5th Annual Women in Film Festival Comes to VanCity Theatre

 As proven by Kathryn Bigelow’s Academy Award for Best Director on March 7th, women thrive in front of and behind the camera. From Saturday, April 17 to Sunday, April 18, 2010, Women In Film & Television Vancouver (WIFTV) is celebrating these accomplishments at the 5th Annual Women in Film Festival at the Vancity Theatre.  This weekend features short documentaries, animation, drama, comedy and one feature film from 35 first time and veteran female filmmakers from around the world. Also included is the presentation of two major filmmaker awards, pitching sessions, free filmmaker panels, an exhibition showcasing local media companies, and a networking lunch with industry presentations.

The Women in Film Festival features strong female characters and stories in films crafted by women in writing, producing, directing, lead acting, or editing roles. Excited to open and attend the 2010 festival is seasoned Vancouver director Penelope Buitenhuis, who will present her acclaimed feature film A Wake. This poignant mystery, acted entirely on improvisation, stars Nicholas Campbell (DaVinci’s Inquest), Sarain Boylan, who appeared in last year’s opening film The Baby Formula, and Kristopher Turner from Instant Star.

Our 11 first time directors, part of the “Female First” showcase, adeptly tackle a range of subjects and stories from the comedic to deeply touching, including Grandma from Norway. The “A Serious Woman” showcase presents a number of international films including The Shoemaker, Easy Made Hard and White As The Driven Snow that address traditionally male subjects such as war and conflict, but are adeptly retold through the eyes of female directors. Films such as Grand Dame, starring gender-bending actor Greg Malone, and The Delivery, from Seattle WIFTV member Virginia Bogert, entertain with their eclectic perspectives during the “Cherchez La Femme” showcase. Finally, in the “Reel Women; Reel Life” documentary showcase, filmmakers explore controversial subjects such as the Downtown East Side in Pigeon Park Savings, and the environment in Echo Bay.

Film festival delegates will be able to pitch their projects directly to Sean Cossey (Casting Director), Tyman Stewart (Characters Talent Agency), Murray Battle (Knowledge), John Dippong (Telefilm), Robert Hardy (CTV Western Production), and Stacey Landers and Liam Cripps (Papery Films) on Saturday, April 17th.  Open to the public are two free filmmaker panels. On Saturday, “The Year of Women in Movies?” will be presented by WIFTV sister organization Women in View, which will invite top film professionals to reveal their recipe for making Canada's media culture more gender inclusive. On Sunday, “A Film and Television Industry Market Update; Facing the Hard Facts” will be moderated by award-winning Women in the Directors Chair producer Carol Whiteman, sponsored by Creative Women Workshops Association through the support of CTVglobemedia-CHUM Benefit.

Presented on Saturday, April 17 (Opening Night) are the Legacy Awards, $3000 in cash (presented by Deboragh Gabler, CEO/Producer at Legacy Filmworks) for outstanding achievement in film, the WIDC Feature Film Award, a $100,000 in kind award, administered by Creative Women Workshops Association designed to encourage more feature films directed by women in BC.

The festival is open to the general public all weekend. It runs from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturday, April 17 and features the opening reception at 7 p.m. On Sunday, April 18 the festival runs from 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

For event information, tickets, or inquiries about the festival, please visit www.womeninfilm.ca/Wiff_2010.html

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