A provocative new drama by Margarethe von Trotta, two major homegrown film projects, a new screening venue and some special events were among highlights announced Tuesday night at The Oyster in advance of this year’s Victoria Film Festival.
Dozens of cinephiles, sponsors and special guests, including filmmakers Mike Hanus and Jonathan Holiff, packed the Humboldt Street seafood bar for a sneak peek at this year’s lineup, found in program guides that hits the streets today.
The B.C. première of Hannah Arendt, von Trotta’s drama starring Barbara Sukowa as the influential philosopher and political theorist, will be the opening gala presentation Feb. 1 at Empire Capitol 6, festival director Kathy Kay announced.
The festival runs Feb. 1-10.
Jackhammer, Hanus’s zany, Zoolander-inspired comedy in which he also stars as the eccentric and narcissistic male stripper of the title, will make its world première Feb. 2 as the Canadian opening-gala presentation.
The low-budget comedy, rolled out with support from Telefilm and made in Victoria over two years, also features Pamela Anderson, Nicole Sullivan (Mad TV), Robb Wells (Trailer Park Boys) and Jamie Kennedy.
Also hotly anticipated is My Father and the Man in Black, Holiff’s labour of love combining rare archival material with stylized re-enactments to document the complex relationship between his late father Saul Holiff and Johnny Cash, whom he managed for 13 years.
The film will be complemented by I’ve Been Everywhere: Stories From the Road, an exhibition at the Bay Centre showcasing part of a treasure trove of Cash memorabilia Holiff unearthed, as well as memorabilia and road stories from local musicians.
New events include Sips ’n’ Cinema, featuring whisky instead of wine at the Argyle Attic, paired with a screening of No — a Cannes festival winner featuring Gael Garcia Bernal as a Chilean ad man who helped topple dictator Augusto Pinochet — and a new program of lunchtime shorts at the Vic, replacing Cineplex Odeon as the festival’s second main venue.
Other screening highlights include Still, Michael McGowan’s new film starring James Cromwell and Geneviève Bujold as a couple facing challenges in their twilight years; The Occupation, a documentary about the birth of the Occupy Vancouver movement; Detroit Unleaded, Rola Nashef’s comedy-drama about a Lebanese-American youth forced to take over his late father’s gas station; Wonder Women!, Kristy Guevera-Flanagan’s documentary on overlooked female American superheroes; and Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel, a documentary homage to the late fashion guru.
As part of VFF’s Find a Film! contest, guests searched for evidence of festival favourites in the restaurant, and browsed the new program guide highlighted by a cover that pays cinematic homage to the Johnson Street bridge.
Three participants at the event hosted by CTV’s Adam Sawatsky won a “festival survival kit,” including five tickets, a festival T-shirt and other perks.
Adam Harris, co-director of Gulf Islands Film and Television School, announced winners of FilmCAN, the festival’s annual student filmmaking competition.
Nate Wynans, a Grade 10 student at Alberni District Secondary School, was the senior category winner for Slashes, his ambitious short about the effects of logging, construction and winter on freeride mountain biking.
Junior category winner was Sebastian Niedziela, a Grade 5 student at Saltspring Island’s Phoenix School, for Creation, his animated short on the Olympian creation myth.
Both will receive tuition to any GIFTS spring break week-long media intensive program. Wynans also received Adobe Premiere Pro CS6 software.
Times Colonist readers also have an opportunity to win one of 10 double passes to pre-festival screenings of the acclaimed docudrama The Imposter at the Vic this weekend, and one film festival gold pass valued at $250.
Passes will appear in select festival guides included in Thursday’s Times Colonist.
Giveway: On Jan. 10, check out the Times Colonist home-delivered paper for your copy of the 2013 Victoria Film Festival Program Guide. Ten lucky winners will receive tickets to the upcoming screening of The Imposter, showing January 1-10th, 2013. One very special reader will win a Gold Pass to the 19th Annual Festival, valued at $250. This exclusive pass will offer the holder entry to all regular film screenings, the Opening Gala, End of Festival Bash and Springboard. Walk the pink carpet in style with the ultimate Festival experience.
These winnings will be within the VFF Programs, that will be in our paper only on January 10th.
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