The world premiere of Sundance award-winning Vancouver filmmaker Jennifer Abbott’s new feature doc The Magnitude of All Things (Cedar Island Films/Flying Eye Productions/NFB) tops a powerful lineup of National Film Board of Canada (NFB) produced and co-produced documentary and animation at the 2020 Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF), taking place September 24 to October 7.
Two NFB feature docs by acclaimed creators are also making their BC debuts:
- Inconvenient Indian by Michelle Latimer, a filmmaker, producer, writer and activist of Algonquin, Métis and French heritage.
- John Ware Reclaimed by Cheryl Foggo, a Calgary-born filmmaker, author and playwright whose work often focuses on the Black Canadian experience.
The festival is presenting two NFB animated shorts:
- The Great Malaise by Quebec animator and illustrator Catherine Lepage.
- The Fake Calendar by Meky Ottawa, from the Atikamekw Nation in Quebec, produced through the Hothouse program.
The Magnitude of All Things by Jennifer Abbott
(World Premiere) When Jennifer Abbott lost her sister to cancer, her sorrow opened her up to the profound gravity of climate breakdown. The Magnitude of All Things draws intimate parallels between the experiences of grief—both personal and planetary. We are getting tories from the frontlines of climate change in Northern Canada, Australia, Ecuador, Sweden and England merge with recollections from the filmmaker’s childhood on Ontario’s Georgian Bay. What do these stories have in common? The answer, surprisingly, is everything.
BC-based Abbott has been making films about urgent social, political and environmental issues for 25 years, including co-directing the 2003 Sundance award-winning The Corporation. She’s also back at VIFF this year with The New Corporation: The Unfortunately Necessary Sequel, co-directed with Joel Bakan.
The Great Malaise by Catherine Lepage
In the voiceover for this animated short, a young woman attempts to describe herself, casting her life in the ideal light that society expects. The film’s imagery, however, tells a different story, poignantly illustrating the intense anxiety that comes with the quest for perfection and the pursuit of happiness. A film that’s both funny and moving, and above all, profoundly human.