[VFF’17] Theatre of Life Gives Hope to the Less Fortunate

theatre-of-life_pub207-5x7_5_7220dpi20accPlays Feb 10, 6:15pm
at Silvercity Tillicum

Feb 11, 6:30pm
at The Vic Theatre
Victoria, BC

Feeding the planet and the less fortunate anywhere is potentially difficult. To explore this situation is the documentary Theatre of Life, which is playing during this year’s Victoria Film Festival. This movie shows the task in a small-scale is doable, but it takes a concentrated effort to make it work and a continued commitment to make a difference. Chef Massimo Bottura deserves praise for taking the surplus and expired food meant for the 2015 Milan Expo’s many concession and diner operations and prepare simple original meals at the Refettorio Ambrosiano. This food kitchen still operates, and it does more than to feed the lower-class; it gives them a sense of community.

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“Playing” Attention to VR at the 2017 Victoria Film Festival, Reviews & Beyond

victoria-film-festivalUpdated: Mon 11:30pm, Feb 6

Virtual Reality is poised to become a viable medium to work in for many an artist (cinema or otherwise) and at the 2017 Victoria Film Festival, I spent a part of my weekend at Fort Tectoria playing these types of games and attending the last discussion of Springboard talking about it. This medium is a challenge to work in; Derek Jacoby, Maureen Bradley and Kate McCallum are people with a tremendous interest in this tech and they presented a fascinating look into how to work with and filming in virtual space is at now. The challenges to make it mainstream was also looked at.

Jacoby is aware of what other companies are doing. He’s the head of Victoria Makerspace, a collective tool workshop at the Vancouver Island Technology Park, where they get to play, if not create items, that will get used in the future. Whether that’s with video games (which they all agree is the driving force now) or in rehabilitation (where VR can make a huge difference to those with disabilities and can not get out in the world), as long as interest is high, then it will happen. Unlike 3DTV’s and how it fizzled, Jacoby also noted there’s the potential of mainstream not accepting it. Bradley focussed on the challenges of filming in this space and showed how video editing (where my interest is) is done. Software stitches the varying layers of 2D images onto a 3D like map, and rendering is not a perfect science. McCallum talked about the work she’s doing now and which types of businesses are taking interest in this new medium.

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Day One Musings from the 2017 Victoria Film Festival

victoria-film-festival

The 2017 Victoria Film Festival‘s Gala film certainly painted the night a pretty shade of pink with its opening film Window Horses to kick off the night. I thought the heroine Rosie Ming was wearing this event’s colours before putting on the black chādor, before arriving in Persia. Intentional or not, the first day was certainly fun, bright and cheerful. The morning and afternoon were wrought with continuous snowfall, and some of the organizers worried that it might cause problems since social media was on fire with reports of icy conditions and accidents already happening.

Thankfully, the troublesome weather faded away by evening so filmgoers can safely drive instead of slide to and fro from home. But for those who want an early start, Fort Tectoria is running virtual reality demos during this 10-day event to show off this technology as the coming thing. Eventually, some futurists predict it will integrate with cinema to create enhanced experiences. By the time I arrived downtown, I had a tough call to make: to go see Journey to the West 2: The Demons Strike Back at Cineplex Odeon or play video games. Very rarely, does a film festival offer this kind of opportunity for nerds like me!

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Qu’est Ce Que C’est Favoris? Gotta Taste Them All!

simg_1027Les Chocolats Favoris
1010 Government St
Victoria, BC
(778) 265-7050

JS: Move over Beacon Drive-In, there is a new ice cream shop in town and they speak Québécois French. Can a bit of olde England (Victoria) stand up to the noveau French invasion? Personally, I will say Beacon has little to worry about. But careful, do not drop your guard. Do not take Favoris lightly. Sure Beacon has their own lightly creamed sweet ice cream but when the urges take over, now and again, I want a hearty ice cream that is less on cream but more filling. For these urges, I shall run to Les Chocolats Favoris.

ES: I like the fact that the president of this company, Dominique Brown, decided to open up shop here in Victoria instead of Vancouver. They are based out of Quebec and to have an operation here is a gamble. Over the summer, during the busy tourist season where a cruise ship stops by every few weeks, this place was busy! Of course, James and I were late in learning about it and we still wobbled our way over to try ice cream off-season.

The draw has to be with the size of the portions offered. When I was walking to the Inner Harbour later, some tourists gawked at what I had left and I pointed them to where they could buy one.

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Vic Film Fest Brings Tidings of Joy and a Look at What to Expect for 2017

vff2017logoChristmas comes early to film lovers in the form of the Victoria Film Festival. The annual event, established in 1994, has released a snippet of what entries are being offered in the new year long after the presents have been unwrapped and the bottle of Sheri has been thoroughly emptied.

The Victoria Film Festival will take place February 3-12, 2017 in the seaside city of Victoria, British Columbia (BC). The capital of BC is known for many things including the annual Chalk Festival, International Busker Festival, and the Fringe Festival. To learn more about VFF 2017, visit their official website at http://www.victoriafilmfestival.com/ Continue reading

Identifying “Sour Grapes” is Not Easy; Documentary Premiere @ VanCity Aug 12

Sour-Grapes-Rudy
August 12
Vancity Theatre
1181 Seymour St.
Vancouver, BC

  • Spoiler Alert

Not to be confused with the 1998 comedy, there’s a new Sour Grapes. This documentary is touring the festivals and art house theatres and it had its world premiere at Hot Docs. It is now making its way to Vancouver for its official Western Canadian Premiere, opening August 12 at Vancity Theatre in Vancouver. The City of Victoria had a prestigious showing during Feast, Food and Film with local winemakers de Vine offering tastes of both this sparkly film and local cheeses.

This feature by Jerry Rothwell and Reuben Atlas slowly but surely examines the personality behind one of the world’s greatest wine frauds. Rudy Kurniawan was not caught until March of 2012 where he was indicted for allegedly selling fake wines at auction. Many bottles made in the Burgundy region of France were relabelled and sold as expensive wines, like Domaine de la Romanée-Conti and Clos St. Denis.

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