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89 Canadian films in The Vancouver International Film Festival

CANADIAN IMAGES
Audience Favourites, New Faces and Fantastic Docs

The Vancouver International Film Festival will present 89 Canadian films in the Festival, fully one-quarter of the more than 350 films presented at this year's VIFF. These films showcase new works from some of our most popular and prolific filmmakers, along with a great crop of new talent. The Canadian line-up includes 20 dramatic and 13 nonfiction feature-length films, six mid-length films and 50 shorts.
“The Canadian Images program traditionally includes some of the hottest tickets at VIFF, and this year we have some really exceptional films to offer,” says Canadian Images Programmer Terry McEvoy. “We have audience favourites like Vic Sarin bringing his latest, A SHINE OF RAINBOWS, and Bruce Sweeney with the darkly comic EXCITED. EXCITED opens the Canadian Images program. Carl Bessai, whose MOTHERS&DAUGHTERS won last year's Most Popular Canadian Film Award, returns with COLE, and Reginald Harkema delivers the sensual and disturbing LESLIE, MY NAME IS EVIL. We also have Terry Miles' beautifully evocative second feature, THE RED ROOSTER. We're introducing several filmmakers to the Vancouver audience, including Danishka Esterhazy with the Prairie Gothic romance BLACK FIELD, Dilip Mehta with the fish-out-of-curry tale COOKING WITH STELLA, and Xavier Dolan, whose I KILLED MY MOTHER was a triumph at Cannes this year. Warren P. Sonoda has two hilarious comedies in the festival this year, COOPERS' CAMERA and PUCK HOGS. Ryan Ward co-wrote, directed and starred in the very memorable and disturbing SON OF THE SUNSHINE.
“We're presenting some fantastic documentaries this year as well,” states McEvoy. “Pete McCormack's FACING ALI and Peter Raymont's GENIUS WITHIN: THE INNER LIFE OF GLENN GOULD both shed new light on larger than life subjects. Nimisha Mukerji and Philip Lyall tell the remarkable story of Eva Markvoort in 65_REDROSES. Paul Saltzman's PROM NIGHT IN MISSISSIPPI reminds us that racism still has a home in America. Another highlight is Leanne Allison's FINDING FARLEY, in which the director and her family retrace some of the wanderings of Canada's beloved Farley Mowat. This is only a sampling of what's on offer this year: a program that might make you laugh and might make you cry, but will definitely make you think.”
McEvoy continued, “It's obvious by their popularity that Vancouver audiences love Canadian films at VIFF, and I would like to extend a special nod to Telefilm Canada, who are behind 17 of our productions.” Telefilm Canada is a federal cultural agency dedicated to the development and promotion of the Canadian audiovisual industry.
There are several prizes available for films in the Canadian Images program. All dramatic feature films are eligible for the $20,000 Canwest Award for Best Canadian Feature Film, selected by our jury.
The Canadian Images Jury also chooses the Most Promising Director of a Canadian Short Film, to receive a $2,000 Cash Prize from an anonymous donor.
The NFB Most Popular Canadian Documentary Award, providing $2,500 in Technical Services, is selected by audience ballot.
The Canadian Images Opening Film and Gala are generously sponsored by Joey Restaurants.
All Canadian films are also eligible for the Most Popular Canadian Film Award, chosen by audience ballot.
Canadian Images Feature films include:
1999 (Lenin M. Sivam)
Lenin M. Sivam's insightful drama explores the paths of three young Tamil immigrants grappling with gang violence in their Toronto community. Emotional and eye-opening, Sivam's film explores the challenges and opportunities of life in Canada, and the devastating impacts of experiencing civil war.
65_REDROSES (Nimisha Mukerji, Philip Lyall) BC
In this emotional doc, directors Nimisha Mukerji and Philip Lyall follow Eva, a Cystic Fibrosis patient, as she waits for a new set of lungs. Quarantined from other CF patients, she develops a supportive community online as she faces an uncertain future.
ANA & ARTHUR (Larry Young)
Ana was 63 years old: Arthur just 28. Together the two transformed a farm into a holistic therapeutic retreat. After seven years together, Arthur made a connection with a younger woman. Larry Young's documentary candidly explores the painfully ephemeral nature of even the deepest relationships.
ANTOINE (Laura Bari)
Five-year old Antoine is blind, but it does not stop him from living an exciting and imaginative little life. In this portrait of a world without sight, director Laura Bari creates a playful film in which all other senses are cleverly translated into the visual.
BLACK FIELD (Danishka Esterhazy)
Inspired by the Gothic novels of the Brontës, Danishka Esterhazy's dark and captivating first feature is a suspenseful drama unfolding on a bleak Canadian prairie landscape in the 19th century. Two sisters' lives are forever changed when a mysterious and charming man arrives at their isolated farm.
BROKE (Rosie Dransfeld)
Rosie Dransfeld's documentary gives us a glimpse into the hardships and desperation of society's marginalized, revolving around the life of a pawnbroker David Woolfson, who for 16 years has been the banker of last resort to Edmonton's down-and-out residents.
A CARGO TO AFRICA (Roger Cantin)
In Roger Cantin's feature, Norbert (Pierre Lebeau) plans to return to Africa, stowed away on a cargo ship. But he must dispose of his pet monkey by abandoning him in a park. When an annoying kid spoils the plan, their confrontation evolves into a true companionship.
CERTAINTY (David Hauka) BC
David Hauka's cinematic essay is an exploration of life, death and climbing trees. Weaving material from the filmmaker's personal archive with Space Race and nuclear-test footage, it's a compelling look into personal loss in the context of time and history.
COLE (Carl Bessai) BC
Carrying out his family responsibilities at the expense of his dreams, Cole remains trapped in his small hometown. When love and opportunity draw him to the big city, complications ensue. Mothers&Daughters director Carl Bessai's touching new feature contemplates the difficult balance between duty and ambition.
COOKING WITH STELLA (Dilip Mehta)
When a Canadian diplomat (Lisa Ray) and her chef husband Michael (Don McKellar) are posted to New Delhi, they inherit a household of Indian servants, headed by the charming and wily cook, Stella (Seema Biswas). Dilip Mehta's feature debut leaves us wondering who is taking advantage of whom...
COOPERS' CAMERA (Warren P. Sonoda)
Set in 80s suburbia, Warren Sonoda's film introduces a dysfunctional family whose Christmas disintegrates into madness when a strange (and estranged) uncle (Peter Keleghan) shows up for the holiday. Watch for stand-out performances from The Daily Show's Samantha Bee and Jason Jones.
CRACKIE (Sherry White)
Director Sherry White finds the hope and humanity in desperate situations in this comedy from Newfoundland. The film is elevated by exceptional performances from newcomer Meghan Greely as Mitsy and Mary Walsh as her hellacious mother, Bride.
DETOUR (Sylvain Guy)
Leo Huff's life is straightforward and straight-laced: he's a reserved and timid secretary. When the opportunity arises to represent his company at a controversial public hearing in a small town, Leo goes, and havoc ensues. Director Sylvain Guy delivers a gripping film of lust, suspense and humour.
EXCITED (Bruce Sweeney) BC
VIFF favourite writer-director Bruce Sweeney's latest is a boundary-pushing romantic comedy about a guy who, like Vancouver's rainy season, comes too soon. He may have just met the woman of his dreams, but be warned: don't make a premature evaluation.
FACING ALI (Pete McCormack) BC
"If you even dream of beating me you'd better wake up and apologize."—Muhammad Ali... In this riveting documentary from director Pete McCormack, ten of Ali's rivals pay tribute to perhaps the world's most beloved and inspiring athlete.
FINDING FARLEY (Leanne Allison) BC
Leanne Allison's documentary compares two views of Canada—that of iconic Canadian author Farley Mowat, and that of her adventuring family told by walking and paddling in his footsteps.
GENIUS WITHIN: THE INNER LIFE OF GLENN GOULD (Michèle Hozer, Peter Raymont)
This probing documentary by Michèle Hozer and Peter Raymont reveals the man behind the music and reconstructs his thoughts on art, society, love and life. It weaves together rare archival footage with interviews of Gould's closest friends, plus never-before-heard home recordings.
I KILLED MY MOTHER (Xavier Dolan)
Xavier Dolan's debut feature may be the greatest Canadian film success story of the year. It received a triumvirate of prizes in the Cannes Festival's Quinzaine and is a significant box office smash in Québec. At just 17, Dolan penned the script for this fresh and funny semi-autobiographical story of a stormy relationship between a mother and her son. Call it therapy.
I REMEMBER (André Forcier)
Crude, ironic and satirical, André Forcier's latest film looks with humour at the sombre years of Duplessis and the unholy marriage of church and state. The cream of Québec's actors are featured: Céline Bonnier, Pierre-Luc Brillant, Gaston Lepage, Rémy Girard, France Castel, Roy Dupuis.
LESLIE, MY NAME IS EVIL (Reginald Harkema)
Perry (Gregory Smith), a sheltered chemist, falls in love with Leslie (Kristen Hager), a former homecoming princess, when he is selected to be a jury member at the Manson Family trial. Reg Harkema's highly stylized period piece exposes the darkest, deepest parts of our society.
PETALS—JOURNEY INTO SELF DISCOVERY (Beck Peacock) BC
Director Beck Peacock's new documentary sensitively explores issues of body image and self-esteem, empowering both its subjects and viewers to see the female body from a (quite literally) new angle.
PROM NIGHT IN MISSISSIPPI (Paul Saltzman)
Charleston High School in Mississippi held its first-ever integrated prom in 2008, paid for by local resident and Academy Award-winning actor Morgan Freeman. Director Paul Saltzman captures the simmering racism and blossoming hope in this anachronistic town.
PUCK HOGS (Warren P. Sonoda)
Warren P. Sonoda directs this riotous mockumentary about a team of aging hockey Joes who face exclusion from the Kinsmen Cup Tournament if they do not make it to the finals this time around. Starring Jeff Geddis, Rachel Wilson and Colin Mochrie.
THE RED ROOSTER (Terry Miles) BC
When a creatively blocked writer inadvertently interrupts his brother's adulterous affair, mistaking it for a fishing trip, he must face his inability to produce and attempt to find inspiration in his surroundings. Directed by Terry Miles of VIFF 08 hit When Life Was Good.
SON OF THE SUNSHINE (Ryan Ward)
In Ryan Ward's debut feature, a socially disconnected young man with Tourette Syndrome undergoes an experimental surgery to correct his disorder. He is cured of his spontaneous outbursts, but not without a price.
TAQWACORE—THE BIRTH OF PUNK ISLAM (Omar Majeed)
Misfit Muslims the world over are embracing a new subculture called Taqwacore, a.k.a. Punk Islam. Omar Majeed's film is the story of the three unlikely rebels who dreamed up the whole thing.
UNDER RICH EARTH (Malcolm Rogge)
Malcolm Rogge's revealing documentary features astonishing footage captured by villagers, human rights observers, and his own camera to tell the story of a small Ecuadorian farming village as it stands up to the aggressive tactics of a determined Canadian mining corporation.
ZOOEY & ADAM (Sean Garrity)
After trying to get pregnant for seven months, a couple succeeds in a very unexpected way. Their love, fears and prejudices all come into play in this gripping psychological drama from Sean Garrity ( Lucid , VIFF 05).
Shorts collections can provide the most stimulating experiences at the cinema. In addition to those that will accompany features, we've selected some of the most arresting shorts we've seen this year and grouped them in association with signs we see every day:
Slippery Road includes UNLOCKED, THE FALL, DOG=GOD, CARMEN, GRACE, SHORT ON LOVE, SHI-SHI-ETKO, BIG HEAD, INSTANT
Road Work Ahead includes THE VEILED COMMODITY, MORTIMER, MIKE INC., THE ART OF DROWNING, OVERBURDEN, MAN AND THE BEAST, IN BETWEEN, LOSING IT, I WORK IN PUBLIC, TEN FOR GRANDPA, WEIGHT
Caution: Children includes WITCHCRAFT, TROLLS, FUNKY PRAIRIE BOY, EVERYTHING'S COMING UP ROSIE, HOW EUNICE GOT HER BABY, CONRAD THE WISE, CATECHISM, THE ARMOIRE
Yield includes 5 DYSFUNCTIONAL PEOPLE IN A CAR, DEBT, POSTALOLIO, ALI SHAN, THREE MOTHERS, MAN v. MINIVAN, INTERVELOMETER, THE LAST ACT, THE ISLAND, SLUICE BOX AND A ROCKER, REFRACTIONS
arking the NFB's 70 th Anniversary, we bring you: THE SPINE, SPARE CHANGE, RUNAWAY, PEGGY BAKER FOUR PHASES, THE MAN WHO SLEPT, VIVE LA ROSE

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