The Vancouver International Film Festival is coming to Nelson – Nelson Star
If there has been anything positive that has resulted from theater closures during the pandemic, it is the new connections and relationships forged with distributors and other exhibitors who have all had to overcome these hurdles together.
The Vancouver International Film Festival used to be, well, Vancouver-centric, but as their festival was forced to go online in 2020 and then hybrid last year, VIFF recognized its ability to go beyond Vancouver and to connect with other BC communities with its programs and resources. .
The Nelson Civic Theater was invited to present a simultaneous screening of Indigenous Canadian film Monkey Beach for the opening of the 2020 VIFF festival with the Kamloops Film Society and now both theaters are participating in the launch of the VIFF Pop-Up Festival at the International Festival of Vancouver movie. This new initiative brings the festival’s favorite films to audiences across British Columbia, with inaugural events taking place in partnership with the Kamloops Film Society at the Paramount Theater and Civic Theater (May 27-31).
The Civic Theater is really excited about this opportunity to work with VIFF again. The Nelson VIFF Pop-Up program features six diverse Canadian films from the 2021 festival. On opening night May 27, Kicking Blood, an idiosyncratic genre offering from Vancouver, tells the story of Anna, a vampire old several centuries, which watches Robbie, a charming but reckless young man, recover from his alcoholism, inspiring him to stop the blood and restore his humanity.
On Saturday, Tyson Sadler’s timely documentary The Last Tourist puts the role of modern tourism to the test and reveals the real conditions and consequences of one of the world’s greatest industries. Also on Saturday, Michael McGowan’s All My Puny Sorrows, based on the internationally bestselling 2014 novel by Miriam Toews, is the harrowing story of two sisters, one a concert pianist obsessed with ending her days, and the other a writer who, grappling with this decision, is making profound discoveries about herself.
Sunday’s Haya Waseem’s Quickening centers on a Pakistani-Canadian college student who first falls in love with her classmate Eden. Sheila desires a freedom that her mother and father do not want to provide. After Sheila first has sex with Eden, he abruptly breaks up with her and her sense of reality begins to unravel, further alienating her from her friends, family, and community.
Later Sunday is Sin La Habana by Quebec’s Kaveh Nabatian, winner of the Best Canadian Film Award at VIFF 2021, which follows Leonardo and Sara, a young Afro-Cuban couple desperate to leave the island. They decide that the best way to emigrate is for Leonardo to seduce a foreign woman, obtain legal status in another country, and then send for Sara. The woman they choose is Nasim, an Iranian-Canadian divorcee fleeing an oppressive past and longing for fun for the first time in her life. When Leonardo convinces Nasim to marry him, he can move to Montreal, but his the plan is derailed when real emotions get involved.
And closing the festival on Tuesday, May 31, winner of the BC Emerging Filmmaker Award at VIFF 2021, Trevor Mack’s comedy-drama Portraits From a Fire is a coming-of-age film that follows Tyler, an eccentric and lonely teenager who spends his days making movies, vlogging his native community, until he meets Aaron, a mysterious, charismatic and influential figure who encourages Tyler to bring his most personal film about his mother’s disappearance to the community, leading to a calculation between past and future, life and death, father and son.
And what VIFF event wouldn’t be complete without meeting some directors? The Civic is delighted to be able to welcome Blaine Thurier, former member of indie supergroup The New Pornographers and director of opening night film Kicking Blood.
Visit civictheatre.ca to purchase tickets per title at the regular box office price or in the spring for a festival pass with access to all six titles for the low price of $35.
Jason Asbell is the Civic Theater’s Director of Programming.