Tag Archives: Victoria Film Festival

The Victoria Film Festival Celebrates 25 Years! Picks of the 2019 Season

16 Jan

The Victoria Film Festival is celebrating 25 years! While I could swear this local event has gone on longer, but oh how time flies. I covered this event in some form (limited or otherwise) ever since I saw Edison and Leo back in 2008 (for a college paper) and Chef of the South Polar tickled my taste buds in 2011. This movie taught me a thing or two about how to make do with limited supplies for good food and in what defines the taste in ramen. I was a starving student back then and now I’m a starving artist. This year offers a film about the said noodle dish as my number one must see. As my eclectic tastes are as diverse as the selection, Mirai of the Future (未来のミライ) flies high. This anime is getting screenings! Curiously, no hardcore sci-fi, horror or fantasy is listed this year. The diversity is more on creative and inspirational films than always be genre-specific.

This year sees the Victoria Conference Center offer a larger space for their Opening Gala film, Sink or Swim (Le Grain Bain) on Feb 1st at 6:30pm. This French comedy technically debuted last year at Cannes and is making waves cross borders. It’s about how a group of men well past their prime in the quest to achieve self-esteem. They become a synchronized swimming team, and the teamwork involved to beat to the drum is tough, but are we here to laugh at them and perhaps reflect upon our own lives. We have all been there at some point–stuck in some quagmire until that one moment helps us realize we’re alright. This film encourages the latter and that’s entertaining enough!

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[VFF2018] The Wild West Tale is Redefined with Undertaker’s Son, A Short Film

8 Feb

poster

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Making an effective Western that stands out can be a challenge. All the tropes have been done to death and how can any filmmaker offer a tale that’s new? Foreshadow Film‘s (formerly known as Affolter Entertainment) The Undertaker’s Son is a very impressive work which I believe deserves number one place if I was to say which one of the 2018 Victoria Film Festival‘s BC Shorts Program (which played Weds night) I enjoyed the most.

This piece began as a challenge under the auspices of Vancouver’s Crazy 8’s challenge — to make a film in eight days. Since finishing this project a year ago, this nugget of gold has been making the film festival rounds.

With this tale, young Christopher’s (Darien Provost, The Whispers) anxiety shows when he knows that one day he is to train and be the next in line to continue the family business. In the days of the Wild West, death can be anywhere. Whether that’s a matter of surviving in untamed frontier or the lawlessness that’s around, we hardly learn about those on the sidelines or has the thankless job of burying the dead at Boot Hill. This short film looks at the life of a young lad — who clearly has interest in a girl he meets along the way to the morgue — and also his relationship with his father, Jonathan (Louis Ferreira, Breaking Bad & Stargate Universe).

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[VFF2018] Defining Joy, not July, in Soulmate (七月与安生) — A Movie Review

4 Feb

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Plays at Victoria Film Festival 2018
Wed | February 7 | 9:15 PM | Capitol 6
Purchase tickets here.

In North American terms Lin (Lin “July” Qiyue in the subtitles, played by Ma Sichun) and Anshen (Ansheng, Zhou Dongyu) are BFFs. In Chinese terms, they are Soul Mates (七月与安生) — also the title of this movie. Technically, the kanji spells out their names as the title of the film. As they come of age and become adults, their bond never fell apart, and this fact highlights this drama.

However, the plot needs a conflict to show what can happen which could potentially split them apart. When Chen Jia Ming (Tobey Lee) enters into their lives, one is the hopeless romantic and the other, respecting her ‘sister,’ does not even try. There’s no cat fight as this movie is more about their personal bond than their interest in Ming. These two beautiful actresses are rising stars from Mainland China and their sisterhood shines very brightly here. I can’t wait to see Dongyu in Tsui Hark’s The Thousand Faces of Dunjia (奇門遁甲), a fantasy – science fiction film. Well Go Entertainment released this title to limited markets in December and I hope a video release is coming soon!

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Spotlighting National Film Board of Canada at the 2018 Victoria Film Festival

2 Feb

National Film Board of Canada

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Over the years, the many various works created by the talents at National Film Board of Canada has always managed to enthrall, entertain and impress. Many have won awards from many well-established shows like the Annecy International Animated Film Festival. Even for an event like the Victoria Film Festival beginning this weekend, the offerings are a lot more this year to acknowledge the short film medium. They have six instead of the usual three specialized programs to spotlight the talent of many a filmmaker, be it local to international. The NFB have eight animated and documentary pieces being featured. In attendance will be Alanis Obomsawin and Hart Snider to present.

If this company’s works are being screened at a film festival near you, please do not hesitate to check them out. Eventually, they will all be offered online or through their streaming service.

Selections include:

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