Into every nook and crevice – Audrey Estrougo’s Behind Closed Doors opens up a debate on sexism, injustice and violence

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Behind Closed Doors (Une Histoire Banale, France 2014) is precisely what its original French title describes – an ordinary story.

Nathalie, a 30-year-old living in Paris, leads a simple and pleasant life. She gets along with her colleagues, often goes out with friends, and plans to move in with her loving fiancé. With a happy and prosperous future ahead of her, she could not ask for more in her small, quaint life. However, a night out with a co-worker changes Nathalie’s life as she knows it, and she is forced to face a new self she did not know could exist.

The film follows Nathalie through the aftermath of the violence done to her. Continue reading

#VIWFF2015 screening of Kay D. Ray’s Lady Be Good: Instrumental Women in Jazz marks Canadian premiere of jazz doc

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Women instrumentalists have made major contributions to American jazz, and this film captures many of the lost stories, from the early 1920s to the 1970s, including the development of numerous all-female jazz ensembles. Join Peggy Gilbert, Marian McPartland, Carline Ray, Quincy Jones, Jane Sager and many others in this important remembering of our musical past.

Using historical photos, provocative and often wildly humorous interviews with musicians, big band leaders, jazz authors and historians, this textured film by documentarian Kay D. Ray from Seattle is balanced with rare recordings and forgotten footage, both television and film. Like the stories of those who made it, the music is always engaging, often uplifting, and sometimes heartrending.

Kay recently drove all the way from Seattle to drop off her film copy. We took the chance to ask her a few burning questions: Continue reading

Love, a tragicomedy –– Canadian rom-com Relative Happiness to premiere in Vancouver at #VIWIFF2015

Johnathan Sousa and Melissa Bergland

Johnathan Sousa and Melissa Bergland in Relative Happiness

The Nova Scotian rom-com Relative Happiness, directed by Deanne Foley, charmed festival audiences with its fabulous lead (Australian actress Melissa Bergland) and the right mix of humour and emotion. Bergland stars as Lexie, plus-sized and 30 years old, a feisty Bed and Breakfast owner who desperately needs a date to her sister’s wedding. Co-starring as Lexie’s love interests are Aaron Poole (Strange Empire, The Animal Project) and Johnathan Sousa (The Animal Project, Rookie Blue). The film is based on the bestselling novel by Lesley Crewe.

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Iranian film A 5-Star to premiere in North America at #VIWIFF2015

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The Vancouver International Women in Film Festival is pleased to present the North American premiere of Iranian filmmaker Mashid Afsharzadeh’s sophomore feature film, A 5-Star on Saturday, March 7 at 9:30 PM.  Continue reading

#VIWIFF2015 Screenplay Competition announces top 10

WIFTV Board Member Michelle Muldoon and her amazing team of jurors spent the last few months reading and discussing a fine selection of international screenplay submissions.

Congratulations to the top ten OFFICIAL SELECTIONS to the 2015 Vancouver International Women in Film Festival Screenplay Competition:

ADDICT AND MULTIPLY – Sarah Higgins
BEST SERVED COLD – Mary Krell-Oishi
DUST TO DUST – Beverly Shapiro
FURY RISING – Sheri Davenport
JAGGED WINTER – Danishka Esterhazy
LIL SURFER GIRL – Lena Rudnick
MIA AND THE MOVIE STAR – Sheri Davenport
REHAB CABIN – Kate Beacom
RETURN FROM SPLIT RIVER – Jennifer Siddle
THE COURTESAN – Marjory Kaptanoglu

Read Michelle’s statement on her blog: VIWIFF 2015 Screenplay Competition.

The 3 winners will receive their awards on International Women’s Day – Sunday March 8, 2015 at 7 PM during the festival’s Closing Night Event.

Closing Night includes the Legacy award film screenings, the presentation of the Legacy and Festival Awards, presentation of the Best Screenplay Award for the International Screenplay Competition, followed by a reception.

Ticket information here.

Kalki Koechlin shines as Laila in Margarita, With a Straw – Indian film opens #VIWIFF2015

Kalki Koechlin as Laila in Margarita, with a Straw

Kalki Koechlin as Laila in Margarita, with a Straw

By Manjit Bains

I’m not sure if this is a film I can tell you to watch.

How open are you when it comes to controversial topics surrounding coming of age? When you watch Hindi films, do you turn away from the screen when they’re about to kiss? If so, then this is not the film for you.

Margarita With a Straw is a beautiful film about love and balance, in whatever form that may take.

It is the story of Laila (Kalki Koechlin), a young girl in the process of becoming a woman. Continue reading

#FromOurDarkSide Bridges the Gender Divide

cropped-darkside-website.jpgThe From Our Dark Side Genre Concept Competition closed submissions on January 16 and we were blown away by the response. Over 250 entries from across the country. Women clearly have stories they want to tell and voices they want to be heard.  Continue reading

Margarita, with a Straw to open Vancouver International Women in Film Festival March 4-8, 2015

Indian actor Kalki Koechlin stars as the lead in #VIWIFF2015's opening film "Margarita, with a Straw"

Indian actor Kalki Koechlin stars as the lead in the #VIWIFF15 opening film “Margarita, with a Straw”

Women in Film and Television is pleased to announce that the hit at TIFF, Margarita, with a Straw (India) will be the Opening Night Film of the Vancouver International Women in Film Festival, March 4 – 8. Directed by Shonali Bose (Amu), the uplifting movie is an inspirational love story and portrait of a woman discovering what she wants, and how to get it. WIFTV is pleased to showcase this work among a great line up of local and international films.  Continue reading