country for this competition’s debut. It is exceptional and kudos to all that applied,” says Melissa Kajpust, Head of Development, Super Channel. Continue reading

Out of the comfort zone: Atsuko Hirayanagi about her award-winning short Oh Lucy! #VIWIFF2015

Kaori Momoi as Setsuko in Oh Lucy!

Kaori Momoi as Setsuko in Oh Lucy!

I believe everybody fantasizes about becoming somebody else and exploring a new world. Oh Lucy! depicts Setsuko’s secret and personal dream.

Setsuko is a reserved 55-year-old office employee in Tokyo, who doesn’t make friends easily. Her life is a repetitive routine without romance. One day, she attends an English conversation class with an unconventional young English teacher who gives her a new identity, Lucy. She meets Tom, a middle-aged Japanese businessman, who attends to the same class.

Oh Lucy! is a film about Setsuko’s self-discovery, which reflects modern chaotic Tokyo culture.  Continue reading

#VIWIFF2015 Screenplay Competition Announces Finalists

The jury for the Vancouver International Women in Film Festival Screenplay Competition had a tough task ahead of them when narrowing down the Official Selections list in order to determine who this year’s nominated Finalists would be. The commitment to the craft of screenwriting is on full display in this year’s top ten list, but only three could move on.  Continue reading

#VIWFF2015 screening of Kay D. Ray’s Lady Be Good: Instrumental Women in Jazz marks Canadian premiere of jazz doc

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Women instrumentalists have made major contributions to American jazz, and this film captures many of the lost stories, from the early 1920s to the 1970s, including the development of numerous all-female jazz ensembles. Join Peggy Gilbert, Marian McPartland, Carline Ray, Quincy Jones, Jane Sager and many others in this important remembering of our musical past.

Using historical photos, provocative and often wildly humorous interviews with musicians, big band leaders, jazz authors and historians, this textured film by documentarian Kay D. Ray from Seattle is balanced with rare recordings and forgotten footage, both television and film. Like the stories of those who made it, the music is always engaging, often uplifting, and sometimes heartrending.

Kay recently drove all the way from Seattle to drop off her film copy. We took the chance to ask her a few burning questions: Continue reading

Seguir Viviendo (Go on Living) fuses fact and fiction – North American Premiere at #VIWIFF2015

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Film still of Seguir Viviendo

Chihuahua, Mexico-born director Alejandra Sánchez fuses fact and fiction in her first narrative feature, Seguir Viviendo (Go On Living), screening March 7 at #VIWIFF2015.

Striking monochromatic scenes and a changing geographical landscape that parallels the mood of the three characters, make for a haunting and thrilling road-movie. Continue reading

Love, a tragicomedy –– Canadian rom-com Relative Happiness to premiere in Vancouver at #VIWIFF2015

Johnathan Sousa and Melissa Bergland

Johnathan Sousa and Melissa Bergland in Relative Happiness

The Nova Scotian rom-com Relative Happiness, directed by Deanne Foley, charmed festival audiences with its fabulous lead (Australian actress Melissa Bergland) and the right mix of humour and emotion. Bergland stars as Lexie, plus-sized and 30 years old, a feisty Bed and Breakfast owner who desperately needs a date to her sister’s wedding. Co-starring as Lexie’s love interests are Aaron Poole (Strange Empire, The Animal Project) and Johnathan Sousa (The Animal Project, Rookie Blue). The film is based on the bestselling novel by Lesley Crewe.

Continue reading

Iranian film A 5-Star to premiere in North America at #VIWIFF2015

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The Vancouver International Women in Film Festival is pleased to present the North American premiere of Iranian filmmaker Mashid Afsharzadeh’s sophomore feature film, A 5-Star on Saturday, March 7 at 9:30 PM.  Continue reading

#VIWIFF2015 Screenplay Competition announces top 10

WIFTV Board Member Michelle Muldoon and her amazing team of jurors spent the last few months reading and discussing a fine selection of international screenplay submissions.

Congratulations to the top ten OFFICIAL SELECTIONS to the 2015 Vancouver International Women in Film Festival Screenplay Competition:

ADDICT AND MULTIPLY – Sarah Higgins
BEST SERVED COLD – Mary Krell-Oishi
DUST TO DUST – Beverly Shapiro
FURY RISING – Sheri Davenport
JAGGED WINTER – Danishka Esterhazy
LIL SURFER GIRL – Lena Rudnick
MIA AND THE MOVIE STAR – Sheri Davenport
REHAB CABIN – Kate Beacom
RETURN FROM SPLIT RIVER – Jennifer Siddle
THE COURTESAN – Marjory Kaptanoglu

Read Michelle’s statement on her blog: VIWIFF 2015 Screenplay Competition.

The 3 winners will receive their awards on International Women’s Day – Sunday March 8, 2015 at 7 PM during the festival’s Closing Night Event.

Closing Night includes the Legacy award film screenings, the presentation of the Legacy and Festival Awards, presentation of the Best Screenplay Award for the International Screenplay Competition, followed by a reception.

Ticket information here.