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VIFF: Thirteen BC Films Led by PREGGOLAND, TWO 4 ONE, BLACK FLY & SITTING ON THE EDGE OF MARLENE

Published August 28, 2014 on Vancouver is Awesome.

Fake pregnancies. Transgender two-for-one pregnancies. Bloody thrillers. Romance in Hope? Mother-daughter con-women. Changing Chinatown. Discarded food experiment. 

Three comedies, six dramas and four documentaries are featured in this year’s BC Spotlight program at the 33rd annual Vancouver International Film Festival. Start tweeting now about the best of B.C. to generate some buzz ahead of the festival which runs from September 25th to October 10th.

THREE COMEDIES: Fake pregnancy comedy PREGGOLAND, double pregnancy romcom TWO 4 ONE and oddball comedy SONGS SHE WROTE ABOUT PEOPLE SHE KNOWS. 

Preggoland – Jacob Tierney directs Preggoland but this fake pregnancy comedy belongs to Vancouver actor Sonja Bennett who wrote the screenplay and stars as 35-year-old Ruth, who pretends to be pregnant after being de-friended by all her friends at a baby shower. James Caan is the deliriously-happy-father-who-thinks-he’s-going-to-be-a-grandfather. Preggoland filmed most of this movie in Maple Ridge except for the final day of shooting in April when crew careened around Vancouver from the Gossip nightclub downtown to a Commercial Drive park to Spanish Banks. Facebook | Twitter.

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Screenings – September 30th at 6:15 pm in the Vancouver Playhouse/October 2nd at 4 p.m. in the International Village #10.

Two 4 One – Transgendered Adam (This Hour Has 22 Minutes’ Gavin Crawford) and Miriam (Mr. D’s Naomi Snieckus) enjoy an ill-advised one-night stand only to wind up both being pregnant in writer-director Maureen Bradley’s hilarious first feature. Gabrielle Rose co-stars. Official Website | Facebook | Twitter

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Screenings – October 1st at 9 pm in the Rio Theatre/October 3rd at 6 pm in International Village #8.

Songs She Wrote About People She Knows – Written and directed by Kris Elgstrand, this offbeat comedy is about Carol (Arabella Bushnell) who vents her frustrations on family, friends and co-workers by leaving brutally honest (sometimes violent) original songs on their voicemails. Website & Trailer | Facebook

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Screenings – September 27th at 9:15 pm in the Rio Theatre/September 30th at 4:45 pm in the Vancity Theatre.

SIX DRAMAS: horror thrillers BLACK FLY and BLOODY KNUCKLES, dark comedic drama SITTING ON THE EDGE OF MARLENE and realist dramas MARTIN’S PINK PICKLE and VIOLENT.

Black Fly – Director Jason Bourque’s taut thriller Black Fly has been touted as Canada’s Winter’s Bone. Troubled teen Jake Henson (Dakota Daulby) is  haunted by the death of his parents – the father in a hunting accident and mother by suicide. He escapes an abusive uncle to reconnect with his older brother Noel, living with his girlfriend in a farmhouse on an isolated Island on the BC coast. The drama unfolds as it becomes clear that Jake has gone from bad to worse, since Noel is a heavy drinker with a hair-trigger temper and there’s no escape from his rampage. It’s hard to believe this story is inspired by Jason Bourque’s own experiences. Shot in the Vancouver area and on Denman Island. | Facebook | Twitter.

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Photo credit: Chris Helcermanas-Benge.

Related: Dakota Daulby on Falling Skies, Black Fly and Sitting on the Edge of Marlene.

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Screenings – September 27th at 6:30 pm in the Rio Theatre/September 30th at 4:00 p.m. in the International Village #10.

Bloody Knuckles – Director Matt O’Mahoney’s splatter film Bloody Knuckles has gore galore. The disembodied hand of an underground cartoonist comes to life and becomes a defender of free speech after a gangster chops it off. Huh. This falls in the category of must-be-seen. Words won’t do.| Trailer | Facebook.

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Screenings – October 3rd at 11:30 p.m. in the Rio Theatre/October 4th at 3:45 pm in the International Village #8.

Martin’s Pink Pickle – Director René Brar’s realist drama about a young couple splits its time between the big city of Vancouver and small town of Hope. A boy follows his girlfriend to Hope but his settled life is disrupted when he and a friend are stranded in Vancouver for 24 hours when he returns for a medical appointment. Did this couple really grow up?  Director’s Website.

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Screenings –  September 29th at 6:30 pm in the International Village #8/October 1st at 1:30 pm in the International Village #8.

Sitting on the Edge of Marlene –  Adapted from the Billie Livingston novella, Sitting on the Edge of Marlene is about teenager Sammie Bell (Paloma Kwiatkowski) drawn into the family con business by her messed-up pill-popping, alcoholic mother Marlene (Suzanne Clément). Callum Keith Rennie co-stars. Director Ana Valine won the Leo Award for directing this BC film.

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Ana Valine wins Best Director at the Leo Awards.

Nominated Paloma Kwiatkowski at Leo Awards.

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Screenings – October 1st at 6:30 pm in the Rio Theatre/October 3rd at 3:30 pm in the International Village #9.

Turbulence – Writer-director Soran Mardookhi tells the story of a former electrical engineer from Kurdistan in Iraq named Sherzad (Kamal Yamoly) who tries to make a new home in Canada along with his estranged young daughter Jina (Camillia Mahal) who numbs herself with drugs. Official Website | Facebook | Trailer

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Screenings – October 3rd at 6 pm in the International Village #9/October 5th at 1 pm in International Village #9.

Violent – We Are the City drummer Andrew Huculiak makes his directorial debut with this feature inspired by the Vancouver band’s latest album. Shot in Norway it’s about a young woman (Dagny Backer Johnsen) who  loses herself in memories of loved ones after a catastrophic experience. Website & Trailer | Facebook | Twitter.

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Screenings – September 30th at 9:30 pm in the Rio Theatre/October 2nd at 4 pm in the Rio Theatre/October 10th at 3:45 pm in SFU Woodwards.

FOUR DOCUMENTARIES

The Boy From Geita – Director Vic Sarin chronicles the story of a Canadian born with the same condition as a young Tanzanian who has been ostracized by his village and cruelly assaulted by witch doctors who believe his limbs possess magical properties.  The Canadian hears of Adam’s plight and comes to his rescue.

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Screenings –  September 28th at 6:30 pm at SFU Woodwards/October 4th at 1:15 pm at International Village #8/October 9th at 10 am at The Cinematheque.

Everything Will Be – Director Julia Kwan looks at Vancouver’s Chinatown, one of the oldest Chinese communities in North America, and talks to residents about wholesale changes sweeping their neighbourhood. Some are sad to see their way of life erode and others welcome the transition, including real estate developer Bob Rennie, who established his offices there. | Trailer.

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Screenings – September 29th at 9 pm at SFU Woodwards/October 1st at 11 am at SFU Woodwards/October 3rd at 10:30 am at International Village #9.

Just Eat It: A Food Waste Story – Filmmakers Grant Baldwin and Jen Rustemeyer attempt to live only on discarded food for six months. Sounds a bit like Morgan Spurlock’s Supersize Me experiment of eating only at McDonald’s, except this will show not our obsession with fast food but how much food we waste as a society, throwing away nearly half in the trash. Official Website | Trailer.

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Screenings – September 28th at 6:30 pm at Rio Theatre/September 30th at 10:30 am at SFU Woodwards/October 6th at 1:30 pm at Vancouver Playhouse.

The Pristine Coast – Filmmaker Scott Renyard investigates the BC fish farm industry, focusing on the research of biologist Alexandra Morton. Wild fish species in our coastal waters have declined since fish farms started up in the late 1970s. How do we stop the spread of disease from farms to marine waters?

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Screenings – September 27th at 8:30 pm at International Village #9; October 3rd at 4 pm at SFU Woodwards; October 7th at 10 am at The Cinematheque.

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