Six CapU student and alumni films at 2019 Vancouver International Film Festival

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Tag(s): Awards & Accolades, Current Students, Fine & Applied Arts, Indigenous Students, Media

The 2019 Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF) opens this weekend and six Capilano University students and alumni are screening films this year. CapU celebrates the remarkable achievements of these current and former students.

“I’m really humbled by the opportunity,” says CapU student and filmmaker Estaban Manuel. All six filmmakers echo this sentiment. VIFF is among the five largest film festivals in North America and screens films from 70 countries. The festival selects from the world’s top film festivals, but it prioritizes Canadian and documentary films. Four of the six CapU student films are Indigenous stories told on screen.

Capilano University student films at VIFF:

Red Power
By Estaban Manuel
Screening on October 6 and 10
The short film follows an Indigenous man on the run from the KKK, a symbol of white power against indigenous people. As he journeys further into the forest, he discovers what it takes to gain his freedom. “The main character wears traditional clothing in modern times to symbolize a resurgence of our culture and how our youth are now proud to wear our culture,” says Manuel. As an aspiring new filmmaker, he knew the competition for selection at VIFF would be stiff, but he wanted to try. “When I saw the final cut, I knew the quality was there.”

To You
By Maira Gimenes
Screening on October 6 and 7
To You is a bittersweet love story between a boy and a girl that shows two different perspectives on one relationship at the same time. It was co-produced by Gimenes as a high school student before she was a CapU student. The Reel Youth Film Festival for aspiring young filmmakers recognized the film two years ago prior to its screening at VIFF.

Grandma’s House
By Sophy Romvari
Screening on September 29 and October 6
When travelling to Budapest to meet her extended family for the first time, Sophy Romvari documents her late grandmother’s apartment through images of the past and present.

I’m Not Next
By Tristan Greyeyes
Screening on September 29 and 30
The storyline for I’m Not Next came to Tristin Greyeyes in a dream one night. It introduces audiences to a mother escaping an abusive relationship with her daughter in tow only to learn that she will always be a target of violence. She takes back her power by fighting, not only for herself but for daughter as well. “I want to make change through storytelling,” says Greyeyes. She hopes this story can contribute to the healing process for Indigenous peoples who have suffered abuse and educate non-Indigenous peoples about a reality they do not experience.

q’sapi times
By Madeline Terbasket
Screening on October 6 and 10
q'sapi times is a raunchy retelling of a traditional Syilx story about Coyote and Eagle. “Coyote, our people's trickster, wanted to fly like Eagle so he climbs to the top of the mountain and jumps,” says Terbasket. “A young documentary film crew documents the story from the point of view of self-proclaimed elder, Skemxist.” Terbasket looks forward to watching the film with a large audience and hearing their laughter. 

Big Momma
By Caitlyn Pantherbone
Screening on October 6 and 10
A short documentary film that follows an Indigenous, two-spirited aspiring comedian, musician, and dancer as he prepares himself for his first big show as a stand-up comic. “As a film student at Cap U, I remember going to VIFF for the first time and watching all these amazing films. It’s so surreal that my film will be playing there along with these other talented filmmakers. I hope people will laugh and feel inspired by the film,” says Pantherbone.

“It’s really great to see our students have success at film festivals. I’m constantly amazed by our students,” says CapU Motion Picture Arts instructor Lewis Bennet.

Submitted by: Linda Munro