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British Columbia VIFF Tipsheet: Themes of deception, family strife and resilience in new films

The 2014 edition of the Vancouver International Film Festival features more than 350 films from 70 countries over 16 days, plus post-screening Q&A sessions with actors, directors and writers. Each weekday and on the weekend, we'll provide highlights of the day ahead and One to Watch: a review of a film we recommend highly.

One to Watch: The Princess of France (4 stars)

Directed by: Matias Pineiro

Starring: Maria Villar, Augustina Munoz

Genre: Comedy

Year: 2014

Country: Argentina

Language: Spanish

Showtime: International Village #8, 1:45 p.m.

VIFF Guide Page

The opening shot of an outdoor soccer match where the players start switching teams mid-rush announces the theme of deception, and Argentine director Matias Pineiro is great at depicting playful games gone awry. If it’s possible for a romantic comedy to be sexy and paranoid, Pineiro’s twisty tale of a theatre troupe whose members have a more incestuous dating history than the ancient Greeks fits the bill. As in his previous Viola, he masterfully integrates a Shakespearean text into the narrative: In this case, it’s Love’s Labour’s Lost, which could also be an alternate title for a film in which everyone has a cheating heart. – Adam Nayman

A thriller set in B.C.

Filmmaker Jason Bourque’s B.C.-set thriller Black Fly has its world premiere Saturday at the Rio theatre near Commercial Drive at 6:30 p.m. The premise has a troubled teen orphan (Dakota Daulby) connecting with his older brother on an isolated coastal island. It does not go well, says a VIFF précis. Their reunion shows “blood may be thicker than water, but it’s still blood. And it’s messy as hell.” Mr. Bourque, a veteran writer and director of TV movies, series and commercials who turned 42 this month, is attending the festival. If you miss Black Fly Saturday, your second and only other chance is a 4 p.m. screening on Sept. 30.

Style in Film series launches

Catch the launch of the Style in Film series Saturday with an exclusive screening of Looking for Light: Jane Brown, which has its international premiere at this year’s VIFF. The UK film is about noted photographer Jane Brown, now aged 89, who looks back on a life shooting such figures as Queen Elizabeth and Mick Jagger. The screening will be followed by a panel discussion. The documentary will play among other films on Oct. 2, 7 and 10. But its showing here is part of a run of a series that includes film screenings – among them a new biopic of Yves Saint Laurent – and a panel on fashion.

Ask the director about eating food waste

Canadian filmmakers Grant Baldwin and Jen Rusternmeyer subsist on discarded food for six months – the basis for their documentary Just Eat It: A Food Waste Story, directed by Mr. Baldwin. Need we say more? I thought not. The film has its VIFF premiere at the Rio Theatre Sunday night, but is also slotted to screen on Sept. 30 and Oct. 6. Mr. Baldwin will be at VIFF. The audience Q&A should be compelling.

Resilience, ingenuity and albinism

Filmmaker Vic Sarin will be in Vancouver for the Sunday night VIFF debut of his documentary The Boy From Geita, about a Canadian born with albinism coming to the aid of a Tanzanian boy victimized for having the same condition. The Globe and Mail has previously praised the film for its “searing images” and as an ode to resilience and ingenuity and an “indictment of human cruelty and stupidity.” The film also plays on Oct. 4 and 9th.

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