February Film Festival Picks

Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival

If it weren’t for filmmakers like these, very few of us would have ever rappelled down a Himalayan cliff, paraglided over Saharan sand dunes, or even whitewater rafted in the B.C. interior. Now in its 16th year, the Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival continues to celebrate incredible feats of humanity and the stunning videography that they inevitably produce. In the Banff Festival Grand Prize Winner Crossing the Ice (Feb. 15), two inexperienced Australians embark on a trek to the South Pole that puts them to the most extreme physical and emotional test. Far beyond an adventure film, this is raw, personal drama at its finest. Ultimate natural beauty plays the starring role in Autana (Feb. 8), featuring British climbing guru Leo Houlding as he heads deep into the Venezuelan Amazon to conquer a remote tepui (table top mountain). Among the guest speakers, the standout is 26-year-old Nina Caprez—the first woman to ascend “Silbergeier,” dubbed one of the toughest multipatch climbs in the world (Feb. 13). Her film Silbergeier shows on February 15. Vimff.org


Gritty City: Vancouver in the ‘60s

Coast Modern is the film on West Coast modernist architecture. By exploring the genre from Los Angeles to Vancouver, it provides a glimpse into the art within which we live (for those so lucky, anyway). On February 12, the Vancouver Heritage Foundation will screen the film as the second installment of their “Gritty City” series. Both filmmakers, Gavin Froome and Mike Bernard, will be in attendance for a post-film Q&A. The final part of the series takes place on February 26, with the screening of two half-hour shorts from the CBC archives: West End ‘66 and A City Story: Vancouver. Both films, produced in 1966 and 1967 respectively, present Vancouver in a funky, grainy, and—what else—gritty fashion. Vancouverheritagefoundation.org

Crazy 8s

Crazy 8s continues to both inspire and showcase BC’s young filmmaking talent, helping to launch careers since 2000. It works like this: over one hundred aspiring filmmakers pitch their ideas, but only six are chosen and given the resources – access to industry wisdom, professional story editing, a dream production package, and $1000 – to shoot and edit their films. The catch: they’ve got only eight days to do it. On February 23 at the Centre for Performing Arts, filmmaker/journalist (and notorious VanMag contributor) Ken Hegan will host the screening gala, with an after-party at the Vancouver Art Gallery featuring DJs, live music, and (naturally?), a shadow puppet troupe. Crazy8s.cc