FESTIVAL SCHEDULE: April 12

A Silent Voice

In Japanese with English subtitles 

Shoko Nishimiya is a new transfer student, and the first deaf person Shoya Ishida has ever met. He immediately labels Shoko as a burden because of her disability. After being physically harmed by Shoya’s taunts, Shoko is moved to another school. Five years later, now a senior in high school, Shoya has lost whatever ‘popularity’ he may have gained from being a bully in elementary. As the only child to a single mother, Shoya now lives in severe shame of his past, caused by years of ostracization by his peers. Finding very little will to live, Shoya resolves to reconcile his missteps by attempting to reconnect with Shoko, believing he might one day be worthy of redemption in her eyes.

If You Fall

Eight year old Lila takes on the daunting task of learning how to ride a bicycle as she faces an unfamiliar role-reversal at home. Without your parents holding on to you, there’s still a comforting reassurance in knowing that your family is always there to catch you if you fall. 

Note: Director Tisha Deb Pillai will be in attendance at a Q&A

Themes: family, supporting each other, gender roles, trust, art

 

La Mariposa

In Spanish with English subtitles.

With so many invisible barriers to success, a family from Latin America is working to accept Canada as its new home. Seven year old Carol's persistent efforts to pass a swimming test epitomizes the family's struggle to tread water in a new country where its credentials and experience are not recognized. La Mariposa is a heartwarming story of acceptance, perseverance and personal transformation. 

Note: Director Andy Alvaraz will be in attendance at a Q&A

Themes: immigrant experience, family, swimming, personal growth

Negative Space

Sam's dad is constantly leaving on business trips. Since there aren’t so many opportunities to connect, Sam bonds with his dad over the finer points of efficiently packing a suitcase, a skill that he's naturally adept at. Effective travel preparation is elevated to the level of high art in this heartwarming and dry humoured stop motion animation, which just happens to be nominated for an Academy Award.

Themes: family (father/son), death, memory

Advisory: A funeral scene is handled with humour.

Rupture

In Arabic with English subtitles.

This fictional narrative introduces a cast of first time actors, who are also survivors of war. The film reveals their personal experiences of loss and new beginnings in Canada. Rupture, which recently won an emerging director award at the Toronto International Film Festival, follows the journey of four Arab youngsters through a BC suburb on their quest to find the public pool. With modern stylizing and insightful perspective, director Yassmina Karajah creates a powerful on-screen experience, inviting viewers to identify with newcomers and those dealing with painful backgrounds. 

Note: Director Yassmina Karajah and some of the cast will be in attendance for a Q&A

Themes: immigration, language barrier, fitting in, family, death, adolescence

Speak Up

In French with English subtitles

CANADIAN PREMIERE

It is purely the luck of the draw to be born with the gifts of a natural orator. Or is it? Though not everyone possesses the talents to express themselves with eloquence, such abilities can be taught. And with those abilities comes the kind of influence and power that a writer could only dream of. Yet there is no value in the art of persuasion if one does not understand what one is saying. Each year, over the course of six dedicated weeks, students from a variety of backgrounds and disciplines prepare for a showdown in the suburbs of Paris, ramping up to a rousing denouement: the prestigious Eloquentia tournament. The winner will hold the title of ‘Best Public Speaker’.

The Glass Pearl

In Swedish with English subtitles.

There are very few choices available to a young person gripped by the paralyzing shame of living without the same economic privilege as their peers. The Glass Pearl is an absorbing and tender story that asks us to engage critically with its themes. Relatable, emotive, and morally complex, this is an accomplished portrait of a twelve year old boy who resorts to dumpster diving, searching for something that might lead to a reward.

Themes: poverty, family, survival, childhood, manipulation, law enforcement

Advisory: Depiction of a minor stealing and escaping custody.

Virtual Activity: Blind Vaysha - VR

Would you like to see the past and future at the same time? It’s a physical and visceral experience which disrupts the ability to remain a passive viewer. Now’s your chance. In this animated, metaphoric tale of timeless wisdom, based on the eponymous short story by Georgi Gospodinov, Academy Award® nominated director Theodore Ushev (The Blind Vaysha, 2015) reminds us of the importance of being in the present moment. Vaysha’s left eye sees only the past and her right sees only the future. Like a terrible curse, her split vision prevents her from seeing the present. Trapped between two irreconcilable temporalities, she is known as the “blind Vaysha.”

Produced by:

 

Virtual Activity: Cardboard Crash

Every time we get behind the wheel, we make decisions with life and death implications. Brake or swerve? Quick! Decide! Cardboard Crash is an interactive VR experience that explores whether we’re ready to hand over such ethically fraught decisions to artificial intelligence (AI). In this self-driving vehicle, the passenger is expected to make a split second decision when confronted with an imminent collision. There is plenty of data, but no easy answer.

Produced by:

Download the App here!

 

Virtual Activity: I Am Afraid

I Am Afraid is a networked virtual reality application where multiple people can create interactive sound sculptures using their own voice. Words are recorded and rendered as textual objects in the virtual environment. Non-word sounds can also be recorded and are represented as abstract ball-like objects. The word objects can be played back through touch at any speed, direction, or position using hand controllers. Paper balls loop their sounds when touched. Words and sounds can be drawn, recorded, and played back, creating a layered soundscape that evolves dynamically through interactive and collaborative actions. The application can be used for voice and sound exploration, composition, or performance.

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