The Cinematheque Vancouver will mark National Canadian Film Day with an incredible double-feature screening of Loyalties and Werewolf. As this year’s 5th annual NCFD shines a spotlight on the accomplishments of women in Canadian cinema, the Cinematheque wanted to highlight socially conscious, regionally centred, feminist filmmaking by artists at very different stages of their careers. The two films they selected are outstanding examples of Canadian film that strongly spotlights this year’s focus on female filmmakers. Veteran Alberta-born, B.C. based director Anne Wheeler’s early feature Loyalties (1986) will screen first at 6:30 p.m., and emerging Nova Scotian director Ashley McKenzie’s debut feature Werewolf (2016) will screen at 8:45 p.m.
Loyalties, a thrilling family-centred drama, is a story about the relationships between an upper-class Englishwoman, her husband, and their housekeeper. The film won three awards and was nominated for another seven. Anne Wheeler won the AMPIA Award for Best Director and the Grand Prix Award at the Créteil International Women’s Film Festival. At the Genie Awards the film won Best Achievement in Costume Design by Wendy Partridge, while actors Tantoo Cardinal and Kenneth Welsh were nominated for Best Performance by an Actress and Actor in a Leading Role respectively.
Canadian critic, Robin Wood praises the representation of female strength and autonomy in Loyalties. He comments that the film shows both Rosanne and Lily evolving into women who stand up for themselves as well as each other; they overcome “all the social barriers of class, race and upbringing” and “win through to friendship and solidarity simply because they are women”. Director Anne Wheeler will be introducing the film, so be sure to arrive early!
“In plumbing the pitch black, Werewolf offers the distinct hope of a brighter future — at least, a brighter future for Canadian cinema”—Globe & Mail. Ashley McKenzie’s first feature is a sobering, documentary-esque account of two recovering junkies in New Waterford, Nova Scotia. Blaise (Andrew Gillis) and Nessa (Bhreagh MacNeil) are outcast methadone users in their small town. Each day they push a rusty lawnmower door-to-door begging to cut grass. Nessa plots an escape, while Blaise lingers closer to collapse. Tethered to one another, their getaway dreams are kept on a suffocatingly short leash.
After premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2016, Werewolf went on to screen at festivals across Canada and around the world, including the Vancouver International Film Festival and Festival du nouveau cinema. The film won the Focus Canada Grand Prize at the Festival du nouveau cinema in Montreal, and in December 2016 was named to TIFF’s annual “Canada’s Top 10” list. At the 5th Canadian Screen Awards, the film received nominations for Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Cinematography, and Best Editing, and won the $100,000 Toronto Film Critics Association prize for best Canadian film of the year.
The evening will also include a live Skype Q&A with director Ashley McKenzie, and the unveiling of The Cinematheque’s brand-new Canada on Screen Digital Study Guides, a free online resource for students, educators, or anyone wanting to learn more about Canadian cinema. If you’re in Vancouver on April 18, The Cinematheque is the place to be!
Get your tickets today!
Single Bill: Adult $12 | Student / Senior $10
Double Bill: Adult $18 | Student / Senior $16