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Black History Month

"Activism is the rent I pay for living on the planet." So says Alice Walker. One of the key writers of our times, Walker was born in a shack in the cotton fields of Georgia and became the first black woman to win a Pulitzer Prize, for her groundbreaking novel, The Color Purple. Promotional Partner - Vancouver Writers Festival

"If Pratibha Parmar’s documentary on the life’s work of Alice Walker is the director’s invitation to exalt with connected, layered complexity the artist, the activist, the woman, the person of colour as cultural icon, - then the parting words of Alice Walker invoke a simpler message of connectedness to her own art, her beauty and her truth. In Walker’s words:’Earth was meant for joy. And as an artist, connect with that joy. And you will be forever fed by it.’” Jana Sante, Indiewire

Italian Film Festival

ITALIAN FILM FESTIVAL OPENING NIGHT GALA

The opening night gala for the inaugura Vancouverl Italian Film Festival includes an exhibition of drawings by Federico Fellini inspired by his love of food; live music by Roy & Rosemary; catered reception with Italian wine and food, and the Canadian premiere of the documentary short Federico of the Spirits, plus a special screening of one Fellini’s most beloved masterpieces, Amarcord, in 35mm.

5.45 Doors

Fellini exhibition: Live music (Roy & Rosemary). Wine, hors d’oeuvres

6.00, 6.30 FEDERICO OF THE SPIRITS (20 min)

7.00 Introductory remarks + film screening: AMARCORD

9.15 Catered reception. Live music.

About AMARCORD

Shortly after turning 50 and at the height of his career, Federico Fellini returned to the seaside town of Rimini, where he grew up, to make Amarcord (a neologism that suggests "mi ricordo" in the Emiliano-Romagnolo dialect: I remember).

Set in the 1930s, the film has the free-wheeling form that became one of Fellini’s hallmarks. It allows him to swing back and forth between ribald comedy, fantasy and melancholy.

"Amarcord is the least grandiose and most immediate of the maestro’s later films and deserves to be rated among the finest screen memoirs of the 20th century. It offers an extraordinarily lyrical and vivid succession of vignettes, inside the most subtly rigorous narrative structure of Fellini’s career. […] Although the figure of the boy Titta is obviously his alter ego, Fellini builds a generously fractured mosaic that belongs to no one central character or even the on-screen narrator… Like many autobiographical tales written or filmed, this one weaves the innocent, limited viewpoint of children into its wider social context, which here heralds the reign of fascism in Italy in the 30s. Poignant indeed is the gap, gradually revealed to the viewer, between the hints of violence and social exclusion to come (especially in relation to the Jewish population), and the life-affirming antics of youth. […] Fellini’s comedy, refreshingly, goes to the outer limits of vulgarity in a number of hilarious scenes. His style is streamlined here into a pure, exalted poetry of mist, flowing camera movements, pastel colours, and lightly artificial set design. A triumph of artistic form, its emotions are direct and affecting." Adrian Martin

Woody Allen: Spring Collection

The movie where it all came together for Woody Allen, Annie Hall marks both the culmination of his ’early, funny’ period, and the first of his mature, more overtly serious and autobiographical films as writer-director. Winner: Academy Awards for Best Picture, Direction, Screenplay, Best Actress.

"One of Allen’s funniest, and most touching films." Saul Austerlitz, Another FIne Mess

"Woody Allen’s breakthrough movie." Time

"Arguably Allen’s most honest film." 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die

Vancity Theatre Screening

Nunavut means "Our Land". But does that include us? After decades of what might generously be described as benign neglect, Canada seems more invested in the north than ever (no prizes for guessing why). Documentarian John Walker (A Drummer’s Dream) traces the long, often fractious relationship between the Inuit and the rest of the country, marvels at the beauty and hardship of this place, and reflects on his own experiences, revisiting the arctic for the first time since the 60s.

Woody Allen: Spring Collection

Incompetent products-tester Fielding Mellish travels to the Latin American country of San Marcos, and quickly finds himself the center of a people’s revolution. Mellish employs his harebrained ingenuity to survive guerilla training and to become a figurehead of this new banana republic. Allen’s second is a zany slapstick smorgasbord of philosophy and absurdism.

Black History Month

From the early 1900s to the 1960s, the East Side neighbourhood of Strathcona was home to Vancouver’s first and only black community.The ten video stories of the BlackStrathcona media project celebrate some of the remarkable people and places that made the community vibrant and unique.

Presented by Creative Cultural Collaborations Society in partnership with Vancouver Moving Theatre

Vancity Theatre Screening

Critics have been pulling out comparisons to the Coens for this lean, mean revenge thriller, a scintillating debut by writer-director Jeremy Saulnier (it’s currently 100% Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes). Living a seemingly pointless existence, Dwight suddenly snaps into action when he learns of the imminent release of state prisoner, Will Cleland. With a score to settle he returns to his home town, swapping the big blue for bloodshed. Delighting lovers of genre film and American Indie, Blue Ruin’s filmmaking is clean and efficient but the killing isn’t. Thrilling, devastating and even humiliating at times, Dwight’s plight manages to hit the sweet spot between idiot and amateur, predator and prey.

"Easily the most suspenseful American film of the year, a thriller that feels like lightning across a quiet night sky; sudden, terrifying, and excitingly singular." Gabe Toro, The Playlist

"Intelligent and thrilling. Recalls the dark wit of the Coens." 4 stars Total Film

"A feral and staggeringly well-conceived revenge saga." David Ehrlich, Film.com

Woody Allen: Spring Collection

Recently transformed into a Broadway musical, this is a fizzy satire on the pretensions, hypocrisies and indulgences of theatre folk. John Cusack is an idealistic young playwright whose big break is backed by a mobster boss with his own ideas about casting….

"One of Allen’s best and most revealing comedies, as much a moral meditation as it is dazzling fun." Rolling Stone

Special Presentation

VIFF’s Film and Television Forum in partnership with the Directors Guild of Canada is proud to host a special q&a presentation with Emmy award-winning executive producer and director, Michelle MacLaren. (Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead and Hell on Wheels), Join us for what is sure to be a fascinating and fun session with Michelle as she discusses and dissects some of her favourite scenes from Breaking Bad and Game of Thrones. Whether you’re a seasoned director, producer, aspiring filmmaker or a fan, come prepared with lots of questions!

Black History Month

An exuberant and inspiring ambassador for the Caribbean, Calypso Rose is the uncontested and much decorated diva of Calypso music. With more than 800 recorded songs, she continues to be a pioneer and champion of women’s rights, as she travels the world making music.Promotional partners: Consul Generals of Jamaica and Barbados. Live Calypso performance by renowned steel drum artist Kenrick Headley, to follow the screening.

“An intimate portrait about the “Grande Dame” of Calypso… Reveals her personal story, her groundbreaking musical achievements, her commitment to defend women´s rights, her faith, her worries and fears and above all her strong love of life and people.” Bijan Tehrani, Cinema Without Borders

The Royal Opera House presents...

Don José (Jonas Kaufmann) is a young soldier in the army in Seville. He intends to marry Micaëla, a girl from his home village, but when he meets the sensual and high-spirited Carmen (Anna Caterina Antonacci), his head is soon turned…Spanish heat and gypsy passion are brought to the stage in Francesca Zambello’s vivid production of Bizet’s famous opera.

Sung in French with English subtitles

Acts One and Two will last for about 1 hour 50 minutes, followed by a 15 minute interval. Act Three will last for about 1 hour 5 mins.

(Hon zin)
Hong Kong Spirit Films

This breathless, twisty Hong Kong cop thriller triumphed at the 32nd Hong Kong Film Awards, picking up nine statuettes including best film, best director, best screenplay and best actor (Tony Leung Ka Fai).

To mark International Dance Day, VIFF and The Dance Centre present a special movie medley featuring the greatest dance numbers ever committed to celluloid. Curated and presented by film scholar Michael van den Bos, this will be an exhilarating waltz through the history of movie musicals, celebrating the interplay between choreography and camera moves, and featuring such showbiz legends as Busby Berkeley, Fred Astaire, Shirley Temple, Bob Fosse, Eleanor Powell, Gene Kelly, Cyd Charisee and Baz Luhrmann.

Free all ages event.

Hong Kong Spirit Films

Framed around the Swedish sojourn (1904-1908) of Kang Youwei (Liu Kai Chi), who famously revived the Confucian utopia Datong: The Great Society, the film traces the struggle of Kang, his daughter Tung Pih (Lindzay Chan), and his disciple Liang Qichao (Ben Yeung) to modernize China’s imperial monarchy.

"Exciting, inventive, bold, post-modern!" Ann Hui, filmmaker

Vancity Theatre Screening

The power, intensity and drama of desert ultra-marathon racing fuels Jennifer Steinman’s emotionally charged documentary. Following a small group of very different runners competing the in the Four Desert series (the Atacama, the Gobi, the Sahara and Antarctica) the film draws us in to their lives, to understand what drives them to undertake such a grueling challenge.

Vancity Theatre Screening

Italian-born Massimo and Lella Vignelli are among the world’s most influential designers. Throughout their long career, their motto has been, ’If you can’t find it, design it.’ From graphics to interiors to products and corporate identities, the film brings us into the work and everyday moments of the Vignellis’ world, capturing their intelligence and creativity, as well as their humanity, warmth, and humor.

The Royal Opera House presents...

Kasper Holten, ROH Director of Opera, presents a mesmerizing new production of Mozart’s sublime tragicomedy. The impulsive and charismatic Don Giovanni travels through Europe seducing women, accompanied by his long-suffering servant Leporello. When he commits murder, he unleashes vengeance from beyond the grave.

(Du zhen)
Hong Kong Spirit Films

The French Connection meets The Wire in this exhilarating mainland China cop thriller from Hong Kong auteur Johnnie To. Faced with the death penalty, drug trafficker Timmy Choi reluctantly enters into a partnership with narcotics cop Zhang to break a rich and powerful crime syndicate.

Cinema Salon

A senior chef lives with his three grown daughters; the middle one finds her future plans affected by unexpected events and the life changes of the other household members. A foodie film classic selected by James Walt, executive chef at Whistler’s Araxi restaurant.

Vancity Theatre Screening

This affecting portrait of three generations of Cree women smacks of authenticity and truth. It’s a low-key movie about mother-daughter relationships and the way past mistakes have a way of cycling back round again no matter how hard you try to run away from them. 5 Canada Screen Awards Nominations: Best Film, Screenplay, Actress, Supporting Actress and Editing.

"Beautifully shot, newcomers Gee and Eyre are revelations, and the central theme of cultural pride is stirring and urgent." Glenn Sumi, Now Toronto

"Finely crafted… A trio of gorgeous performances from the three female leads…" Katherine Monk, Canada.com

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