Tag Archives: wiff09

2009 Women in Film Festival Recap

The 4th annual WIFF is over… the curtains are drawn… and Vancouver sits in a thin blanket of snow. It’s a great day to rest and recuperate.

I know I’m totally biased… but I think the WIFF is one of the best film festivals around. It’s not just the great films, it’s the networking/socializing, community-building, commraderie. That and just plain nice people attend the festival. The venue is great for hanging out in between screenings.

Some highlights (too many to mention!):

I mentioned The Baby Formula in my last post, which was quite fun. I also enjoyed Carl Bessai’s Mothers and Daughters. In it, six of Canada’s top actresses improvised their lines using only skeletons of stories to portray the interwoven lives of three mothers and daughters. What a gift to have Gabrielle Rose, Babz Chula, and Tantoo Cardinal all in one film.

This gem was a true collaborative creation. Instead of having a writer, it had six actors who worked with Carl to shape the narrative. They also used real places of business and real people to interact with while filming. It was quite the guerrilla operation, and apparently an editing nightmare because each take was different. They put it together beautifully, though, and the stellar acting is worth it alone.

The fascinating film The Girlfriend Experience directed by Ilianna Pietrobruno follows (in mocumentary style) a man obsessed with prostitutes. When he falls for one, his life behins to unravel. As one would imagine, his exploits destroy his relationship with his girlfriend. The actor David Lewis is totally convincing in this raw film Sexually graphic, in case you couldn’t guess.

Short films that caught my eye:

Liminal: Ina and Joy are naked and locked in a battle of elimination. Intense and theatrical. (I met the director, Stephen Mills, he was quite lovely and had come up from L.A.)

My Name is Pochsy – What a treat. Director (and cult comedienne) Karen Hines’ first film is getting critical acclaim. Totally original, dark and funny. Shot beautifully on Super 8. Basically, it’s a character sketch… but so much more.

Roast BeefWhat is it with the Quebecois? As filmmakers, they always come up with something off center. I would never say I’m a huge fan of “dance” films. They have to be something really original. This one takes place in a butcher shop… where a customer gets down and sexy to the tune of the meat being chopped and wrapped. So well done.

Another dance film, 30-Love (but you don’t even realize it’s a dance film… it’s a dance disguised as a tennis match), chronicles the demise of a long distance relationship. Quirky, just like the writer/director Alison Beda.

Bummed I missed: 50 Dead Men Walking by writer / director Kari Skogland. I was volunteering that night and missed the opening, and I didn’t want to go in late. I heard from the audience that it was excellent, so I’ll put it on my list.


Filed under do something different, film biz, industry poop

Day Two Women in Film Festival

I had the romantic notion that I would live-blog some of the events at the Fourth Annual Women In Film Festival, but I’ve been too busy!

Yesterday was the festival’s first New Media Day and I was one of the principle organizers. (Here’s a tip if you’re ever organizing an event… don’t put yourself as the moderator on the first panel of the morning! Leave that to someone with a fresh brain.)

The Media Day included four panel discussions, an interactive exhibit, application demos, and a networking party with free beer from Molsens. Yay free beer! We had a social media team who actually DID live blog and tweet the event, so if you want to hear more… check out these links from:


hummingbird604 – twitter feed on monetization panel
hummingbird604 – ” ” social media how to
humingbird604 – ” ” getting your feet wired

Monica Hamburg’s Me Like the Interweb

Gillian Shaw, Vancouver Sun tech-blogger

As well as our NMD BLOG

After New Media day was over, and we were all buzzed, we transitioned into the opening night’s film, the Vancouver premiere of The Baby Formula, a mocumentary about a lesbian couple who, through an experimental scientific process, make sperm from their own stem cells and get pregnant with each others’ babies.

Although a few supporting characters bordered on cliche, the great performances, dialogue, and direction made them work. It’s a really fun film. I laughed, I cried. And the crazy part is that the actresses were actually pregnant  during the filming… one of them had their water break on set.

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Filed under do something different, film biz, industry poop, new media