Oct 23, 2021
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Vancouver film festival puts spotlight on economy

The Vancouver International Film Festival is turning the focus on the economy with a new program called Follow the Money.

The festival has programmed more than 575 screenings over the next 16 days, including a selection of films that look at economic issues, says festival artistic director Alan Franey.

“Follow the Money is really because the economy is on everyone’s mind. We were amazed to see that filmmakers had been intuiting that there was trouble afoot. A lot of these films started production two years ago,” he told CBC News.

Michael Moore’s Capitalism — A Love Story went into commercial release this week, making it ineligible for the festival.
Director Franny Armstrong is shown at the London premiere of her environmental documentary The Age Of Stupid, which will be screened at the Vancouver International Film Festival.Director Franny Armstrong is shown at the London premiere of her environmental documentary The Age Of Stupid, which will be screened at the Vancouver International Film Festival. (Associated Press)

But Franey has programmed films such as American Casino, a look at the subprime lending scandal from U.S. director Leslie Cockburn and The Age of Stupid, British director Franny Armstrong’s examination of looming environmental chaos.

“American Casino just opened in New York and the reviews there are expressing that cinema has a way of expressing complex issues in a way that no amount of reading and watching television can do,” Franey said.

“So I think these 10 films are a fabulous way of getting a handle on some complex issues.”

VIFF opens Thursday with A Shine of Rainbows, a Canadian-Irish co-production about an Irish couple who take in an orphaned boy, directed by Vancouver’s Vic Sarin.

It is one of many Canadian films, which might be difficult to see otherwise, in this year’s lineup. Others include Oscar contender I Killed My Mother by Xavier Dolan and Finding Farley, by B.C. filmmaker Leanne Allison.

The other new program in this year’s VIFF is the series of audience award winners selected from film festivals around the world.

“It’s quite surprising and sometimes it’s different from what programmers would choose. Precious, for example is a very tough film from the U.S. that Oprah has gotten behind, but it’s won awards at every festival it’s been at including Toronto,” Franey said.

Precious, about an overweight pregnant teen trying to make something of her life, is based on the gritty novel Push by Sapphire.

Franey points to some of the music documentaries that will screen, including Ashes of American flags, about the band Wilco and The Agony and Ecstasy of Phil Spector, which looks at the musical legacy of the former producer now in jail for murder.

“This is an incredibly interesting documentary filled with great music and great insights into … individuality of his sort,” he says of the Spector film.

“People forget that he was involved with the Beatles — the last Beatles record, first John Lennon record, so it’s not just those early ’60s hits.”

VIFF is struggling with the same financial woes facing many B.C. arts organizations. It lost $70,000 in funding when the province cut grants to the arts this fall.

“We learned about the cutback too late to reverse direction. It will be a concern next year and the year after that, but we’re not letting it affect what we do this year,” Franey said.

But the festival got some good news late last week after federal Heritage Minister James Moore announced it would be granted $467,250 in marquee funding to promote VIFF across Canada and around the world.

“The arts really do depend on funding if they are to bring in visitors. You can just show films, but to have the filmmakers here and cultivate an industry in our province requires a different sort of investment than just showing a Hollywood film,” Franey said.

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Front Page, Industry News

Vancouver film festival puts spotlight on economy

The Vancouver International Film Festival is turning the focus on the economy with a new program called Follow the Money.

The festival has programmed more than 575 screenings over the next 16 days, including a selection of films that look at economic issues, says festival artistic director Alan Franey.

“Follow the Money is really because the economy is on everyone’s mind. We were amazed to see that filmmakers had been intuiting that there was trouble afoot. A lot of these films started production two years ago,” he told CBC News.

Michael Moore’s Capitalism — A Love Story went into commercial release this week, making it ineligible for the festival.
Director Franny Armstrong is shown at the London premiere of her environmental documentary The Age Of Stupid, which will be screened at the Vancouver International Film Festival.Director Franny Armstrong is shown at the London premiere of her environmental documentary The Age Of Stupid, which will be screened at the Vancouver International Film Festival. (Associated Press)

But Franey has programmed films such as American Casino, a look at the subprime lending scandal from U.S. director Leslie Cockburn and The Age of Stupid, British director Franny Armstrong’s examination of looming environmental chaos.

“American Casino just opened in New York and the reviews there are expressing that cinema has a way of expressing complex issues in a way that no amount of reading and watching television can do,” Franey said.

“So I think these 10 films are a fabulous way of getting a handle on some complex issues.”

VIFF opens Thursday with A Shine of Rainbows, a Canadian-Irish co-production about an Irish couple who take in an orphaned boy, directed by Vancouver’s Vic Sarin.

It is one of many Canadian films, which might be difficult to see otherwise, in this year’s lineup. Others include Oscar contender I Killed My Mother by Xavier Dolan and Finding Farley, by B.C. filmmaker Leanne Allison.

The other new program in this year’s VIFF is the series of audience award winners selected from film festivals around the world.

“It’s quite surprising and sometimes it’s different from what programmers would choose. Precious, for example is a very tough film from the U.S. that Oprah has gotten behind, but it’s won awards at every festival it’s been at including Toronto,” Franey said.

Precious, about an overweight pregnant teen trying to make something of her life, is based on the gritty novel Push by Sapphire.

Franey points to some of the music documentaries that will screen, including Ashes of American flags, about the band Wilco and The Agony and Ecstasy of Phil Spector, which looks at the musical legacy of the former producer now in jail for murder.

“This is an incredibly interesting documentary filled with great music and great insights into … individuality of his sort,” he says of the Spector film.

“People forget that he was involved with the Beatles — the last Beatles record, first John Lennon record, so it’s not just those early ’60s hits.”

VIFF is struggling with the same financial woes facing many B.C. arts organizations. It lost $70,000 in funding when the province cut grants to the arts this fall.

“We learned about the cutback too late to reverse direction. It will be a concern next year and the year after that, but we’re not letting it affect what we do this year,” Franey said.

But the festival got some good news late last week after federal Heritage Minister James Moore announced it would be granted $467,250 in marquee funding to promote VIFF across Canada and around the world.

“The arts really do depend on funding if they are to bring in visitors. You can just show films, but to have the filmmakers here and cultivate an industry in our province requires a different sort of investment than just showing a Hollywood film,” Franey said.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Front Page, Industry News

Vancouver film festival puts spotlight on economy

The Vancouver International Film Festival is turning the focus on the economy with a new program called Follow the Money.

The festival has programmed more than 575 screenings over the next 16 days, including a selection of films that look at economic issues, says festival artistic director Alan Franey.

“Follow the Money is really because the economy is on everyone’s mind. We were amazed to see that filmmakers had been intuiting that there was trouble afoot. A lot of these films started production two years ago,” he told CBC News.

Michael Moore’s Capitalism — A Love Story went into commercial release this week, making it ineligible for the festival.
Director Franny Armstrong is shown at the London premiere of her environmental documentary The Age Of Stupid, which will be screened at the Vancouver International Film Festival.Director Franny Armstrong is shown at the London premiere of her environmental documentary The Age Of Stupid, which will be screened at the Vancouver International Film Festival. (Associated Press)

But Franey has programmed films such as American Casino, a look at the subprime lending scandal from U.S. director Leslie Cockburn and The Age of Stupid, British director Franny Armstrong’s examination of looming environmental chaos.

“American Casino just opened in New York and the reviews there are expressing that cinema has a way of expressing complex issues in a way that no amount of reading and watching television can do,” Franey said.

“So I think these 10 films are a fabulous way of getting a handle on some complex issues.”

VIFF opens Thursday with A Shine of Rainbows, a Canadian-Irish co-production about an Irish couple who take in an orphaned boy, directed by Vancouver’s Vic Sarin.

It is one of many Canadian films, which might be difficult to see otherwise, in this year’s lineup. Others include Oscar contender I Killed My Mother by Xavier Dolan and Finding Farley, by B.C. filmmaker Leanne Allison.

The other new program in this year’s VIFF is the series of audience award winners selected from film festivals around the world.

“It’s quite surprising and sometimes it’s different from what programmers would choose. Precious, for example is a very tough film from the U.S. that Oprah has gotten behind, but it’s won awards at every festival it’s been at including Toronto,” Franey said.

Precious, about an overweight pregnant teen trying to make something of her life, is based on the gritty novel Push by Sapphire.

Franey points to some of the music documentaries that will screen, including Ashes of American flags, about the band Wilco and The Agony and Ecstasy of Phil Spector, which looks at the musical legacy of the former producer now in jail for murder.

“This is an incredibly interesting documentary filled with great music and great insights into … individuality of his sort,” he says of the Spector film.

“People forget that he was involved with the Beatles — the last Beatles record, first John Lennon record, so it’s not just those early ’60s hits.”

VIFF is struggling with the same financial woes facing many B.C. arts organizations. It lost $70,000 in funding when the province cut grants to the arts this fall.

“We learned about the cutback too late to reverse direction. It will be a concern next year and the year after that, but we’re not letting it affect what we do this year,” Franey said.

But the festival got some good news late last week after federal Heritage Minister James Moore announced it would be granted $467,250 in marquee funding to promote VIFF across Canada and around the world.

“The arts really do depend on funding if they are to bring in visitors. You can just show films, but to have the filmmakers here and cultivate an industry in our province requires a different sort of investment than just showing a Hollywood film,” Franey said.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

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