Vancouver enjoys bounty of weekend film festivals

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      Almost nothing beats the rain better than relaxing inside a comfy movie theatre.

      And with showers likely to fall all Saturday (November 26) in Vancouver, film fans can enjoy a triple-header of festivals today.

      Vancity Theatre (1181 Seymour Street) is the site of the Vancouver Turkish Film Festival, starting at noon with Kedi.

      It's a dramatically shot feature-length documentary about street cats in Istanbul. Directed by Ceyda Tourin, it shows how huge numbers of felines have coexisted with this historic city's residents for centuries. 

      It's estimated that there's a one-to-one ratio of cats to people. But like wildlife in other growing metropolises, these animals are under threat from growing gentrification and urban sprawl.

      Watch the trailer for Kedi.

      Kedi is followed by Albüm at 1:45 p.m., which captured the best film award at the Sarajevo Film Festival. Directed by Mehmet Can Mertoğlu, it's a comedy about a childless couple who create a fake photo album of pregnancy to convince an adopted child that they are the biological parents. Albüm also won the France 4 Visionary Award at the Cannes Film Festival and the Special Award at the Seville European Festival.

      Watch the trailer for Albüm.

      Next up at the Vancouver Turkish Film Festival is My Mother's Wound at 3:15 p.m. It probes the fallout from the Bosnian war in a drama about an 18-year-old orphan who finds work on a Serbian farm.

      Another compelling drama, Ember/Kor, will be screened at 6:10. An official selection at the Toronto Film Festival, it's a love triangle focusing on the mother of a sick child, a jealous husband, and the husband's former boss.

      Watch the trailer for Ember/Kor.

      The Vancouver Turkish Film Festival continues at the Vancity Theatre with an 8:30 p.m. screening of Blue Bicycle, which won best film, best director, and best script at the International Atalya Film Festival. It tells the tale of a 12-year-old boy who schemes to get his female friend Elif reinstated as class representative in a rural Anatolian town. At its heart, Blue Bicycle is a film about the quest for justice. 

      The daylong smorgasbord of Turkish films concludes at 10:30 p.m. with Bad Cat (yes, another cat movie). It's an adult-oriented animated feature about a sex-crazed alley cat named Shero who discovers he has an illegitimate son named Taco.

      Watch the trailer for Bad Cat.

      Meanwhile not far away from the Vancity Theatre, the 19th annual European Union Film Festival continues at the Cinematheque (1131 Howe Street).

      At 6 p.m., a Dutch period piece, A Noble Intention, explores how gentrification disrupted lives in Amsterdam more than a century ago. Based on the novel by Thomas Rosenboom, it shows how a violin maker and a pharmacist try to disrupt efforts to replace homes in a neighbourhood with a luxurious hotel. It takes place in 1888, just as the city's central station is being constructed.

      That's followed at 8:15 p.m. by the delightfully titled Hungarian film, Mom and Other Loonies in the Family. Director Ibolya Fekete explores the often turbulent modern history of Hungary through four generations of a single family.

      Watch the trailer for Mom and Other Loonies in the Family.

      The European Union Film Festival continues until November 30.

      The third film fest on the menu takes place at SFU Woodward's in the Goldcorp Centre for the Arts (149 West Hastings Street).

      The Vancouver International South Asian Film Festival hosted Bollywood actor Gulshan Grover at its opening last night. The fest will screen a series of short films at noon and again at 2:15, including filmmaker Laila Patrone's Your Love, starring Vancouver's Zara Durrani.

      Later in the day, VISAFF will show Moor, which is about a poor Pakistani train master. That's followed by Mikhale Musale's Gujurati thriller Wrong Side Raju, centred around a hit-and-run accident. Winding up the night is Munish Bhardwaj's debut Moh Maya Money about a Delhi real-estate hustler (played by Ranvir Shorey).

      Fans of B.C. politics can indulge in VISAFF's Sunday morning screening of R. Paul Dhillon's Moe Sihota: Feared and Desired, which shows how B.C.'s first MLA of Indian ancestry left a big mark on the province.

      Moe Sihota left a significant impact on B.C. while serving in various cabinet posts in the NDP governments of the 1990s.