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Leo Awards Film Festival 2008

1131 Howe Street Vancouver, BC
May 15 - 19, 2008


PDF  Download the 2008 Leo Awards Film Festival Schedule


Schedule of Events


Feature Length Drama

Canada 2007
Director: Carl Bessai
Cast: Carrie-Anne Moss, Kevin Zegers,
Callum Keith Rennie, Tygh Runyan, Camille Sullivan

The latest film from versatile Carl Bessai (Emile, Lola, Unnatural and Accidental) was named Best Western Canadian Feature at the 2007 VIFF. The film explores the emotional aftermath of a tragic accident that claimed a teenaged boy’s life. Catherine (Carrie-Anne Moss), the victim’s mother, has lost the ability to connect with rest of her family. Jordie (Kevin Zegers) was driving the car in which his best friend was killed. Walt (Callum Keith Rennie), a failed writer in the midst of a mid-life crisis, was behind the wheel of the other vehicle involved. “Courageous, unwavering and moving Normal may be Bessai’s finest, most assured film to date” (Toronto I.F.F.).

104 mins.
7:30 pm

Feature Length Drama
Canada 2005
Director: Roger Evan Larry
Cast: Sebastian Spence, Crystal Bublé, Fred Ewaniuck, Bif Naked, Jo Bates

The first feature directed by television and music video veteran Roger Evan Larry is a quirky, kinky, sometimes comic film noir thriller. Daniel (Sebastian Spence), the cross-dressing son of a Vancouver mobster, promises his dying father than he will take the family’s organized-crime business legitimate, but soon finds himself in hot-and-heavy relationship with a curvy hooker (Crystal Bublé, sister of crooner Michael) intent on blackmail. Corner Gas regular Fred Ewaniuck and Vancouver rocker Bif Naked co-star. “[Crossing] surprises and delights in unexpected ways . . . evocatively shot, wonderfully cast and vastly entertaining” (Rob Salem, Toronto Star).

109 mins.
9:30 pm


Documentary (History/Biography/Social/Political)
She’s a Boy I Knew
Canada 2007
Director: Gwen Haworth

Voted Most Popular Canadian Film at the 2007 VIFF, Vancouver filmmaker Gwen Haworth’s autobiographical documentary offers an intimate, engaging exploration of family ties as it chronicles Haworth’s male-to-female gender transition through the voices of her anxious but loving parents, sisters, ex-wife, and best friend. As all concerned are forced to re-examine their preconceptions of sexuality and gender, family bonds are strengthened. Archival footage and animation help illustrate the story. The film also won the Women in Film and Television Vancouver Artistic Merit Award given at VIFF.

70 mins.
7:30 pm

Documentary (History/Biography/Social/Political)
The Suicide Tourist
Canada 2007

John Zaritsky The Suicide Tourist explores the assisted suicide controversy through the compelling personal stories of several individuals travelling to Zurich’s Dignitas clinic, where people from all over the world come for a “dignified and painless” death. The film received a Special Mention at last fall’s VIFF from the Canadian Documentary jury, which praised it as “an unflinching, quietly compassionate hymn to life, full of moral complexity.” Vancouver-based director John Zaritsky won a 1982 Academy Award for his documentary feature Just Another Missing Kid.

89 mins.
9:00 pm


Documentary (Arts/Performing Arts)
Dreams Of Flight
Canada 2007
Director: Jason Bourque

After years of living as a recluse, studying reindeer in the Yukon, surveying the Arctic polar shelf, and skippering the first private vessel to sail the Northwest Passage from Pacific to Atlantic, Sven Johansson had a groundbreaking idea. Inspired by form and movement in nature, this hermit turned choreographer created an innovative dance technique allowing performers to flout gravity and dance in midair. Through his unique creative vision, Johansson has carved out a niche as one of Canada’s most original choreographers. And at the age of 83, he’s not slowing down.

48 mins.


Killer Whale and Crocodile
Canada 2007
Director: Peter Campbell

Carvers from two of the world’s great carving traditions come together to share each other’s culture and learn about the myths and legends that inform their art in Killer Whale and Crocodile. John Marston is a Coast Salish carver from Vancouver Island; Teddy Balangu hails from the Sepik River of Papua New Guinea. The cross-cultural exchange forges a strong bond of friendship and proves a source of great creative inspiration to both artists.

47 mins.
5:00 pm

Feature Length Drama
Battle in Seattle
USA/Canada 2007
Director: Stuart Townsend
Cast: Charlize Theron, Martin Henderson, Woody Harrelson,
André Benjamin, Michelle Rodriguez, Ray Liotta

The feature directing debut of Irish actor Stuart Townsend follows multiple storylines as it dramatizes five days that rocked Seattle and the world in 1999 when tens of thousands of anti-globalization demonstrators took to the streets to protest a meeting of the World Trade Organization. “Filmed largely in Vancouver, the movie tells the story of a group of ordinary people (from student activists to police) whose lives are changed radically in the melee. The film comes out swinging with a veritable cornucopia of stars, including Charlize Theron, Michelle Rodriguez, Woody Harrelson, Ray Liotta, and Andre 3000. Actual footage of the riots brings a welcome note of vérité to the action” (Vancouver I.F.F.).

99 mins.
7:00 pm

Documentary (History/Biography/Social/Political)
Confessions of an Innocent Man
Canada 2007
Director: David Paperny

Directed by Vancouver nonfiction filmmaker David Paperny, whose previous works include the Oscar-nominated documentary The Broadcast Tapes of Dr. Peter, Confessions of an Innocent Man explores the troubling case of William Sampson, the Canadian engineer who was imprisoned and tortured by the Saudi government and forced to confess to an act of terrorism and murder he did not commit. Sentenced to a public beheading, Sampson resorted to desperate measures to defy his captors and gain the attention of the Canadian government. “Heartbreaking as well as inspiring . . . a story of defiance, fortitude and the relentless pursuit of justice in the face of extreme circumstances” (Vancouver I.F.F.).

89 mins.
9:00 pm


Documentary (Nature/Environment/Adventure/Science/Technology)
Saving Luna
Canada 2007
Directors: Suzanne Chisholm, Michael Parfit

Winner of Best Documentary honours at the 2008 Victoria Film Festival, Saving Luna relates the enchanting true story of an orca calf that became separated from his pod in 2001 and wound up lost and lonely in Nootka Sound on the west coast of Vancouver Island. Killer whales are social animals, and Luna began befriending members of the local human population. His presence soon became the subject of controversy, as various human interests clashed over what Luna represented: a spirit presence, a cuddly friend, an ecological cause, a nuisance and hazard. “A valuable and deeply moving study of interspecies contact” (Georgia Straight). “Relentlessly engaging . . . wrought with drama that Hollywood couldn’t produce on its best days” (Victoria F.F.).

94 mins.
5:00 pm


Student Production

Ballad of a Thief
A shy nurse who loves writing poems but never shares them with anyone must make a daring move when her bag and poems are stolen. Director: Rocco Trigueros.

13 mins.

Left to Blossom
Twin tragedies have broken the bond between mother Lynn and daughter Hannah. When Lynn discovers Hannah’s diary, it may be the only chance for reconciliation. Director: Heath Affolter.

16 mins.

Twelve-year-old Andrea’s mom just called to say that she’s not coming home, ever. An uncomfortable comedy about family and growing up. Director: Lindsay Allikas.

9 min.

Sweet Tooth
A revenge fantasy portrays the darkness to which teens are prone before they learn how to love. Director: Wayne Robinson.

23 mins.

The Return
As an island ruled by power-mad Father Mothersbaugh prepares for the return of Jesus, three orphans plot their escape. Director: Marshall Axani.

23 mins.

Three A.M.
A man suffering from post-traumatic stress has a late-night encounter in a hospital with a stranger who helps him find salvation. Director: Doug Kerr.

16 mins.
7:00 pm

Short Drama

A man living in a beat-up camper trailer wakes up one morning to find himself rolling down a desert highway into a nightmare. Director: Colin Cunningham.

15 mins.

Raised on the streets by a pack of feral canines, then confined to a bleak state orphanage, DogBoy must choose one way of life over another. Director: Caroline Coutts.

10 mins.

Humongous, USA
Jane, running late after some morning nookie, decides to take the SUV to work, like everyone else in the neighbourhood. Today, however, Nature’s had enough . . .
Director: Christopher Elke.

9 mins.

Stan Maynard’s Best Day Ever
In a quick-fix world of extreme makeovers, crash diets and speed dating, mild-mannered Stan enlists the help of a “lifestylist” to turn his entire life around in 24 hours. Director: David Tamkin.

33 mins.
9:00 pm

The Porcelain Man
The turntable turns, the fish have been fed, the evening is normal. But after an odd item is found in a glass of milk, things are normal no longer.
Director: Mark Ratzlaff.

10 mins.

Double Bill for Single Price

Customers on Sunday evening, May 18 may attend both the 7:00 pm screening (Student Production) and 9:00 pm screening (Short Drama) for the applicable single-bill ticket price.


Documentary (History/Biography/Social/Political)
I Am the Canadian Delegate
Canada 2007
Director: Wesley Lowe

Wesley Lowe’s inspiring documentary tells the story of B.C.’s Douglas Jung (1924-2002), a World War II veteran who was Canada’s first Chinese Canadian Member of Parliament.Jung’s story embodies the struggles (and victory) of many early Chinese Canadians. Born and raised in Victoria at a time when ethnic Chinese were denied the rights of full citizenship, Jung nonetheless volunteered to fight for his country. The wartime service of Jung and others like him saw Chinese Canadians finally gain equal rights, including the vote, in 1947, opening the door for Jung’s groundbreaking political career.

48 mins.
7:15 pm

Documentary (History/Biography/Social/Political)
Canada 2007
Directors: Thomas Buchan, Stuart Reaugh

This documentary from first-time directors Stuart Reaugh and Thomas Buchan follows First Nations artist Ken Paquette, spouse Winnie Peters, and their five boys (ages 5 through 15) through a year of wrenching change. The family lives on the Schkam Reserve across the river from the town of Hope, B.C. After 18 years together, Ken and Winnie’s troubled relationship dissolves. Rick, a tattooed ex-con, moves in as the boys’ new stepfather, prompting eldest son Kenny to leave home, saying he doesn’t want a white dad. Meanwhile, Ken sells his paintings outside the local pub. The filmmakers lived with their subjects for a full year; the result is an intimate, raw, honest, and deeply humanistic portrait of people, place and family pain.

56 mins.
8:15 pm

Documentary (Nature/Environment/Adventure/Science/Technology)
Survival of the Fittest: Stories From the West Coast Trail
Canada 2007
Director: Martin de Valk

This heart-pounding documentary captures the sweat, stamina, and down-right stubbornness required to negotiate the challenges of B.C.’s world-renowned West Coast Trail, located on a wild and remote coast of Vancouver Island. Smelly socks and muddy boots mingle with flickering night fires and the unparalleled magic of the majestic Pacific as people from across Canada and around the globe test their physical, emotional, and psychological prowess on the adventure of a lifetime.

48 mins.
9:30 pm

TRIPLE Bill for Single Price Customers on Monday May 19 may attend all three screenings for the applicable single-bill ticket price.




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