Family-Focused Films

Families–close knit, estranged, chosen, or amusingly dysfunctional–are an endless source of inspiration for filmmakers. This year’s festival program has several films focused on a variety  of family structures. Here are your best bets for some family drama.

Ina Litovski by Anaïs Barbeau-Lavalette, André Turpin

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Living in a cramped apartment in a new city, a young violinist is trying to take care of her listless mother and burnout brother. Tonight is a school recital-will she have her moment to shine, or will her family remain preoccupied?

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Fun Facts: Noor

Noor is a feature-length drama from Turkish director Çagla Zencirci and French director Guillaume Giovanetti. Our festival committee was interested in this story for many reasons, but what caught their eye is the story and the cinematic excellence that beautifully captures the calm and majestic landscapes of Northern Pakistan.

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Preview of Best of the Festival Award Winners

VWIFF BEST OF FESTIVAL AWARDS

presented by Roslyn Muir, Festival Artistic Director

To close our festival, WIFTV celebrates the best of the festival by presenting awards to Canadian and international filmmakers for outstanding contributions to to their field. These Best of Fest awards include the: Annex Pro, NFB Animation Award, Chit Chat Productions Inc. Diversity Award, NFB Feature Documentary Award, NFB Short Documentary Award, Sharlene Chartrand Screenwriting Award, Feature Drama Award, Short Drama Award, Directing in a Short Drama Award, Mystique Films Directing in a Feature Drama Award, Barbara Alexandre Performance in a Feature Award, Performance in a Short Award, Moving Images Distribution Award, International Film Award.

Photo of Ana ValineAs well, Ana Valine will receive the Women in the Director’s Chair $100,000 Feature Film Award, presented by Carol Whiteman, President of Creative Women Workshops Association.

Awards will be presented at the Festival Closing Night, Sunday, March 11th, 2011.

BEST ANIMATION AWARD

ORIANA | Animation | British Columbia | 4:00 minutes Directed by Kara Miranda Lawrence A whimsical 3D animated fairytale adapted from the iconic Portuguese novel “A Fada Oriana” by the late Sophia de Mello Breyner Andresen. A young fairy named Oriana is entrusted to take care of an Azorean forest and all its inhabitants. However, she becomes mesmerized by her reflection and the forest is destroyed due to her neglect. Will Oriana be able to redeem herself and save the forest in time? Rated: General

BEST DIVERSITY AWARD

CEDAR AND BAMBOO | Documentary | British Columbia | 22:00 minutes Directed by Diana Leung and Kamala Todd Recounting the life experiences of four descendants of mixed heritage, CEDAR AND BAMBOO explores the unique relationships shared by early Chinese immigrants and Indigenous people on Canada’s West Coast. Set in British Columbia, their stories reveal the difficult circumstances of Indigenous people and early Chinese immigrants. Rated: General

BEST DOCUMENTARY

SHORT CRY ROCK | British Columbia | 28:43 minutes Directed by Banchi Hanuse The wild beauty of the Bella Coola Valley blends with vivid watercolor animation illuminating the role of the Nuxalk oral tradition and the intersection of story, place and culture. Rated: General

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

LEAVE THEM LAUGHING Documentary | British Columbia | 88:00 minutes Produced by Montana Berg Directed by John Zaritsky Parental Guidance: Coarse Language Ninety minutes of songs about life and quips about death from the wheelchair of Carla Zilbersmith who vows to exit laughing. Once a nationally-known singer/comedienne, now fated by ALS, remarkable Carla leaves a teen-aged son, fans who adore her, and this 90-minute pre-mortem retrospective of a life lived fully but too fast.

BEST DRAMA SHORT

NEAR SILENCE | Narrative | British Columbia | 8:30 minutes Directed by Ana de Lara Roger, a former concert pianist debilitated by later stage Huntington’s Disease, is cared for by his devastated but loving wife, Fay, who struggles to find meaning in their existence. Rated: General – Violence

BEST DRAMA FEATURE

BLACK FIELD | Manitoba 2009 | Narrative | 80:00 minutes Directed by Danishka Esterhazy Black Field is a dark historical drama set in the wild Canadian prairies of the 19th century. Two sisters find their lives forever changed when a mysterious and charming man arrives at their isolated farm and refuses to leave. Rated: Parental Guidance – Coarse & Sexual Language, Drug Use

BEST EMERGING DIRECTOR – Julia Hutchings

Sill image from film IrradiateIRRADIATE | Narrative | British Columbia | 11:35 minutes Directed by Julia Hutchings Amidst the isolation of windswept fields, Loretta confronts the oscillating nature of grief and loss as she moves through the formalities of her mother’s death. Rated: General

Photo Sara Canning in Black Field

BEST PERFORMANCE – Sara Canning for her role in BLACK FIELD


DISTRIBUTION AWARD

A WINDOW LOOKING IN Documentary | British Columbia | 22:00 minutes Directed by Tara Hungerford and Eric Hogan General: Coarse Language The profile of 12 BC-based artists, among them writer William Gibson, designer/sculptor Martha Sturdy, photographer Fred Herzog and singer/songwriter Sarah McLachlan. Visually bold and captivating, the film peers into the artists’ inner world to uncover common truths about creativity, the artistic process and living and working as an artist in BC.

TORA | Narrative | British Columbia | 29:00 minutes Directed by Wendy Ord and Glen Samuel Starring David Suzuki in his first acting role, TORA follows a jaded city woman who inherits a property in BC’s Interior and is haunted by a little ghost girl. Jenna discovers through dreams and flashbacks of her new neighbour (Suzuki) that her land was a Japanese Internment Camp during WWII. Rated: Parental Guidance – Drug Use