MENA Film Festival explores the many facets of the Middle East

Showcasing 23 films from 15 countries, the second edition of Vancouver’s Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Film Festival launched Nov. 20 virtually and runs till Nov. 27. Arman Kazemi, of Persian heritage, founded the festival last year with a group of like-minded people after seeing a lack of centralized representation of Persian or Middle…

How acupuncture reached the Black community

The DOXA Documentary Film Festival offers over 40 films you can view from the comfort of your living room until June 26. One of them is Dope is Death, a story decades old yet strikingly prescient, directed by Montreal-based filmmaker Mia Donovan. The film examines racial politics and activism in 1970s New York City through the…

A Dog’s Life: A philosophical tale

Marona’s Fantastic Tale, the latest animated feature film from director Anca Damian, will have its Canadian premiere at SPARK Animation 2019. The event, one of Canada’s leading animation festivals, will gather top animators from around the world in Vancouver (Oct. 24–27) for films, talks, panels and workshops led by distinguished filmmakers. Originally formed in 2008,…

Sunnie James D’Souza: a portrait

A move to the mountains! Coming to Vancouver brought some life lessons for Sunnie James D’Souza, a 31-year-old actor of Indian descent born and raised in Toronto. The actor, known for the films Calcutta Taxi (2012), Zoo (2015), and Shadowhunters (2016), has been living in Vancouver for the past three years, having moved here because he saw a greater amount of opportunity…

Generating ‘Air’ in film

Chinese aesthetics, Daoism and the concept of incorporating ‘air’ in film will be deconstructed in the talk How to Generate Air in a Film: Lessons from Fei Mu’s Chinese Aesthetics by Siying Duan, a Ph.D. in Art Theory. Generating “air” is a unique concept developed by one of China’s greatest film Directors, Fei Mu, which Duan will…

One Girl, a film about beauty and diversity

The 21st annual Reel to Real Film Festival for Youth presents culturally diverse films and documentaries, aiming to expose youth to new ideas and cultural perspectives. One Girl, a documentary offering a glimpse into the life of five girls from five different counties, fits exactly this aim. “I wanted to show how diverse and beautiful the…

Siyabonga (We are Thankful): a film with the determination to inspire others

Vancouver will be presenting the 9th Annual South African film festival that showcases features and documentaries exploring the culture, history and politics of South Africa Mar. 29–31. The festival shows films aimed to inspire, to inform and to entertain. The proceeds from the festival will be supporting the educational development work which Education without Borders has been…

International Women in Film Festival – The feminist initiative

On March 8, 2019 – International Women’s Day – the Vancouver International Women in Film Festival (VIWFF) will celebrate their 30th year with free screenings at VanCity Theatre. She is the Ocean and the Canadian Premiere of The Feminist: A Swedish Inspiration are films portraying heroic women who relate to their passions through science, politics, dance and sport. “When…

A polar bear’s life

Filmmaker, Julia Kwan explores themes of aging and the abandonment of the elderly in her first animation film, The Zoo. Animated by Jesse Cote at Jester Coyote and co-produced by the National Film Board (NFB) and Telus, The Zoo takes us on a journey through the story of Kut, a polar bear cub who finds himself living in…

Substance on screen: A different youth oriented film festival

Reel 2 Real International Film Festival for Youth is celebrating its 20th anniversary by holding its first ever free outdoor screening at sunset (July 13). The film they have chosen for this event is the animated feature, Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet co-produced with Bardel Entertainment. Written and directed by Roger Allers (The Lion King), the film intersperses…

Fighting injustices for Afghan women

Roberta Staley, magazine editor, freelance writer and filmmaker, honours Frakhunda Malikzada, the 27-year-old Afghan woman who was brutally beaten, stoned, and then set ablaze in Kabul, Afghanistan, in March 2015. Staley’s documentary, Mightier Than the Sword, premiers on Saturday, June 17 at Simon Fraser University’s Vancouver Harbour Centre campus. It will also screen at the…

Learning Through the Arts (LTTA): a refuge for refugees

Maher Bahloul, University of British Columbia (UBC)’s visiting linguistics professor from The American University of Sharjah, Dubai, has constructed a Learning Through the Arts (LTTA) proposal for refugees. The concept of Bahloul’s proposal Meaningful Integration of Syrian Refugees: Targeting the Artists is based on several factors, including the recent arrival of Syrian Refugees in Canada…

Reaping the lessons of food production

Cycling from Vancouver to Mexico, a group of young Canadians set out to find the reality behind organic food production. Little did they know what was ahead of them in their quest for understanding organic growing. The road trip proved to be the opposite of what they set out to do. Forearmed with knowledge on…