I went to the 5th annual Women in Film Festival ( WIFF at womeninfilm.ca ) this weekend at the Vancity Theatre. WIFF Director and Film Producer Robyn Wiener suggested I come out and see what WIFF 2010 is about this year. Women are making strides in the film industry as most visibly seen by Kathryn Bigelow’s Academy Award for Best Director at the Oscars. The Festival showcases and promotes the great work being done by women in writing, producing, directing, lead acting, or editing roles.

I spoke with WIFF Director Roslyn Muir on Saturday about WIFF. Please click on the audio link to listen to 15 minute informative interivew on the mission, goals, and highlights of WIFF 2010.

Saturday and Sunday will be filled with and Exhibitor showcase, panel discussions, pitching sessions, and short films from 35 first time and veteran female filmmakers produced in countries such as New Zealand, Egypt, USA, Saudi Arabia and Canada.

On Saturday evening, Vancouver director Penelope Buitenhuis, who will present her feature film A Wake. This poignant mystery, acted entirely on improvisation, stars Nicholas Campbell (DaVinci’s Inquest), Sarain Boylan, who appeared in last year’s opening film The Baby Formula, and Kristopher Turner from Instant Star.

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A Wake – directed by Penelope Buitenhuis. Showing on WIFF Opening night.

The opening night festivities will include the presentation of two awards: the Legacy Awards ($3,000 in cash awards, presented by Deboragh Gabler, CEO/Producer at Legacy Filmworks for outstanding achievement in film) and the WIDC Feature Film Award (a $100,000 in kind prize, administered by Creative Women Workshops Association, designed to encourage more feature films directed by women in BC).

One very popular aspect of the WIFF is the Pitch sessions are the one-on-one 10 minute pitching sessions, which enables people to pitch their project directly to leading film industry professionals

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Sean Cossey (Casting Director), Tyman Stewart (Characters Talent Agency), Murray Battle (Knowledge), John Dippong (Telefilm), Robert Hardy (CTV Western Production), and Stacey Landers and Liam Cripps (Papery Films).

On Sunday,the Filmmaker panel is “A Film and Television Industry Market Update; Facing the Hard Facts” which will be moderated by award-winning WIDC producer Carol Whiteman, sponsored by CWWA through the support of the CTVglobemedia-CHUM Benefits.

Check out the Women in Film Festival throughout sunday from 10 a.m to 4 p.m.

The weekend WIFF schedule:

Saturday, April 17th

FEMALE FIRSTS A SERIOUS WOMAN

New Directors Dramas

Saturday, April 17 | 10:00 am Saturday, April 17 | 1:30 pm

Screening with Talkback Screening with Talkback

Run time: 87:46 Run time: 89:64

Chocolate (2:50) Shi-shi-etko (11:52)

Remember me. (6:30) One Night (15:39)

Baby Weight (10:37) White as the driven snow (17:52)

Catechism (14:00) Ashes to Dust (11:00)

Salt & Vinegar (11:25) Easy Made Hard (12:21)

Leah and the Horse (4:50) The Shoemaker (16:00)

Nature On Its Course (2:30) Savage (6:00)

Grad Day (8:42)

Tending Toward Silence (10:22)

Scent (6:38)

Grandma (11:22)

Sunday, April 18th

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CHERCHEZ LA FEMME REAL WOMEN; REAL LIFE

Comedy, Dance, Eclectic Documentaries

Sunday, April 18 | 12:00 noon Sunday, April 18 | 2:00 pm

Screening with Talkback Screening only – no Talkback

Run time: 88:30 Run time: 66:39

Crows and Branches (4:00) When I Grow Up (9:55)

Evelyn’s Farm (8:00) Let’s Play Boccia! (14:03)

9-1-MUM (3:00) A Harlem Mother (13:00)

The Delivery (10:60) LoliGirls: The Story Behind the Frills and Bows (14:47)

Sweet Pickle (11:00) Remember Our Sisters Everywhere (4:00)

In Between (7:48) Pigeon Park Savings (11:10)

Brain Clever (4:40) Echo Bay (5:40)

Make Up the Dead (6:12)

Arithmetic – Annie’s Life in Numbers (13:30)

Grande Dame (14:40)

The Audit (6:00)

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Shi-shi-etko – directed by Kate Kroll. Showing on Sunday at WIFF.

Our 11 first time directors, part of the FEMALE FIRSTS showcase, adeptly tackle a range of subjects and stories from the comedic to deeply touching, including Grandma from Norway. The A SERIOUS WOMAN showcase presents a number of international films including The Shoemaker, Easy Made Hard and White As The Driven Snow that address traditionally male subjects such as war and conflict, but are adeptly retold through the eyes of female directors. Films such as Grand Dame, starring gender-bending actor Greg Malone, and The Delivery, from Seattle WIFTV member Virginia Bogert, entertain with their eclectic perspectives during the CHERCHEZ LA FEMME showcase. Finally, in the REAL WOMEN; REAL LIFE documentary showcase, filmmakers explore controversial subjects such as the Downtown East Side in Pigeon Park Savings, and the environment in Echo Bay.

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Dina Grskovich, Mentor Program Manager at Wired Woman ( wirewoman.com )
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Kyle Cunningham Executive Sale Assistant & Marketing Coordinator at Technicolor ( technicolor.com )

The Flash slide show of my photos on flickr.com/pixelate

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Jonathan Hanley is an entrepreneur, web guy, writer and photographer--- into all things social media and communications. He has worked with international green groups and sustainable businesses for more than 25 years. Bringing people together by building and growing social communities for 14 years.

Jonathan has blogged 28 posts here.