Win Passes to “Hit ‘n Strum” [Vancouver]

Hit 'n Strum Still

Kirk Caouette’s Hit ‘n Strum is almost a one man show. The former stunt actor left behind a life of setting himself on fire and jumping in front of cars for other people in order to do it for himself and the result is very positive.

Couette wrote, directed, composed and stars in the movie as Mike, a busker living on Vancouver’s notorious Downtown Eastside. Stephanie (Michelle Harrison), a young career woman, hit Mike and takes off just as he’s getting up and when she sees Mike again the following day playing outside her officer, she stops and listens. This marks the beginning of an unlikely friendship between Mike and Stephanie.

Hit ‘n Strum open on Friday, March 8th at the Fifth Avenue Cinema and we’ve got an opportunity for you to win double passes to see the movie during its run next week. To enter, simply tweet the following:

@hitnstrum at Fifth Avenue Cinemas in #Vancouver! Inspiring local film with amazing soundtrack.

The good folks with the movie’s promo team will contact winner directly via twitter.

You can listen to some of the movie’s soundtrack, which is quite good, here while the movie’s trailer is tucked under the seats.

Would you like to know more…?

Looking ahead to DOXA 2012

Burqa

As HotDocs takes over Toronto for a few days, Vancouver’s very own documentary film festival DOXA will open its doors to nearly two weeks of fantastic documentaries starting May 4th.

The festival always presents a great assortment of titles and this year’s event, which will screen films throughout the city, has on offer a variety of titles appealing to a wide range of audiences and a number of world premieres to boot. Among some of the most exciting titles are Michael Bernard and Gavin Froome’s mid-length Coast Modern (trailer) which delves into the best examples of modernist architecture from Vancouver to San Francisco, Vanishing Point (trailer), a fascinating look at two northern communities and the elder who finds herself straddling her traditional life in Northwest Greenland and the Inuit community which has embraced changes that have had a great impact on their way of life and among a few other premieres is Brishkay Ahmed’s debut Story of Burqa: Case of a Confused Afghan (trailer), a look at the history of the Burqa and its importance in today’s world.

Other titles I’m particularly interested in checking out include General Orders No. 9, the trailer for which I’ve gushed about in the past, Catherine Scott’s Scarlet Road (trailer) about Rachel an advocate for the legalization of the sex trade, a graduate student and a sex trade worker whose large client base is in the disabled community and a number of the shorts programs, most notably “In the Third Place” which rounds up a number of interesting titles including the classic Heavy Metal Parking Lot.

Loads more titles, along with screening schedule and ticket information, can be found at DOXA.

Game of Thrones + Vancity Theatre + Free = WIN

Own the Throne

Winter is coming. We’ve heard this quite a bit over the last few months and with the release of “Game of Thrones” on DVD and Blu-ray earlier this week and the premiere of season two only a few weeks away (clear your calendar for April 1st), winter isn’t slowly creeping on us but coming at full speed and in full force.

So while some of us power through book two and try to squeeze out time to re-watch season one, the Vancity Theatre has taken it upon themselves to up the ante. On Friday, March 23th, the theatre will open it’s doors at 8AM and for the next 10 hours, will set about screening the entire first season with the season finale airing at 6PM. All of this, at zero cost.

If having the opportunity to check out the show on the big screen for free isn’t enough, the day will have some additional bonuses like contests, photo opportunities with the Iron Throne (eek!) and costumed characters from the show. Seriously. Double win!

More details on the event’s Facebook page and at Movie Central.

I am serisouly considering taking the day off.

“Enter the Void” & “Trigger” finally arrive! [Vancouver]

After what seems a year of waiting (it’s actually been nearly 2 years), Gaspar Noe’s acclaimed Enter the Void (review) is finally coming to Vancouver.

The Vancity Theatre has announced its line-up for December and among the titles listed for a limited engagement is Noe’s film which is screening between December 10th and 16th at 8:10PM nightly. Yes, I’ve already scheduled my night – there’s no way on this earth I’m going to miss this screening.

As if Noe’s film wasn’t good enough, one of the other much anticipated titles gracing the local screen is Bruce McDonald’s Trigger (review) which played TIFF earlier in the year and is scheduled to play the Whistler Film Festival. This is most timely as McDonald has three films screening at WFF (including the world premiere of Hard Core Logo 2) and it looked unlikely I’d get a chance to see both of these so it’s nice to know that if I miss it at Whistler, I’ll have a chance to catch up with it a few days later.

Another title worth mentioning is Carlos Saura’s I, Don Giovanni which made the festival rounds in 2009 but never played Vancouver. I’m a fan of Saura’s and am looking forward to catching up with the gorgeous looking film on the big screen.

This is your queue. If you’re in town, head over to the Vancity Theatre website and secure yourself a few tickets or you’ll be kicking yourself when you show up to see Enter the Void and find that it’s sold out; it’s happened to me in the past and considering the buzz around this film, it’s may happen to you. Better safe than sorry!

Starts today! Vancouver Short Film Festival

VFSSVancouver’s winter festival run continues with the Vancouver Short Film Festival which kicks off this afternoon and wraps up its programming tomorrow night. The festival, in its fifth year and featuring many up-and-coming local filmmakers, keeps growing as this year’s program includes 45 short films, a panel, an international screening and a retrospective of the best short films from the festival’s history.

The festival kicks off at 2:45PM with a free screening being co-presented by the NFB and their “Get Animated” program (check out our previous announcement) and is followed up tonight at 7PM by the “Emerging Filmmakers” screening which showcases some of the best short films from BC’s post-secondary students.

Of the festival’s festivities, I’m most excited to check out the “Professional Filmmakers” event tomorrow night which includes 2009 Hot Shot Shorts Contest winner Everything’s Coming Up Rosie and Mark Sawers’ photographic comedy Exposed which stars two of my favourite local actors Gabrielle Rose and Michael Ecklund.

Lots more details on the festival including screening schedule, venue and ticket information, is available at the official website.

Contest: Win tickets to Projecting Change’s breakfast screening of “Tapped” (includes breakfast!) [Vancouver]

Tapped Movie Logo

Ever wonder the effect of the bottled water industry on the environment? You may be surprised to learn that the question goes well beyond the plastic used in the bottles. From directors Stephanie Soechtig and Jason Lindsey comes Tapped, a behind the scenes look at the bottled water industry.

From the producers of Who Killed the Electric Car and I.O.U.S.A., this timely documentary is a behind-the-scenes look into the unregulated and unseen world of an industry that aims to privatize and sell back the one resource that ought never to become a commodity: our water. From the plastic production to the ocean in which so many of these bottles end up, this inspiring documentary trails the path of the bottled water industry and the communities which were the unwitting chips on the table. A powerful portrait of the lives affected by the bottled water industry, this revelatory film features those caught at the intersection of big business and the public’s right to water.

Vancouver’s Projecting Change Film Festival is sponsoring a breakfast screening of the film on Saturday, October 16th at 10AM and we’ve got a pair of tickets to the event. For your chance to win, simply leave a comment below before Friday, October 15th at noon. Winner will be contacted via email with details on how to pick-up the tickets. If you’re interested in the event and would prefer to guarantee your ticket, details on the event (including ticket purchase) are below:

EVENT INFO:
Date: Saturday, October 16, 2010
Trailer: http://bit.ly/9zOpxC
Time: 9am breakfast. 10am movie + speaker.
Location: Fifth Avenue Cinemas, 2110 Burrard St
Cost: $15 Regular Admission.
For more info and to purchase tickets, visit: http://www.projectingchange.ca/

Join the PCFF Facebook page: http://on.fb.me/c2eogf

Good luck everyone!

VLAFF announces line-up. Prepares to take over Vancouver

VLAFF Logo 2010

Vancouver has entered festival season. With the VQFF, the city’s second largest film festival, in it’s final days, September is going to bring with it yet another great collection of films under the banner of the Vancouver Latin Film Festival.

In it’s 8th year, this year’s festival runs September 2nd to the 12th and is a perfect place to start the city’s festival season at a nice, quiet pace. With 26 feature films, documentaries and a number of shorts, it’s a great way to ease into festival mode rather than jumping head first into VIFF.

This year’s line-up of VLAFF titles is diverse and features a good number of award winning films including Natalia Almada’s The General, Sebastián Cordero’s thriller Rabia, Ernesto Daranas’ Fallen Gods and Javier Fuentes-Leon’s Undertow which holds the honour of playing both VLAFF and VQFF (guess I should make an effort to see it – it’s played here twice and I’ve missed it twice).

Full listing of films can be found at VLAFF’s official website along with links to trailers, screening schedule and other pertinent festival information. Also follow them on twitter for up to the minute updates!

Live Cinema at the Vancity Theatre [Vancouver]

Vancity Theatre

You may not recognize the name Alloy Orchestra but these guys have, over the years, built a reputation as the best musical accompaniment to silent films in the world. They’ve been everywhere, from the Louvre to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in Los Angeles and on July 24th and 25th, they’re coming to Vancouver.

The Vancity Theatre will be hosting the Alloy Orchestra as they perform live scores to Josef von Sternberg’s Underworld, Dziga Vertov’s Man With a Movie Camera and Albert Parker’s The Black Pirate. Seeing the films on the big screen would be cool enough but seeing them along with live accompaniment from the best in the world is tenfold more exciting!

Tickets are $25 per film or $55 for the three film pass. Screening details and ticketing information available at Vancity Theatre’s website.

If you’re curious about Alloy’s work, I encourage you to check out the video below. It’s a trailer for Nosferatu scored by the orchestra; gives us a nice idea of what to expect.

Would you like to know more…?

3rd Annual Brazilian Film Festival [Vancouver]

3rd Brazilian Film Festival of Vancouver Banner

Amidst the excitement of World Cup and the advancement of Brazil (like there was any doubt that would happen), we have something else related to Brazil to celebrate in Vancouver. The Brazilian Film Festival of Vancouver is returning for its third year and it looks like the little show that could is starting to gain some steam, topping last year’s festival.

The festival is setting up shop at the Vancity Theatre from July 15 to 18 and this year’s selection of films features everything from music documentaries to hard hitting drama. Titles include Elvis & Madona, a romantic comedy about love between a a young lesbian named Elvis and a transvestite called Madona, Tamboro, a documentary about deforestation in the Amazon, and Beyond Ipanema – Brazilian Waves In Global Music which features interviews with a wide range of dynamic performers speaking on the influence of Brazilian music.

More information on the festival, including a full line up, can be found on the official website. Tickets are available through the Vancity Theatre website.