Thanksgiving Weekend at VIFF

Posted by 
Cara Lang

The long weekend is now upon us! If you're looking for a meaningful way to spend some extra time this weekend, why not check out a few films playing at the Vancouver International Film Festival. Here are our top picks for the Thanksgiving Long Weekend:

To Keep the Light

Tonight is the Canadian Premiere of To Keep the Light, written and directed by Erica Fae - who also stars as Abbie, the keeper of the lighthouse. This moody period piece set in the 19th century delves into the historical role of women on the fringes of society. The character of Abbie is an amalgamation derived from the true stories of female lighthouse keepers, and To Keep the Light is itself a dramatic rendering of just one of the many untold stories of women's liberation, less overtly political than say the sufragettes, but no less powerful or important.


When interviewed by the Huffington Post, Fae had this to say about feminism and art and the portrayal of women: 

I am drawn to stories of amazing women from history - and yes, up until now I have made pieces on specific women (Joan of Arc, Kahlil Gibran’s benefactress Mary Haskell, Christine de Pizan, Alice Paul). When my research led me to lighthouse keepers, I found myself fascinated by the worlds these women inhabited, but I didn’t want to tell the story of a particular woman. It was their collective presence, a largely unknown presence, that spoke to me. Plus, sculpting the film’s story using a composite character gave me the freedom to play with other plot elements untethered to historical facts ... I always hope to bring to contemporary audiences an awareness of just how freaking amazing women have been for a long time. These stories are largely absent from our collective history books. By mining them and sharing them on stage or screen, I feel I’m doing my small part to help people realize that women have been trailblazers for centuries. I think if women and men knew about more of these fore-sisters, it might lighten the load in our ongoing push for equality. Plus, I think they’re simply great stories!

To Keep the Light is playing at 6:00 pm Fri Oct. 7 and 10:45 am Sun Oct. 9. Click HERE for tickets. 

All This Panic


No matter when you were a teenager (or perhaps you are one right now, all the better) this documentary by Jenny Gage will transport you back to that anxiety-fraught time of adolesence. Gage follows the lives of seven young girls living in Brooklyn through the tumultuous and yet ultimately triumphant teenage years. These young girls deliver some serious truth bombs that will at times have you wondering whether they're really only teenagers, but then of course they circle back to those tell-tale self-doubts (do they ever really leave). Somehow Gage's documentary about coming-of-age is really more a poetically mundane and maginificent look at life and how we all just have to figure it out for ourselves. Love, sex, drugs, crises of identity, Jenny Gage captures it all. What else are you doing on Saturday at 6:30 p.m. - go see this film!

Final Screening: Saturday Oct. 8 at 6:30 p.m. Click HERE for tickets. 

Things to Come

“[Hansen- Løve] excels at taking potentially melodramatic situations and defusing them with careful emotional truths … The film treats [its] destabilizing cluster of crises with extraordinary restraint … Able to slide from irritable to vulnerable within a sentence, Huppert is a sheer delight here, whether flirting with her radical intellectual protégé Fabien in front of her eye-rolling adult children, or shoving her husband’s farewell flowers savagely into the bin. Nathalie… gives the actress a chance to utilize her often-prickly screen persona to fine effect … Stylistically unshowy but with a delicacy of composition that emphasizes experience over drama, Denis Lenoir’s camerawork creates gorgeous Rohmerish moments…”

—Kate Stables, Sight & Sound

Again, this is a final VIFF showing - so don't miss out! In fact, this film is an excellent vegan substitute for turkey dinner. 

Final Screening: Sunday Oct. 9 at 6:15. Click HERE for tickets. 

KONELINE: our land beautiful

There is perhaps no more appropriate film for this Thanksgiving long weekend than Netti Wild's visually stunning depiction of the pristine lands of the Tahltan First Nation in Northern B.C. While KONELINE is a feast for the eyes, it's also a spot on depiction of the tension between the natural and relatively untouched beauty of the land and the threat of economic development and resource extraction: prepare for a side of proper gut wrench. A timely and important film, Wild examines the different cultures, conceptions of time and value, and of course the land: which will surely outlast us all. 

Final Screening: Sun Oct. 9 at 12:30. *Only Standby Tickets Left*



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