It’s perhaps too wintery to qualify as Edenic, but Sam (Charles Brooks) and Cora (Alysa Touati) have seemingly carved out a largely idyllic existence for themselves in a cabin in the hills of Gatineau. However, the tree-planter/taxidermist and server/poet find their routine disrupted when they’re visited by Nadia (Marie-Marguerite Sabongui), one of Sam’s dearest friends. When she asks Sam to be her sperm donor, Cora initially gives her blessing but soon grows apprehensive about the arrangement. Despite efforts to maintain free-spirited airs (there’s a mushroom-fuelled field trip), Cora wrestles with the realization that perhaps she’s not as open-minded as she thought.

Employing the trappings of the chamber drama and appointing their film with evocative domestic details, co-creators Emily Gan and Daniel Schachter astutely examine the complexities of both romantic partnership and prospective parenthood. While subdued in tone, the film boasts passages of poetry that resonate courtesy of the acuity of their insights and exchanges that serve to remind us that relationships need to evolve if they’re to survive.


Includes an interview with Directors: Emily Gan and Daniel Schachter

World premiere
Director Icon Director
Emily Gan, Daniel Schachter

Alysa Touati, Charles Brooks, Marie-Marguerite Sabongui
Producer Emily Gan, Daniel Schachter
Screenwriter Emily Gan, Daniel Schachter
Cinematographer Nathalie Moliavko-Visotzky
Editor Emily Gan, Daniel Schachter, Jared Curtis, Geoff Klein
Music Michael Feuerstack
Source Emily Gan
Canada 2020 79 min. English, French Director's Website | Trailer


Please note that VIFF 2020 online films can be viewed in British Columbia only.

Gan, Emily headshot

Director – Emily Gan

Emily Gan is a photographer, filmmaker and yoga teacher from Montreal. Cavebirds, her debut documentary feature, garnered her the Emerging Filmmaker Prize at Hot Docs 2019. Pink Lake is her first feature-length fiction film; she co-directed with her husband Daniel Schachter.

Schachter, Daniel headshot

Director – Daniel Schachter

Daniel Schachter is a songwriter and filmmaker from Montreal. His short films have won prizes at film festivals and been broadcast on TV. He releases albums under his first and middle names, Daniel Isaiah.