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The Grizzlie Truth film image, director Kathleen S. Jayme

The Grizzlie Truth

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World Premiere

Having successfully tracked down NBA enigma Bryant Reeves in 2018’s festival hit Finding Big Country, director Kathleen S. Jayme now investigates a sprawling true sports crime: who’s responsible for robbing us of the Vancouver Grizzlies?

In revisiting the short history of the bad luck bears who racked up all the wrong kinds of records (see that 23-game losing streak in the 1995-1996 season), Jayme’s documentary doubles as a testament to the enduring passion of true teal blue fans. It’s this passion that fuels a dogged odyssey that finds Jayme infiltrating corridors of power at the NBA’s head offices and knocking on doors as she connects the dots and reconnects with the heroes and villains of Grizzlies lore, including former players like Shareef Abdur-Rahim and Mike Bibby, and the team’s architect, Stu Jackson.

The level of access is astonishing—there are “gets” that we don’t dare reveal—and so too is the candour of the interviewees. What emerges is a rousing story about the irrational fervour of fandom and sport’s unique ability to create identity, strengthen family ties, and forge community.


 Q&A Oct 1 & Oct 5


Vancouver Grizzlies reunion

The world premiere of The Grizzlie Truth on Saturday, Oct. 1 will mark the first Vancouver Grizzlies reunion in 20 years with former players Antonio Harvey, George Lynch, and Tony Massenburg and Steve Francis in attendance at The Centre of Performing Arts, joined by the original Vancouver Grizzlies Extreme Dance team, Super Grizz mascot, and PA announcer Al Murdoch!

The Grizz family reunion continues after the screening, from 5pm at the VIFF Plaza (šxʷƛ̓exən Xwtl’a7shn located outside Queen Elizabeth Theatre), with the chance for autographs with the former Grizzlies, photo opps, and entertainment programmed by Basketball BC.


Presented by



Media Partner


Kathleen S. Jayme, Shareef Abdur Rahim, Stu Jackson, Mike Bibby, Bryant Reeves, Shawn Kemp

Country of Origin






Film Contact
Content Warning

Coarse language


Open to youth!

97 min
Documentary Women Directors

Book Tickets

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Executive Producer

Vinay Virmani, Scott Moore, Mark Slone, Kathleen S. Jayme


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Kathleen S. Jayme headshot, The Grizzlie Truth director

Kathleen S. Jayme

Kathleen S. Jayme is an award-winning Filipina-Canadian filmmaker based in Vancouver, BC who is passionate about telling meaningful and personal stories. Her documentary Finding Big Country was the winner of the 2018 VIFF People’s Choice Award and the #MustSeeBC Award, and has been programmed by Telus, ESPN, ABC, Amazon, Rogers Sportsnet, NBA TV, and Air Canada. Jayme has since gone on to direct for the CBC, NBA, ESPN, and Crave.