The Martlet’s guide to the Victoria Film Festival

Culture Film

In a few short weeks, Victoria will once again be hosting the annual Victoria Film Festival, where theatres and venues around the city screen independent films that are generally not widely distributed.

The festival runs from Feb. 2–11 and also features a number of other events. If you’re in the Bay Centre, check out the lower level exhibit “Deep Dive.” For each day of the festival, from 10 a.m.–5 p.m., you can experience virtual reality movies, listen in on an interview with a filmmaker, or discover more about the films from the festival you’ve enjoyed so far. These experiences are completely free, so go check it out if you have the chance.

Now, the festival is large — over 100 movies will be shown in nine days — and newcomers may get lost in all the choices of movies to see. Fear not: the Martlet has your back. Below are brief overviews of three featured films that will give you a small glimpse of what the VFF has to offer.

Graphic by Austin Willis, Design Director

Man Proposes, God Disposes — Daniel Leo

Karol is a Polish man with no ambition. He lives with his mother, parties most nights, and commits petty crime to make quick cash.  All of this changes one day with a phone call from Brazil. A woman from his past, Bruna, gives Karol the news that he will soon be a father.

The debut of Canadian director Daniel Leo could not have been more impressive. The bare bones of this plot have been told before, yet Leo makes it fresh by adding clashes of culture, unpredictable characters, and beautiful cinematography. This movie does not waste time; Leo fills each shot with detail and gracefully tells an intimate and emotional story.

Romantic Road is a must-watch at the 2018 Victoria Film Festival. Photo via Facebook

Romantic Road — Oliver McGarvey

Rupert and Jan Grey are a couple in their sixties who decide to leave England with their 1936 Rolls Royce and journey across India. This documentary covers the span of their 167-day journey in which they travel 5 140 miles. The two must traverse cliffs, rivers, and borders to complete their trip; however they could never have prepared for all of the bumps in the road ahead.

The heartwarming documentary captures the best of humanity as Rupert and Jan must trust strangers to achieve their goals. Through the Greys, the audience will get to experience the colourful culture of India and the friendly people who live there. Romantic Road is a remarkable story that becomes more and more whimsical with every passing minute.

Cardinals — Grayson Moore & Aidan Shipley

Valerie returns home after being in prison for killing a neighbour while drinking and driving, and not everyone is over it. When the son of the deceased shows up at her doorstep, Valerie learns that the past is not so easily forgotten.

Sheila McCarthy, the actress portraying Valerie, deserves your attention in this drama-thriller film. Her performance is captivating, and even imposing when it needs to be. This Canadian production is filled with tense moments that will have audiences yearning for more as they discover that not every family is as it seems.

Go to the VFF website and peruse their huge list of films; there is undoubtedly something for everyone. See you at the movies!

Go to to purchase a $2 membership and you will be able to purchase tickets starting at $11. Tickets can be purchased online or at 1215 Blanshard St. next to Capitol 6.