Monday 5 Jan 2015    alphabetical list  chronological list
Gore Vidal: The United States of Amnesia
This remarkable documentary captures Gore Vidal's professional life which spans more than 50 years of American politics and letters. Featuring candid vérité footage of Vidal in his final years, the film explores his enduring global impact on art, politics, and everything in between. His overview of the current state of the Republic and the health of US democracy is unique and incisive. As an outspoken gay man, who brought explicitly gay novel before the public as early as 1948, he broke new ground.

This documentary is a fascinating and wholly entertaining portrait of the last lion of the age of American liberalism, known for his ability to say what everyone secretly knows and to make it unsettling without worrying about the implications, for himself or his reputation. Pg13

Monday 12 Jan 2015    alphabetical list  chronological list
Codebreaker
This drama-documentary explores the genius and weakness of Britain most famous codebreaker, whose team was responsible for unraveling the enigma code, so vital to the allies' success in WWII. He is revered as a pioneer of computer science - and the subject of a new film dramatic film The Imitation Game.

This telling's screenplay hinges around psychiatric appointments, a particularly interesting angle for us to watch in the MM Theatre. Pg13

I'm very excited to have Olive Bailey as our guest. At 93 she has many colourful stories about her time as a codebreaker at Bletchley Park and her recollections of working with Alan Turing.

Monday 19 Jan 2015    alphabetical list  chronological list
Alive Inside
A truly hopeful film about Alzheimer's and aging is something unexpected. This hugely affecting documentary won the Audience Prize at the Sundance Film Festival, and it's easy to see why. It's a portrait of a man on a mission, Dan Cohen, founder of the non-profit Music & Memory, as he fights bureaucrats and austerity budgets with the palpable evidence of how very simply the gift of an iPod can restore vitality and spiritual well-being to patients suffering from dementia and depression.

Special guest Michelle Porter, an RN from Kiwanis Pavilion, Victoria's Certified Music & Memory Facility, will give us a local update. She and colleagues are using the process and seeing positive outcomes that prove its usefulness here.

Monday 26 Jan 2015    alphabetical list  chronological list
Viking
Set against a backdrop of the icy dangers of the Newfoundland seal hunt in 1920s, this is an exciting tale of hardship and redemption. "It follows a conflict between two rural men out to sea and onto the ice floes where they settle their differences for good and all."

An example of early maverick filmmaking, it was the first sync-sound feature shot in Canada and is both an authentic document of those times and the rugged industry and a great example of early story-telling on film. Pg

Often touted as the first sync-sound feature shot in Canada, The Viking (1931) was considered a lost film until the mid-1960s when a print was discovered in a fish storage plant in Newfoundland. Though shot in the Quidi Vidi neighborhood of St. John's, Newfoundland, this ambitious tale of the North Country was actually not a Canadian production. American adventurer Varick Frissell, who was enamored with the culture and people of Newfoundland through his work with Dr. Wilfred Grenfell, secured financial backing from Paramount Pictures and used a New York cast and Hollywood crew. Though shooting the film in sync sound was a courageous choice, The Viking's real significance lies in its documentary-style approach to the narrative, which later became a hallmark of Canadian filmmaking. The integration of nonfiction techniques with a fictional narrative resulted in a rich sense of place that focused on the relationship between people and their environment. This approach distinguished many later Canadian feature films.

Sadly, The Viking is also known for the tragedy that occurred when an explosion destroyed the back of the vessel, killing 27 men, including Frissel. The unfortunate off-screen events tend to overshadow the film's remarkable achievement in cinematography and its documentary-like chronicling of a culture and way of life now long past. 73min Pg (incl. intro by Dr Wilfred Grenfell)
cast: Charles Starrett, Louise Huntington, Arthur Vinton, Bob Bartlett, Wilfred Grenfell


Friday 30 Jan 2015    alphabetical list  chronological list
Jersey Boys
Clint Eastwood's big screen version of the Tony Award-winning musical tells the story of the four young men from the wrong side of the tracks in New Jersey who came together to form the iconic '60s rock group The Four Seasons. Their trials and triumphs are accompanied by the hit songs that influenced a generation, and are now being embraced by a new generation of fans through the stage musical. R (for language)

cast: Vincent Piazza, John Lloyd Young, Steve Schirripa, Christopher Walken, Kathrine Narducci
This is a special event in co-operation with the Friends Of Music Society.

Monday 2 Feb 2015    alphabetical list  chronological list
Boyhood
Filmed over 12 years with the same cast, Richard Linklater's Boyhood is a groundbreaking story of growing up as seen through the eyes of a child named Mason (a breakthrough performance by Ellar Coltrane), who literally grows up on screen before our eyes. Starring Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette as Mason's parents and newcomer Lorelei Linklater as his sister Samantha, BOYHOOD charts the rocky terrain of childhood like no other film has before. It'll have you thinking about yours. R

Monday 9 Feb 2015    alphabetical list  chronological list
The Mountain Runners
From 1911 to 1913, a legitimately "amazing race" was run. Envious of the tourists flocking to Seattle, the civic leaders of fledgling Bellingham devised an elaborate PR stunt: America's first mountain adventure race. Offering up $100 in gold coins to the first runner who could clamber up and down nearby Mount Baker, they attracted 14 contestants consisting of wrestlers, milk inspectors, loggers, farmers and miners. Whisked to the base of the mountain by newfangled automobiles racing a tried-and-true steam train, these amateur athletes had no idea of what they'd just signed up for. And while it may have been prize money that lured them, it was their sense of adventure and pioneer spirit that allowed them to persist. A rollicking docudrama about a largely unknown bit of history right on our horizon! Pg

Monday 16 Feb 2015    alphabetical list  chronological list
Picture Day
Forced to repeat her senior year in high school, Claire's reputation is sliding from bad-ass to bad joke. At night, she escapes to would-be rock star Jim, while at school, she bonds with Henry, a nerdy freshman she used to babysit. Eventually, Claire learns the difference between sex, intimacy, and friendship. A strong principle cast with Tatiana Maslany (a Regina native and series "Orphan Black" star) really standing out.

Picture Day won that year's Whistler fest prizes for Actor and Best Canadian Feature, and much more recognition. R

Monday 23 Feb 2015    alphabetical list  chronological list
Death By Joy
Death By Joy is a candid story of one woman's choice to find joy in dying. Saying no to aggressive medical intervention for a brain tumor, Mary embarks on a clear–headed quest for the true meaning of healing. Her unforgettable discoveries along the way can change profoundly your understanding of life, healing, and death.

The path of epic journeys, however, is seldom straight or free of struggle, a truth Mary experiences as she confronts the chilling reality of her shocking past.

Ultimately, Death By Joy is about a great paradox: Can Mary survive long enough to be healed before she dies?

It's a remarkable example of family and community collaborating with someone to help them die well. Pg13

Friday 27 Feb 2015    alphabetical list  chronological list
Get on Up
Based on the incredible life story of the Godfather of Soul, the film will give a fearless look inside the music, moves and moods of James Brown, taking audiences on the journey from his impoverished childhood to his evolution into one of the most influential figures of the 20th century. Chadwick Boseman is joined in the drama by Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer, Nelsan Ellis, Lennie James, Tika Sumpter, Jill Scott and Dan Aykroyd.

This is a special event in co-operation with the Friends Of Music Society.

Monday 2 Mar 2015    alphabetical list  chronological list
Tracks
It is an adaptation of Robyn Davidson's memoir of the same name, chronicling the author's nine-month journey with camels across the Australian desert. An exotic (to us) setting, a woman finding herself on a perilous solo journey (like current hit Wild), a kind of love story - all well adapted in a feature film. It's fascinating to follow up the real people. Let's go "walkabout". Pg13

Monday 9 Mar 2015    alphabetical list  chronological list
Life Itself
Based on his bestselling memoir of the same name, Life Itself, explores the impact and legacy of Roger Ebert's life, from his Pulitzer Prize-winning film criticism at the Chicago Sun-Times to becoming one of the most influential cultural voices in America. If you love movies you will have loved Ebert's reviews and especially his long running tv critiques with Gene Siskel, "Thumbs up, Thumbs down". The grace with which he lived with the loss of his lower jaw and audible voice to cancer surgeries in early 2000s was amazing, and in 2007 his reviews began appearing again with more followers than ever. R

Monday 16 Mar 2015    alphabetical list  chronological list
This Is It Michael Jackson
I never really "got" Michael Jackson while he was alive. This film, scavenged from another closing video store, won me over to being one of his fans. This behind-the-scenes look at the performer as he developed, created and rehearsed for his sold-out concerts that would have taken place beginning 2009 summer in London. He died just 18 days before the opening. Chronicling the months from March through June, 2009, the film is produced with the full support of the Estate of Michael Jackson and drawn from more than one hundred hours of behind-the-scenes footage, featuring Jackson rehearsing a number of his songs for the show. In raw and candid detail, "Michael Jackson's This Is It" captures the singer, dancer, filmmaker, architect, creative genius, and great artist at work as he creates and perfects his final show. Pg

Monday 23 Mar 2015    alphabetical list  chronological list
Shining Night - A Portrait of Composer Morten Lauridsen
A tribute to a living legend, celebrating the life and music of the artist whom musicologist Nick Strimple has called 'the only American composer in history who can be called a mystic'. National Medal of Arts recipient and most frequently performed American choral composer, Morten Lauridsen spends summers on a remote Waldron Island, WA in the Pacific Northwest. Featuring intimate interviews in California, Scotland and his island retreat, interwoven with performances of his masterworks and commentaries by music contemporaries. Revealed through the lens of his passion for nature and music, Lauridsen expresses a presence of fierce compassion and unwavering dedication to the craft of composition.

Friday 27 Mar 2015    alphabetical list  chronological list
Whiplash
A promising young drummer enrolls at a cut-throat music conservatory where his dreams of greatness are mentored by an instructor who will stop at nothing to realize a student's potential.

This is a special event in co-operation with the Friends Of Music Society.

Monday 30 Mar 2015    alphabetical list  chronological list
The Theory Of Everything
This is the extraordinary story of one of the world's greatest living minds, the renowned astrophysicist Stephen Hawking, who falls deeply in love with fellow Cambridge student Jane Wilde. Once a healthy, active young man, Hawking received an earth-shattering diagnosis at 21 years of age . With Jane fighting tirelessly by his side, Stephen embarks on his most ambitious scientific work, studying the very thing he now has precious little of - time. Eddie Redmayne won the Oscar for his performance. PG13

Monday 6 Apr 2015    alphabetical list  chronological list
Pride
U.K. gay activists work to help miners during their lengthy strike of the National Union of Mineworkers in the summer of 1984. It's based on a true story of an unlikely alliance. Typically, this British screenplay, with great performances by a host of actors like Bill Nighy, Imelda Staunton, lifts off. R

Monday 13 Apr 2015    alphabetical list  chronological list
Wild
With the dissolution of her marriage and the death of her mother, Cheryl Strayed has lost all hope. After years of reckless, destructive behavior, she makes a rash decision. With absolutely no experience, driven only by sheer determination, Cheryl hikes more than a thousand miles of the Pacific Crest Trail, alone. Wild powerfully captures the terrors and pleasures of one young woman forging ahead against all odds on a journey that maddens, strengthens, and ultimately heals her.

Monday 15 Apr 2015    alphabetical list  chronological list
Dr Sparhawk presentation - Calm Seas

Monday 20 Apr 2015    alphabetical list  chronological list
Alien Boy with guest presenters Victoria Police Chief Frank Elsner and filmmaker Brian Lindstrom
There's concern about police stops on Victoria's streets, social profiling, targeting vulnerable people - and the role that police are thrust into as first responders to those with mental health and addiction crises. Such a stop went terribly wrong in Portland Oregon in 2006 when a man died in police custody. Filmmaker Brian Lindstrom examined victim James Chasse's story; his childhood, his intense involvement in the early Portland punk music scene as a writer, illustrator and musician (The Wipers wrote the song "Alien Boy" about him), his heartbreaking teenage onset of mental illness, and his brave efforts to avoid institutionalization and maintain his independence. This film follows the struggle for his family to find justice after his tragic death, and a city and a system grappling with accountability. Portland's experience and changes since this event have lessons for our city. 91min 2013 R

Brian Lindstrom and Victoria Police Chief Frank Elsner will be on hand for the discussion that will follow our screening.

"...At an annual Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police conference in Victoria in August, a report was released calling for improvements to police training and education in dealing with people who have mental health issues.

The report recognized a decline in mental-health services over the past seven years has led to a dramatic increase in police interactions with the mentally ill, and cited public concern over several high-profile fatal police shootings in B.C. John Gibson's situation and Rod's –released from EMP into police custody."

Tuesday 21 Apr 2015    alphabetical list  chronological list
Mothering Inside at William Head

Tuesday 21 Apr 2015    alphabetical list  chronological list
Finding Normal - Special Screening - At Our Place
Portland, Oregon Director Brian Lindstrom will present this film, from his home town, about a program that has run there for 16 years, from an organization much like Our Place**. It accepts folks who really want to get away from their substance abuse habit after failing several other attempts. The program has an unusually high success rate, largely because of their highly motivated mentors. Pg13

"The movie, by Brian Lindstrom, follows several drug and alcohol counselors as they work with groups of recovering addicts, many of them ex-cons. With its basis in the grim world of addiction and street level recovery, Finding Normal sounds like it could be a real slog. It's not. A surfeit of down to earth humor runs throughout the film, which, along with the truly charismatic personalities of the counselors makes the movie a rather joyful experience." D Thompson review.

Friday 24 Apr 2015    alphabetical list  chronological list
Hedwig and the Angry Inch
A transsexual punk-rock girl from East Berlin tours the U.S. with her band as she tells her life story and follows the former lover/band-mate who stole her songs.

This is a special event in co-operation with the Friends Of Music Society.

Monday 27 Apr 2015    alphabetical list  chronological list
Altman
Ron Mann's new documentary Altman is an in-depth look at the life and times of filmmaker Robert Altman (M*A*S*H, McCabe and Mrs. Miller, Nashville, The Player, Gosford Park, and many more.) While refusing to bow down to Hollywood's conventions, or its executives, Altman's unique style of filmmaking won him friends and enemies, earned him world-wide praise and occasionally scathing criticism, and proved that it IS possible to make truly independent films.

By Canadian filmmaker and producer Ron Mann, a maverick himself, who is renowned for his genre-bending approach to documentary cinema that explores art forms and contemporary popular culture with vision and verve. From jazz (Imagine the Sound, 1981), spoken word (Poetry in Motion, 1982), comics (Comic Book Confidential, 1988), dance (Twist, 1992), marijuana (Grass, 1999), car culture (Tales of the Rat Fink, 2006), and fungus (Know Your Mushrooms, 2009), Mann?s films invoke the ethos and spirit of his subjects in resonant and contemporary ways.

Monday 4 May 2015    alphabetical list  chronological list
Clara's Big Ride for Mental Health Week
The purpose of "Clara's Big Ride" was to get people talking about mental illness and erase the stigma. It's an initiative that grew out of the Bell Let's Talk campaign, for which Hughes is spokesperson; she herself has struggled with mental illness. Communities and companiesraised money, to give directly to mental health initiatives of their choice. For example, Hughes was riding through Iqaluit in early May when NorthwesTel presented a $68,000 cheque to Nunavut Help Line.

Monday 11 May 2015    alphabetical list  chronological list
Black Fly with Director Jason Bourque in person
"A troubled teenager and his older brother reconnect, setting off a powder keg of buried secrets, paranoia and murder. Inspired by true events." A bit of a departure for MM, this thriller is the realization of a story that has been smouldering in director Jason Bourque's psyche since he found 30 years ago that he and his family had been living in the neighbourhood of a serial killer.*

It's a riveting story, beautifully realized. Great performances, superb use of the medium. It'll have you totally engrossed.

And you'll be able to meet the Victoria boy who made it. We'll talk! R

cast: Matthew MacCaull, Dakota Daulby, Christie Burke


Monday 18 May 2015    alphabetical list  chronological list
The Tale Of The Princess Kaguya
The latest from Studio Ghibli, this charming artfully animated adaptation of an old folk tale. Pg

Monday 25 May 2015    alphabetical list  chronological list
The Wisdom To Survive: Climate Change, Capitalism & Community
The Wisdom To Survive accepts the consensus of scientists that climate change has already arrived, and asks, what is keeping us from action? The film explores how unlimited growth and greed are destroying the life support system of the planet, the social fabric of the society, and the lives of billions of people. Will we have the wisdom to survive? The film features thought leaders and activists in the realms of science, economics and spirituality discussing how we can evolve and take action in the face of climate disruption. They urge us to open ourselves to the beauty that surrounds us and get to work on ensuring it thrives. Pg

Guests: Gertie Jocksch and Margaret Walters who are facilitators with Earth Literacies, whose vision is to ignite our sense of connectedness with our Earth.

Friday 29 May 2015    alphabetical list  chronological list
Song of the Sea
A beautifully moving film with wonderful music and art, which is rare in the times of CGI animation. The homeward bound story of Ben and his selkie sister, Saoirse, is touching on a spiritual level and may very well leave you in tears.

Monday 1 Jun 2015    alphabetical list  chronological list
Granny Power
A documentary about a very original activist movement – the Raging Grannies. Spanning 10 years, the film follows several passionate, activist grandmothers and their “gaggles” as they fight for peace, social justice and the environment. From its beginnings 25 years ago here in Victoria, B.C., to its present as an international movement, it has relied on the power of elder ladies, using humour and the power of granny-ism to get their points across.

I mean, really, who has the heart to get tough with grannies singing biting-but-funny songs, wearing flowery hats? Pg13

Monday 8 Jun 2015    alphabetical list  chronological list
Still Alice
Alice Howland, happily married with three grown children, is a renowned linguistics professor who starts to forget words. When she receives a diagnosis of Early-Onset Alzheimer's Disease, Alice and her family find their bonds thoroughly tested. Her struggle to stay connected to who she once was is frightening, heartbreaking, and inspiring. Julianne Moore is absolutely brilliant in thisrole. The film delivers a very realistic, sensitive look at one family's experience. With Alec Baldwin, Kristen Stewart. Pg13 with discussion

Monday 15 Jun 2015    alphabetical list  chronological list
This Ain't No Mouse Music
Born a German count, Chris Strachwitz fled his homeland at sixteen after WWII. In the US, he discovered, and shared, a musical landscape that most Americans missed, the people's music. Founder of Arhoolie Records, here is a man who has followed his bliss for the last fifty years, as has carried his tape recorder from sharecrop shacks to roadside honkytonks, from cantina dives to wild Blues clubs, sold records from his trunk - and brought a whole lot of people along with him in the joyous pursuit of authentic music. He takes us on a hip-shaking stomp from Texas to New Orleans, Cajun country to Appalachia, as he continues his passion for the musical soul of America. Pg

Monday 22 Jun 2015    alphabetical list  chronological list
Heartbeat
Justine hasn't played her guitar since stage fright forced her to give up her dream of becoming a musician. After her boyfriend leaves town, Justine, depressed and unfulfilled, picks up her neglected guitar which takes her on a journey that gets her heart beating for the first time in years. From the creative team, filmmaker Andrea Dorfman and musician, poet Tanya Davis who brought the charming short film, How To Be Alone to 8 million viewers. This feature brings together all of that same charm, music and sprinkling of animation to our 'big screen'.

MM is very pleased to bring Andrea to Victoria for Heartbeat's Victoria premiere.

Friday 26 Jun 2015    alphabetical list  chronological list
Begin Again
A soul-stirring comedy about what happens when lost souls meet and make beautiful music together. Gretta (Keira Knightley) and her long-time boyfriend Dave (Adam Levine) are college sweethearts and songwriting partners who decamp for New York when he lands a deal with a major label.

Monday 29 Jun 2015    alphabetical list  chronological list
God Save Justin Trudeau
This documentary feature follows the much-hyped 2012 charity boxing match between Liberal MP Justin Trudeau and Conservative Senator Patrick Brazeau. A behind-the-scenes look at the fight to win, whether in politics or in the ring, gives new, surprising insights into what makes these ambitious political leaders tick, and reminds us that outcomes are never certain. Pg

Monday 6 Jul 2015    alphabetical list  chronological list
Two 4 One
Victoria filmmaker Maureen Bradley's debut feature is a bittersweet comedy centred around an unimaginable predicament. Forty-year-old Adam's (This Hour Has 22 Minutes' Gavin Crawford) lonely, quiet life is interrupted when he gets a phone call from his hysterical ex-girlfriend, Miriam (Mr. D's Naomi Snieckus). Miriam is trying to get pregnant with a donor's sperm and a syringe, but she needs help. Adam tries to convince her she's unfit to be a mother and, against his better judgement, they wind up hanging out again. She wants his moral support as she tries to get pregnant. She gets a lot more. The day she inseminates herself, they wind up in bed together. 14A

Now for the twist: Adam is transgendered. Four years ago, he started his transition from female to male but it isn't quite complete. In fact, he gets a little bit pregnant himself. He's torn between his feelings for Miriam, his need for a masculine identity and his eccentric pot-smoking mother's (Gabrielle Rose) desire for grandchildren in this funny and thought-provoking farce. R Best Canadian Feature at Victoria Film Fest, Audience Award at Seattle's Trans/lations Film Fest.

If the plot description has you humming and sticking fingers in your ears, check this one out. It is the filmmaker's point, to, with a sharply written romantic comedy, shift attitudes a little about LGBT lives.

Maureen Bradley is a prof at UVic where she is Graduate Advisor Associate Professor in the Writing. She is also an award-winning filmmaker focusing on queer media arts. She has made more than forty short films that have screened at festivals around the globe. This is her first feature.

Monday 13 Jul 2015    alphabetical list  chronological list
Service Dogs
"On July 13th, join me at Movie Monday for an evening of learning about service dogs. The event will be hosted by me, Celeste, and will help to raise funds for my own service dog.

Through videos, photographs, and speakers, we will explore what service dogs are, what they can do, and how they help people with a wide range of disabilities and conditions. The evening will have a special focus on psychiatric service dogs, with me sharing of my own experiences of working to get a psychiatric service dog." approximate 90 min presentation with short videos, guests and Q&A.

Special guest Linda Bartram who has worked with seeing eye dogs for many years and knows the service dog field.

Monday 20 Jul 2015    alphabetical list  chronological list
Mr Turner
Mike Leigh's latest film is an exploration of the last quarter century of the great if eccentric British painter J.M.W. Turner (1775-1851). Timothy Spall inhibits the character as he travels, paints, stays with the country aristocracy, visits brothels, is a popular if anarchic member of the Royal Academy of Arts, and is both celebrated and reviled by the public and by royalty. It's a strange story but one you'll mull over for ages – and you'll want to know more about this iconic artist's life. R

Monday 27 Jul 2015    alphabetical list  chronological list
The Alma Drawings
Alma Rumball was a sweet, simple woman who spent most of her years living in a small cabin in rural Ontario, Canada. But as she neared the age of 50, something remarkable happened: Alma had a vision in which Christ told her to bring a message to the world. Soon after, she began to produce hundreds of mystical, mythical drawings, full of astonishingly vivid detail. Tibetan gods, Joan of Arc figures and tales of Atlantis revealed themselves. They have been called "the Sacred Language of Light, activation drawings, with codes embedded in them for the evolution of humanity at this time."

She claimed no authorship of these works, explaining that "The Hand" produced them automatically, without conscious guidance. Was she in the grip of some madness? Or did Alma possess unique access to a world beyond our own? In this visually stunning documentary, filmmaker Jeremy Munce seeks to unravel the abiding mystery of Alma's life and art.

WINNER: Best Direction – Short to Mid-Length, Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival.

Q&A by phone with Wendy Oke. Wendy is married to Alma's nephew, Colin; together they have been ‘keepers of the Alma drawings'. Wendy has been a teacher/counselor/therapist/multi-faith minister and journalist, as well as Creative Consultant on the Hot Docs award-winning documentary, ‘The Alma Drawings'. She is currently presenting workshops comparing Alma's Atlantis writings and imagery with Edgar Cayce's readings. She also offers presentations on the Sacred Language of Light, as it relates to Alma's sacred art.

Our gallery will feature art and artists from Victoria's Pandora Arts Collective.

Monday 3 Aug 2015    alphabetical list  chronological list
Foreverland
Foreverland tells the story of Will Rankin, a young man stricken with Cystic Fibrosis, a terminal illness, who is tasked with delivering his friend's ashes to a legendary healing shrine in Mexico. Joined by the sister of his fallen friend, Will embarks on an epic journey down the Pacific Coast Highway to the desert heart of Baja, encountering a memorable cast of characters along the way. In the spirit of Into the Wild and Little Miss Sunshine, it's about dreams and the courage to pursue them. Hope, laughter, and life's small miracles.

Monday 10 Aug 2015    alphabetical list  chronological list
Pristine Coast
Something is rotten in British Columbia's marine ecosystem. With declining wild fish populations since the late 70s, the open-net fish-farm industry began to grow salmon locally to offset growing pressure on wild stocks. When marine biologist Alexandra Morton spoke out about diseases from fish farms killing wild salmon, filmmaker Scott Renyard dove in and found further destructive farm links to several fish species on Canada's west coast - with global implications.

The Pristine Coast examines how government inaction has allowed questionable industries to thrive in order to solve other concerns, and may inadvertently spell the end of wild salmon fishing. Pg

Monday 17 Aug 2015    alphabetical list  chronological list
Music For Mandela: A Legacy With A Backbeat
"Music for Mandela" explores the role music played in the remarkable life of one of the world's most important icons. The effects of this relationship continue to ripple through the poorest South African townships as well as the world stage.

From Nelson Mandela singing at his own prison concert to the present day celebrations of his legacy, the music born out of his inspirational journey is commented on by his closest friends, former exiled musicians, current international artists and community volunteers who use music today to motivate and educate. The documentary also explores what music means to all South Africans and how it became both a unifying force and weapon against apartheid.

Musical performances include celebrated artist Vusi Mahlasela, Grammy award-winning group Ladysmith Black Mambazo and new music from the internationally acclaimed Soweto Gospel Choir. Interviews include the legendary BB King, Sean Paul, Estelle, Welsh opera star Katherine Jenkins and Mandela's grandson – hip hop artist Bambatha Mandela.

Combining striking visuals with freedom songs, pop music and hip hop, "Music for Mandela" is both a stirring tribute to the man himself and to the ultimate power of music. Pg

Q&A with director Jason Bourque.

Monday 24 Aug 2015    alphabetical list  chronological list
Pretend We're Kissing
All Benny wants to do is be more confident, stop thinking so much and fall in love. He may finally have the opportunity. That is, if he can get out of his own way and out of his head. Actor Dov Tiefenbach plays awkward Benny, who is looking for love in every day life when he has a chance encounter with Jordan, a woman obsessed with the notion of fate and a magical kind of love. Pretend We're Kissing is a film for all of those who don't think their love life resembles a romantic comedy.

How do you battle that monitoring, critical, inner voice that haunts so many of us? How keen but uncomfortable were those first few intimate encounters? This film will take you back. 14A

Q&A by phone with Toronto Director Matt Sadowski.

Monday 31 Aug 2015    alphabetical list  chronological list
Alice Walker: Beauty In Truth
"Alice Walker made history as the first black woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for fiction for her groundbreaking novel, The Color Purple. Her early life unfolded in the midst of violent racism and poverty during some of the most turbulent years of profound social and political changes in North American history during the Civil Rights Movement. Mixing powerful archival footage with moving testimonials from friends and colleagues such as Howard Zinn, Angela Y. Davis, Gloria Steinem, Beverly Guy-Sheftall, Quincy Jones, Steven Spielberg and Danny Glover, Alice Walker: Beauty In Truth offers audiences a penetrating look at the life and art of an artist, intellectual, self-confessed renegade and human rights activist." Just a wonderfully drawn portrait of an extraordinary and complex woman. Pg13

Monday 14 Sep 2015    alphabetical list  chronological list
All The Time In The World
In search of a new perspective, a family of five leave the comforts of home to live remotely in the Yukon wilderness during the long northern winter. The parents leave their jobs and take their three children, ages 10, 8 and 4, to spend nine months living in a small cabin off the grid: with no road access, no electricity, no running water, and no internet, no TV, no phone and, most importantly, no clocks or watches.

All The Time In The World explores the theme of disconnecting from our hectic and technology laden lives in order to reconnect with each other, ourselves and our natural environment – parents connecting with children, children connecting with nature. Edited here in Victoria and previewed before lock at MM, this film has taken fests by storm. G

Suzanne Crocker, mum and filmmaker, will be our guest by phone!

Monday 21 Sep 2015    alphabetical list  chronological list
Like Father, Like Son
Ryota is a successful Tokyo architect who works long hours to provide for his wife and six-year-old son. But when a blood test reveals theirs and another baby were switched at birth, two very different families are thrown together and forced to make a difficult decision while Ryota confronts his own issues of responsibility and what it means to be a father. Like Father, Like Son extends the Japanese cinema tradition of familial exploration to deliver a gentle and moving story of personal redemption that navigates its way through the drama. Pg subtitled

Monday 28 Sep 2015    alphabetical list  chronological list
Slums: Cities Of Tomorrow
Today, one person in six lives in a slum, a squat, or any other precarious dwelling. Governments consider these to be problems and try to stamp them out by building public housing, but most citizens refuse to live in environments that fail to address their reality. Instead, they prefer to construct their own homes using the resources at their disposal.

The documentary Slums: Cities of Tomorrow seeks to address the housing problem in the age of urban overcrowding by looking at structures built on a human scale from a sociological and philosophical perspective. Director Jean Nicolas Orhon gives us an intimate look at the inhabitants and families who, through resilience and ingenuity, have built homes that are well suited to their needs, often finding inspiration from the architectural traditions of their places of origin.

Slums: Cities of Tomorrow takes us on a human and aesthetic journey across the continents: in Mumbai, India, home of the largest slum in all of Asia; in Rabat, Morocco, on what was once fertile farmland; in a tent city in Lakewood, New Jersey; in a trailer district in Marseille, France; and in the native community of Kitcisakik, Quebec. Pg13 in French(subtitled) and English.

Monday 5 Oct 2015    alphabetical list  chronological list
Clouds Of Sils Maria
"The Sils Maria of the title is the glorious above-the-clouds backdrop in the Swiss Alps for Juliette Binoche's riveting turn as an actor deciding whether or not to revisit the play that made her a star 20 years before. The problem? This time she has been asked to essay the role of the older woman, not the ingenue.

Travelling with her ever-present assistant Val (Kristen Stewart), 40-ish star Maria Enders (Binoche) is dealing with a divorce and the self-reflection that accompanies such things when the opportunity presents itself to take the "senior" role in a taut lesbian drama about a young woman who manipulates her older lover to the point of madness. When her co-star, the wild, Hollywood starlet arrives on the scene, Maria is pushed even further into herself. Writer-director Olivier Assayas' deep meditation on ageing, the art of acting and the role of women on film and in life is both moving and profound." R

Monday 12 Oct 2015    alphabetical list  chronological list
Selma
Selma is the story of a movement. The film chronicles the tumultuous three-month period in 1965, when Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. led a dangerous campaign to secure equal voting rights in the face of violent opposition. The epic march from Selma to Montgomery culminated in President Johnson signing the Voting Rights Act of 1965, one of the most significant victories for the civil rights movement. Director Ava DuVernays Selma tells the real story of how the revered leader and visionary Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his brothers and sisters in the movement prompted change that forever altered history.

Monday 19 Oct 2015    alphabetical list  chronological list
Mountain Men
Mountain Men is a comedy/drama that follows two estranged brothers as they journey to a remote family cabin in the mountains to evict a squatter. Buried resentment and bruised egos soon derail the plan and when the smoke clears they've destroyed their car and burned down the cabin, leaving them stranded in the cold Rocky Mountain winter. With their very survival at stake, they must learn to work together as brothers to get back to civilization. Funny and with a sweet theme of brotherhood, here is great homegrown cinema, filmed in Revelstoke. 14A

By Vancouver filmmaker Cameron Labine with actor/brother Tyler as one of the brothers. Filmmaker discussion to follow the screening.

Monday 26 Oct 2015    alphabetical list  chronological list
Lowdown Tracks
Their songs are melodies for the masses, filling subway platforms and street corners, yet the singers remain unknown. Some are homeless, others "home free." Their personal histories vary as much as their voices, but their music unifies their point of view from the margins of society. Inspired by depression-era recordings of early American folk songs, filmmaker Shelley Saywell and singer and activist Lorraine Segato of The Parachute Club set out to document a new catalogue of songs and stories from five of Toronto's modern troubadours. Their lyrics are honest, heartfelt and passionate, but their freedom to perform is threatened by the city's bureaucratic busker system. Shining a light on the struggles they face-be it in shelters, with social programs, with their addictions and abuse-a soundtrack evolves from the island ferry docks and freeway underpasses, rooming houses and rooftops, showing us that music is the common language in this empowering celebration of survival. Pg13

Q&A with director Shelley Saywell.

Monday 2 Nov 2015    alphabetical list  chronological list
In The Turn
In The Turn follows Crystal, a 10-year-old transgender girl growing up in rural Canada, as she navigates the difficult and complicated world that surrounds her. Tormented at school by teachers and peers alike, she faces daily assaults in the form of insults and physical altercations. The pain she endures at school takes a toll on not only her self-esteem, but also on the emotional stability of her family.

After being denied the right to join local athletics teams due to her gender, Crystal and her mom serendipitously discover the Vagine Regime, an international queer collective of roller derby players comprised of people of all shapes, sizes, backgrounds and identities. The Vagine Regime not only accepts Crystal, but actively supports her journey. Crystal emerges from exclusion into empowerment: she steps out of the shadows and onto the track.

In The Turn weaves Crystal's story into the broader narrative of the evolution of roller derby from a niche sport into a social movement with strong roots in the LGBTQ community. Crystal's story finds its place among the journeys of other queer skaters whose stories from across the United States.

Erica Tremblay is an award-winning filmmaker based in Boston where she works as a producer for the creative agency Digitas. She is the co-founder of Homespun Pictures and her films have been featured on PBS and the Independent Film Channel. In 2012, she received the Emerging Filmmaker award at the Kansas City Film Festival for her documentary "Heartland." Erica is enjoying her 9th season of roller derby with the Boston Derby Dames.

Monday 9 Nov 2015    alphabetical list  chronological list
For The Moment
For the Moment is a 1993 film written and directed by Aaron Kim Johnston and starring Russell Crowe (in his breakout role) and Christianne Hirt. The plot revolves around airmen training in rural Manitoba, Canada, with the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan during the Second World War. Central to the story is the wartime romance between Russell Crowe's character and a local girl. Johnston was inspired to write the screenplay based on the stories of his father who was an instructor and bomber pilot in the war, and his mother's experiences as a young woman on the home front. PG13

Q&A with Director Kim Johnston by phone from Winnipeg.

Monday 16 Nov 2015    alphabetical list  chronological list
Inside Out
Growing up [life generally] can be a bumpy road, and it's no exception for Riley. Like all of us, Riley is guided by her emotions: Joy, Fear, Anger, Disgust and Sadness. The emotions live in Headquarters, the control center inside Riley's mind, where they help advise her through everyday life. Although Joy, Riley's main and most important emotion, tries to keep things positive during a family move to San Francisco, the emotions conflict on how best to navigate a new city, house, and school. Lots to talk about here, in what can be seen as a brilliant graphic presentation how our memory and emotions work. PG

Monday 23 Nov 2015    alphabetical list  chronological list
Love and Mercy
In the 1960s, Beach Boys leader Brian Wilson struggles with emerging psychosis as he attempts to craft his avant-garde pop masterpiece. In the 1980s, he is a broken, confused man under the 24-hour watch of shady therapist Dr. Eugene Landy. Powerful depiction of a life lost for decades to mental illness and mistreatment and then regained. Pg13

Monday 30 Nov 2015    alphabetical list  chronological list
The Backward Class
"The students of Shanti Bhavan residential school in Bangalore, India, imagine a future that defies their "untouchable" caste. Ostracized and oppressed by virtue of birth alone, the young men and women of Shanti Bhavan's Grade 12 class intend to break a cycle entrenched for generations by becoming the first Dalit students in India's history to undertake the national Indian School Certificate exams. After 13 years of preparation, the students nervously focus on exam day. As pressure mounts, confidence wavers. Inflation has made it difficult to attract good teachers and questions arise as to whether or not the class is ready for the exam challenge. Some students crack under the weight of parental expectations, while others fear bad luck will forever seal their fate. With their futures hanging in the balance, the students look to one another for support in this powerful testimonial from those who refuse to be silenced." - Michelle Latimer

HotDocs Winner, 2014 Audience Award. Pg

Monday 7 Dec 2015    alphabetical list  chronological list
Snowman
From childhood, Kevin Fogolin dreamed of living and working in the mountains. After breaking the shackles of small-town expectations, the dream comes crashing down in a helicopter avalanche bombing mission gone horribly wrong. In the aftermath, Kevin and his childhood friend and freeskiing icon, Mike Douglas, are forced to confront the risks and rewards of following their passion for the mountains. Set in British Columbia's rugged Coast Range mountains, SNOWMAN is a familiar tale of dreaming big and a lifestyle where the greatest risk is not daring to dream at all. PG13

With Director and Godfather of Freeskiing Mike Douglas.

Monday 14 Dec 2015    alphabetical list  chronological list
The Fugitive
Can it be 50 years ago the TV series was prime time watching in the 4 channel universe? 22 years back this terrific movie version with Harrison Ford and Tommy Lee Jones came out. Dr Richard Kimble is wrongfully accused of murdering his wife. His only chance for freedom is to find a one armed man responsible, while being chased by Gerard, a dogged US Marshals Deputy. A film with a story reminiscent of Javert's relentless pursuit Jean Valjean in Les Miserables and a really fun action thriller to watch. Pg13

Monday 21 Dec 2015    alphabetical list  chronological list
Becoming Santa
Becoming Santa follows an aspiring Santa's journey as he transforms himself into Santa Claus and fully immerses himself in Santa culture. As his story unfolds, he works to fulfill as many of Santa's responsibilities as possible—from appearing in a Christmas parade, to ringing a bell on a street corner in New York City, to collecting children's wishes—learning along the way about the ordinary people keeping Santa's spirit alive. Interwoven with his story are interviews with professional Santas, Santa enthusiasts and historians who provide the fascinating little known history of Santa Claus in America and how the Civil War helped to shape the Christmas holiday as we know it today. Pg

Monday 28 Dec 2015    alphabetical list  chronological list
Mavis!
From the freedom songs of the '60s and hits like "I'll Take You There" in the '70s, to funked-up collaborations with Prince and her recent albums with Wilco's Jeff Tweedy, Mavis has stayed true to her roots, kept her family close, and inspired millions along the way. Featuring powerful live performances, rare archival footage, and conversations with friends and contemporaries including Bob Dylan, Prince, Bonnie Raitt, Levon Helm, Jeff Tweedy, Chuck D, and more, MAVIS! reveals the struggles, successes, and intimate stories of her journey. At 75, she's making the most vital music of her career, winning Grammy awards, and reaching a new generation of fans. Her message of love and equality is needed now more than ever.