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The Victoria Independent Film & Video Festival Highligths

The Victoria Independent Film & Video Festival has announced its largest lineup to date for its 10-day celebration of film, January 27-February 5, 2006.


"Hold on to your hats, forget about going down south – the blast of fresh air will be coming from the Vic Independent this year as we launch our most eclectic and unique program yet" announces Festival Director Kathy Kay.


With the Festival’s strong focus on Canadian film, the Gala Screening this year is Rhombus Media’s quirky new Mozart tribute, Mozartballs. Director Larry Weinstein, who graced us with last year’s Beethoven’s Hair, will be in town for the world premiere and to cut the cake in celebration of Mozart’s 250th birthday. Barbara Willis Sweete’s dance film The Tale of the Magic Flute will round out the evening’s musical theme.


The Festival’s award-winning Tribute Event guest this year is Beverly D’Angelo, whose career includes roles in 54 films and over 40 television programs. She became a star in her role as Patsy Cline in A Coal Miner’s Daughter, but she’s well known as Chevy Chase’s comic foil in four of the National Lampoon movies, and unforgettably in her role as the fatal widowed mother of Ed Norton in American History X. D'Angelo is a versatile actress, who has mastered both drama and comedy and worked with some of today's most notable directors. This promises to be a very entertaining event as she dishes out great anecdotes about her life and experiences in Hollywood and beyond.


On the pop doc front, the festival will host the Canadian premiere of F*ck, an immensely entertaining and fascinating exploration of one of the most controversial words in the English language. It’s a lively debate, a social satire and a state of the union address with contributions from an impressive roster of celebs including Alanis Morissette, Bill Maher and Hunter S. Thompson. Producer/Director Steve Anderson will be in attendance.


From China,Loach is Fish Too by Yang Ya-zhou, is making its North American premiere at the Festival. This film deftly fuses an evocative love story with a powerful portrayal of the tough lives of workers in China. It is the first ever film to highlight the plight of the poor in China be released with the approval of the Chinese government. Beautifully filmed in The Forbidden City, it stars one of China’s great female leads, Ni Ping. The Beijing producer of the film, Nan Guangcheng, will be our guest at the Festival.


Barbara Hager’s new documentary From Bella Coola to Berlin tells the story of two remarkable journeys to Berlin by the Nuxalk people of Bella Coola. In 1985, nine aboriginals traveled to Berlin to perform traditional dance and songs in 22 German cities. This documentary re-traces the journey geographically and in conversations with those who watched and studied the magical performances. Made locally, this important film is making its world debut at the Festival.


This year’s ViFPA screening is the award winning May Street Group’s, Checklist: A Measure of Evil. It's examines the controversial checklist of the characteristics that define a psychopath, providing an insight into the questions everyone wants answered (and never are) when a heinous crime is committed. This film is sure to create an equal measure of dialogue and reflection. The screening will be followed by a panel discussion.




Loretta’s Picks launches its inaugural year with a rich 2-night program of aboriginal work, curated by Loretta SarahTodd. The controversial archived classic, The Silent Enemy (1930), will lead the series accompanied by a live performance of First Nations original music by acclaimed First Nations composer Russell Wallace.


Interactive Futures: Audio Visions returns with special guest, Greg Hermanovic, two-time Academy Award winning software designer and much more! As curator Steve
Gibson exclaims “IF 06 will stimulate all your senses and immerse you in a world of technologically-inspired art. It’s hallucinogenic, interactive, ecstatic, robotic, organic & not afraid of the future!”


The Film Forum events once again include master classes, workshops and panels covering a wide range of topics for the beginner or the seasoned filmmaker. Guests include screenwriters Dan Redican (Puppets Who Kill) and Steve Oedekerk (of Bruce Almighty and Ace Ventura fame).


For the second year the Festival is running a co-production conference, Trigger Points Pacific, an industry initiative hosted by Pat Ferns (Ferns Productions) and Sheena Macdonald (Rhombus Media). The conference will run parallel to the festival and bring together important industry players and Canadian producers to pitch their work and discuss co-production possibilities.


The Vic Independent showcases the best of independent cinema from around the world and from across Canada in 5 venues over the span of 10 days. The Festival showcases more than 70 Canadian features and boasts an extensive shorts program. It is a must-attend for any cinephile.


Film tickets and passes to all events are on sale online at www.vifvf.com or at the Festival Box Office at 808 View Street or tel. 250.389-0444 to charge by phone. Visit www.vifvf.com for full festival details, schedules and event listings. Program guides are available online, at the office and at all Greater Victoria Public library location.


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Chatelin Bruno
(Filmfestivals.com)

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