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

Snapshot of a Stolen Childhood — The Chicken by Una Gunjak at #VIWIFF2016

By Mersiha Musovic

THE-CHICKEN_02_Selma(IMAN-ALIBALIC)The Chicken, by Writer/Director Una Gunjak, is a uniquely intense, yet very moving film, which takes the viewers back in time to 1993, to a volatile setting they might be unfamiliar with: the Bosnian War.  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

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

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

Belgian short comedy Taxistop to screen at #VIWIFF2015

taxistop A5-200dpiOddly, comedy was a somewhat underrepresented genre in the years when I volunteered for the Vancouver International Women in Film Festival programming committee. As a former story editor, I know how difficult it is to write and edit comedy and how unrewarding producing comedies can be – at least if you aspire to win any significant awards. The audience, however, tends to love comedies and for a festival programmer it is a welcome relief to watch a comedy now and then amongst a wide range of social and women’s issues films.

Belgium is a funny country per se. Did you know the tiny Western European nation with only 11 million inhabitants has three different official languages (Dutch/Flemish, French and German), three regional governments (Flemish, Walloon and Brussels-Capital), more than a dozen political parties and the dubious distinction of hosting Europe’s most traffic-congested cities? Continue reading

Catharine Parke’s Short Doc Very Good Dirt to screen at #VIWIFF2015

Dirt2

***update: Catharine Parke’s short documentary Very Good Dirt will screen in the shorts section “Around the World in Eight Shorts” on Saturday, March 7th, at 7 PM at the 2015 Vancouver International Women in Film Festival. WIFTV President Carleen Kyle spoke with Catharine about her film a few months ago for the blog post below.***

Catharine Parke wears many hats. The WIFTV member is an accomplished documentary and factual television professional winning Leo Awards for Best Direction in an Information or Lifestyle Series for Get Stuffed, Best Screenwriting in a Documentary Program or Series for Ice Pilots NWT and a Producer nomination in the Best Information or Lifestyle Series category for She’s Crafty.

I called her up to ask about her short documentary, Very Good Dirt being selected by Telefilm Canada for the 7th edition of Not Short on Talent.

Continue reading

The girl who doesn’t just take ‘no’ for an answer: Panta Mosleh stars in PTSD short ‘Instance’

Panta Mosleh by BrandyLand Photography

Panta Mosleh by BrandyLand Photography

***Update: Instance screens at #VIWIFF2015 on March 5, at 6:30 PM. Purchase Tickets here.***
It’s the first time I’ve met Panta, yet when she bounds into the coffee shop we are meeting at, she greets me with a big warm hug like we’ve been friends for years. Hugs are also doled out to all the coffee shop staff.

Panta isn’t your average young actress, she’s bubbly and quippy yes, but she’s also very smart and determined. Panta also doesn’t listen to the word “NO”. Continue reading