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CFUV @ VFF 2019: Festival Preview

My name is Amy, I’m a movie lover who has attended the Victoria Film Festival for the past three years, and I’m so excited that 2019 will be my first year of covering the festival for CFUV.

You’ll hear more from me when the festival is underway. I’ll post reviews of the films I see, provide updates about screenings and events, and — hopefully — sitting down to chat with a few filmmakers and festival folks and then sharing what I learn from them.

Until then, here’s a list of the top five films that I’m excited about at this year’s festival. One of my resolutions for 2019 is to expand my movie-watching horizons and watch a variety films that encompass many different perspectives and experiences. So I tried to pick a collection of VFF movies from a range of countries that span a wide spectrum of themes.

Hope you enjoy hearing about these and hope to see you at the festival!


Rafiki

Rafiki is the story of two young women who fall in love in a derelict Nairobi neighbourhood, where lesbians are neither safe nor accepted. This is vibrant film that provides colourful glimpses into Kenyan street life and skate culture, with a touching narrative that is certain to hit home for many. I’ve been following this film in the news ever since it was banned from its home country, (Kenya) due to its content, and I feel so fortunate that I’ll have the opportunity to attend its B.C premiere!

Playing Feb 4th @ 8:45pm- The Vic Theatre

Feb 6th @ 9pm- Cineplex Odeon

 

The Other Rio

In preparation for the 2016 Brazil Summer Olympics and the 2018 World Cup, Rio De Janeiro was marketed as a luxurious tourist destination and a tropical paradise. However, a corrupt government and increasing gang violence have resulted in thousands of Rio’s residents living in extreme poverty. Quebecois filmmaker Emilie B. Guerette takes us into this often-overlooked community, providing a stunning and poignant glimpse into the lives of people who struggle to build their lives around a North American tourist industry. I am extremely fond of documentaries that provide any sort of glimpse into the lives of people in locations and situations that are different from my own experience. Given the context of economic issues surrounding the Olympic tourist industry, I think this could a very relevant and illuminating film to see.

Playing Feb 4th @ 9pm- Capitol 6

Mouthpiece

Based on the stage play of the same name, and starring its original playwrights and performers, Mouthpiece is an exploration of the feminist consciousness and the struggle for self-expression. The character of Cassandra, who is hastily composing a eulogy after the sudden death of her mother, is played by two different actresses. I’m very interested to see how this acting dynamic translates to film. I was quite influenced by director Patricia Rozema’s earlier work I’ve Heard the Mermaids Singing, so I’m eager to see what her latest movie has to offer.

Playing Feb 4th @ 6:15- The Vic Theatre

Edge of the Knife/ Sgaawaay K’uuna

This is the first feature film spoken only in the Haida language. Sgaawaay K’uuna is based on the Haida legend of the Gaagiixiid or ‘wildman’ and follows the story of a family torn apart by tragedy and struggling to accept one another again. The film provides a rare and beautiful glimpse into traditional Haida life. I had the pleasure of attending the film at the Vancouver Film Festival, where it sold out a 1500+ seat venue on opening night. I’m looking forward to a similarly positive reception in Victoria, and I’m very encouraged to see such a significant step towards a further support of Indigenous filmmakers and the decolonization of the screen.

Playing Feb 6th @ 6pm- Dave Dunnet Theatre

3 Faces

The stories of three different actresses intertwine in this intriguing commentary on the themes of fame and femininity in contemporary Iran. In one sequence, Jafari (a famous actor who plays herself) and her friend, Jafar Panahi (the film’s director, who also plays himself) travel in search of a girl in a grainy video who who may no longer be alive. I’ve only recently started watching more Iranian films, and so far I have not been disappointed by the variety of unique stories and images that they have exposed me too. I’m looking forward to adding this one to my list.

Playing Feb 3rd @ 9:15pm- Capitol 6

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