The 14th Annual Vancouver International Women in Film Festival was a great success. Over six days we screened 47 films to almost 3000 people and engaged audience, filmmakers and industry professionals in a variety of conversations.
The festival hosted a number of moderated discussions and we were so pleased to have international filmmakers in attendance for these.
Helen Granqvist (middle) travelled to the festival from Sweden. The Feminist, a film she produced, screened on International Women’s Day. She is seen here in a post-screening discussion with Moira Simpson (local documentary filmmaker) and Peggy Thompson (local screenwriter and founding member of WIFTV).
Swati Bhise travelled from New York to be with us for the world premiere of her film, Swords and Sceptres: The Rani of Jhansi. She is seen here talking to Aliza Velani, actor and member of WIFTV’s Board.
Audience members kept her busy with interesting questions to which she eloquently replied.
The Warrior Women team (director Beth Castle and subject Marcela Gilbert) travelled from North Dakota and joined us in many festival events including their post-screening Q&A moderated by special guest Doreen Manuel and filmmaker Amanda Strong (far right) whose short film, Biidaaban (The Dawn Comes) screened with Warrior Women on opening night.
Oher visiting filmmakers included Are You My Mommy producers and performers Paula Jean Hixson, Neil Napier who travelled here from L.A.
Period Piece writer, Karis Halsall, who came all the way from London England
and Tina director Gayatri Bahl who travelled here from New York with the film’s producer, Anuj Goyal.
Local filmmakers form the heart of the festival and it was such a pleasure to screen the work of twenty talented BC filmmakers including:
La Quinceañera by Gigi Saul Guerrero
Check directed by Meeshelle Neal (left), written and produced by Tracy Varju (centre); and Sonder, written, directed and performed by Mia Fiona Kut (right).
A Perfect 14 directed by Giovanna Morales Vargas (right) and produced by James Earl O’Brien(left), and Media Luna by Ana Carrizales (centre).
Once There Was A Winter, directed, written and edited by Ana Valine (right) and Produced by Seanna McPherson (left)
Tayybey by Eva Brownstein
Dear Hatetts by Kerry Barber
Dust In The Sky by Iris Moore
Fat Hiking Club by Layla Cameron (left).
On March 9th we addressed issues related to gender and inclusivity in the film and television industry with a forum where an informed and insightful keynote was delivered by Amanda Coles (What’s Wrong With This Picture).
Two industry panels were organized where panelists engaged in dialogue with each other and with the audience:
The broadcaster and producer panel with (from left to right): Amanda Coles (moderator); Sally Catto, General Manager, Programming CBC (who joined us via Skype); Amber-Sekowan Daniels, General Manager of Women in View; Helene Granqvist, Producer and President WIFT International; Susan Brinton, Co-Chair WIFTV’s Advocacy Committee; Liz Shorten Senior Vice-President, Operations & Member Services CMPA-BC; and Kim Guise (Executive in Charge of Production TELUS Originals and STORYHIVE)
Audience members Christine Willes and Sue Beily asked challenging questions:
The funder panel with (from left to right): Amber-Sekowan Daniels, General Manager of Women in View; Claude Joli-Coeur, Bob Wong, Vice President President and CEO of Creative BC; Valerie Creighton, CEO Canada Media Fund; Claude Joli-Coeur, Film Commissioner and President of the NFB
This panel was moderated by WIFTV’s advocacy chair Sharon McGowan.
We also took the opportunity on March 9th celebrate WIFTV’s 30th Birthday (our official birthday being March 6th).
Festival guests enjoy birthday cake in the Atrium of the Vancity Theatre.
Thanks to the NFB, the festival was able to offer two VR experiences including Biidaaban: First Light by By Lisa Jackson, Mathew Borrett, Jam3 and the National Film Board of Canada; and Homestay by Paisley Smith, Jam3, and the NFB Digital Studio.
Guest moderator Karen Budra experience the VR
WIFTV’s From Our Dark Side Side program launched at the festival with five winners attending:
And our Tricksters and Writers Program presented an actor table read where scripts from five writers were read:
So much activity at the festival, but its pillar is its audience and festival audiences were great this year:
They formed orderly lines
Asked great questions
Paid attention to the WIFTV table
And smiled some more
They couldn’t stop smiling
And on closing night we celebrated with an Awards Ceremony. See the Best of the Festival Award winners and their acceptance videos here. See the Matrix Award Winning BC Short films list here.
Click here to see the list of official selections for the 2019 Vancouver International Women in Film Festival.
Overall the festival was a great experience and we thank everyone who attended, supported, participated, fed us, photographed us and made this event possible.
The Vancouver International Women in Film Festival is grateful to the generous support of our sponsors, community partners, and volunteers. Thanks to Telefilm, Canadian Heritage, BC Arts Council, Bridge Studios, Casting Workbook, CCE, CFM, Chandler Fogden Aldous, CMPA-BC, CreativeBC, DGC BC, Georgia Straight, IATSE 891, ICG 669, Ken Hayward, Line 21, Matrix Production Services, NFB, Pacific Backlot, Ron Heaps, Sandman Hotel, Sim, Super Channel, Sepia Films, Telus, UBCP/ACTRA, VIFF Year Round.