Step into the life of a ’90s grunge rocker, a drug addict on Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, a French chef, and a young boy with disabilities, when the Langley International Film Festival returns next week.
The third annual event, benefiting the Langley School District Foundation, features six films at the Chief Sepass Theatre in Fort Langley Feb. 16 to 18.
The event kicks off Friday night with a screening of documentary Cadillac Tramps: Life on the Edge at 7 p.m.
Described as “hard hitting and uncomfortably raw,” the film follows the career of 1990s grunge band Cadillac Tramp, and all of the drugs, alcohol and infighting that led to their demise.
The film’s producer/director, Jamie Coakley, and her husband, Brian — who is also one of the band members — will be in attendance. They will take part in a Q&A following the film, and are also the special guests at LIFF’s Opening Night Gala, happening at Lelem Arts & Cultural Cafe at 9 p.m.
The festival continues Saturday morning at 11 a.m. with a student montage of short videos from young filmmakers at Brookswood Secondary School, Langley Fine Arts School, R. E. Mountain Secondary School, Langley Secondary School and Walnut Grove Secondary School.
Prizes will be awarded to the top three, with adjudication by Jamie Coakley, Martini Studios owner Gemma Martini and filmmaker Adrian West.
“The film teachers choose the best shorts, each film is about three to five minutes,” said Susan Cairns, executive director of the Langley School District Foundation.
“It’s a really big deal for the students because they get to show their film at a legitimate international film festival.”
There will be a short reception with the students before the next film begins.
At 3 p.m. the award winning Luk Luk’l will screen. This film was created by Brookswood Secondary grad Wayne Wapeemukwa, and won awards at both the Toronto and Vancouver International Film Festivals. It explores the hidden side of Vancouver during the 2010 Olympics — the Downtown Eastside.
“It’s very powerful, it’s got a huge impact, and the actors in it are real people from the Downtown Eastside,” Cairns said.
Afterwards, Wapeemukwa, who now lives in London, England, will do a Skype interview with his former high school video teacher, Carl Hofbauer.
At 7:30 p.m., Golden Globe and Oscar nominee Get Out will be shown. This thriller takes audiences for a disturbing ride when character Rose brings her boyfriend, Chris, for a weekend away with her parents.
“We chose that because, first of all, it’s an Oscar nominee, and we wanted to have some really well recognized movies and ones that people might not have seen before the Academy Awards,” Cairns said.
“And this one is a little bit out there. It’s not your run-of-the-mill Hollywood film, let’s put it that way.”
The final day of the festival begins at 1 p.m. with C’est La Vie!, a French film about an upscale chef who is hired to cater a dysfunction wedding. This film is in French with English subtitles.
Wrapping up LIFF at 3:30 p.m. is Wonder, with Langley’s own Jacob Tremblay. The young actor co-stars with Julia Roberts in this film that explores the life of a fifth grade student with facial deformities.
For the second time in LIFF’s history, Tremblay will be in attendance. Audience members can catch up with the star during a Q&A with former CBC radio host Mark Forsythe.
And as always, all money raised from the weekend will go towards supporting film studies at Langley high schools. The last two years raised $15,000 each.
“It’s made a big difference,” Cairns said of the donations.
“The equipment is getting better and better, and the films that the students are making are amazing. It started off with iMovie type productions. They are very professional now. The sound, special effects, different techniques of making a film — just in the last two years — has gone up probably 300 per cent.
“I can’t believe what they’re doing these days. It’s exciting, it’s fascinating, and if we can help in any way, we really want to do that.”
Individual tickets are $10 for each film, or $50 for all six. The Opening Night Gala is $25.
Tickets can be purchased online at www.langleyschooldistrictfoundation.com.
■ FEB. 16 — 7 P.M.
Cadillac Tramps: Life on the Edge
■ FEB. 16 — 9 P.M.
LIFF Opening Night Gala
■ FEB. 17 — 11 A.M.
■ FEB. 17 — 3:30 P.M.
■ FEB. 17 — 7:30 P.M.
■ FEB. 18 — 1 P.M.
C’est La Vie!
■ FEB. 18 — 3 P.M.