The Pitch (May 27 - June 2)

Jason Asbell
May 25, 2022
A way out west there was a fella, fella I want to tell you about, fella by the name of Jason Asbell. I only mention it 'cause some- times there's a man--I won't say a hee-ro, 'cause what's a hee-ro?--but sometimes there's a man. And I'm talkin' about Jason here-- sometimes there's a man who, wal, he's the man for his time'n place, he fits right in there--and that's Jason, the Programming Director of The Civic Theatre. . . sometimes there's a man. Wal, I lost m'train of thought here. But--aw hell, I done innerduced him enough.

This Friday, the Civic Theatre is excited for the opportunity to work with Vancouver International Film Festival once more as part of the VIFF Pop-Up Festival! The Nelson VIFF Pop-Up program features six diverse Canadian films from the 2021 festival. On opening night, May 27th, Kicking Blood, an idiosyncratic genre offering from Vancouver tells the story of Anna, a centuries old vampire, who watches Robbie, a charming but reckless young man, recover from his alcoholism, inspiring her to quit blood and restore her humanity. On Saturday, The timely documentary, The Last Tourist by Tyson Sadler puts the role of modern tourism on trial and reveals the real conditions and consequences of one of the largest industries in the world. Also on Saturday, Michael McGowan’s All My Puny Sorrows, Based on the 2014 international best-selling novel by Miriam Toews, is the poignant story of two sisters, one a concert pianist obsessed with ending her life, and the other a writer who, in wrestling with this decision, makes profound discoveries about herself. On Sunday, Haya Waseem's Quickening, centers on a Pakistani-Canadian university student having fallen in love for the first time, with her classmate Eden. Sheila desires a freedom that her mother and father are unwilling to offer. After Sheila has sex for the first time with Eden, he abruptly breaks up with her, and her sense of reality begins to unravel, further alienating her from her friends, family, and community. Later on Sunday, Kaveh Nabatian’s Sin La Habana from Quebec, winner of the Best Canadian Film Award at VIFF 2021, which tracks Leonardo and Sara, a young Afro-Cuban couple who are desperate to leave the island. They decide that the best way to emigrate is for Leonardo to seduce a foreign woman, get legal status in another country, and then send for Sara. The woman they choose is Nasim, an Iranian-Canadian divorcée who is running from an oppressive past and yearning to have fun for the first time in her life. When Leonardo convinces Nasim to marry him, he is able to move to Montreal, but his plan derails when real emotions get in the way. And closing the festival on Tuesday, May 31st, winner of the BC Emerging Filmmaker Award at VIFF 2021, Trevor Mack’s comedy-drama Portraits From a Fire, is a coming-of-age film that follows Tyler, an eccentric and lonely teenager who spends his days filmmaking, vlogging his Indigenous community, until he meets Aaron, a mysterious, charismatic, and influential figure who encourages Tyler to showcase his most personal film about his mother’s disappearance to the community, leading to a reckoning between past and future, life and death, and father and son.

And what VIFF event wouldn’t be complete without a chance to meet with some of the directors? And so, even as a more remote pop-up, The Civic is thrilled to be able to host Blaine Thurier, former member of the indi-supergroup The New Pornographers, and the director of the opening night’s film Kicking Blood

Visit to purchase tickets per title at regular box office prices or spring for a festival pass with access to all six titles for the low price of $35.

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