Vancouver film festivals and series to watch in April

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      As we face both light at the end of the pandemic tunnel and the darkness of escalating case counts, we’ve been encouraged to stay close to home.

      That means we’ll be resorting even more to online offerings, and several screen organizations have plenty to offer in that department.

      So on that note, here’s a quick rundown of some locally based options of what's available to watch in April—in addition to a call for entries from filmmakers.

      2021 Oscar Nominated Short Films (April 2 to 29, streaming at VIFF Connect)  For those in Oscar pools or the simply interested, the Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF) is streaming this year’s Academy Award–nominated short films in three programs—documentary, animation, and live action—so viewers can make their bets on who will nab the top spot.

      A Tale of Summer

      Éric Rohmer’s Tales of the Four Seasons (April 9 to May 6, streaming at the Cinematheque)  Four French seasonal comedies from the French New Wave auteur make up this tetralogy. From A Tale of Springtime to A Tale of Autumn, this collection follows characters facing dilemmas in matters of the heart that demand difficult decisions to be made—or else let indecision render everything undone. 

      Anthropocene: The Human Epoch

      Capture Photography Film Festival (April 9 to May 6, streaming at VIFF Connect)  Three visually stunning documentaries by Jennifer Bachiwal and Edward Burtynsky—Manufactured Landscapes (2006), Watermark (2013), and Anthropocene: The Human Epoch (2018)—harness the power of photography to present unexpected new ways of observing how human activity is leaving a devastating imprint upon the world. This retrospective is part of the lens-based Capture Photography Festival in April.

      Veins of the World

      Reel 2 Real Film Festival (April 14 to 23)  The 23rd edition of this festival for youth has a lineup boasting 18 feature films and 45 shorts from over 35 nations, and can be viewed from across B.C. Among the titles are “Dark Cloud”, a look at cyberbullying from the perspective of Carol Todd, the mother of local cyberbullying victim Amanda Todd; Veins of the World, about a 11-year-old Mongolian boy who has to take over responsibilities for his family after his father dies; and My Name is Baghdad, about a 17-year-old girl who escapes from gender pressures through skateboarding. In addition, there are school programs with study guides addressing social justice, Indigenous, and historical issues. 

      My Name is Baghdad

      National Canadian Film Day (April 22 to May 4, streaming at the Cinematheque)  The Cinematheque will offer free Canadian films to watch for this nationwide spotlight on our domestic screen industries. The program lineup is yet to be finalized so stay tuned to find out which titles will be available for this cinematic celebration.

      Vancouver Asian Film Festival

      Vancouver Asian Film Festival’s Richard Wong Film Fund  This one isn’t one for viewers to watch—quite yet. Rather, it’s one for filmmakers to take note of. This month, the Vancouver Asian Film Festival (VAFF) launched the new Richard Wong Film Fund to provide up to $12,500 to Asian Canadian filmmakers and TV producers for projects that boost the profile of Asian people in Canada. The winning films will be screened at the 25th annual VAFF in November. Submissions are due by May 1 and full details are online at the VAFF website. During this period of heightened anti-Asian attacks and discrimination, represent-Asian has never been more important.

      You can follow Craig Takeuchi on Twitter at @cinecraig or on Facebook.