By James Robert Shaw (The Wind up Geek)
Christmas has come early to film lovers care of the Victoria Film Festival (VFF). The annual event, established 1994, has released a snippet of what entries are being offered in the new year long after the presents have been unwrapped and the bottle of Sheri has been thoroughly emptied.
The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki
Director: Juho Kuosmanen
Writer(s): Juho Kuosmanen
Cast: Jarkko Lahti, Oona Airola, Eero Milonoff, John Bosco Jr.
Winner of the Prize of Un Certain Regard at the 2016 Cannes, this Finnish drama focuses on Olli Mäki (Jarkko Lahti), a man training in 1962 for the featherweight boxing championship match against title holder Davey Moore. When Olli falls in love with a woman named Raija (Oona Airola), he begins to lose interest in his training.
The Happy Film
Director: Stefan Sagmeister, Ben Nabors, and Hillman Curtis
Graphic designer Stefan Sagmeister undergoes a series of self-experiments outlined by popular psychology in this feature-length documentary to find out once and for all if it’s possible for a person to have a meaningful impact on their own happiness.
The Women’s Balcony
Director: Emil Ben Shimon
Writer(s): Shlomit Nehama
Cast: Evelin Hagoel, Igal Naor, Orna Banay, Einat Sarouf, Aviv Alush, Itzik Cohen, Yafit Asulin, Sharona Elimelech, Herzl Tobey, Haim Znati
An accident during a bar mitzvah celebration leads to a gendered rift in a devout Orthodox community in Jerusalem.
Don’t Blink – Robert Frank
Director: Laurel Israel
This documentary offers an uninhibited look at the man who the New York Times calls “the most influential living photographer”. Robert Frank changed the landscape of photography when he published The Americans” in 1958, which is now considered one of the most influential photography books of the 20th century.
India In a Day
Director: Richie Mehta
India’s first crowd-sourced film was powered by Google and constructed by director Richie Mehta from footage shot by millions of people on a single day in October 10, 2015. The end result is a preserved portrait of modern India as that allows the multitude of voices — male, female, young and old, rural and urban — to make themselves heard through film.
The Victoria Film Festival will take place February 3-12, 2017 in the seaside city of Victoria, British Columbia. To learn more about VFF 2017, visit their official website at http://www.victoriafilmfestival.com/.
Video Source(s): The Victoria Film Festival.