Cult classic sequel, top French clowns, and lots more at the first ever JFL NorthWest Film Festival

Be among the first to see clips from Super Troopers 2, the long-awaited sequel to the 2001 cult film screening at the JFL NorthWest Film Festival (March 1-10).

A long-awaited sequel to a comedy cult classic, special live events, short films and panels are part of the Vancouver Just For Laughs Film Festival.

This year marks the debut of the film component of the festival. The inaugural edition of the JFL NorthWest Film Festival runs concurrently with the comedy festival itself, March 1-10. Below, we look at some of the highlights from among eight features (including B.C. premieres and a world premiere), 23 shorts, three panels and three special events. Many of the events take place at the Rio Theatre (1660 E. Broadway), the Vogue Theatre (918 Granville St.), Vancity Theatre (1181 Seyour St.) and the Sutton Place Hotel (845 Burrard St.).

Super Troopers 2 Live: An Exclusive Night of Comedy with Broken Lizard—The first feature-length film by American comedy troupe Broken Lizard, Super Troopers has garnered a cult following since its 2001 release. Finally, the filmmakers have reteamed for Super Troopers 2. To celebrate, the JFL NorthWest Film Festival is hosting a one-of-a-kind, one-night only presentation that includes scenes from the upcoming sequel as well as a live standup set by Broken Lizards Jay Chandrasekhar, Kevin Heffernan and Steve Lemme, and a Q&A session. Super Troopers 2 opens across North America on April 20. (Saturday, March 10, 7 p.m. at the Vogue Theatre)

Lost in ParisVariety calls burlesque duo Dominique Abel and Fiona Gordon “the two funniest clowns working in cinema today… Abel is a Belgian-born, vaudeville-style human pretzel and gifted physical comic on par with Chaplin or Keaton, while real-life Australian wife Fiona Gordon is a Tilda Swinton-tall redhead with Olive Oyl elbows and an Easter Island profile.” In Lost in Paris, the pair’s fourth film (including Rumba), Gordon plays Fiona, a shy, English-speaking librarian from a small Canadian town who gets lost in the city of lights; Abel is a hobo who finds her belongings. Including 2005’s Rumba, this is the fourth feature from the duo. B.C. premiere. (March 1, Vancity Theatre)

Lost in Paris screens at the JFL NorthWest Film Festival (March 1-10).

The Death of Stalin (opening night film)—This France/UK/Belgium co-production features an all-star cast (Steve Buscemi, Jason Isaacs, Michael Palin, Andrea Riseborough, Jeffrey Tambor) and an Oscar-nominated writer/director (Armando Iannucci of Veep, The Thick of It, In the Loop). The film satirizes the political landscape of 1950s Soviet Russia, where politicians connived just to stay alive. B.C. premiere. (Tuesday March 6 at 7 p.m., Rio Theatre)

Always Amazing (closing night film)—The JFL NorthWest Film Festival presents the world premiere of this inside look at an unlikely relationship between two comedians. Always Amazing tracks the friendship between magician/comedian The Amazing Johnathan and Joel Osborn, who is an awestruck 12-year-old when they first meet. After receiving a terminal diagnosis, Johnathan goes out on one last tour, along with Osborn, who by now has become a comedian in his own right. (Saturday, March 10 at 9:30, Rio Theatre)

Comedian Backstage (special free screening)—A rarely screened documentary, Comedian Backstage originally aired on NBC over fifty years ago. The film is a look at Shelley Berman (1925-2017), who was one of the top comics of his day; during his career, Berman had three gold records, played major clubs and TV shows, sold out Carnegie Hall, and was the first comedian to win a Grammy Award. According to Steve Martin, Berman’s observational humour “changed modern stand-up comedy.” (Thursday, March 8 at 9:30 p.m., the Annex, 823 Seymour St.)

In addition to the features, the festival is presenting two short film events. The Comedy Short Shorts Showcase (Saturday, March 3, 12:30 p.m. at the Rio) features the top comedy short films from the Pacific Northwest. The World-Wide Shorts comprises some of the world’s greatest comedic shorts. The programme follow the The Comedy Short Shorts showcase on Saturday, March 3, 3 p.m. at the Rio.

The top three films of both categories, voted on by a jury of industry judges and JFL producers, will receive a monetary prize. The first-place title of the Comedy Short Shorts competition will then go head-to-head with the winning title of the World-Wide Shorts category for a slot at the internationally renowned Just For Laughs Festival in Montreal this upcoming July.

For the full rundown on the short films including screening date, time and venue, visit jfl.northwest.com/comedy-short-shorts and jfl.northwest.com/world-wide-shorts.

The festival is also hosting a daytime series of panels. Open to both festival delegates and the public, panels will focus on the latest business trends, creative strategies, explore and offer advice on advancing with the comedy sphere. Panels include It Starts With a Script: A Comedy Screenwriters Panel (Friday, March 9, 4 p.m.); An Expert’s Guide to Buying Films (Saturday, March 10, 1 p.m.); Inside Hollywood North: Vancouver’s Homegrown Film Community (Saturday, March 10, 3 p.m.). All panels take place in in Salon Pommard at The Sutton Place Hotel.

The Vancouver Just For Laughs Film Festival tickets go on sale Friday, February 9 at 10 a.m. For tickets online visit jflnorthwest.com/2018-film-festival-lineup/.

For a complete listing, visit jflnorthwest.com.

For special JFL hotel packages, visit stayvancouverhotels/jfl.

 

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