IF you feel like you let the film-loving part of yourself down by missing the Vancouver International Film Festival, don't despair.
Three film festivals will have you feeling cultured in no time from now until mid-November.
- South Asian Film Festival, Oct. 31 to Nov. 4
The first South Asian Film Festival to hit Vancouver, Surrey and Abbotsford spices up the Lower Mainland with 40 films from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, the Maldives and Bhutan. The festival will showcase documentaries, dramas, shorts and animation and includes master classes and public forums with South Asian film artists.
Actress, member of the Indian parliament, environmentalist and human rights activist Jaya Bachchan will introduce the opening film, Adwait Sangeet: Two Voices, One Soul at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre. The film's subjects, brothers Pandit Rajan and Pandit Sajan Mishra, world-renowned Indian classical music singers, will perform, director Makahar Brahame will answer questions and the night will end with a performance choreographed by Shiamak Davar.
- Vancouver Asian Film Festival, Nov. 1 to 4
The 16th annual VAFF kicks off with the Canadian premiere of Daylight Savings, a followup to last year's sold-out closing night film Surrogate Valentine. Daylight Savings picks up where Surrogate Valentine left off with affable indie musician Goh Nakamura's life one year later. Preceding Daylight Savings is the short film Bleached in which a Filipino-American teenager is forced to model her mother's skin-lightening cream.
VAFF celebrates local talents with director, writer and producer Rob Leickner's film Lost Lagoon and seven Vancity Shorts. Lost Lagoon tells the story of Mi-Ran, a long-distance runner born in Korea who moves to Vancouver under the guise of studying English. Unbeknownst to her family, she is in Vancouver to be closer to North American underground music, easily accessible running paths and her Internet friend Georgia.
VAFF features 40 films from 10 countries at International Village Cinemas. See vaff.org.
- Vancouver Jewish Film Festival, Nov. 7 to 15
Canada's longest-running Jewish film festival and one of the longest-running North American film festivals will celebrate 24 years with 27 international films that showcase multiculturalism, diversity and Jewish heritage. This year's festival includes 13 Canadian premieres.
The opening film, A Bottle in the Gaza Sea, is a modern-day Romeo-and Juliet tale set in Israel and Gaza during the conflicts of 2007 and 2008.
David tells the story of Daud, a lonely Muslim boy growing up in Brooklyn. The only son of a devout imam struggles with his father's expectations and feelings of isolation until he inadvertently befriends a group of Jewish boys who mistake him for being Jewish. Director and writer Joel Fendelman will attend the screening.
Just before making The Artist, Oscar winners Jean Dujardin (best actor) and Michel Hazanavicius (best director) teamed up to make the politically incorrect spy spoof OSS 117: Lost in Rio. Set in the 1960s, French secret agent OSS 117 is sent to Brazil to track down a Nazi-held microfilm containing the names of French Nazi collaborators during the Second World War that will embarrass the French state. The film is reminiscent of the classic Pink Panther movies with Dujardin giving a valiant performance inspired by Peter Sellers.
Fan-favourite A.K.A. Doc Pomus closes the festival. The documentary tells the story of the most unlikely of rock icons to be elected into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Paralyzed with polio as a child, Jerome Felder reinvented himself first as a blues singer, renaming himself Doc Pomus, then as a songwriter who created hits that include "Save the Last Dance for Me," "This Magic Moment" and "Viva Las Vegas." The evening will feature a surprise musical performance.
The festival screens at The Ridge and will pay tribute to the theatre at its Nov. 15 closing gala. For more information, see vjff. org.