Chinese filmmaker receives Spotlight award

When filmmaker Mina Shum found out she won the director-writer-producer with Finalé Artistic Achievement Award, she was elated. Women in Film and Television Vancouver notified her of the Spotlight award in March through an email. Last February, Teri Snelgrove at the National Film Board nominated Shum for the award. She attributes the success of her recent…

Strong roots give rise to creative process

Cambodia is like a mother. One day she became sick—hurting—dying—she could no longer take care of her children. She had to let them go. “One day I’ll call you back.” And now—today—right now—She’s calling us. So begins the trailer for Cambodian street art documentary The Roots Remain (2015). It was 2012 when Montreal-based graffiti artist…

Arab identity in filmmaking

Zeina Zahreddine has been working in the independent Lebanese film industry for more than 10 years. She’s managed different projects to bring new ideas and perspectives from the Arab World to audiences. She is focused particularly on the Arab Spring movement and tried to give voice internationally to that huge political and social change. As…

An eclectic film line-up from Turkey

As the head of the Vancouver Turkish Film Festival Selection Committee, Eylem Sonmez has assembled an intriguing selection of Turkish movies with the help of the Turkish Canadian Society. All proceeds go the Turkish Canadian Society and all the people involved in the festival work for free. When Sonmez was growing up in Istanbul, her…

Web Fest draws producers from around the globe

The Vancouver Web Fest, now on its third year, showcases creative web content from all over the world. On March 18, the three-day event will screen Canadian and international work from 16 different countries with a variety of workshops, talks and keynote speakers. The festival begins with a number of workshops taking place on Friday,…

Merging political philosophy and film

When filmmaker Charles Mudede read Russian novels, one key question stuck with him – the question of morality, a predominant theme in this type of literature he studied. Today, he is merging political philosophy and film to engage people to think about the nature of human morality. On Feb. 18, Mudede will lead, The Cinema…

The Little Movie That Could: My Enemy, My Brother

Ann Shin’s op doc, My Enemy, My Brother, is a story about Zahed and Najah, two former enemies in the Iraq and Iran war. After Zahed found Najah injured in a bunker during a raid, he risked his own life to save him. Years after the separation, both men miraculously found each other in Vancouver,…

Abounaddara: Art and Revolution

Can beauty be found in revolution? Tyler Russell, curator of Centre A, Vancouver International Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, says yes, it can. Centre A hosted an afternoon discussion on Dec. 5 in response to Abounaddara. The Right to the Image, an exhibition and conference put on by the Vera List Centre for Art and…

Horror film deconstruction produces ‘creepy love-child’

When two film artists put their heads together, it produces a ‘franken-baby.’ In a project entitled The Pit: A Study in Horror, seven artists deconstruct the horror genre and explore the creation of the uncanny space as part of New Westminster’s New Media Gallery that features The Scary. “When we were brainstorming, the idea of…

Film undermines preconceived notions of race and religion

“Is your opinion of other races or religions really yours?” That is the question the short film Bonjour Ji poses. The film shows how people’s interactions are influenced by their own perceptions, which are in turn based on assumptions. The movie is being presented at the fifth annual Vancouver International South Asian Film Festival (VISAFF)…

VIFF Haida Gwaii: On the Edge of the World

“Maybe we’re not totally screwed” – that’s the cutline on the movie poster for Haida Gwaii: On the Edge of the World, a documentary showing at three sold out screenings during the 34th Vancouver International Film Festival. The cutline reflects what director Charles Wilkinson took away from making his latest documentary: a sense of optimism.…

Documenting personal stories of underclass China at DOXA

The annual Vancouver Documentary Film Festival, DOXA, has been showcasing and celebrating independent documentary films since 2000 and this year’s event, which will take place at various cinematic venues around the city from April 30 to May 10, will be the longest DOXA festival at 11 days. The festival will host a number of different…