Pei-Pei Cheng, Tzi Ma and Sandra Oh star in Meditation Park that will be screened at the upcoming Festival of B.C. Film at the ACT Arts Centre in Maple Ridge. (Contributed)

Celebrate the best of B.C. film at the ACT in Maple Ridge

The Festival of B.C. Film takes place Mar. 23 and 24

The Festival of B.C. Film is returning for a third year to the ACT.

There will be four feature films highlighted this year.

Haida Gwaii: On the Edge of the World will kick off the festival at 7 p.m. on March 23.

The documentary tells the story of the inhabitants of Haida Gwaii who live on the remote archipelago located off the coast of B.C. It is directed by Charles Wilkinson and stars Severn Cullis-Suzuki and Guujaaw.

Maker of Monsters: The Extraordinary Life of Beau Dick, directed by Natalie Boll and LaTiesha Fazakas, that stars Bruce Alfred, Wayne Alfred and Eric Angus, will be screened at 8:45 p.m. the same evening.

This documentary gives an intimate look into the life of one of Canada’s greatest artists, Beau Dick, who rose to international acclaim in the world of contemporary art and who used his celebrity to call attention to the injustices done to First Nations people and the environment.

On Mar. 24 at 2 p.m. the comedy/drama Rehearsal will be screened.

The movie staring Breanne Hill, Bruce Greenwood and Annabelle Stephenson that is directed by Carl Bessai, tells the story about a struggling British theatre director named Turner Longfellow. He is forced to hire an entitled young Hollywood action star in order to guarantee an audience for a play he is putting on by Russian playwright Anton Chekhov who died in 1904 at the age of 44. Longfellow and the Hollywood star clash over the production and the creative process but put aside their differences to produce a version of Chekhov’s play The Seagull that enthralls modern audiences and Chekhov fans alike.

Meditation Park will be screened at 4 p.m. on Mar. 24 starring Pei-Pei Cheng, Tzi Ma and Sandra Oh, directed by Mina Shum.

The drama tells the story of a 60-year-old devoted wife and mother named Maria Wang whose life is altered when she discovers an orange thong in her husband’s pants pocket. When she confronts him about it she discovers how powerless she is but her efforts to find out the truth about the situation sends her on an unexpected journey of liberation.

Special to the festival this year will be a Youth Digital Media Fest called Cyber-mation.

The two-part Cyberschool presentation will open with a showcase of the film techniques that students from Alouette elementary and Yennadon elementary have learned over the course of the school year, including, lighting, emotion without dialogue, point of view shot, silent movie, reverse angles, continuity editing, wide medium close and stop motion.

Following the showcase the students will premiere their own original short films centered around the theme of Animation.

Students from the ACT Media Arts Program will also be showcasing their work.

Tickets for this event are $5 each.

The Maple Ridge Festival of B.C. Film was founded in 2017 by Lindy Sisson, former executive and artistic director at the ACT Arts Centre and John Wittmayer owner of The Ridge Film Studios in downtown Maple Ridge, to champion the work of B.C. filmmakers. Every film in the festival has to have a connection to the province, whether it be the director, the producer, the actors, the crews or location.

Tickets for the film festival are $14 each or $39 for a four-film pass.

Fred Armstrong with the City of Maple Ridge will be hosting post-screening conversations with the filmmakers.

For more information go to theactmapleridge.org or call 604-476-2787.

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