Faces of BC Film – Kellie Ann Benz’ movie Naked Night Bike premieres on IndieFlix

Maude (Jennifer McLean) and Bertrand (Kris Elgstrand) try to relate in Naked Night Bike.

Maude (Jennifer McLean) and Bertrand (Kris Elgstrand) try to relate in Naked Night Bike.

Generally, menopause is no laughing matter, especially if you experience symptoms at as early as age 40. Vancouver filmmaker Kellie Ann Benz was diagnosed with the condition sooner than she ever imagined and didn’t know who to talk to. What was worse, her boyfriend at the time got cold feet and the relationship ended dramatically.

“It was clear that menopause evokes this panicky reaction in people, as if aging is contagious and that it was just one of those realities of life that no one wanted to talk about,” says Benz. “The whole experience made me feel like my ‘market value’ had plummeted and yet here I was, still in this world, still vital in so many ways, still loving, still attracted, still attractive, yet now very aware that I belonged to a different club of women. It was such a weird time that I knew a movie had to be made.” Continue reading

Vancouver stunt performer Maja Aro nominated for 2014 Taurus World Stunt Award

A great addition to the series Faces of BC Film. I first met Maja Aro at a grip and lighting seminar at William F. White, organized by Women in Film and I was happy the organization asked me to blog about her L.A. nomination. Way to go, Maja!

Women in Film and Television Vancouver Blog

Aro1 cropped When Maja Aro comes over to meet me at the Dominion building the athletic young woman is what I had expected from a stunt performer. However, I am impressed when I see two recent scars in her face and a splinted hand. When I ask her about it, Aro smiles and shrugs. Injuries come with her job and she doesn’t make a big fuss about it.

She obtained the cuts at the set of the sci-fi show The Tomorrow People, where she flew through a tempered glass door and got such a big gap on her face it needed stitches. However, Aro says she didn’t deal with it until the take was over and continuity pictures were shot.

“I have a very high pain threshold, luckily, and I don’t bruise easily,” she laughs,

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Faces of BC Film: Suzette Laqua and the inaugural Vancouver Web Fest

VWF logoOur digital lifestyle is moving with seven-league boots and sometimes our decisions have to be made accordingly. And so it happened when Suzette Laqua decided within a few seconds to produce Vancouver’s first web series festival, which will take place May 2nd-4th at the Imperial Vancouver (formerly District 319, at 319 Main St.)

The Vancouver Web Fest celebrates “the progressive evolution of entertainment and programming created exclusively for the Internet.” Screenings showcase a wide range of Canadian and international web series including comedy, drama, documentaries, thrillers, animation and more. The weekend also features industry panels, parties, life performances and an awards gala. Continue reading

Unsolved Wendy Ladner-Beaudry murder moves to RCMP Major Crime Section

Pacific Spirit Park at the corner of SW Marine Drive and Camoson St., a few hours before the press conference on April 3, 2014.

Pacific Spirit Park at the corner of SW Marine Drive and Camosun St., a few hours before the press conference on April 3, 2014.

This week marked five years since local resident Wendy Ladner-Beaudry, 53, was found murdered in Pacific Spirit Park. In spite of five years of investigation, the IHIT team have so far found no suspect, and no motive, said IHIT spokeswoman Jennifer Pound, as the RCMP and the family conducted their annual press conference last Wednesday. Continue reading

The odd realm of Frauke Finsterwalder’s Finsterworld

If you thought Germans can’t laugh, think again. This is a remarkable film made by a remarkable woman in film and it screens here in Vancouver on International Women’s Day, March 8.

Women in Film and Television Vancouver Blog

Finsterworld

Satire, surrealism, fairy tale, allegory, black comedy, and tragicomedy: many genres could describe Frauke Finsterwalder’s first film, Finsterworld. One genre can be ruled out for sure though: vérité.

When the Women in Film Festival committee decided to invite Finsterwalder’s film, our festival judges and volunteers struggled with how to summarize this incredibly complex debut film – you’ll have to see it for yourself to understand. 

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Behind the bright façade – an African ménage à trois in Marie Kâ’s L’Autre Femme

Another lovely film, another great addition to the series “Faces of BC Film” – Marie Kâ, a Vancouver director, raised in Senegal.

Women in Film and Television Vancouver Blog

 L'Autre FemmeWhat strikes one right away in this erotic tale written, directed and produced by Vancouver filmmaker Marie Kâ, are a wide pallet of bright colours and ubiquitous sunshine.

Clothing, interiors and street life really are that colourful in Dakar, the location for the story, said Kâ, who grew up in Senegal and studied film in France and the US. So much so that the set design and wardrobe teams did such a good job of setting up the shop window with some of the costumes that local women were coming onto the set to inquire about the clothes.

The story of Madeleine, who finds unconventional ways to get to terms with her husband’s new, young, second wife, did not strike Kâ as an unusual constellation. 

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Remembering the Homelands – Lisa Jackson’s How A People Live

I hadn’t heard about this film before working with Women in Film and guest blogging for wiftv.wordpress.com. It’s a made-in-BC film commissioned by and about First Nations, and would make a great fit for the series Faces of BC Film.

Women in Film and Television Vancouver Blog

Pristine waters in majestic fjords, lined by evergreen forests and a backdrop of snowcapped mountains. A bald eagle flies over treetops and a harbour seal peeks up from the waves.

To most B.C. citizens, these are not mere postcard pictures, but real memories that many of us, at least the lucky ones living near the coast, have experienced, travelling on one of the ferries. 

Jessie Hemphill

“Your identity derives from the place where you have roots, where your origin stories are. Everything comes from the land,” says Jessie Hemphill, a young aboriginal woman who joined filmmaker Lisa Jackson and her crew on a boat trip to the homelands of her nation, the Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw.

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