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Each fall, 140,000 viewers come together for 350 movies—that’s a lot of popcorn. The fest fetes global film, but it also strives to publicize the best of our indigenous industry. Here, highlights in this year’s inaugural B.C. Spotlight
Vic Sarin (Partition) travels to Rio, Manila, and elsewhere to document a subtle spin on racism: how we treat others based on shades of skin colour. He made Hue to explain to his kids how his Indian heritage has occasioned a lifetime’s diffidence but gives no neat answers, offering instead a heartening, personal celebration of beauty in all its diversity.
This would be exasperating if it weren’t for Katharine Isabelle and Ben Cotton as Charlotte and Ben, a winsome Gastown couple skating over deep pain. The premise-that Charlotte is organizing a retrospective for her filmmaker father-barely works (the films-within-the-film are odd at best), but writer-director Terry Miles coaches luminous performances from the pair and their surrounding city.
Actor Ben Ratner’s moving eulogy to Vancouver theatre legend Babz Chula is so heartfelt that it almost suffocates. Thankfully, it stops short as larger-than-life Pearl (a wonderfully composed Helen Shaver) shepherds three wayward neighbours (notably, Continuum ’s Jennifer Spence) toward lives of fearless acceptance of the now.
Adaptation of playwright Morris Panych’s edgy comedy about an optimistic fellow whose life collapses after he meets the seemingly mild-mannered “hollow man,” menacingly played by co-writer Daniel Arnold.
L&H TRAILER HD.
The meet-cute device gonorrhea guides this rom-com that’s equal parts It’s a Wonderful Life and Harold & Kumar—the latter thanks to John Cho’s goofy scenes as a rapacious new age developer. Sex, real estate, and protestors—what could be more Vancouver?
The Vancouver Film Festival runs Sept. 26 to Oct. 11, 2013
For more showtimes and details, visit: Viff.org