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Sea to Sky: The Best of BC Cinema
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Every year, the Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF) showcases talent from across our beautiful province. BC is graced with cinematic scenery and a wealth of local industry talent; it's also bursting with filmmakers driven to turn their stories into cinema.

This year, that cinema includes Indigenous narratives of oppression and recovery, haunting portraits of the Lower Mainland, and a thrilling documentary about our imposing mountains and people with the courage to scale them. On the lighter side, the festival features an account of the search for Bryant “Big Country” Reeves of Vancouver Grizzlies fame—remember him? With the 10 films announced today, Sea to Sky promises to thrill, enlighten and—most of all—entertain. VIFF invites visitors and local audiences to experience our province viewed through the lens of cinema.

Sea to Sky Films

Edge of the Knife
(Sgaawaay K'uuna)
GWAAI EDENSHAW, HELEN HAIG-BROWN, CANADA, 2018, 100 MIN. Sea to Sky
Shot on stunning Haida Gwaii and scripted in two Haida dialects, Gwaai Edenshaw and Helen Haig-Brown’s 19th-century epic is both a landmark work of cinema and a nod to the grand storytelling traditions that lure us to the big screen. Guilt-ridden after a tragic accident, Adiits’ii (Tyler York) retreats into the wilderness where he’s plagued by spirits and transformed into Gaagiixid, the Haida Wildman. As his loved ones set out to capture and cure him, a riveting tale of survival and forgiveness unfolds.

The Darling
The Darling
(귀여운 여인)
LEE SEUNG-YUP , CANADA/SOUTH KOREA, 2018, 80 MIN.
North American Premiere
Arriving in Vancouver under a shadow of mystery, famed Korean actress Lee Sun-hwa (Jang Jieun) wanders the city, visits with relatives and frequents tourist attractions, afflicted all the while by debilitating anxiety. Deriving its title from the Chekhov story of the same name, Lee Seung-Yup’s miraculous debut is a marvel of low-budget filmmaking—utterly devastating in its depiction of a woman caught between the restrictive ways of tradition and the undefinable inclinations of the heart.


Picking Up the Pieces: The Making of the Witness Blanket
CODY GRAHAM, CAREY NEWMAN, CANADA, 2018, 85 MIN.
World Premiere
Inspired by symbolic Indigenous blankets and assembled from artifacts scavenged from demolished residential schools, Carey Newman’s Witness Blanket is an astonishing installation that pays tribute to the 150,000 souls who endured one of Canada’s most oppressive eras and the institutions it spawned. Directed by Newman and Cody Graham, this documentary charts the piece’s construction, pays tribute to strength and resistance, and reminds us just how vital survivors’ testimonies are to the healing process.

Finding Big Country
KATHLEEN S. JAYME, CANADA/USA, 2018, 44 MIN.
World Premiere
The Vancouver Grizzlies’ inglorious six-year history may’ve lacked for highlights but it undeniably had a poster boy: Bryant “Big Country” Reeves, whose less-than-sculpted man-mountain frame made him an easy target for criticism. Documentarian Kathleen S. Jayme sets out to track down her hard luck hero who was forced into early retirement by injuries. Fueled by nostalgia and punctuated by endearing revelations, this quest ultimately allows us to reevaluate one of the city’s most maligned sports figures.

Freaks
Freaks
ADAM STEIN, ZACH LIPOVSKY, CANADA, 2018, 105 MIN.
Kept under lock and key by her paranoid father (Emile Hirsch), seven-year-old Chloe (Lexy Kolker, a revelation) yearns to experience the simple pleasures of childhood. But when she finally ventures outside, she quickly realizes that she’s no ordinary girl and that the world beyond the dead bolt is stranger still. In turn, Zach Lipovsky and Adam Stein’s skewed sci-fi thriller ratchets up the go-for-broke audacity as it laces the family drama of Room with genre confections indebted to vintage Spielberg.

Kingsway
BRUCE SWEENEY, CANADA, 2018, 88 MIN.
Some are unlucky at love. Others are just inept. The latter populate Bruce Sweeney’s heartfelt farce that delivers finely tuned dysfunction while featuring copious local haunts and a surplus of skeletons in closets. Camille Sullivan shines as a rough diamond who must keep her emotionally frail brother (Jeff Gladstone) from unravelling as his marriage (to the brash Colleen Rennison) implodes. As Sweeney delights in pulling rugs out from under his cantankerous cast, he keeps viewers equally off-balance.

N.O.N.
ZEBULON ZANG, CANADA, 2018, 100 MIN.
World Premiere
Heartbroken and flat broke, Greg (director Zebulon Zang) struggles to reenter the workforce and suffers a series of seriocomic indignities, including single-handedly crewing an experimental film. As Greg’s existential dread steeps, Zang reveals himself to be a keen observer of human nature who’s capable of mining rich absurdity from the mundane. It’s tempting to label this the Lower Mainland’s answer to Linklater’s Slacker but that only scratches the prickly surface of this minor key, incisive study.

This Mountain Life
GRANT BALDWIN, CANADA, 2018, 77 MIN.
Opening with the staggering sight of a "snow artist" crafting intricate patterns in an arctic mountainside, Grant Baldwin’s (Just Eat It) visually stunning documentary continues to inspire awe with every frame. Centred on a Vancouver mother and daughter’s six-month, 2,300-km trek through the Coast Mountains, This Mountain Life showcases this province’s majestic peaks and introduces us to some of the colourful characters who scale such great heights to work, play, worship and accomplish the heroic.

When the Storm Fades
SEAN DEVLIN, CANADA/PHILIPPINES, 2018, 81 MIN.
World Premiere
In this affecting, provocative docudrama from Sean Devlin, a Filipino family reenacts their own experiences of resolutely rebuilding their homes and lives in the wake of the devastation wrought by 2013’s Hurricane Yolanda. Not helping matters are two ineffectual foreign aid workers (Kayla Lorette and Aaron Read) who aren’t quite the white saviours they fancy themselves to be. Darkly humorous and deeply humane, Devlin’s film thrusts us to the frontlines of climate change and celebrates survivors’ resolve.

Totally Indie Day
Totally Indie Day, presented by STORYHIVE, invites independent content creators—industry pros and rising talents alike—to provide insights and hands-on advice to both peers and aspirants. Aiming for Oscars? Looking for niche audiences? This event has you covered. The full program will be announced soon, but in the mean time, here is a sneak peak of the conference line-up:

On the local front, From Production to Distribution: Web Series Success Stories focuses on three very different digital series; the creators share their journeys from pitches to production to finding distribution partners. Guests include Kate Green, director/executive producer, NarcoLeap; Tyler Funk, creator, She's Not Funny; and Ryan J. Sidhoo, director, True North.

If you're a fan of documentaries, check out Indie Docs: Trending Now. It spotlights both pop culture and industrial music docs. The event features Dava Whisenant, director/producer/co-writer, Bathtubs Over Broadway (a prizewinner at Tribeca 2018) and Brent Hodge, director, Freaks and Geeks: The Documentary and other award-winning works.

What do Oscar-winner, I, Tonya and Oscar-nominated Lady Bird have in common? Check out the Style on Film: Production Design panel, featuring two superb indie production designers: Jade Healy, who created the story world of I, Tonya, and Chris Jones, who did the same for Lady Bird.

Check goviff.org/totallyindieday on September 6th for full program.

Storyhive



Sea To Sky Awards

#mustseeBC

In advance of the festival, the #mustseeBC campaign invites audiences to preview trailers, promote BC filmmakers across social networks and VOTE for their favourite films. The film that gets the most fan votes takes the title "Audience Must-See-Film" and gets a special red carpet screening.

Voting starts on September 6th and closes on September 25th, 2018. To vote go to goviff.org/mustseebc (on September 6th).

Dailyhive

Sea To Sky Award
Presented by TELUS, this award will recognize the outstanding work of one female key creative on a BC-produced feature or short. The significant $20,000 prize money can be used for a future production or towards customized training that will further advance the creator's career.
Telus

Best BC Film Award
Presented by Creative BC and Encore by Deluxe. $15,000 post-production services credit supplied by Encore (Deluxe Ent Services Group).
Creative BC
Encore Deluxe


BC Emerging Filmmaker Award
This award includes a $7,500 cash prize sponsored sponsored by the Union of BC Performers/ACTRA and Actra Fraternal Benefits Society and $10,000 equipment credit supplied by William F. White International Inc. This award is open to narrative features that are signatory to a UBCP/ACTRA agreement.

UBCP/ACTRA
AFBS
William E White International Inc

BC Short Film Award
Presented by VIFF - $5000 cash prize
VIFF

Information - viff.org

The festival's programming will be featured in the following streams:


Important Dates
THU AUG 23
ONLINE: Advance VIFF Pass + Ticket Packs on sale at viff.org

THU SEP 6 - Full Program available online.
ONLINE: VIFF Single Tickets on sale at viff.org

THU SEP 13
IN-PERSON: Box Office opens at The Vancouver International Film Centre. 1181 Seymour Street, at Davie. (Mon-Sat: Noon - 7pm, Sun: 2pm - 7pm)

VIFF+ Discover more. viff.org/plus


VIFF

Discover more viff.org

Greater Vancouver International Film Society
1181 Seymour Street Vancouver BC Canada V6B 3M7
Box Office Helpline: 604.683.3456
Film selections are subject to change.


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