Spotlight on Students: Political Science & International Relations

Our “Spotlight on Students” series focuses on movies that might appeal to students (of all ages, and who are currently attending college/university or not) of certain specialties. Whether you want to get extra credit on a paper by referring to one of the films below, or if you want to see the film and spread the word to your peers (sounding extra cultured and sophisticated, of course), you can’t go wrong with these picks.

Movies for Political Science & International Relations

How People Live by Lisa Jackson

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This exceptionally well-crafted documentary by Lisa Jackson focuses on the forced relocation of the Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw Nations. The documentary delves into the most recent 100 years of history of these Nations, to their forced relocation in 1964, to present. Personal interviews, recollections, and archival footage provide an important reminder that we are not in fact in a post-colonial world, and offer a fresh perspective on histories deadened by Canadian high school textbooks. A timely, must-see for those interested in the Idle No More movements, and those who need to be shaken from the idea that Canada is a highly peaceful and tolerant nation state.

Sunday, March 9th at 1:00

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Family-Focused Films

Families–close knit, estranged, chosen, or amusingly dysfunctional–are an endless source of inspiration for filmmakers. This year’s festival program has several films focused on a variety  of family structures. Here are your best bets for some family drama.

Ina Litovski by Anaïs Barbeau-Lavalette, André Turpin

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Living in a cramped apartment in a new city, a young violinist is trying to take care of her listless mother and burnout brother. Tonight is a school recital-will she have her moment to shine, or will her family remain preoccupied?

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Old Classics & New Favorites: Festival Films You’ll Love Based On Your Current Favorites

Choosing which film to go to see at a film festival is tough–there’s only one screening, and tickets for films are sold in a block of time so you want to know the screening you pick is the best one.  To help you decide which film to see, here are some comparisons to some beloved films and shows already out there so you can see which must-see film could be added to your list of favorites.

If you like Orange is the New Black you’ll love Pretty Bitch

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Pretty Bitch by Rebecca Coley is the first film that will be shown during our festival. It is a hard film, but so worth the watch: the main character is a young woman in prison whose sense of divine justice makes Pennsatucky’s religious fervor pale in comparison…

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Fun Facts: Noor

Noor is a feature-length drama from Turkish director Çagla Zencirci and French director Guillaume Giovanetti. Our festival committee was interested in this story for many reasons, but what caught their eye is the story and the cinematic excellence that beautifully captures the calm and majestic landscapes of Northern Pakistan.

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The Bechdel & Mako Mori Test

While women might not be faring well behind cameras, on camera it pays to have the presence of women. How can one measure the presence of women on screen? What makes a film feminist? Is a token appearance or a one-off line by a female character enough?

Enter the Bechdel Test and the Mako Mori Test. Both are tests/tools that can be used to indicate the presence of women in the film you are watching. Neither test necessarily indicates that the film is feminist, they merely indicate the role of women in the particular story you are watching, and might suggest whether or not the female characters are well rounded, engaging, dynamic, or just tired old stereotypes.

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Feel Good Films

Film festivals have a bit of a reputation for choosing depressing or overly-intellectual films. However excellent these films may be, sometimes you just want to head out for a night of some lighthearted entertainment. Here are the picks for VIWIFF’s best feel good films.

Newcomers Swim Every Friday
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For most Vancouverites, the ocean is something to be celebrated and enjoyed–that’s why most of us live here, after all. For folks like Aisha, who are new to Canada, large bodies of water present a whole new level of unfamiliarity in strange surroundings. In this lovely short by Meghna Haldar, we watch a woman trying to face her fears by keeping her head above water.

Friday, March 7th @ 4:00

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Hello and Welcome to the 2012 Vancouver Women in Film Festival Blog!

Back for its 7th year, the annual Vancouver Women in Film Festival (VWIFF) kicks off  on International Women’s Day, March 8th and running through Sunday March 11. A showcase for a talented line-up of Canadian, US and International women filmmakers, the  “The Vancouver Women in Film Festival and Women In Film + Television Vancouver programs are an integral part of the industry,” states Festival Director, Roslyn Muir.

“Without our support, women filmmakers in Western Canada would not have the same filmmaking opportunities that exist today,” she continues. “Each year, our submissions and audience numbers continue to grow and, to me, that proves that there is a need to have women’s stories seen, heard and celebrated in the public arena.”

Today, more than ever, women behind the lens are playing a significant role in the film industry; however, in contrast to their male counter-parts, women still face the challenge to receive recognition for their films. According to Telefilm Canada’s 2010 report on the state of women in the Canadian Feature Film Industry, women professionals report they are disadvantaged with respect to visibility at Canadian film festivals.

Events take place at the Vancity Theatre, 1181 Symour Street, Vancouver, Canada. Tickets are on sale now through WIFTV’s website www.womeninfilm.ca.

Highlights of the 2012 VWIFF include: the Spotlight Awards Gala March 8th, and the WIFTI short film showcase. The VWIFF will announce the Legacy Awards to the top three BC filmmakers at the festival, and the Women in the Director’s Chair (WIDC) Feature Film Award, curated by WIDC President Carol Whiteman, will present a $120,000 in-kind award to this year’s recipient, which is administered by Creative Women Workshops.

Additional events include a Pre-Festival Launch Party, a Digital Media Masterclass, Pitching sessions, Receptions, and Networking Lunch presentation. Stay tuned for details, contests, festival highlights, interviews and more!