Lina El Arabi stars in Eye on Juliet, playing at the Vic Theatre this month. Photo contributed

Lina El Arabi stars in Eye on Juliet, playing at the Vic Theatre this month. Photo contributed

KATHY KAY: Canadian films offer inspiration

Kathy’s Pics offers up some ways to celebrate our country’s filmmakers

Kathy Kay

Monday Magazine columnist

Oh, Canada. Yeah, baby!

We have gone from ‘anything but Canadian’ to coming on strong. Is it Trudeau and the pride we feel at not being American?

Whatever the reason, cinema is no exception as a great crop of Canadian films move into town. It’s kinda fun being the hot, new thing on the global market and better yet – recognizing it.

Here are the new films playing at the Vic Theatre downtown or UVic’s Cinecenta, all towing behind them some great recognition from around the world.

Eye on Juliet by rising star Kim Nguyen has the RiverRun International Festival’s jury prize trailing along with it. Nguyen’s last film, War Witch (Rebelle) was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the Academy Awards and won the Silver Bear at the Berlin Festival.

Never Steady, Never Still by newcomer Kathleen Hepburn, won the Busan International Festivals Audience Award, and the Dublin Film Festival Jury Prize along with eight other wins.

Don’t you love it when a rookie hits a home run?

And then there is Hochelaga, Land of Souls by prolific filmmaker François Girard, who made us proud winning four awards and a slew of nominations. Girard is best known for the remarkable Thirty Two Short Films About Glenn Gould, The Red Violin and Yo Yo Ma Inspired by Bach. It just makes one want to see his latest grand enchantment, because who doesn’t like to have their finger on the pulse?

Two films have only made their Canadian debuts, but once their global release begins the accolades will follow.

Stephen Campanelli’s Indian Horse has only taken Canada by storm as yet, winning five top prizes across the country including our very own Victoria Film Festival’s Audience Award.

There is also the charming and cheeky romp by Kyle Rideout and Josh Epstein, Adventures in Public School, which is riding high with nominations and awards.

Oh, Canada we really are knocking it out of the park!

Kathy Kay is festival director with the Victoria Film Festival.

Independent film

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