Film festival presents local and international films
By Cheryl Minns, Senior Columnist
The New West Film Fest (NWFF) returns for its sixth year with a variety of feature length and short films that are diverse, educational, and entertaining. The festival will take place on October 20–22 at Landmark Cinemas near the New Westminster SkyTrain station, and at the Douglas College New Westminster campus.
“We have an amazing lineup this year, including local films, drama, fantasy, documentaries, and 3-D animations,” said Kathleen Somerville, one of the founders of the New West Film Society that organizes the festival.
On October 20, Landmark Cinemas will be playing the Canadian drama Closet Monster and the Brazilian documentary Waiting for B, which follows Beyoncé fans in Brazil.
On October 21, the Cuban drama Viva will be screening at the Douglas College New Westminster campus. The free screening is presented by the college’s Associate of Arts in Intercultural and International Studies (AAII), which focuses on communication in multicultural environments.
“We’re excited for this film screening because it’s a great opportunity to let students know about the program,” said Brenna Clarke Gray, the program’s coordinator.
The Viva screening was arranged by Ruth Mandujano-Lopez, a Modern Languages instructor who is a member of the AAII committee and a New West Film Society director.
“I knew Brenna was looking for a film for the program’s yearly event in October,” she said. “When I told her about the NWFF, she was very supportive about the idea of combining forces with the festival.”
Mandujano-Lopez has previously coordinated screenings at the college with the Latin American Film Festival (VLAFF). She worked with VLAFF to arrange the college’s screening of Viva, which VLAFF showed at its own festival in September.
“I chose Viva because the protagonist is a young Cuban man—the same age as many of the students that will be present—who is defining his identity and his goals for the future,” she said. “We also needed a topic that made the audience reflect on international and intercultural issues, and this film is perfect for that.”
Also, on October 21, Landmark Cinemas will be playing the European comedy-drama The Lobster, which follows David (played by Colin Farrell) in a dystopian society as he tries to find a mate in 45 days. If he doesn’t, he will be turned into a lobster. Following the feature film will be a series of short films.
“We have added a new element this year, which is a ‘mini shorts film festival’ within our festival,” Somerville said. “This is the first year we opened submissions for short films, and we received dozens of films for consideration from across North America and around the world.”
On October 22, two Canadian documentaries, The Pristine Coast and Fractured Land, will be playing at Landmark Cinemas, as well as the comedy-drama Captain Fantastic starring Viggo Mortensen.
The festival will close with an after party at the CG Masters School of 3D Animation and VFX, which is located near the New Westminster SkyTrain station. The free event will include students’ 3-D animation work and a talk from CG Masters School co-founders Nicholas and Vickie Boughen about the animation business.
Anvil Centre will host a mixed media event titled Mediated Visions: film, art & technology on October 18 in collaboration with NWFF, DOXA Documentary Film Festival, Momentum Youth Arts Movement, City of New Westminster Arts Services, and the centre’s New Media Gallery.
The event will include a Phoned Footage workshop, artists’ talks, and the New Media Gallery exhibit, Witness, which features five international works that explore the world of surveillance and vision technologies. In the Anvil Centre Theatre, there will be a screening of Werner Herzog’s documentary Lo and Behold: Reveries of the Connected World, which looks at the effects and possibilities of the Internet.
For more information on the New West Film Fest, show-times, and ticket information, check out NewWestFilmFest.ca.