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Because We Are Girls

Director Baljit Sangra
Year 2019
Run Time 85min
Genre Documentary

Three Punjabi-Canadian sisters await the verdict from the trial of the cousin charged with abusing them as children. In this heavy-hitting documentary, the sisters confront the culture that allowed the abuse to happen, including parents who encouraged their silence.

Director

Baljit Sangra

Writer

Baljit Sangra

Producer

Selwyn Jacob

Genre

Documentary

Interests

BIPOC Stories, Discrimination, Female Filmmaker

Original Language

English

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Beeba Boys

Director Deepa Mehta
Year 2015
Run Time 103min
Genre Drama

Gang violence and a maelstrom of crime rock Vancouver in this flashy, dangerous thriller about the Indo-Canadian underworld. Starring Randeep Hooda and Ali Momen. 

Director

Deepa Mehta

Mehta gained acclaim for her trilogy, Fire, Earth and the Oscar-nominated Water. Her adaptation of Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children was nominated for eight CSAs. She has also directed Bollywood/Hollywood, Beeba Boys, Anatomy of Violence, and many others. Most recently, she directed an episode of the hit series Yellowjackets.

Writer

Deepa Mehta

Cast

Randeep Hooda, Ali Momen

Producer

David Hamilton

Genre

Drama

Interests

BIPOC Stories, Discrimination

Original Language

English

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Eve and the Firehorse

Director Julia Kwan
Year 2005
Run Time 92min
Genre Drama
A precocious 9-year-old with a wild imagination grows up amid her traditional Chinese immigrant family in Vancouver.

Director

Julia Kwan

Writer

Julia Kwan

Genre

Drama

Interest

Female Filmmaker

Original Language

English

When the Storm Fades

Year 2018
Run Time 80min
Genre Comedy, Documentary, Drama
A genre defying docudramedy starring a real Filipino family of typhoon survivors re-enacting their daily struggle to recover from the strongest storm in recorded history - 2013's Super Typhoon Haiyan. Three years after the storm, the Pablos have rebuilt their seaside home in Tacloban, one of the Philippines' poorest neighbourhoods. Their slow recovery is shaken up by two awkward Canadian volunteers planting trees in the community, played by Canadian Comedy Award Winners Kayla Lorette and Aaron Read. This foreign couple is learning the difference between helping and actually being helpful. Part comedic fiction, part dramatic re-enactment - the result is a satirical examination of the white saviour complex and a quiet meditation on grief in the era of climate change. When The Storm Fades was a prefigurative production that has improved the economic quality of life for the storm survivors that star in the film.

Directors

Genres

Comedy, Documentary, Drama

Interests

BIPOC Stories, Global Experiences

Original Language

English

Everything Will Be

Director Julia Kwan
Year 2013
Run Time 86min
Genre Documentary
This feature documentary by Sundance award-winning director Julia Kwan captures the subtle nuances of a culturally diverse neighbourhood—Vancouver’s once-thriving Chinatown—in the midst of a transformation that plays out across many ethnic enclaves in North America. The community’s oldest and newest members offer their intimate perspectives on the shifting landscape as they reflect on change, memory and legacy. Night and day, a neon sign that reads “EVERYTHING IS GOING TO BE ALRIGHT” looms over Chinatown. Everything is going to be alright. The big question is—for whom?

Director

Julia Kwan

Writer

Julia Kwan

Producer

David Christensen

Genre

Documentary

Interest

BIPOC Stories

Original Language

English

Language Version

Other Subtitles

Hurt

Director Alan Zweig
Year 2015
Run Time 84min
Genre Documentary
In this honest look at the mythmaking of heroes and what later becomes of them, acclaimed documentary filmmaker Alan Zweig profiles Steve Fonyo, a man who ran across Canada at the age of 19 after losing a leg to cancer, following in the footsteps of Terry Fox, and raising millions of dollars for cancer research while doing so.

Although his charity marathon in 1984 was a glorious success, his subsequent exploits — precarious jobs and petty crimes —find him in a state of financial ruin in one of Canada’s toughest neighbourhoods. The unbelievable run that became his life’s greatest achievement is now a crushing burden.

Zweig’s rare and sensitive portrait of a complex one-time hero won the inaugural Platform prize at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival.

Director

Alan Zweig

Writer

Alan Zweig

Cast

Steve Fonyo

Producers

Peter Gentile, Mikey Lalonde

Genre

Documentary

Interest

Biography

Original Language

English

One Week

Director Michael McGowan
Year 2008
Run Time 94min
Genre Drama
Ben Tyler (Jackson) is a young guy with a comfortable life, a good job as an English teacher and a sensible fiancée, Samantha (Balaban). When his doctor unexpectedly tells him he has cancer and “maybe two years, maybe one week” to live, Ben’s only chance is to start treatment immediately. Instead, he decides to buy a motorcycle and head out west.

A classic road trip movie featuring lots of Canadian icons (like Gord Downie of The Tragically Hip), One Week follows Ben’s journey from Toronto to Tofino. Along the way, Ben makes new friends and re-evaluates his life, his job and his upcoming marriage. As his fiancée and family back home struggle to understand his decision, Ben rediscovers himself, reawakens his old passion for writing and ultimately learns to appreciate life.

Director

Michael McGowan

McGowan made his film debut as a writer, director and producer with My Dog Vincent, and directed Saint Ralph, One Week, Score: A Hockey Musical and Still Mine, which was named by TIFF as one of Canada’s Top 10 films in 2012. He recently directed TV shows Reign and Between and wrote the film The Etruscan Smile. His most recent film, All My Puny Sorrows, premiered at TIFF 2021.

Writer

Michael McGowan

Cast

Joshua Jackson, Liane Balaban, Campbell Scott, Fiona Reid

Producers

Nicholas de Pencier, Jane Tattersall, Michael McGowan

Genre

Drama

Interests

ESL, Family Relationships

Original Language

English

Language Version

FR Dub

Sisters & Brothers

Director Carl Bessai
Year 2011
Run Time 90min
Genre Drama
The final film in Carl Bessai’s Family X trilogy — following 2008’s Mothers & Daughters and 2010’s Fathers & Sons — tells thoughtful emotional truths touching on themes of jealousy, despair, affection and forgiveness. But this is a comedy, and it mines real relationships for honest laughs as four sets of siblings reunite, none of whom have been close in some time.

With a stellar cast (all of which collaborated on the film's script) including the late Cory Monteith, Gabrielle Miller and Amanda Crew, this lovably dysfunctional story presents a funny, off-kilter vision of familial connections and their intricacies.

Director

Carl Bessai

Writer

Carl Bessai

Cast

Cory Monteith, Gabrielle Miller, Amanda Crew, Tom Scholte, Dustin Milligan

Producers

Emily Alden, Carl Bessai, James Brown

Genre

Drama

Interest

Family Relationships

Original Language

English

Edwin Boyd: Citizen Gangster

Director Nathan Morlando
Year 2011
Run Time 105min
Genre Action/Adventure, Drama, Thriller
This real-life adventure story is based on an actual Canadian WWII veteran and family man turned bank robber. Disillusioned by his post-war life, Eddie Boyd (Speedman) is torn between his desire to provide for his wife (Reilly) and his dream to go to Hollywood and become a star. Eddie is charming, ambitious and hungry for success, and ultimately turns to crime in order to attain it.

Eddie gets his start by recruiting a gang of small-time crooks and slowly turns them into a crack team of professional thieves. He launches a series of spectacular bank robberies, gaining notoriety and quickly becoming both a beloved national celebrity and public enemy number one. Part action-packed crime caper, part romance, this vibrant film brings an incredible true story to life.

Director

Nathan Morlando

Morlando’s first film, Edwin Boyd: Citizen Gangster, won Best Canadian First Feature at TIFF. He also directed Mean Dreams, which debuted in the Directors’ Fortnight section of the Cannes Film Festival. He recently produced Giant Little Ones and directed episodes of the show Cardinal.

Writer

Nathan Morlando

Cast

Scott Speedman, Kelly Reilly, Kevin Durand, Brian Cox, Charlotte Sullivan

Producer

Allison Black

Genres

Action/Adventure, Drama, Thriller

Interests

Biography, History

Original Language

English

Language Versions

EN CC, FR Subtitles

The Snow Walker

Director Charles Martin Smith
Year 2004
Run Time 110min
Genre Action/Adventure, Drama
When Arctic bush pilot Charlie Halliday (Pepper) is given two rare walrus tusks by a group of Inuit, he agrees to fly a mission of mercy, transporting a sick girl (Piugattuk) to a hospital. It’s the early 1950s, and the brash pilot has flown through the Arctic for years without seriously thinking about the people who live there or how they survive.

Everything changes when Charlie’s plane goes down in the wilderness, leaving him alone with the young girl. Forced to rely on each other, the two form a bond of friendship as the summer months quickly end and winter’s harsh conditions begin to take hold. Based on a story by acclaimed Canadian author Farley Mowat, this is a beautifully rendered tale, set in the gorgeous but desolate Arctic. Director Smith played a key role in an earlier Mowat adaptation, Never Cry Wolf.

The Snow Walker is a powerful, poignant and transcendent film.” — Bruce Kirkland, Jam! Movies

Director

Charles Martin Smith

Actor/director Smith is known for roles in the 1973 classic American Graffiti and The Untouchables. He has directed episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Da Vinci’s Inquest, and his films include Stone of Destiny and Dolphin Tale. He directed A Dog’s Way Home, and most recently A Christmas Gift From Bob. He is currently completing the film Maybe This Time.

Writer

Charles Martin Smith

Cast

Barry Pepper, Annabella Piugattuk, James Cromwell

Producers

Rob Merilees, William Vince

Genres

Action/Adventure, Drama

Interests

BIPOC Stories, ESL, Literary Adaptation, Strong Female Leads

Original Language

English

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Totem: The Return of the G’psgolox Pole

Director Gil Gardinal (Métis)
Year 2003
Run Time 70min
Genre Documentary

In 1929, the Haisla people of British Columbia returned from a fishing trip to find their tribe’s nine-metre mortuary pole — otherwise known as the G’psgolox — missing, severed at the base. The pole’s fate was a mystery for over 60 years until it surfaced in a Stockholm museum, where members of the Haisla Nation journeyed to in order to get it back in 1991.

Mixing interviews, location photography and awesome footage of Haisla carvers, this unique documentary takes an incredible story and weaves in important commentary on the issue of cultural appropriation and art history.

Director

Gil Gardinal (Métis)

Writer

Gil Gardinal (Métis)

Producers

Jerry Krepakevich, Graydon McCrea, Bonnie Thompson

Genre

Documentary

Interests

BIPOC Stories, Environment, Global Experiences, History, Indigenous Filmmaker, Social Justice & Politics

Original Language

English

Language Versions

EN CC, FR Subtitles

A Place Called Chiapas

Director Nettie Wild
Year 1998
Run Time 89min
Genre Documentary

Filmmaker Nettie Wild notes that in Canada, the North American Free Trade Agreement, which went into effect in 1994, was a matter for lively discussion and political debate. In Chiapas, one of the poorest states in Mexico, it provoked an actual revolution.


In this remarkably clear-eyed and vivid documentary, Wild follows the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) as they fight and evade the Mexican army. Wild takes viewers on a journey through fear and hope, telling a complex story of Indigenous rights and corporate interests in the wake of NAFTA.


The film won the Genie for Best Documentary, among several other awards.

Director

Nettie Wild

Writers

Manfred Becker, Nettie Wild

Producers

Betsy Carson, Kirk Tougas, Nettie Wild

Genre

Documentary

Interests

Environment, Female Filmmaker, Global Experiences, Social Justice & Politics

Original Language

English

Language Version

EN CC

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Better Than Chocolate

Director Anne Wheeler
Year 1999
Run Time 101min
Genre Comedy

Maggie (Karyn Dwyer) is happy with her life in Vancouver. She works at an LGBTQ+ bookstore owned by Frances (Anne-Marie MacDonald) and has recently fallen head over heels with a young artist named (Christina Cox). When the couple decide to take their romance to the next level and move in together, everything seems perfect.

That is, until Maggie’s recently-divorced mom Lila (Wendy Crewson) and brother Paul turn up at her doorstep, looking to stay with her. The unlikely foursome end up sharing Maggie’s Vancouver loft, and Maggie must decide whether to keep her relationship – and her sexuality – a secret, or reveal who she really is to her well-meaning but naïve and conservative mother.

“Anne Wheeler's sexy, funny, poignant film, from a bright script by Peggy Thompson, is a real charmer, with considerable brains.” – David Noh, FilmJournal International

Director

Anne Wheeler

Writer

Peggy Thompson

Cast

Wendy Crewson, Karyn Dwyer, Christina Cox, Christina Cox, Karyn Dwyer

Producer

Sharon McGowan

Genre

Comedy

Interests

BIPOC Stories, Female Filmmaker, LGBTQ2S+

Original Language

English

Language Versions

EN CC, FR Subtitles, Other Subtitles

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The Road Forward

Director Marie Clements (Métis/Dene)
Year 2017
Run Time 101min
Genre Documentary
A musical doc unlike anything you’ve seen before, The Road Forward pushes the boundaries of what we expect of documentaries and offers a unique, defiant blend of genres that will leave you smiling and feeling inspired.
 
The film tells the tale of six generations of Indigenous activism, weaving in musical sequences that seamlessly connect past and present with blues, rock and traditional beats. A rousing tribute to those who tirelessly fight for the rights of First Nations people and a visceral and inspiring call to action!
 
The Road Forward represents the bold and optimistic position where [Indigenous documentary] now stands.”  Kate Taylor, The Globe and Mail

Director

Marie Clements (Métis/Dene)

Clements works within a variety of mediums including film, television, radio, and live performance. Her work has screened at Cannes, TIFF, MOMA, VIFF, American Indian Film Festival and imagineNATIVE, and has garnered numerous awards. Her films include the musical documentary The Road Forward and Red Snow, her dramatic debut. She is currently directing the TV show Bones of Crows.

Writer

Marie Clements (Métis/Dene)

Cast

Chief Leonard George (Tsleil- Waututh), Ron Harris (Stō:lo/St’át’imc/Nlaka’pamux), Wayne Lavallee (Métis), Evan Leslie Adams (Tla’amin)

Producer

Shirley Vercruysse

Genre

Documentary

Interests

BIPOC Stories, Female Filmmaker, History, Indigenous Filmmaker, Social Justice & Politics

Original Language

English

Language Versions

EN CC, FR Subtitles

Kissed

Director Lynne Stopkewich
Year 1996
Run Time 88min
Genre Drama
Based on Barbara Gowdy’s short story "We So Seldom Look On Love", Kissed tells the offbeat and unlikely story of Sandra (Molly Parker, who won the Genie Award for best actress for the role), a young woman whose lifelong preoccupation with death leads her to study as an embalmer at a mortuary school, where her romantic feelings about death blossom into full-blown necrophilia.
 
A fellow student (Peter Outerbridge) develops feelings for Sandra, but struggles to cope with her unusual and disturbing sexual desires. Kissed is a rare film about sexual awakening that manages to be both profoundly subversive and extremely tender.
 
“Stopkewich has managed the unlikely feat of making a film about necrophilia that is neither a black comedy nor a horror outing. Rather, she has crafted a poetic, provocative love story about sex, romance and death that is surprisingly endearing.” – Brendan Kelly, Variety
 

Director

Lynne Stopkewich

Writers

Angus Fraser, Lynne Stopkewich

Cast

Molly Parker, Peter Outerbridge, Jay Brazeau

Genre

Drama

Interest

Female Filmmaker

Original Language

English

Language Versions

EN CC, FR Subtitles

The Corporation

Directors Mark Achbar, Jennifer Abbott
Year 2003
Run Time 120min
Genre Documentary

For more than a hundred years, US corporations — including giants like Coca-Cola, Microsoft and Nike — have been treated as “persons” under the law.

But if a corporation is a person, what kind of person is it?

In answering this question, this provocative film takes a mischievous approach. Because the pursuit of profit is behind every corporate decision, corporations fit a classic psychiatric profile: They are psychopaths.

This unexpected conclusion prompts many moral, political and social questions. Full of interviews with corporate insiders and critics, this often humorous documentary is packed with fascinating insights.

Winner of 26 international awards, including 10 Audience Choice awards at film festivals around the world.

Directors

Jennifer Abbott

Abbott has edited the docs Let It Ride, Under The Poison Tree and I Am, and directed the docs The Film That Buys The Cinema, Us and Them, and most recently The Magnitude of All Things. She co-directed The Corporation.

Writers

Joel Bakan, Jennifer Abbott, Harold Croosk

Producers

Mark Achbar, Bart Simpson

Genre

Documentary

Interests

Arts and Culture, Female Filmmaker, Social Justice & Politics

Original Language

English

Language Version

FR Subtitles

Fido

Director Andrew Currie
Year 2006
Run Time 91min
Genre Comedy, Horror
Welcome to Willard, an idyllic town in a 1950s parallel universe where the sun shines every day, everybody knows their neighbour and zombies carry the mail.

Visually captivating, sly and clever, Fido follows the Robinson family, who have been hesitant to get a zombie of their own even though everyone on the block has one. All that changes when Mom (Moss) buys Fido (Connolly), and the loveable brute becomes young Timmy’s best friend. Fido is a funny, satirical and refreshing movie with an all-star cast and a standout performance by Billy Connolly as Fido.

“Currie’s zombie comedy is in a class by itself.”
— Lori Fireman, NOW Magazine

Director

Andrew Currie

Currie attended Simon Fraser University and the CFC. His feature films Mile Zero and Fido garnered international acclaim and awards. He recently directed The Steps and produced the feature Indian Road Trip and the short film Cloud Striker. He is currently writing and directing the feature The Invisibles.

Writers

Robert Chomiak, Andrew Currie, Dennis Heaton

Cast

Carrie-Anne Moss, Billy Connolly, Dylan Baker, Henry Czerny

Producers

Blake Corbet, Mary Anne Waterhouse

Genres

Comedy, Horror

Interests

Cult & Offbeat Cinema, Social Justice & Politics

Original Language

English

Language Version

FR Dub

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Iron Road

Director David Wu
Year 2009
Run Time 99min
Genre Drama
A tale of forbidden love set against the building of the Canadian railway in the 1880s, Iron Road tells the story of a Chinese woman (Li) who disguises herself as a man and persuades the son of a railroad tycoon (Macfarlane) to hire her onto the explosives crew.

Soon, though, she finds herself falling in love with him, and as the physical terrain becomes more dangerous, so does the landscape of the heart. Beautifully shot and featuring screen legend Peter O’Toole in one of his last roles, Iron Road revisits an important and controversial time in Canadian history.

Originally broadcast as a CBC miniseries, REEL CANADA is proud to present the feature version of this epic tale that spans two continents.

Director

David Wu

Wu is a master editor who has worked with many legendary Hong Kong filmmakers. His directorial credits include the films The Snow Queen with Bridget Fonda, Plague City: SARS in Toronto (for which he earned the DGC Best Director nomination), See You Tomorrow, and the TV show Once a Thief. He recently edited the films You Are In My Heart and Bai du ren.

Writers

Barry Pearson, Raymond Storey

Cast

Sun Li, Luke Macfarlane, Sam Neill, Peter O’Toole

Producers

Zhao Haicheng, Anne Tait, Raymond Massey II

Genre

Drama

Interests

BIPOC Stories, Discrimination, ESL, History, Newcomer Stories, Social Justice & Politics, Strong Female Leads

Original Language

Other Language

Language Version

EN CC

The Whale

Directors Michael Parfit, Suzanne Chisholm
Year 2010
Run Time 85min
Genre Documentary, Family
This touching documentary, narrated by Ryan Reynolds, tells the story of a young killer whale, Luna, who gets separated from his family on the rugged west coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia. As rambunctious and surprising as a visitor from another planet, Luna endears himself to the community with his determination to make contact, leading to many unexpected consequences.

The Whale charts the community’s struggle to deal with Luna, since whales who are separated from their pods rarely survive in the wild. Raising more questions than it can answer, the film is a truly compelling exploration of our relationship with animals.

“The issues surrounding the emotional lives of animals — and the often presumptuous assumption of humans that they comprehend them — are explored in The Whale with a quiet dignity and gorgeous images.” — Andy Webster, New York Times

Directors

Michael Parfit

Parfit co-founded the BC-based Mountainside Films with Suzanne Chisholm, which Realscreen once named among the world’s 100 most influential production companies. Their work has aired on CBC, CNN, PBS, BBC and National Geographic. Their latest film is Call of the Baby Beluga and they recently executive produced the doc Doeville.

Suzanne Chisholm

Chisholm co-founded the BC-based Mountainside Films with Michael Parfit, which Realscreen once named among the world’s 100 most influential production companies. Their work has aired on CBC, CNN, PBS, BBC and National Geographic. Their latest film is Call of the Baby Beluga and they recently executive produced the doc Doeville.

Cast

Ryan Reynolds

Producer

Suzanne Chisholm

Genres

Documentary, Family

Interests

Environment, ESL, Female Filmmaker, Social Justice & Politics

Original Language

English

Language Versions

EN CC, FR Subtitles

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Grandfather on the Prairies

Director Andrew Genaille (Sto:lo/Ojibway)
Year 2018
Run Time 3min
Genre Animation, Experimental, Family

Jason meets his great-great-greatgrandfather and soon finds himself in a hilarious debate about what it means to be a hunter.

Director

Andrew Genaille (Sto:lo/Ojibway)

Writer

Andrew Genaille (Sto:lo/Ojibway)

Cast

Andrew Genaille (Sto:lo/Ojibway)

Producers

Andrew Genaille (Sto:lo/Ojibway), Lisa Marie Genaille (Cree), Robert Genaille (Cree)

Genres

Animation, Experimental, Family

Interests

BIPOC Stories, Family Relationships, History, Indigenous Filmmaker

Original Language

English

Language Version

None