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Black Ice film image, director Hubert Davis

Ignite: High School Program

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Image: Black Ice, VIFF 2022

Each year, VIFF welcomes hundreds of secondary students to experience exceptional international cinema at the festival. From stories of Indigenous activism to films that capture historic events as they’re unfolding, great world cinema challenges our perspectives, promotes inquiry, develops critical thinking skills, and ignites imaginations.

Be they set in the Philippines, Angola, Canada, or light years away on Mars, this year’s selected films present stories that connect youth with powerful forces and experiences shaping our contemporary world and identities.

In-Person and Online
Screenings

All Ignite films will be screened in-cinema at Cineplex Odeon International Village with select titles also available to stream online on VIFF Connect.

Exclusive Dialogue with Filmmakers and Subject Experts

After most Ignite screenings, there will be a live Q&A with filmmakers or subject experts connected to the film, where students have the opportunity to ask questions about careers in filmmaking, what inspired them to tell this story, how the film was really made, and more.

Educational Film Resources & Curriculum Ties

Ignite films offer bold approaches to pressing social and environmental concerns and personal journeys, offering thought-provoking connections to subjects across the BC curriculum. Prior to the screenings, teachers will receive film resource guides. Written with the curriculum in mind, these guides are designed to open up in-depth exploration and facilitate discussion that connects the cinema and the classroom.

Films at a Glance

Black Ice and Unarchived are eye-opening documentaries that cast a critical lens on systemic inequality. They explore the untold histories of black hockey in Canada and the important histories that are often untold in BC.

Nayola and Leonor Will Never Die offer compelling and innovative approaches to storytelling and cinema. They show the power of creative animation, and the refreshing potential of filmmaking that breaks free from conventions.

Rosie and Moja Vesna explore personal and universal experiences of identity, family, belonging, and connection. Rosie is a funny, bilingual film about finding family set in Montreal in the 1980s, and Moja Vesna is a poignant, poetic story of a Slovenian-Australian family finding a new way forward.

Rebellion and The Klabona Keepers are timely, nuanced films that shed light on environmental issues and movements on two fronts: the phenomenon of the Extinction Rebellion movement that crowded the streets of London, and the barricades of the Tahltan nation’s land defenders at the Klabona Headwaters here in BC.

Reel Youth Film Festival offers a special collection of emotional, funny, surprising and truly inspiring short films from young filmmakers under 19 from around the world. And Good Night Oppy takes us on the incredible journey of the Mars rover that showed us far more about Mars, and ourselves here on Earth, than anyone could have imagined.

 

Check out the full film list

How to Book

Ignite screenings are free for school groups to attend. To book, submit your request with the online form below. Our Ignite team will respond to confirm availability and complete your booking. Note: capacity for all films is limited

 

Questions? Contact our Ignite team at [email protected]

Ignite 2022 Films

Presented by

Black Ice film image, director Hubert Davis

Black Ice

In-cinema only

Black Ice offers a sweeping look at the systematic racism in Canadian hockey culture. Directed by Oscar-nominated African-Canadian filmmaker Hubert Davis, this engrossing film explores the significance of the Coloured Hockey League during times of segregation in Canada, alongside personal stories today of Black hockey players dealing with racism from fans, coaches, and other hockey players. Ultimately, a new generation of Black coaches and players reminds us of a more humane way the game can be played.

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Good Night Oppy film image, director Ryan White

Good Night Oppy

In-cinema only

In 2003, NASA sent the rover Opportunity on a mission to Mars. Intended to analyze soil samples and expected to have a lifespan of only 90 days…the rover lived for 15 years. Incredibly, Oppy the rover continued to share vital reports from the Red Planet it now called home. Reassembling key scientists involved with Oppy’s mission and exhuming incredible archival footage, this film celebrates an extraordinary robot’s ability to expand our understanding of space and bring out the best in its human colleagues.

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The Klabona Keepers film image, co-directors Tamo Campos and Jasper Snow-Rosen

The Klabona Keepers

In-cinema and on VIFF Connect

The Klabona Keepers is a fierce, hopeful account of the Tahltan Nation’s struggle to protect the Klabona Sacred Headwaters, an important natural habitat in northwest British Columbia, from commercial mining. Interspersing verité cinematography with intimate interviews, the film documents the tactics used by the land defenders. As blockades are met with arrests by police, the trauma of residential schools and forced relocations are recollected as part of the ongoing healing and resistance to colonialism.

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Leonor Will Never Die film image, director Martika Ramirez Escobar

Leonor Will Never Die

In-cinema only

Once-famous action filmmaker Leonor spends her old age in her apartment, daydreaming about her movies. A freak accident puts her in a coma and she magically wakes up in one of her own unfinished screenplays. Colourful, funny, packed with thrills and B-movie nostalgia, writer-director Martika Ramirez Escobar’s debut feature is an homage to the power of stories, the enduring force of grief, and a tender love letter to filmmaking itself. 2022 winner of the Special Jury Prize for Innovative Spirit at Sundance.

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Moja Vesna film image, director Sara Kern

Moja Vesna

In-cinema only

After the sudden loss of her mother, 10-year-old Moja is determined to pick up the pieces for her mourning family. Caring for her willful, pregnant older sister and their grieving father who barely speaks English, she takes on the role of stabilizing presence and cultural mediator in preparation for the new baby on the way. Evocative use of interior spaces, set design, and camerawork show how cinema can explore stories of some of life’s most difficult experiences in poignant and deeply moving ways.

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Nayola film image, director José Miguel Ribeiro

Nayola

In-cinema only

Dreams, reality, myth, past, and present fluidly intertwine in this stunning, mesmerizing animated feature. During the Angolan civil war, Nayola scours combat zones and treks through perilous terrain in search of her missing husband. Sixteen years later, her bereaved daughter Yara—now a politically censored rap artist, striving for social change—is on the run from the police, lying low at her grandmother’s house. One night, an encounter with a masked intruder brings the scars of the past into stark relief.

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Rebellion film image, directors Elena Sánchez Bellot and Maia Kenworthy

Rebellion

In-cinema and on VIFF Connect

In 2018 former organic farmer Roger Hallam decided it was time to make a nuisance of himself and co-founded Extinction Rebellion. Their mission: peaceful protest with maximum disruption to the UK economy. First-time filmmakers Maia Kenworthy and Elena Sánchez Bellot were there in the room before anyone knew what this environmental movement would grow to become. This candid observational doc charts the inspiring impact that direct action can have, as well as the stresses and strains within the movement.

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Reel Youth Film Festival shorts program image

Reel Youth Film Festival

In-cinema and on VIFF Connect

The Reel Youth Film Festival is a diverse collection of short films made by emerging filmmakers around the world. Chosen by an international youth jury from 1300+ submissions and 100 countries. Whether it is a writer fishing for her next idea, a Māori boy grieving his father’s absence, or a hilarious young Black man expressing frustration with pandemic lockdown, the Reel Youth Film Festival will show you the world through the eyes of its talented youth.
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Rosie film image, director Gail Maurice

Rosie

In-cinema only

A heart-warming film about family, love, and misfits. Rosie is a orphaned, Indigenous girl who is forced to live with her reluctant, street-smart, Francophone Aunty Fred. Rosie is thrust into the fringes of 1980s Montréal into the care of Fred and her two glamourous, gender-bending best friends, Flo and Mo. In the end, Rosie transforms the lives of these colourful characters and together they find love, acceptance, and a true home with her in a new chosen family of glittering outsiders.

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Unarchived film image, co-directors Hayley Gray and Elad Tzadok

Unarchived

In-cinema and on VIFF Connect

Whose histories are told in the museums of British Columbia, and whose are never seen? Today, we are in the midst of a paradigm shift towards exploring history from multiple viewpoints. We hear from curators and archivists across BC from groups traditionally marginalized or excluded: Indigenous, Queer, Trans, the Chinese Canadian Museum, the Tahltan Nation, the South Asian Legacy Project, and others. Along the way, we learn the secret, neglected, and untold histories of this place we only think we know.

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Booking Request Form

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Ignite Archive

Check out our previous Ignite programs: