WIFTV announces #VIWIFF2016 Festival Awards

The exhilarating week that marked the 11th Annual Vancouver Int’l Women in Film Festival (#VIWIFF2016) kicked off with a bang on International Women’s Day, March 8. The National Film Board of Canada (NFB) chose our venue to announce its groundbreaking initiative that 50 per cent of future NFB productions will be directed by women.

The festival week that ensued featured a plethora of films created by women from all over world, and offered numerous opportunities for networking and professional development.

The festival came to a close on Sunday, March 13, with the annual awards gala. Continue reading

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When Giants Fall — A stunning status quo of ivory poaching across Africa

WGF_eyeA common view of the ivory poaching crisis is that it’s an old crisis. One that our parents had to worry about in the 1970s. Unfortunately, the resurgence of ivory poaching is very real, and more critical than it has ever been. Everyone has heard about blood diamonds, but how about blood ivory?

The problem is vast and complex, spanning many countries and cultures across the world. Elephants are dying by the hundreds every day, and so are people on both sides of the coin. It is an overwhelming topic to attempt to package in one feature documentary. Somehow, When Giants Fall, a documentary by journalist Leslie Griffith, manages to do just that. Continue reading

Norma’s Story – Animation Glimpses into Traditional Aboriginal Life – #VIWIFF2016

Normas story egg hill (1)The award-winning animated short film Norma’s Story runs under only five minutes, yet the message transcends time.

Director Alex Hawley takes the audience into a whimsical world that is part mid-century children’s book styling and traditional beadwork.  Continue reading

Mystery in the Woods – Lise Raven’s Kinderwald screens at #VIWIFF2016

KINDERWALD BOYS STILL 2In German folklore, the forest is a breeding ground for miracles, mysteries and the supernatural. Paying homage to the Black Forest of the Brothers Grimm, Kinderwald creates an ethereal, isolated and atmospheric woodland world of 1854 Pennsylvania.

Despite its apparent seclusion, this forest teems with characters of dubious, if not outright malevolent intent. The only exceptions seem to be the hardworking John Linden (Frank Brückner, who also co-wrote the script) , his dead brother’s wife, pious Flora (Emily Behr) and her two sons (Leo and Louie Fischer-Pasternak). Not long after settling in, the Linden children wander away, leaving their mother and uncle to endure a trial of faith through a dark and tumultuous fairy tale. Continue reading

#VIWIFF2016 Opens with Father-Daughter Tragicomedy “Café Derby”

CafeDerby09Café Derby invites you to take a look into the life of Georges: a man of the people with a big heart and even bigger dreams. When he mans his stall at the local market, it is crowded with people hanging off his every word. He knows which customers will buy what, how to make the pitch, and when to close the deal. With a family of five to feed, Georges is constantly on the lookout for the next big business venture. As far as his youngest daughter Sara is concerned, her father is the king of the world. Continue reading

From rough cut to festival: How WIFTV and the Film & Media Showcase helped me finish a film

By Sandra Ignagni

Sandra Ignagni Picture-3Once a month Vancouver filmmakers gather at the Film & Media Showcase to watch a selection of short and feature-length films in a casual and supportive environment. Co-hosted by three artist-focused British Columbia organizations – Women in Film + Television Vancouver, Cineworks and DOC BC – the event offers filmmakers an opportunity to screen their work and discuss their creative process – both successes and challenges.

Last summer, WIFTV selected my short documentary One Step at a Time: A Story About Women and Shoes for screening at the showcase. The film, a portrait of four young women in Toronto and Vancouver who are embarking on unconventional careers in the traditionally male-dominated fields of cobbling and shoemaking, was decidedly in rough-cut stage. Continue reading

Trapped in Liminality: Tinatin Kajrishvili’s Brides Challenges Women’s Role in the Family

Brides_StillTinatin Kajrishvili’s first feature film, Brides (Patardzlebi, Georgia, 2014) is an unusual and unpredictable story of a limitless love in an unforgiving world. The film challenges the strength and survival of passionate love between Nusta (Mari Kitia), a young Georgian mother, and her husband Goga (Giorgi Maskharashvili), a man carrying out his seven-year prison sentence in Tbilisi. Their relationship is put to a test when Nutsa realizes Goga is not the only one trapped in a box. Nutsa is forced to push the boundaries of her commitment to the man she loves, and must reconcile with the anguish of waiting in the unknown. Continue reading

Vampire Superstition in Eastern Europe – The Cursed Days at #VIWIFF2016

The Cursed Days_Nataša NinkovićDid you know that the word “vampir” (vampire) originated in Serbia? The vampire superstition started in the 18th century when, as legend has it, a villager was accused of killing nine people after his death. Continue reading