VIFF 2020: Vancouver's Karen Lam and Capilano University grad Jessie Anthony win B.C. film awards

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      Although we're only a few days into the 2020 edition of the Vancouver International Film Festival, which began on September 24, several Canadian filmmakers have already garnered awards.

      Slts’lani (Banchi Hanuse) directed the short documentary “Nuxalk Radio”, which won the Sea to Sky Award at VIFF 2020.
      Vancouver International FIlm Festival

      On September 25, director Slts’lani (Banchi Hanuse) won the Sea to Sky Award for the documentary short “Nuxalk Radio”, which offers a look at the community radio station Nuxalk Radio 91.1 FM, which broadcasts from Bella Coola.

      The radio station, launched in 2014, endeavours to promote and preserve the Nuxalkmc language of the Nuxalk Nation. 

      “Nuxalk Radio” streams online as part of the VIFF Short Forum: Programme 3 until October 7.

      “Nuxalk Radio”,
      Vancouver International FIlm Festival

      Yesterday (September 26), the Best B.C. Film Award went to local director Karen Lam for her social-commentary supernatural thriller The Curse of Willow Song.

      Valerie Tian plays the title character who, after completing her jail term for arson, winds up living in an SRO in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. But she soon discovers she has otherworldly abilities.   

      In addition to the film streaming online for B.C. viewers at VIFF Connect until October 7, it will also be presented in theatres at 9 p.m. on Saturday (October 3) at the Cinematheque and Vancity Theatre.

      The Curse of Willow Song
      Vancouver International Film Festival

      Today (September 27), filmmaker Jessie Anthony (from the Onondaga Nation) received the B.C Emerging Filmmaker Award for her debut feature Brother, I Cry, which had its world premiere at VIFF.

      Anthony, a Capilano University graduate who hails from Six Nations, Ontario, made the film in Telefilm’s Talent to Watch program.

      Jessie Anthony of the Onondaga Nation won a VIFF award for her debut feature film Brother, I Cry.
      Vancouver International Film Festival

      In this social realist drama, a First Nations man, portrayed by Justin Rain, struggles to free himself from addiction. While his friendship with a drug dealer (Jay Cardinal Villeneuve) impedes his progress, several women—including his girlfriend, his sister, his mother, and his unborn daughter—are on his side.

      While this film streams online for B.C. viewers at VIFF Connect until October 7, it will also be presented in theatres at 6 p.m. tomorrow (September 28) at both the Cinematheque and Vancity Theatre.

      The 2020 film festival continues both online and in cinemas until October 7. For news and reviews, check out the Georgia Straight's guide to the festival. 

      Brother, I Cry
      Vancouver International Film Festival
      You can follow Craig Takeuchi on Twitter at @cinecraig or on Facebook.