By Adam Cook
Each year Reel Canada organizes a nationwide celebration of Canadian filmmaking and talent and it’s always a special chance to direct your attention to the best cinema our country has to offer—that’s not always supported the way it deserves. Getting Canadians interested in Canadian film is a weirdly mammoth task, and Reel Canada tries to find ways to bridge these cultural gaps on our own soil. We spoke with Ravi Srinivasan, one of the programmers at Reel Canada behind putting on this epic multi-faceted event.
Mina Shum’s Double Happiness (1994), starring Sandra Oh
VIFF: Last year was a big milestone edition of NCFD. What makes this year special?
Ravi Srinivasan: The 5th annual NCFD stands out in 2018 because it’s spotlight on stories written, directed and produced by women. We offered a curated list of 40 films, free of charge to all of our over 700 screening partners across the country. Filmmakers from Alanis Obomsawin, Deepa Mehta, Sarah Polley, Sharon Lewis, Ashley McKenzie, Mina Shum, Ann-Marie Flemming, Patricia Rozema and many many more will have their work screened on April 18th from coast to coast to coast.
VIFF: What highlights should Vancouverites be aware of during Canadian Film Week at Vancity Theatre?
Srinivasan: The 25th-anniversary screening of Francois Girard seminal work, 32 Short Films About Glenn Gould featuring a post-film Q&A with Colm Feore Vancouver’s own Mina Shum will introduce her debut feature, Double Happiness starring Sandra Oh. Earlier in the day, VIFF will host a special FREE screening of Zoe Leigh Hopkins’s Kayak to Klemtu for local area high school students.
32 Short Films About Glenn Gould (1993)
VIFF: What are some of the initiatives across the country people might not know about that you think we should be aware of?
Srinivasan: Every year, National Canadian Film Day connects with a diverse range of screening partners to watch, listen and learn about our own stories. It’s not just multiplexes and rep houses. We work with correctional facilities, long-term care facilities, Royal Canadian Legions, library networks, Indigenous centres, New Canadian settlement agencies, Children’s hospitals, and of course our core audience, hundreds of high schools across the country.
VIFF: Canada has a rich film history but it’s also a unique present moment for the culture and industry. What do you find exciting about Canadian film right now?
Srinivasan: I’m excited about the new perspectives that have come to the surface over the last five years. Filmmakers like Albert Shin, Igor Drljaca, Sadaf Foroughy and many others are telling modern diasporic stories that might not directly relate to a “Canadian” experience but they’re establishing a cross-cultural feeling of empathy that I feel is more important now than ever.
Albert Shin’s Canadian-South Korean film ‘In Her Place’
Canadian Film Day takes place on April 18 at VIFF Vancity Theatre with FREE screenings of Double Happiness (6:30pm) and 32 Short Films About Glenn Gould (8:40pm).
One day of Canadian film not enough? We’ve extended it into a week-long celebration at Vancity Theatre, featuring ten great movies by Canadians, for Canadians. Grab yourself at Candian Film Week 3 Ticket Pack for $27, check your passport at the door and support the incredible achievements of our nation’s filmmakers.