On April 9, Canada celebrates National Canadian Film Day 150, a massive one-day celebration of Canadian cinema in honour of our nation’s sesquicentennial. With 30 different events planned in Vancouver that day, here are five free screenings worth checking out:
1The Sweet Hereafter
It’s hard to believe Atom Egoyan’s The Sweet Hereafter is 20 years old. Adapted from Russell Banks’ novel, the film is the devastating story of a school bus accident in a small town that results in the deaths of numerous children. The film was the Grand Prix winner at the 1997 Cannes Film Festival, winner of seven Genie Awards, and garnered two Academy Award nominations.
Speaking of Egoyan, the Vancouver International Film Festival asked him to nominate a favourite Canadian film to show on National Canadian Film Day 150. He chose Skip Tracer, the low budget gem about a disaffected repo man/debt collector. A nearly-forgotten film shot on the mean streets of Vancouver in 1977, then-newcomer Zale Dalen will be in attendance for a Q&A following the screening.
3The Snow Walker
The Vancouver Public Library presents a screening of Charles Martin Smith’s 2003 film The Snow Walker. Based on the short story Walk Well, My Brother by Farley Mowat, the film is about a Canadian bush pilot whose life is changed through an encounter with a young Inuit woman and their challenge to survive the harsh conditions of the Northwest Territories following an aircraft crash.
4After the Last River
Last seen in Vancouver at the 2015 DOXA Documentary Film Festival, DOXA along with the David Suzuki Foundation presents a screening of Victoria Lean’s After the Last River. The documentary chronicles the devastating impact of a De Beers diamond mine on the remote reserve of Attawapiskat First Nation in northern Ontario.
UBC Theatre and Film presents Mina Shum’s Double Happiness. The 1994 film stars Sandra Oh as an actress struggling to assert her independence from the expectations of her Chinese Canadian family. The director will be in attendance.