5th Annual Women in Film & Television
18 April 2010 | Vancity Cinema, Vancouver
The last offering at the 2010 WIF Fest held on the weekend was certainly
not the least . For those of you who appreciate short documentaries,
this year’s seven diverse submissions were fascinating. Controversial
subjects from the Downtown East Side, to fish farming, to the bizarre
world of Lolita girls were explored and the audience was riveted.
The first on the schedule, When I Grow Up, directed by Toshimi Ono, is
a thought-provoking piece that exemplifies the value of honouring our
own cultural backgrounds as well as others’. The short that followed
was a compelling piece that provides the audience with a look inside the
lives of several Canadian Paralympics athletes. This opportunity to
glimpse into the challenges that face these competitors is truly
inspirational as well as educational.
Pigeon Park Savings, directed by Laurie Kindiak, provides the audience
with an unexpected ‘feel good’ story about the otherwise ‘horrific’
downtown east side. The message strives to show that, aside from the
obvious addictions and mental health issues of that area, there is a
strong sense of community living behind the scenes. These community
members are, for the most part, very pleased to be given access to basic
financial services, something the rest of us take for granted.
By far the most intense contribution was A Harlem Mother, the story
of a woman who lost her son to gun violence. Directed by Ivana
Todorovic, we are taken through the pain and heartbreak that so many
parents living in Harlem have endured and continue to endure today.
When the documentary ended and the credits rolled, the theatre was
silent – as we struggled with the emotional journey we had just taken.
The woman’s perspective was felt in all of these short documentaries,
and the quality of the submissions is encouraging. Although I was
unable to attend the Saturday and Sunday morning portions of the
festival, I look forward to the opportunity to catch the full spectrum
of next year’s event.