Women Duking it Out in a Gender Biased World or Artists Struggling to Survive?

Katherine Monk Moderates Director’s Panel Discussion 

Katherine MonkSunday evening, just one feature film short of the conclusion of Vancouver Women in Film Festival 2012, film critic Katherine Monk moderated a stimulating panel discussion consisting of three directors featured during this year’s event: Desiree Lim, director of THE HOUSE, Tracy D. Smith, director of EVERYTHING AND EVERYWHERE, and Jill Sharpe, director of BONE, WIND, FIRE, which had screened earlier in the day.

Jill Sharpe

Katherine triggered the discussion by asking the panelists about the role of ego in the women’s craft. Jill Sharpe replied by saying that “getting past the fear means forgetting what they will think of me, it’s about the scene, the art, the director telling the story.” Tracy D Smith replied that “ego [had] to be set aside in order to get past the fear.” They were both talking about the fear of judgement. Fear of criticism either from the outside world or from the artist’s internal critic.

Continue reading

Do You Remember Alice Guy-Blanche?

Pioneering Filmmaker Remembered in The Lost Garden

After four amazing days of films, panel discussions, pitching and networking, my head is spinning and full to bursting with stimulating images, ideas and inspiration. So much talent and creativity in one place, it’s hard to know what to share, and will take a while to digest before I can pass along some reflections and highlights.

One thing I have to shout about is the astonishing discovery (for me) of Alice Guy-Blanche, a pioneer of the moving picture who was nearly forgotten, and, being sated from a banquet of female creativity and ingenuity, as well as technical expertise, I have to say that it makes perfect sense. Copies of the film may be obtained from the NFB, and I believe this is a film that every filmmaker and cinephile must make an effort to see. As was pointed out afterwards during the panel discussion moderated by film critic Kathryn Monk (more on that stimulation discussion later!), this should be mandatory on the curriculum of every film program everywhere.

Continue reading

VWIFF 2012 Spotlight Awards Gala

Spotlight and Legacy Awards Gala

Last night’s Spotlight Awards Gala was a huge success and a terrific party. Here are a few photos of the awards. More and better ones to come.

Parksdale directed Lisa Jackson wins first place Legacy Award

The evening was hosted by director/filmmaker Mina Shum, who was charming and inspirational, and who left us with the closing words:  Know what your gift is, and keep on giving it.

Jill Sharpe’s acceptance speech was a moving tribute to the supportive film community in Vancouver, and the importance of family, friends, colleagues and mentors in making ones dreams a reality. Director of the film BONE, WIND, FIRE, she recounted how discovering the talent and determination against the odds of artists like Emily Carr, and the unconditional support of her family, were instrumental in helping her believe.

Jill Sharpe receives Finale Artistic Achievement Award

Jill Sharpe accepts Finale Artistic Achievement Award for Bone, Wind, Fire

VWIFF 2012 Carol Whiteman presented with award

Carol Whiteman is presented with the Woman of the Year Award

Carol Whiteman, who received the Woman of the Year Award, inspired all with her energy and vision and personal strength. The award was well deserved, given her amazing abilities to balance personal challenges with her own creative projects and yet give more to nurturing and mentoring young filmmakers through her work with Women in The Director’s Chair.

Penelope Buitenhuis presented with award at VWIFF 2012

Penelope Buitenhuis presented with CBC Artistic Achievement award

Penelope Buitenhuis entertained with spark and humour as she accepted her Artistic Achievement Award for her body of work and her indie film A WAKE.

Doreen Manuel received Leadership in Education award at VWIFF

Doreen Manuel received Leadership in Education award at VWIFF

Doreen Manuel received the Leadership in Education Award with inspiring words about the guidance of her elders, and how they advised her and her siblings to choose their own path, and then follow it with determination, giving their best. She hopes to one day be considered an elder herself, and it looks like she’s well on her way.

And after the awards, since there could be no screenings (which had to be moved to Saturday 9 am), there was wine! And music! And plenty of mingling and fun was had by all.

VWIFF On The Air: Focus on the Horror Genre

‎Vancouver Women in Film Festival in the news!

This year’s Vancouver Women in Film Festival showcases a significant and curious collection of feature and short films in the Horror genre. Media attention seems to find this intriguing and interviewers capture some director insights into the unique perspective women filmmakers bring to horror films.

The collection of Short Film Screenings with Talkback, Embracing the Darkness, screens from 7:00 pm – 8:45 pm this Friday, March 9th, 2012 at the Vancouver International Film Centre, 1181 Seymour Street, Vancouver, BC. For Tickets go to the WIFTV website.

THE PROVIDER | 8:15 mins 2011, Canada, directed by Brianne Nord-Stewart In a small town in 1940’s America, the local doctor’s home would be the safest place to seek refuge. Or is it? In this alternate history short film, Mr. Connors discovers not only that the doctor is ‘out’, but that his wife is taking desperate measures to feed her family. See this post for an interview with director Brianne Nord Stewart.

Still image from The Red Hood filmTHE RED HOOD | 9:00 mins 2010, Canada, directed by Danishka Esterhazy Set in the Canadian prairies during the Great Depression, The Red Hood is a dark re-telling of the traditional fable Little Red Riding Hood. Celebrated for her visually stunning and character-driven films, writer/director Danishka Esterhazy has delighted audiences across Canada and around the world with her haunting stories. Danishka is a graduate of the National Screen Institute and the Canadian Film Centre. Her debut feature, Black Field, won the Best Feature Drama award at Vancouver’s Women in Film Festival and the Best Canadian Feature award at Toronto’s Female Eye Film Festival.

Still image from Ms ThingMS. THING | 7:00 mins 2010, Canada, directed by Karen X. Tulchinsky An emotionally volatile urban lesbian is looking for love in all the wrong places until she unexpectedly finds it in an unusual package.

Still image from Biatch!BIATCH! | 12:00 mins 2011, United Kingdom, directed by Deborah Haywood Beth and Chantel are best friends until Aroon comes on the scene.

DOLL PARTS | 10:00 mins 2011, Canada, directed by Karen Lam A serial killing driver’s bad day becomes much worse when he picks up the wrong girl.

still image from Face ItFACE IT | 10:00 mins 2011, USA, directed by Sharyn Paul Brusie Face It is a quirky dramedy about a woman who faces herself and who she has become. She takes us on an emotional journey, while moving through her fear and acceptance of growing older. This is a humorous story of reflection, discovery and revelation.

Still image from Anna May Got LostANNA-MAY GOT LOST | 10:58 mins 2011, Canada, directed by Katie Yu In this metaphorical tale of forgotten childhoods, a little girl named Anna-May encounters a strange woman claiming to be searching for her. Unsure of the woman’s motives but unable to recollect her past, Anna-May tries to escape but to no avail. Exhausted and defeated, Anna-May finally listens to the woman who reveals the girl’s redundant purpose in life and that her fate now rests in the hands of her creator.

The Crossing of The Living Room still imageTHE CROSSING OF THE LIVING ROOM | 18:34 mins (LA TRAVERSÉE DU SALON) 2011, Canada, directed by Geneviève Albert. After a stay in an alcohol treatment center, Celine tries to reinvent her life.

still image from The Provider by Moira SauerTHE PROVIDER | 6:00 mins 2011, Canada, directed by Moira Sauer Struggling through a long, dark Yukon winter with only her sled dogs for company, a lonely heroine hungry for companionship finds a unique way to fulfill her needs.

Checkout the March 5th interview with Desiree Lim (Director of The House), Roslyn Muir (Our lovely Festival Director), and Karen Lam (Director of Doll Parts) on Electric Playground: Here.


Still image from Doll Parts

Show synopsis: Jose catches up with John Carter director Andrew Stanton to get his perspective on the epic Martian adventure; Miri gets details on the latest World of Warcraft expansion, Mists of Pandaria; Victor has Mass Effect 3, the latest baseball games, and more console and PC games in the Sonar; Briana heads to the Vancouver Women in Film Festival to meet the ladies who excel in the horror genre; Scott finds out what the future holds for Jetpack Joyride and Fruit Ninja developer Halfbrick Studios; and finally, Shaun catches up with professional wrestler turned actress Trish Stratus to learn about her new movie, Bounty Hunters.

The Express did a little piece on our Film Festival! Here is an interview with Karen Lam the Director of ‘Doll Parts’. The interview starts at the 8 minute mark in the broadcast.

Congratulations to our FB Contest Winner

Winner of the VWIFF FaceBook Essay contest announced!

We would like to congratulate Erin Aubrey! Erin is the winner of our FB wall contest. Erin will receive two free passes to the Vancouver Women in Film Festival opening tomorrow night with the Spotlight Awards Gala.


In the Director’s Chair with Brianne Nord-Stewart

Gabrielle Rose at Mrs. Applebee in The Provider

Gabrielle Rose at Mrs. Applebee in The Provider

Brianne-Nord-Stewart-headshotBrianne Nord-Stewart is the co-writer/co-director with Andy Thompson of the short film THE PROVIDER, screening Friday, March 9th at 7pm as part of the Vancouver Women in Film Festival. She chats with Allison Evin. Here are some highlights:

AE: Can you tell us a bit about how you got started as a director?

BNS: I got started when I was a kid making home movies with my sister. And then I decided that I wanted to go to film school.

AE: You live in Vancouver … but you’re a world traveller. Is there a particular part of the world that has inspired you?

BNS: I’ve travelled in different ways. When I was in Australia, I was there to make a film, so it was a really unique experience in learning a new form of communication. I was travelling this past summer in Eastern Europe and one of the things I found so inspirational again was being put in a situation where I really know nothing about the place…everything’s new and you’re looking at everything from a really fresh perspective.

AE: You have a wide body of work; you wear many hats. What is the most exciting kind of project for you to work on and why?

BNS: Anything that’s new to me. Anything that presents a new challenge. Something that I’m not familiar with. And that’s definitely why I have branched out into so many different areas. Because I want to learn and collaborate with people in new ways.

AE: Your short film THE PROVIDER was shot and edited in 48 hours for The Bloodshots Film Festival. Now it’s premiering at the VWIFF. What was different about this film than the others that you have done?

BNS: For this film, in addition to the time restriction that we had, it was also the biggest crew and cast that I’ve worked with on any short film before. And as well, it was very much a collaborative process between me and Andy Thompson which had its benefits and its challenges. Ultimately we’re very proud of what we came together to work on.

AE: What’s the most exciting part of having a film in the Vancouver Women in Film Festival this year?

BNS: It’s really exciting to be part of the Vancouver Women in Film Festival this year. It’s my first time being part of the festival. I think celebrating those unique creative female voices is a really great thing to celebrate, to be with the peers around you, but also to be in such a nurturing environment, that really wants you to succeed, and wants you to do your best, and tell the best stories, and recognize you for it.

See the full interview on Youtube here.




Check out these interviews upcoming on local TV:

C -Electric Playground – Briana McIvor/ Desiree Lim/ Karen/ Roslyn Muir – Air date scheduled MARCH 5http://www.elecplay.com/ or http://www.facebook.com/electricplayground?sk=info

March 5th – 11PM on Citytv. (3:30/7:30/11:30 on G4tv)

C Electric Playground – Briana McIvor/ Luna and Donna Brockopp – air date scheduled MARCH 8 http://www.facebook.com/electricplayground?sk=info/ or http://www.facebook.com/electricplayground?sk=info

March 5th – 11PM on Citytv. (3:30/7:30/11:30 on G4tv)

The Express – Shaw Media – Karen Lam Doll Parts – airdate MARCH 5http://www.shaw.ca/ShawTV/Vancouver/TheExpress/

The Express Weekdays at 3pm 6pm, 8pm, 10pm

Urban Rush – MARCH 7 – Karen Lam – air date MARCH 7 & 8thhttp://www.shaw.ca/ShawTV/Vancouver/UrbanRush/

Urban Rush Mon – Fri: 5PM, 7PM, 11PM & NOON following day