Set in the fringes of 1980s Montréal, Rosie is an open-hearted love letter to misfits and an ode to found families. Orphaned and alone, Rosie (Keris Hope Hill), a precocious English-speaking Indigenous girl, is unceremoniously deposited at the doorstep of her Francophone Aunty Fred (Mélanie Bray) by child services. A foul-mouthed, underemployed outsider artist, Fred is facing eviction and not exactly in the market for added responsibility. However, she’s powerless to resist Rosie’s practically paranormal positivity as the girl sees the upside of sleeping in a scrapyard and warmly embraces Fred’s street-working non-binary best friends (Constant Bernard and Alex Trahan). Much like Fred creates art from other’s trash, this band of sequined outsiders finds beauty and magic amidst their trying circumstances.
Drawing from her lived experience as a queer Cree/Métis woman, Gail Maurice brings a singular sensibility to her first feature. Her film’s buoyant charm and humour only make its passionate appeal for acceptance all the more persuasive. We’d all do well to take a page from Rosie.
Q&A Oct 2 & Oct 4
Mélanie Bray, Keris Hope Hill, Constant Bernard, Alex Trahan, Josée Young, Jocelyne Zucco, Arlen Aguayo Stewart
In English, French, and Cree with English subtitles
Open to youth!
Missing VIFF? Check out what’s playing at the VIFF Centre
Palawan appears to be an idyllic tropical island. Its powder-white beaches and lush forests have made it one of Asia’s hottest new tourist destinations. But for a tiny network of environmental crusaders and vigilantes trying to protect its spectacular natural resources, it is more akin to a battlefield.
Black History Month: Short Film Showcase
The four short films in this program range from humorous dark comedy to sombre drama. These films explore existential crises, beauty standards and daring ambitions in the lives of the protagonists.
The Klabona Keepers + ReWilding the Classroom
The Klabona Keepers is fierce account of the Tahltan Nation’s struggle to protect the Klabona Sacred Headwaters, an important natural habitat in northwest British Columbia, from commercial mining. ReWilding the Classroom educates viewers about the Youth Leadership in Sustainability initiative (YLS), a one-semester program that integrates curricular activities with the environment.
Gail Maurice, Jamie Manning
Gail Maurice is a Cree/Michif-speaking actor and an award-winning independent filmmaker. She is a recipient of the Hnatyshyn Foundation Indigenous Award for Excellence in the Arts, the Chalmers Arts Fellowship, and was selected for the 2020 Netflix-Banff Diversity of Voices Initiative. Her films have screened at Sundance, the Smithsonian Institute, ImagineNATIVE, and have also aired on CBC, APTN, and Air Canada’s Enroute. Rosie, her feature debut, was supported by ImagineNATIVE’s inaugural screenwriting lab.