Six movies to see at Vancouver International Women in Film Festival

Black Conflux.

The Vancouver International Women in Film Festival presents world and Canadian premieres of First Nations and culturally diverse films. The festival takes place from March 3-8 and celebrates cinema created by women. Along with screenings, the festival presents panels, seminars, special guests, artist talks, pitch sessions, a screenplay competition, receptions, and an awards gala. See below for highlights.

Red Snow—The Opening Gala film tells the story of a Gwich’in soldier from the Canadian Arctic who is caught in an ambush in Kandahar, Afghanistan. His capture and interrogation by a Taliban Commander release a cache of memories connected to the love and death of his Inuit cousin and binds him closer to a Pashtun family. The movie was produced, written and directed by Marie Clements, an Indigenous filmmaker with connections in the Sahtu and Mackenzie Delta. The gala includes the launch of two singles from the Red Snow soundtrack, Dirt Walkers and We Are Still the People. A  band of Afghan and Canadian Indigenous musicians performs the songs live.

Red Snow.

Unceded Chiefs—The festival presents the Canadian premiere of this documentary feature tracing the activism of BC First Nations leaders in the late 1960s. The leaders unified in a battle against the Canadian government to reject Prime Minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau’s proposed 1969 White Paper Policy. A panel discussion with director Doreen Manuel follows the screening.

The Rabbits’ House—This Argentinian production follows a young girl who is living with activists during Argentina’s resistance movement in 1975. A moderated discussion between director Valeria Selinger and local author/performer Carmen Aguirre follows the screening, which is presented for free on International Women’s Day, March 8. World Premiere.

Closing Time—Directed by Berlin-based Nicole Vögele, originally from Switzerland, Closing Time attempts to capture the buzzing city of Taipei as it closes for the night. “I was sitting in a night market in Taipei thinking, ‘Okay, there is something here, I would like to dig deeper,’” the director told Variety. “’There is something to find in this night-working thing they have going in Taipei.’” Said one review: “Highly meditative and sedately paced, Closing Time is poetry in motion, an intense mood piece.” Canadian premiere.

Closing Time.

Murmur—”Quietly devastating” is how a review in Now Toronto describes this feature from Canadian director Heather Young. In it, a woman convicted of driving while impaired is ordered to perform community service at the local animal shelter. She begins to take more and more animals home and is soon in over her head.

Black Conflux—In Canadian director Nicole Dorsey’s debut feature, a vulnerable high-schooler and an angry loner are drawn together by fate. Shot and set in Newfoundland, Black Conflux “is a constant visual delight,” according to a Hollywood Reporter review. “Adopting a shared mantra to ‘make it weird,’ Dorsey and cinematographer Marie Davignon punctuate the drama with gorgeous imagery, from luxuriant aerial shots of Newfoundland’s wild, watery landscape to mesmerizing extended close-ups of fizzing sodas and scuttling insects… Even if this deceptively artful debut feels a little muted and unpolished in places, it is plainly the work of a skilled filmmaker with ample future potential.”

There are several other features, including Canadian premieres of four documentaries, as well as 26 local, Canadian and international short films. For a complete listing of selections, screening times, tickets and special events visit


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