Comox Valley Art Gallery’s Fall Film Series opens with Wild Rose, Sept. 15. Photo supplied.

Comox Valley Art Gallery’s Fall Film Series opens with Wild Rose

Tickets are on sale for the Comox Valley Art Gallery’s Fall Film Series, which opens with Wild Rose on Sept. 15 (with a re-screening Sept. 18).

In this inspiring comedy-drama, a would-be country singer dreams of leaving her dreary, workaday Glasgow life for the bright lights of Nashville. Rose-Lynn has dreamt of becoming a country music star for as long as anyone can remember. But Glasgow isn’t exactly Nashville, and, as a convicted criminal and single mother of two young children, Rose-Lynn is more country song than country star.

The film series, an ongoing fundraiser for CVAG, screens films from the Toronto International Film Festival through the TIFF – Film Circuit.

Other films to be featured this season are The Farewell, Sept. 22, 25; A Colony, Sept. 29, Oct. 2; The Souvenir, Oct. 6, 9; All is True, Oct. 20, 23; Before You Know It, Oct. 27, 30; One Day in the Life of Noah Piugattuk, Nov. 3, 6; Village Rockstars, Nov. 17, 20; Maiden, Dec. 1, 4; Tel Aviv on Fire, Dec. 8, 11.

(See below for synopses on all films.)

Passes for all 10 films are $126 for CVAG members and $135 for non-members.

Individual tickets are $14 each for CVAG members, $15 for non-members.

Call 250-338-6211 to purchase tickets over the phone, or drop by the CVAG Shop at 580 Duncan Ave, Courtenay. All films are at the Landmark Cinemas in Courtenay.

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The Farewell

Lulu Wang’s Sundance hit is an intergenerational family drama that is at once celebratory, heart-wrenching, and life-affirming. Based on true events, the film follows a young Chinese American woman named Billi as she travels back to China to visit her dying grandmother. Though cultures clash and family conflict ensues, the story is told with universally relatable warmth and charm. Little by little, we realize that this story is not only about Billi saying goodbye to her grandmother, but also about her reconnecting with a country and extended family that she left behind at a young age.

***

A Colony

This award-winning Québécois gem is a fresh, beautifully rendered, and radically optimistic take on the coming-of-age genre. Une Colonie is a semi- autobiographical coming-of-age drama about finding your voice. Set in rural Quebec, it follows 12-year-old Mylia who has a history of being bullied and is trying to find her bearings at a new school while navigating a turbulent home life. An apt exploration of identity that will speak to the pre-teen in all of us, Une Colonie reminds us that we should aim not only to survive in life, but also to thrive.

***

The Souvenir

Deeply personable and relatable, the acclaimed new award-winning drama is a semi-autobiographical account of a dysfunctional relationship between a young, ambitious film student and an older, smooth-talking man, set in 1980s west London. The Souvenir is at once a period piece depicting a modern relationship long before the era of smartphones and social media, and a time capsule of our collective bad decisions and tormented relationships.

***

All is True

An all-star cast headlines this historical drama from Kenneth Branagh is a delightful telling of William Shakespeare’s return home to his family after years of success in London. The tale of an artist coming to terms with his failings amidst a sea of success, All Is True is satisfying from start to finish. It’s the kind of comforting, intelligent cinema that makes you want to cozy up with a warm cup of tea.

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Before You Know It

There are an estimated 2.4 million lesbian, gay and bisexual Americans over the age of 55 in the United States, many of whom face heightened levels of discrimination, neglect and exclusion. But Before is not a film about cold statistics and gloomy realities, it’s a film about generational trailblazers who have surmounted prejudice and defied expectation to form communities of strength, renewal and camaraderie – whether these communities be affable senior living facilities, lively activist enclaves of wacky queer bars brimming with glittered trinkets and colourful drag queens.

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One Day in the Life of Noah Piugattuk

A single day in an Inuk man’s life represents as aspect of Canadian history that has affected generations. One morning in the spring of 1961, Noah Piugattuk begins his day like any other in Kapuivik, on Baffin Island as he slowly prepares himself for a trip to get supplies. Along the way, his party encounters another team and Piugattuk is immediately introduced to “Boss”, a government agent who has come to tell Piugattuk and his entire community that they must move to a settlement and put their children in school. The ensuing conversation — and negotiation — provides a snap-shot of the relationship between Canada’s First Peoples and the country’s colonizers.

***

Village Rockstars

Dhunu wants a rock band. It’s an admirable goal for a young girl, but out of reach when you live in a remote village in northeast India. And when your mother is a widow struggling to put food on the table, dreams of electric guitars can seem like madness. Yet a guitar is exactly what drives Dhunu’s ambition. At 10 years old, she is alive with a passion for music and a dazzling confidence in her own convictions. It’s only when Dhunu sits at the feet of a village elder as he describes how to unlock the power of thought that she begins to glimpse how she might achieve her boundless musical vision.

***

Maiden

Exhilarating, suspenseful, and emotionally charged, this documentary from chronicles Tracy Edwards’ 1989–90 precedent-setting sea voyage around the world with an all-female crew. The Whitbread Round the World was considered an exclusively masculine endeavour when Edwards came along and, in the face of much sexist condescension, proved that skill, perseverance, and courage at sea know no gender.

***

Tel Aviv on Fire

One of the most irreverent cinematic spins on the Israeli–Palestinian conflict, the latest from writer-director Sameh Zoabi follows a fledging soap-opera scenarist charged with concocting plot twists to suit viewers on both sides. Films like this might not bring peace to the Middle East, but making everyone laugh at the same thing feels like a step in the right direction.

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