Features 2020

2020 Feature Films

All screenings will take place at Vancity Theatre

*Filmmaker in attendance
**Filmmaker & special guests in attendance

A First Farewell (85 min)
Directed by: Lina Wang, China
Saturday, March 7th, 2020 at 6:45pm

Set in an Uyghur village in northwestern China, A First Farewell is an award winning film told through the eyes of a young boy. The depth and delight of his relationships with friends and family are movingly captured, as is their slow and unstoppable unravelling as the people chase ‘a better future’. An important film told by a filmmaker raised in the area.

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Black Conflux (100 min)
Vancouver Premiere
Directed by: Nicole Dorsey, Canada

Thursday, March 5th at 9:00pm

The lives of a promising, disillusioned, teen and a
self-loathing outcast are intertwined in this well-crafted, haunting, film. Set in suburban Newfoundland in 1987,
the story explores growing up isolated in a world of toxic masculinity. Compelling performances deliver the story. Selected as one of TIFF’s Top Ten for the year. 

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Heavy Craving (90 min)
Canadian Premiere
Directed by: Pei-ju Hsieh, Taiwan

Friday, March 6th at 5:45pm

Ying-Juan works in her mother’s child care centre and reluctantly accepts her gift of a weight loss program. But when she meets Wu, a delivery man, and discovers the secret of one of the centre’s students, her cravings take a wild turn. She begins to lose something more important than weight. This uplifting film tackles issues of discrimination while delivering great performances and beautiful cinematography.

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Murmer (85 min)
Directed by: Heather Young, Canada

Wednesday, March 4th at 10:45am

The film follows Donna as she serves her community sentence in an animal shelter.  In a futile attempt to address her chronic loneliness, Donna begins to bring the animals home.  But her sense of emptiness grows while her life takes a relentless downward spiral. Selected as one of TIFF’s top ten.

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Red Snow (100 min)
Local Filmmaker [Opening Film
Directed by: Marie Clements, Canada
Tuesday, March 3rd at 7:00pm

Captured by the Taliban, a Gwich’in soldier confronts memories in the Canadian north he thought he’d left behind. He forges an alliance with a Pashtun family as they escape through treacherous landscapes in a blizzard that is their key to survival. Tapping into a universal need for belonging, and shifting between striking arctic and arid landscapes, director/writer Marie Clements delivers a thriller as poignant as it is pulse-quickening.

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Riot Girls (81 min)
Special Presentation
Directed by: Jovanka Vuckovic, Canada
Wednesday, March 4th at 9:00pm

In an alternate 1995, a mysterious disease wipes out all the adults. Two young gangs are pitted against each other in a brutal war for territory, resources and survival.

The film is a special presentation with WIFTV’s From Our Dark Side program supporting the creation of genre projects by Canadian women.  Learn more.

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Seeing (89 min)
Canadian Premiere
Directed by: Sumitra Bhave, India

Saturday, March 7th at 4:00pm

Ramji is a humble ironsmith from a small village. His world falls apart after his only son drowns in the flooding river. He despairs, even as his friends question their ability to empathize. One rainy night, however, helping a troubled cow deliver a calf, destiny offers Ramji a chance to attain the ultimate realization.

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Take Me Somewhere Nice (91 min)
BC Premiere
Directed by: Ena Sendijarević, Netherlands

Saturday, March 7th at 9:00pm

Alma travels from the Netherlands to Bosnia to find the father she never met.  With her indifferent cousin and his charming best friend, she embarks on an unpredictable and sexually charged road trip that changes them all. A sensitive director discovers the central character’s contradictions, leading to an unexpected journey in a scorching landscape.

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The Rabbits’ House (95 min)
World Premiere [Closing Film]
Directed by: Valeria Selinger, Argentina
Sunday, March 8th at 3:00pm

Based on the real and extraordinary events in Laura Alcoba’s book, “Manèges, petite histoire Argentine”, the film is set in the year immediately preceding Argentina’s Dirty War.  Eight year old Laura learns to live a secret life, to use a fake name, and to hide the activists with whom she shares a home. She knows, too, that a clandestine printing press is concealed behind the rabbit’s house

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Feature Documentaries

Away From Meaning (89 min)
Canadian Premiere
Directed by: Olivia Luengas, Mexico

Wednesday, March 4th at 3:30pm

Liliana struggles with a borderline personality disorder. When two of the best private mental institutions in Mexico close down, Liliana fights her crisis at home, depending on family and friends. This is a poetic, deeply personal portrait, which succeeds in taking the challenges of mental health out of the shadows. 

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Be Natural (103 min)
Directed by: Pamela B. Green, USA

Tuesday, March 3rd at 1:00pm

Alice Guy-Blaché began making films in 1894. She had an illustrious career in both France and the U.S, directing over 1000 works. In 1919, however, she abruptly disappeared from the history of film. Narrated by Jodie Foster, the documentary is both a tribute and a detective story, tracing the circumstances under which this extraordinary artist left us, and charting a path towards her reclamation.

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Breaking Their Silence:  The Women on the Frontline of the Poaching War (110 min)
Canadian Premiere
Directed by: Kerry David, USA
Wednesday, March 4th at 6:00pm

Shining a clear light on their intelligence, empathy, strength and stamina, filmmaker Kerry David and her crew capture the courageous women who live on the frontline of today’s poaching crisis. While trying to prevent Africa’s most vulnerable animals from extinction, the women bravely face seemingly insurmountable odds.

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Closing Time (106 min)
Canadian Premiere
Directed by: Nicole Vögele, Switzerland

Friday, March 6th at 8:45pm

Like many who reside in the sleepless corners of Taipei, Kuo and his wife work all night, serving the nocturnal in a small restaurant. The film is a cinematographic meditation that perfectly captures the poetry of an ordinary life and the inexplicable connections between drifting souls.

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The Lost Reactor (77 min)
Canadian Premiere
Directed by: Alexandra Westmeier, Germany

Friday, March 6th at 1:00pm

In an extraordinary tale of hopes, dreams, deception and perseverance, the film captures the lives of three people who live in a nuclear power plant.  Located in Crimea, the plant was the most costly project in Soviet history, yet it was never activated due to governmental collapse. Individuals who helped build the reactor now call it home. 

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Parkland Rising (92 min)
Canadian Premiere
Directed by: Cheryl Horner McDonough, USA
Thursday, March 5th at 6:15pm

With unparalleled access, this documentary goes behind the headlines of the shooting of 17 young people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High in 2018, and captures how High School students and family members unite to become leaders of a fearless national movement engaged in an epic battle with the gun lobby.

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Unceded Chiefs (66 min)
Canadian Premiere [Local Filmmaker]
Directed by: Doreen Manuel, Canada
Saturday, March 7th at 11:00am

Unceded Chiefs traces the historic activism of BC First Nations Leaders who, in the late 1960’s, united to reject Prime Minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau’s proposed 1969 White Paper. Director Doreen Manuel skilfully weaves interviews and archival audio to tell a story of resilience and determination.

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